Next weekend, I will be attending a profound reunion with my military sisters as we celebrate turning 50 years young during the 2016-2017 school year. Thirty-one years ago, on July 2, 1985, in hot and humid Annapolis, Maryland, a group of 135 women joined the Class of 1989 at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Four years later, 94 of us graduated and were commissioned into the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. As the tenth class with women at Navy, I believe we hit a “sweet spot” in that we weren’t among the very first classes, we did our own trailblazing, and our smaller-than-current numbers allowed us to know each other well.
(left to right) Ellen Gardner and Kristin (Reynolds) Goodrich
Graduation brought a shared baseline in that each of us was awarded a Bachelor’s of Science degree, in our early 20’s, single and not a parent, physically fit, medically healthy, trained in basic leadership, and about to be fully employed for at least 5 years.
As the plans for this reunion have come together, I have spent significant time reflecting on those “four years by the Bay.”
During this third quarter of 2016, the Planting Roots ministry has focused on the word REMEMBER, as described in the Old Testament book of 1st Chronicles, chapter 16. My time of reflecting on the challenges of those four years has intersected with verse 12.
12 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced…
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of REMEMBER is “to have or keep an image or idea in your mind of (something or someone from the past); to think of (something or someone from the past) again”
Spending time remembering hasn’t always been an enjoyable exercise. I’ve had a number of active, unsettling dreams. I’ve had flashbacks to challenging swim tests while on the pool deck of my local YMCA. I know that I no longer fit into any of my uniforms.
As a believer in the Almighty God of the Old Testament, I also remember the wonders and miracles he performed in my life.
Through the use of an air-conditioned room and the offer of free donuts, I experienced the wonder and miracle of inviting Jesus to be Lord of my life.
Smaller yet wonderful later miracles involved passing classes such as Electrical Engineering (I was a history major), finishing PT tests despite nausea being involved, having a major conduct write-up voided, and squeaking through major obstacles weeks prior to graduation.
To look back on what I hated is to also REMEMBER what I loved during those crucible years. Most importantly, I learned to love my female classmates, even when I didn’t particularly like them. In spite of our differences, our similar military journeys connect us as a sisterhood.
Photo prior to graduation of many of the women of the Class of 1989
I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way as sixty, yes SIXTY, of us will be attending this reunion, on our own – without spouses, children, or pets.
Today we are piano teachers, Navy/Marine Corps O-6’s, real estate agents, homeschoolers, engineers, stay-at-home moms, cancer survivors, and more.
But three decades ago, we were sailors once… and young… and we learned the deep love of the military sisterhood.
Part 2 of this series will be coming soon!
Memes created by Kristin Busuego, who lives in the desert far from the ocean, is known as “KB” and does Social Media for Planting Roots
Kristin Goodrich now lives in Colorado Springs. Even though the U.S. Air Force Academy is visible from her house, she is sure to wear her “Go Navy” gear around town. She is glad that her reunion will be held in Charleston since all her classmates know how to swim. Kristin is known as “KG” on the Planting Roots team, and serves as the XO (Executive Officer).