Veterans Day

Originally named Armistice Day, the holiday was first celebrated in 1938 to honor the soldiers that served in World War 1. November 11th was picked as the date because the war ended at 11 am on 11.11.1918. Some think that we celebrate Memorial Day and Veterans Day for the same reason. There is, however, a subtle but essential difference between the two. While both honor our military personnel, the former is a day to remember and respect all the men and women who died serving our country in a war. Veterans Day celebrates those who are still alive and served in the forces at any time, during peace or war.

Today I am sharing some of my memories from the four years I served in the US Navy. (1979 – 1983)

The photos above and below were taken during boot camp.

Rhonda was my closest friend in boot camp, and we remain friends today. We cried on departure day.

I loved being out to sea.

I’m not out of uniform. We didn’t have to wear a cover (hat) while out to sea or indoors.

Captain Kelly is presenting me with an award in a ceremony held on board the ship. (The USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36))

That’s me in front of a gift shop in Athens, Greece. For our protection, we were required to wear civilian clothes while on shore leave in foreign countries.

Forever the fashionista, I’m wearing Candies heels while touring the Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza, Egypt.

That’s a press photo taken in my office on board the ship.

This photo hung in a Photographer’s studio in Norfolk, VA, for several years.

Captain Kelly is presenting me with the Navy Achievement Medal.

Becky assumed my position as the Special Services Director after my honorable discharge from the service.

That cake was big enough to feed one hundred!

The command and my closest friends gave me a fantastic going away luncheon.

I earned a few ribbons and medals while serving in the USN.

There is an impressive Veterans Memorial here in Johnson City, TN.

Mr. Mickey and I proudly served our country. Listed on the walls of the Memorial are many of the names of service members from Johnson City.

Below is a press photo for an article published in my hometown newspaper. I was standing watch on the bridge of the ship.

I extend my gratitude and respect to all my fellow Veterans.

  1. Thank you for your service What an outstanding legacy you are as a US Navy woman who served our country active duty. Inspired & grateful, . Ms Judith

  2. Thank you for your service and for sharing the photos. I am curious Susan, if I may ask, why did you decide to join the Navy?

    1. I was working three jobs while trying to put myself through college. The economy was difficult here in East Tennessee at the end of the seventies. After doing lots of research, I decided that the US Navy was the branch of service for me. It was the best decision I could have made.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! We honour all who served and are serving in the military. It is Remembrance Day in Canada today. I am proud to have parents who served in WWII. I learned a lot about values and standing up for what you believe in. Lest we forget…

  4. Susan, Thank you so much for your service to our wonderful country. I admire and respect all our service men and women.

  5. Thanks, Susan, for your timely reminder of what Veterans’ Day means. Your
    service is appreciated! We put flags outside our condo door honoring my
    father and two neighbors who fought in WW II / Germany, Korea, and Vietnam
    in addition to those currently serving.

    Your blog is favorite reading; besides your well-explained fashion tips, I
    admire your attitude, always a positive outlook!

  6. Thank you for your service and for sharing on this blog. I admire all you have done and are doing. What an inspiration you are!

  7. Susan, you are so beautiful wearing the uniform while serving our country. You are still beautiful. Thank you for your service. My mother served in the Army Nurse Corp during World War II as a 2nd Lt. I was so proud of her and proud of every woman who served. I have been following your blog for about 3 years and enjoy and learn from each entry Thank for your sensible approach to life and fashion for the mature ladies. At 75 I have learned so much from you. I wish you the best life has to offer now and any future plans and retirement. Blessings, Millie

  8. Thank you for your military service Susan! And thank you for serving the “women after 60” ! I look forward to your postings each day & am transforming my closet & becoming a better shopper!!

  9. Thank you for your service, Susan. Although I am not American, my heart is with the US military right now in my current job of assisting TRICARE beneficiaries with their healthcare authorisations.
    We spoke just the other day,, but sending my regards again on this 100th Armistice Day.
    Jacquie Lecuona

  10. Thank you for your service! I hadn’t realized you were in the Navy until I scrolled through the pictures. What a beautiful lady!! Thank you again.

  11. What an impressive background you have – you definitely were (and still are) photogenic. Thank you for your service..

  12. Thank you for your years of honorable service. My parents both served in the Army Air Corp during WWII. Because of them I have always felt a deep sense of gratitude for those who have given so much to preserve our freedoms. Thank you and happy Veterans Day.

  13. Thank you for sharing this and thanks to both you and Mr. Mickey for serving.

    Love your blog! Started following less than a year ago and can hardly wait for your email each day!!!

    Attended a wedding in Johnson City 23 years ago and enjoyed a very cold December weekend.

  14. My father in -law served overseas for 5 years during WW11… Imagine not seeing his wife and his small children and experiencing the horrors of war. What a brave and dedicated man! But the saddest thing was when he passed away and the family was told that his casket would not be draped with the Canadian flag because he had forgotten to pay his latest dues to the Legion. Shame on Canada! This man had paid his dues over and beyond by fighting for his country and for suffering the aftermath of war. Today (Remembrance Day) in Canada I remember him and all those who had to experience the horrors of war (those who survived and those who didn’t. Lest we forget!
    Thanks to you and to Mr. Mickey! Sorry about the possible errors as English is not my first language.

  15. Thank you for your service! We are the same age, looking back at that time frame was just a couple years ago, …right? 😉

  16. That is most impressive! Thank both you and Mr. Mickey for your service. You were a beautiful young lady, and have aged beautifully.

  17. Dear Susan, I’d like to thank you and Mr. Mickey for your service! What beautiful pictures you have to remember your service years—and to share with others! I enjoy your website so very much. Thanks so much for that also… have led and are leading a very productive, interesting and varied life!! Wishing you continued success and thanks for sharing with us! Thanks again for your service…….Judy

  18. Thanks to you and Mr. Mickey for your service to our country. It’s wonderful to see two veterans enjoying their retirement years after their bravery and public servant duties. You are inspiring! Blessings to you both. My father was assigned as a recruiter, to East Tennessee State in Johnson City many years ago. I started 1st grade at St. Mary’s School and then we were transferred to Germany. Nice memories of lovely neighbors in Gilmer Park. We were in the news there because of my father’s accomplished Army career. I married a brave Vietnam veteran and we are about to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We are blessed!

  19. Dear Susan and Mr. Mickey,
    Congratulations on your service to our country and thank you both very, very much. I loved seeing pictures of you. You are a truly beautiful person then and now, Susan. That was a treasured gift to our country and to all the members of our country! As it says here, “Freedom is not FREE!” Thank you for all you have accomplished and for your service. Thank you for all you do now, too. I love reading your column and I am always more cheerful after reading your words and seeing your pictures! Mr. Mickey, thank you for your service and thank you for taking so many wonderful pictures, now. You are certainly a very handsome man! Love to both of you!
    Love, Marion

  20. I have two children currently serving in the Navy. My son is a Navy pilot now going into his 13 th year and my daughter is a Navy doctor.
    Thank you to all who serve and have served. Lest we forget, freedom is not free! Fair winds and following seas to you and Mr. Mickey.

  21. This was a wonderful post in many many ways, and I am honored to read it and to “know” you via Internet. t=thanks so much for sharing!

  22. Susan,

    Awesome pics! Thank you for your service.

    I will never forget the men and women that keep our country safe.

    Elaine from Florida

  23. Thank you and Mr. Mickey both for your service. It’s no surprise that you were chosen for press photos! You were beautiful then as you are now.

  24. Thank you, Susan (and Mr. Mickey) for your service! You made a great looking second class! I, too, was in the Navy, and was fortunate enough to serve on an aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington (AVT-16). What a great time in my life! The most comfortable shoes I wore were black leather tie up ones ( like a nun would wear)., although I had the same ones you had for inspections. :-D. Happy Veteran’s Day!

  25. Thank you and Mr. Mickey for your service!! Also, for sharing your pictures, truly had beauty and grace back then too! You are a blessing to many.

  26. What a surprise. I don’t recall you ever mentioning your service before. Thank you. For your service and for sharing another part of your life with us. You remain just as beautiful now as then.

  27. Susan, Thank you for serving…and for what sharing your photos and story.

    Beth Kauffman
    Philadelphia, Penna.

  28. Thank you, Susan and Mickey, for serving our country and helping keep our country safe. My father was in the Navy also, but years before you. My deepest gratitude for your work for The United States and all of our citizens. God Bless you always and especially on this Veteran;s Day.

  29. Salute to you. I just loved this pictorial. My dad served in the Navy during WWII on PT boats in the Pacific. Happy Veterean’s Day to you!

  30. Thanks for sharing your Navy photos! Beautiful and smart in the service of our Country.
    Thanks for your service on this Veteran’s Day!

  31. Very lovely tribute to Veterans. Thank you for sharing your time in the Navy. You made it look quite glamorous! How did you choose to join the service?

  32. Thank you again! I read your comment about why you joined the Navy. My husband served in the Air Force for 4 years in the 70’s.

  33. My sincere thanks to you , Mr. Mickey and everyone who has served our wonderful country. My husband is a veteran. We fly the American flag every day at our home.
    You and Mr. Mickey are a beautiful couple – beautiful inside and outside. Well, maybe Mr. Mickey is handsome on the outside.
    Thank you for your service and for the wonderful blog.

  34. Thank you both for your service to our country. One of the regrets of my life was I did not serve my country the way you did. There were three women in church today who stood up. It was awesome. My mother was at Warner Robins during the war putting bolts on different airplanes. That’s where my parents met and married and has a stillborn child buried there. My husband had four years in the Navy. Went back in the Army a few years later to fly and ended up in helicopters in the jungles over Vietnam Nam. I thank God every day for our men and women who serve our country and their families who sacrifice and sometimes pay the ultimate price. How do we explain to our younger generation that freedom is not free. I enjoy your blog. I enjoy your attitude of simpler is better. I just enjoy your attitude in general. Thank you for being real.

  35. Here in Canada, November 11 is called Remembrance Day and is a combination of your Veterans and Memorial Days honouring all who served including those who died. It is a very solemn occasion.

  36. That was very interesting…thank you for sharing and thank you for serving our country.
    You looked beautiful then as now.

  37. Dear Susan – thank you SO much!
    1) for your service. Please tell Mr. Mickey how much we appreciate his as well.
    2) for the WONDERFUL photos! We all love a glimpse into your past life, and I can certainly see why they’d want to use you as a recruiting poster. Very glad your experience in the Navy was a positive one.

  38. Wonderful! Thank you so much! You are a wonderful inspiration!
    I am becoming an American citizen in December at age 74 and living here for 55 years in this wonderful country. As they say, better late than never.

  39. That was interesting. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to getting your emails each day and appreciate your expertise on fashion as we grow older.

  40. Beautiful photos and fond memories I’m sure. Thank you for your service, and thanks for sharing your service time with us. You were and are a lovely lady, and could have served as a “poster” for women in the Navy!

  41. Thank you for your service and for sharing that very important part of your life. You were and still are an inspiration.

  42. Thanks for your service Susan. I enjoyed learning that you served in the military and seeing the photos from that time in your life.

  43. Thank you for your service to our country, Susan! And, thank you, Mr. Mickey, for your service to our country! The two of you are such beautiful role models. I offer you, and all who are serving and have served, our great country my gratitude. Oh, I hope you feel the love and gratitude coming your way!

  44. Thank You for your service! Your pictures are awesome! You looked very happy on board of the ship. I served in the USA for 10 years as a nurse. I enjoyed every minute. Very proud to have served. I met my husband while we were in the military.huh

  45. Thank you for your military career. I was in Viet Nam in 69..proud American…I keep up with you each day….I admire you for the woman you are…..and I must say….what a beauty you are

  46. The older I get, the better I understand the sacrifices made by the people who have served – and are currently serving – in the United States military, and the more I appreciate those sacrifices. Thank you, Susan, for your service. And thank you for sharing your photos with us.

    You are now, and clearly have always been, a very attractive lady. I appreciate all the time you invest in sharing your extensive knowledge with the rest of us. I will never have the beautiful facial features that you have, (I have never been happy about my relatively large nose with the hump in it.) but I can and do use the tips you share to put my best foot forward and look my best.

  47. Oh Susan, this is such a lovely post, so interesting and you look absolutely stunning in all the photos – I thoroughly enjoyed it! Sending love and best wishes from the UK xx

  48. Thank you, Susan, for serving in the Navy. My grandfather, father, and cousin served in the Navy. I liked the explanations, like the one that said you were required to dress civilian on tours. I learned a lot from your slide show, just as I learn a lot from all your posts. Thank you, too, for sharing your dressing techniques! Happy Thanksgiving!

  49. Susan, thank you so much for your service to our country.
    The pictures are so lovely. I really enjoy your blog.

    God bless you,
    Zoeanne S.

  50. Thank you for your service. As the wife of an Army veteran, I understand the sacrifice one must make to serve. Also, I truly appreciate your blog and the ideas about dressing after 60. I can be a challenge to not look frumpy. Thank you.

  51. WOWEE……well done.
    You have a wonderful blog.
    In 1969 I began a journey of self-sufficiency and sustainable living. But never took on an unkept look. I came from an era where my mother and aunties dressed to impress. Co-ordinating hat, gloves, clothes, shoes and handbags and of course….their handkerchiefs. I have never enjoyed shopping. Being short waisted with long arms has caused many a problem. In our marriage of 50 years, we have only ever been out to dinner about six times. It is not important or essential to us. Mostly I buy secondhand clothes. Alter them to fit. Well cut, quality fabric, beautiful detail etc. They hang right! I am often over-dressed at a community function or a concert and frequently out of step with fashion. Fashion is something that belongs to my teenage memories… Style has been my bag for years.
    We are retired. Income is low. I imagine that some of your ladies are in the same boat.
    You provide a wonderful support to women. Well done. Judith

  52. Susan
    Just read this article and was very impressed. Thank you for your service. Please also thank Mr. Mickey for his service.You are a class act.

  53. Susan my name is Jim Riley i was on the USS L.Y. Spear with you for about 3 years from 1978-1982. I was in the Supply Department and worked for Lieutenant CMDR Ames, and CMDR Rasmussen. I was the one in the tragic accident on May 4, 1980 where Ensign Guiao lost his life in Diego Garcia on board the ship when we were getting ready to refuel the Baten Rouge. I married Alison Siracuse who was also a Storekeeper on our ship.

    1. I’ve thought of you countless times and am thrilled to read your message. It is a great relief to learn that you survived and thrived. I hope you and Alison continue living a full and happy life.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.