It was a chilly but sunny day on the cusp of Veteran’s Day when I met with one of our newest employees, Stephanie Devine.  We each only had a small amount of time we could devote to the interview as our schedules for the day were pretty cramped.  None the less, she humored me with a sit down.

We exchanged small talk and she smiled pleasantly as I prepared my questions.

 

  • Me: To start with, where do you consider home to be?
  • Stephanie:  Here in North Texas.  I grew up in North Richland Hills, and graduated from Richland High school.
  • Me:  So you are a local girl?  A real Fort Worth area native?
  • Stephanie:  Actually I am originally from Virginia, but since I only lived there about 2 years of my life, I consider Fort Worth to be my home.
  • Me: Ah, okay.  Tell me about your family.
  • Stephanie:  I have a great husband and 3 amazing boys.  My husband’s name is Rich, and we’ve been married 6 years now.  We actually met in Iraq in 2006 when we were both deployed there.  He was in the Army as well, and is now retired after 23 years of service.  I have 2 stepsons…Mitchell who is 22, and currently serving in the Army at Fort Hood, and just recently returned from deployment on November 2nd.  Justin who is 13 and in 8th grade at Hurst Jr High School, and Elijah is our sweet 4 year old who has a heart of gold.
  • Me:  Wow, all boys!  Is your house often hectic during the week?
  • Stephanie: Hectic is a good word to describe it.  I wouldn’t change it for the world though.  They all put the toilet seat down, so it’s the little things in life 🙂
  • Me: Putting the toilet seat down is always a good thing!  I’m willing to bet that you have a pets to keep the boys occupied?
  • Stephanie:  Yes, we do.  Chase, the German shepherd, is nine years old, and our Calico cat, Sheriff Cali, is one year old.
  • Me:  Sheriff Cali?  That’s an interesting name!
  • Stephanie: (she laughed at my question, pushing her blonde hair over her shoulder.) Elijah named her.  There is a show on Disney Junior called “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West” and that’s where he got the idea.
  • Me:  Okay, that explains a lot!  I figured it was from a show or a movie.
  • Stephanie:  Yeah he tries to get her to watch the show with him when it comes on. Crazy kid!
  • Me:  And I’m sure that Sheriff is completely indifferent! (Stephanie nods)  Speaking of shows and movies, what is your favorite movie?
  • Stephanie:  Honestly, any Disney movie with the exception of Fantasia.
  • Me:  Why not Fantasia?
  • Stephanie: I’m not sure…Maybe all the music.
  • Me:  What was the last book that you read?
  • Stephanie:  The last book I read was the 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman PhD.
  • Me:  I like his work.  Do you mainly read non-fiction or do you read fiction as well?
  • Stephanie:  Mainly non-fiction.  Before that I read American Wife by Taya Kyle.
  • Me:  Okay, so for a silly question, if you had no choice in going to a deserted island and were allowed three non-essentials, what would you take?
  • Stephanie:  (She laughed and stared off for a moment.)  Uh, my bible… Gummy Bears…. and a pair of sun glasses.
  • Me:  Gummy Bears before sunglasses?
  • Stephanie:  I don’t need the sunglasses at night time.
  • Me:  Tell me about your military service.  We know you and your husband were in the Army, but how long did you serve?
  • Stephanie: I went in April of 2002 to September of 2008 in active duty.  I did two tours to Iraq-one in 2003 and in 2005, and one to Afghanistan in 2007.  I got out because I had met my husband and wanted to start settling down. I then joined the Guard/Reserve to continue my service, where I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.  I got out after that deployment in 2015 due to the arrival of Elijah in 2013, and wanted to focus on being a mom and raising my sweet boy.  It was hard to be away from him on the weekends I had drill.
  • Me:  I can imagine.  That’s a pretty good stretch.  Thank you for your service to our country.
  • Stephanie:  You’re welcome, thanks for the support!
  • Me:  My parents and brother are veterans, so I definitely appreciate you and all that have served!  What prompted you to join?
  • Stephanie:  This is a loaded question…The main reason I joined is because I have a lot of family members who had served to include my great grandfather, grandfather and father.  Out of nine Grandchildren, I’m the only one who joined, and I felt I needed to continue the tradition.  I do not regret a minute of it, and at times I miss it greatly.
  • Me:  Wow.  Very honorable in keeping the family tradition going.  I bet they are proud!
  • Stephanie:  Yes, my father was very proud when I joined, and made sure he told everyone about his daughter in the Army.
  • Me:  I bet!  I appreciate the time you’ve taken to humor my questions here.  Thank you so much for your service and I hope that you have a great Veteran’s Day tomorrow.
  • Stephanie:  Thanks, it’ll be the first Veteran’s Day we’ve been able to spend as a family with Mitchell since he’s been in, so I’m sure it’ll be a great day.