Colonie Central High School graduate Danielle Martinez went from local hairdresser to enrolling in the Navy.
Photo by Zan Strumfeld.
continued “Some wrote back. That really makes a difference when (the sailors) write letters back to us,” Obermayer said.
Joyce said she also has sent many care packages and emails to Danielle and her friends on the ship for words of encouragement.
“We’re definitely working hard out there. But it was a lot of work and a lot of tears,” Danielle said. “Being away from my family … that was really hard. It’s not hard anymore because I realized they’re always going to be there for me.”
While Danielle still has a couple more years in the Navy, she said she wants to use the benefits when she gets home to open up her own hair salon. Although her official Naval title is a ship serviceman SHSN, Danielle said she also become the ship’s barber. And while she’s working hard, she said she’s been really enjoying traveling to places like Hong Kong, Australia and Hawaii.
After leaving on June 12, Joyce said she isn’t sure when she’ll see her daughter again, and that’s the hardest part.
“Now that I have a daughter in the Navy, it’s very difficult but I can relate more when I hear people talk about their stories. You keep your cell phone near you 24/7 and check emails at night,” Joyce said. “I prayed every day. Thank God everything went well.”
Although her older brother Chris said it’s been a rough year, he was happy to have her back in town even for just a short period of time.
“I worry about her a lot more than I thought. But the bad stuff gets outweighed by moments like this when you get to see them again,” he said.