Navy Officer Enlists Wife into Military
GROTON, Conn. - Military life has become a family affair for a Navy supply officer and his wife.
Lt. Cmdr. Shane Guilford, Submarine Group Two Supply Officer, enlisted his wife, Amy, into the Air Force Reserves on Jan. 13. Mrs. Guilford will be attached to the 439th Aerospace Medicine Squadron as a Medical Laboratory Apprentice at Westover Air Force Base (AFB) in Springfield, Mass. She will attend school at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Tx. for 17 weeks followed by an internship of about four months at a major Air Force hospital.
“My wife has sacrificed for me for many years while I was away,” said Shane. “It's my turn to support her. I was very proud and honored to be able to enlist her.”
That pride continued to shine, even though Shane, who has been in the Navy nearly 22 years, tried to convince Amy to chose Navy blue over Air Force blue.
“Of course. That was my first choice,” he said. “However, the education and training benefits the Air Force offered her outweighed her loyalty to the Navy.”
“I would have joined the Navy,” said Amy, “but the need for, and what interested, me was not available. I chose the Air Force because they had the Medical Lab Tech job available and their program worked with my husband's career. We would love to be dual career-oriented until he retires. I would like to retire from the service and acquire a retirement as well.”
This is a new beginning for Amy, who said she “felt honored to have the man who I love and who is so accomplished to be able to help me on my journey to start my career again.”
“My wife is a strong, smart, independent person,” said Shane, 40, a graduate from Eastern Connecticut State University and the Naval Postgraduate School. “I know she can handle whatever challenges the Air Force offers her.”
Shane and Amy were not alone in this decision. The couple, who will celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary in June, have two girls: Sydney, 16; and, Michaela, 12.
“They are a little worried about it, as they should be,” said Shane. “Amy is taking a big step. That said, the girls are also very proud of her for taking this on ‘at her age.’ Their words, not mine,” laughed Shane.
“The girls know the risk, and they know the security of the service,” remarked Amy, 39. “I have explained that there are great benefits to serving your county.”
According to Amy, military service was an easy decision. “I love the military,” she said. “It has afforded me and my family the opportunity for a wonderful life. Even with all the sacrifices, I would choose this life again.”
As she embarks on this latest course along her life, Amy is setting long-term goals for herself and her family. She wants to get a Master’s degree in Bioenvironmental Management. Currently, she is a junior at Eastern Connecticut State University.
“This path will afford me the opportunity to finish my education with military assisting me,” she said. “My goal is to become an officer like my husband. I am showing my girls that it is never to late to accomplish your dream.
“They both love me and support what I am doing. They have had all my attention for the last 17 years, and, I must say, I have raised wonderful, well-adjusted, strong girls. I hope that they can go into the world and see that they can accomplish anything they desire. Age need not hold you back, and it is never too late. I hope to, one day, enlist one of them, so they can have the benefits and the pride of serving their country,” she said.
All of that may be further in the future. For now though, the Guilfords prepare for Shane’s new role as “Mr. Mom” while Amy is away training for her new career.
“I'll make sure I get a good watch turnover for all the household activities,” joked Shane, an Enfield, Conn. native. “I think we will all lose some weight with my cooking skills though. Seriously, I know it will be hard at first, but she'll only be a phone call away.”
“It will definitely be different for the both of us,” said Amy, a graduate of Waverly High School in Waverly, NY. “He will see that being home and doing it all with no assistance requires a lot of juggling. I am sure it is not easy to be away; but, I think he will do fine. Just knowing they are with their dad who loves them as much as I do will allow me to focus on my studies.”