Suzanne’s journey started when she joined the US NAVY in 1976 at 18 years old. Her father was involved with aviation and took her flying at an early age that started her love affair of all aviation. She wanted to break barriers and become an Aircraft Mechanic and pave the way for women to become Flight Crew.
Her Heart of a Fighter journey was a struggle that was not even on her radar when she left Southern California and was based in Puerto Rico right off the bat. The “good ol’ boys club was in full force back then and there was no place for women in the club. Her compelling future was so vivid that she fought with all her heart to accomplish her goal and became a qualified mechanic in 1977 and was pinned with gold wings of Naval Aviation Flight Crew in 1977.
With 9 years served she met her future husband and was married in February, blessed with a pregnancy in August and widowed in December. 10 months of marriage ended in tragedy and she had to dig deep once again to ensure the health of her pregnancy and the health of her baby girl born 4 months after her father died.
For the next 15 years Suzanne would find a different fight to battle, one of survival, so reinvention was in the works once again. SALES became the avenue she took and within 18 month she was making more money than she did when she was married and finally had the chance to take a breath once again.
After so many years of learning who she was inside she finally had a chance to feel the soul of a woman.
At 42, Suzanne was forced to fight the struggle of her life…a life or death struggle. She discovered she had late stage three breast cancer. Her story is not only one of a woman breaking barriers or becoming a pioneer in enlisted woman’s ability to break through “Non Traditional” Roles, it is a story of how any woman can fight yet never loose her Soul of a Woman or feel the body of a survivor.
Today at 56, Suzanne is a Navy Veteran, Cancer Survivor, and a Grandmother. She has gone from broke and broken to living a life of gratitude. In the Body of a Survivor, her goal is to share her story and compel other women to live their brilliance.
Her passion to support Women Veterans lead her to start Heart of a Fighter a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting homeless women veterans, creating a Business Incubator for women coming out of the service, and connecting women veterans with companies with employment opportunities.
Business incubators are programs designed to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services. We offer training on how to leverage their experience, success, and time in service and provide the opportunity to teach and support new entrepreneurial women with their skill of leadership, strategic planning and resourcefulness in the military will make these women a natural business owner. Additionally, with their background many have lead many troops and have natural leadership ability.