It can’t be easy moving 12 times in 19 years, yet Ashley is nothing short of grateful. The sophomore at Creighton University has traveled to more places than most people do in their entire lifetime. Although her family currently resides at the Air Force base in Colorado, she’s traveled all over the world – including a six year stint in Japan. So yes, she’s fluent in Japanese – which is freakin’ badass.
With the support of her awesome family and boyfriend, Ashley looks forward to a career in education and spreading the word about the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2), an organization she’s passionate about as a military brat.
Read on below to learn more about Ashley and how you can personally help members of the armed forces and their families. Be sure to check back daily as we get to know each of our Miss COED 2017 semifinalists.
Special thank you to Ashley’s father who is currently serving in the Air Force, and to all of the men and women who have served or are currently serving our country.
Do you have any secret talents?
I don’t know if you’d call them secret talents, but I play piano and I can speak Japanese. I don’t play piano for people specifically, mainly as a stress reliever and to have fun with my dad when I’m home. I grew up listening to him play piano. As for speaking Japanese, I’ve lived in Japan for six years so naturally I picked it up and fell in love with the culture; the reason why it’s kind of a secret is because now that I’m back in the U.S., not too many people I know speak Japanese, so I don’t get to display that I can speak it. However, I still talk with all my friends back in Japan!
As an Air Force Brat, does this organization hold a special place in your heart?
I’ve been an Air Force brat my whole life, and I’m eternally grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given thanks to traveling all over the world. There is no limit to the amount of recognition and appreciation the members of the Armed Forces deserve, and from the bottom of my heart, all of them are my heroes. Without them, I’d never be able to travel the world, meet people from all backgrounds, connect with other cultures, go to college, become a teacher, and most importantly, I wouldn’t be able to sit down to have a peaceful meal with my family. They give so much of themselves that I truly believe there is nothing we can do to fully repay them for their selflessness and sacrifices; [Air Force Wounded Warrior Program] AFW2 is a good start for repaying them for their service.
What’s your favorite part about the organization?
My favorite part about AFW2 is that the program not only takes care of the military member, but their family too. Growing up in a military family, I realized that it isn’t just my father serving, it’s our whole family. Every time I come home for a break, my dad reminds me how proud he is of me and how he wouldn’t be where he is right now without me, my sister, and my mother. Whether it’s a military family or a “normal” family, the one word that matters is “family,” and the fact AFW2 takes the time to care for the family as a whole, is what makes me most proud to support the organization.