Time is a valuable thing. Once given it cannot be returned. One Marine chooses to spend her time to help her fellow service members.
“I feel like volunteering with [the Navy- Marine Corps Relief Society] I don’t just volunteer. I don’t just go over there and become a totally different person. I still get to help Marines. I still get to take that weight off of their shoulders at the end of the day,” said Cpl. Carlety Ventura.
When Ventura was four years old her mother moved her family to Tampa, Florida from the Dominican Republic. Since then she has gone back to visit the Dominican Republic but calls Tampa home.
“I love Florida. I will [represent] it nine times out of 10. I will not tell people I’m from the Dominican Republic. I tell them I’m from Tampa, Florida because I love it there,” said Ventura. “I love the water. I love the heat. That’s one thing I just really love the climate. I love walking outside and it being nice and sunny all the time.”
Ventura went to college before joining the Marine Corps at the age of 21.
“I was just ready for something different. I felt like I was always at home just going to school and doing what my mom wanted me to do. I felt like I never made my own decisions. I never really did anything for myself, I always did it for my mom,” said Ventura. “I went into the recruiting office and one of the things that always [appealed] to me was making decisions and becoming a leader. That’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to always follow my mom and do what she wanted. I wanted to do what I wanted for myself and I feel like I get to do that here because at the end of the day…it’s your career.”
Even though Ventura left school to join the Marine Corps she is working toward her second associate’s degree in exercise science.
“It’s really funny because I joined the Marine Corps so I wouldn’t have to go to school but now I’m going back to school. I’m really excited,” said Ventura. “I just have one more class and I get my associate’s degree.”
Ventura is an electrical countermeasures technician with Marine Air Logistics Squadron 29 on Marine Corps Air Station New River. She has been in the Marine Corps for about three years.
“Everything I did [in school] was the medical field. My mom wanted me to do the medical field and [now] I’m doing something completely different,” said Ventura. “I’m working with tools. I get to open up communication boxes. I get to see resistors, components and wires, and you get to figure it out on your own… It was just a big change, and I really love that.”
While balancing work, school and spending time with her spouse, Ventura always seems to find time in her schedule to volunteer with the society and elementary school on the station.
“The first thing I noticed about her was her strong drive…For her to balance [work, school, and volunteering] and still do good in school, maintain her volunteer hours, and be efficient at her job is a good asset to have,” said Sgt. Tyrin Beauchamp, electrical countermeasures technician with MALS-29. “I think she is doing extremely well in that category.”
Ventura generally volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday of every other week for about four hours. She has donated over 200 hours.
“She is one of our client services assistants. She is the first face a service member sees when they walk in. She’s been really active in the society. She also took on a leadership role as the communications lead,” said Casie Flippin, director of the society on the station.
Some of Ventura’s duties with the society include working at the front desk to take appointments, checking in appointments, help getting quick assistance loans for service members and act as the communications lead. She helps maintain the confidentiality of service members by not managing a case of anyone she knows or may encounter at her unit.
“She’s not just passionate but she’s very careful to keep work separate from our office life. So if anyone from her unit comes in, even if she doesn’t know them she is not involved in that case whatsoever,” said Flippin. “If someone is familiar to her, if she feels like she will run into them then she just … excuses herself and somebody else takes over.”
Ventura is a strong advocate for the society. She tells everyone about what the society can do for them.
“She’s very passionate about the society and helping service members,” said Flippin. “We love her. We’re so glad she’s here.”