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Iva grew up in a small country town called Fredonia, Pennsylvania. She was raised in a loving home, with 5 other siblings. Her parents instilled and fostered the morals of doing the right thing, even when no one was looking. She graduated from Reynolds High School In 1994.
Following graduation, she chose to serve her country in the United States Navy where she proudly served around the world. Duty Locations consisted of Recruit Training Command in Orlando, FL, Norfolk, VA, Newport News, VA, San Diego, CA, Groton CT, Rota Spain and Pearl Harbor Hawaii. During her service, she and her fellow shipmates, assisted in humanitarian services around the world. She supervised, worked and maintained weapons systems. In addition, she trained sailors and civilians on a variety of small arms, rifles and machine guns. Her firearms safety and qualifications training was conducted at military and civilian firing ranges on the east and west coasts and in the country of Spain.
Following her honorable discharge in 2009, she found her new home in Newport News Virginia, where with the support of the VA and Veteran support groups, she transitioned into civilian life. She worked two jobs and went to school to achieve her degree, Bachelors of Science in Applied Science and Technology through Thomas Edison State College.
She currently works for the Department of Defense, in Newport News area through building and maintaining our country’s Navy Ships, which she is very proud of. “Helping to build Navy ships, that support and keep our active duty sailors safe is an absolute honor.”
In her spare time, she assists and supports Veteran and Active Duty events, for those in our local area and across the country, through the Veterans of Foreign Wars and The American Legion and her home post Braxton Perkins Post 25 at 7609 Marshall Ave. She has held the position of 2nd Vice Commander, which was responsible for the organization’s veteran, active duty and community events. Some of those events included working with the city and local businesses to raise funds to bring “The Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall” to Newport News, wherein she was the Co-Chair. This is a smaller replica of the original that is located in Washington DC. By bringing it here, many of our fallen were able to be remembered and honored by those who are local that were unable to make the trip to Washington DC. In addition, she has rallied the local community, businesses and active and veteran services to raise funds to put on a free Halloween / Fall Festival Event that has continued to host over 400 children from all over the Hampton Roads area. Some come from as far as Virginia Beach to attend.
She also part of the Hampton Roads Chapter of The Well Armed Women (TWAW). This organization supports TWAW Shooting Chapters is a non-profit organization that organizes local groups of women around the country that meet monthly to practice, learn and grow as shooters. They create opportunities for women to be introduced to issues important to women shooters, learn safe gun handling skills and train together. Women 18/21 years or older of all experience levels (State laws may apply), those who are just getting started and want to learn in a comfortable environment, share their experiences and want to have some fun and enjoy learning and shooting in the company of other women.
She supports the Newport News Public Schools Big Give Back program wherein teens seek volunteer hours for college entrance requirements. Many of those who participated have gained mentoring, administrative, advertising and public and community relations work experience in support of local veterans and community events, such as Bingo at the Veterans Hospital the 3rd Saturday each month. Law and Order night is also where teens have assisted by giving back to our local Police, Sheriff and Fire and Rescue, annual honoree dinner and awards ceremony. Coordinating with our local JROTC organizations, allow for military and college minded students to participate in our veteran and community events, which is a blessing and a sight to see during our annual Memorial and Veterans Day Events.
Today she is working hard and is poised to win this election in the city she calls home. She looks forward to all the support she will gain through this process by doing things the right way.