This is the 5th one for Semper Fidelis America and VFW Post 4287 in OrlandoShe grew up in Minneapolis, MN. the youngest of 5 siblings. Joined the Navy when she was 17 years old on July 28, 1999. Sharona's first duty was station aboard the USS Bataan Wasp-class amphibious assault ship see above photo based out of Norfolk, VA. She spent 4 years on sea duty, loved the experience of being out to sea, meeting other people from different backgrounds and traveling the world. In 2003 she decided to leave active duty and join the Naval Reserves to pursue other goals. Upon completion of associates of science, in radiologic technology she got her FL basic x-ray license in 2005. She also completed a bachelors of science, in management in 2008 from the University of Phoenix. In 2012 while on an active duty assignment to US Africa Command in Molesworth, England she started experiencing a lot of problems with her left foot and left leg. She was also struggling with extreme fatigue and weakness that she could not explain. After a cervical MRI showed inflammation in her spinal cord she went through a series of extensive blood work, brain scans, and optical nerve studies. Sharona was eventually diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and medically retired as Chief Petty Officer in June 2014.
Currently she lives in Orlando, FL with her daughter Taylor. As she fights through the challenges of PTSD and coping with this invisible disease she has found relief from the daily stressors by participating in adaptive sports and getting involved in the community to assist fellow veterans with transitioning and recovering. These types of activities allow Sharona to meet with fellow veterans that can relate to her situation and understand some of the challenges she faces everyday. Being able to connect with people that can truly understand some of what she is going through, interacting with people who share their personal stories and how they cope is far more therapeutic than going to any therapy sessions she has attended. Sharona looks forward to finding new opportunities and adventures with fellow veterans going forward with her healing process.
Orlando Rocks SFC. Josh Burnette 2013
Bo Reichenbach 2014
Cpl. Adam Devine 2015
Air Force Master Sgt. Joe Deslauriers 2016