ALBANY, GA (WALB) - WALB and Montlick and Associates would like to recognize the heroes among us.
Each month, we will spotlight an active duty man or woman, a veteran, or a fallen hero whose service for our country goes beyond the battleground.
Candita Stanley served four years in the Marine Corps, working behind the scenes to make sure Marines who were deployed had what they needed to be safe and successful.
Now, she spends her days working at her church, going to school, and being a role model for her son who is now in the United States Naval Academy.
It's Candita's laugh that first caught Kevin Stanley's attention back in 1998 at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
"She was always laughing whenever I saw her around the schoolhouse," said Kevin. "Always laughing. Great smile."
You could say the military brought these two Marines together.
For Candita, joining the Marine Corps was about gaining independence.
"I have two brothers," Candita said. "I was the first, I joined the Marine Corps. Then behind me, my older brother joined the army. Then my youngest brother joined the army. So, I'm the only Marine in the family. So I married one!"
Candita served four years in the Marines, working as a supply person and maintaining gear.
"I actually worked in what we called rollbacks," said Candita. "I worked at a unit called Deployed Support Unit. We supported the Marines who were deployed. It was awesome. I had a hand in making sure they had what they needed, that they were safe, and so once they came back, it made me feel good knowing that we supplied them with everything that they needed."
Her drive and determination are inspiring.
She currently works as an administrative assistant at her church, the Agape Christian Worship Center.
She's earned her certification in early childhood education.
And now, she's pursuing another bachelors degree in developmental psychology.
"I'm a busy bee," Candita said. "But I prefer to be busy. I hate to be still. I think the Marine Corps got me that way!"
But it's not just her work ethic that inspired her husband, Kevin, to nominate her as a hero.
It's her ability to raise their son and encourage him to join the military.
"Ah, he's amazing. He's amazing," Candita explained. "He's one of those kids that once he sets his mind to it, that's it. There's no turning back."
Candita and Kevin's son Jawaun is now a sophomore in the United State Naval Academy.
"He's living his dream. He loves it. He loves every minute of it," said Candita.
Candita said she's beyond proud to have served and raised a son who sees the value and honor of service as well.
"Being in the military isn't necessarily about war, it's about training your mind, your body, your spirit. It's about supporting people and standing up for something other than yourself. It is my most precious thing," explained Candita. "I am so happy and humbled and I am so proud to say that I served as a United States Marine, that I married a Marine, and that our son decided to join the military."
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