Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary S. Eshleman, Navy Recruiting Command

 

Memphis, Tenn. (NNS) Life is filled with possibilities and decisions, and it could be a daunting task for someone trying to decide what to do in life. The environment and the people in that environment can be a great influence on those life decisions. That’s why guiding, mentoring and setting people up for a successful life change has become the mission for one woman in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class SiArial Turner says she’s impassioned to mentor others, as they make major life decisions, because she’s already lived through many stages of uncertainty. Through life’s various adversities, Turner has learned the value of being calm, and now she sees her ideal self, coming to fruition. 

Turner was born and raised in Memphis, in the neighborhood of Binghampton. The area is known as having bad neighborhoods, gang shootings and trouble, in fact Memphis has a violent crime rate that’s four-and-a-half times the national average, and one in 55 residents were the victim of a violent crime, according to the most recent Federal Bureau of Investigations crime statistics from 2016. Her memories of where she grew up are painted with violence and an atmosphere of hopelessness. She describes it like being in a bucket, where whenever you try to climb out, something pulls you back down.

However, she persevered and climbed her way through high school. She continued on track to complete a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Memphis. While in college, she gave birth to her son, Demetrious Redd, and faced the challenges of being a single mom and making ends meet. 

The strain of supporting her son, as well as working full-time to pay for school, made her rethink her path in life. Turner researched all her options, and in her search she learned about the benefits of becoming a Sailor in the U.S. Navy. As she started to see it as an option, she began to feel motivated by the idea of improving her own life while contributing to a cause greater than herself.

She joined the Navy in 2012, and now works as a recruiter at Navy Talent Acquisition Force (NTAF) Mid-South. Turner said she finds it extremely rewarding to be able to help those from the community she grew up in. “I think when people grow up in the inner city here it affects their overall morale as a person,” Turner said. “It can make them feel stuck, like there’s only one way to live, so I like to show them there’s a whole world out there and they can do anything they want to.”

The sense of selflessness that drives her as a recruiter also overflows into her personal life. When asked what’s most important thing to her, she stated definitively and without hesitation, “my children,” with whom she says she does her best to be an example of a peaceful and joyous life. “I don’t want them to have to worry about the cares of the world,” she said, “I want them to see that life can be lived in a happy, carefree way.”

Her six-month-old daughter, Brielle Brand, is the newest addition to her family. She says it can be challenging raising two kids while being in the Navy, but being a recruiter and having a set time to go home to them helps out a lot. She also has help from family members living in the area.

In addition to recruiting and raising her children, she also gives back to those less fortunate than her by volunteering with her church, where she helps feed those living in poverty in Memphis. “I think it’s important to get out and help people because it reminds you there’s a world outside of the Navy where people are struggling,” said Turner.

Another goal she has, to be able to further facilitate helping others, is to eventually go to medical school and earn a commission into the Navy’s Medical Core community as a doctor. Turner switched her major to biology to help achieve this goal, and she’s taking advantage of the Navy’s tuition assistance program to take finish her bachelor’s degree while on recruiting duty. 

She says she desires to be a family doctor one day. She wants to be able to watch a patient grow up and be there to help them along the way, which she feels would be very rewarding. 

Though her schedule is tight, she does her best to make time to simply relax and maintain her happiness and peace of mind. She does this by reading and journaling every day. “What I write is just kind of random it’s just a good stress reliever,” said Turner. “If I’m having a bad day I write about my frustrations, and if it was a good day then I write about that as well as my goals and aspirations.” 

Turner says the Navy has definitely helped her mature and grow as a person, and she’s thankful that she can give other people the same opportunity while being a recruiter. 

Navy Talent Acquisition Force (NTAF) Mid-South encompasses seven recruiting stations and covers parts of west Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas. The command’s headquarters is in Millington, Tenn., and they process applicants through the Memphis Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). 

The Navy’s recruiting force totals over 6,100 personnel in more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the globe. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.

NRC consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions, 20 Navy Recruiting Districts and six Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations across the country.

For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, go to http://www.cnrc.navy.mil. Follow Navy Recruiting on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NavyRecruiting), Twitter (@USNRecruiter) and Instagram (@USNRecruiter).

 

 

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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)