Meet a Veteran: Uncasville woman’s Navy tour prepared her for being go-to worker
During the service: Motivated by the desire to serve her country and receive an education, Bonnie Page enlisted in the U.S. Navy when she was 17, after graduating in 1997 from West Milford High School in West Milford, N.J. After boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, Page attended “A” school in Meridian, Miss., where she studied administrative skills, including naval correspondence and protocol for working for commanding officers and admirals. Page was then sent to her first duty station in Guam, where she served as a yeoman assigned first to command administration, then command legal and command engineering, until 2000. Page then transferred to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., where she helped enter water survival and aviation training students into the computer system. Page finished up her last year of enlistment in Pensacola, joined the Navy Reserve, and then was put right back on active duty after 9/11. After successfully testing, Page became an Operations Specialist Second Class and began working at Naval Hospital Pensacola, completing vehicle searches and identification checks. In 2004, Page moved to Connecticut, and was attached with the Reserve to a unit in Newport, R.I., where she helped with naval readiness and logistics. After eight years in the Navy, Page completed her service in 2005.
After the service: Page, now 38 and a resident of Uncasville, works for Premier Research in East Hartford, where she was ultimately promoted to the position of business costing operations specialist, determining if services are a good fit for clinical trials. Outside of work, Page spends much of her time on veteran outreach and volunteering. She visits veterans in hospice, where she presents them with a plaque for their service and renders a salute. Page also serves as the veterans engagement director for Team RWB, whose mission is to enrich veterans’ lives through physical activity and community involvement. She is also a member of the Norwich Area Veterans Council and attends weekly veterans coffeehouse meetings. In her free time, Page likes camping, yoga, running and spending time with her family, including her son Ethan Skates, 19, and her 7-year-old daughter, Cadence Page. Page also has an interest in languages, and speaks fluent Spanish, basic French, and conversational Bulgarian, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese. Page is set to earn her degree in criminal justice from Charter Oak State College in New Britain on Aug. 31, and plans to apply to graduate school for a degree in healthcare administration.
Quotable: “I feel like there’s a common phrase within the military, and that is ‘adapt and overcome.’ As a yeoman, you could really work in any environment and really be that person that everybody needs. I really feel that helped me.”