My name is Alisa Johnson. I am an active duty, Marine Corps officer, attending Naval Flight Training at NAS Corpus Christi, TX with the goal of becoming a C-130 pilot, providing the opportunity to represent women in the Marine Corps. I am married to my amazing husband, Shawn Johnson, who serves active duty also in the US Navy, stationed at NAS North Island, San Diego, CA. He flew MH-60s, was awarded for a life-saving rescue mission, and is currently on his shore tour training other service members in the aviation and special forces community. While we hold successful careers, we have been geographically separated for five of the seven years we have been together due to training and deployments. Our marriage has been a struggle won with trust, love, communication and weekend getaways when we can both get away from work, which does not happen as often as I’d wish.
Despite our physical separation, we are connected to each other through our passion in helping improve the military community, specifically in the aspect of pet ownership. In 2011, Shawn and I founded the nationally recognized, 501(c)(3) non-profit, Dogs on Deployment (www.dogsondeployment.org), which provides the largest online network of registered volunteers who are willing to board military pets during their owner’s deployments, PCS moves, training and other service commitments. We provide financial aid to needing families for help with pet care, work with the Veteran Affairs Department in helping homeless veterans care for their pets while they work to get back on track, promote responsible pet ownership through command education initiatives and advocate for pet owner rights through our national petition to standardize military pet policies, regardless of base, branch or breed of dog.
Starting a national organization, while serving in the military and being separated has been a challenge, but one we meet head on. As the President of Dogs on Deployment, I am responsible for the organization, execution and management of the projects we are involved in. Our work helps men and women in uniform stay focused on mission knowing their family members are in loving hands while they fulfill their obligations to our country. Dogs on Deployment is fully invested in giving troops peace of mind so they can defend and protect our freedom. This is my personal mission.
I humbly accept the nomination for the 2013 Military Spouse of the Year Award. I am three-faceted; I am a service member, I am a President, but most importantly, I am a wife. My support to my husband has been essential in the difficult lifestyle we have accepted, so that we may both proudly serve our nation. Winning this honor is not about recognition for my personal efforts. Winning this honor is about representing a modern career woman, the importance of community service, saving lives of pets, keeping military families together, and the strength of marriage through today’s military challenges.
President, Dogs on Deployment