A Soldier Reflects on How Her Family’s Military Legacy Inspired Her to Serve

By Spc. Joshua Taeckens

As she held a photo of her mom, Sgt. Deavyn Hurd, U.S. Army South secretary general staff noncommissioned officer, reminisced about her life, her nine years of service in the U.S. Army and her family’s multigenerational legacy of military service.

U.S. Army Soldier, Sgt. Deavyn Hurd, Army South secretary general staff noncommissioned officer, holds a picture of her mom, U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Gloria Jemison. | Photo credit DVIDS/Spc. Joshua Taeckens

“If I hadn’t joined, I would probably be stuck working dead-end jobs, partying and not living to my full potential,” said Deavyn. “I wouldn’t have my family and I definitely wouldn’t be pushing myself as hard as I am now.”

Deavyn’s choice to serve falls in line with her family’s spectrum of enlisted military service across four branches: her father, retired Master Sgt. Wayne Bosley Jr., served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 21 years; her mother, retired Chief Petty Officer Gloria Jemison, in the U.S. Navy for 23 years; her aunt, Yolanda George Love, in the Army for four years; and her sister, Staff Sgt. Alexandria Jemison, who has served in the U.S. Air Force since 2015.

“The military has made my life and my family’s life better,” said Deavyn. “My family who hasn’t served talks about us all the time and how they wish they would have joined.”

Photo credit DVIDS/Spc. Joshua Taeckens

A collage of U.S. Army Soldier Deavyn Hurd’s family: (from left) her father, retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Wayne Bosley Jr., U.S. Army Soldier Deavyn Hurd, her sister, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexandria Jemison, and her mother, retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Gloria Jemison.

Deavyn was born in Moreno Valley, California, to a mother and father whose relationship unfortunately did not last, and ultimately parted ways.

As a result, she was separated from her older half-sister and her parents decided her life would be more stable if she moved in with her grandmother.

“Growing up, my mom was mostly overseas and my dad was all over the Pacific,” said Deavyn. “So I lived with my grandmother, cousins and aunt. I shared a room on and off with my grandmother and over the years she has become my best friend.”

Deavyn grew up the only girl child in a household of boys which made her resilient and a bit of a tomboy, but she said she was the black sheep of the family.

“I had to fight with the boys for everything, so I toughened up,” she said. “I also had to adapt to living [with] family that wasn’t my parents. I didn’t really know my mom until I was older and I kind of felt left out of my own family.”

Deavyn said it was hard for her mom to not have the whole family together, but in an effort to better herself and provide for her family, her mom joined the Navy when Deavyn was three years old.

“My mom is so resilient,” she said with a smile. “She started as a postal clerk on a ship and then became a military police officer (MP). Her experiences as an MP took a toll on her but she is a tough cookie.”

Photo credit DVIDS/Spc. Joshua Taeckens

Deavyn’s mother, retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Gloria Jemison, walks down the aisle at her promotion ceremony to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Her mother’s sacrifice through service had a positive impact on Deavyn ‘s life and that rippled outward to her friends.

“I was lucky because I never had to want for anything,” she said. “Even though I was away from my parents they made sure I was cared for and would send me money and presents for my birthdays and holidays. But it made me different from my friends who didn’t have as much, so I would just share everything with my friends and take them all out.”

As Deavyn matured, she became rebellious, and as a teenager, her grandmother was unable to control her. Eventually, her dad decided to move Deavyn to Southern California to live with him.

“When my grandma couldn’t handle me anymore, my dad stepped in to put me in check,” she said. “The transition was rough, I mean, I went from being with people I had been with almost my whole life to having to make new friends and adjusting to living in an RV with my dad.”

Deavyn finally got the full military brat experience and moved to three different high schools across Southern California in three years, but she was able to adapt due to her previous experiences and became a chameleon when it came to fitting in socially.

But as high school graduation approached, Deavyn found herself aimless in the search for her future.

She took a gap year - a year off between high school and university - to explore what possible careers she would ultimately pursue, but all roads lead to her following her parents in military service.

“I said I was going to go to college, but I never liked school,” she said. “But watching my dad have so much fun in the Marine Corps, it was a no-brainer I was going to enlist in one of the [military] branches.”

She wanted to become a Marine, following in her father’s footsteps, as she saw his military experiences as exciting. But a one-year delay in shipment caused her to explore other branches.

Ultimately, Deavyn decided to join the Army with her father’s blessing and recommendation.

“My dad knew me and knew the male-dominated culture of the Marine Corps, and he thought it would be a better fit for me in the Army,” she said. “Between each of the branches my family members joined, I think we each joined the branch we were meant to be in based on our personalities.”

Photo credit DVIDS/Courtesy Photo

Deavyn’s father (left), retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Wayne Bosley Jr., stands in formation after completing Marine Corps Recruit Training.

The challenges women face in the Marine Corps are not unique to only one branch, but Deavyn sees herself as lucky, given she has not experienced much hardship due to her being a woman in the Army. She believes that is because of the women who have served before her across all branches.

“Women like my mom paved the way for my generation of service members because they did the hard work to show we belonged in those roles,” she said. “Women bear children, raise them and on top of all that, we are expected to perform our duties and compete with our peers at the same level. We are resilient and capable of anything, and I think we have proved that over history.”

Although her father was her main inspiration for joining the Army, Deavyn mom is a massive inspiration for her every day.

“My mom has been through therapy and learned to talk to us about what she has experienced,” Deavyn said. “She has been through a lot and she has seen a lot, whether it was due to combat or having to prove herself to her male colleagues as an MP, and she made it out the other side in one piece. She’s tough as nails and I look up to her for that.”

Deavyn said her reflection on her nine years of service in the Army, as well as the experiences of her family members, hold many lessons. She believes the most important is her ability to adapt and achieve anything she puts her mind to.

“Being a military child taught me how to adapt to any situation and be a chameleon socially,” she said with a prideful grin. “Being a soldier has taught me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.”

-This story was originally published on DVIDShub.net. It has been edited for USO.org

More Stories Like This

Every day, America’s service members selflessly put their lives on the line to keep us safe and free. Please take a moment to let our troops know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice.


Sign Up for Updates

Be the first to learn about news, service member stories and fundraising updates from USO.

By participating, you agree to the Mobile Messaging Terms for recurring autodialed donation messages from USO to the phone number you provide & to the Privacy Policy. No consent required to buy. Msg&data rates may apply.

Take Action

The USO relies on your support to help service members and their families.

Ways to Support