Guest blog: Melissa Baxter
Shortly after graduating high school, Tracy Zayasbazan went to see a recruiter with her friend who wanted to join the Navy but it was Tracy, instead of her friend, who enlisted. Her dad was a Navy man but, before that day, she hadn't really considered it.
Her walk with Jesus was tough. She hadn't found a place for Christian fellowship and discipleship between boot camp, school and her first duty station. God carried her and protected her through her time in the service.
Tracy's time in the service prepared her for life, giving her structure and a mission. She was stationed in Florida, Mississippi, Bermuda and, prior to her discharge, the Great Lakes Naval Hospital; near her home town.
She married Jorge and served a church where she connected with other believers and really begin to learn what it is to be a true follower of Jesus. Tracy, a cancer survivor, said, “God has always been my rock especially when my health was compromised or our finances weren't aligned to what He would want them to be. My times of trials have drawn me so much closer to my savior and have allowed me to mature and completely depend on Him and live in a way that glorifies Him.”
There is a strong military tradition in Tracy's family. Her father is a retired naval officer, her brother a Colonel in the Marine Corps and her son serves in the Army Reserve. Her sister, too, is a veteran, serving a tour with the Air Force. She had to lean heavily on her faith when her husband, Jorge, was called to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom; leaving her a solo parent for over a year.
She continues to serve today as a pastor's wife and at the American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach, where she helps find housing for homeless veterans.