Discover New
Sources of
Energy & Strength

Shasta YMCA Activities
For Youth Development.  For Healthy Living.  For Social Responsibility.

Join the Y in doing our part for the military families who serve this country every day.

Juleen Hernandez
How the Y keeps her sane.

By Carrie Schmeck

It’s Friday at noon and Juleen Hernandez heads toward Sherry Welch’s Hard Work Conditioning class. “I’m here pretty much every day for a class at noon,” she says, “except for Wednesdays. My girls like to ride in the bike trailer on Wednesdays.”

The Y has figured prominently in Juleen’s existence for the past three months. Her husband, Kevin, is in the United States Marine Corps and is serving his second tour abroad until at least October. “He can’t tell me where he is,” she says, but adds that, on this tour, she only gets to talk to him for about ten minutes every two weeks. “It’s hard. He’s missed both pregnancies and lots of milestones.”

Stationed for four years in Twenty-Nine Palms, the couple felt the lifestyle and support for their young family would be stronger if they moved Juleen and the girls closer to extended family. Both grew up in Redding. Juleen attended Foothill High School where she was singled out as a star soccer player. She went on to play for the nationally-ranked Trinity Christian College in Chicago before marrying Kevin.

Between her workout time at the Y and support groups at her church, Juleen keeps her emotional tank as filled as it can be in her husband’s absence. In partnership with the Armed Services YMCA and the Department of Defense, the Y offers memberships and child care services to eligible military families to give them extra support. The Y’s generous gift of membership for family members of deployed troops has been a God-send for her and her girls, ages one and two and a half. “They love it here,” she says, adding that the childcare workers really know her kids. “The girls think I come here for them,” she says.

For her, coming to the Y is all about community and accountability. Since she attends the same classes weekly, she has come to know her classmates—if not well, at least enough to know she doesn’t want to fall behind by missing class.

If you break your sweat next to Juleen, thank her for her tireless effort on the home front and please wish her husband well.

powered by Marketing Intelligence