My family instilled in me a deep desire to give back by serving our country. Both sets of my grandparents lived through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. My maternal grandfather was a student leader who was arrested for protesting the occupation. He escaped and had to live in hiding for more than 2 years. My paternal grandfather was an officer in the Dutch army and held a high position in the resistance movement. My grandparents always spoke with passion, reverence, and appreciation for what the United States did to liberate and rebuild Europe.
My deep-rooted need to honor what they had to endure makes me passionate about helping to defend freedom and democracy. Because I was fascinated by flying and space, I decided the Air Force would be the right place for me to start my career, and I spent 7 years on active duty. I’ve been with Booz Allen for 21 years now, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to continue giving back by supporting our clients in the Air Force—and now the Space Force.