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Military Family Month – Melisa Asbury Helton, Project Coordinator, Virginia Natural Gas

Melisa Asbury Helton

My time in the U.S. Army extends a strong family tradition of serving our nation, and I’m honored to recognize them this month and every month.

Senior Chief Gerald Asbury Senior Chief Gerald Asbury

My father, Senior Chief Gerald Asbury, dedicated 27 years to the Navy, specializing as a submarine fire control technician, and his contributions included instructing sailors and authoring Fire Control Manuals. My mother Cynthia also served in the Navy as an information technician for two-and-a-half years. In a different capacity, my sister served as a police officer in Michigan for a decade.

I built on my family’s military legacy, serving as a private first class in the Army with a specialization as a 77 Foxtrot (fuel tank driver) for four active years and four inactive years. During my assignments in Colorado and Germany, I had the privilege of training exceptional soldiers who would eventually deploy to the Afghanistan War. My time in the Army was an immensely rewarding and unforgettable chapter of my life. If given the opportunity, I would have chosen to remain in service and retire from it.

My family has felt compelled to extend our service, even when fate had other plans.

Following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, my father, at 43 years old, felt compelled to return to service and attempted to re-enlist. Unfortunately, he was informed that he had exceeded the age limit. I, too, felt the call to return to service. However, due to the circumstances of being a single mother with my son’s father already deployed, I was also declined. This experience further underscored our family's unwavering dedication to the military.

Military service is in our genes, and that includes extended family who have taken up the call. My cousins, Sabrina Ferranti and Staff Sergeant Reginia Ferranti, have also embraced this legacy. Sabrina, as a Military Police Office, served in the Navy for seven years, while Reginia, as a paralegal, joined the Army National Guard, where she has proudly served for seven years and continues to do so today.

Our family takes immense pride in our military heritage, and we are deeply committed to supporting both our veterans and those currently in active service.

Cynthia Asbury Cynthia Asbury
Catrina Asbury Catrina Asbury
Staff Sergeant Reginia Ferranti Staff Sergeant Reginia Ferranti
Sabrina Ferranti, Military Police Office Sabrina Ferranti, Military Police Office