GREEN BAY, Wis. — Stacey Felton and her two kids, Kayla and Blake, sported matching camouflage hats as they sat in matching lawn chairs at a Memorial Day ceremony this morning. Right next to them was Stacey’s husband, Tom, who had on a cap emblazoned with the words Operation Desert Storm.
The Felton family is a unit in every aspect, and these ties run deep.
Stacey first enlisted in the Army in 1990. Her father, who served in Vietnam, encouraged her to join — money for college was enticing.
“He swore in when I swore in,” Stacey, who wound up going to school at Fox Valley Technical College, recalled. “I served with the 395th company out of Appleton, and was there overseas with my dad.”
Stacey and her dad were in the same reserve: he was a cook, she was an administrator.
While she was serving in Operation Desert Storm, Stacey met her husband Tom, whose sisters had also been in the military. Like Stacey, joining to get money for college was a draw.
“We have a long history of working together,” Tom said of his wife. “From the army, when I had my own business and when we also worked at the same college in Lacrosse.”
They currently both work at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, continuing the family-unit pattern. Tom’s a teacher, and Stacey is an administrator.
“I’m glad that I’m married to someone who can share the same experiences as me during Desert Storm and that we have that in common,” Tom said. “I think it makes our relationship stronger.”
When asked if their two children — who are only age 15 and 13 — would follow in their footsteps, Stacey and Tom laughed.
“It’s a great opportunity for money for college, but I’d be concerned about their welfare, especially with the times in this day and age,” Stacey said. “But it’s their choice and if they’d like to serve, I’d support them a hundred percent.”
For the Feltons, patriotism and service is a family affair.
“I’m very proud to be a veteran and have served for my country,” Stacey said.