Laurie Winter

Spouse of Navy Cmdr. Pete Winter

Tactical Training Group Atlantic

Dam Neck Annex, Virginia Beach

Laurie Winter is Navy Cmdr. Pete Winter’s calendar girl. No, the marketing director for the Mid-Atlantic Region for Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), didn’t pose for one. But she had a blonde moment and accidentally stuffed a bunch of 1991 calendars into the goody bags for a golf tournament at Snug Harbor held in 1992.

Cmdr. Winter, now with the Tactical Training Group Atlantic at Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, won the tournament. He was amused at finding a defunct calendar in his prize bag.

“Who’s the Einstein who put the 1991 calendar in the bag?” he joked.

And that’s how Cmdr. Winter met his wife, Laurie.

The couple have now been married for 13 ½ years, and they have three children: Ian, 9, Aedan, 6, and Aubrey, 5.

Although Laurie was quite familiar with the military lifestyle while working with MWR, it is something else to marry into it.

“You marry the person, the man, and if being in the military is part of who he is, you have to respect that,” Laurie explained. “And sometimes, that’s hard. It’s a noble profession, but it’s worth it and they wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t love it, and my husband loves the Navy.”

Laurie adjusted to deployment and temporary duty assignments that took her husband away from their family.

“Fortunately, I’m pretty organized, and my job with MWR offers me some flexibility, so I can take time off if I need to,” Laurie explained. “My mother is also in the area, and all of my friends. I couldn’t do this without all of my friends.”

Laurie advises new military spouses to be careful about what they put in e-mails to their service members. Since e-mails are so much quicker than hand-written letters, it’s a lot easier to put in an overabundance of details about life at home.

“When Pete was deployed for the first couple of times, he saved copies of my e-mails, and when I re-read them, I wished they had been a little less complaining about the little things,” Laurie admitted.

She urged all new military spouses to get the help they need by looking at the resources available to them.

“Between Fleet and Family Service Centers, MWR and our medical capabilities, there is someone out there to help you,” she said. “I’m always answering people’s questions.”

Besides holding down a demanding job and balancing the needs of three young children, Laurie also serves on numerous agencies and organizations, including the Little Creek American Baseball League, the Parent/Teacher Guild, the Noblemen of Virginia Beach, the Virginia Beach Medical Society Alliance, and the American Dietetic Association.

“In addition to the volunteer efforts, she constantly seeks to improve the quality of life of anyone she comes in contact with,” her co-worker, Elizabeth Jackson, wrote. “With a personal motto of ‘If it’s important to you, it’s important to me,’ Mrs. Winter will take on any task that comes her way, no matter how big or small. A dedicated, tireless and persistent lady, she is quite literally ‘the answer’ to any problem, requirement or concern. Her daily efforts to help anyone and everyone who approaches her is indeed admirable and a true rarity.”