Mary-Trippe Everett

Spouse of Navy Capt. James R. Everett

Commanding officer

Center for Naval Intelligence

Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center

Dam Neck, Virginia Beach

It wasn’t until Mary-Trippe Everett was taken away from the comfort of her Atlanta home that she realized how much her life – and she – would change after she married a sailor named James R. Everett.

“I grew up in one spot,” the Atlanta-native said. “I had never moved around before. I couldn’t believe I would leave Atlanta and follow this man around. But it was the best thing in the world for me. I learned how to depend on myself.”

Just like any new military spouse, Mary-Trippe worried she would embarrass her husband at social functions.

“I wish I had known it was OK to be just who I was, that I didn’t have to pretend to be better. I was terrified I wasn’t the right person, that I would laugh in the wrong spots,” Mary-Trippe explained. “I’m a goofy person who can only maintain being proper for so long. Being goofy is OK, it makes people feel better.”

She also learned how to accept help.

“The Navy family is what has gotten me through this whole time,” Mary-Trippe said. “I just say I need something, and something would show up and sometimes it would show up without me even asking because someone else noticed.”

She survived the many deployments over her 26-year marriage by encouraging team-work from her four children: Katie, 21; Rick, 20, Jacob, 13, and 7-year-old Maggie.

“Every move, as long as the Everetts are together, we’re OK,” she explained.

When her children and parents became ill, Mary-Trippe learned to deal with the stress on her own, having no one to help her through it.

“We’ve been very blessed,” she said. “We haven’t had too many crises we couldn’t handle. Sometimes I just needed to cry for a little bit until I can be the adult again. That’s the hardest part. There is no one to take over that part. But if you try to not acknowledge those emotions, it will come back to bite you.”

That sailor Mary-Trippe chose to give up Atlanta for is now a captain and the commanding officer of the Center for Naval Intelligence and the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center located at Dam Neck, Virginia Beach.

She spends much of her time supporting her husband’s command by baking cakes for graduations from NMITC training to contacting deployed and Individual Augment personnel during Christmas holidays, sending them cards and keeping in touch with their families.

She’s also a tireless volunteer for a variety of charities and organizations, including Union Mission kitchen in Norfolk, St. Luke’s Catholic Church, Judeo Christian Outreach Center food kitchen, and coordinated the collection and delivery of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and toys to 300 needy children and 20 needy families for the Parish’s Angel Tree program.

She suggests new military wives, particularly those in the Navy, to check out the COMPASS program that is a Navy 101 course for spouses.

“That would have been a Godsend,” Mary-Trippe said. “It’s the right place to find out the right information. You get out and meet the spouses and join the groups and learn not be afraid about stepping out into the unknown and embrace the new world.”