Summit’s Marlene D. Heath Marches in Parade as Grand Marshal
Marlene D. Heath, Vice President of Human Resources, was interviewed by Caribbean Life News on her role/time in the United States Air National Guard.
She was interviewed by one of the publication’s reporters during the Canarsie Annual Memorial Day Parade, where she marched as this year’s Grand Marshal. Marlene said that she was honored to participate in such a large event. Having grown up in Canarsie and attending the local high school, she said that she felt even more passionate about her role in the parade.
On discussing her time in the military, Marlene said that she enlisted in the Air Force Reserve in 1993 as a Mental Health Specialist. She was then commissioned in 2000 in the Medical Services Corps as a Second Lieutenant. She explained that her 25-year service was “the best decision she had made.” Her experiences in the military also made her aware of how prevalent mental health concerns are for veterans. The risk for suicide among veterans is 22 percent higher in comparison to non-veteran adults in the U.S.
Marlene also discussed her personal life. Having grown up as the daughter of two Jamaican immigrants, she now has two daughters of her own: the eldest, Andeani, is 13 years old, the youngest, Hannah—“Miss Hannah,” says Marlene—is 7 years old. “I want my daughters to see there are women like us, who are serving this country proudly, and I encourage them to serve…. I encourage them to put integrity first in everything they do.”
Caribbean Life Newspaper is a publication based in Brooklyn, NY. They cover all aspects of the Caribbean community, both in the Caribbean Islands and in the U.S.