When asked about her superhero in life. She replied ‘Wonder Woman’ because she feels they have much in common. She is independent, fearless, and capable of helping others in need inclusive of animals.
Woods says that her role model in today’s society is her pastor, Bishop Neil Ellis of the Mount Tabor Church in Pinewood Gardens, where she serves as a member of the protocol and medical teams. According to her, it is because Bishop Ellis teaches and demonstrates the importance of a work and life balance along with maintaining a spiritual relationship with God. In addition to this, he shows love for others by helping them, something she strives to emulate in her life.
She recalls the most memorable part of her journey on the Defence Force. “Gaining a second family whilst serving onboard HMBS Nassau has been the highlight of my career. It is a bond and relationship that I will always appreciate. HMBS Nassau is one of the Defence Force’s larger craft that can carry a complement of fifty-four (54) persons. It was on this craft that lasting friendships were established. Like a family, while out to sea we depend on each other to look out and care for each other on the high seas as we protect the territorial waters of The Bahamas. Another highlight I wish to mention is the opportunity that was afforded to me by the Defence Force to complete my education and obtain my license as a registered nurse. For this, I am grateful to the Defence Force!”
Michelle continued to share some of the many notable moments in her career.
“In the Defence Force, there are many memorable experiences that one can gather. However, for me, I would say being able to use my expertise as a nurse in assisting in the transporting of individuals from Abaco, who were presented with health emergencies after experiencing the effects of Hurricane Dorian.”
For her efforts in working over the years as a diligent employee, Woods has received the Commander Defence Force Commendation Certification as a member of the Northern Bahamas Hurricane Dorian Impact Team, as a result of providing exceptional services to the RBDF Medical Facility as a medical attendant, and for efforts as a member of Military Aid to Civilian Authority (MACCA) Unit.
As it pertains to her work and life balance, her advice to other women in the military is: “Achieving a work-life balance is important as a military mom. It’s not easy, but family life is important to me. Therefore, I make time to spend with my family. I have learned to balance these two different worlds by developing the practice of keeping work at work and devoting my time when at home to my home.”
“To the military moms who are thinking about starting a family, ensure that you have a support system in place. This will give you peace of mind when you have to be deployed or have to sail. Knowing that your children are secured enables a person to perform at work more efficiently. Always remember that being away from home is hard on loved ones left behind like your spouse and the children. In keeping a work-life balance, it is important to familiarize your family about the basic operations of the job like duty watch, detachment, deployment, sailing forecast, and how these events will affect the family. Luckily for me, my daughter is quite understanding. Most of all, it is important to be upfront and direct with your family about the type of job you have and your responsibility and commitment as a marine to your country.”
She also shared a few of the disadvantages of being a military mom.
“The downside of being a military mom would be being away from family for extended periods such as during landfall of migrants, the aftermath of a hurricane, and various deployment and detachment periods. There will be times that you will miss out on significant events in your child’s life, like birthdays, hearing your child’s first words, graduations, etc. In times such as these, you will need a village to help you raise your child. That is a community of trusted friends and family members to fill in the gap when you are not able to do so, due to work commitments. Having a village to raise your children helps to keep the children on their P’s and Q’s at all times when you are not around.”
To My Daughter
“On this Mother’s Day, I would like to say to my daughter, I am grateful for God blessing me with you. I am proud to be your mother. Thank you for being so understanding at times that mommy can’t be there. I wouldn’t trade being your mother for anything in the world. Know that everything I do is because of how much I love you!”