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Naval Base Kitsap is the third-largest Navy base in the country with about 13,000 active duty personnel and another 5,000 civilian employees. When any of those people need to go to the hospital, they might just come under the care of a hard-charging couple making waves in the Navy.
Kyle Church and Elaina McMillan met at a country dance bar in Bremerton three years ago. She says he cut up a rug, and they hit it off immediately. Both serve as a corpsman in the Navy (corpsmen work in the medical field). When it came time to pop the question, Kyle picked … the wrong time.
“I was really, really sick,” said Elaina.
Kyle took her on a hike in a canyon, and when they came to a romantic lookout, she was ready to leave. “But I just got down on a knee, and she was just shocked.”
She said yes, and now they’re making a difference – working in the exact same building in the massive Naval Hospital Bremerton.
Kyle was recently honored by the Secretary of the Navy for helping synergize more than 50,000 medical records, while Elaina is one of the first women selected to provide medical support for the Navy Diver Program.
She calls Kyle, “The most motivated sailor I’ve met. People know me because I’m married to him.”
Kyle returns the favor, saying her best quality is, “her drive to do whatever she feels like she wants to do. She just puts it all in, and goes after it.”
In addition to rising quickly in Navy, both Kyle and Elaina spend countless hours volunteering.
Among other things – Kyle mentors younger sailors …. and Elaina recently organized a command-wide suicide awareness campaign.