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A Summer to Remember for Navy Women's Lacrosse

Sept. 30, 2009

Summer 2009 - Navy Women's Lacrosse Photo Gallery

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- For Midshipmen, often some of the best preparation for being commissioned as an officer come hundreds or even thousands of miles outside of Annapolis. And that was just the case for several student-athletes on the Navy women's lacrosse team this past summer.

Below these soon-to-be officers discuss some of the unique, real-word experiences afforded to them during the summer of '09 and how it has helped prepare them for their future roles past graduation.

Lexi Dauernheim
Junior | Midfield | Monterey, Calif.
Major: Applied Mathematics

MIDN 2/C Lexi Dauernheim spends time with orphans in Venezuela

On how she spent the summer of '09:

I spent two and a half weeks in Venezuela on a missions trip with the Campus Crusade for Christ here at the Academy. We worked with college students in Maracaibo, Venezuela and shared our faith with them. I also lived in Spain for four weeks. Three weeks were spent attending a civilian school and living with a host family who only spoke Spanish. Every weekend we traveled to another city in Spain and during the last week we stayed at the Spanish Naval Academy. While there, I attended their graduation, met the King and Queen of Spain along with several foreign ambassadors and naval officers from Spain, Portugal, England, Japan and France.

During my last block of leave I took part in PROTRAMID (Professional Training for Midshipmen), and spent one week experiencing life as a marine, one week on a surface ship, one week of submarines, and another as a pilot. There were a number of highlights which included getting to fly in a T-34 (the F-18 trainer), numerous helicopter rides, staying overnight on a submarine and spending the night in a mock town used for marine training.

On what she took away from her summer experiences:
It was an amazing summer. My Spanish speaking skills improved by an incredible amount as I gained the confidence to conjugate verbs on-the-fly and to learn to recognize repeated phrases and sayings.  I wanted to learn how to speak to others about what I believed in. Being immersed in another culture and being taken out of my comfort zone was exactly what I had wanted.

I learned to be grateful for how things are in our country.  I really felt what it was like to not have any guarantee of security. This was something I had never experienced, and when I returned home, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of me. 

These trips really have inspired me to want to travel and contribute outside the country when I graduate. The experience of engaging with other people in another language has given me the confidence to get to know people I don't know yet here. It also has given me perspective on how much there is out there that I don't know or understand yet. 

It showed me that I am the one who will carve my future career, if I want to do something, I just need to pursue it with my whole heart and I will be successful.

Mary Ruttum
Senior |
Attacker | Annapolis, Md.
Major: Systems Engineering

On how she spent the summer of '09:
I worked plebe summer detail here in Annapolis and also went on an aviation cruise down in Jacksonville, Fla. As a squad leader working plebe summer, I was directly in charge of 11 incoming Midshipmen.

On what she took away from her summer experiences:
Working plebe summer was definitely a worthwhile experience. It really showed me how things come full circle and helped me understand why this place is set up exactly the way it is.  Although it was on a small scale, it has helped me develop as a leader. The experience taught me a lot about myself and has been helpful to draw upon in my current role as Seventh Company Commander.

I came here with the desire to fly and throughout my summer training I think it has been the area that I would be most inspired to continue. I really took to the aviation community. There seemed to be a great sense of community and closeness and it seemed that the officers all had a strong passion for what they do. Plus, the opportunities I've loved the opportunities I've had to fly. When its just you and you're up there in the clouds - it is pretty amazing.

Erin Rawlick
Senior |
Attacker | Forest Hill, Md.
Major: English

MIDN 1/C Erin Rawlick prepares to fly a SH-60B helicopter

On how she spent the summer of '09:
This summer I traveled to Mayport, FL for an aviation cruise.  I shadowed a helicopter pilot attached to the HSL-44 squadron.  I was able to spend four weeks understanding the life of a Navy Pilot.  I was able to fly for about two hours in the SH-60B helicopter and also was a passenger on a six-hour night flight.  When I wasn't with the squadron, I laid out on the beach located directly behind our rooms.

I was also a detailer for the Class of 2013's plebe summer where I was a squad leader in charge of 10 plebes.  I was tasked with training them and preparing them to enter the Brigade. During my time as a detailer, I took a weekend off to try-out for the U.S. Developmental Lacrosse Team. 

On what she took away from her summer experiences:
I was able to really get to know them (plebes) and it was a great experience watching them develop. This was by far the most rewarding summer training I have had since I have been at the Academy.

The tryouts stand out as one of the best lacrosse experiences I have had in my lacrosse career.  It was exciting to have the change to play with some of the best players in the country.  I learned so much in one weekend.  The experience really showed me a lot about my own potential as a player and how much I can improve if I bring a high level of intensity to every practice and game.

Madison Bell
Sophomore | Midfield | Baltimore, Md.
Major: Oceanography

On how she spent the summer of '09:

MIDN 3/C Madison Bell spent two weeks on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Alaska

During my summer leave, I spent two weeks on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Alaska. We were flown onto the ship from Anchorage and then were underway until we made port in Everett, Wash. I was able to ride in a helicopter, which was definitely an awesome experience. Being on an aircraft carrier was amazing as well. It definitely was exciting to watch and be able to participate in the flight operations. It was also nice to spend a day in Alaska because in June the sun is out for a total 23 hours a day!

On what she took away from her summer experiences:

I was able to get a view of how the "Real Navy" works.  While the Academy is a great building block to a military career, one can only gain so much insight without having actual fleet experience.  I now have a better understanding of life in the fleet and what will be expected of me as a naval officer.  It was also beneficial to meet so many different people, hear their stories, and learn from their life experiences.

## GO NAVY! ##




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