High-performing Coast Guard women receive special wedding gift

Coast Guard District 11 NewsSAN PEDRO, Calif. – Two Coast Guard women who will soon be switching their uniforms for wedding gowns received an early wedding gift from a local non-profit community-based group, an entirely free wedding.

Lt. j.g. La’Shanda Holmes and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jennifer Donnelly were selected along with 13 other military women to receive a free wedding and take part in a parade. The 15 women were selected based on their achievements and dedication to serving the United States.

Holmes is a MH-65C Dolphin helicopter pilot at Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles, while Donnelly serves as a marine science technician at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach.

Holmes is to wed her fiancée, Jamal Jones. Holmes, the first female African American helicopter pilot in the Coast Guard, regularly volunteers her off duty time to work with numerous local community programs, as well as serve as an ambassador for the Coast Guard to Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the Country. Holmes was awarded the Department of Homeland Security’s Certificate of Achievement for her work with HBCU’s. Jones is a social worker with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. Jones dedicates much of his time to community groups and was recently awarded the California Social Word Education Center Award.

Donnelly is one of five qualified pollution investigators at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach. She is currently working on a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy at California State University. Donnelly volunteers her time to facilitate numerous substance abuse trainings, speaking for victim’s advocacy, Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support, Group Crisis Intervention, and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills. This training has in many ways helped other Coast Guard members going through difficult times in their lives, especially with regard to substance abuse. MST2 Donnelly has received two Good Conduct awards and on April 11, 2007 was honored as the Coast Guard’s Enlisted Person of the Year for 2006.

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