Allen & Gabyin BaliMy niece Gabriela Franco-Arizola Beach is a corpsman in the United States Navy. She met my nephew Allen Beach while both of them were stationed in Japan. The two of them had more than just the Navy in common. They both love being fit and working out. In fact, Gaby is a fitness instructor at her Command. I’ve seen some of the videos and her workouts, and I can tell you that she works out hard, and nothing is too difficult for her. Gaby thrives on work outs, and the challenge of something harder to do is right up her alley. I’m sure that is part of the reason she wanted to join the Navy. The physical fitness part of the service was very appealing to her, and continues to be a big part of her life.

Workouts are not the only activities Gaby enjoys, however. She loves rock climbing and jogging with their dog, Jasper. Gaby love to go camping and loves to travel. I’m sure that the Navy was a way to see the world. For many of us, travel is expensive, and therefore limited, but when you are in the service, you can be stationed in many exotic places. Gaby and Allen have been to Japan, of course, but also to Bali, Indonesia, which is where Allen proposed to her. They were married in Japan on September 24, 2014, and now live in Washington DC. They both attend college, and she continues in the Navy, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Gaby’s work at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is one I find extremely interesting. Gaby is a dog handler. The dogs she deals with are very special. You see, these dogs are therapy dogs. Mostly what they do is visit patients in hospitals to help them feel better. You may have seen this kind of dog in hospitals or nursing homes in your area too. The nursing home my mother-in-law is in has dogs that are allowed to roam the halls. The dogs basically make their rounds, to patients that are helped by them. There are dogs that are specially trained, like the ones at Walter Reed. These dogs are specially trained to work with the wounded warriors, as well as other patients. Therapy dogs really help to put patients at ease. Gaby’s work with these dogs is an Gaby's pupsimageimportant part of teaching the dogs to be an integral part of the healing, and I find that very interesting.

I don’t know where Gaby’s studies will take her, but I’m sure she will succeed in any field she chooses. She is a very determined young woman. She is talented in a number of career choices, so I guess she will just have to decide on what makes her happy. For now, she still has a year or so in the Navy, so she has time to decide. Today is Gaby’s birthday. Happy birthday Gaby!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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