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Rhea Harris

Airman 1st Class (Sep.) Rhea Harris, born and raised in Baltimore, Md. joined the Air Force at 18. From basic training her first duty assignment was the Pentagon because of her previous civilian training and experience as a secretary.

While at the Pentagon, she applied for a position at Shape Air Base, in Paris, where she met her husband, Jack. Once married, she became pregnant with their son and had to leave the service. At the time, women had an option to leave the service when they got married, but they were forced to separate if they were pregnant.

Harris served three and a half years, but continued to the support the Air Force and her husband, during his career.
Her husband’s final assignment was in Bern, Switzerland and reignited her passion for traveling the world. Once her husband passed away from lung cancer, she took her first trip on a freighter cruise and continued to go on many other road trips and cruises. She’s since traveled to many different parts of the world to include locations in Alaska, Antarctica, South America, Japan, Australia and Africa.

One of the last arrangements Jack made for her, was to move Harris into a comfortable, welcoming home and community at the Bob Hope Enlisted Village, Shalimar, Fla.

The Air Force Enlisted Village is a nonprofit organization whose core mission is to provide a safe, secure home for surviving spouses of retired enlisted U.S. Airmen.