In honor of Armed Forces Day, we thank all of the amazing members of our Mary Kay independent sales force who have served our country personally, or whose family has made this great sacrifice. Thank you for sharing your photos and experiences with us. Today, we salute you. Here are your stories:

Please note: We made every effort to include each submission we received. Blog format is caption style -- photo first, followed by accompanying caption.



Amanda Gallegos: I've been in the AF 11 years. I am a TSGT (E6). Deployed 3 times and love my Air Force and Mary Kay life!



Angela Johnson:served 8 years in the Army Reserves.  During that time I was stationed in Baghdad, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II from 2003-2005 serving as a Logistical Specialist. Awarded the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, along with others. The majority of my time spent in Iraq was taking supply trips to directly support Maintenance for full Unit Readiness at any time with proper operative equipment.



Arnetrice Knight: I can honestly say that serving in the US Army has definitely changed my life.  I don't think I would have met the people who mean so much to me, or traveled along the path I'm on now had I not served.  My name is Arnetrice Knight, Senior Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay and a PROUD U.S. Army Veteran!!!



Ashley Virnau: I wanted to send this in on behalf of my husband as he is not able to. Matt Virnau has been serving in Special Operations for the Air Force since 2012. He is the best husband and father! He loves his country and feels that he is fulfilling God's purpose for his life.



Carrie Sutton: Go Navy!!!



Chelsea Rodriguez: United States Air Force Veteran served from June 2000-June 2015. "Waking up everyday and looking out at the Himalayan mountains, knowing that I was making a difference is just truly an amazing experience I will never forget" in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Served four years and Whiteman AFB, MO and 11 years at Eglin AFB, FL. Deployed to Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and Kuwait.   



Christie Huffman: I'm a MK independent sales consultant. I'm also a disabled veteran.  I was a SPC in the US ARMY until Oct 22 



Cindee Crosby: I loved my time in the military! I joined the U. S. Army in July 1978 & served, Active Duty until Aug 1986! I joined at a time when it just wasn't something women did! You see, I made up my mind when I was 9 years old, that I wanted to join the military, serve my country & travel the world! And that's exactly what I did right after High School!! I was stationed in South Korea, Germany & multiple stateside assignments! I loved every moment, every memory, every Duty Station!! (There were times that were challenging, dangerous & down-right scary! But that's part of the story, best left for another time) I was never one to accept the stereo-type of what was expected of me as a "girl/woman"! I wasn't only the 1st person in my family to join the military...I was a young lady joining the Army..."Gasp"!! I chose a career in Aviation as a (93H) Air Traffic Controller, Tower Operator...again...a "Man's" world..."Women need not apply"!! It was rough pushing through, pushing past the prejudice & non-acceptance...but the Military & Aviation were in my heart and soul!! (I have always strived to instill the same fight, determination, strength & self-worth in my children)!!  It is one of the great LOVES of my life next to my Wonderful, Amazing & Patient husband and my Awesome children & grandchildren...and of course, my Mary Kay career!! I am proud to have done a job that "I loved" for 38 years (both in the military & afterwards)!! And proud to have served my country & paved the way for women in the military and aviation!! I think one of my favorite things that drew me to Mary Kay is that we "Empower Women" & help them to "Be all that they can be & more" (to echo the US Army)!! All because of an Amazing woman who believed in breaking through sterotypes, barriers & expectations!!! Mary Kay Ash...a legacy that continues every day & in every Beauty Consultant's heart!! 



Deb Capello: I am an Independent Senior Sales Director. My mother, Mary Capello who was my 3rd recruit & has been an active MK consultant for over 20 years, served in World War II as an Army nurse. Unfortunately, we do not have her official service photo but we do have a pic taken back then.



Deb Cardenas: I was born into the Navy and spent the first 21 years of my life as a dependent. Life soon happened and I joined the Navy myself.  33 years later, I am proud to have served my country in a variety of capacities and in locations all over the world. Between my husband and I we have 63 years of the Navy, and when you add additional family members we have close to 150 years.  Needless to say, serving our country is a family tradition. I love to travel the rest of the world, but there is no place like home.  



Deb Kuhr: Critical care | Trauma MSN, RN x39 years - 20 of that on active duty in the USAF. Retired in 2007 in the rank of Major.



Beth Archilla: I proudly served in the Air Force. I was a member of the Security Forces, mainly at Lackland AFB, with a trip overseas, as well. 



Elizabeth Lund: I served in the United States Air Force, as a member of  the United States Air Force Band Strolling Strings, Bolling AFB, Washington DC,  July 1985-September 1993. 



Heather Griffith: My time in the Marine Corps has taught me about the perseverance it takes to complete the goal, no matter how hard, how far away you are.  Just to keep going. Which is especially helpful being in DIQ. Most importantly is the Marine Corps motto of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.  We apply this to every walk of life. So no matter where we are or what we find ourselves doing, we are upholding the standards of professionalism and bravery.  Honoring Mary Kay and her wisdom, the Courage to fulfill the life of this business with amazing women, and the Commitment to the goal to carry on what Mary Kay has created for us.  



Ivy Bickham: I am currently a military spouse married to a submarine independent duty corpsman in the Navy.  I met my handsome hero while serving in the Marine Corps from 1999-2003.  I went to boot camp at Parris Island in Sc and graduated Jan 2000.  I went to Marine Corps Training at New River base in NC and then Administration School where I graduated top of my class and meritoriously promoted, after Admin school I was attached to 2d transportation support battalion at camp lejeune NC.  During my last year in, my battalion was deployed to Kuwait/Iraq in 2003 during operation enduring freedom.  The Marine Corps taught me how to be strong, how to be a leader.  I found my inner fortitude, my fire, it was where I belonged.  The friendships that Marines make with their brothers and sisters are lifelong and we all know that no matter how long we have been out or where we are in the world we will be there for each other.  My husband and I have been moving around the world for the last 14 years since I've gotten out and I've mainly been a stay home mom to our beautiful boys.  I've missed the Marine Corps everyday since I've gotten out, the comaraderie is what I missed the most.  Mary Kay has brought that back in my life.  The sisterhood that Mary Kay has is amazing, we are there for each other to motivate and lift each other up to be our best!  



Jenn Duval: Served 21 years in the United States Army, Retired as Sergeant Major (SGM). Served with US Army Rangers and Special Forces.



Jennifer Aquino: I am an Independent Sales Director and have served 14 years in the United States Navy.



Jennifer Cowell: I am a proud Veteran of the US Army Reserves.  I served as a Combat Medic from 1992-2000, in the 352d Combat Support Hospital and 1980th Forward Surgical Team, both out of Oakland, CA.  I trained at Ft Leonard Wood, MO, and Ft Sam Houston, TX.  The training, education, and confidence I gained during my years in service helped me with my Firefighter, then subsequent civilian Paramedic training, and has helped to make me the emergency caregiver and educator that I am today.  That confidence has since spilled over into my Mary Kay world, allowing me to approach friends and future friends/customers as I build my business! 



Jessi Snyder: I've been a consultant for about 2 and a half years. I served in the United States Air force from 2007 to 2011, In minot North Dakota as a Senior Airmen( SrA) in Security Foces (basically a security guard with police authority on base) guarding Nuclear Missiles as a heavy weapons airmen. We spent 3 and a half days a week away from home rooming the countryside ensuring the missiles were secure, it was cold....freezing....most days seeing that minot snows like 10 months a year. In my last year there I was hand selected to serve my commander and I worked along side her serving our unit with basic needs in the office. 



Julie Woody: I am a veteran of the United States Army. I enlisted in 2005 when I was 18, immediately following completion of high school. I served as a dental assistant, and later trained to be an Intelligence Analyst. While in the military, I achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant, which I held with great pride. I also met my husband while stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. We served together for a few years before I left the service to be home with our children, after a total of 7 years of service. I am now a proud consultant for Mary Kay, and thoroughly appreciate everything this company does for its sales force. 



Kelly Shurgot: Active Duty Marine 1999-2006 (active duty military spouse 2000-present). I've gotten to experience some amazing things because of my time as an active duty Marine. I've seen the cherry blossoms cover the hillside on Okinawa, climbed Mount Fuji, met 2 presidents, walked the halls of the Pentagon, seen the inside of the oval office, and sat in the rose garden, just to name a few. I started my Mary Kay journey while still on active duty, stationed at the Pentagon. It was the training from the Marine Corps that helped me to step out in faith to turn my opportunity into a full time business in 2011. I love that the Mary Kay culture has a lot of similarities to the Marine Corps when it comes to how we treat each other and our businesses. We are a group of women dedicated to one goal, passing it on! God Bless America, God Bless our armed forces that keep us safe every day and may God continue to bless Mary Kay consultants around the world. 



Kerri Benton and Terri Randolph: Twin sisters serving in the United States Army



Kimberly Stensaker: I made a choice my summer before my senior year of High School and I wouldn't change it for the world! I have been in the North Dakota Army National Guard for 11 years now and I love it.The military has made me mentally and physically stronger. I didn't know what I could do till I joined. They taught me how to be a soldier along with how to be a professional. It's amazing how time flies when you love what you do! I put this uniform on everyday knowing that I am a part of the 1% of us out there serving and protecting our country! Mary Kay is on the opposite side of the spectrum for me when it comes to work and I love every minute of it! It's amazing to be a Soldier and even better to feel beautiful while searching my country!!!! 



Leela Morris: I served August 2002 to May 2013 in the US Army.  I started off as a Specialist (E4) and left the service as a Sergeant First Class (E7).  I am now married to a wonderful man who serves in the Air Force. I was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and the Pentagon.  I deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in 2004 for 12 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  I returned to Baghdad, Iraq for a 15 month deployment in September 2007 through December 2008. I started to use Mary Kay products when my friend, Tara Hier, started her Mary Kay business about ten years ago.  I faithfully used TimeWise Miracle Set, and the Cellulite Gel Cream (previous version of it) during my last deployment.



Lindsay Hobbs: I am currently in the Air Force Reserves.  I have served for 19 years. 



Marie Brooks: This picture was at my retirement ceremony in Orlando at Shades of Green. I served in the Army Reserve from July 1986 to July 2012. During my service, I was a 56M Chief Instructor, deployed in 2003 and retired in 2012.  



Michelle Lawson: I am a US Air Force Veteran.  I served 9 years. I missed the camaraderie and sense of family I had in the military.  I found that and more with Mary Kay.



Natividad Kolb: I was active duty Air Force for 8 years. I started my Mary Kay business while on active duty. I joined the military after 9/11, because I lived in NYC at the time. Seeing what happened to my new country, I felt like I needed to do something. I had just moved to NYC from the Dominican Republic (16 yrs old) in 1999. I learned English then and after what happened in 2001 I enlisted as soon as I could in 2002. I loved being in the military, being part of something bigger than me made me feel like I was doing something that mattered. In 2005 I deployed to Afghanistan. There I met so many other people wanting what I did, to fight for our country and protect our loved ones back home. This picture included is actually on my way there. Being part of the military has taught me so much more than I could have ever learned about myself and my love for this country. I got out on 2010 because my husband and I wanted to start a family. That's why I started my Mary Kay business. One thing is for sure I miss it every day, but I wouldn't change it because now I get to stay home with my children (Xavier 6, Xander 2). 



Paula Tyree Bowman: I joined the US Army to travel and serve. I learned discipline, commitment, and gratitude for the little things in life.  Some of my most cherished relationships were made during my service in the Army. I spent the majority of my time in Fort Polk, LA, where I met my Mary Kay Consultant and recruiter! Thank you for honoring all soldiers! 



Sally Kennedy: MSG (USA Retired) U.S. Army



Shannon Strotheide: My name is Shannon Strotheide, I am an Independent beauty consultant who currently is living in Toledo, Oh. I have been in the Army in one capacity or another for 7 years TOMORROW! I am currently working as a reservist out of Columbus as a Civil Affairs Specialist with the 412th CA BN (A). I love how Mary Kay has given me the flexibility to support my active duty fiancé by moving all over the country,  as well as the freedom to serve my country without irritating corporate America with my commitment! 



Shaunna Corcoran with her husband.



Sheila CarrithersUSAF veteran



Shelley Wallach

Tiffanie Monroe: I spent 19 years in the United States Army. Currently still serving as a major in the GA national guard. Have been a Mary Kay Consultant over a year. Living and loving life.
Tonya Kinglee's father, Marine Corps Sgt Robert W Smith Vietnam Veteran (top), husband Navy Veteran Frederick Kinglee (middle) and son and daughter, Navy Corpsman Veteran Martiney L Wilson Jr and Marine Corps Corporal TaNesha D Galloway currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan (bottom)


Trudy Nikolas: Thank you for honoring us!

Not pictured:

Kari Meinnert: I personally have not served our country, but I have 2 sons and step son who are all serving. 2 of them have seen combat in Afghanistan and one in Kuwait.  All were deployed at about the same time.

Olga Trejo: I served in the United States Army and am a veteran. 

Savanna Tardif: I served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps from Sept 2004- Oct 2015. I am a Female Sgt (E-5) Marine Combat Veteran - Married to a Marine GySgt (E-7) combat veteran Silver Star 2 Purple Heart Recipient. I was deployed to Thailand and Afghanistan. My military occupational Specialty (MOS aka Job) was Supply Warehouseman. I was always thriving for more so throughout my time I had: made it to the Marine Corps All Marine Female Softball team (couldn't compete because a girl shattered my nose), became a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival (Taught combat survival skills to help decrease drownings in combat zones with and without full combat load, was a member of the Female Engagement Team in 2010 for Garmsir District Helmand Province Afghanistan, and was a Senior Faculty Advisor with the Staff Non Commissioned Officer Academy