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NEWS | Oct. 30, 2020

SFC White retires from Guard with 40 years of service

By Sgt. Tyiesha Benjamin-Samuel Virgin Islands National Guard

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands – We all anticipate that point in our careers when we reach "retirement." For Sgt. 1st Class Mercedes White, that time is now. After serving 40 years in the military, White says it is time for her to enjoy her time with family.

White was born Oct. 1, 1960, on St. Croix to Leonor and Oscar Asencio. She enlisted into the Puerto Rico Army Reserves in October 1980 as a means to explore. White completed her basic combat training in Fort Dix, New Jersey, and advanced individual training in Fort Lee, Virginia. While attending AIT, she met her husband, Police Sgt. Richard White Jr.

After completing AIT, he was stationed in Germany, leaving them separated for some time. White decided to reunite with her husband by going active duty and making her way to be stationed in Germany. Her first duty job was as a material control, 76P. Then on to a unit supply manager, 92Y. "My dream job was to be a mechanic and dirty my hands," said White.

After serving two tours in Germany, and eight years in Oklahoma, the Whites and their four children returned to the Virgin Islands. "I was not able to experience much travel in my time in service, but some of my fondest memories were during my tour in Germany."

"My advice to the future leaders of the VING, use all opportunities provided to you," she said. "Finish your education and respect your superiors because you will be in that position one day and want the same respect in return. To my brothers and sisters in arms, it was indeed a pleasure. Thank you to everyone for their time, patience, and smiles."

White's plans for her retirement include traveling and, most importantly, spending more time with her family. The Virgin Islands National Guard will forever be a second family to her.