This U.S. Navy Veteran Uses His Gives Membership to Support His Wife’s Gluten-Free Diet

Last Update: May 26, 2023

Paul Repnyek has an incredible memory. He can recount exactly when and where he was stationed during his time in the Navy and regularly reflects on his military days. He loves that his Thrive Gives membership helps support his wife’s gluten-free diet.

Where you’re from: North Carolina
How long you’ve been a Thrive Gives member: April 2018

Tell us about your family.

My wife’s name is Stephanie and we have two daughters: Emmabele (age 23, getting married in December) and Gretchen (age 43). We also have a fur baby named Moka—he’s a Pekingese mix). We all enjoy going for walks and being in nature. We also love just being at home and lounging around.

Tell us about your time serving our country.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1967 at the age of 18. After basic training was completed, I was stationed at Norfolk, Va., as a parts supply person servicing a tugboat fleet. I was transferred to San Diego, Calif., in late 1968, and was in transient barracks gathering a ship’s complement to be sent to Bremerton, Wash., for the commissioning of a new ship, The USS Seattle AOE3, at the Puget Sound shipyard in Washington.

After the USS Seattle was commissioned in 1969, we brought the ship out of Puget Sound into the Pacific Ocean and set out for Long Beach, Calif., then to San Diego. From there, we sailed to Panama to go through the Panama Canal and into the Caribbean. We set out to port on New Orleans and then to the Norfolk, Va., shipyard. I was transferred in January of 1970 to report to Little Creek, Va., and went through four weeks of counterinsurgency training, weapons training, daily fitness and survival training—all in preparation for my transfer to the Chu Lai Republic of South Vietnam. I was attached to U.S. naval supply support, issuing and shipping supplies to outposts, and was there for four months before transferring to Da Nang supply port. I worked at the South 40 lumber yard loading flatbed transports with building supplies for Marine and Seabee units. Then in August of 1971, I was transferred to the USS Sacramento AOE1 and headed back to the Port of Bremerton, Wash., shipyard before setting sail to the Philippines. After 90 days, we went to Hong Kong for a four-day liberty break, and then back to Treasure Island in San Francisco, Calif.

How has your experience in the military affected your life?

I was blessed to have been able to visit many cities and ports, and to learn the profession of supply management and inventory control while serving my country. This trade carried me into challenging careers until I retired at the age of 65. I worked for four different companies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina, where I now reside.

How will you be commemorating Veteran’s Day this year?

I will be celebrating Veteran’s Day with my wife dining out and receiving a meal from one of the local restaurants that honor veterans. I also reflect on my military days, not just on Veteran’s Day, but many times throughout the year.

Tell us about how your Thrive Gives membership impacts you and your family.

I’m so thankful for the Thrive Gives membership! My wife started seeing holistic doctors for some issues she was having and she has started making healthier meals for us. She’s tech-savvy and places our Thrive Market orders because she knows what she needs more than I do. I’m just so thankful I can support her and help her get healthier, natural products at great prices. She recommends Thrive Market to those in need or those who are looking to make better choices. She says she loves being able to use Thrive Market and shop by specific diets and needs.

What’s your favorite product to buy on Thrive Market?

My wife have been using cassava flour since going gluten-free and that’s her favorite. Thrive Market sells it for the best price so she gets it when we run out. We also love the dry-roasted cashews because it’s hard to find them locally.

Thrive Market’s one-for-one membership matching program means that your paid membership provides a free one for a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran, or first responder. As a community, we can all thrive together.

This article is related to:

Thrive Gives

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Lily Comba

Lily Comba has never met a baked good she didn't like. When she's not baking, you'll find her writing, taking a Pilates class, or collaborating with the editorial and social team as a Senior Content Writer at Thrive Market.

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