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    Her passion is horses. It’s been her passion since childhood and hopes to one day turn her passion into a second career to treat individuals with acute psychological disorders.

    Lt.j.g. Emily Garlington loves the surface warfare life. Currently she leads Sailors as amphibious assault ship, USS Bataan’s (LHD 5) auxiliary division officer. What she loves more than SWO life are her horses.

    At the age of two, Garlington recalls her earliest fond memories were horses, and despite the constant traveling as being part of a military family, her father a naval officer and her mother a U.S. Coast Guardsman, she was still able to enjoy the thrills and exhilaration of riding horses.

    “I’ve always asked for a horse ever since I was little,” said Garlington. “I never got one, but they always made sure I was able to get horseback riding lessons wherever we lived. Cattle horses in Texas, retired racing horses in Japan and up until I left for college, I’ve always been riding or taking care of other peoples horses.”

    While growing up her earliest passion was horses, as she got older the navy grew to another passion.

    “I went into the Navy because it’s the only job I ever wanted,” explained Garlington. “My earliest memories are of me picking my dad up from deployments, and when he would get back, I would take his sleeping bag and sleep in it because I loved the way the ship smelled. I would keep it until it stopped smelling like the ship.”

    Originally, Garlington wanted to be a navy nurse, however she changed her mind and degree plan after learning she had a slim chance of being stationed on a ship.

    “I had a Navy nursing scholarship and the whole nine yards, but when they told me that I would never see a ship, I didn’t want that,” expressed Garlington. “I wanted to be on a ship, so I voluntarily gave up my scholarship and converted to be a surface warfare officer and switched my degree to psychology.”

    Her degree serves her well onboard the Bataan, she is part of the command’s suicide prevention team. her psychology background has helped her better understand Sailors mindset, which aides her experiences in mentoring junior Sailors dealing with stress related issues and addressing problems that might result in direr consequences.

    “It [psychology] helps me become better at listening and finding out the root of their problems and helping them work through it,” explained Garlington. “A part of psychology is to understand people’s reactions to certain things and understand when something is upsetting them and what is causing them to get upset about it.”

    When it’s time for Garlington to leave the navy, she wants to fulfill a long term goal of providing alternative therapy for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by offering horseback rides.

    “I want to do therapeutic horseback riding for those patients and with the navy’s help get a masters [degree] in clinical psychology.”

    Garlington’s passion for horses and the Navy has been that way as long as she can remember. “It’s the only thing I care about,” said Garlington. “Memories of me riding horses and wearing my dad’s combination cover is all I remember.

    "When I lived in Texas they had this old quarter horse named Red. “The first time I rode him around in a field, I was telling my dad that I wanted to go faster and he told me not to do It. So, I kicked Red to make him go faster and I turned around and stuck my tongue out at my dad and when I turned back around, a tree branch caught me right in the face and knocked me back on the horse’s butt,” Garlington expressed. “I was bouncing around and all my dad said, ‘I don’t want to hear it, suck it up, Buttercup!’”

    Garlington's parents were convinced that when she got older that she would give-up on horses and only care about boys, but to this day she still has a horse border around her room in her parents’ home. So, she proved them wrong.

    “I went on dates where I’ve shown up with hay in my hair and mud on my boots, so clearly my parents were wrong and my true love is horses. I even got a tattoo the day I bought my horse to commemorate the expansion of my herd.”

    Her herd continues to grow not only with four legs, but with Sailors she leads everyday.



    Date Taken: 03.13.2019
    Date Posted: 03.18.2019 09:49
    Story ID: 314617
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN

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