My Y Story – Jennifer

Serving in our nation’s military can take a family across the country or around the world. Commander Jennifer Bagnell’s family has moved many time but now calls Spokane home as she serves in the United States Navy. Jennifer is the Commanding Officer of the Navy Operational Support Center in Spokane. The center focuses on preparing reservists for duty and supporting military missions all across the world.

Jennifer’s family arrived in Spokane last September. Having no connection to the area, they were looking for a way to find a community. “One of the first things we did after moving here was join the Y. We’ve had such a great experience with YMCAs across the country and continue to see it here,” Jennifer said.

Serving in the military in the Inland Northwest presents its own unique set of challenges. For those that do not work at Fairchild Air Force Base, services for families can be a bit harder to find, or at least further away. “Some of my staff live in North Spokane and other outlying areas, and they don’t always have time or the ability to make it all the way out to Fairchild. The Y is a great way for them to get the support they need,” Jennifer said.

Both of Jennifer’s children have found things they enjoy at the North Y and both parents agree it is healthy for their development and adjusting to a new home. “My four-year-old Owen loves the Child Watch. We’ll come in for swim lessons but he just wants to go and play with the staff. They all know his name, it’s great,” Jennifer said. “Our 11-year-old Adelaide is able to come in here and meet other girls her age and have that healthy activity. It’s been really beneficial.”

Leading a large staff, Jennifer can work long hours throughout the year and looks forward to having family time with her husband and children. The Y has been able to facilitate some of that quality time for the Bagnell family. “It’s nice to be able to come here on a Sunday morning and we all look forward to it. Whether it’s the pool or air hockey…it’s all of us in the same place engaging with each other as a family” Jennifer said.

The YMCA is proud to support the Bagnell family and other military families throughout the Inland Northwest.