Daelyn Mynes video

Serving her country

After completing her military service in the spring, Daelyn Mynes traded the busy, crowded atmosphere of a Navy ship for the peaceful environment of the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus. She was stationed with a squadron in Virginia Beach as a logistics specialist in the supply department. Mynes' five-year deployment ended in March 2022 and she returned home and enrolled at Penn State Wilkes-Barre.
By: Goldie Van Horn
Student enrolls at Penn State Wilkes-Barre after five years in U.S. Navy

After completing her military service last spring, Daelyn Mynes traded the busy, crowded atmosphere of a Navy ship for the peaceful environment of the Penn State Wilkes‑Barre campus.

Mynes, a criminal justice major in her sophomore year, enlisted in the Navy after graduating from Hanover Area High School in 2016. She headed out to boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, in March 2017.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school, and my mom suggested I look into the military. I have a lot of family members who were in the military,” Mynes said. “After I talked to the Navy recruiter, I thought it was a great way to travel and support my country and do something that was going to make a difference.”

After Mynes graduated from boot camp, she was stationed with Strike Fighter Squadron 143 (VFA-143) in Virginia Beach at Naval Station Oceana. Mynes served as a logistics specialist in the supply department, ensuring personnel had what they needed to perform their missions, including clothing for service members and parts for aircraft. Her five‑year deployment ended in March 2022, and she returned home to Swoyersville.

Woman in Navy uniform

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Penn State, and when I got out of the military, I wanted a campus that was close to home,” she said. “I really like the size of Penn State Wilkes-Barre and its quiet location, kind of out in the country. When I was in the Navy, I was always around a lot of people. We had about 5,000 people on one ship during deployment. So I wanted something that was going to be small and close knit.”

Although small, Penn State Wilkes-Barre offers numerous opportunities for connection and involvement. Mynes found those through the Students For Justice Club and the Veterans Support Club, which she joined during a club fair on campus early in her first semester. This year, the Veterans Support Club includes veteran members from four of the United States military branches: Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines.

Mynes has also been able to share experiences with one of her professors, Rebecca Sarver, assistant teaching professor and program coordinator of the criminal justice program.

“Dr. Sarver is not only one of my professors, but she’s also a fellow woman veteran,” Mynes said. “It is nice to be able to connect through stories of service with someone. She understands what I went through and also what I’m going through with transitioning to academic life. I love her classes.”

Sarver said, “Daelyn brings her real-world experiences, specifically her military background, into the classroom. Her willingness to share her experiences and perspectives benefits all the students by helping expand the lens through which they see the world. She also serves as a mentor to other students by setting a good example for attendance, participation and perseverance.”

In addition to Sarver, Mynes appreciated the mentorship provided by one of the female leaders of her squadron while she was serving.

“Out of our squadron of 200 people, there were about 30 females. The Navy was a big melting pot and I worked with every type of person. I didn’t have to work with anyone sexist,” she said. “But a higher-ranking woman told me some of the sexist things that happened to her during her career. Because we had that woman in senior leadership, I think it helped us in our situation, since people knew she wouldn’t stand for it.”

In addition to her courses at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Mynes works full time in the supply department at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, performing similar tasks to those she did in the Navy. She is also an officer for the American Legion in Kingston.

“I like to get involved with the veterans and help where I can,” said Mynes, who serves as the post’s adjutant, handling membership signups, renewals, and transfers.

After she graduates, she would like to go into law enforcement and become a police officer. In her career and her life, Mynes will be able to draw on the lessons she learned during her time in the Navy.

“The military taught me about leadership, including how to take charge and how to interact. It showed me how to be a good mentor, what leadership works and things I want to stay away from,” she said. “It made me grow as a person and also taught me how to be humble. I’m so grateful for everything, especially my family and friends and everybody who has supported me.”