CRETE | Region native Shannon McQueen is a busy woman.
She is a graduate student at the University of Maryland, is a mother of four and last week was named the 2012 Navy Shore Sailor of the Year.
McQueen, 37, has served in the Navy for 19 years and seven months. She works in the Navy as a network analysis based of Fort Meade, Md.
She was born in Harvey and lived in Crete until she was in the sixth grade when her family moved to Oxnard, Calif. Her father, who served in the Marine Corps., still lives in Illinois.
She said her father introduced her to the civil air patrol while she was in high school. At 17, she enlisted in the Navy with the consent of her parents.
"Maybe I saw 'Top Gun' too many times," she said.
The U.S. Fleet Forces nominated McQueen for the award of shore sailor of the year. McQueen said she had a teleconference interview and submitted paperwork detailing her work during the fiscal year 2012.
The recognition includes a promotion to chief petty officer.
"I hit the floor and cried," she said. "It was a blessing."
McQueen said she hasn't had time to celebrate the award, but plans to do so this weekend with her family.
"I'm grateful to the fine sailors who allow me to lead them, give me their trust every day," she said. "It was solely because of them that I have been recognized."