Proud to Serve – David & Sharron Coley
David & Sharron Coley IBOs since 1994 | Founders Platinum
When the U.S. military needs to send a few truckloads of supplies to Iraq, it calls on David and Sharron Coley.
As a pilot of the C-5 Galaxy – the largest cargo plane in the U.S. Air Force – Sharron has logged more than 2,000 flight hours shuttling troops and supplies to support operations in Iraq. As the first African-American woman to pilot the aircraft that’s almost as long as a football field and as tall as a six-story building, she has cleared the way for others to succeed.
Her husband, David Coley, helps keeps everyone in the air. At one time he was in charge of the C-5’s maintenance. Today, he’s an award-winning logistics man, coordinating people and supplies for the Department of Defense.
For both Sharron and David, the Air Force represented dreams of a better life. Both were raised by single mothers. Both grew up in inner city environments.
Neither took anything for granted.
David’s rationale for joining the Air Force was simple: Life in his housing project wasn’t pretty. He saw his uncle, who served in the Air Force, living a better life in a nicer home. David made the decision to enlist while still in high school, and later graduated from the Air Force Academy. He quickly progressed through the ranks and has been recognized as an outstanding maintenance manager in the Air Force.
Growing up in Baltimore, Sharron knew she wanted to fly planes by the time she was 7-years old. Realizing education represented opportunity, Sharron’s mother guided her to magnet schools with gifted and talented programs. That paved Sharron’s way to the Air Force Academy, an engineering degree, and a professional career.
Married since 1994, the couple now admits they had to overcome some hurdles first.
“We almost didn’t get married because I wanted to fly airplanes, which, in the military, drives the relationship as far as where we live,” Sharron says.
David worried that having to move often would be difficult given the demands of his career, but he eventually overcame his concerns. “When a person has a dream, you have to help them accomplish that,” David says.“I saw her fight for pilot training as relentlessly as a pit bull, so I knew there was no way I could steal that dream from her.”
After completing pilot training in August 2001 as a member of the Air Force reserves, Sharron was called to active duty after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, while David was chosen to command more than 600 troops during the busy flight operations that followed.
Glimmers of Emerald
The couple’s AMWAY™ business represents their stake in free enterprise, and complements their military service, even during deployments.
“We were still able to generate income from our business even though we were in active service,” says Sharron. “That was my eye-opener.”
Having achieved Q12 Founders Platinum level, David and Sharron now have glimmers of Emerald in their eyes. Children Darron and Sierra are along for the ride.
“We look at ourselves as a husband and wife, a mom and dad,” says David. “But we happen to be in the military and we’re proud to serve.”