A Life Built by the Army

Those who serve in the military are some of the bravest, most hardworking, most resilient people in our country.

So it’s no surprise that many real, strong women of Alpha Chi Omega make up their ranks.

 Each sister has a different reason for joining and follows a unique path through a career in the military and beyond.

Now a battalion commander in the U.S. Army leading nearly 1,000 soldiers, Lydia Thornton (Omicron, Baker University) originally joined as a way to pay for college,

planning to complete her required three years of service after ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) and then transition to a civilian career.

Twenty-one years later, she’s found a life in the Army. “I found my niche,” she explains. “I’m able to give back to the community, serve my country, lead my soldiers and be fulfilled in this job.”

Heather Maver (Alpha Omicron, The Ohio State University) also joined Army ROTC to fund her college education.

She found Alpha Chi Omega a welcome support network of sisterhood.

“It [was] a great counterbalance to what I was doing on the military side,” she says.

For Erica Loroff (Zeta Rho, Northwood University), the path to the Army looked a bit different.

Erica’s husband was a Marine, so she lived on base with him after she graduated.

It wasn’t until her husband left the Marine Corps that Erica decided to explore a military career herself.

She met with different branches and asked how her business degree could be used in service; eventually she accepted the role of human resources specialist in the Army and went to basic training. It’s often noted that you can find an Alpha Chi Omega wherever you go.

For Erica and Lydia, the connection was a beautiful coincidence.

Erica had parked her car while out for lunch near base, and Lydia noticed Erica’s Alpha Chi Omega bumper sticker.

She left a note offering help and connection for Erica, who promptly called her that night to chat and ask for help moving a table into her new home!

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