Photo by: Bailee DeHart
Yvette Dinvaut speaks at Bonnie Bourg Lecture Series
March 9, 2017
On March 7, 2017, the Bonnie Bourg Lecture Series presented a free public talk given by retired United States Navy veteran, Yvette Dinvaut.
Dinvaut was a member of the US Navy for over eight years before being medically discharged.The New Orleans native served in the first Gulf War conflict, Operation Desert Storm, as an EMT and nurse.
After returning from the Navy, she returned to college and obtained her degree in Marketing from Xavier University.
Before enlisting in the Navy, Dinvaut attended Louisiana State University for two years.
“I originally joined the Navy because I was angry with my mom,” Dinvaut said. “We had just gotten into a huge fight about school and I went to walk around West Esplanade Mall. That’s where I met the recruiter. I always wanted to travel and after talking with him, I, still angry, decided that I wanted to join.”
Dinvaut went on to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which is a multiple choice test administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. It is used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces.
In the same day, Dinvaut discovered she scored high enough to be placed on a submarine. However, women were not allowed on the submarine. Therefore, she went on to become an EMT and nurse.
“I was no longer angry with my mom when the recruiter called me three days later,” Dinvaut said. “Whenever he told me I had to leave for boot camp, I immediately began to cry. Even though I might not have been completely committed to join in the beginning, I realize now that it was the best thing that I could have done for myself. I truly grew up in the Navy.”
The United States Department of Veteran Affairs went on to retire Dinvaut due to health problems. It was through her attempt to find a pastime that she began to volunteer at her children’s schools.
She coached the fifth-eighth grade softball team at Metairie Park Country Day School for three years. She has spent the past couple of years volunteering.
“I believe that the education and the careers that I have engaged in during my lifetime have influenced me by reinforcing values I learned as a child from my mother, Michelle, and my grandmother, Betty,” Dinvaut said. “They always taught me to be appreciative of the sacrifices that have been made on my behalf, which includes those of my family, friends, members of military and civilian life.”
During her speech, at the Bonnie Bourg Lecture Series, she told the audience what led her to join the Navy, as well as some of the challenges she faced while enlisted.
She discussed what path her life has taken since that time, both professionally and personally. She hoped to be able to inspire her audience to live their best lives possible by being true to whom they are.
“I want to tell all the students to live faithfully and fearlessly,” Dinvaut said. “Part of growing up is allowing yourself to try, without fear of failure. Too many people defer, change or give up on their dreams because they are fearful of failure, other people’s opinions or the things they tell themselves. I say ingrain those two lessons now, and I promise your life will be an extraordinary one!”