Michelle “Micki” Witthoeft and her daughter, Ashli!

Ashli was born and raised in Southern California. She was the oldest of 5 children and Micki’s only daughter. Ashli embraced every experience and all challenges: she enjoyed dancing, horseback riding, gymnastics, waterpolo, roller hockey, surfing, and life.

When Ashli was 17 she committed to the United States Air Force, and at 18 her family took her to the MEPPS center. As she walked towards the door Micki knew life would never be the same for them, but reflects “I was so immensely proud of her!”

When Ashli finished Tech school she was off to her first base where she was stationed in Alaska, then later on to the Middle East. “I was scared for her, but I was also so proud” relays Micki. Ashli was ultimately deployed to the Middle East a total of 4 times.

During her 3rd deployment on October10, 2006 – her 21st birthday – Ashli suffered a concussive injury and almost bled to death. She was airlifted to Germany for lifesaving medical attention but the injury tore her womb, leaving her unable to carry children – a huge sacrifice for any woman! In a quote often used by Ashli she would say, “Hydrate and press on!” Micki continues, “I was so proud!”

When Ashli separated from the Air Force, she joined the reserves and was stationed in Maryland for a couple of years. Then one day Ashli called her mom and announced that she and her husband were moving back home to San Diego, CA and was going to buy a small business. Micki was so excited at the news, and life was good!

“Ashli had become the quintessential American woman! I WAS SO PROUD!”

Michelle “Micki” Witthoeft