LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Geonovia West served in the marines and did one tour in Iraq.
She is a disabled veteran as well as a struggling single mother of three children ages 13, 7 and 6. She also has a heart of gold
For West, love is an act.
"Any time I see an opportunity to love and help somebody in the way that somebody has helped me before, you know, I just do it," West said.
About a year ago, there was an opportunity. Her friend Kimberly Potts was stuck in a bad situation in another city. Geonovia opened her home not just to Potts, but also her son and grandson.
"I felt like if her son, those kids, had an opportunity to see something outside of the everyday chaos that could happen there, then they could have a chance to thrive, not just survive," West said.
In her friend's son and grandson, Geonovia saw a reflection of herself as a child in Illinois.
"When I was younger I wanted to get the hell out of dodge. I just, there had to be more than what was there," West said.
When Geonovia was just 12, a chance opportunity led to a passion and a path out.
"There was a program that came to the inner city, and they took us to MacDonald Douglas before Boeing took them over. We got to see the planes when I was 12 - I never forgot about it. That's why I went into aviation. I got my degree in aviation," West said.
She spent nine years working as a helicopter electrician in the Marines - a role she says that never lost its luster.
"I felt so privileged just to be there, to be around helicopters and aircraft and to be able to do that and that same feeling that I've had since I was 12 years old when I saw those planes at MacDonald Douglas, it's still there - 33-years-old and I still get so excited about it," West said.
Recently, Geonovia has been dreaming of a way to pay her passion forward.
"What I want to do is create a program that exposes children from lower-income families to aviation. Possibly get them bus tours on Nellis Air Force Base and contact the airports around here to get these kids to be able to see these things up close and personal. That set a fire for me, just seeing at that young of an age and all I could think was what if I could do that for other kids?"
For Geonovia's service to our country and her generous spirit, she was nominated for the 13 Action News 13 Days and Knights of Giving.
"It makes a huge difference to know that somebody appreciates you and this is just a huge blessing. I can't put into words how much I appreciate it," West said.