By Lauren Filippini (Alpha Chi, Butler University), Editor
It’s often noted that you can find an Alpha Chi Omega wherever you go. For some of our sisters, this means finding that connection during service with the United States Army.
When Erica Loroff (Zeta Rho, Northwood University) was out for lunch shortly after moving to base for her role as a human resources specialist in the Army, she left her car – with its Alpha Chi Omega bumper sticker – in the parking lot. A few minutes later, Lydia Thornton (Omicron, Baker University), who was also stationed at the base, pulled into the lot, and the bumper sticker caught her eye.
Lydia left a note on the car offering to connect with the car’s Alpha Chi Omega driver and provide any help needed. When Erica returned to the car after lunch and saw the note, she was thrilled and promptly called Lydia that night to chat and ask for help moving a table into her new home!
From a bumper sticker sighting, the two have built a strong friendship and mentoring relationship that has remained through deployments and assignments around the world. Lydia was even there when Erica’s younger sister, Elaina Ito (Zeta Rho, Northwood University), graduated from the Air Force National Guard, posing for a photo with the two biological sisters.
Lydia, who is now a battalion commander leading nearly 1,000 soldiers, was also the one who encouraged Erica to seek new heights and apply to become an officer with the Army.
“She took me under her wings as an Army role model and sister,” Erica says of Lydia. Erica is now a human resources officer stationed in Germany, supporting 450 solders with promotions, evaluations, processing and insurance.
“When I met Erica, I saw a lot in her, not just as my sister but as a solder,” Lydia recalls. “To know that I was able to transition her to a commissioned officer…that’s one of my proudest moments.”
Read more about Alpha Chi Omegas serving in the Army in this summer’s Lyre.