September 30, 2020

Jeurney on a journey

Lt. Col. Jeurney Meekins is perfectly described by her name, according to her father, Grafton-area resident and artist James Meekins.

“Her name typifies what’s happening through her in life,” he said. “Her name is Jeurney, and she’s on a tremendous journey.”

His daughter attended York County schools for most of her childhood, completing her freshman year at Tabb High School before going to live with her mother. She finished at William Monroe High School in Stanardsville, graduating a year early with honors.

“She’s always been ahead of the game,” James Meekins said.

She went to the University of Virginia, where she majored in Italian and became the first black female cadet colonel of the ROTC program. She entered the U.S. Air Force in 2000.

The accolades just kept coming, and her artist father said he couldn’t be more proud of the art project she oversaw at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

“I’m just grateful part of my forte is part of her relaxation,” he said. “Her art skills, she will tell anybody, came from me.”

Lt. Col. Meekins now has a master’s degree in human resources and has acquired Japanese and Spanish skills along with her Italian.

“She needs to write a book,” her father said.

His daughter was very recently transferred to Yokota Air Base in Japan, where he was stationed 50 years ago. She is the second in charge of aircraft maintenance there, she said.

“She loves what she’s doing,” he said. “She truly believes she’s making a difference.”