Facebook Pixel

The Story of Sunny Alexander

Growing Up and Learning Life's Lessons

The Story of Sunny Alexander starts out as it did for many of us. Sunny Mitchell grew up as a typical child in a close-knit family.  She was active and athletic, playing soccer by the age of eight, and honed her skills while learning many life lessons from playing team sports. She learned the importance of preparation, teamwork, and goal setting that influenced her development and help guide her principles to this day.

For Sunny, soccer was more than a fun activity. It was her ticket to a world beyond her family’s modest means and out of life in the small town of Spring, Texas.

West Point Captivated Her

By the time Sunny was a junior in high school, colleges and military academies were actively recruiting her.  She chose West Point, the prestigious US Military Academy in New York.  While the education and training she received were important, it was the traditions of West Point that captivated her.  Their motto, “Duty, Honor, and Country,” resonated deeply and serves as additional guide points for her life.  When she joined the long grey line of cadets graduating the academy, she retraced the footsteps of celebrated generals, titans of business, and US Presidents that had gone before her. The experience of West Point was defining, and a strong and determined leader emerged from the high school girl who first stepped foot on the grounds of West Point four years earlier.

She Faced Her Fear

Only 10 percent of her class was female, and the hazing she received was relentless.  It continued into her first station at Fort Bragg.  At Fort Bragg’s airborne school, she learned to jump out of planes and parachute to the ground.  On most training flights, she was picked to be the first jumper. That meant she had to stand in the open doorway, staring down at the ground, thousands of feet below.  There is plenty of time to lose your nerve, but she never faltered.  She never stepped back.  Time and again, she faced her fear and stepped forward, free falling before pulling her ripcord, leading her team to a safe landing.  That earned grit and perseverance serve her well through the next eight years of moving from base to base and as Commander of two army companies.

It's Hard Not to Be Moved

At one point, Sunny was assigned to a Wounded in Action and Killed in Action detail.  It’s hard not to be moved when notifying someone that a son or daughter has been wounded or killed in the line of duty.  Through misted eyes, she can recall difficult phone calls.  She provided comfort to parents who were feeling raw and real pain.  Then she rose above, duty-bound to help those families find resources to help support their wounded child, deal with the pain of their loss, and keep them updated on legislative issues that could affect them.

Sparked a Fire Within

While stationed at Ft. Bragg, she met Lieutenant Jordan Alexander.  He was the man with who she would fall in love and start her family.  In 2013, Sunny, Jordan, and their daughter Skyla arrived in Tampa and started putting down roots.  They soon found a local church where they could worship, find a community, and strengthen their faith.  One day, a friend invited Sunny to attend a meeting of the Tampa Rotary Club.  She went, and the experience sparked a fire within.  There she met supportive and inspirational people and focused on building a better community.  She learned about the needs of the community and ways that she could make an impact.

Champions for Change

Tampa is a military town, and Sunny could reconnect with several friends from her days in uniform.  One of them has a daughter with Down’s Syndrome and established a local non-profit called 21 & Change.  Sunny got involved and developed an event called Champions for Change.  This event pairs special needs children with local high school athletes who help train and mentor them.  Then these special needs children compete in a series of athletic events. Champions for Change instills confidence and pride in everyone who participates while passing on the life lessons Sunny first learned playing soccer on the fields of Spring, Texas.

Community is a Strong Focus

Community is a strong focus for Sunny and her family, and a big part of the story of Sunny Alexander. Like most military families, they have moved a lot and experienced a lot of communities.  They are proud to call South Tampa home.  They live in a house full of life from the sounds of active adults, a teenager, two dogs named Kenzi and Izzy, and two cats named Skillet and Goose. It’s a big, loud, happy place, and Sunny wouldn’t want it any other way.

Besides being a wife, mother, and business professional, she develops community programs to help those in need.  She also meets with local officials to discuss issues that affect her and her neighbors. She supports local businesses whenever possible.  And she’s always ready to help veterans build better lives. Sunny currently serves on the boards of directors for the Tampa Rotary Club, 21 & Change, the West Point Society West Florida, and as a Mentor for Veteran’s Treatment Court.

When asked why she is so involved with her community, her answer recalls the old West Point themes of duty and honor.  Sunny says,

Sunny Story Quote 2

New chapters in the story of Sunny Alexander are always being written. And Sunny South Tampa is one of them. Sunny knows she can’t build a stronger community by herself, but by setting an example, she can guide others on the path to better connections and a stronger South Tampa.