Our members are our family at Navy Federal.  We’re excited to share our Join The Family contest winners! Join The Family allows you to share your short story and photos with us for a chance to win $5,000. This year entrants submitted stories of great loves, family, their homes and their beloved vehicles.

We’re so happy to have received a record number of incredible stories this year, and we can’t wait to see more memories! Thanks to everyone who submitted a story this year!

Here are some of our favorite stories that’ll tug at your heart strings:

Grand Prize Winners

Love Stories:

The Notebook Comes to Life

Submitted by Gianna L.

Gianna Lutz Love Story Couple Dancing Join the Family

Both of us were in the military, he was a Marine, I was a sailor. We met in Whidbey Island where I was stationed. He was only there for school so after three months he got transferred to Cherry Point. We ended up breaking up. We did not talk for three years and on St. Patrick’s Day 2012 I received a phone call from an unknown number. When I answered I asked who it was and he said, Ethan. I was in such shock. He was the one that got away and I could not believe he was calling me. I asked him where he was calling from because it was unknown. He said, Afghanistan. I asked why he was calling and he replied, “I almost didn’t make it home and while laying in a snow bank all I could see was you. I heard your voice tell me to get up, so I opened my eyes, stood up and ran back to home base.” We have been together ever since that night.



One Last Wish

Submitted by Doreen K.

join the family family story winner great grandmother in wheelchair at graduation for military academy

Image used for representational purposes only; does not imply government endorsement.

All she wanted to do was see her Great Grandson graduate to be a US Marine. She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. One of her wishes was to be present to see him graduate from boot camp. She made the 12 hour drive and was blessed and honored to be there when her 1st great grandson graduated. She couldn’t have been prouder. In the background are his two little brothers. She has since passed but her love and honor will live one in him.


Home Sweet Home:


Submitted by Erik Castillo

Erik Castillo home sweet home join the family winner servicemembers posing with american flag and military vehicle

Image used for representational purposes only; does not imply government endorsement.

Home is where you feel comfortable and safe. I feel safe with my brothers in arms right here. We would go to hell and back for each other. So home is anywhere on the planet with these guys…


Car Show:

Submitted by Rick Prevatt

Rick Prevatt Auto Join the family two men with antique blue mustang

I had a 90 yr old navy pilot that I used to drive around when he got too old to drive. He had a 66 mustang fastback with 15k original miles perfect condition in his garage. I asked him if he’d sell it to me one day he said no and I told him I understood. The next day I went to check on him and he said “you know, I don’t want to sell that car to you”…” I want you to have it”. He gave me the car! It was such a sweet moment It brought a little tear to my eye. I took some pics as we pulled it out.

Honorable Mentions:

Love Stories

  • Jean W.
  • Rhonda K.
  • Susan M.
  • Todd C.
  • Jennifer C.


  • Ruth R.
  • Caitlin G.
  • Alison B.
  • Sara C.
  • Belinda P.

Home Sweet Home

  • Carol B.
  • Cynthia H.
  • Arielle M.
  • Laura R.
  • Frank D.

Car Show

  • Justin R.
  • Kelsey R.
  • AshleyF.
  • David L.
  • Carolyn H.


Can’t get enough? Don’t miss our Join the Family story feed! #JoinTheFamily