Saluting Our Service Members: Military Spotlight

By The Major Brent Taylor Foundation

Cory and Ryan Baggs

By Ann Park

Cory and Ryan in San Antonio, Texas after Ryan graduated from Basic Training in 2018.

In 1988, Cory Baggs joined the US Navy Reserve program as an Intelligence Specialist, 3rd Class, in Treasure Island, CA. During his service, he completed several extended active-duty assignments in different locations around the world, including California, Florida, Hawaii, Japan, Guam, Italy, Panama, and the Middle East. His service in the Navy has been extensive, and he has earned numerous awards for his abilities. In 2020, he retired as Commander N2 Deputy, C3F JFMCC.

Cory is blessed to have a wonderful family, a supportive wife, and three wonderful children, Nicole, Heather, and Ryan. “I’m so proud of all my children. They’ve each made sacrifices to support me in my career with the Navy. They have accomplished wonderful things in their lives, and I’m honored to be their father. Our family is patriotic and loyal to the core. With their support, serving our country has been very rewarding.” In addition to his work for the Navy, Cory has owned his own mortgage company, Fidelity First Funding, for the past 22 years.

Julie Baggs remembers, “I had the best kids a mom could ever wish for while my husband was gone all the time. My daughters and my son filled in with chores and yard work and very much wanted to follow in their dad’s footsteps. This picture is of Ryan in 2002 after dropping his dad off at the airport for his first deployment. He cried all the way home and then fell asleep still holding his flag.”

Cory has spent a lifetime in the military and always thought he would be proud to have his son follow in his footsteps. While he set the example, the decision was left up to Ryan, who gained the desire to serve from watching what Cory did over the years. “It wasn’t the way they normally do things, but when Ryan joined the Utah Air National Guard, I was able to give him the oath of office. It was an honor.”

Ryan Baggs joined the Air National Guard in 2017. “It was really exciting that my dad was the one to swear me in.” Ryan got married right before basic training. “My wife didn’t like the idea at first, because I would be gone, but the Air National Guard is very family-oriented, and we found a way to make it work.”

In 2016, Cory joined the Navy Honor Guard and was able to provide military honors at the funerals of over 500 veterans. His wife Julie recalls, “Providing this service was a very personal thing for him. Every time he passed the flag to the family, he had a tear in his eye, and I could tell how much it meant to him.”

Ryan’s job is to create and set up the infrastructure for communications. Working with his hands has always been something he enjoys, and it seemed like a good fit. His goal for the future is to continue following in his dad’s footsteps. “I hope to serve for many more years. The longer I stay, the more I like it, and I have no desire to quit.”

“Cory joined the Navy when we had been married just a year and he
served for thirty-two years, and never missed a drill in all that time.
Once, I added up all his time away. Between the months, weeks,
weekends, and two deployments he was MIA through almost ten
straight years of our marriage. His service was joyful, painful, and
rewarding all at the same time. I’m so proud of him and Ryan.”
–Julie Baggs

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