Elaine for Congress

As a mother, a small business owner, and veteran, I know the challenges Virginia families and communities face. That is why I will fight to protect the values that keep us all healthy and safe
Elaine Luria served her country in uniform for 20 years with the philosophy: Be Good.  Do Good Work.  Elaine sees this simple, but powerful, message lacking in Washington today.

When her peers were heading off to college, Elaine was compelled to be part of something bigger than herself and joined the Navy at 17—so she could give back and help build a safer, stronger, and fairer society for this generation and the next.

On her first day in uniform, she was inspired by the Naval Academy’s Mission, to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.  Elaine served for 20 years as a Surface Warfare Officer and nuclear engineer deploying six times—twice forward-deployed on ships stationed in Japan—conducting operations in the Middle East and Western Pacific on destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers.

Executive Officer USS ANZIO (CG 68) on bridge

Whether it was enforcing sanctions by boarding Iraqi oil smugglers in the Arabian Gulf, launching jets off the deck of the aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean to simultaneously strike terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, operating complex nuclear reactors, as second in command of a guided missile cruiser, or in command of a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors, providing assault craft to support the U.S. Marine Corps: Elaine never let politics get in the way of doing what was right and getting the job done.

While Elaine’s service to our country was coming to an end – she officially retired from the Navy on June 1, 2017 – she was inspired to help the community that she and her family call home.

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That’s why she started a family business, Mermaid Factory, that began as a block of clay on her kitchen table. Since then, Mermaid Factory has created ten jobs in the community, has donated over fifty thousand dollars of our proceeds to charity, and infused more than a quarter of a million tax dollars into our economy. Over 50,000 people have experienced Mermaid Factory– by spending time with family or friends, expressing their creativity, and taking home a souvenir of Hampton Roads’ iconic mermaid and dolphin symbols. Mermaid Factory continues to manufacture our products locally and give back to organizations in the community that support youth and the arts.

In Congress, Elaine will use her experience in the Navy and as a small-business owner to protect our country and create an economy that works for everyone – not just those at the top.  Her 20-year Navy career makes her the clear choice to represent this military-rich district with the world’s largest navy base and among the highest concentration of veterans, including the largest number of female veterans nationwide.  Through her experience as an entrepreneur, she can relate to the challenges and potential of small businesses and their impact on the community. And, as a mother, she will fight to ensure a brighter future for every child.

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To help the families, seniors, and businesses of Hampton Roads, we need leaders with real-world experience. We need leaders who know what it means to serve, have overcome obstacles, faced adversity and became stronger because of it.

We need leaders who can deliver results. We need Elaine Luria in Congress. See what community leaders are saying about Elaine here.

From commanding sailors, to starting a small business, to raising a family– Elaine Luria’s journey has prepared her to stand up for Virginia’s families:

August 15, 1975: Elaine Luria born in Birmingham, Alabama, to Michelle and Herbert Luria.

1993-1997: Luria majored in Physics and History, with a minor in French, at the United States Naval Academy.

May 23, 1997: Luria graduated from the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned as Ensign in US Navy.

1997: Luria completed Surface Warfare Division Officer Training and Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Launch Officer Training.

1998-1999: Luria was forward-deployed to Japan while stationed on board USS O’Brien. Additionally, deployed to Middle East for six months as part of Middle East Forces Deployment, enforcing oil sanctions against Iraq.

2000: Luria became one of the first women to attend the US Naval Nuclear Power School.

2000-2002: Luria stationed on board USS Harry S. Truman. During this tour, Luria completed her Naval Nuclear Engineer certification. She stood watch operating nuclear reactors as Engineering Officer of the Watch.

2002-2004: Luria served as Flag Aide to the Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, once against forward-deployed to Japan and stationed on board the flagship USS Blue Ridge.

2004: Luria graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management.

2005: Luria attended Surface Warfare Officer Department Head Training.

May 7, 2005: Luria married Robert Blondin in Norfolk, VA.

2005-2006: Luria stationed on board USS Mason and was deployed to the Middle East and Mediterranean in support of Maritime Interdiction Operations. She was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as Operations Officer.

2006-2008: Luria stationed on board USS Enterprise, where she was deployed twice to the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Western Pacific where she operated nuclear reactors to conduct air operations, striking targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. She served as the Reactor Training Officer, responsible for the training of all 700 nuclear operators on board the carrier and as Engineering Officer of the Watch, overseeing the operation of 8 nuclear reactors.

2008-2010: Shore duty as Maintenance Coordinator of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

September 7, 2009: Luria’s daughter, Violette, is born.

2010-2012: Completed Naval War College Diploma and worked to develop defense policy for meeting intelligence systems integration and requirements across all services for the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

2013-2014: Luria served as Executive Officer on board USS Anzio, where she was second in command of a guided missile cruiser with crew of 300 sailors. USS Anzio participated in UNITAS with allied South and Central American navies and operated in the Atlantic in support of Carrier Strike Group deployment training.

October 2013: Opened the Norfolk location of Mermaid Factory.

2014-2017: Commanded combat-ready unit of 400 sailors as Commanding Officer of Assault Craft Unit TWO.

May 2015: Opened the Virginia Beach location of Mermaid Factory.

June 1, 2017: Retired from the U.S. Navy.