Laurri & Kent Garcia
Laurri grew up in Texas. She is originally from Corpus Christi, but her father’s work kept them on the move throughout the Lone-Star State. By the time she graduated from High School she had attended school in 8 different towns from Corpus Christi to George West, Uvalde, Portland, Uvalde (again) The Colony (Lewisville), Spring, Conroe and finally San Antonio. Her Texas tour ended when she left for Europe at the ripe old age of 19. There she fell in love with the culture and the people. There wasn’t a museum she didn’t want to see or a castle she didn’t want to visit. The travel bug bit her and she’s never really recovered or looked back. Travel has inspired her throughout her career and personal life. She began her civil service career while in Europe holding various clerical positions at first, but luckily stumbled on what would become her life’s work and passion five years into her career. She took a position in Public Affairs while her husband was stationed at Incirlik Air Base Turkey and the rest as they say is history. So began a career that would lead this Texas girl with humble roots, through 32 years of service to our Nation and the Department of Defense.
Laurri attended the University of Maryland and the Department of Defense Information School propelling her through the ranks of Public Affairs rapidly, where she served initially as a Writer, Editor, Media Specialist, Advertising and Public Affairs Chief, Community Relations Officer, Strategic Communications Specialist and ultimately Director, of Public Affairs in locations like Schinnen, The Netherlands, Yongsan, Korea and Wiesbaden, Germany.
Throughout her career she seemed to be in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the right time depending on how you looked at it. While in Turkey, her second day in Public Affairs, the horrible friendly-fire incident took place over Northern Iraq, two Air Force jets shot down two Army Black Hawk helicopters. Several American service members and Kurdish personnel were on the choppers and were killed. The phone began ringing that morning and the first media call Laurri ever took was CNN. It was trial by fire on her second day. Seems there was never a dull moment. While in Houston with Army Recruiting Public Affairs , she helped coordinate the first-ever Army participation in Buzzfest, a now famous venue for alternative rockers, attended by thousands of music fans annually. She helped coordinate the Army’s participation in the grand opening of “Enron Field” celebrating the Astros baseball team’s new home. In 1999 when the Houston Texans came onto the scene Laurri worked diligently to ensure the Army participated in some capacity in the Texans first game ever, which just happened to be against the Dallas Cowboys and an Army color-guard stood proudly on the field presenting our Nation’s Colors. She also helped ensure the Army was represented at various events when Houston hosted the Super Bowl. Also worthy of note, on 9/11 Laurri was the only Army spokesperson in the Houston-area allowed to comment to the media on the situation and its impact on the Soldiers in the greater-Houston area. While in Europe, Laurri arranged media coverage and coordinated for escorts of the White House Press Corps when President George W. Bush and Laura Bush visited Margraten American Cemetery in The Netherlands commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the end of WWII. This event was also attended by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands and the country’s Prime Minister. Laurri also had the honor of coordinating the San Antonio/Fort Sam Houston September 11th, 10th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony at the Alamo, one of only a select few events to receive National media coverage. These are just a few of the highlights of her career that underscore the dedication and passion she has for taking care of our service members and their families.
Laurri retired from civil service in June of 2022 to the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast. She fell in love with the area over 30 years ago when she worked for a short time at Keesler Air Force Base. There she met and married the love of her life — her husband, retired Chief Master Sergeant, Kent Garcia, the couple has a blended family with three sons and two daughters and seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. It seems only appropriate she returns here to Mississippi to start this new chapter of her life. She loves the beach, she loves the area and she’s near her family and there is a military presence here with a population she can serve.
Laurri is proving just how passionate she is about her new career. She has hit the ground running and is already making a name for herself on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the real estate world. Laurri is currently working on completing her Military Relocation Certification so she can better assist the civilian, veteran and military communities on the Gulf Coast and ensure the integration of the communities is seamless and beneficial for all. Stay-tuned for a new video production she will host this summer highlighting all the wonderful events, people and opportunities the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer.
1. What made you decide to get your real estate license?
I recently retired from a 32-year career in civil service as a public affairs officer for the Department of Defense. I really thought I was ready to settle down, but after a few months of “hang-out around the house” I was about to lose my mind. I’ve always loved looking at homes, decorating them, meeting people, and enjoying the vibe of beautiful spaces, so a friend suggested real estate. I loved the idea, but was terrified of the unknown, it was such a far step from my previous career. Well, after lots of soul-searching, and increasing levels of boredom, I took the leap and here I am, and I love it. Because I had a wonderful career that allowed me to move and travel, I’ve experienced living in a variety of homes with different architectural styles and design motifs around the world. Now I am blessed with the opportunity to help others find the perfect style house to make their home here along the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast.
2. Tell us something unique about you that makes you fun?
I think I am fun, for the most part, because I have never really grown up. I love music and concerts, traveling and new adventures. I am blessed to have lived or visited places most people only dream of. From Hong Kong to Turkey; and Greece to Australia with countless places in-between. I’ve experienced life around the world, visiting amazing places, meeting incredible people, and working with, and for, inspirational and eccentric colleagues and leaders. I view life with an educated and curious eye. I’m always eager to learn, and experience new things and I believe a life of inspiration and education keeps us young. It is those qualities that make me fun, or at least entertaining. Add a shot of tequila for good measure and it’s a party. Life is too short and too precious not to enjoy it. I laugh a lot, LOVE football, especially my Dallas Cowboys, because of whom I experience robust outbursts of tourette’s syndrome. Besides, smiles and laughter are free so we might as well take advantage of them while we’re still vertical.
3. What do you like best about living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast?
Living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is amazing. The history, the scenery, the music, the food, the beach, and the people are incredible. The kindness and hometown-feel here are infinitely better than 99% of the places I’ve lived. The smiles and “how ya doing” or yes ma’am – can I help you with that” melt my heart every time. After spending 32-years of my life working for, caring for, and telling the stories of, our men and women in uniform should tell you I have a huge place in my heart for our military. The people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had with our service members have played an intricate role in the person I am today, and I love them. The Gulf Coast is home to Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel – so I can maintain that piece of me through my connection to them and this place. I can’t imagine, at this point in my life, a better place to be than right here in Mississippi.