Shahnaaz Mason, Winter Class of 2016

SHAHNAAZ "SHAY" MASON

Shay was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She is a veteran, a spouse of a veteran, and a caregiver. Shay joined the Army at age 17 and served her country for four years, attaining the rank of Sergeant. As a counterintelligence agent, she served in the 902nd Military Intelligence Group at Fort Meade, Maryland. Aside from her CI duties, she served as editor of the battalion newsletter. Additionally, she earned the skill identifier of Russian Linguist.

After completing her active duty service, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Print Journalism with a Russian minor from Howard University. While a student, she earned the Lucy Moten Fellowship for summer study at Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. Additionally, she served as a non- governmental observer during the first free elections held in South Africa.

While at Howard she met her husband who later decided to join the U.S. Army. During his service, Shay was a freelance writer for various publications wherever they were stationed. Her favorite topic to write about remains military life. She also taught middle and high school English, History, Bible, Journalism and Criminal Justice as she and her family traveled with each duty assignment.

 After combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, her husband entered the Wounded Warrior Program at Walter Reed and was medically retired in 2015. Shay then became a caregiver to her infantryman husband.  She and her husband have three sons and one daughter ranging in age from 10 to 22.

Shay, who is also a screenwriter, plans to partner with her husband in business to create media support tools for military families. They will use their varied life experiences in and around the military to help current members of the military, their families, and friends to navigate and thrive in the midst of the unique challenges of military life.