Jacksonville Moms Set Sail on the USS Iwo Jima

Hover Girl Properties has been given the unique privilege of being asked to join a Distinguished Visitor Embarkation of the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) as it changes homeport from Norfolk, VA and arrives in Mayport, FL. Joy Doyle, Lara Yehl and Kris King, all military spouses and local moms, will ride the ship for three days as representatives of the greater Jacksonville business community. They will have the opportunity to interact with the crew and provide information as ambassadors to the city.

After 26 years of having my husband leave me and go to sea, this trip will be my turn to pack my “seabag” and get underway. – Joy

Joy Doyle, mother of three grown girls planted her roots here in Jax for the last part of her husband Glenn’s Navy Career. When asked about this opportunity, Joy responded,  “I am humbled to be part of something this big for the city of Jacksonville and local business community. It is really an incredible opportunity to be representatives of the city.”

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Glenn Doyle and his three daughters.

The three Hover Girls will view ship operations while en route to Naval Station Mayport and observe the precision that is required by all hands to operate in a very complex environment. This embark will allow guests to take a look at a “day in the life of the United States Navy” and to witness the pride and professionalism of our young people as they serve our country at sea.

Lara Yehl, mom to 15-year-old Duncan and 10-year-old Cooper, also commented on the opportunity.

Our family spent two years in Japan while Mark was assigned to a ship very much like the Iwo Jima. We understand the hardship of sea duty on the family as well as on the crew. We look forward to being able to help the families on Iwo Jima as they transition to Jacksonville just like many people helped us when we showed up in Japan.

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Lara Yehl and her two sons.

The Iwo Jima will be the largest capital ship in the harbor and will be the flagship for the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG). It is joined by the USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) as they also shift from their current homeport of Norfolk, Va., to Mayport. The New York was the first to change homeport, followed by the Iwo Jima and then shortly after the Fort McHenry.

Local mom and Hover Girl, Kris King, talked to the need for quality housing for our military families transferring to the Jacksonville area.

As a military spouse of 24 years, finding quality and affordable housing was always a principle concern when our family moved. That is one of the reasons I have enjoyed working with Hover Girl Properties. I don’t think there is any real estate company in town that understands a PCS move and the stresses on the family like we do.

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Kris King and family.

The three ships bring a total of more than 1,800 sailors with over 1,100 on the Iwo Jima alone! The Secretary of the Navy estimated that the new ship presence in Mayport will bring $75 million in maintenance and repair work to Mayport. It will also result in a net employment gain of approximately 5,220 and a $590 Million increase to the gross regional product.

USS Iwo Jima is named for the epic battle of February 1945, in which three divisions of the United States Marine Corps took control of the tiny island of Iwo Jima from 22,000 determined Japanese defenders. USS Iwo Jima is the seventh WASP-class Amphibious Assault Ship and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name.

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Mark Yehl and his two sons.

This post was sponsored by Hover Girl Properties.

If you would like to read or leave a review about Hover Girls, visit our Around Town Directory below.

Hover Girl Properties
Lara Yehl and Joy Doyle understand the challenges of being relocated as they are both spouses of career military members. When they established Hover Girl Properties, they endeavored to help people make that transition as seamless as possible. With over $10 million in Sales this year and a specific expertise with Short Sales and relocation to Jacksonville. Hover Girl Properties offers a full range of Real Estate services to include Buying, Selling, and Property Management. Hover Girl Properties operates under the Brokerage firm Horizon Realty of North East Florida, LLC, with Joe Saoud, CPA, as our Broker/Managing Member. Joy and Lara are excited to assist you with your transition to the Jacksonville area.


  1. Congratulations, ladies! Great opportunity for the three of you to find out first hand about life on board ship. What an honor to celebrate your husbands service, to represent your families service and the Great City of Jacksonville….all while providing a much needed service for members of our military and their families! Keep up the good work! and enjoy the adventure!

  2. Congratulations Hover Girls! Your customer service and professionalism is second to none. I can’t think of a better group of people to represent the city of Jacksonville to the new sailors who will be home ported there. Thanks for your dedication to our community and our service members!

  3. Fair winds and following seas!
    Congrats Hover Girls! I cannot wait to share sea stories when you come back from your underway! It’s an amazing thing that you all have going here and I only dream that we could bring you to every one of our future duty stations! You’ve exceeded your duties working with us and we couldn’t be any more thankful!


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