Cassaundra Martinez – 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Army Spouse of the Year
“One of my heart-strings belongs to military spouses and the associated unemployment rate. I have felt deeply impacted by the employment challenges imposed by the military lifestyle and when I discovered the outrageous percentage of unemployed and underemployed military spouses, I formed a local women’s networking group that holds monthly meetings. But that’s just the beginning of my vision. With the title of Military Spouse of the Year, I would like to address the issue of spouse unemployment and underemployment. There needs to be a mechanism in place that prepares the military spouse’s career, especially for multiple moves. My goal this year is to offer a solution to that problem.”
Jessica Rudd – 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Marine Corps Spouse of the Year
“Having the title of Marine Corps Spouse of the year is not about me. I would only like to use this title as a stepping stone and avenue to be able to talk to spouses about the varying aspects of being a military spouse. I have seen many different sides of the military. I have been active duty, a veteran, a spouse, enlisted and now the spouse to a commissioned officer. With these many different lenses that I have seen the and military through, I want to be able to use those perspectives to help other spouses.
I feel like this title will be able to help me reach military spouses on a multitude of levels. Being able to connect with a diverse crowd of spouse might be the key to helping that young military spouse going through her first deployment. Or helping the military spouse of a newly commissioned officer find a great place to get involved. I would love to have this title not for myself but to be able to use it to pull spouses together and show them that we really do have much in common and that there really is more than being “just a military spouse.””
Joy Goodrich – 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Navy Spouse of the Year
“To follow up on my views on the importance of helping maintain consistent spousal employment for spouses, this would be my main goal to accomplish during my tenure as Military Spouse of the Year. If starting at a grass roots level I would network with programs like MWR, FFSC, our Local Military One Source Office, our local Spouses Organizations, and our Ombudsman program to try to orchestrate a quarterly career/resource fair for spouses where we can invite local companies who are hiring to come and interview and/or meet with spouses who are seeking employment. I think once this is something that becomes sustainable that it can become a regular schedule event like our bases college fairs. Then I would see if this is something that could spread to different bases within the region, by making white paper proposal through my Ombudsman, FFSC, and base chain of command.
I also hope to utilize the connections and avenues provided by the MSOY program to bring these issues to the forefront. In closing I think it is important to champion this cause because I know firsthand what a difficulty it can be to get that footing at a new duty station and start over. And I think overtime with consistent programming and resources available this is a concern for families that could be easily remedied. I pledge to make it my goal to have an imprint on the process of making it easier for spouses that come after me to find employment. With that being said I am very appreciative and honored to be nominated for this year’s Military Spouse of the Year award.”
Brittany Boccher – 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Air Force Spouse of the Year
I would like to use the MSOY title to further advocate for exceptional family member program families who have a family member with special needs. I’d also like to continue to empower military spouses to embrace the military life, their military community inside and outside of the base gates and to embrace the beautiful opportunities that this life provides!
Mary Nelson – 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Coast Guard Spouse of the Year
Empowering more military spouses is the key. There are a few important areas I’d like to focus on in order to do that. I plan to spend time educating spouses on simple ways to take better care of their health so they may in turn teach these methods to their children and develop good habits to last a lifetime! Moving forward, I want to continue to broaden my ability to network within the MSOY Community so that I can better serve the spouses I meet & interact with on a regular basis. This program has already and will continue to afford me the opportunity to find more like-minded individuals and organizations to partner with to make a positive impact in the lives of others and EMPOWER them by connecting them to resources they may not have known about otherwise. I personally want to soak up all the knowledge I can from the previous and current title holders that have begun paving the road toward our mutual goal to be a voice for the special needs families within the military. It is time to help them to make their own voices heard and also put more quality leads to much needed resources in their hands!
Rhiannon Knutson – 2017 Armed Forces Insurance National Guard Spouse of the Year
I love being able to help other military families! With the Military Spouse of the Year title I would like to bring more attention to the National Guard families. Not being on a base, even when our soldiers are serving on active duty, makes it difficult for families to have access to resources that are more readily available to the active duty families.