Duty Station: Fort-Drum
Number of Deployments: 0
Number of PCS's: 3
About the nominee: I am a very active mom of six children. I have spent the past two years staying home with our children after we had our last son, Bentley. While staying home, I started my own business designing and painting home décor. I also volunteered with my husband's unit, my children's school and the spouses' club on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As a volunteer with these organizations, I was able to connect with other spouses from all walks of life and engage in service activities both on base and in the Anchorage community. I have my Bachelor's Degree in Human Services and I have worked several years in Child Protection Services as well as direct care at a psychiatric hospital for children in Anchorage. I am currently employed full time working with foster parents and youth in care.
Hobbies: I enjoy volunteering with organizations on and off post. I was the Family Readiness Group Leader for my husband's unit in Alaska for three years as well as on the Richardson Spouses' Club Board. I enjoy crafting and started my own small business creating patriotic signs and keepsakes for family homes. As a family, we spend most of our time outdoors playing sports and hiking. I also enjoy photography.
Interesting Facts: Our family is blended; his, mine and ours. But you would never know. I pride myself on our family being so connected and functions as one unit. Every person in our family of eight has compassion and respect for one another and we have spent our family time ensuring our children feel loved and cared for. From the outside looking in we are ONE.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? I have learned to connect with other spouses. It has been important for me to have support for myself and for my family even while my husband is home. Being an Army wife has forced me to be proactive in making friends and being involved. The friends I have made in this part of my life are people I will reach out to forever; they are family. I believe it's important to get out of your own bubble. PCSing can be overwhelming and sometimes scary, networking with other people who are going through some of the same changes and life as you is the key to success and has helped me be supportive to my husband and a better mom to my children.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? As a mom, I believe fostering resiliency in children is an important issue. Children are faced with big stressors with every change that is completely out of their control because their parent is in the military. While each child can handle those stressors differently, I believe the support that surrounds them is significant in their ability to go back to "normal". Whether they are faced with a traumatic loss or a PCS, community support as well as families being educated in re-establishing routine and stability is vitally important. I feel an emphasis should be placed on the family as a whole during trying times so everyone can work together to strengthen our children.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? The best aspect of being a military family is experiencing life how I feel we were meant to experience it. I do my best to ensure we experience each duty station and the surrounding areas in their entirety. We have all seen different cultures, different activities, different climates; most of which we likely would not have done if it were not for being an Army family.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I would focus on military children, specifically regarding PCSing. Children should be provided support both before and after these significant changes. I'd like to identify children who need additional support, find what is working and what is not working, and to be an advocate for change to help build resiliency and a positive support system.
Reasons for nominating:
Mrs. Brittany Raines exemplifies all of the finest qualities of a military spouse, Richardson Spouses' Club Membership Chair and Family Readiness Group Leader. She generously gives her free time and talents to any project in support of JBER and all other military communities she has been apart of. Most notably, Brittany has been a member of the Richardson Spouses' Club for over two years, and has performed duties as the Membership Chair since October of 2015. In addition, Brittany has served as an FRG Co. Leader for almost three years and through multiple battalion transitions that the 545th Military Police Company has made during that time. She has done this with such grace and has made huge impacts across JBER and within the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. She consistently portrays positivity, patriotism, resiliency, selfless service, and compassion. Brittany has maintained her leadership role in the 545th Military Police Company FRG and aggressively volunteers and organizes all family support programs and activities. Within the last three years she has participated in multiple FRG fundraisers in the motor pool, battalion events, community events, raising over thousands of dollars to give back to the soldiers and families. She has done all this and taken a lot of time to support numerous families and host battalion and company spouse socials to help connect with her fellow Army sisters. Theses are only some of the events Brittany has supported at the battalion level, but her contributions to JBER as a whole over the past three and a half years have been sensational. Brittany's impact of her contributions have surely been felt by the families and soldiers across JBER. Mrs. Raines has been nothing short of an exceptional and reliable member of the 545th Military Police Company, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and the Richardson Spouses's Club. Her selfless devotion to the Soldiers, NCOs and Officers of 545th MP Co. have been felt by all and seen by many. She has accomplished all this while still being a wonderful wife and mother to six amazing children. The Raines Family recently PCSed from JBER to Fort Drum and I know that the JBER community will miss her dearly and Fort Drum is gaining a remarkable spouse. I have no doubt she will continue to make the same contributions in her new community. It is with my great pleasure that I nominate my friend, my fellow spouse and Army sister, Mrs. Brittany Raines for Military Spouse of the Year. There is no one else that I agree deserves this honor more. -- Amanda Collier, Military-Spouse