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Courtney Mitchell

Branch: National-Guard

Duty Station: New-Jersey

Number of Deployments: 2

Number of PCS's: 0

About the nominee: Military spouse, mother, and 3rd grade teacher. Committed to supporting my husband, raising my children, and creating awareness of the value and importance of our service members. Without them, what would we have? My children have a man and father they can look up to. I strive to be the supportive spouse and teach my children that all good things come with sacrifice and hard work.

Hobbies: Involved with church, taking care of my family, cooking, gymnastics parents club executive board, military support for other spouses, Ocean Apart But Never Far From The Heart, Read Across America, and career day at school.

Interesting Facts: During college I spent a semester as an intern in the Pentagon working for Army Public Affairs while pursuing a Political Science degree. In 2004, I met my husband. A member of the New Jersey Air National Guard. In 2005, my husband left for a tour teaching at the Desert Warfare Training Center, Creech AB, NV. I knew then, his commitment to service and I was drawn to it. Drawn to the core values our servicemen and women live by. We have been apart many times as a result of his military service. Each activation/TDY has strengthened our relationship and commitment to being a strong military family. My husband was activated for 5 months in the National Capital Region in 2010, 3 weeks after our first daughter, Raquel, was born. In 2014, he would leave again and would be stationed there but this time a month before our second daughter, Charlee was born. This tour of duty lasted for 30 months, ending October 2016. Do you see the trend?! Every time I am pregnant and have the baby, he leaves, haha!

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? The importance of resiliency in the family. The importance of a positive outlook and teaching my children that we belong to a very special group, the military family. We are unique and epitomize all that is good in service. We belong to something so much bigger than ourselves.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Separation/Reintegration. Families learn to adjust to being without their military loved ones. The difficult part is adjusting to their return. We can do better in providing family counseling and support upon return of the service member. Separation is difficult. Often times, reintegration is even more difficult. It is so important for military families to have a strong support network and learn from each other’s common challenges. Too often, we place the primary emphasis on the service member and not as much on the challenges that will face the family during the time of separation. We need to continually focus on families and provide, training and education programs specifically targeting families. The families also act as the first line of defense and sounding the alarm for service members in need. This requires a skill set that often times, spouses and children don’t possess.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? Camaraderie, family connection of old, young, and everything in between all over the United States. We are active and support the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States and Air Force Sergeants Association. These professional organizations help service members and families from all over our Nation come together, network, and build strong relationships. It is very important to our family to have such relationships and we attend annual National Conferences to see old friends, make new friends, and share our experiences.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? Implement Ocean Apart But Never Far From The Heart to schools around the country to gain awareness of something bigger than ourselves. Military and community partnerships are more important today than ever. We are seeing a trend nationwide of division and lack of unity in our communities. Through our service members and military families we can demonstrate a true sense of unity and belief in diversity. We can set an example for our communities to emulate. I have found through my years teaching in Atlantic City Schools that my students admire and look up to our service members. They enjoy building relationships and look up to them as heroes. We can continue to build these programs through such programs as Oceans Apart Never Far From the Heart, Read Across America, and Career Days. We have built these programs into annual events at our school. Together we can promote these initiatives nationwide bringing awareness of our service members to the community, building strong community relationships, and unifying communities around military installations. http://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article-View/Article/577396/new-jersey-guard-airmen-participate-in-read-across-america/ http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/atlantic/schools-give-back-to-their-families-communities/article_e9d18238-a9d0-11e5-a1bb-e3624e17e4a2.html http://www.nj.gov/military/publications/guardlife/volume34no4/27.html

Reasons for nominating:

The strength of our Nation is not just found in our brave servicemen and women who selflessly serve. It is founded on a support system of of equally brave, committed, disciplined, and loving spouses. I am incredibly fortunate to have such an incredible wife and mother in my corner. A wife who is equally as selfless and supports my military career and our commitment God and country. I have recently returned from a 30 month tour of duty in the National Capital Region assigned to the Office of the Command Chief Master Sergeant, Air National Guard, National Guard Bureau. This tour was a high ops tempo, high visibility, high travel tour that required me to travel extensively and geo -bachelor all while my wife held the fort down at home. My wife, Courtney Mitchell is a full time mother of our two beautiful girls, step mother to my son, full time Atlantic City School teacher, and full time military spouse. You see, my wife was 8-months pregnant when I departed for the National Capital Region. She gave birth to our second daughter one month after I left. My wife has been so supportive of my military career that she has given up her personal goals and ambitions to support my career and raise our family. She allowed me to leave for my assignment without question. She has continued to participate in military events and create full time partnerships with her school, students, and our Airmen and Soldiers. She is the founder of the "Oceans Apart, Never Far From the Heart" care package initiative at Brighton Aveniue School, Atlantic City, NJ. She has spearheaded military participation and positive community relations through "Read Across America" programs bringing Soldiers and Airmen together with students for a day of reading and learning. (http://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article-View/Article/577396/new-jersey-guard-airmen-participate-in-read-across-america/). She routinely provides counsel for other military wives and supports them in times of need. There is never enough giving of her heart and soul to support our service members or their families. Beyond work, she held down the fort at home raising two young girls. Raquel, a 6-year old comepetitive gymnast who trains 4 days a week. Charlee, a 2 yr old toddler who is no longer the easily controlled tag along infant but a high energy little girl mimicking all of her older sisters activities. A full time mother, full time teacher, and full time military wife responsible to take care of it all while her husband serves. Her steadfast devotion to being a military spouse is a true example of commitment to our country and all that it stands for. She has given up so much because she understands we belong to something bigger than ourselves. She adapts to any situation well, overcomes adversity, and demonstrates resiliency like no other. We speak of military leadership and assume it is our servicemen and women. My spouse exhibits all of the qualities of our finest military leaders and is a true example for all of us to emulate. I am proud to nominate my spouse, Courtney Mitchell for the 2017 Military Spouse of the Year Award! -- Daniel Mitchell, Servicemember

The strength of our Nation is not just found in our brave servicemen and women who selflessly serve. It is founded on a support system of of equally brave, committed, disciplined, and loving spouses. I am incredibly fortunate to have such an incredible wife and mother in my corner. A wife who is equally as selfless and supports my military career and our commitment God and country. I have recently returned from a 30 month tour of duty in the National Capital Region assigned to the Office of the Command Chief Master Sergeant, Air National Guard, National Guard Bureau. This tour was a high ops tempo, high visibility, high travel tour that required me to travel extensively and geo -bachelor all while my wife held the fort down at home. My wife, Courtney Mitchell is a full time mother of our two beautiful girls, step mother to my son, full time Atlantic City School teacher, and full time military spouse. You see, my wife was 8-months pregnant when I departed for the National Capital Region. She gave birth to our second daughter one month after I left. My wife has been so supportive of my military career that she has given up her personal goals and ambitions to support my career and raise our family. She allowed me to leave for my assignment without question. She has continued to participate in military events and create full time partnerships with her school, students, and our Airmen and Soldiers. She is the founder of the "Oceans Apart, Never Far From the Heart" care package initiative at Brighton Aveniue School, Atlantic City, NJ. She has spearheaded military participation and positive community relations through "Read Across America" programs bringing Soldiers and Airmen together with students for a day of reading and learning. (http://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article-View/Article/577396/new-jersey-guard-airmen-participate-in-read-across-america/). She routinely provides counsel for other military wives and supports them in times of need. There is never enough giving of her heart and soul to support our service members or their families. Beyond work, she held down the fort at home raising two young girls. Raquel, a 6-year old comepetitive gymnast who trains 4 days a week. Charlee, a 2 yr old toddler who is no longer the easily controlled tag along infant but a high energy little girl mimicking all of her older sisters activities. A full time mother, full time teacher, and full time military wife responsible to take care of it all while her husband serves. Her steadfast devotion to being a military spouse is a true example of commitment to our country and all that it stands for. She has given up so much because she understands we belong to something bigger than ourselves. She adapts to any situation well, overcomes adversity, and demonstrates resiliency like no other. We speak of military leadership and assume it is our servicemen and women. My spouse exhibits all of the qualities of our finest military leaders and is a true example for all of us to emulate. I am proud to nominate my spouse, Courtney Mitchell for the 2017 Military Spouse of the Year Award! -- Daniel Mitchell, Servicemember

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