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Holly Vega

Branch: Marines

Duty Station: Marine-Corps-Base-Quantico

Number of Deployments: 7

Number of PCS's: 8

About the nominee: My name is Holly C. Vega. I have been a proud military spouse for the past 18 years and the mother of three beautiful children. I am also a student at Northern Virginia Community College where I am pursuing an associate degree in Sociology. I have a true passion for helping others so I really enjoy volunteering.

Hobbies: Reading, volunteering at my children’s school, my church, and the military community. I am also a proud Heart Health Advocate.

Interesting Facts: I am a completely devoted person. My commitment drives me to give 100 percent on everything I do.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Like, Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where ever you are.” I believe his quote serves as a reference point or motivation to military spouses. Often we go above and beyond in order to accomplish a task with very limited resources. Each of us can make a difference if we follow this model. I’m sure many of you have heard how important it is to be ready. Ready for deployments, ready to move without much notice, ready to acclimate to a new location, and a new job for example. For military spouses those are the words we live by “Always Ready”. As an experienced military spouse for 18 years, I have had the honor and privilege to meet many amazing Marine Corps spouses. Every single day, I am amazed by their resilience and zeal for life. Making new friends is an art we become very good at, but the most amazing thing is often times finding ourselves in situations or places with very limited resources. I have seen over the past 18 years the Marine Corps doing great things with a very limited budget while providing resources to military families. However, often as volunteers, we find ourselves with resources either being decreased or going away altogether. My time as a volunteer has afforded me the opportunity to see first- hand how significant these resources are and how important they are to those who utilize them. People often ask me, why do you volunteer? Why do you give so much of your time to helping others? My response is simple; because I love the Marine Corps’ family and my military community. I feel a lot of satisfaction in helping others. When I first became a new Marine Corps’ spouse, I saw the value of the L.I.N.K.S program. This program was and continues to be beneficial to military community. I remember those first few months of feeling lost and wanting to have a better understanding of an organization. It was a challenging time. I wanted to get a better understanding of why my Marine was committed and so loyal to this organization. Through L.I.N.K.S., I was able to understand the Marine Corps’ culture and regulations. I realized then that it was a way of life not just a job. Furthermore, I was able to share and work, in-group setting, with other spouses that were experiencing the same things with each other. At that time, I realized that I could make a difference in the lives of many other Marine Corps spouses, by incorporating Heart Healthy Awareness in the discussion groups. From there I was able to start my journey as a Heart Health Awareness Advocate. Through L.I.N.K.S, at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty-nine Palms, I was able to help host a successful Red Heart Health Gala for military spouse. Because of this event, many military spouses walked away with the knowledge and resources to continue the fight against heart disease. Unfortunate, there are many spouses who suffer from heart diseases. Increasing awareness will ultimately help our sister and brothers who are victims of this silent killer. I want to create a support network for victims of heart diseases. In the process, military spouses will come together while developing relationships that will help them overcome the hardships of their particular health issue. The primary message will be, “You are not alone!” I have served as a volunteer in many capacities, and through it all, I am hoping that I had left an everlasting impression on those I have worked with and served. They certainly left a memorable impression on me. As a Command Team Volunteer, I am able to assist military families by helping them understand the challenges of the military life. In turn, this will help to promote camaraderie and friendship across our ranks; the brotherhood that connects our military communities should be treasured and carefully maintained to positively affect our families’ readiness. If selected, as the Marine Corps’ Military Spouse of the Year, I will continue to commit time to preserving our military spouses’ welfare. Whether through employment, volunteer, or health resources; the Marine Corps has always something positive to offer. I will advocate for Family Readiness issues in order to ensure that Marine Corps’ spouses get to enjoy the same opportunities I had. My goal is to ensure that every Marine Corps spouse knows his or her value to the organization.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Family Readiness across the Marine Corps. Unfortunately, due to the lack of funding our families are not able to participate in family unit activities. The resources allocated to support military families at each Marine Corps installation gets smaller each year. The camaraderie between military families is disappearing. And as a result of this situation, the combat readiness and morale of a unit is affected.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? The relationships and friends we made along the way. I am thankful for the opportunity that God has given me to serve as a military spouse. I am truly blessed. I have friends all around the world, something that is not as common in a civilian community. Without a doubt, my “military spouse’s career” allowed me to learn about many different cultures. Also, it has allowed me to travel and experience things that otherwise would be out of my reach.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? First of all, I am flattered and humbled of finding out that I was nominated to possibly become the Military Spouse of the Year. I know very well the quality of people that I will be competing with in other to win the title. I believe that so many spouses should be nominated. I will continue to promote comradery and friendship across our ranks; the brotherhood that connects our military communities should be treasured and carefully maintained to positively affect our family readiness. I will also work to increase heart diseases awareness. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Unfortunately, there are many military spouses who suffer from heart diseases. Increasing awareness will ultimately help our sisters who are victims of this silent killer. I want to create a support network for victims of heart diseases. In this process, military spouses will come together while developing relationships that will help them overcome the hardships of their particular health issue. The primary message will be, “You are not alone!”

Reasons for nominating:

She is such an inspiration. She is so full of energy and so positive. She served relentlessly as the President of QOSO last year to make sure that there was scholarship money for military children. She doesn't just call herself a leader but she leads by example. -- Candice Curry, Military-Spouse

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