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Joy Goodrich

Branch: Navy

Duty Station: Naval-Station-Newport

Number of Deployments: 5

Number of PCS's: 5

About the nominee: The Navy way has been the way I have lived my life for as long as I can remember being a Navy Brat. Growing up the dependent of active duty parents I faced many challenges with changing schools 13 times due to military moves, living in new and exotic places, and leaving close knit bonds and family. But what I gained from that experience helped mold me into the independent and resilient woman I am today. Leaving my family for college from our last duty station of Manama, Bahrain was a huge jump for me, but it was the most worthwhile risk I have ever taken because it lead me to my wonderful husband Brian. I met my best friend and love of my life Brian 14 years ago while I attended Virginia Tech, Go Hokies!!! At the time Brian was an E-4 in the Navy and was assigned to the USS PORTER (DDG 78). We had a whirl wind romance that was built on trust and lots of communication as I went to school 6 hours away from where he was stationed. Throughout my schooling I was an active member my sorority Chi Omega, a member of the Latin Dance Team, and a Cadet with the Corp of Cadets military campus where the motto “UT PROSIM” (which means, “That I may Serve”) was a way of life. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an International Studies Concentration and minors in both Military Leadership and French. After graduation and completing an internship with the Philadelphia Area Labor Management organization, I moved to Virginia Beach, VA, where Brian and I married in October of 2004. In the past thirteen years, Brian and I have been stationed at 5 different duty stations; Norfolk, Hawaii, Coronado, Guam, and Newport. Also in that time Brian completed 5 deployments, numerous schools, and obtained many qualifications, leading up to his selection as Chief Petty Officer in 2012. During that time even though we have not been blessed with children, our family grew with the addition of three awesome fur babies; Casey, Peanut Butter (who passed 2014) and Shipmate. Making sure to maintain my career and education was something that I have kept as a priority even with all of our many moves. I received a Master in Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instructional Design in 2006. I have also strived to continue my “Ut PROSIM” lifestyle being insuring that I am active component in this military adventure I am apart of with my husband. I was previously an ombudsman for Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit in Hawaii, and I am currently holding the position of Ombudsman Assembly Chair for Naval Station Newport, as well as Command Ombudsman for Officer Training Command Newport. The ombudsman role has been extremely education and rewarding for me, with allowing me to be that outreach and source of information for the commands families. I am also an active member of the Military Spouses of Newport, where I am currently the Vice President. Within my career I have strived to be a part of programming that is beneficial and also gives back to the community that I have been a part of my whole life. I was counselor for the Navy College providing information to Sailors and their families on affordable and convenient educational benefits. I worked for Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) as a Work and Family Life Consultant specifically with the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) and provided resources to families with members that had special needs. With my work through FFSC I was also able to ride along on the ships, USS CLEVELAND and USS RONALD REAGAN, to teach Return and Reunion readiness classes for Sailors and Marines returning home from deployment. My current position with Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) as a Manager with Child and Youth programs has by far been the most rewarding, because I am able to see the impact and benefit of the work I do every day with the smiling faces of kids enjoying the programming, to them learning new skills, and being able to share what they learn with their parents. Also, in knowing that the program I work for provides a great piece of mind for the Sailors who rely on this care so they can continue with their daily duties and mission. As I continue on this journey with my wonderful husband Brian, I plan to make it my mission as military spouse to continue to serve the military community and be a strong role model in all things that I do. To live my “UT PROSIM” life to its fullest.

Hobbies: I enjoy all things art related. I am a lover of all types of art as well; music, food and baking, theatre, dancing, even make-up artistry. My love of art is something that is in my bones, with one grandmother who was a professional artist and the other who was a professional cook and baker. I have definitely learned from the best, in my opinion, and that has led me to having a favorite medium of acrylics and a “little” obsession with all things Red Velvet. Over time I have been able to work on my skills to make things that not only my family can enjoy, but many of Brian’s Shipmates as well. I have made many cakes for his commands from large event cakes to even a large scale Mark V helmet for the Dive command he was assigned to. As of late Make-up artistry has really grown to be a new passion of mine that I have been taking time to really explore and educate myself on. I have been able to put my skills to good use by helping friends in preparation for photo shoots. As well as with numerous MWR events on base, helping with special effects make up.

Interesting Facts: I was a Model in the Boston Curvy Fashion Week. Since I can remember I have always been an ambassador for Body Positivity and the understanding that what’s on the outside of a person is not as important as who the person is on the inside. I have also believed that at any size you can do anything you want if you put your mind, body, and soul into it. So last year I set out to do just that. I went to an open casting call and walked in front of a panel of designers and show coordinators and was selected. It was amazing opportunity and I was able to meet women and men from many walks of life who came together to celebrate that all body types are wonderful and should be embraced. While I am stationed in Newport I plan to continue to participate in this program and work towards finding additional events like this with future duty stations.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? My greatest lesson learned from being a military spouse is just to be proactive in educating yourself about the Navy and their services. Compared to what resources were available when I was a child growing up in the Navy with my parents. The programs and information that is now available to spouses and their children has grown by leaps and bounds. For me, during long 7 to 9 month deployments, there was nothing more empowering than knowing who to contact if I was in need or having struggles, even if it was knowing what spouse groups were available if I needed a coffee date or girl’s night out. So I would say to spouses to be proactive, take risks, and educate yourself on this life that you are living with your Sailor or Service Member.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Consistency in maintaining spouse employment is an extremely important issue that military families face, I believe, amongst all branches. Not just from personal experience, but if I draw from my days of working with Navy College, Fleet and Family Support Center, or as an ombudsman, that was usually a high volume inquiry I would receive. Whether it had to do with spouses being able to maintain their credentials from duty station to duty station or even them just being able to find a position, it is a growing problem. And I know that in this case I am not alone, in witnessing the struggle of highly intelligent and over qualified spouses trying their hardest just to get jobs that were comparable to past employment or even taking entry level jobs just to insure that there family doesn’t go without. I feel the challenge of consistent availability of spouse priority employment is something that needs to be a regular concern for commands because it can in the end help serve the mission when a Sailor and their finances aren’t affected because their spouse is able to get a job within a reasonable time frame.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? The sense of Community! I have formed some of the most amazing bonds and friendships with the people that I have met throughout my travels and duty stations. These are people that when I see them again after being away from them for even years it is like we just saw each other. We are so fortunate that we get to meet people from all walks of life, who have many talents, and who are kind and welcoming. And these are people that are living in a similar scenario as we are. Whether they are experiencing deployments, island wide power outages (Guam Life!), or missing your family, these are the things that build common ground, understanding, and things to bond over. Also, with the Navy being the Navy it is, you find yourself stationed with those friends again. Or knowing someone in common which in turn helps build even more relationships. I am so grateful for this aspect of military life.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? 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.

Reasons for nominating:

Being a military spouse, friends come and go, but sometimes, there are those who become lifelong friends who you consider family. Joy Goodrich is just that… a lifelong friend, family, and a military spouse. Joy is a bright ray of sunshine and one of the nicest people I have ever met. She is the first person to show up when you have an emergency, a problem, or just need a friend to lean on. She wears her heart on her sleeve and always has a smile on her face. She is full of encouragement, laughs and heart. Joy is stationed in Newport, Rhode Island at Naval Station Newport with her husband. When she isn’t working with military children on the base at the CYP, she is volunteering her time as the Vice President of Military Spouses of Newport (the Newport Spouse Club) and as an ombudsman for OTCN (Officer Training Command Newport). Joy is so supportive of all and is truly deserving of the MSOY award. -- Stacey, Friend

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