Kimberly Green

Branch: Navy

Duty Station: Jacksonville-Naval-Air-Station

Number of Deployments: 6

Number of PCS's: 3

About the nominee: I’m Native American, daughter of a past Principal Chief of the United Houma Tribe. When I was a senior in high school, I won the title of pow-wow Princess at my tribe’s pow-wow. During that time I met my high school sweetheart before he enlisted into the United States Navy. I never planned on being a military spouse, and moving away from my close-knit family. But, my then boyfriend, shipped off to boot camp, and now 15 years later, here I am, a proud navy wife. I think this was the best decision my husband could have ever chosen for our family! My husband and I have a son named Trenton, and he is truly our world. I have obtained a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education with minors in Family and Consumer Sciences and Government from Nicholls State University. My ultimate goal is to complete my Masters Degree and obtain national certification to teach in any city that we may be stationed next.

Hobbies: My son Trenton is truly my hobby! I love watching him play the many sports that he participates in, he plays tackle football, basketball, and flag football throughout the year, so my hobbies include taking him to practice, and being his football or basketball team's "team mom”, I’m also the classroom mom of his class. When I'm not assisting Trenton's sports teams or classroom, I am volunteering my time as a Navy Family Ombudsman. As a Navy Family Ombudsman, I have had the opportunity to work with the best spouses in the fleet and organizations in the country. It is truly an honor to be the Liaison to a Commanding Officer and to represent so many navy families. Because of the 323 Navy families that I represent, I have learned to step up and be proactive. By being proactive, I have organized and been a lead force to Naval Station Mayport’s “Forces Behind the Fleet,” which is a hurricane preparedness and resource fair for all family members on base. You see, I’m from Louisiana so I understand how dangerous hurricanes are, and I wanted to ensure that not only my families were prepared, but all families. So,I took the issue to my fellow ombudsmen and we are now gearing up to host our 3rd annual Hurricane Preparedness and Resource Fair. Because I am a Navy Family Ombudsman, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Full Circle Homes to ensure that all 323 sailors would be allowed to send 12 days of Christmas gifts home to their families while they were deployed. Also, I am working with the founder on spreading the word, and making these services available to other military families. I have also had the opportunity to work with Blue Star Families. Blue Star Families made it possible for all sailors on my ship to have a “yellow ribbon ornament” on their Holiday tree inside Starbucks. To some people, this might not seem like a big deal, but this tree filled with ornaments was waiting on the pier for these sailors when they returned home from their 7 month deployment on December 30, 2016. These ornaments were so special because I understood that not all family members lived in Jacksonville, so I hand wrote the names of over 100 Sailors and hanged them on that tree.

Interesting Facts: Because I grew up in a bayou town, in southern Louisiana, seafood is staple to my diet. I have grown up being able to walk outside my parent's house and literally be able to catch fish, or shrimp, and turn it into a meal "from the bayou to my belly." No matter where we live, I always return home for my birthday, and my Daddy always boils me the BEST boiled crawfish birthday meal; after all, seafood always brings the family together, so it’s the best celebration! Another interesting fact about me is that I have been a Navy Family Ombudsman for the past three years, at the same command, and have worked for three Commanding Officers. When my current Commanding Officer was set to take command, my husband was transferring to another command, so I would need to resign from my position; however, the Captain gave me the biggest compliment and asked me to stay. The ship was set to deploy soon after he took command. The command did not have a Family Readiness Group either, so he completed all necessary forms to keep me as his ombudsman, and to help him build an FRG. So here I stand almost a year later still the ombudsman for the best families and sailors in the fleet. My husband is stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, so I am divided between two commands and two navy installations. For that reason, I had a hard time typing in “NAS Jax” on my profile because I volunteer my time to two bases in Jacksonville and I didn’t want to choose just one. While my husband’s orders say “NAS Jax”, my heart serves both. My third interesting fact is that I have had the honor of filling care packages with the First Lady of Florida, Mrs. Ann Scott for the past two years, and this past year we actually sent care packages to the ship that I am the Ombudsman for, USS Roosevelt DDG 80, because they were deployed. Some people like to attend concerts, but I enjoy listening to political figures or royalty speak. In 2016, I had the honor of listening to President Barack Obama, President William “Bill” Clinton, George W. Bush, First Lady Michelle Obama, Prince Harry, Prince of Whales of Great Britain, and King Felipe VI and Queen Litizia of Spain.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? My favorite saying is "when life gives you lemons, make the best lemonade." When my husband first enlisted into the United States Navy, I was scared; I didn't know that I could be that "navy wife," how can I survive deployments alone, or with my child away from my family in a city that I knew nothing about, but here I am 15 years later, and I can say I am doing it because I've learned that I can't just lay down and cry when my husband deploys, because life happens. I must stand up, and be resilient if not for myself then for my son, and my husband. And, I've learned that I'm not alone! There are so many wonderful people here to help me! There are a number of resources available every day for me, but I have to get up and ask for help! If I don't ask for help, or reach out, then no one will know that I need the help. Deployments are hard, but with an amazing fleet of people and resources behind you, we can do it! So, as a military spouse I’ve learned that no matter how far away I am from my family and friends, that I am truly never alone!

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? I think the most important issue facing military families is bridging the gap between children and their deployed loved ones. Often times when a ship is deployed, a military spouse is able to email their sailor, but many of the younger children don't have as much communication with their deployed parent because they don't know how to write, or have access to email when this is the only communication most of these children have with their loved ones besides when the ship hits a port. From my own personal experience when my husband deployed for 9.5 months, my son didn't have a way to communicate with his father except for maybe once a month, if they pulled into port, and in a ninth month timeframe, they are missing a lot of their child's life or vice versa. But, I think children need to be able to have that open communication with their parents, and we need to stress the importance of communication to all family members. There are a number of ways to help parents communicate with their children, and those techniques need to be utilized by all family members no matter what the age may be; for instance, on December 30,2016, I knew all family members could not attend homecoming on the pier, so I used our new technology and live streamed USS ROOSEVELT DDG 80’s homecoming, and over 318,000 people were able to witness this amazing day from all over the world. There were parents and grandparents that were able to see their sailor walk off the brow that would not have been able to witness such an amazing event had it not been for our new technology.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? One of the best aspects of being a military family is the amazing opportunities we are given! I absolutely love traveling, and exploring new areas of our great country, and meeting so many different people! Because my husband is in the military, we have friends from literally all across the globe! I think the military naturally gives everyone friends they didn't know they had yet!

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? If I were to be awarded the title of Military Spouse of the Year, I would love to find ways to encourage our deployed service members to communicate better with their children, and bridge that gap between the families. In April 2016, I had the honor of coordinating, and organizing with Naval Station Mayport's School Liaison Officer the United States Navy's first ever children's deployment brief. I would love to see all military installations participate in this because deployment briefs happen for the service member's before they deploy, and the spouses, but often times the children are not shown the tools they need. I would love to help the children understand that tools are available to them to help them throughout their military and deployment journey. I feel that if a service member’s spouse and children are taken care of, then the service member can focus more of his energy on his mission verses worrying and stressing about his family members at home.

Reasons for nominating:

This spouse is selfless. She donates her time freely to help military families. She serves as an Ombudsman and still finds time to provide an amazing life for her son. She is involved in absolutely every aspect of military life. -- Lauren Winters, Colleague

I would like to nominate Kimberly Green as military spouse of the year for 2017 because she has really helped my family survive a deployment. Kimberly has worked hard to ensure that the families of the USS Roosevelt were prepared before during after the deployment. Throughout the deployment there was a number of activities that Kimberly organized and collaborate with the ship to ensure that the families stayed connected, some of these activities included, video messages to the sailors, a deployment brief for children, Christmas ornaments for sailors that are deployed. Kimberly has provided so much support for not only my family, but to all families of the command and installation. -- , Friend