Duty Station: Naval-CBC-Gulfport
Number of Deployments: 4
Number of PCS's: 4
About the nominee: I have been the wife of an active duty military member for the past 10 years. While I am proud of my husband and his service, I am also proud that I have been able to successfully (for the most part) balance the challenges of a career, family and military life. I have a doctorate degree in special education and I currently work as a full time faculty member at a university that serves a large population of veterans and their families. I have use my writing skills to obtain funding for military families by securing 500 Battalion Buddy Bears for my husband's deploying command as well as 75 holiday stockings sent to the command during an overseas deployment. I was featured in my universities newsletter for my volunteer work and in February will be part of a video series titled “More than a Spouse” presented by National Military Family Association where I share about my career journey.
Hobbies: While I am sure it isn't a hobby, I love to work. I went to school for a long time (10+ years) and my career as an educator and counselor is truly my passion. When I am not working I enjoy cooking (my favorite is my pot pie), running, and spending time at the beach. While I am sure it isn't a hobby, I love to work. I went to school for a long time (10+ years) and my career as an educator and counselor is truly my passion. When I am not working I enjoy cooking (my favorite is my pot pie), running, and spending time at the beach.
Interesting Facts: At our last duty station I got to hold a nurse shark that was swimming in our friend’s back yard! Key West was truly paradise.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? The unexpected can turn out great. I had never known anyone in the military before I met my husband and I had no idea what I was getting into. This was 10 years ago and I had a clear career path as a counselor, but after several PCS moves I realized I needed to reinvent myself professionally. I have since been able to find a remote position that allows me the flexibility to work from home and still advance in my profession. After marrying I moved from my hometown and while this was a huge change, I have realized from change comes growth. Surprisingly, I have learned to love to move (who would have thought?!?) and have had the opportunity to explore places I would have never otherwise.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Military families face so many major life stressors on a regular basis from moving, to being isolated from family/friends, to adjusting during a deployment, career related, and often financial strain. Assistance for spouses in obtaining education and finding a meaningful and portable careers is an important issue.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? The military community is hands down the absolute best! Our family has always been far away, but our military friends have truly become family. We have celebrated nearly every holiday and birthday with them, watched their kids grow, and reached milestones in life together as we became fast friends. Despite moving away, we still stay up to date. Not too long ago my daughter was asked to find someone in another state to take her "Flat Stanley" to work and we were able to name so many people and states that he could visit. It truly opened up my eyes how many friends we have scattered throughout. Even military spouses that I just meet we can usually find something in common. The other day I shared about never feeling more alone than PCSing and having to list an emergency contact and all my military friends were quick to agree. It is these unique challenges, that I think we can all bond over.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I hope to use my skills to advocate for the need for portal careers and a change in licensing for professional degrees.
Reasons for nominating:
Laura has been the wife of an active duty military member for the past 10 years, however her qualifications go beyond that. Laura currently works as a full time faculty member and in her role serves a large population of veterans and their families. As a spouse she is a model of being able to balance a career, a family and military life. She has used her professional skills to obtain funding for military families by securing 500 Battalion Buddy Bears for her husband's deploying command as well as 75 holiday stockings sent during an overseas deployment. Laura was featured in her universities newsletter for her volunteer work with the military population. Despite 4 deployments and multiple career roadblocks, Laura has been able to professionally advance while mentoring other spouses and in February will be part of a video series presented by the National Military Family Associations. -- Jenny Turner, Friend