Duty Station: Fort-Myer
Number of Deployments: 7
Number of PCS's: 2
About the nominee: I have 3 beautiful children ages 15, 13, and 9. Been married to my husband for 15 years and have been part of the FRG since 2002. Grew up as a military brat and has always been part of the military community.
Hobbies: Anything that has to do with Volunteering and hanging out with the family.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Being a military spouse I learned that I am stronger than I thought. During my husbands first deployment back in 2002 I had to play both roles of mom and dad to our then 6 month old son. The second deployment in 2003 was even harder because I gave birth to our daughter while he was deployed. After the second deployment it got easier for me to cope with my husband not always being around. I gave birth to 2 of our children without my husband being by my side because of deployments. So for that I am saying being a military spouse has made me into a stronger person.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? The most important issues facing military families is stress among the children and the spouses while their service member is away for a long period of time. Also I believe PTSD is the biggest and most important issue with military families. The service member may not be willing to admit they have a problem with PTSD nor are they willing to get checked or treated for it.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? Traveling to different places and meeting new people.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? With the MSOY title I would like to show everyone that being a military spouse is a pivotal part of the military career. We don't wear rank but we build a strong bond between the sisterhood and brotherhood of being a military spouse.
Reasons for nominating:
I nominate Melissa Engler as candidate in the running for our base's MSOY because of her dedication and quiet accomplishments both within our JBM-HH community and the NCR as a whole. Not only is Melissa a outstanding mom, a community volunteer, an advocate for several platforms and issues such as volunteering and EFMP, she is also the FRG leader for HHC 1/3 Company, The Old Guard. She has single handedly engaged several spouses within her husband's unit to take an active role and ownership in their family readiness group by engaging in many activities used to empowered spouses to take advantage of opportunities that promoted well being and personal development, which was not an easy thing to do in this day and age. Through her active roles as the company's FRG leader and as a community volunteer, Melissa has brought to this unit and to JBM-HH several years of experience and dedication to improving the quality of life for others both in and outside the JBM-HH community. Just recently, Melissa and her husband, 1SG Kevin Engler, were at a well known restaurant when they saw a school bus drive up with special needs high schoolers. The students proceeded inside where more than half sat behind them at a table while the others went up to order their food. Melissa and Kevin both noticed that some students had the "free paper bag lunch", which included just a PB&J sandwich and an apple. After speaking to one of teachers, Melissa and Kevin purchased lunches for the kids who don't have money for their lunch. The high school students were so happy and some in tears with joy because they said they never had restaurant food because they just couldn't afford it. Small, quiet, and acts of kindness and consideration such as this is what Melissa is famous for. This one small act alone changed the lives of others in less than a moment. So I can proudly say that this nomination is a nod to the many other acts of generosity and kindness that have gone unnoticed that Melissa has done since her arrival at JBM-HH. She is definitely worthy of this nomination and of our gratitude for being a role model for others, who would like emulate her actions by taking care of the needs of others. -- Carla Moss, Friend