Melissa Wood

Branch: National-Guard

Duty Station: Utah

Number of Deployments: 4

Number of PCS's: 0

About the nominee: My name is Melissa Wood and I live in Layton, Utah. I have been married for almost 16 years to a wonderful, supportive, and loving man that is a member of the Utah Air National Guard-MSgt. Kyle Wood. I am also a mother to three beautiful children: Noah, 14 years old; Bella, 10 years old; and Kyla, 5 years old. I am a First Grade Teacher at a school located in Riverdale, Utah where I was named Teacher of the Year in 2014. I am in my eighth year of teaching and I love it!! I love seeing my little kiddos learn and grow through the year!! I also love being part of my school community. I am the Teacher Representative for our Parent Volunteer Committee, the ELL Grade Level Teacher, and recently was given the opportunity to help mentor a few teachers within the school I teach at.

Hobbies: I love to travel, shop, garden, and craft!!

Interesting Facts: I was named Teacher of Year for the 2013-2014 school year. It was one of the biggest honors I have ever received-knowing that parents, students, and my peers, nominated me.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Communication is key!! My husband and I have been through four deployments, an extended trip for nine months in another state, and many other small trips. If we could not communicate with one another, our marriage would not be as strong as it is!!

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? I think an important issue facing military families currently is the unknown going into a new presidential administration. Benefits? Pay? Status of world affairs? Overall status of the military to current administration? For me this in not a for or against our current president it is more about what will happen now and how can my family prepare.

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 strong bond and resilience my family has learned because of the military. My husband and I have a strong marriage because of our communication through deployments and trips. Our family has learned to adapt quickly to situations that arise at a moments notice or for future situations. We stick together through thick and thin and support each other in our struggles and our greatest moments even when part of our family is on the other side of the world.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I am the Key Volunteer for my husband’s unit in the Utah Air National Guard. Being a family in the National Guard is a little different than that of an active duty family. National Guard families does not always have to deal with the many TDY's, deployments, and day in and day out of military life. Their military member may have another full time job so when they have to leave their family for the weekend, month, or extended periods of time it can be a stress on the family. Families are not always familiar with the resources available to them and where to find them. These families do not always have the bond that active duty military families form because they do not move all the time or live near each other. As a key volunteer, I have been trying to plan events where families in our unit can come together to meet one another and build bonds, and keep them informed about things that may affect them as a military family. My hope and goal with the Military Spouse of the Year title would be to build awareness!! Awareness of the resources available to families and to help build bonds within our military circles so that when our military members deploy or travel, we know we are not alone.

Reasons for nominating:

Melissa has been a military spouse for almost sixteen years. She is the mother of 3 children and a full time first grade teacher. Her family is always her most important priority. Her husband Msgt. Kyle Wood has been on many deployments and she supports him to the fullest. So much so that she has become the Key Volunteer for his unit. She has organized fundraisers and many other activities to support all of the families in the unit. Her selfless acts have helped to keep the unit families moral uplifted and feeling as though there is always someone there to lend an ear. Her commitment to the unit is as strong and selfless as you could ever ask of anyone in her position. The positive attitude she brings with her in all aspects of her personal, professional, and volunteer life are of the utmost admirable example of what it means to be a military spouse. Melissa Wood would be an outstanding military spouse of the year for the reasons listed above and the too many more to list. -- Missy Patane, Friend

Melissa is one of the most selfless people I know. Not only is she a mother of three wonderful children, she's a teacher, friend and she is very active in her husbands unit. She's always willing to help and shows up with a warm cup of coffee, a smile and a hug. She is always willing to go above and beyond what is expected and is warm & inviting to anyone who crosses her path. As a teacher she evokes what it is to love your profession and the children she teaches, she cares deeply and is always available in regards to her students. As a wife and mother she is the epitome of a military wife. Her husband has been deployed many times and she always forges through with a smile and love for her family. I couldn't think of anyone more deserving. -- Maggie Miller, Friend