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Scarlet Q. Turpin

Branch: Navy

Duty Station: Pensacola-NAS

Number of Deployments: 3

Number of PCS's: 4

About the nominee: I'm originally from Colombia. I'm 39 years old. I have a degree on business administration from a University in Colombia. A mutual friend introduced me to who is my husband now, and I moved to the US because of him. I've been marry for 12 years. My husband has been in the Navy for almost 19 years. He is an instructor at NATTC Pensacola. We have 3 boys ages 10, 8 and 3. I am a stay at home mom. I created and run a facebook play date group for military families here in Pensacola. The group has 587 members as of today. I host lots and lots of play dates, coffee meet ups, moms night out, and that has created an informal environment for military families to interact and make connections. I started it in May 2014, a few months after we PCS here. I used the group's page also to share information about events hosted by MWR, fleet and Family, the USO, etc, as information about family friendly events happening around town. I love to help and this group has giving me the opportunity to do so and get back to the community. I know that there are a lot of mommy facebook groups around, and I joined a few before I created mine. I realized how intimidating it is to give the first step in attending an event with strangers. That many of those groups have limitations on number of members, or about the age of the child. That some charge a fee, or the are strict about rules about attendance. I wanted to offer something more relaxed. Open to all military families of any branch, with kids of any age. I've been dedicating a lot of my time to it. I feel people's appreciation for doing so, and I have have the blessing of meeting a lot of wonderful people through it.

Hobbies: As a stay at home mom of 3, I don't have many hobbies, haha... Them and my commitment to the play date group keeps me busy. I do like to set events and make crafts for games or decorations, etc. That count as a hubby, right?

Interesting Facts: Ummm... not sure if there is anything others would consider interesting about myself. I'm just a regular stay at home mom doing what I can to keep the house together while raising our 3 boys, and trying to give back to the military community in the meantime. I enjoy painting and crafts... thinking about eventually open a business selling shirts and signs. By the way, I think going to business school had helped me plan and organize the events I host with my group. Believe it or not I'm very shy. I don't like to speak in public since my English is not perfect, (surely my grammar is a reflection of it and I apologize). I like to think my accent is not as strong as Sofia Vergara's though. Hehehe.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Patience. Also to be flexible. Make long time plans doesn't work in this lifestyle. Also that you have to create a village to survive.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Budget cuttings. That affects all aspects of the military life. From the uncertainty of your husband maintaining his job, to housing allowance, to children's education, health benefits, wages, etc. I also think that even though the social media provides a most effective flow of information, there are still gaps. Especially for those living outside of base. It's hard to rely on the active duty spouse to provide the information and some spouses doesn't know of the existence of a ombudsman or the resources offer on base through MWR, Fleet and Family Support Center, the Navy-Marine corps relief society, etc. That gap is what I'm trying to cover. I do host play dates, but I also share lots of useful information in the group also offering a space for networking, meet people, make friends... create a village! A military life style can be a very lonely one sometimes. It's easier to face all the challenges ahead of you if surrounded by people you can trust.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? you learn to appreciate the time in family. To make it a quality time because quantity is small sometimes. I also like to visit places, make friends all over and serve the community.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? My focus would be in the military children and also in stay at home moms. I know how hard and intimidating can be to relocate and start over every few years. I know the toll it takes in the children. It is really hard to connect with people, make new friends and create a village. I would continue creating informal opportunities for spouses to connect and for children to interact, so the transition after PCSing can be a smooth one. I know military programs have done an amazing job offering a few opportunities for the military community for recreation but I feel that spouses at home need more to occupied their time and more opportunities for their children to socialized as well. A variety of events that includes on base and off base residents and children of any age.

Reasons for nominating:

Her husband will be retiring soon. I think that this would be amazing to give as a final thanks for both of their service throughout the years. -- Luz Irizarry, Military-Spouse

Scarlet tirelessly coordinates a military family "play group" for Moms and Dads in Pensacola. She finds activities to do, organizes big events (up to 300 people!), complete with games for all ages, photo booths, food etc. She keeps our calendar full and is the best social coordinator I've ever met. She deserves an award for bringing the military spouse community together and helping newcomers and veterans alike feel connected to other spouses. -- Astrid Crandall, Military-Spouse

Scarlet voluntarily runs a local Pensacola play group for military families but she does so much more than that. She is a local resource goldmine! She is always available to all spouses to answer questions, help coordinate events and over the last few years she has brought together dozens of moms and children in a community of positive uplifting and fun family atmospheres! She has taken the time to get to know the Pensacola area and everything it has to offer so when a new member comes along she know exactly where to direct people. I have personally attended couponingg classes, play dates, pottery making & in a time when you are in transition or settling into a new place, as we often do, it's great to know there are other women waiting and ready to help in any way. Scarlet has a positive attitude, she is kind, gracious and goes above and beyond to make sure families and their children are included in local events and the events she puts together are. Itching short of awesome! Holiday parties, birthdays, play dates for all ages and even mom's night outs! Proud to call her a friend:) -- Sarah Zurheide, Friend

She is an amazing woman that has brought together a number of military and local women. -- Jennifer Aicher Powell, Colleague

She does amazing work arranging play dates for military families and updating the Facebook page with info about activities in the Pensacola area. She works hard, for no compensation. -- Catherine, Military-Spouse

Selflessly gives her time running s military family playgroup and welcoming new people to Pensacola -- Caitlin Williams , Friend

Scarlet voluntarily runs a local Pensacola play group for military families but she does so much more than that. She is a local resource goldmine! She is always available to all spouses to answer questions, help coordinate events and over the last few years she has brought together dozens of moms and children in a community of positive uplifting and fun family atmospheres! She has taken the time to get to know the Pensacola area and everything it has to offer so when a new member comes along she know exactly where to direct people. I have personally attended couponingg classes, play dates, pottery making & in a time when you are in transition or settling into a new place, as we often do, it's great to know there are other women waiting and ready to help in any way. Scarlet has a positive attitude, she is kind, gracious and goes above and beyond to make sure families and their children are included in local events and the events she puts together are. Itching short of awesome! Holiday parties, birthdays, play dates for all ages and even mom's night outs! Proud to call her a friend:) -- Sarah Zurheide, Friend

Scarlet does a lot for our military spouses community. She works hard setting up play dates and posting about events going on in the area. -- Amanda Kessler, Friend

She runs a mommy group for families. She's even made adjustments for stay at home dads to come to events and made them feel comfortable. She puts on an event every holiday and just uses her own creativity and money to make games for everyone to play. Two years in a row she's done a big Christmas event and gotten a Santa arranged. This year I think the Halloween party was close to 75 people probably at least. She arranged everything then just asked for people to bring a dish to share. Scarlet opens her home on rainy days for play dates, she helped collect things for a dad who's wife died right after giving birth to her twin girls. She was really good friends with that lady too, and was grieving but knew she wanted to help the family and acted fast on getting donations and starting a gofundme page. For the Easter party she asked a friend who has a farm to host an event and set all that up too. Scarlet also goes to great lengths of getting every website possible for local events and spreads the news on the Facebook page Mil Family Play Dates. She's constantly helping everyone who's new in town meet each other and directing them if they need assistance with certain things on the base or out in town. My husband has even said that she knows more and does more for all the spouses than any of the offices on base who are designed to do these things. I feel honored to know her and call her my friend. She is amazing. -- Kimberly Kerrigan , Friend

Scarlet has provided all military families living in the Pensacola area (NAS, Naval Hospital and Corry Station) with information on what to do with kids in the area. She keeps us informed on events in town, on base and makes play dates on her own. She has hosted Halloween parties, Christmas parties and too many play dates at parks to count. Scarlet is the only spouse in the whole area that I am aware of that runs a Facebook group for all military to follow. Scarlet works with people on base to get us moms special hours to do things together. One example the base pool, we were able to go as a group for a couple hours at the end of summer to the pool before it opened. Scarlet runs to the welcome centers and post the information on her page about what is going on in town. I firmly believe that if scarlet had not taken it upon herself to get information to all the military families, many of us would not have enjoyed our time in Pensacola as much as we have. There is nothing more depressing then moving to a new place with no friends , your kids with no friends and not knowing where to start on your own. Scarlet has at least one thing posted a week. New businesses opening that are kid friendly, a park play date, things that are free that are going on. Scarlet has even taken the time to put on the Facebook page all places to eat that are kid friendly, places to eat that have play areas, things to do when it is raining or cold outside, things to do when it is nice outside. I always notice that Scarlet responds on the spouse pages also with good information and is always inviting people to join her Facebook page to make friends. I think many people feel the same way as I do about Scarlet. She introduces herself with a big smile on her face and makes you feel welcome, like things are going to be ok at this duty station. I have Scarlet to thank for the friends I have made out here and the memories I have made with her and from her suggestions as things to do. I really appreciate that she makes things family friendly and if dad can make it along he doesn't feel like he doesn't belong. -- Colleen Redmond, Military-Spouse

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