It is such an honor for me to nominate Carol Herrick for Military Spouse of the Year. Carol is the Executive Director for Operation Homefront of Oklahoma AND Arkansas. Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. With Carol's assistnace and oversight, Operation homefront met 155,984 needs for military families, including active duty, Guard and Reserve members from all branches of service. Since its inception, Operation Homefront has provided more than $128 million dollars of funding to programs to benefit military families. Moreover, it has served more than 4,200 wounded warriors and their families.Until recently, she was the ONLY paid full-time employee. I have witnessed her work extremely hard with unmatched enthusiasm and passion to do all she can to help military families in need. She often sacrifices time with her own family to make sure other families are cared for by spending hours on the road and overnight stays in hotels. So many families have benefited financially and emotionaly because of Carol's desire to do what's right for those in need. I have watched her plan, coordinate and successfully manage: a statewide baby shower for expecting military spouses of deployed service members; several statewide "Back-to-School" Backpack Brigades; three Secret Santa workshops; a luncheon for deployed spouses; a retreat for spouses of wounded warriors and other events too numerous to mention in 500 words or less. She is always working on grants and actively searching for ways to involve local businesses in assisting our military families. Her sincere heart and willingness to go above and beyond for others is deserving of recognition, though she does not look for public praise and/or acknowledgment. Everyone who knows and interacts with Carol knows she would do what she does even if not paid. In addition to assisting others, she still deals with the life of a military spouse - wife and mother of two. Carol has been a motivator, encourager, mentor, confidant and support system for many. Our military community is a better place because of Carol Herrick. She is admired and appreciated by everyone who has been blessed to know her!
I am a 20 years + military spouse, married to my husband for almost 22 years. We are the very proud parents of two smart, funny, and talented teenagers. I am the Executive Director of Operation Homefront Oklahoma/Arkansas, which provides emergency financial and other assistance to military families and Wounded Warriors. I am grateful everyday for the opportunity to work with service members and their families. I appreciate their sacrifice, their commitment to our country, and their unwavering strength and resiliency. They are my "other" family.
build a team. We all have talents and skills that when leveraged with the skills and talents of others can really make a difference. I am stronger because of the people that are on my team-at home, at work, and in my military community.
My family. The Boston Red Sox. The OKC Thunder. Shoes.
People who hurt kids, animals, are unkind to the elderly, or refuse to try. Failure is okay, failure to try is not.
Three years ago, I had a amazing opportunity to run an organization that supported military service members, their families, and Wounded Warriors. It has been such an amazing experience! I hope my story will inspire other military spouses to pursue their dreams, and not let PCS moves, deployments, or any of the other challenges of military life prevent them from pursuing opportunities and growing into leadership roles. Military spouses are a talented, strong, dedicated group of people. I am honored to walk among them.
I would go back to the day before my grandmother died unexpectly, and spend the day with her. I will always be thankful for our last conversation, I just wish we had had a few more of them.
Resiliency, self-reliancy, and family readiness. We do spouses a disservice when we do not encourage them to make these three words as much a part of military life as LES, PCS, and TDY. Spouse empowerment and support should not be tied to deployment. By creating spouse mentorship programs, encouraging educational opportunities, and more effective marketing of training available, we can encourage and develop leaders in our community.