Branch: Air Force
Duty Station: Ramstein-Air-Base
Number of Deployments: 10
Number of PCS's: 7
About the nominee: I’m a proud Christian husband, dedicated father and a veteran. My family is my priority and purpose. Given that the men and women of the military are my brothers and sisters in arms, I got a big family! I enjoy exploring and doing anything that has to do with the outdoors and I try to find or apply humor as often as I can.
Hobbies: Anything outside Photography Reading Learning about this horse I just got for my wife and daughter for Christmas
Interesting Facts: An interesting fact about myself is that I am in fact interesting.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? I have been on both sides of this spectrum now, and I know how things work or more accurately how they’re supposed to work. I try to use that knowledge when looking for solutions for the people I’ve helped. However I have learned that ALL sides and aspects of the military family sacrifice a large amount- albeit in different ways- and family members may never know the depth or importance of said sacrifice.. I’ve also learned that everyone has a story, and the majority of folks enjoy telling it. For example, Where their “originally” from, how many kids, places they’ve visited or wisdom from lessons learned. We just have to be listening- or willing to listen. It’s a small Air Force, it’s surprising who you meet or what you have in common with someone that was a stranger just a few moments ago.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Communication skills. It all boils down to that.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? My family’s military service dates back to the Spanish American War. It’s an unspoken obligation, of which we willing to do. To give back to something greater than ourselves. My combat related injuries ended my active duty military service, but it kickstarted my military spouse service. It’s not at all the same “service” as active duty, but I’m committed to it just the same. As are my children. We all contribute in some little way to make things better than they used to be. Like my old man used to say “nothing good comes easy”. I think that’s one of the best aspects of being in a military family. It’s by far easy; but man is it good!
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? Oh I don’t know, this was a bit of a surprise to be nominated in the first place. I don’t feel I quite fit the mold, ya know? But maybe that’s a good thing once in a while. We just got here in Sept 2017, so we’re new and hope to make this an extended tour. With this title or not, I plan to uplift my community’s veterans via my education and training in a myriad of ways and plug in with other “Dude dependents” as I call them or a Facebook group I recently was accepted into called “Dependabros of the KMC” and look to bridge any gaps, either legit or perceived, from the traditional military spouse perspective. I wish to remove stigma or doubt from men that may struggle with a sense of purpose from post military service. Or to lessen the anxiety from the stressors or being a parent, because kids don’t come with an operation manual, I know mine didn’t! It’s not just men going off to war anymore, it’s amazing women like my wife that push the Air Force mission everyday without hesitation. I fully support her. It’s almost like a role reversal, in the eyes of societies norms anyway. Although this transition was necessary for us, it wasn’t easy at first and I have learned a lot from it. The Military Spouse of the Year title will be a tremendous honor, of which I would not take halfheartedly. However I don’t need the title to create the changes I wish to influence for Dude defendants, I am becoming and agent of change, if you will, and teaming up with like minded parents to make things better today than they were yesterday. Perhaps the title will put me closer to policy makers so I can share with them this insight and create alternative options or lines of communication. Plus, it just sounds awesome!
Reasons for nominating:
Too many to list it seems! But here’s a few bullet statements: He places our family’s needs above his own He’s always helping people with something. Especially fellow veterans that we’re strangers but within minutes he’s making inquiries within his networks trying to find answers for them and ease their struggles. He even stays up late because of the time difference back home when people reach out to him for guidance and support. He never asks for anything in return or any special recognition, he just goes about his days and only focuses on himself after helping as much as he can. He’s Very selfless and humble He recently graduated from USC with his Masters in Social Work and he uses those skills to help people like it’s a job- but he’s just trying to help He is in the process of becoming a key spouse He has embraced what he calls “Dad Duty” since his separation from AD head on, and maintains safety and stability during my multiple TDYs and deployments. It seems I could go on and on, and I don’t know what all goes into this package but I assure you that Aaron is most deserving of this honor. Thanks for your time. -- Nikki Evenson, Family