Amber Heald

amber heald

Branch: Army

Duty Station: Fort-Knox

Number of Deployments: My husband has been deployed twice in our marriage, total of 4 throughout his career.

Number of PCS's: 4

About the nominee: I've been married to my husband for almost 11 years and together we have a 7-year old daughter. We are currently stationed at Fort Knox, where he is with the Mobile Support Battalion as a 79R. I not only dedicate my time homeschooling and caring for our daughter, but I've also dedicated my time to bring positive changes throughout the communities in USAREC. I am determined to find a way for everyone to be able to come together, despite our geographical dispersion within the USAREC organization.

Hobbies: Besides being a full-time wife and mom, I have to remember to keep my personal identity as well. Sadly, military spouses in general can easily lose themselves because this life style is overwhelming at times. I love watching a good movie or holding game nights while vegging out with my ladies. It's relaxing and always great for my well being to socialize.

Interesting Facts: Ive been honored to have been recognized a few times by several different Commands across USAREC. One of those award honors was from Major Gen. Allen Batschelet, prior to his retirement. Recognitions have included, dedicating my time to passionately supporting families throughout USAREC.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? I've learned to be positive about life. No matter where the military sends you, make the best of each area. If you don't advocate for families, nothing will change. Be a positive example for others. Always be humble and kind, as you never know another person's struggles.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? I've seen both sides, line unit and USAREC. Being on the USAREC side for a while now, I find the struggles are more challenging. Families do not have the proper resources that a line unit would have. Families aren't always near a base and lack information, such as Government Leased Housing. Families are brought into a culture shock experience. If our families aren't fully aware of the ins or outs of the USAREC organization, it can be a struggle.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? Being given the opportunity to move around and experience different parts of the country.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I would bring more awareness that families in USAREC need support. They need proper education on what their resources are and/or where they can find these resources. USAREC is its own world. It's honestly been great for my family, but my family won't have the same experience as the next. Finding a better way to get families the proper connections and support they deserve is what I would want to accomplish.

Reasons for nominating:

Amber is a force for families in the United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). Most families in USAREC are away from military installations so the resources and support they are use to having available are not always in place. Spouses and families sometimes feel alone and unsupported. Amber has done many things to bridge this gap to include co-starting and running a Facebook group (Spouses of USAREC Support Group) that provides information, resources, and support to spouses USAREC wide. Through the participation of members of this successful page, Amber has been able to fundraise for families in USAREC that had been affected by disasters such as the floods in Houston, fires in California, and Hurricane Irma. Amber also started and admins USAREC Family Support Training Facebook group, which provides motivation, information, and training to help FRG leaders and volunteers within USAREC. It is a lot more difficult to gain involvement and make connections within USAREC than it may be in most other commands because of the geological separation of families. Amber also successfully started a thriving FRG in Nashville BN, at Knoxville Company, that has become kind of model of how FRGs can be successful in USAREC. She planned monthly spouse events/meetups, retreats, baby showers, Holiday parties, Company organization family days, Giving back events, etc. She forged relationships between spouses that otherwise may have never been. Amber has even been asked by Battalion as well as Usarec HQ on several occasions to provide trainings on family support and use of social media to gain family support, etc. Amber is a HUGE advocator for USAREC families and this is just the beginning for all the positive changes she will surely be a part of in the near future. -- Sarah Dempsey , Fellow Military Spouse