Cassandra Tatum

cassandra tatum

Branch: Navy

Duty Station: New-London-Naval-Submarine-Base

Number of Deployments: 3

Number of PCS's: 4

About the nominee: I am the mother of three children (12,5,5) and wife to a submariner. I currently go to school full time pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. I volunteer with COMPASS as a mentor for new spouses. I am currently vice-president of our local Chief Petty Officer Spouse Association. I am co-chairing the verbal auction for the Dolphin Scholarship Auction which raises money for a college scholarship awarded to family members of submariners. I am our command ombudsman as well as the Ombudsman Assembly Chairperson for our submarine base. I go to the gym all the time with my husband and we use that for our "us" time. I try to spend as much time as I can with my kids doing activities they enjoy doing, such as being outside, art, or board games. I am a fixer who loves to help people.

Hobbies: I love to read and be outside.

Interesting Facts: I can squat and dead-lift almost 300 pounds.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? I have learned how to be a strong advocate for myself and my family. This life brings about a lot of change and those changes do not always go smoothly.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? One of the most important issues that I have seen is the continuity of medical care for families. Every base is different and the available providers are different. There are many people who are on medications that have to be tracked, or that have children with special needs, etc. When we move and cannot get into the military treatment facility on our new base because a record was not transferred, it can make life extremely stressful. Overcoming these situations can be incredibly frustrating and it helps to know that there are others who have the same qualms. Those "survivors" are a vital link in passing on insight for where to turn or who to see. Currently, It's a vast network of spouses and professionals that band together out of necessity to weather these tough times. I would like to see that network and it's access solidify and continue to grow in both strength and size.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? One of the best parts of being a military family is the opportunities. We have the option to move and live in places that would not normally be open to us. We meet amazing people who become lifelong friends. We can see different cultures. These are just a few examples of experiences that are open to us as military families.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I would love to be able to help families utilize their resources and learn how to best advocate for their families. It is so important that we know how to navigate the system. If a new mom needs a counselor I want her to be able to find one. If a kid is struggling in school, I want him to find an outlet. It is a hard life we live with our spouse's schedules and travel, but we do it because we love our sailor. If I can help one family figure out an answer to their problem that I would consider that a win.

Reasons for nominating:

Cassandra is always willing to help a fellow military spouse, friend or family member. She is someone who truly cares about others. -- Christina Christensen, Family