Duty Station: Fort-Campbell
Number of Deployments: 2
Number of PCS's: 1
About the nominee: Hi, I’m Courtney a mom, Army wife, and business owner. My husband is an Army Chaplain and we are currently stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I have three daughters that we affectionately call the “A Team”- Allie, Audrie, and Abigale.
Hobbies: Maybe it’s the “nerd” or a result of my background in science, but I love doing experiments with my girls. Whether it’s making coke bottles explode with Mentos or digging up dinosaur bones in an excavation kit, I enjoy watching the girls learn through fun activities.
Interesting Facts: After several years of preparing and working as a biology teacher, I ended up doing something completely unrelated to my field by starting my own business – and I would not change it for the world. I love being a stay-at-home mom and raising my girls, and I enjoy building a business with my family.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Not everything is going to be perfect or go according to plan. My house is not always going to be clean, my kids are not always going to be dressed in their Sunday best, “pizza night” may happen more frequently than anticipated, and making long term plans can sometimes be wishful thinking – you just have to roll with it.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Keeping families together. Marriage is tough already and adding other factors like PCSing, deployments, or other military obligations doesn’t make it any easier. Keeping the family strong through times of adversity is essential. Military families have a unique set of circumstances, but we need to turn these circumstances into opportunities that make us stronger.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? It forces you to achieve more than you expected. I am not sure who said it first, but the quote that says something like, "you'd be surprised what can be done when it's got to get done," certainly applies to a military family.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I hope my story inspires other spouses or at least offers them a sense of empowerment to achieve what may seem impossible. Our unique set of circumstances do not preclude us from accomplishing more than what we could have imagined.
Reasons for nominating:
Subject: Proud Husband My name is Jason Spaeder, an Army Chaplain with the 5th Special Forces Group out of Fort Campbell, KY. I am currently deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve for the second time. As I sit down to write you this story, I am overjoyed knowing I get to tell you about the greatest woman on earth, who also happens to be my wife and best friend. While I will certainly be offering a biased opinion, I believe my wife’s story will be one of hope and encouragement for all military spouses. After the birth of our third daughter, Abigale, my wife and I made decision that she would stay home to raise our three girls: Allie, Audrie, and Abigale – whom we affectionately call our “A” team. My wife left a very successful career of ten years as a biology teacher in order to pursue what I consider to be an often undervalued role in our society, a-stay-at-home mother. Now, I know not every couple has this option, but I thank God we were afforded this opportunity. After a few years of successfully raising our girls and preparing them for the future the best way we knew how, my wife decides she wants to open a small business. Not because she felt like being a stay-at-home mother wasn’t enough, or that she needed to prove anything. She just had an idea and felt like she could make it work. Plus, as an educator, she felt like she could really teach the girls some very important life lessons by creating something rather than just teaching them from a book. She wanted to lead by example and show the girls what hard work and perseverance could achieve. While on my first deployment to Iraq, she tells me she wants to start a sign business. Trying to be a supportive husband I agreed, but I certainly had my reservations. Before joining the Army, I was self-employed and knew the demands of running your own business, but I did not want to discourage her. Here she is with three small children, a degree not related to business, and husband across the world and now she wants to start a business – not really the most ideal set of circumstances. Nevertheless, she made up her mind and took off. Before I knew it, she had formed an LLC with the help of local professionals, got a business license, a tax identification number, drew up a business plan, opened a business account, and was already contacting manufactures nationwide. A part of me was thinking, “gee, maybe I should leave more often”- but I quickly remembered that I am just a lucky guy who married an incredible woman. Despite all the challenges, my wife, Courtney, overcame every obstacle and is now the proud owner/operator of CurbCards – a custom sign rental company. Business is flourishing and she has even been approached on several occasions about licensing her business. I have included her website and Facebook page for more information about her business below. I do not know where this venture will lead, but I know that the old adage, “where there is a will, there is way” often holds true – at least it has for us. There is more information on her website: www.curbcards.com ; especially, on the “About Us” page. I am just really proud of my wife and thought her story would be one of inspiration to other spouses who are living the “crazy, wonderful military life.” Respectfully, Captain Jason Spaeder A Very Proud Husband www.CurbCards.com https://www.facebook.com/CurbCards/ -- Jason Spaeder, Family