Duty Station: Not-Affiliated-With-a-Duty-Station
Number of Deployments: 4
Number of PCS's: 6
About the nominee: I have been a military spouse for fourteen years. I was an Air Force spouse for almost six years, during which I became a new mother. That marriage ended in divorce while enduring a difficult deployment. I enrolled in college to pursue a career that would provide for my daughter. In 2009, a year after graduation, I married a longtime friend and wonderful man who was serving in the United States Army and once again became a military spouse. We have been married now for eight years and have four incredible children between us. Becoming a military spouse a second time was not part of my plan and the anxiety of being a military spouse again was overwhelming. Immediately after our wedding, the spouses in my husband's new unit warmly welcomed and encouraged me to join their team and become involved with the battalion. It was during my time with these ladies that I fell in love with being a military spouse and the wonderful families within that battalion. The support that I received became the baseline of care I wanted to pass on to each spouse I meet. My gratitude for the service of those spouses encourages me to seek out volunteer opportunities to help military families as often as possible. I have continued to serve with my husband throughout our eight years together. As an Army spouse I have served two Family Readiness Groups, two neighborhood Bible studies, two years within the Protestant Women of the Chapel, three years with Very Merry Military Minis (providing holiday pictures to deployed spouses), two years as a Battalion FRG Advisor, one year serving military homeschool children, and an emergency contact for schools/daycares for new spouses (even if we've only "met" thru Facebook). Throughout my years of volunteering I have been awarded the Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; recognized as a 3rd Infantry Division â€œStar of the Marneâ€ with a Brigade Certificate of Appreciation; 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division Brigade Certificate of Appreciation; 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Battalion Certificate of Appreciation; the National Infantry Association's Shield of Sparta â€“ Heroine of the Infantry; and the Texas State Governor's â€œYellow Rose of Texasâ€ in recognition of the volunteerism of exceptional Texas women.
Hobbies: I enjoying reading, volunteering, traveling, teaching my kids, moving, moving, and more moving.
Interesting Facts: I wrote for my tiny town's newspaper from grades 5 thru 12 and dreamed of becoming a journalist. One day I'd love to write a book.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Be a friend. As the military churns families through neverending PCS cycles, it is crucial for military spouses to provide support and encouragement for each other. From post to post, we have the privilege of meeting courageous spouses who suffer the turmoil of losing support networks. Whether during an initial entry assignment or after years of service, it is so important for spouses to reach out and find "battle buddies" who provide sure footing. At times, I have been the one in the trench who has needed a hand up. During those times I have discovered the strength and tools needed to help the families to the left and right of me make it through difficulties.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Community. Our families need genuine relationships to thrive in the military. The advantages of connectivity spouses have through social media provide a wide range of resources, however, this access does not always translate into relationships. Mentorship, accountability, encouragement, and care are essential to the success of military spouses and their family.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? The extraordinary people who have become a part of our family. At each duty station, our family has grown. Our neighbors, our military sisters/brothers have all become dear to our hearts. We've spent holidays together when neither could afford a trip home, we've been the middle of the night emergency backup plan. We've cooked, cleaned, laughed, cried, grieved, and gathered at the parade field hours upon hours to welcome home each other's Soldier. Together, we share a bond deeper than blood that perseveres beyond time and distance.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I would love to encourage spouses to invest in each other and within their communities by embracing the pride that comes from serving our Soldier, our families, our communities, and our country.
Reasons for nominating:
Hollye is an outstanding military wife and friend! She will go out of her way to make sure other families have their needs met whether in good times or bad. She is willing to go against the flow and step out of her comfort zone with a smile! -- Julia Feild, Friend