Duty Station: Fort Drum
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 4
About the nominee: I am an Army Wife and mother of three amazing children. I am a work at home mom. I am also a student, studying Communications at The University of Maryland University College. I obtained an Associate of Arts Degree with a Spanish background in 2015 and I expect to complete my Bachelors by May of 2018. I am an avid volunteer in the military community. Currently, I volunteer as a Family Readiness Group Leader within the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade. I am also the Volunteer Coordinator for The North Country Spouses Club. I have written for military lifestyle blogs such as Milso Box and Soldiers Wife Crazy Life. My first book My Thoughts Abandoned was released in 2017. The Bautista Project, a custom design company I own, is known for giving back to the local community. We donate 10% of all our profits to the production of items for the homeless community.
Hobbies: Writing is definitely my favorite thing to do! I love volunteering in my free time as well, whether it is for an organization on post or in my local community.
Interesting Facts: I love spending time and talking to people who are homeless. I think that everyone has a story to be told and a lot of times, their stories go unheard because of their less than desirable living situation. I always wonder how someone gets to that point in their life and what I can do to help them move forward.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? I learned that being open minded is the most valuable asset you have as a military spouse. You can only see the world and the beauty therein if your eyes and your mind are open!
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? The most important issue facing Military families is the lack of financial literacy. I believe that all Soldiers should be trained more in depth about the importance of their financial well being. I also believe that spouses should be offered more interactive, consistent, and real life compatible financial instruction.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? The best aspect of being a military family is that our bond comes solely from the love we share. Not from our home, or our town because those things can change in a instant. The separation between us can sometimes reach thousands of miles, but our bond remains unbroken.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I would love to use my platform to establish more on post training for spouses, including financial literacy and vocacational training. We as military spouses have so much to offer this world but often do not know how or are afraid to step outside of our own comfort zone. I want to teach spouses to take advantage of the world around them, wherever that may be!
Reasons for nominating:
Marla Bautista is a military spouse who is very driven. She has many volunteer hours serving in the community as well within the military. She is very outgoing and is always for the soldier and their spouses. She is also an FRG leader as well as the volunteer coordinator for the North Country Spouses club. She takes pride in helping soldier members and their families. She has a successful business which includes giving back to the homeless community with it's profits. Marla Bautista continues to drive for mission success. -- Ulisses Bautista, Family
I met Marla at both our husband's first duty stations at Schofield Barracks Hawaii. That was over 8 years ago and ever since then I've watched her grow through tragedy, overcome in many situations most would crumble under and do it with a smile on her face and joy in her heart. She's the mother of 3 beautiful children and the wife to a soon to be E6 who's a Geospatial Engineer. She's a published author and currently working on some new books, has been an FRG leader, the writer and editor of 70th Engineer Company newsletter, has served in the prison ministry at Coleman Barracks military prison in Germany, has on record over 1000 hours of community service hours and countless more not recorded and has received more than 2 dozen awards for her outstanding ability to love, give and support others. She recently received her Associates degree in Oct 2016 and will be receiving her BA in Communications in Jan 2018. Her accomplishments on paper only show what she's been acknowledged for but she also has spent her own finances and have made and handed out hundreds of "blessing bags" to the homeless as she has a love for people and a compassion for people less fortunate then herself. The amazing thing is she's done this with her husband on many TDYs and trainings, an active autistic son with many of hours of therapy, a two year old and a sassy 4 year old little girl. But never forgetting about her heart and focus on God and His mission for her. So many people have benefitted from Marla's heart to give, support and fight through life's hardships. She is the very definition of an Army wife because as her husband fights for this country she's made a habit of fighting for the forgotten, overlooked and invisible. She deserves more than this award because she has empowered herself, me as a friend and sister and has touched hundreds if not thousands of other people. Her generosity is without comparison. -- Addiana Paul, Friend