Branch: Air Force
Duty Station: Eielson-AFB
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 3
About the nominee: My wife and I got married when I graduated undergrad in 2004. We were married for 6 years before she joined the Air Force. In supporting my wife thus far in her career I have worked as a Police Officer, Stay at Home Dad, Car Salesman, and as a Security Specialist for the Air Force. I am willing to do whatever my family needs me to do in order for us have a successful tour at whatever duty station we are at. At the same time I find myself enjoying every location we have been to, there is no point in focusing on the negative things at each duty station, for example...if all I focused on while being at Eielson was the -40 degree winters I would miss out on the Northern Lights, fat tire biking on frozen rivers, ice fishing, and also not appreciate the stunning Alaska summers we have that are perfect for camping, hiking, and being outside with the 23 1/2 hours of daylight.
Hobbies: Being involved with Team Red White and Blue (Team RWB), a National Veteran Service Organization, camping, competing in triathlons, vlogging, cycling, running, interviewing other military spouses for my PodCast, weightlifting, photography, and showing my girls that having an active lifestyle can be fun!
Interesting Facts: I'm a band nerd. I was in marching band, drum line, from the time i was in 6th grade to my sophomore year of college. I continued playing drums in the church my wife and I attended at the time (prior to her joining the military) and also for a Southern Rock Band in Natchitoches Louisiana. Music is a passion of mine, one that I hope to pass on to my daughters.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? How nothing is ever really in my control, and thats ok.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? The uncertainty of our elected officials to do what we ask of them, and what they have promised. We have seen time and time again, that military benefits are up for debate every time a new bill is passed. Everything from receiving pay checks on time, BAH, retirement, health care coverage/cost during retirement, education benefits, etc... These are all things our spouses are promised will be given to them when they sign up to serve but each year they become less of a guarantee.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? The feeling of closeness you develop with other military families. Being in a military family you form bonds with other military families that can not be explained. They happen very quickly and often times without you realizing they are forming. These bonds are invaluable during times such as extended TDYs and/or deployments when we are left without our spouses, or the ability to have family come in to assist us during these times. Our extended military family is always there to help in difficult times.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? To bring awareness to the growing number of male military spouses and the unique views we have in contributing to the military spouse community. I feel that male military spouses tend to disconnect from spouse groups because they feel that the groups only want to do things that female spouses want to do. I hope to show male military spouses that by becoming more involved they can in fact enact the change they are waiting to see, and they will be happier with the outcome by being the ones to be involved in that change.
Reasons for nominating:
Mike is an amazing guy. He's gone out of his way to welcome new spouses to our cold Alaskan base. He also does a lot with Team RWB, which is a veteran group that does a ton for the local community. Mike is always participating in base functions, helping where he can, all while working full time for the base, while his wife has been deployed. His two daughters show what an amazing man and military spouse he is. -- Jason Wysong, Fellow Military Spouse