Duty Station: Eglin-AFB
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 3
About the nominee: I am 34 years old and grew up in a family with Air Force roots as my dad was a C-130 pilot. I met my husband in Savannah, GA when he had just gotten back from a deployment to Iraq. My husband and I met in Savannah while he was stationed at Fort Stewart. Soon after we wed, I volunteered as the Treasurer for the squadron. He received orders to Fort Benning for MCCC where I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the spouses' course as we discussed many ways to interact with families and activities for family bonding. I also made lifelong friends in this setting at the Career Course. General McMaster's wife came to the class one day and explained to us the importance of spouses in the military and shared her experiences. It was a great moment to recognize the opportunity of mentoring younger spouses as they entered the military family. We moved to Fort Bragg following this for my husband to attend the Q-Course for Special Forces. I continued to nanny for families in the area while we lived at Fort Bragg and work towards my nursing degree. We moved to the Eglin Air Force Base area when my husband got stationed at the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) compound. I quickly became involved with the Charlie Company Family Readiness Group as well as assisted in organizing fundraisers for the Battalion. Within a few months of volunteering as the FRG Leader for Charlie Company, I joined an amazing group of women known as the Steel Magnolias. Our incredible Red 7 Steel Mags take part in caring for the families of Green Berets as well as working hand-in-hand with the Green Beret Foundation. Our group has organized multiple fundraisers such as shooting competitions, a bone marrow drive for a wife in my husband's Battalion, and a motorcycle poker run to raise funds and awareness for Green Berets who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. This past year, I organized a diaper drive for the Hurricane Harvey victims. I have a very soft spot for children so when I learned that disaster relief funds do not cover the cost of diapers, I organized a diaper drive. The drive was intended to just fill the back of my jeep and I would ship it out to Houston. I ended up collecting multiple baby items, wipes, diapers, baby toys, unused breast pumps, new pacifiers, bottles, and various baby items. We filled five shipping pallets and had them shipped out on a tractor-trailer. I graduated with my Associates in Nursing this last summer just before my husband deployed and I am currently working towards my Bachelor's in Nursing. I enjoy the time with our families in the Battalion as well as with our team wives. I strongly believe in the family concept of the military. I was told early on that Special Forces is a "family business" and I strive to help uphold this concept in activities whether it be on the team level, Family Readiness event, or Steel Magnolia event.
Hobbies: I love working with children and enjoy my time as a nanny. I am a Registered Nurse, currently working towards my Bachelor's degree in Nursing, and am planning to work in Pediatrics. I thoroughly enjoy planning events and spending time with our 7th Group Steel Magnolia women as well as our team wives during all times of the year! When time slows down a bit, I enjoy spending time at home with my husband and our two dogs: Gabriel, a Cane Corso, and Jax, a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Interesting Facts: My interest in Pediatric nursing stems from time I spent in hospitals as a child following multiple abdominal surgeries. I saw how much the nurses did to care for me as well as for my parents and I have felt that that is where my career field is meant to be.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Something I have learned about from being a military spouse is that it is best to write plans in pencil. Days and events are never promised to go as planned but resiliency and a positive outlook can get you through a day, a week, or a deployment!
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? A permanent change of station creates its own stress such as a new area to become familiar with, a new home, a new job for the service member, and in many cases, new schools for the children. This is an event that non-military families experience very few times during their lives for the most part. As military families, whether fond of re-locating or not, this is our reality. The aforementioned considerations are enough to stress any family out, but there are some additional stress factors that many military families find themselves concerned about that could be improved upon. Child Development Center availability can be a brick wall for many families as they begin looking for childcare. Often times, there is a waiting list to be accepted into these programs. This shortage can result in families having to locate and access a less convenient option for child care. This can impact the ability of the military spouse to find a job nearby to allow them to manage schedules. Spouse job opportunities is an issue that will always have room for improvement as the career fields continue to evolve. I believe that spouses would be more eager to seek jobs if they had options of working from home as that would create career mobility. Another issue that could be tackled is the choice of schools for children in a new area. Scouting out the best school district can often be a headache for a newcomer. Often times, with each move, parents seek information on where the best school districts are located. I feel that by continuing to build the quality of education provided by Department of Defense schools, they will continue to be competitive with local schools therefore attendance to a DoD school becomes a more viable option for families. By attending DoD schools, children will also be attending class with children who can relate to their military lifestyle which can be stressful for children. Minimizing the stress created for families during these periods of transition would greatly improve the quality of life overall.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? One of the best aspects of being in a military family is that, no matter where you go, you will have a family. Moving multiple times across the country and uprooting your life over and over once you and your family have made close friendships can be stressful. The excitement of moving can translate into the excitement of meeting new people and having new experiences. The military is a small world therefore you never know when you may cross paths with old friends again!
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I believe that the title of Military Spouse of the Year is a true reflection of one's enthusiasm and dedication to military families and the military lifestyle. I would hope to accomplish spreading the enthusiasm and optimism as well as opportunities that the military life can offer. A person who carries the title of Military Spouse of the Year would have had the support and encouragement of his or her family and fellow military spouses over their time as a military spouse. With this in mind, I would hope that the Military Spouse of the Year would continue to encourage and support new spouses as they join the military family as well as strengthen bonds with current spouses.
Reasons for nominating:
Mrs. Tobin is an exemplary military spouse. She always goes out and beyond to help those in need whether it be in her community or spouses in the military community. Mrs. Tobin volunteers at the local Ronald McDonald, volunteers with the local Steel Magnolias chapter, set up a diaper run/donation when Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico, she was previously a Company FRG Leader and this year became a Battalion's FRG Leader. Mrs. Tobin is always ready to assist and do whatever it may take to get the task done. She is a true representation of what a military spouse should be and most are. Please consider her for MSOY. -- Yoly Rodriguez, Fellow Military Spouse