Duty Station: Schofield-Barracks
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 2
About the nominee: I grew up in Arizona where I met my husband in high school. We got married and I moved to Hawaii with a couple of suit cases. I have 3 wonderful boys whose mission in life is to keep me on my toes. I am currently working on my degree in Elementary Education.
Hobbies: I love to be outdoors exploring. I enjoy hiking, going on treasure hunts with my boys, splashing around at the beach and taking in a beautiful sunset. I also love reading, crafting, being silly and teaming up with my husband to beat a video game.
Interesting Facts: I spent my summers living on a boat in California. I would take living on a sail boat on the ocean over a house on land any day.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? I have learned how important relationships are. I lean so much on my military community and friends for all kinds of support. I'vel learned to accept and ask for help when I need it and offer help when I can. This lifestyle is so much easier when we all work together.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? I think we can always do more to boost up our military kids. They go through so many confusing changes, having a parent constantly leaving or missing important events. They relocate, say bye to good friends, all while dealing with the stuggles of growing up. These kids have no choice but to be resilient. I think we need to always be working on ways to improve this military experiance for them.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? It's hard to choose just one. As difficult as it is to have my husband leave I appreciate the oppertunity I have to miss him. Not a lot of civilian families truely get to miss their significant other. You realize how deep and strong your love for another person is when you have to let them go for a peirod of time. I am able to notice and appreciate all the small things my husband does for our family when he is gone and I'm having to pick up the slack. We get to enjoy the lovey dovey honeymoon phase over and over. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? While there can always be more, there are some great programs out there for military families. I would love to get the word out and see more people taking advantage of these opportunities. I would strongly encourage military spouses and military families to get involved in their communities and participate in all of the great programs offered.
Reasons for nominating:
Samantha (Sam) Swerda is one of the most supportive military spouses I have had the pleasure of meeting. Sam is the true embodiment of strength, balancing her boys while her husband goes to the field and works long hours regularly. Sam's dedication to her solider doesn't stop with supporting her family, but she works to be a positive influence with spouses and provides support to other military spouses, regardless of distance. Sam's love, patience and understanding of military life is inspiring for all military spouses. -- Maria Mola, Fellow Military Spouse