Shelia Brookins

shelia brookins

Branch: National Guard

Duty Station: Kentucky

Number of Deployments: 1

Number of PCS's: 1

About the nominee: I am the proud wife of a Kentucky National Guard (KYARNG) soldier. We have been blessed to raise a squadron over the years and we are all the better for them. Team Brookins consist of: 3 sons ages 31, 27, & 16; 3 daughters 27, 24, & 20; we raised two sisters now 34 and 29; and we served as foster parents to a host of children). I am a Family Assistance Center Specialist (FACS) contracted for the Kentucky National Guard and it's my job to connect service members and their families with all the available resources in their geographical area in an effort to ensure they receive assistance at the lowest level possible. I am an active volunteer at my children's schools, I volunteer with our local Veteran organizations, and I assist with various activities in my church family. I am a people person so I love being out in the community and helping in any way I can.

Hobbies: I love to sing and I love watching cartoons. I know it sounds weird but my youngest son has anywhere from 5 to 15 years difference between his brothers and sisters so we were best buds. I got to a point where there was too much chaos on regular television and I fell in love with the purity that lies in cartoons. :-) Most of my other hobbies revolve around my family. 1. I am a parent representative with my son's Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) council, the 11th grade player's parent representative for football, and I volunteer with the baseball team. 2. my daughter is the middle school girls basketball coach and I am the parent overseer for any fundraisers, I organize her annual Players Christmas party, and the end of the season banquet. 3. In my local and state church organizations I serve as a praise leader, VBS event coordinator, and conference coordinator. 4. I am a member of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) Auxiliary where I serve as (Co) Area Director and Chaplain. I am also the President for our state Auxiliary chapter (EANGKY). EANGUS/EANGKY Auxiliary stands side by side advocating for legislation that will ensure our service members and their families receive all the benefits they are entitled to.

Interesting Facts: I am the epitome of optimism. My husband says I am smurfette and I live on little fluffy clouds of joy with unicorns and rainbows. I have been told that my level of joy brings people hope and that makes me even happier. I have been through a lot in my life that would have broken most but God saw me through. I feel I owe Him nothing but the best of me and the way to give it is with an unwavering faith that no matter what I go through He will bring me out of it. I try to carry a smile wherever I go so people will see the God in me. I have found that when people are going through a smile or a kind word can sometimes change their whole outlook.

What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? Change is certain and in order to survive it you must keep an open line of communication and be willing to accept anything that gets thrown your way. Deployments may come, promotions might not come, and celebrations will be missed but if you approach each occurrence as a family and look for the positives you will get through. Instead of thinking of it as a deployment, see it as an opportunity to gain more knowledge. If you don't receive the promotion, maybe that wasn't "your" job and God is setting you up for your perfect position. Sometime the things that happen to us are not about us and that is hard for some to understand. The military has taught me that I am stronger than anything obstacle that is set before me.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Comradery amongst our National Guard service members and their families. Active components live on base and this affords them a lot of amenities that helps to create bonds among families. The National Guard soldiers are so geographically dispersed it's not as easy to create those connections. With deployments down I think it's important to get back to ensuring service members and families are connected. A lot of the National Guard soldiers joined during 9/11 and the only thing they know is war. These individuals have a hard time adjusting to civilian living. If we could offer opportunities for these families to connect and share their concerns with like-minded individuals I think it would create an atmosphere of healing.

What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? Although the National Guard family is dispersed it's still the most amazing family I've ever had the privilege of being a part of. The family you are born in is chosen for you but with the military, these individuals chose to be a part of this great family. The support you get is unwavering and I'm honored to be a part of it.

What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I would like the civilian community to understand that our service men and women are the 1% that not only serve their country but they are also local citizens too. Their spouses, children, parents, family, and friends are a part of the community. The reason they do what no one else wants to do is because of the love they have for their community. I want the community to be educated on the differences as well as commonalties that exist in Active, Reserve, and National Guard and what they can do to support all branches and the families that live in their community.

Reasons for nominating:

Since I joined the Kentucky National Guard in 2005 my wife has made it a mission to ensure she gave of her time, energy, and ideas in an effort to create better programs for the our National Guard service members and their families. She works full time with a contract company as a Family Assistance Center Specialist (FACS). She is tasked with assisting Commanders with ensuring their service members and families have the education and information on resources available in their area (pre, during, and post deployment) to ensure their needs are met at the lowest level possible. In addition to her FACS role, she is also active in her community with other organizations that benefit the military as well as the civilian community at large. Here are just a few of her accomplishment since we made Kentucky our home in 1999: (Christ Assembly Church, Bowling Green, KY) Youth Choir Director 2000 – 2002 (BG KYARNG 149th BSB) Family Readiness Group (FRG) Youth Coordinator 2008 – 2009. (Dishman – McGinnis Elementary, Bowling Green, KY) SBDM/Parent Rep 2009 – 2011 (Bowling Green City Schools) Community Advisory Cabinet (CAC) Parent Rep 2010 – 2011 (Kentucky National Guard) Month of the Military Child (MOMC) Committee - 2011 - present (Louisville Veterans Affairs (VA)) Military Appreciation Committee 2012 – present (Westport Middles School, Louisville) SBDM Parent Representative – 2013 – 2015 (Westport Middle School, Louisville) Fundraising Committee (Football) – 2013 – 2015 (Westport Middle School, Louisville) Fundraising & Parent Communication (Girls Basketball) – 2014 – 2015 (Enlisted Association of the National Guard for the United States {EANGUS}) Chaplain, Family Affairs Co – Chair, & Silent Auction Committee Member – 2014 – present (Enlisted Association of the National Guard for Kentucky {EANGKY}) Auxiliary President – 2015 – present (Enlisted Association of the National Guard for the United States {EANGUS}) Area II Auxiliary Director – 2016 – present (Ballard High School) SBDM/Parent Rep – 2016 – present (Veterans Community Alliance of Louisville (VCAL)) Mayor Greg Fischer’s Week of Valor Committee – 2016 – 2017 (Ballard High School, Louisville) – Junior Parent Representative (Football) – 2017 – present Shelia has also been coined: Adjutant General, Major General Edward Tonini – 2010 149th MEB Brigade Commander, COL Michael Abell – 2013 1103rd MP CO Commander, CPT Jonathan Holliday – 2014 Shelia has an amazing life story. She has overcome many obstacles and was able to obtain her Master's Degree while serving in these various capacities. But the most amazing thing about her is that we also raised an amazing family during this time. Team Brookins consist of (3 sons ages 31, 27, & 16; 3 daughters 27, 24, & 21; one amazing granddaughter 2; we raised two sisters now 34 and 29; and we served as foster parents to a host of children). -- Darrell Brookins, Family

Shelia is the epitome of Military Spouse of the Year. She devotes her life, in both her career and volunteer work, into serving others. She is someone that others can always count on for support, prayer, hugs, and laughs. Shelia supports her husband in his role as president of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Kentucky, and herself serves as president of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of KY Auxiliary. She and her husband both serve as chaplains for the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), and Shelia also serves as an area director for the EANGUS. Shelia works full time as a Family Assistance Specialist for the Kentucky National Guard Family Programs, dedicating her life to helping others. She does all of this with a joyful heart and while caring for her family, as well as being active in her church community. As the 2017 Kentucky National Guard Spouse of the Year, there is nobody else I'd rather serve the Bluegrass State with other than Mrs. Shelia Brookins. -- Robin Pruitt, Fellow Military Spouse