2020 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year® Awarded
WASHINGTON, DC (May 7, 2020) - For the first time in award history, a Coast Guard spouse, Paulette Fryar, has been named the 2020 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®, a program designed to honor and recognize exceptional spouses who have made a selfless commitment to serve their community. This year, the winner was announced during a virtual reveal at Fort Leavenworth, KS, on May 7.
Paulette and husband, Commander Troy Fryar, Coast Guard, are currently stationed at the Personnel Service Center located at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She was recognized for her community engagement efforts and mentoring young military spouse moms through Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs), an international support program designed to encourage mothers with children under school age through relationships and resources.
Military spouses have the added challenges of frequent moves, extensive training, distance from family, and extended deployments. "I had never lived anywhere, but in my hometown of Vancouver, WA, near my parents, siblings, and lifelong friends. Getting remarried, moving to a place I had never lived nor experienced, and living a new life as a military spouse while suddenly raising a blended family of four boys, often on my own, was a huge challenge," said Paulette.
Finding support as a military spouse can be a daunting task. Paulette began mentoring with MOPs at the Fort Belvoir, VA chapel, which helps more than 120 young military spouses every year find their tribe through authentic community, mothering support, personal growth, and spiritual hope.
"With our adult kids living 3,000 miles away, we're now empty nesters, and in this new stage in our lives, more so, my life as a mom, I'm learning to reestablish myself in a new community. Now I use my time to give back. At MOPs, we come together like a family in a supportive environment to help each other navigate an unpredictable life that includes many hellos and constant goodbyes," said Paulette.
"This year is unique as our 2020 recipient comes from our nation's Coast Guard. Since 1790 our Coast Guard has continuously defended our country and participated in every major military conflict we have been engaged in. The challenges faced by members of the Coast Guard and their spouses are very much what all our other military members face to include PCS moves and deployments. Therefore it is our privilege to recognize Ms. Paulette Fryar as the 2020 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®. Paulette was chosen after an extensive voting and board process. The competition was tough as all of our branch winners are exceptional spouses who represent their member, family, and service with distinction. We congratulate Paulette on her selection and thank her for her service to our country as well," said Lieutenant General Stanley E. "Sid" Clarke III, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) and AFI Chairman.
"I'm honored and humbled to be the first Coast Guard recipient chosen to represent the more than one million military spouses who support and maintain the homefront. I look forward to continuing my work connecting military spouses and reaffirming that no young military spouse should ever feel alone in parenting, marriage, through deployments, or any other life-changing moment. I believe that a happy and supported spouse leads to a stronger service member, enabling them to better serve our country. My motto is #TogetherWeAreStronger,” Paulette added.
For more information on the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year® program, please visit msoy.afi.org.
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Contact: Lakesha Cole
About Armed Forces Insurance:
Armed Forces Insurance was founded in 1887 by military leaders with a single mission: to protect the property of those who protect our nation. The company provides premium quality, competitively priced property, and casualty insurance to military professionals throughout the United States and overseas. Armed Forces Insurance understands that its members have unique circumstances and insurance needs, enabling the company to offer a level of personalized service that's unequaled in the industry. For more information, visit the website at www.afi.org or call 1-800-495-8234, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®
The Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) Military Spouse of the Year® Award was founded in 2008 by Chris Hale, CEO of veteran-owned Neptune Holdings, and after nine years as title sponsor, AFI assumed ownership in 2018. The award is presented at a base, branch, and overall level each year to military spouses who are making a difference in their communities and providing a collective voice for spouses around the world. Through a national nomination and voting process, these nominees are judged on five core criteria: overall involvement in the military community, exhibition of leadership skills, community building capability, communication skills, and overall personal story. With more than one million military spouses worldwide, this award program aims to shine a spotlight on the force behind our armed forces. For more information, please visit msoy.afi.org.