Brittany Vallejo

Branch: Air Force

Duty Station: Malmstrom Air Force Base

Number of Deployments: 1

Number of PCS's: 3

Share your military spouse story:
I am a mother of two and have been married to my spouse for ten years. We are a missile maintenance family which is a unique and often times grueling job within the AF. I have been a key spouse mentor for 4 years and currently serve as the Malmstrom Spouses’ Club President and helped raise over $22,000 in scholarships for dependent spouses and children in addition to donating a $5,000 stipend from a leadership shadow award I won through my work United Healthcare. I have served as fundraising chair for my daughters school PTA and helped raise over $25,000 for the school. I wrote a grant for the Malmstrom Spouses Club to BNSF Railroad and we were awarded $5,000 to put towards charitable work. I have been a key spouse mentor for four years at Malmstrom AFB in which time I have utilized digital platforms to bridge the gap in audience from the service member taking it directly to the spouse. One of the things I’m most proud of is the building of a Wing Welcome Packet which has base and community resources in order to give new families a step in the right direction upon arrival. This year with help of our vice commander spouse we were able to get the welcome packet added to a welcome section on the AF Connect app. I was also able to get a MSC section added to the app as well. Professionally I work full time as a nursing director and am in charge of the National breast cancer and colorectal screening programs for UHC’s Medicare population. I developed an innovative marketing campaign entitled the ‘Pink Ticket’ which has led to the success of thousands of women nationwide attaining their mammography screening and thus preventing or diagnosing breast cancer early. I am a full time doctorate for my Doctorate of Nursing and maintain a 4.0 GPA. I am attaining to further as an advocate or politician for healthcare reform for military families. Helping to build a network and fellowship of spouses by building up our spouses club is one of my greatest accomplishments.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have served as a wounded warrior and dependent nurse case manager serving hundreds of patients through life’s most trying times. During this time I helped stand up the recovery Care coordinator partnership at Vandenberg AFB and build best practices that AFPC inquires about for usage nationwide. I assisted personally and professionally hundreds of families through husbands, care coordination and active duty members through their medical boards. Serving as an advocate for military families I went onto serve as a western region Tricare nurse manager advocating to members of Congress for increased benefits for our active duty members and families. I successfully lobbied for EFMP families and durable medical equipment building a program for the DME to ensure minimal errors were made and no delays in care occurred for the family. Also served as the active duty national lead for all western region branches to ensure their care was obtained outside of the MTF and no delays.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I have always been deeply involved in every military community I’ve lived within. Whether it be through key spouse work, community volunteerism or serving as a subject matter expert my ripple effect can be felt throughout the base and community.

Describe how you support your community:
I have been a key spouse mentor for 4 years and worked to build new key spouses and build our program both locally and nationally. I am the president for the Malmstrom spouses club and have worked diligently to build up our club to support all base spouses. Understanding the intricacies of military life coupled with my extensive knowledge of the military health system makes me the ideal person to assist in resolving any issue that arises. I have extensive knowledge of the military, it’s systems and programs and utilize this knowledge to positively assist other both at Malmstrom and other bases. Malmstrom is a tough climate so spousal support is of paramount importance. Educating about suicide & depression prevention, resources and seasonal affective disorder is important to me to ensure all spouses understand they are not alone in their journey.

What do you advocate for? Why?
Mental health awareness and education is very important to me. I have served as the point lead for three families who had an Airmen committ suicide. Suicide within our active duty ranks statistically is on the rise, and spouses alike suffer from mental health crisis as well. Depression is statistically higher in military spouses due to a smaller support system that’s ever changing and environment where they must learn to adapt. At Malmstrom due to the severe weather seasonal affective disorder is prevalent and many suffer from this unknowingly. Everyday there are posts about depression, anxiety and post part in depression too numerous to count. Many do not understand resources and channels available to them to seek help.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
Depending on the message I serve as a conduit of information and share it through social media, working with our national media outlet at United Healthcare, and share with our national key spouse platform on social media to share best practices. I have been invited into local news stations and received a shoutout from the Air Force Secretary’s wife for key spouse work at Malmstrom. Leveraging social media to bridge the gap between what the service member receives and spouses is of the utmost importance. By developing a Dear Malmstrom page that is what I’m hoping to accomplish at our base by sharing base and community information from all channels.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I hope to bring light to the struggles of military families navigating the healthcare system while also navigating military life. I would like to build programs to assist newer spouses and tenured spouses alike in doing so. I just went through a recent health scare myself and could not have navigated it successfully without the knowledge I possess medically. It can be difficult to navigate any system when you are stressed or trying to deal with a new diagnosis for yourself or another.