Branch: National Guard
Duty Station: Arkansas
Number of Deployments: 4
Number of PCS's:
Share your military spouse story:
Michael and I married after the loss of his previous spouse. When we got married and it was not to long we were notified he would be getting deployed to Africa. Michael had four kids and we did not have time for adoption but my natural mom instinct kicked in and I went straight into a mother of one to, a mother of five mode. Two weeks before Michael left one of his battle buddies had come to our home. He looked terrible and like he hadn't eaten in months. I had learned later he was in addiction. He is now the founder and CEO of a group called WAT22. While Michael was deployed I prayed and committed myself to helping those in addiction. When Michael returned from deployment we started working in ministry as a team. Also I was able to adopt the kids as soon as he returned!! In the middle of the night I will get calls of people needing help and I will find them a facility to go to. I help teach and help in anyway called, to include having a judge, police officer, parole/probation officer, or prosecuting attorney call on me for help. I have sat in court with many, we have prayed over them and their families. We have organized games with the guys in the rehabilitation center called "Cop vs Cons." Humanizing the badge. Michael and I actually met years ago as police officers on the street. We adopted a teenager out of foster care that will be 19 in April and having our first grandchild in June. Also while Michael was deployed I started my own 501(c)3. Its a non-profit for kids and parents with Aspergers and autism. We received a diagnosis while Michael was deployed on the (then) nine year old daughter. I have also worked for an exchange student program for 12 years so far. Once a month we go on little trips and enjoy our beautiful state. Currently Michael and I are enrolled at Center Arkansas Bible College where we plan to obtain our doctorate as a team!
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I was the Vice President from 2003-2007 for a group called "Hometown Hands for Heroes" helping families with any problems that may come up while the were gone. Hometown Hands for Heroes was developed as a pilot group by the governor at that time because our armory had the highest suicide rate in the state. We had MANY roles from listening to a spouse, to find a mechanic or repairman to fix whatever disaster the "deployment gnome" left behind. I was also on the board for FRG during this period. I'm a trustee on the board for our local VFW.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
While Michael was deployed we did not have an active FRG. I made myself available to the spouses and got several in the middle of the night freaking out phone calls as we all know so well. If we had a solider's family that had a need back home my husband would let me they would be contacting me and I would get resources in line for the families. I'm a trustee on the board for our local VFW. I also help when called on by WAT22 a non-profit crisis team for suicidal veterans.
Describe how you support your community:
There is a large opioid and meth epidemic in our state. I'm just a tiny part in the large community helping fight this. I work with rehabs across the state, Probation/Parole officers, judges, attorneys and many others getting help for those seeking help. I have taught classes as a family impact specialist in Lonoke County jail, Pulaski County Jail, Complete in Christ Restoration Center and MANY others. I advocate for the addict through the court system, help them obtain a GED if possible. We are currently working with a private christian college to help get these men and woman higher education so they can obtain a job and keep the recidivism rate low. I help the families as well with whatever needs they may need. Also help them understand the system and the process their loved one will be going through. For the past 3 years we have organized Christmas for kids at the local HS self contained room. I'm also working on a few board helping develop new programs to help those in addiction.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for addiction. Because I am a sister of a recovering addict, but it doesnt always end on a good note. I have recently buried a "brother" on Sept 27th due to his demons from Afghanistan and he decided to self medicate with alcohol and meth. I have been a police officer and watched drugs tear families apart and even take family members. I will fight this war until God calls me elsewhere.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I work 24/7. I have had family members, police officers, judges and many others call me in the middle of the night and ask e to help this person. People I have arrested have called me high in the middle of the night and I would hear "Ms Bullock?? I heard you are in the helping business now and I need you before I die. I have left my family in the middle of the night to go places I probably shouldn't, to help someone dying in addiction.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
Spread awareness about faith base RESTORATION Centers, family advocates, and peer specialist programs, and BREAKING THE STIGMA. That “lost cause” maybe the one that saves your loved one from addiction.