Tabitha Vogan

Branch: Coast Guard

Duty Station: Coast Guard District 5

Number of Deployments: 26

Number of PCS's: 4

Share your military spouse story:
I have been a military spouse for 13 years. Been with my Coastie for 16. We became roommates back in 2004 when he got stationed in my home State of California. We fell in love, got married had two amazing boys and enjoy the military lifestyle. We have been stationed in Kodiak Alaska twice, Honolulu Hawaii and now Elizabeth City North Carolina. I am the CEO of our crazy beautiful life. My boys are very active in sports and play pretty much all they can. Up until our recent move this summer I was employed as a full-charge bookkeeper and still maintained our schedule, volunteering for and in our boys school, community and was a coach for soccer and basketball for the MWR as well as being a very active Ombudsman for the largest Air Station in the Coast Guard- Kodiak Alaska as well as the AIDS to Navigation unit. At one point for over a year I was the Ombudsman for Base, AirSta and AIDS to Navigation. I was also an active part in our Spouses Association of Kodiak and the Stiles Clark Auction and Santa to the Villages. Before we moved to Elizabeth City, NC I became a certified Ombudsman Trainer and I had the pleasure of taken over the Aviation Logics Center (aka ALC) Ombudsman position here. Before we even had household goods I was hitting the ground helping spouses navigate their move here and answering all questions I could. Recently I have become the Vice President of our PTO at my boys school. I am also apart of the Elizabeth City Spouses Club and a member of our local community’s -Moyock Women’s Club. I love traveling and being part of this beautiful journey with my wonderful, hardworking and all around amazing husband, Josh, who is my heart and no matter where the Coast Guard sends us I will gladly join him and continue to volunteer and try and sprinkle some military spouse love where ever we have the pleasure of being.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
As soon as we arrived in Kodiak I knew I wanted to make a difference in how information was given to spouses. Kodiak is a unique place and not for everyone. It is important to try and give as much information about the base, community and living there as possible. I also wanted to make sure that spouses knew of the military as well as community events for them and their families. I went right to work with the command, other Ombudsman, Spouses Association and fellow spouses to develop better means of communication. I also wanted to try and reach as many families as possible arriving to the island to make sure they knew who and how to get ahold of their Ombudsman, I developed a flyer for the Welcome bags with such information and also made sure that each units checkin YN had welcome bags so that if the member and their family didn’t get one when they arrived they would be able to get one when they checked in.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
*Ombudsman for 4 years to the largest Air Station in the Coast Guard, Kodiak AK *Ombudsman for 4 years for the AIDS to Navigation unit in Kodiak AK *Ombudsman for a little over a year for the Base in Kodiak AK *Indoor and outdoor soccer coach for two years for the MWR *Assistant Coach for Basketball for the MWR *Active part of our Spouses Association of Kodiak *Executed the Base wide Easter Egg Hunt for all units in Kodiak AK *Part if the planning committee with the Morale department for the AirStation events (Flight suit Formal, Holiday party, Appreciation dinner) *Part if our community and CG career fair *Active part of the Elizabeth City Spouses Club *Developed an ombudsman flyer that was sent to all members for ALC and Kodiak *Assisting new Ombudsman with any questions to better assist their families *Assisted the planning & setup for the ALC Holiday party *Guest speaker to read- the Tribute to the Spouses for three CCTI events

Describe how you support your community:
I am currently and have been very involved in my children’s school. Helping out in their classrooms, PTA and for functions with the school. Since moving to Elizabeth City I have taken on the Vice President position for our PTO at my kids school. I also have recently become a member of our local community women’s club which is very active in participating in community events I have also worked with the community and CG in Kodiak helping set up for the career fair to help those in need find a jk , haircuts and community resources for counseling, jobs, product information and drug rehabilitation center. I also in the past of donated goods to our local shelters, part of helping feed the homeless for loaves n fishes and being apart of our Thanksgiving feast.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I have become very passionate about children and teens being bullied. I have seen this with my own eyes, heard it from parents of children being bullied and I have heard it from children themselves. Both of my kids were bullied at two different schools and hearing their story and seeing the pain caused me to research how to help them navigate it and overcome it. Since talking with them and having them address it at school and with the other child the bullying has stopped. I was happy, but I quickly realized that this isn’t the case for most children and I would like to do what I can with the help of schools, local organizations and other parents to try and minimize the amount of bullying that happens and to react in the situation.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I have become part of several sites in regards to bullying and will be reaching out to our local schools on their procedures, and communication to the families, bus drivers and students on how they can handle the situation within their scope of work and at home some insight on what parents can do to help elevate the stress on their child and reassure their child that they are a wonderful, smart and cherished individual.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I actually hope to accomplish a few different things...I want to shed more light on my topic of bullying and get more people involved in how to handle a situation if they are in it or see it happening as well as getting schools and parents and local communities involved on what they can also do to help. I also want to shed more light on how valuable the military Ombudsman are and how they can be a very important and amazing resource for families, new spouses or seasoned can benefit from their local unit ombudsman and it would be great to share more of what the Ombudsman program is all about and how it can greatly help families.