Duty Station: Fort Leonard Wood
Number of Deployments: 5
Number of PCS's: 8
Share your military spouse story:
I am writing this on the anniversary of his joining the Army. Shortly after 9/11 my husband (then boyfriend) made the decision to quit college and his job and join the Army. I came to his house and he informed me of this life changing decision. I was floored - all our plans were suddenly thrown out the window. As I started to panic, he very calmly said "you are coming with me, I don't want to go through this alone". I never knew what we were getting ourselves into at that moment, but everything felt like it was meant to be. I could never imagine my life without the Army. I have spent countless nights, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries without my spouse. I didn't know I could handle that until my military spouse journey showed me I could. I of course got involved in the SFRG's so I could meet people and make friends. I saw what these women have experienced in life and how strong they were, and I was instantly proud to be called an Army Wife. It showed me what I could do, and they helped me find my role in this crazy life we lead as military spouses.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I feel lucky that I have had great mentors in the military spouse community, and I strive to be that for the younger or incoming spouses. I have volunteered in all positions of the SFRG from key caller, to treasurer, to leader. During my leader role time I worked with the spouses and command team to organize the cycle break events, holiday party, and successfully passed 2 compliance inspections. I have tried to include all spouses and their ideas as much as possible and organize events that all can join. I have also worked full time during my years as a military spouse and I understand how difficult it can be to feel included when you cannot attend due to a work schedule.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
We have had an unusual journey that has led me to live most of our military time in the Fort Leonard Wood area. I have grown to love this area and am very excited to spend the rest of live here once he retires in a few years. One of the reasons I love this area the most is that the community on and off post are very supportive of their military service member and families. In addition to the SFRG’s I am currently on the board of the community spouses club. It has been thrilling to be able to help guide and support other spouses and show them everything the military life has to offer.
Describe how you support your community:
I work with military members and families daily to set them selves up for financial success. Our unconventional lifestyle is not taught in school so there are many aspects of our daily lives that you learn as you go, and my passion is to support my community and teach them that they too can be financially secure. I have created a monthly seminar for women to attend to feel comfortable in discussing topics like budgeting and their military benefits and tips for PCS’ing. I am also in the process of creating a workshop for teens that will introduce them to the finance basics of life so when they begin their career, they know to ask questions about things like insurance and pension plans and how to budget and properly save. This is something I strive for in my home and with my children and something I wish I had more of when I was younger.
What do you advocate for? Why?
My passion is to give women and spouse’s the strength and security they need to support the unconventional life of the military spouse. As my husband moved into leadership roles it became obvious to us that many soldiers were not financially secure and did not know how to properly budget, save or use credit. I worked as a bankruptcy paralegal for 12 years and learned many things about getting out of debt and guided families to better budgeting. I then found my way working in the financial industry and found my true passion was to help service members and their families become financially independent and I learned many more tools to get this to happen. Just because military families typically have one income and may not make as much as they could in the civilian world, they are still deserving of wealth and I want to help them get there.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I look for local spouse groups to support and be a part of. I am lucky that I live in an area that is very supportive of it’s military and we have many groups that all lead back to military support. The spouses I am able to talk with and meet the more we can develop our strong bond and sense of community with each other. Having to leave the place you have spent 2 or 3 years in building friendships can be difficult. If there is always a group that spouses can turn to or a set of individuals that can help them ease that transition, then I believe we build a strong network to support each other.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
My hope is to be in touch with more military spouses from all walks of life to see how we can support each other and help those that are new to this life feel comfortable and strive. I would not be the same person I am today if it were not for my time as a spouse and those spouses that mentored me. I can only hope to be that for others so they can get the same enjoyment and success from their military spouse time.
Amy is an INCREDIBLE human. She is a warrior of a mom, constantly supporting them and learning from them. She supports her husband (now a CSM) for several years throughout his career and she spends time volunteering; will drop everything she’s doing to help you out. She’s wonderful!!
- by Sarah Greene