Nominations are closed. Come back February 3 to meet the candidates!

Brittany Raines

Branch: Army

Duty Station: Fort Leonard Wood

Number of Deployments: -1

Number of PCS's: 5

Share your military spouse story:
How I became a military spouse most likely differs from the one you normally hear about throughout our community. My husband Casey and I met in college, dating for a year before breaking up. Both of us went separate ways, he to the Army and me to a career in Child Protective Services and Social Services. We also got married to other people and created families of our own. After we’d both been divorced from our partners, an unexpected reconnection led to my beautifully blended military family. Suddenly, I added being a Soldier's wife to my life’s journey and story. Together, we share and raise six amazing children. It’s been the most incredible experience and I am humbled every single day to be a part of this wonderful military family.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have passionately advocated for military families, wherever we are stationed. I consider myself a champion for all branches and their families. In my mind, leadership starts by getting yourself in the trenches & raising your hand to use your voice for good. I’ve learned many lessons on what makes a good or bad leader & I’ve found my niche and style. It’s simple: be a servant-leader. For two years, I was the Ambassador for the GivingTuesdayMilitary Fort Drum chapter. My work there with the American Red Cross led to the them becoming an official partner for GivingTuesdayMilitary going forward. I started the chapter for Fort Leonard Wood and joined our local Chamber of Commerce. I worked with the governor's office to have GivingTuesdayMilitary designated as an official day for Missouri. I am most proud of watching others believe in the mission of giving back and serving others. Through GivingTuesdayMilitary, our teams impacted so many lives through guided, intentional kindness.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
Being a military spouse is woven in and through my entire life in such an incredible way. Through community building commitments like working with my spouse’s club, unit Soldier and Family Readiness Groups, being a member of our AUSA chapter and working directly with AUSA National, much of my time is spent finding ways to support the needs of our soldiers, families and partner forces. My experience and passion for helping others led to being named the Fort Drum Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year in 2017 and AUSA Family of the Year in 2020. I was also awarded the Military Police Regiment Order of the Vivandieres for outstanding support and dedication to Military Police families and the Regiment in 2019. And, in 2021, I was nominated and awarded the Margaret C. Corbin Award for significantly contributing to the mission of TRADOC and the Army and to service members and families.

Describe how you support your community:
My way of life is marked by efforts to positively impact the communities in which we reside as well as enhance the overall life of service members and their families as well as the communities around the installation. Examples include joining the Chamber of Commerce to help tell the stories of our families and finding ways to work hand and hand with our civilian neighbors to impact and increase quality of life for everyone. I am most proud of watching others believe in the mission of giving back and serving others. When we work together, it’s remarkable what can be accomplished.

What do you advocate for? Why?
Purpose has demonstrated the power to impact mental health and wellbeing. Serving others is scientifically proven to increase positive feelings, often described as the “helpers high”. While we cannot chase that every day without overwhelming ourselves, we can find the things that set our soul’s on fire! Military spouses often feel lost, especially when arriving at a new duty station. My advocacy may focus on serving the military and vulnerable populations surrounding us, but its heart is building opportunities for military spouses to find their purpose and recognize the power they have to make a difference. It’s part of the reason why I went back to school to earn my Master of Human Services Counseling with an emphasis in Military Resilience. I hope through my educational background, experiences and leadership, that I can be the spark or support to drive purposeful living.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
Spreading the message of purpose and giving back is accomplished in a number of ways. -Networking throughout various military communities and organizations. -Working with the military publications to share stories -Sitting on the boards of influential military nonprofit organizations -Attending and creating events to collaborate and serve the community -Joining Chambers of Commerce -Utilizing social media

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
If I was honored with the title of AFI Military Spouse of the Year, my hopes are pretty straight forward. I want to show military spouses the power of this program, for one, but to also influence their ability to recognize the power they hold to change the world. We are lucky enough to quite literally be stationed everywhere. Our time in each duty station shouldn’t feel like a ticking alarm clock but rather a blessing to dig in and make a difference.

Nominations

Brittany is a military spouse on a mission to support fellow military families in any way possible. She is giving of her time and talent to the community through her commitment to AUSA, the Inspire Up Foundation Giving Tuesday Military initiative, and as a facilitator of the Discovering Your Spark program to name just a few. Brittany is absolutely deserving of this recognition and would be a exceptional spouse to represent our community in 2022.
- by Brittany Boccher

Brittany is the most kind-hearted human ever! She truly wants the world to be better and shows up every day to make it happen. Brittany has volunteered within the military community for years. Furthermore, she teaches her children to do the same through sacrifice and selfless service.
- by Marla Bautista

Brittany is a selfless servant for not just the Army community — but across the span of every single branch of service. Her heart for volunteerism, giving back and being a force multiplier is unmatched. I am grateful to know her, learn from her and be a part of her journey in being a part of the change. Highlights of 2021: - hosted multiple live talks to tackle pain points within the military community - worked to get the governor of Missouri to declare 11/30/2021 as GivingTuesdayMilitary day - coordinated a statewide effort of community service while maintaining multiple events on Fort Leonard Wood - dedicated countless hours to mentorship of new military spouse ambassadors for kindness - stood in the gap for struggling Army families - developed and coordinated resources for multiple families in need on base … and so much more
- by Jessica Manfre