Duty Station: Tinker Air Force Base
Number of Deployments: 5
Number of PCS's: 5
Share your military spouse story:
Where do I begin? My spouse origin story started 12 years ago, on the small island of Guam. For those who don’t know or have never heard of it before, it is a small island roughly 30 miles long located in the Pacific. It was at this tropical paradise where I met my husband Logan. Being that we were both young and he was an E-3 at the time, we decided on a courthouse wedding. Guam is at minimum a 19 hour flight for our families so they had to witness it via Skype. Being young newlyweds and so far away from family is tough, luckily the distance wasn’t able to keep them away for the birth of their first grandchild which happened a mere 10 months after our marriage ( yes our beautiful daughter Laci, was a honeymoon gift). Since then, we have traveled to multiple different duty stations ranging from Bahrain to Japan, even acquiring an additional blessing, our son Hunter. Currently, we call Tinker AFB our home, but as we all know that will change in a few years. Military life can truly be challenging from PCSing and leaving your newly made friends and family to deployments and unaccompanied tours, where you spend a year only able to communicate with your husband via FaceTime. Which I am very thankful we were able to even do that. This is only a glimpse into the adventures we have endured and the growth we have experienced over the years. Through it all, I am so thankful for the life we have been blessed with and I wouldn’t trade our military life in for anything else.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I was given the opportunity and selected by the CMC of SCW-1 to be the command ombudsman, a position that is a direct link between a sailors command and their family which also includes assisting families who are transferring into Oklahoma. Unfortunately, had to pass the torch due to a short time left on-board. However, I continuously assist and mentor sailors and their spouses not only with their military career, but fitness, spiritual, & financial goals.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
My involvement in the military community consists of a wide variety of things which include being a part of the Navy ball committee to raise funds for the Navy Ball. Additionally, I worked at Tinker Living as the commercial sponsorship/advertising coordinator where I worked to bring morale to the Tinker AFB MWR events. Now, my current job at First Command helps military members and their families be financially secure and ready for retirement. Last but certainly not least, I participate with my husband doing volunteer events on behalf of the Navy. One of which is dear to my heart, would be placing flags on the gravestones of fallen veterans for Memorial Day.
Describe how you support your community:
I support my local community by volunteering as a life kids leader for children at Life Church Midwest City every Sunday. I’m also involved with Ainsley’s angels which allows me to run with or push wheelchair bound individuals, allowing them to continue to be able to participate in different races.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for healthy living and a balanced lifestyle.This is a huge passion of mine for many reasons including living by example for my children, overcoming obesity as a child, & helping others achieve and live their best life. I advocate for wives and moms to realize they are important too, and you can live a balanced lifestyle taking care of yourself and your family as well.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I spread the message of my advocacy leading by example. I have taught fitness classes at the gym on base for military members and their dependents helping them achieve their fitness/ health goals. I live a healthy lifestyle and motivate/encourage others to do the same. I spread my message out of love and kindness to reach others through social media as well, and I’m actively engaged with helping others in any way I can.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
What I would hope to accomplish as the AFI Military Spouse of the year title would be to continue to assist not just Sailors but other military members & their families on a much larger scale to accomplish their personal, financial, & spiritual goals. I strive to help spouses have a stronger platform to address the many challenges we face everyday as a military community. To enhance morale across the board because everyone knows that a strong military starts with a strong home. Additionally, continue to be a role model for military spouses, be a voice for them in anyway I can, & always being there for them in times of need.
Heather is an amazing lady with a heart to serve others in the military and in the local community. She volunteers with her husband, Logan [E-6 MA1(AW) in the Navy TACAMO unit], in activities such as the Navy Ball Committee, putting flags on grave sites, etc. In the community, she has volunteered with Ansley’s Angels pushing wheelchairs for handicap children and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. At work, she is an advisor assistant for First Command Financial Services who has a heart to serve the military. And most importantly, she is a super wife and mom at home. She is an amazing mom to the sweetest daughter and son.
- by Cindy Russell