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Hillary A Bailey

Branch: Air Force

Duty Station: McConnell Air Force Base

Number of Deployments: 0

Number of PCS's: 4

Share your military spouse story:
Wow my story is probably very similar to other spouses. I met my spouse in college and we were married shortly after he started pilot training. As a spouses I decided from the beginning that I wanted to be a part of this life and build a space for myself in the military. I have been with my husband through a 4 year deployed in place assignment, stated with our two under two kids stateside while he was overseas due to our trips being canceled with Covid. And so much more.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have stepped in a leadership role in our squadron key spouse group. This group of spouses is honestly one of the most supportive groups I have ever been around!! They would work great without anyone in a leadership position. But when our head key spouses PCSed, there was a hole. And these amazing women allowed me the opportunity to step up and showcase the skills I have. We have had multiple events with excellent turn outs and have supplied various members of our spouse group and also active duty members.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I am involved with the Hero Dolls program sponsored by our Airman and Family readiness center. This asks for volunteers to help sew and stuff hero dolls. In 2021 I actually made over 100 dolls for our center for deployed members dependents. This has been so rewarding to assist in a small way with our spouses

Describe how you support your community:
I am the first one to take a meal or offer to babysit for our spouses. These individuals are simply trying to keep their heads about water with this crazy life we call Military Spouses. I know the difference that an unexpected meal can make in your day. Or what the offer to just drop off the kids can do!

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for spouses to be involved in the squadron as much as we can and allow spouses to carve out their place in this life. So many spouses identify with their active duty counterpart. It’s so hard to have a professional and personal life that moves when we do. I meet with our commander every week almost for us to discuss the ways families can be involved with the squadron and our military family.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I talk face to face or through one of the various media outlets. I think that you honestly have to give 110% in order to get people to respond. We have so much in our going on in our lives and we don’t have time to deal with anything else. Th problem there is that spouses are left out if so many activities and opportunities to feel like they are a part of the squadron.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I would love to advocate for more childcare options for our spouses. So many don’t attend events and trainings or even professional opportunities because we don’t have childcare options at our base! I would also like to work with a representative or advocate with Tricare to address some needs that we have in our dependents coverage.

Nominations

Mrs. Bailey has gone above and beyond for me and my daughter. She has stopped everything she has done to help me find child care or handle an issue that has come up immediately. She is and always will be my number one choice of Spouse of the year.
- by Lacy Lanae Pickett