Branch: Air Force
Duty Station: Ramstein Air Base
Number of Deployments: 8
Number of PCS's: 7
Share your military spouse story:
I'm an Air Force spouse of over 23-years, a mom of twin teenage boys, an Air Force veteran and a active community volunteer. While serving on Active Duty at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas I met my ROCK, he loves to tell everyone that I was born to love him. Our family is known as TEAM Malcolm. Some of my hobbies include graphic design and photography. Capturing memories of my family is so important to me, my yearly calendar is famous amongst our extended family and friends! We are currently stationed in Germany and are awaiting news about our next assignment that has us moving later this summer.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have been honored to brief the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman (SEAC), the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF) and the American Red Cross Senior Vice President, Serving Armed Forces. I am a frequent ‘by name’ request from base leadership. I pride myself in amplifying the Air Force core value of Service Before Self: word on the base is out, if something needs to get done, I am the one to call on!
Describe your involvement in the military community:
My role as a military spouse is an extension of my Airman! I try to exemplify the Air Force’s core values by being active within my community. I balance my involvement on base between my roles as parent, spouse and veteran. I am an advocate for communication and have admin roles on several community social media groups. As a mom I stay connected by attending monthly booster club meetings. I enjoy time with my fellow key spouses at the monthly luncheons and training events. I serve alongside my fellow board members at our base Thrift Shop and serve and cook meals for the USO monthly. I volunteer in the base Post Office, serve as a committee chair for the Senior Parent Association and I am active with the Protestant Women of the Chapel. Service is in my heart !
Describe how you support your community:
I serve many different roles in my community. As an appointed Key Spouse Mentor, I am honored to provide support to fellow Key Spouses in our units and help point our Active-Duty Airmen and their families towards base support agencies. I am the appointed advisor to the base enlisted spouse association; I mentor fellow military spouses and help manage the base Thrift Shop that provides over $65K in philanthropic grants and $15K in college scholarships annually. I have over 689 volunteer hours with the American Red Cross as the COVID Support Team lead and Volunteer Site Lead during Operation ALLIES WELCOME. I took family photos for 1.8K guests at the base holiday hangar event. I am a Resiliency Training Assistant that allows me to engage with the base’s newest Airmen at the First Term Airman Center. After my certification in the 5 Voices, I led two courses for spouses from three different wings. I organized a team of spouses for a base 'Pay-It-Forward' campaign that reached 23K.
What do you advocate for? Why?
Spouse Inclusion is what I advocate for. I believe that spouses are stronger together so I advocate for combined spouse groups across our force. Spouses wear no rank and when we land at a new base it benefits us all to have one place to land. Spouses need support and connection and I like to be involved in my community to bridge that gap.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I am a member of several spouse networks. I advocate for inclusion of all spouses by being a connector. I am a spokesperson for spouse involvement by showing up to base events and interacting with new spouses to encourage involvement in spouse networks.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
Awareness about inclusivity! All spouses should be treated as equals! I want to partner with fellow spouses to make sure their voices are heard!
Jami volunteers through the American Red Cross and has made historical impacts with Operation Allies Welcome as well as the COVID vaccine clinic at Ramstein AB. She volunteered over 480 hours within 45 shifts over a 2 month time frame to build and manage the logistics plan that distributed 62K critical kits for 34K evacuees. She embodied the nongovernmental OAW alliance and briefed the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jami supervises registration with the COVID clinic that has provided 37K vaccines to military, dependents, and local international patients. She has served as an advisor the Ramstein Enlisted Club in which she guides 14 board members and $170K budget for out reach events. Jami serves as Key Spouse Mentor for the Maintenance Group. She attains the 5 Voices certification and instructed 2 base courses which included 18 military spouses from 3 wings and helped forge Ramstain Air Base unity.
- by Kathleen Sockha Hedden