Amber Stevens

Branch: Army

Duty Station: Fort Carson

Number of Deployments: 1

Number of PCS's: 4

Share your military spouse story:
I did not marry into the Military. My husband joined in 2008 after we were married almost 2 years and already had one child. The Army pulled us out of a deep dark hole and gave us hope. Our first duty station was Fort Polk, LA where we welcomed our second child and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the most wonderful military spouses ever in his chain of command. Due to a family illness, my husband decided to ETS out of the Army and join the GA National Guard where he served 9 years, in which time he deployed and made it home on my due date with our youngest child. He was then placed on a joint mission with the Border Patrol taking us to Southern Texas not even 2 months after he arrived home where we spent a year. Once he ETS'ed out of the GA National Guard, he reenlisted in the Army which brought us to Fort Carson. I started volunteering and later was hired by The Salvation Army. I also took over the Fort Carson Kids Closet and oversee it with the help of other amazing spouses. I try to help as many service members and their families as I can because I remember how hard it is being in a new place and in a new life being so far from home. I always "adopt" members of my husband's unit and invite them over for home cooked meals, especially around the Holidays because everyone needs family. We have been a military family in one fashion or another for 15 years now with a total of 4 children ranging from 15 to 3 and we wouldn't change a thing. We love the community and family we have found especially here at Fort Carson and we love that our children are getting the opportunities and meeting the people they are because of this life.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I currently run the Fort Carson Kids Closet which provides free clothing and gear for our Military families covering everything from Maternity through teenage years including clothing, shoes, formula, baby food, furniture and more. Upon taking over the Kids Closet I brought it to a permanent inside location and making it easier to shop with children during the Colorado Winters. I also help with the Fort Carson Operation Deploy Your Dress when needed. I have recently been appointed Vice President of Family Programs of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the AUSA and am very excited to take on this newest opportunity.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I currently oversee the Fort Carson Kids Closet, work at The Salvation Army Fountain Valley Corps as the Facility Manager and strive to help as many Military families get the help they need either by bringing them into our food pantry or helping connect them to get the help with their utilities, help out in the Fort Carson Operation Deploy Your Dress when needed and have recently been appointed Vice President of Family Programs of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the AUSA. I volunteer as much as I can to help with my husband's unit and the children's schools (2 of which are on base). I am trying to help build bridges between Fort Carson and The Salvation Army Fountain Valley Corps to let Soldiers and their families know of the wonderful programs and resources offered. I try to get all four of my children as involved as possible in volunteering in our community and encourage them to help with the units events.

Describe how you support your community:
Currently oversee the Fort Carson Kids Closet which provides free clothing, gear & more spanning Maternity through teenagers for all Military Families and one day a month to the community as a whole. I work as the Facility Manager for The Salvation Army Fountain Valley Corps helping run the Food Pantry and coordinate the multiple organizations that use the building. I help out in the Fort Carson Operation Deploy Your Dress shop when ever needed. I was recently appointed Vice President of Family Programs Pikes Peak Chapter of the AUSA, provide home cooked meals on the regular for military members and their families so they can hopefully find a family so far from home. I try to befriend every spouse I meet because I remember how it was as a new spouse having no friends and feeling alone. When a new service member joins the unit I always invite them and their family if they have one over for one less meal or more they don't have to cook.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for ALL needs of our military families being met: social, emotional and physical. When my husband first joined the military we were having to choose between the two of us eating or buying our oldest daughter diapers. Everyone knows that you don't joint the military to get rich and sometimes families have to sacrifice to make ends meet. I believe that if by simply bringing a military family into the Fort Carson Kids Closet to help get clothing and toys for their children or The Salvation Army's Food Pantry to get food to eat and it helps them meet a need then I have done my job. If I can provide a hot home cooked meal and a place for them to feel "at home" for a soldier and make them feel even the littlest bit less homesick, I am giving them the family they are missing and maybe putting their Mom's heart at ease just a little bit.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I am always telling people about the Fort Carson Kids Closet and Fort Carson Operation Deploy Your Dress. I oversee and help run the Facebook Group for the Fort Carson Kids Closet and am always sharing on Facebook and Instagram about both of the programs. I am constantly telling wives and service members about The Salvation Army Fountain Valley Corps' food pantry and utility assistance. Every new member of my husbands unit, and their family if they have one, are invited to our house for at least one meal or more and always for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I truly believe and am always telling my children that actions speak louder than words and I only hope that my actions show our soldiers and their families just how much they are loved and supported in this community. Cooking enough extra food to feed 6 single soldiers or a family or two is the least I can do to make someone feel at home possibly thousands of miles away.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I hope to bring awareness to the social, emotional and physical needs of our military families. I hope to encourage other installations to start Kids Closets to help the families in their community. I hope to see more families welcoming single soldiers and or other families into their home and building family units at each duty station. I hope to build bridges with local resources such as The Salvation Army to reach out to local installations and encourage the families in need to seek help. I hope to help end the stigma that many military families have of asking for help. I hope that if I am honored with the title of AFI Military Spouse of the Year, I will help other spouses feel that they are truly seen and not just a face in the crowd and just another dependent.


Amber is always there to lend a helping hand. She runs a program for the military families in the Colorado Springs area called the Kids Closet. It gives free children’s clothes and goods to military families in need. She also helps out at the food bank at the Salvation Army, helps in the local Operation Deploy Your Dress, and her entire family is always there when anyone needs a helping hand. She’s the perfect combination of compassionate, caring and approachable to put military families’ minds at ease and get them in the door to get the the help they need.
- by Yvonne Coombes