Duty Station: Fort Leavenworth
Number of Deployments: 5
Number of PCS's: 9
Share your military spouse story:
My military spouse story began in 2006 when I married my husband, Joey. Our first duty station together was Fort Campbell. We have two kids, Lucy and Brooks. Lucy was born in 2009 at Fort Campbell, and Brooks was born in 2012 at Fort Benning. We completed our family in 2019 when we adopted our Pup, Gus while stationed at Fort Polk. Over the last 17 years, my family and I moved 9 times to 6 different duty stations. I always get asked which was my favorite. I can never pick just one! There were things, people, and events that made each one special. Each one one was a different stage of my military spouse life, and I learned something new and appreciated what each place brought to my life. The one constant at each location was volunteering. I would volunteer with our SFRG, Spouses' Club, my children's schools or other organizations. Volunteering gave me purpose and some of the most precious friendships. As my husband comes to the end of his 20+ year career, I'm so thankful for this life and the friendships we made a long the way.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
Here at Fort Leavenworth I volunteered as the Fort Leavenworth Spouses' Club SubClub cochair with a dear military spouse friend. We coordinated monthly lunches in the Fort Leavenworth and Kansas City area for members of the club. These lunches provide a place for spouses to make friends and engage in the Fort Leavenworth community. I also was given the opportunity to sit on the Command Spouse Program Panel for spouses going through the Pre Command Course. My role on the panel was to answer questions and give advice about Battalion Command life from the spouse point of view. Both of these experiences here at Fort Leavenworth were very much rewarding. I also enjoy volunteering at my children's schools on post.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
My experience in the military community range from SFRGs to Spouses' Clubs. Throughout my 17 years as a military spouse, I always volunteered with our Unit SFRGs. I continously share the importance of a functioning SFRG. They can bring so much fulfillment to new AND seasoned families. My time on Spouses' Club boards are some of my most proud. At Fort Polk I served as Membership Chair and 2nd Vice President. At Fort Hood I served as Historian, Ways and Means Chair and as 1st Vice President. I love the purpose of the clubs: to raise money for our communities and scholarships for family members. During my time at Fort Hood, I worked with incredible volunteers to stand up an Operation Deploy Your Dress. Countless hours and dedication were put in to make it a HUGE SUCCESS!!!
Describe how you support your community:
I support my community be volunteering within spouses' club, post organizations, and my children's schools on post. With every duty station, my level of volunteering was different. I gave more at some and less at others. I think the important part is that I gave my time in something I believed in and supported.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for spouses' to get involved in their communites. We move so much. Every year or so, we pack up, move, and start over. By volunteering in their communities or just joining a spouses' club, sub club, or SFRG, it gives spouses an opportunity to make new friends and find a place at their new duty station. In the beginning of my husband's career, when our children were little, I spent a majority of my time with my SFRG friends or at Brooks and Lucy's schools. As they got older, I spent more time with spouses' clubs. Both of those were very rewarding and fulfilling.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
SCREAMING IT! Kidding! Kind of... I always share with friends and strangers, Get Involved! You will be so much happier when you have purpose. I say the best thing about Social Media is the "free advertisement" aspect. We can share about fun events or when volunteers are needed. By sharing, I'm showing a piece of who I am, and what I believe in.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
As my husband comes to the end of his 20+ Army Career, I would love to share the joy I experienced AND the lessons learned over the years. I feel so blessed to have lived this life. Being a military spouse isn't alway easy or elegant, but it truly shaped who I am today. I will always be so grateful to call myself a Military Spouse.
Casey Black is a phenomenal woman and military spouse. She is always there to help a spouse in need, shares excellent advice and volunteers her time in support of our community. A gem in the military community she resides in.
- by Candy Olivares