Duty Station: Naval CBC Gulfport
Number of Deployments: 2
Number of PCS's: 5
Share your military spouse story:
I’m Heather - a Navy wife of 13+ years who understands the certainty of uncertainty. Growing up in western Pennsylvania I never knew much about military life. That changed when I met and married my husband, Mike, at The Pennsylvania State University. He was in ROTC when I met him and the uniform sucked me right in. We dated for one year before he proposed to me on a lake. Like most military couples I know, our wedding had to be scheduled around this new life I was marrying into. So, the fall wedding got moved to a summer wedding and after a ten month engagement, we were hitched! All four of our babies were born in Nevada while stationed on NAS Fallon - a sweet baby girl and miracle BGB triplets. We’ve lived in ten houses in six states. The Lord has been with us through it all and we wouldn’t change anything about our story so far. I believe in being able to serve my military husband well while still finding my place in what feels like his world. I teach and encourage other wives to do the same by believing in the mission, connecting with their community, strengthening their marriages, and embracing their worth. I released a book last year called The Military Wife Field Manual and it touches on each and every one of these topics. It has been an encouragement to many military wives all over the world.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
During my husband's first and second deployments, I led our FRG for two years as a board member. My duties included taking minutes at each monthly meeting, organizing and volunteering at fundraising events, planning events for the families during each deployment, and ensuring each and every homecoming moment was as smooth as possible. My heart beats for the military family and being able to lead families through two years of deployment rotations was hard yet fulfilling. I believe in roles like this because it gives support to the families. And when the families are well supported, the service member can better do his or her job.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
At each and every new duty station, I strongly believe in jumping right in. In the past, I have been on many spouse group and FRG boards. I have started and led Bible studies and coffee chats for military wives seeking community and connection. I am currently volunteering at our base thrift shop with other wives, sorting donations and tagging merchandise. I also have a blog, website and book where I lead other military wives into believing they have a place in our community.
Describe how you support your community:
I provide online resources through my blog to encourage military families, especially wives. I also wrote and published a book last year to have as a resource for military wives. I believe this support is invaluable and our community needs more resources like this.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I believe in being able to serve my military husband well while still finding my place in what feels like his world. I teach and encourage other wives to do the same by believing in the mission, connecting with their community, strengthening their marriages, and embracing their worth. I released a book last year called The Military Wife Field Manual and it touches on each and every one of these topics. It has been an encouragement to many military wives all over the world. If wives can deeply accept and believe they have a place in what sometimes feels like his world, they can better support their service member. And if the service member is better supported from home, he can better focus on his job, his calling to serve our nation.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I have a book, website, and blog, where I show up consistently to encourage and teach wives how to find their place in what sometimes feels like his world. Over the past three years, I have interviewed many military spouse organizations to better support my research and findings that are displayed in the book. The book is called the Military Wife Field Manual and can be found on Amazon.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
I hope to better spread the message that military wives can serve their military husbands well. I want her to believe she has a place in this world.
Heather Eberhart has a heart for the military spouse community and works hard at providing resources and help for new spouses and seasoned alike. She knows the uncertainty that can overwhelm military spouses and has overcome many obstacles to embrace the military mission and community while at the same time knowing her own value and worth. She blogs and has written a book in support of military spouses. https://heatherleberhart.com/
- by Pamela Truax