Duty Station: Fort Bliss
Number of Deployments: 0
Number of PCS's: 2
Share your military spouse story:
My husband and I have had a unique military journey as we were married for four years until he could no longer deny the call to serve his country and decided to join Active- Duty Army. We had no family or friends we knew who had recently served. We took the leap of faith from scratch and together. Starting from his first experience in the service at Basic Training, I knew that there had to be other spouses like me who had no clue where to begin when trying to assimilate into the military culture. I dove in to find any community group where spouses could support one another through the scary time of joining the service. When I saw a lack, I immediately started making Youtube videos documenting my journey to share the process with other future spouses who would find themselves in my shoes. My husband also joined during the height of COVID, which changed and lengthened all experiences. When my husband completed Basic Training, his AIT was so long that they allowed me to come to join him. I moved on post across the country from California to Georgia all by myself since my husband was still in training. When I arrived, I was completely alone for months because even though I could live on base, my husband could not live with me for several months until he reached a certain phase of training. It was quite the isolating and intimidating introduction to the military life. I began hosting teas and get-togethers in my home to support other spouses who were in the same boat and knew from that point on the military community was my calling and a part of my new identity. I never thought I would be an army wife when I married my husband. I grew up in a family where my mother was a stay-at-home mom, and my dad worked from home. Being separated from my spouse for long periods and knowing he can be called to the line of duty at any moment has been a transition, but it has also become one of the most tremendous honors of my life.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
From the moment my husband left for basic training, I knew my hardships could either break me or be used to inspire others and as a part of my life testimony. Immediately, I began making inspirational Youtube videos sharing my story with the military community and offering tips on navigating the process best. During AIT, I hosted 3 BBQs for my husband's AIT class to help with morale and hosted ladies' teas and game nights in my home to foster community. I have served at posts chapels for their VBS program serving as the youth leader, giving military children hope and happiness during the summer. Here at Fort Bliss, I joined the PWOC board as the Retreat Coordinator, where I have hosted 2 Retreats for hundreds of women across Fort Bliss to be pampered and find community. Additionally, I am on the Command Team Board for Mission: Milspouse. A non-profit whose sole purpose is to engage, equip and encourage military spouses of all branches/components across the globe!
Describe your involvement in the military community:
I believe this military life cannot be done alone, so I am highly involved in my community. I am active in the PWOC community at Fort Bliss, including my leadership position on the board. Apart from that, I am very active in their service opportunities and fellowship outings, such as monthly coffee get-togethers or paint nights. As the Content Curator for Mission: Milspouse, I release monthly podcasts, blogs, and a semi-weekly newsletter, including resources and engagement to spouses of all branches and components. Since I have gone through two pregnancies since my husband joined, I was so largely impacted when I had my baby by families that provided a meal for us. After experiencing that, I am highly active in coordinating baby showers, meal trains, and support for new moms who need to build solid support to help them in the post-partum time.
Describe how you support your community:
When I first got stationed at Fort Bliss, I researched resources available for military spouses. I was amazed by countless opportunities available through Military One Source and so I applied for a job using my counseling background to be an Educational Advisor through the SECO program. Through the program, I helped hundreds of spouses pursue their education, utilize funding, and accomplish their career goals. Now, I am intentional with every interaction I have as well as using the platforms I serve to share with every military spouse how many options they have to further their personal or professional goals. Additionally, I am largely connected to the Junior Enlisted Center and make sure families in need know about their available resources. Lastly, Mission: Milspouse has been empowering military spouses since 2005 and now services all branches, and I am very active in serving on the board and providing content for spouses of every branch to have resources they need to thrive.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I have two Master's Degrees in Clinical Psychology and Mental Health and Wellness for Family Marriage Dynamics. I am a huge advocate for mental health and the well-being of the family/ marriage unit. I genuinely believe there is no more vital population to serve in these areas than the military community. Additionally, during my husband's time in service, my first son was born in a very traumatic way and was in the NICU upon birth. The NICU experience is more than any parent should ever have to walk through, but the additional challenges of being in the military (such as being far from family and in an unfamiliar environment) felt unbearable. After my son's recovery, I took it upon myself to be the NICU mom advocate for any military mom that would ever walk that road. I have produced podcasts and blogs via the Mission: Milspouse network and have spoken at events across Fort Bliss, sharing how to advocate for your child and yourself through health crises.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I am unique in the fact that I love to public speak. I studied Communications for my undergraduate degree and thrive in positions to speak with large audiences to empower and educate. I have spoken across several platforms, including being the keynote speaker for chapel events, Fort Bliss RSO events, podcasts for Mission: Milspouse, youtube videos for military empowerment, and blogging. Additionally, I write the semi-monthly newsletter for Mission: Milspouse which includes empowering resources, updates and community opportunities for military spouses to utilize across the globe. When we were stationed at Fort Gordon, I was awarded the Balfour Beatty Community Scholarship for my service and advocacy to the military community which was featured across various news outlets.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
I would be honored and humbled to receive The AFI Military Spouse of the Year title and desire to use it as an empowerment tool for all new/young military spouses to show them that at any stage or phase of your husband's career, you can make a difference. As a new spouse, it can be intimidating, and I know I felt like a fish out of water regarding the military lifestyle. At first, I felt like I had nothing to offer the military community, and I had fears I may never fit in. However, I want to show people that by jumping in and putting yourself out there, you can make a difference and that you do have value to add! Additionally, it has always been my dream to complete tenure in my education and receive a Doctorate. Being a Jr. Enlisted family, funding to make this a reality is challenging. With this title, I will have opportunities opened and can become a stand-out candidate when applying for Ph.D. programs and scholarship opportunities.
Wow. Just wow. I've known Lindsey less than a year, but she's one of those spouses you wish you had met years ago! Although she is relatively new to milspouse life, she has maturity and intentionality that I could only dream of having when I started my military spouse journey.
Lindsey is one of the most kind, gracious people I have ever met, even beyond the military spouse world. Her heart to serve is inspirational, as she has jumped in with both feed at Content Curator at Mission: Milspouse and also Retreats Coordinator with Fort Bliss PWOC.
She is such an incredible supporter of her husband, and a fantastic mom, sharing her testimony of her NICU journey with her son to encourage and empower others. She's highly deserving of this honor!!
- by Sharita Knobloch