Branch: National Guard
Duty Station: Louisiana
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 0
Share your military spouse story:
Here’s a story of a lovely lady. Who was bringing up a boy and two girls. All of them with attitudes like their mother. The oldest one with curls. Here’s the story of a man named Davis. Who was busy with three of his own. They were three boys and a girl all together. Yet they were all alone. Till the one day when the lady met this fellow and they new they knew it was much more than a hunch, That this group must somehow form a family. That’s the way we all became the Davis Bunch. You sang that right?!? In all seriousness, Jeff and I have been married for 6 years now. We have three boys and three girls. Gabe (17), Sam (15), Ainsley (14), Kellan (11), Katie (10) and Juliet (10). Besides being a military family all of our children are extremely talented and goal oriented. They are involved in all state track, all state choir, football, soccer, cheerleading and we could not be more proud. We take pride in being a real life Brady Bunch and a beautifully blended family. We thrive in the crazy of having so many kids, being a civil service family and a military family. It’s a lot of fun!
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
Through the years I have held several leadership roles in the our military community. Starting with being a Family Readiness Group Leader in our squadron, being awarded Volunteer of the Year for the state of Louisiana, volunteering with MSAN to mentor spouses, helping our own spouses through deployment and countless other volunteer organizations. The last couple of years I have focused more on my own family and families in our squadron. Going through our first deployment and reintegration proved to the be the most challenging in the 6 years I have been with my husband. Nothing could prepare me for those challenges. I took a step back from volunteer work to reconnect my family, reconnect with my husband and to practice self-care.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
I have always been active in serving our military community. Our last military ball I coordinated with local business to donate center pieces for the tables. Over 50 local businesses assisted with sponsoring a table with their own unique center piece. I was asked by a Mentor to write the forward in her military spouse journal. She also started a cosmetic line, creating lip gloss. The idea around it was women that inspired her to step outside her comfort zone and reach her goals. She named a lip gloss after me as a woman who inspired her. Each color is named after an inspiration woman to help empower and encourage other women. I had the privilege to work with an Air Force Spouse on Operation Cupcake; make and deploy hundreds of cupcakes not only to Little Rock Air Force base but to military instillations all over the country. My main passion is collaborating with military spouse leadership on ideas about building a community for blended families in the military.
Describe how you support your community:
I support my community in different ways. Being a sports mom I volunteer with fundraisers for our high school, volunteering community hours working tournaments, taking other players home from games and traveling with the team to show support. With three kids playing multiple sports I’m always trying to help wherever I am needed. On a professional level I worked for a recruiting company; matching employees with employers. When our squadron came home from deployment there was a need for soldiers to find jobs. I took their resumes and matched them with companies for ideal jobs. Being a military spouse, I was able to help local employers understand military resumes and show them how military members would benefit their companies. Bringing two of my passions into one.
What do you advocate for? Why?
My passion is Blended Families in the military. I had the privilege to sit in a room with some of the most amazing military spouses and listen to their passions. I left wondering what my true passion was. I mulled over this for weeks before it finally hit me. My husband was deployed and we were going through our own tough times. I personally did not know anyone and, did not have anyone to talk to or lean on. The more I thought about this the more I could see a potential need in the military community for blended families to have a voice. To be able to connect and support one another. When the service member is gone what happens to the family component? Where do these spouses find support? How do we cope with our service member being gone and holding together a blended family? For me I had to become fast friends with my husband’s ex-wife. We rallied together and made it work. Through my own experience I would like to advocate my passion for blended families in the military.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I’ve had the privilege to engage with senior leadership on different levels to start a community solely dedicated to serving blended families in the military. Maybe that looks like a mentorship group to help navigate blended families, connect them to similar families or to give them a place to express themselves. Maybe it’s joining an already existing community and building a spot for blended families. I have started asking questions and trying to find resources; who to talk to, how to go about making blended families a known group. I hope to continue these talks, reach new people and continue to build on those relationships.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
If I were to get the 2023 AFI MSOY title I hope to start creating a safe place for blended military families. They can seek advice, experience and learn coping tools for when the service member is gone. There are no laws protecting blended military families during long deployments. Once the service member is gone it changes the entire family dynamic. I would like to have the opportunity to hear other blended family stories, find out what worked or didn’t work for them. Take their stories and build to create a community of support. Being a blended family is hard enough; being a military blended family is a completely different world to live in. Blended families need a voice and a place to have support, counseling and guidance when trying to navigate through an already crazy life.
In this word there are many people that claim that they will be there for you, just call. Unfortunately, most never answer the phone. Megan is not one of those people. She is the one that will drive across the country in the middle of the night through a Hurricane just to make sure that YOU are mentally, emotionally and physically safe. Most likely she will even have your favorite coffee in hand. For you when you open the door. Military Spouse life is not simple in any way. Life as a National Guard Spouse seems completely different. She has opened my eyes to the world of living as a Blended Family. She perfectly balances the unique challenges of Juggling life as a mother of six. Working full time as a Senior leader in the Oil Field industry. All While being a loving Wife and partner to her husband Jeff. Every day I look forward to her call to make sure that I am ready to do what I do. Megan inspires me to think bigger, do more and be thankful for little wins every day!
- by Shaun Beal