Duty Station: USAG Detroit Arsenal
Number of Deployments: 3
Number of PCS's: 6
Share your military spouse story:
My journey as a military spouse began one month before we said “I do”, when my then-fiancé received a call informing him that his ABOLC date had been advanced and that he was now AWOL for the first day of his career. A promising start, I’d say. I helped him pack his bags and drove him from our tiny home in Maryland to Fort Benning, GA, not knowing if he would make it to our wedding in 4 weeks. Thankfully, he was granted just enough leave to make it to the altar in time with a surprise gift: orders to Germany. Before becoming a military spouse, I had never lived outside of my home state or traveled outside of the east coast. 11 years and 6 moves later, we have lived in Georgia (twice), Texas, Germany, Virginia, and now Michigan. My previously non-existent-accent now has a southern drawl with the occasional hard vowel and I have developed a very discerning taste when it comes to beer and chile rellenos. I have visited 17 countries and have seen things that, before, only existed in my high school textbooks. It has been a grand adventure. Along the way, we welcomed two beautiful children into our crazy, nomadic lifestyle. Our daughter, Emily, was born during our time in Germany, and our son, Logan was born in El Paso. Over the past 11 years, we have weathered deployments & rotations to Afghanistan, Poland, and South Korea, along with countless training exercises and trips amounting to years of separation. Wanting a more stable life for our kids, my husband recently made the hard decision to switch from Armor to Acquisitions, which led us to our current duty station: Detroit Arsenal. Throughout the years, from a newbie milspouse to a seasoned one, I have grown immensely in my confidence, my resiliency, and my grit. I have done hard things during my time as a milspouse and I have survived to tell the tale. It is my hope to support and empower other military spouses so that they may find their strength along the way as well.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have served in various leadership roles within the SFRG. From 2013-2014, I served as SFRG co-leader during a 9-month deployment. I assisted the SFRG leader with her duties and made myself available to families as needed. The most memorable experience from this time was working with the other spouses to plan a redeployment party for our troopers, with all expenses covered by our fundraising. In 2018-2019, I served as SFRG leader and supported our troop’s families through a 9-month rotation. In this role, I sent monthly newsletters, organized and mailed 90 care packages, planned and hosted a reintegration meeting, and delivered 90 redeployment baskets to welcome our troops home. It was in this role that I was awarded the St Joan D’Arc medallion by the US Armor Association for contributing to the overall morale, welfare, and spirit of our cavalry unit.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
Outside of my involvement in the SFRG, I have also volunteered at USO events, including a Super Bowl watch party and care-package boxing events. Additionally, I served on a Care Team during several training rotations, wanting to ensure our families would be supported should something happen to their service member. In 2020, I became a volunteer team member for Army Wife Network (now Mission: Milspouse), an organization aimed at empowering and educating military spouses through blogs, podcasts, and resources on their website. In this role, I help to provide valuable information, such as mental health resources or installation information, to military spouses around the world. I work mostly behind the scenes while also hosting a podcast episode twice each quarter. I have received the bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2021 and the silver in 2022 for my commitment and dedication to the military community.
Describe how you support your community:
In 2020, I joined a volunteer-powered organization, Army Wife Network, to help bring empowering information and resources to the military spouse community. I first served as Virtual Administrator, then as Communications Liaison, supporting the team and connecting with organizations, authors, musicians, and fellow military spouses who could provide educational or empowering resources for our audience. With a desire to serve not just Army wives, but all military spouses regardless of branch or component, Army Wife Network recently rebranded as Mission: Milspouse and made the leap to a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. I now serve as Director of Administration, as well as Secretary on the Board of Directors. In this role alongside our amazing team of volunteers, I work to empower and educate military spouses to help them successfully navigate their military spouse life and to provide a supportive community that they can access no matter where the military sends them.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for the empowerment and unconditional support of military spouses and their families. The military lifestyle is not an easy one, and military spouses can often feel alone or lost during their journey. It is my passion to provide support and a sense of community to milspouses across all branches of the Armed Forces. As a mother with a background in psychology, my advocacy tends to lean towards mental health and the support of military mothers, and I have published several blogs within those niches. I believe that openly discussing my milspouse victories and struggles helps others to see that they are not alone and that it is ok to reach out for help.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I have hosted and co-hosted over two dozen podcast episodes, where I shared valuable knowledge and resources that benefit military spouses. The episodes are published on Spotify and iTunes and are shared on our website and across our social media platforms. I have also conducted several “live” chats on social media, discussing a variety of topics such as PCSing (relocation), volunteerism, anxiety, and general milspouse life. Additionally, I create posts or reels each month on our social media platforms that highlight the “behind the scenes” reality of military spouse life. I have written and published several blogs, largely on the topic of military spouse mental health, and recently attended the Westgate Salutes Military Weekend where I was able to represent military spouses and network with many veteran organizations.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
If awarded the distinguished title of MSOY, I would strive to bring the resources and support that Mission: Milspouse provides to a wider audience. The Mission: Milspouse Podcast has featured guests including psychologists, veterans, parents, authors, and non-profit organizations, all with the goal of supporting, educating, and sometimes entertaining military spouses. The military life presents unique challenges and can be isolating at times. It is my goal to shine a light on the online community that we have built as a place for spouses to turn to for camaraderie, humor, information, and encouragement. It was Mission: Milspouse that helped me to stand on my own as a new military spouse 11 years ago, and it is my hope to continue that legacy by serving the military spouse community.
Sarah is a class act in the military spouse world. She is an incredibly strong spouse, mom, administrator, employee, and friend. Sarah always goes above and beyond with her role at Mission: Milspouse, especially with the huge recent migration, transition and rebrand. She is a spouse I can always count on to make things happen with an incredibly fast turnaround.
Sarah is highly resilient and encouraging to other spouses, and undoubtedly deserves the title of Military Spouse of the Year!
- by Sharita Knobloch