Terry C Parsons
Branch: Air Force
Duty Station: RAF Croughton Fairford
Number of Deployments: 8
Number of PCS's: 6
Share your military spouse story:
I became a milspo in 2006 at 21 years old moved across the Atlantic to Italy from Ohio to be with my husband. We had our first child in 2007 I was new, alone and a mom in a foreign country. To say I felt isolated and lonely and aching for connection would be an understatement. In the throes of postpartum depression I got scared enough of my thoughts that I asked for help. Therapy saved me I got connected for the sake of my daughter with little bambino’s at the youth center once a week. It is what got me through that assignment. After that I found a solid foundation in my faith and the Lord has been faithful to redeem that rotten time. My husband and I have been married for almost 16.5 years and are about to make our seventh move. We have endured short tours, deployments and too many TDYs I have lost count. We had a second child, endured unspeakable loss of family from overseas, and took on the burdens of others. But, I learned that I am capable of things I couldn’t imagine. Being a milspo has made me resilient, helped me to solve complex problems and overcome disappointment. the military isn’t just a way of life it’s a family someone always has your back. Along the way the Lord has connected me, taught me, corrected me and grown me. He has given me a purpose and a direction. That purpose is to empower women to built community and be vulnerable their stories can save lives. To teach them to seek the Lord and reach outside what they know even if it scares them. God is faithful He is good and I owe my marriage and our life in the military to him.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have been the VP of a spouses club key spouse I currently lead and teach women here at Croughton AFB to build faithful community to serve others and to read scripture confidently to know who their God is so that they can give his love and light to others around them. To live boldly for God and country committed to shouldering each other burdens. I have also organized, facilitated and executed the angel tree program for a local non profit called MK Acts they serve the men and women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. We were able to get gifts for every child in their care and gift cards for their parent so they could be empowers to purchase a meal for the holiday or to get a gift for their child(ren). During the holidays I lead our ministry in dispersing goody bags to all the young airmen in the doors, not just for Christmas but for Halloween, and Easter as well. No one should ever feel unseen or uncared for.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
I lead all the chapels women’s Bible studies I support the local MOPs chapter and served as VP last year. Started and facilitated a book club for spouses. I reach out to the airmen during all major holidays with bags of snacks and goodies. I also participate in the Dorm dinner 2 a year either by serving food or by organizing the meal and cooking for it. I organize movie nights at the chapel. As well as all fellowship events for the chapel on base.
Describe how you support your community:
I support my community with my time, money and commitment to be of use at any moment for anything someone might need. Weather that is a baby shower, a meal train or prayer. I am here for hugs, and encouragement or even a shoulder to cry on. I have opened my house as a safe haven for a family escaping domestic abuse. My purpose is to love well to be a safe place and to be willing to put others needs before my own even when it’s inconvenient.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for the Lord. I want to spread hope, love and light to all those who need it. I want to be someone who has integrity and encouragement. I want my life the ugly bits, dark bits, and the joyous bits to be my testimony to others. Someone cares, someone sees and loves you. I want to be the voice that shows those who doubt who One who cares, sees and loves them.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I just invite people in and encourage others to do the same. I have never really been someone who deliberately tries to be seen. I have only ever wanted to help so I do what I can with those in front of me and encourage others to do the same. I don’t want to be followed I just want people to know they are loved and to know the one who loves them.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
This is a great question. One that I don’t have an answer for really. If I could do one thing it would be to spread hope, light and kindness.
Terry Parsons, a dedicated ministry leader, chapel volunteer, and Bible teacher, is making huge strides as a Religious Education Coordinator overseas. Her work focuses on building connectivity in military spouse spaces, providing community, and raising up leaders who will do the same.
- by Megan B. Brown