Alyssa Ruffin

Branch: Space Force

Duty Station: Buckley Space Force Base

Number of Deployments: 3

Number of PCS's: 8

Share your military spouse story:
I have been a proud Military spouse for 15 years. My husband and I met in 2006 in Minot, ND. He was a good friend, we went on a date or two, and he deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. He came home from Afghanistan in January 2009, and we have been together ever since. We got married 6 months later, he deployed 2.5 months after our first child was born. I instantly learned what it meant to be a Military wife. We've been through 3 overseas tours, 8 PCS's, countless TDY's, Tech Schools, NIU, OTS, and WUGS together. I have 3 beautiful daughters with my husband, and two older children. My husband served active duty in the United States Air Force for 15 years, and transitioned to the United States Space Force in 2020. He is prior enlisted, he graduated from NIU in 2013, commissioned as an officer in 2016, and graduated as a weapons officer in 2022. All that to say in summary that the Military lifestyle can be summed up in a few words; constant change, constant moving, resiliency, patience, flexibility, and pride. It is not for the faint of heart, and takes a special kind of person to pick up and start over every one to three years, and take on the role of a single parent when our spouse is called to duty. I am not your typical military wife. I am a 2x attempted suicide survivor, I've experienced enough trauma for 10 lifetimes to include homelessness, mental, verbal, emotional, and physical abuse, childhood trauma and sexual abuse, PTSD, I've battled with severe anxiety, depression, postpartum depression with my last child, and dealt with the stressors that go along with being a Military wife. That being said, I now advocate for, and openly talk about all of the topics I've listed and more.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I am passionate about spreading awareness, and lending a helping hand in an effort to make a difference in the world. I do my best to teach my children to do the same. In 2022 myself, my husband, and my 11 year old daughter received Volunteer of the Year nominations at the Volunteer of the Year Awards in the greater Montgomery, tri-county, and river region area. My husband Chuck was the official recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award, and all three of us were awarded with certificates for our excellence in the community. As a mom, it was the most rewarding experience to have my child not only participate in volunteering in our community but to also receive recognition for her efforts in giving back. I believe these things can help to inspire and motivate the younger generations, or any other for that matter.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
While stationed at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, I wanted to send care packages and letters to servicemen and women overseas. With the help of the Military Parents Operations group, a few local Musicians, local Elementary Schools, and the Vandenberg community members, I was able to get 37 care packages, and more than 250 letters and drawings from children delivered to our men and women in uniforms. In 2022, I was invited by Nellis Air Force Base to perform the National Anthem for the United States Air Force Weapons School. I performed for my husbands graduating class 22 Bravo at Bally Hotel & Casino for more than 1500 Military professionals. In 2021, I performed the National Anthem for the United States Space Force - Space Delta 13 Activation and Assumption of Command Ceremony, at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Additionally, I performed the National Anthem for the Scott Air Force Base, Headquarters Air Mobility Command A2 (Intelligence Directorate).

Describe how you support your community:
Charities I've helped are; Stop Soldier Suicide, the American Heart Association, Mission 22, Global Green, Musicares, Central Coast Rescue Mission, One Warm Coat, Lions Club, Hands On River Region, Reality Truth Ministries, Project Angel Heart, African Water Project, American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army. March 2024 - I'm performing a fundraiser concert at the local casino for the North Iowa Youth Center in Mason City, Iowa. 2021- I performed along with Grammy award-winner Lisa Loeb, Paula Cole, Taylor Dayne, Jody Watley, Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls, Vassy, and Vanessa Bell-Armstrong in the first ever Global Green "Music For the Planet" virtual concert to help raise funds to protect our beautiful people and planet. Proceeds from the event helped support the partnership between Global Green & the city of West Hollywood to build the first ever Global Green Climate Controlled Park. 2022- I performed a benefit concert for a local Alabama man who was battling cancer.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for Mental Health, Suicide Awareness, PTSD, Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Child Abuse, Homelessness, Education, Leadership, the Creative Arts, Diversity, and Equality. I am passionate about giving back to the community, and doing what I can to make a small difference in the world. I use my platform in music to help provide hope, healing, empowerment, encouragement, motivation, and inspiration to others. I have lost friends to veteran suicide, therefore I am a Mission 22 Ambassador aiding in Veteran Suicide prevention, awareness, and treatment programs for Military Veterans. Music releasing in 2024. "The Sacrifice", is about the life of a Military Spouse. It was written by a spouse, for the spouse. We love our men and women in uniform but many don't know the sacrifices we give. This song shares a little bit of our story. "Enough" is about surviving domestic violence. Most of the things I advocate for, I have experienced to some extent. This song is no exception.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I won Song of the Year at the Josie Music Awards held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The JMA's are the largest Independent awards show in the world, with more than 59,000 submissions for 2023. When they called my name as the winner, I used my time and speech to share about being a 2x attempted suicide survivor. You can do anything you put your mind to, I am living proof! My single "Collateral Damage" an inspirational power anthem. I partnered with Dan Hudson (Operation Check Six), to write a song for a female Military Veteran. In an effort to highlight women in the music industry, I hired an all-female musician and production cast. Produced by Grammy Voting member Audrey Martinovich, Jenna Joanis is featured on drums and guitar, Allison Lenz on Cello, and Jules Quass on keys. As a thank you, Dan Hudson built me a custom guitar that was on display in a Museum Exhibit for Operation Check Six for 7 months, at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorehead, Minnesota.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
As a military spouse I have experienced many different things throughout my husband's military career. From difficulties within our everyday lives, to the challenges that come with relocating around the world. I hope to teach other spouses to leverage chain of command with any needs if their military member is deployed or on TDY. I hope to be an advocate to develop the guardian spirit and culture among military families by sharing how I support my guardians career milestones. I would love to help facilitate necessary conversations to start a program for spouses to utilize during a duty station change. I hope to connect with spouses and provide resources that benefit all family needs, share my stories, and inspire others to heal. I hope to empower others to become and advocate for future generations, and I hope to continue supporting previous military spouses of the year successes, in order to show support of their ongoing efforts to all military/guardian families.


As a singer/songwriter and Military Spouse, Alyssa Ruffin uses her talent and heart to inspire others to pursue their dreams despite life challenges, setbacks, and traumas. She utilizes her platform to speak on hard topics most people shy away from and encourages others to do the same in order to heal and help others - a true sign of bravery and character. As a survivor of abuse and suicide, Alyssa's story not only touches those fortunate enough to hear it, but inspires them to search for meaning and joy within their own lives. Her strength and determination are proof nothing is impossible.
- by Sarah Hallford