Amanda Kibble

Branch: National Guard

Duty Station: Mississippi

Number of Deployments: 2

Number of PCS's: 0

Share your military spouse story:
I always tell people that when you're a military spouse, you learn that you have to always have a plan A, B, C, D, and E. This is because anything that can go wrong, most likely will go wrong, especially during deployments. In 2020, my husband was deployed for a year, and that nearly broke me. We had been through a deployment and a long period of training before, but this time, we had a little boy, which made everything different. When he told me that he had to leave in three months, we had already gone through so much, financially and emotionally. We were both struggling to keep our heads above water. The first month that my husband was gone, our little boy started having night terrors. During the day, he would cry and scream for his daddy. On top of that, my job was making it increasingly difficult for me to be available to him as a "single mom". I was falling apart. Our son's mental well-being was my priority and I had to address what was going on. I turned in my resignation. Financially, we couldn't afford it. I had one year to figure out what I was going to do next before the walls caved in on us. During that time, I created a story that helped our little boy climb out of his sadness and engage his imagination. We decided that daddy was off chasing down dinosaurs. This little story grew into an idea that we shared with our friends and then, a book that I wrote and illustrated. After my husband came home, I went to business school to pursue an MBA. I wanted to build something with our little story, but I also wanted to gain the knowledge of building businesses and nonprofits to share with others. After finishing my children's book, I realized that the trauma that deployments can leave in a family are so critical. The experience of a deployment is a ripple effect into the future of our military kids. This opened the door to the other issues that were going unaddressed. Speaking with other military families, I quickly learned that we have much to discuss.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
During a difficult deployment in 2020, I brought my husband's battery together, with the help of another military spouse, and we gathered up multiple supplies from the community to ship overseas for each Soldier to receive. The packages included snacks, books, magazines, merchandise from multiple colleges around the state, products from organizations and ultimately, a nonprofit paid for half of the shipping. We brought our military community together, even without an FRG, and we boosted the troops morale. I also lead a Suicide Awareness campaign during my time as Public Affairs specialist (civilian) for the Mississippi National Guard in which we changed the conversation in the state for mental health awareness for military personnel.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
My husband has been serving in the MSNG for ten years now. We have gone through two deployments and we have one child. During my time as a Milso, I have support his career, his Battery, supported the mission to eliminate Soldier suicide, and written, illustrated, and published a children's book regarding deployments. I have volunteered to help in any way that I can, and now, I am pushing to help children cope with separation, depression, and anxiety during deployments.

Describe how you support your community:
I have started writing about the pitfalls that National Guard families face in their roles as civilians and as Service Members. In the past ten years, I have seen many issues that remain untouched for military families, namely National Guard, which include health care, dental care, child care, spouse employment, Service Member employment, and education. Recently, I began to detail those issues in a report and I have been reaching out to state leaders. To date, I've made little progress, but I intend to keep trying. Policy change is incredibly necessary to a healthy military force. Happy families equals happy Service Members. We aren't there right now. After working on the Soldier suicide awareness campaign, I realized that in order to make any real change, we have to make policy changes. This inspired me to go back to college for an MBA, with the intentions of pursuing a law degree or a Ph.D. in business or policy. My passion is changing the future for military kids.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I'll start with "why". While I am a military spouse, I am also a mom. Seeing my child grow up successfully is my primary goal. That being said, there are millions of moms in the military, spouses and Service Members. I speak to National Guard families frequently to talk about the failings that we see and what we can do to remedy these issues. A primary issue that we often discuss is the challenges of Tricare. Getting therapy for our kids is a balancing act. We have to help our children overcome their challenges, but with the pitfalls in place right now, spending a thousand dollars for an oversight can also mean having to take a child out of therapy. I advocate for military spouses to be empowered in their multitude of roles that they play, especially when their spouse is away. I also advocate for the mental, physical, and emotional well being of military children. They are the future. They will be the leaders of tomorrow and the leaders of the military. They must grow up healthy.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I find that spreading a message requires a lot of talking. I meet with people, families, mentors from the Military Spouse Advocacy Network, people in state held positions, and civilians with no direct ties to the military. I have also written a children's book that encourages families to utilize their imaginations to cope with the challenges of deployments. My voice is not as persuasive as it needs to be, but I am building that with my book and with my relationships with families. I am also a former journalist and a life long Public Relations professional. I understand that engaging media outlets requires a stronger platform, which I am building. For my book, I am writing articles for magazines, chatting with other authors of military books, and military family nonprofits. Building a platform takes a considerable amount of time when it's done alone. With AFI, I would be able to connect to larger groups and make more deliberate changes.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
As the AFI Military Spouse of the Year, I would use this role to encourage families to remain emotionally well during deployments. I would also this role to speak directly with policy makers to discuss the pitfalls that I and so many others have experienced in Tricare, in the National Guard's community development, and in making children's mental and emotional health a top priority. I would use this role to grow relationships with other like minded individuals and have conversations about child care, Tricare, housing, deployments, and the military life style from the perspective of a National Guard spouse. I would like to become involved with initiatives to help feed military families, specifically during these economical times, as the rate of children skipping meals and going to bed hungry has significantly increased in the past year. Finally, I would use this role to encourage other military spouses to use their voices to ensure that their children have access to a brighter future.


Amanda deserves to be nominated for Military Spouse of the Year because of her incredible dedication and compassion. Her efforts in packing boxes for deployed soldiers and writing a children's book about a military family demonstrate her unwavering support for the military community. She goes above and beyond to show her care and ambition, making her a true inspiration. Nominating her for this prestigious title would be a wonderful way to recognize her outstanding contributions as a military spouse.
- by Chelsy Ables

Amanda Kibble exhibits the resilience, dedication, and community spirit that define the Military Spouse of the Year Award. As the spouse of a Mississippi National Guardsman, Amanda faces the daily challenges of military life with strength and grace. Her commitment to her family and country gleams brightly as she navigates the unique tasks of being a military spouse. Beyond her personal life, Amanda is a leader in her community. Her active involvement with the Mississippi Ballet demonstrates her passion for the arts and her desire to enrich the cultural fabric of her community. This commitment is further reflected in her pursuit of an MBA, demonstrating her dedication to personal growth and professional development. Amanda Kibble is an outstanding nominee for The Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year. Her story is one of spirit, encouragement, and steady support, making her an ideal ambassador and role model for military spouses everywhere.
- by Eugenia Boldyreva

Amanda sincerely cares about the health and welfare of military families. She’s written a children’s book about a child whose deployed father creates a captivating story about dinosaurs to make the deployment less stressful and hard to deal with for his family.
- by Ashley Coulter

My recommendation for Amanda Kibble is well deserved. Her dedication to supporting the military community through initiatives i.e. care packages for her husband's battery reflects her selflessness and commitment; turning a deployment experience into an imaginative adventure and producing a children's book "Super Dangerous to Secret Dinosaur Mission" demonstrates her creativity and resilience; her involvement in soldier suicide awareness campaign was both impactful and necessary, showcasing her concern for the wellbeing of her community. As a MBA student nearing completion, her pursuit of higher education while managing such meaningful projects highlights her exceptional multitasking abilities and determination. In her role as Executive Director for Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, her leadership abilities shine. Amanda's community involvement, military support, educational pursuits, and commitment to the arts make her a well-rounded and admirable individual.
- by Esther Cash