Angela Joy Litteral

Branch: Navy

Duty Station: Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Number of Deployments: 3

Number of PCS's: 10

Share your military spouse story:
My husband and I had just started dating, and while on a date, he turned to me and asked what I thought about him possibly joining the Navy. Whoa! I panicked as I thought of what to say and realized he saw a future for us together. I calmly respond, “I’m open to it.” Little did I know that response would characterize much of our future. Over our 24 years of marriage, 3 kids, 10 duty stations, and 3 deployments I have kept saying, “I am open to it,” even when feeling unsure about what that might bring. Keeping this posture of adaptability has opened so many doors for friendship, comradery, new cultures, mentorship, and given me a deep appreciation for this journey as a military spouse. Our part of the Navy is called the Seabees, and their motto is “CAN DO.” This motto applies to families as well, and I have seen how having a CAN DO attitude makes all the difference in this military lifestyle. A CAN DO spirit has aided me in making a home for our family coast to coast and even in Naples, Italy, where I learned to not only appreciate but love another culture. We are a more well-rounded family for having lived overseas, and it developed a deep desire in me to make sure that those who come from different backgrounds are included in our military community. After Italy, we served alongside the Marine Corps for 2 tours where we learned a lot about Marines, how we can work together, and adopted the phrase "Semper Gumby, meaning always flexible." Using these adventures in my military spouse journey, I desire to built stronger communities when I take on leadership roles. I am always looking for new ways to give back, make a difference, and gain new skills. Most recently I started helping Sailors and Marines with financial assistance and budgeting through volunteering at the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society here in Coronado, CA. Remaining open to new opportunities through 10 duty stations has served me well, and I hope to inspire others to do the same.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
When the COVID-19 pandemic happened, everything came to a standstill and I saw our military family starting to really struggle. I decided to get creative on how to reconnect spouses at our command. I organized monthly virtual craft events and dropped off supplies on their porch the day before, so that we could stay connected while doing a craft together over video chat the next day. It was honestly a lot of fun, gave me focus, and built bonds. At this time, I was also serving as the VP of the PTA at DODEA's Bolden Elementary Middle School, and the school had no one to create a yearbook. I had no experience but volunteered to do it anyway. I did the online training, collected and took many pictures in the school, and put it all together. The staff, teachers, and students were so appreciative. Sometimes you just need to show up and make things happen for our military family. It was a joy to support our military community during such a challenging time.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
My involvement serving my military community started with organizing help for command families which led to planning events, leadership at a MOPS group, and programs at chapels. I have held leadership roles in spouse groups at 4 duty stations including President of PWOC in Italy, President of the Parris Island Spouses Club, VP of the Gulfport Officer Spouses Club, and Facilitation Chair for the Camp Lejeune Leadership Seminar. While in leadership, I discovered that giving back to the community really resonated with military spouses so I organized events within these organizations to support toy and food drives, Wreaths Across America, fundraised $60,000 for scholarships for military kids, oversaw Little Free Libraries on base, and coordinated volunteers to help new Marines without families at graduation. I was the AFI 20-21 MCRD Parris Island MSOY, and I currently plan events for our command's spouses, help out at schools, and volunteer at the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society.

Describe how you support your community:
I have been faithful to support my Navy community at each base, in order to bring out the best in each person I meet. Then after 15 years at Navy bases, we were asked to serve 2 tours with the Marine Corps. This was a whole new world, but I jumped in to learn about this branch so that I could support this new community. I started helping weekly with our spouses group to celebrate new Marines whose families could not attend graduation on Parris Island. It was inspiring, and I loved paying it forward by welcoming them to the military family. I started a teen club, and led the scholarship committee before becoming the President of spouses group there. Then at Camp Lejeune, I volunteered as a facilitator and Facilitation Coordinator for the Camp Lejeune Leadership Seminar, which empowers military spouses with leadership seminars twice a year. In 2022, I was able to deliver gifts to an Army family on behalf of The Heart of SuperNova program through Military Hearts Matter, as well.

What do you advocate for? Why?
Forming an authentic community is paramount in this post pandemic military world. Many don’t think that in person connections are important anymore, but I have seen the amazing difference it has made in our family’s life at each duty station. I am especially passionate about finding community and resources to support military teens, since I currently have 2 military teens and one child in her 20s. This group is often overlooked and needs advocates to make sure they are included in DOD resources, support organizations, and in local school districts. I also am a big proponent of Financial Health for military families. One of the most common causes of conflict and stress in marriages is finances. Military families who have the tools for budgeting, saving, and finding opportunities to make their dollar stretch a little further are more resilient and adaptable no matter what the military or Murphy's Law throws at them. I have seen first hand how this helped our family's finances.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
In this military lifestyle, fostering authentic community, on and off base, is key to a family's success especially for our teens. At each duty station, I quickly make contact with the school liaison and local schools and share this info with other families. I even started at Teen Club through a spouses group on Parris Island to support the base's teens who needed a place of their own. I organized events for them and volunteer opportunities, like a Toy for Tots drive. The largest gains come from building relationships with installation leadership to help bring together all aspects of the local community to best serve our military families in building a supportive and positive community. I am also a bargain hunter and love to share deals and local resources for military families to save money. Volunteering weekly with the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society helps improve the financial fitness of military families here in California, where the cost of living continues to rise.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
Being an AFI MSOY is an amazing opportunity to build a platform to not only help military families find community and thrive at their duty station, but also become more financially healthy in the process. I would use my title to further help connect people to their communities by advocating for better installation resources when families PCS. These improvements can be as simple as updating installation websites with current and relevant information. As a part of this, I would connect military families to budgeting tools and make financial resources more accessible to them. By planning out their financial stability, they are ready for whatever comes their way. I started out serving my community simply out of a need for friendship, which led to a passion for forming and supporting authentic communities at duty stations that are positive, supportive, and resourceful. As an AFI Military Spouse of the Year, I could take that passion for community and bring even more people together.


It's with great pleasure to nominate Angela for the Military Spouse of the Year award. I believe that Angela is the best choice for the MSOY award because she consistently displays leadership, humanitarianism, honesty and public service. She truly serve the military community with a servant heart.
- by Miles for the Heart