April Bitler

Branch: Air Force

Duty Station: Moody Air Force Base

Number of Deployments: 10

Number of PCS's: 5

Share your military spouse story:
I have been a military spouse for 17 years. The first year of marriage I encurred deployment, pregnancy, quickly followed by a PCS across the country away from all family and friends. My mother has always said, “the one thing you can’t take away is education.” So, I accepted the challenge and received my Bachelor’s Degree moving into my Master’s degree; working during the day part-time and taking MBA classes with two children under two. Graduation came and went and we were given orders allowing me to enter DoD employment. I had some of the best military leadership that recognized my drive and work ethic providing me with the opportunity to deploy to Afghanistan. There I worked for a Joint Task Force EOD Team that comprised of all services and ranks. Unfortunately, my time was cut short and I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life and return home at the 9-month mark due to my father falling ill with cancer. A new PCS and I was again gifted with an exceptional leadership team as I worked for the Commanders Action Group for the Depot Level Maintenance Special Program Office. There I earned my Master Resiliency Trainers Certification, I lead multiple teams to learn key tools for resilient living. Shortly thereafter I was selected for a training program as a Production Management Specialist. Here I exceled at every board and prior to leaving was promoted to GS-11 and trained a 3-person team. The next PCS, I could not get a new DoD postion. I then found Kirtland Credit Union as Base Relations Officer supporting Kirtland Air Force Base’s National Security Complex. Event through the pandemic, I was able to work with base leadership, multiple base organizations maintaining strong partnerships providing resources, financial education and providing for the base population. PCS came again to Moody AFB, GA., already working remotely I continued to work for KCU supporting both bases now. I take great pride in my stance of “people helping people”.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
Over the past 13 years, I’ve been a Key Spouse for four squadrons. Using this opportunity, I became a Master Resiliency Trainer using the tools I’ve learned from the program to support spouses through the complete deployment cycle, everyday life, and much more, teaching these to my fellow spouses. I'm in my second year as the Board President for the Moody AFB Thrift Store, I hold the AFSA Chapter 460 Family Matters Trustee position, and am a Ambassador for That Others May Live Moody Chapter. Through work, I am a voting delegate for the Defense Credit Union Council representing all defense credit unions that support military installations of all services, assisting to provide input on potential legislation issues that could affect military members and their families regarding financial issues.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
With the base leadership wives I assisted in packing Dorm Christmas Cookie Drive, where we were able to provide a dozen cookies to each dorm resident across Moody. I worked closely with Ft. Leavenworth's Stronghold Pantry to provide 3 families with meals following the Hurricane that hit Valdosta, GA. I’ve also had the distinct honor to support and help bridge connectedness with Downtown Valdosta and the Moody AFB families by bringing in Comedian Ashley Guttermuth to entertain and honor military families. Representing the Moody Key Spouses, I volunteer with M&FRC to bridge communication and share opporunities across the installation. Through my job I have been able to create Financial Education products to help military members and their families, helping bridge the gap of the M&FRC. I volunteer my time with many positions/board positions across Moody to include the Moody Thrfit Store, AFSA, That Others May Live Foundation, Total Force Development Team, and Community Action Team.

Describe how you support your community:
My passion lies in mentoring and helping these younger generation know the resources and services that are available to them that either I didn’t know about or simply weren’t available when I joined this wild ride. I have created a Facebook page to allow community non-profits to request volunteers allowing Moody members to have a one stop to find vetted organizations to meet their passions. Key Spouse program, I schedule monthly meetings for any Key Spouses to meet with each other to discuss any trends that they are seeing, discuss new opportunities and how we can get that information out to our people. I participate in the Community Action Team meetings with base leadership to help identify trends affecting Airmen and their families.

What do you advocate for? Why?
My advocacy has evolved from last years nomination in the sense that I have focused on advocating for connectedness. I know this is a broad word, but I have found that being a conduit of ACCURATE information and building teams and relationships to help tackle issues that are passionate of others is what I'm good at. These issues include but are not limited to: spousal employment, EFMP, Mental Health, Food & Housing insecurities. I enjoy having the opportunity to mentor others to build their knowledge base and connectedness to other larger organizations that have the same drive and passion to be a larger force for change.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I keep in contact with Council for Military Spouse Clubs, Chief Board Development Officer to identify key trends that are occurring on military installations across the nation and abroad. I meet regularly with base leadership teams to identify and advocate for assistance of the needs our spouses and families have daily. I have the privilege of being invited annually to attend the DCUC conference and speak directly to the Defense Credit Union Council Chief Executive Officer, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions Chairman and many other leaders that have direct access to legislative issues. I’ve had the honor to advocate for increased financial education for our youth and military families and speak on laws and standards that protect the military community from issues such as predatory lenders. I participate as an active member of the Military Spouse Advocacy Network offering mentorship and resources that affect spouses daily.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
To simply be nominated proves to me that I am making an impact within my community and at Moody AFB. By winning the AFI Military Spouse of the Year title would provide me with the opportunity to use this platform to continue to advocate not only at the state level but also be able to advocate on a national level. The ability to use the title and platform to meet with bipartisan legislative members, senior military leaders and others on an off Capital Hill would be optimal in helping identify the issues and promote the need for change. It would be my mission to seek all opportunities to advocate for change and spread awareness of the serious issues that are felt at all levels of military life. I would be proud to be the voice of the military spouse and of the incoming military families. I take great pride in the services I’m already able to provide, however having the title would provide the scope and opportunities for a stronger voice.


I’m nominating my mom (shhh she doesn’t know). She continues to do so much for the base and its spouses here at Moody. She dedicates her time to build lasting relationships with not only spouses but also base and community partners as well! She is so dedicated and deserving! I was hoping this would make an amazing Christmas gift!
- by Talon Bitler

April has a hand in everything around the Moody community. She’s an amazing resource for key spouses, she helps make events around the base happen. She volunteers so much of her time for the good of the Moody community, all while working full time, being a mother and a military spouse herself.
- by Chelcie Sirvid