Bunny Fang

Branch: Marine Corps

Duty Station: Camp Hansen

Number of Deployments: 1

Number of PCS's: 4

Share your military spouse story:
Before I met my spouse, I was already established and settled into what I thought would be my "life". My family has served across all the branches for generations, and when my path deviated from being able to serve, I felt that was where my connection to the military community would end. However, life had other plans, and it wasn't an end, just merely a pause stop that allowed me to explore, dream, and discover, as Mark Twain would say. Then, through mutual friends and the glorious existence of technology, I was introduced to and developed a friendship with my spouse while he was stationed in Okinawa. We both came in looking for nothing but soon discovered what we needed and deserved. Once he returned stateside, we relocated from North Carolina to his new duty station in Virginia, and soon after, we married. As a military spouse who entered the community later in life and also had our son the following year, I experienced military life in a whirlwind but also with an Alice in Wonderland twist. I was in a different season in life than spouses with children our son's age. About a year after our son was born, I looked for areas to network to grow within the community and connect to my military family. I wanted to give back all the love and support I received from our neighbors and my husband's unit. I joined the Military Spouses' Association in Twentynine Palms and L.I.N.K.S. and let it lead the way. I participated in the Desert Leadership Seminar, and my fire to fill needs within our community continued to grow. We have now come full circle and are back in Okinawa. I continue to Explore all the opportunities our lifestyle presents, Dream of my continued goal to become a Lawyer to support the needs of our community and Discover myself through the pursuit of vulnerable authenticity.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
Okinawa is a different kind of environment when it comes to a duty station, but that could be said about OCONUS in general. My current involvement within the military community grew from a joint venture with another USMC spouse; together, we founded Okinawa Fairy Godmothers. Family members of service members from all branches serving on Okinawa request meals, treats, and various items for delivery. Initially, we started as a tag team of two and have grown to a volunteer group of over 100 members. We get the family recipes to make for these service members far from home, and it's like providing a warm hug despite the distance. We share their promotions, celebrations, pick-me-ups, and just-because moments.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I am involved within the military community through numerous organizational board positions. Currently I have the privilege of serving with the North Island Okinawa Spouses' Club and as a FRCTA for three units on island. In past years I also had the honor of supporting Okinawa Leadership Seminar, Military Spouses' Association Twentynine Palms, and participated with the L.I.N.K.S. mentor program in Twentynine Palms. Through each of these organizations I am able to stay connected to my community and support the needs where I am my most authentic self.

Describe how you support your community:
I joined the Okinawa Leadership Seminar as a volunteer the same month we arrived on the island. I was still determining where we would live, but I knew I would be a facilitator at the next Leadership Seminar. At that seminar, I would be inspired by a speaker—a fellow military spouse with the same passion for volunteerism and our community. I discovered the USO and began assisting with any baking needs for their programs. I also volunteer with my husband's previous and current units in Okinawa. I have worked with both units as an FRCTA, supporting them wherever needed. I continue to support our community any opportunity presents itself and needs are discovered.

What do you advocate for? Why?
It's not always easy to maintain our identity when we're far from home. This is why authenticity has become a driving force for my support in the Milspo community. In the words of Brene Brown -Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough...practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives."-. I wholeheartedly resonate with this quote because it's essential for everyone to feel heard & seen. Everyone has an opportunity to grow from others' experiences. It is through authenticity and inclusivity we create connections.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I spread the message of authenticity and inclusivity by living and leading by example. I step outside the comforts of "masking" and share with others my vulnerability, imperfections, and authentic self through my compassion and stories of struggle and triumph. Brene Brown also stated-"Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving—even when it's hard, even when we're wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we're afraid to let ourselves feel it. Society overall has presented notions and ideals that we compare ourselves to nonstop. Technology has opened the door to doom scrolling and only seeing the "happy reels" of one's life. We are more than someone else's expectation. We are enough as we are in all our perfect imperfections, and just as much as our joys shape us, our opportunities for growth can be used toward self-awareness rather than regrets to be labeled.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
Throughout our journey here in Okinawa, our journey has brought me to a different path, one I’m most grateful for and an amazing community I get to be a part of. Now I spend my spare time helping other spouses and service members feel a part of this very same community. I want to continue to share the message of the freedom of living authentically and no longer molding yourself to fit in but rather valuing the idea of creating belonging. During my journey to maintain my identity as a spouse, I ventured into volunteerism where my true gifts and talents could be utilized, and support my belief of maintaining authenticity. This is what led me to find the USO, Okinawa Leadership Seminar, North Island Okinawa Spouses' Club and to co-found Okinawa Fairy Godmothers. It is my goal to continue support this community that I cherish and to inspire the next generation of military spouses.


I can’t think of a better candidate for this year’s AFI Military Spouse of the Year than Jennifer (Bunny) Fang. By day, Bunny helps lead the Okinawa Fairy Godmothers, an organization supporting hundreds of unaccompanied service members in Okinawa with homecooked meals, she sits on the board for the North Island Okinawa Spouses’ Club, assisting with their finances, has volunteered her time with USO Camp Schwab, and also supports her spouse’s unit. By night, Bunny is a baking and cooking machine, preparing meals and baked goods weekly to support all of those she serves. Bunny is also a former board member and supporter of the Okinawa Leadership Seminar. Bunny does this all, while also being a military spouse & mom. While Bunny wears many hats, what's most remarkable is the way she leads as a servant leader, is always enthusiastic, and stops at nothing to help those around her. My journey in this military life is better with Bunny in it and I hope you all get a chance to feel her impact.
- by Maria Paige

I nominate Mrs. Fang for her exceptional dedication and selfless service to various organizations. Her commitment to the Okinawa Leadership Seminar (OLS), USO, Okinawa Fairy Godmothers, NIOSC, and her unit exemplify the values of the award. She has volunteered 845+ hours for OLS, made significant contributions as a facilitator, and mentored new facilitators. Mrs. Fang has also devoted 45.75 hours to the USO, baking for special programs, and 1,700 hours to the Okinawa Fairy Godmothers, supporting individuals in need. Her leadership on the NIOSC financial board and volunteer hours with the 12th MLR and 3rd Battalion highlight her commitment to the Marine Corps artillery community.
- by Christine Wilcox