Courtney Deady

Branch: National Guard

Duty Station: Ohio

Number of Deployments: 5

Number of PCS's: 0

Share your military spouse story:
One fall night in 2014, I gathered enough courage to message a random man on a dating website that I found super attractive and thought, “What do I have to lose?” From that night forward, I would be blessed with the opportunity to be part of his life, witnessing him follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps within the military, paving his path to leave a legacy that we pray will find our future children one day. The day I said, “I do,” I knew that my life would forever change after taking on the new title of a military spouse, although I did not fully understand how it would change being a National Guard spouse. I promised myself that I would not lose myself in the lifestyle and that I would do what I could to educate and provide a loving ear for those who needed it and a kind word for those who needed life to be breathed back into them during their trials as I had seen my fair share. Our years with the Air National Guard have opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and allowed me to embrace unique opportunities I never thought possible. The National Guard lifestyle has shown me the value of flexibility, resilience, and adaptability, from supporting my husband during training exercises and while on orders to participating in community events and volunteer work, all while holding down the home front as a business owner and educator to high school students. Through my spouse's service, I have learned to appreciate the strength and resilience that comes from being part of the military community. I have embraced our lifestyle since my first conversation with my spouse that fall night, and in return, our military journey has provided me with the ability to embrace all the opportunities that are brought my way, while developing strength and resilience in the values of honor, courage, and commitment. However, no one could have prepared me for the strength and endurance it would require going through infertility.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I am a Key Volunteer for the 179th AW leading efforts to recruit and build the 200th Red Horse Squadron Family Readiness Programs. I led discussions in Ohio about mental health and suicide in the National Guard with the Adjutant General and joined the round table with Mrs. Loh (NG) and Mrs. Brown (AF) regarding family readiness and spouse resiliency. I mentored for the Military Spouse Advocacy Network and was promoted to National Guard Branch Mentor, increasing involvement within the group. As the Community Support Director for Building Military Families Network, I educate the military community on family-building and provide helpful information as discussion points in the journey of infertility, miscarriage, adoption, surrogacy, and living child-free. My efforts come from the heart to better the lives of those who come onto my path to be able to mentor, inspire, and provide them with a safe place to be heard.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
My involvement is unwavering. I strive to give and do just as the community has done for me. I support, engage, and become involved. I have participated in the Million Mile Project, taking steps to bring awareness to suicide. I have also been involved with conversations through Ohana Homefront for event planning. I engage with Giving Tuesday and take part in supporting our military authors, blog writers, and jewelry and purse makers. I support local guardsmen families by capturing special moments through a lens and supporting guardsmen families from other states during their difficult times through random acts of kindness. I create documents for Building Military Families Network and assist in their marketing for engagement. As previously mentioned, I have been involved in difficult conversations regarding infertility, mental health, spouse resiliency, and base morale, and I continue to be part of that conversation to help better the lives of our guardsmen and their families.

Describe how you support your community:
Supporting my community emotionally and practically is one of my most important roles. There is no discrimination when it comes to infertility. One in six couples will struggle with infertility and may have to resort to other means to add to their family. According to the Blue Star Family 2023 Survey, 67% of our military community will be faced with the heartbreaking struggle of building their family. My goal is to support this community in a way I did not have when my journey began. It is like a cycle of giving and receiving; providing support to those in need and receiving support in return.

What do you advocate for? Why?
Infertility is a daunting and heart-wrenching struggle that affects countless individuals and couples, such as civilians and the military community. Someone within your circle is silently fighting a battle they may or may not win. It can be incredibly challenging to witness a loved one go through the pain and frustration of infertility. As someone who knows this struggle firsthand, the battle is a challenging and emotional journey that leaves one feeling drained but does not define you! As our story unfolds, we educate ourselves to share it, hoping it will educate and help others within the military and our local communities who feel at a loss. With education comes knowledge. With knowledge comes power.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
Through our chapters, we find camaraderie within the military and our local community, who understand what those struggling to build a family are going through. Approximately 6.7 million people each year in the United States are struggling with infertility and often are struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. I share the message through social media outlets, being part of interviews, guest appearances on podcasts, and by working as the Community Support Director to provide information to individuals to gain the power to feel less powerless in a situation they have no control over. Spreading the message to remember to listen with an open heart and offer a non-judgmental space for individuals to express their hearts. By doing this, you show your kindness and compassion, which becomes a source of strength during a difficult time attempting to build their family.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
Being named 2024-Armed Force Insurance Military Spouse of the Year would be an honor. The opportunity would allow me to expand my knowledge and share the stories of others who have yet to be shared throughout the military and civilian communities. It would allow such a taboo subject to be highlighted and discussed more openly while breaking the stigma of infertility. With the additional knowledge and stories, I can be a beacon of hope to benefit all those struggling in our communities.


I am pleased to nominate Courtney for the National Guard Military Spouse of the Year Award. Courtney is dependable, efficient and giving. She is always willing to help out a fellow military spouse by selflessly helping out whenever needed and oftentimes helping without ever being asked. She is always motivating others and a positive leader in her community serving as a true inspiration to others. Courtney is more than deserving of this recognition and award. 
- by Miles for the Heart

Courtney is the most loving and courageous person I know. She would do anything to help someone no matter her situation. Every person deserves the love and support that Courtney has to offer!
- by Brittany Schnipke

It is an honor and a privilege to nominate Courtney for the Military Spouse of the Year award. I have known Courtney not only as a friend but as a fierce advocate for military and veteran families that are facing infertility and other challenges in building their families. Even through her own infertility struggles she is constantly seeking ways to collaborate with others in this community to advocate for change, raise awareness, and support organizations like Building Military Families Network. It takes courage, leadership, and a desire to help others break the stigma around issues like infertility, inspire others to use their voice, and support the 67% of military and veteran families struggling to build the family of their dreams. Without someone like Courtney advocating for issues like family building many military spouses would feel unseen, unworthy, isolated, and hopeless, but Courtney is a beacon of hope for those facing infertility and all spouses leading the charge for change.
- by Julie Eshelman