Each year MilSpouse Magazine honors military spouses by choosing a Military Spouse of the Year. This year they have made some changes by allowing National Guard Spouses to participate, each nominee gets to update a personal page and initial voting is based on locations and bases. With nominations lasting from November 8 through January 4 and voting set to begin on January 22, military spouses are able to be recognized by their families and peers for their work as being a military spouse and within their community. Began in 2008, Military Spouse magazine's Military Spouse of the Year® (MSOY) program has honored the most deserving military spouses nationally on an annual basis.
MSOY nominees have introduced initiatives and solutions to address a multitude of topics affecting the military community. These men and women have emerged as leaders within the military spouse community advocating for a variety of issues ranging from spouse employment and education to family health and those impacted by illness and disabilities.
Military Spouse of the Year 2012 was Jeremy Hilton, Air Force Academy graduate and former Navy Officer, has been a MilSpouse for 15 years. His wife nominated him for this honor writing, “...Jeremy has taken on a leadership role in advocating for both Military and non-Military families on issues including special education, medical care and long term care issues. He is a published author as well as a highly regarded speaker on issues involving Military families with special needs. He has briefed the Congressional Military Family Caucus, numerous Congressional delegations and staffers on the Armed Services Committee, HELP Committee, on the Judiciary Committee and in the White House. At the national level, Jeremy coordinates legislation related to Military families impacted by a disability with groups including the Military Officers Association of America, the National Military Family Association, Blue Star Families and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. His expertise has been sought by the White House, the Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the National Council on Disability and the Department of Defense.
Jeremy is a passionate advocate for inclusion of individuals with disabilities. He produced a video series (Creating Access for All) to encourage churches to start disability ministries at their places of worship. Jeremy volunteers additional time at our church and with the 2nd Field Investigations Squadron Key Spouse Program. He accomplishes this all while also attending a graduate program at George Washington University in Washington D.C.”
It is apparent through her nomination that Mr. Hilton’s nomination and win was very well deserved. He is a wonderful example for the strength and resiliency of a military spouse of family. Each day can bring something completely new for a military family whether it’s a deployment, post deployment stressors, PCS or just the day to day life.
First Lady Michelle Obama and our Vice Presidents wife Dr. Jill Biden have repeatedly praised military spouses for their volunteer efforts. In a speech that the First Lady gave in February 2012 she praised military spouses, “You're the spouse who steps up to do the work of two parents, raising the kids, running the household, juggling all the errands and chores all alone. But you are still the volunteer on the PTA. You still lead that food drive. You organize the neighborhood carpool. You're the families who, every few years, you pack up your entire lives, and you move whenever and wherever your country calls.”
Military spouses hold part time volunteer positions at schools, local charities as well handle volunteer positions within their spouses units. Many volunteer more hours than a standard work with and often do so with children and full time employment. There is proof that one can never underestimate the strength and pride of a military spouse or a military family.