Nominations due April 30 for Military Spouse of the Year

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Guard spouses have grown through the radical paradigm shift imposed by the events of 9/11 and its consequent ramp up of National Guard mobilizations and contingencies lasting periods of times not previously experienced under the former "weekend warrior" mentality of the National Guard.

I know, as I too had been a Guard spouse during the events of 9/11 and consequently hired on as the first Wing Family Program Coordinator for the 129th.

The weight of ramping up our own mindset and that of our children through the unwelcome and uncomfortable changes that lay ahead has been exhausting. Our National Guard spouses, specifically that of our unit, have overcome so much in order to keep their marriages strong, children safe, and hearts, minds and bodies healthy.

It is especially timely to recognize military spouses after last year's intense deployment to Afghanistan. That isn't to say that only combat spouses endured - it also includes all Guard spouses who continue to commit to adapting for the sake of their Guard members' careers. They too exemplify a true and honorable sacrifice with selfless acts that go unrecognized.

Therefore, our married Guard members, whether they deployed or not, have been afforded an opportunity to submit a loving testament explaining the following qualities exhibited by their spouses:

1. Independence: The capability of leading a fulfilling and meaningful life as a spouse, parent, community servant, student, professional, coach, mentor, and friend to others, while a part of the National Guard family.

2. Resiliency: The ability to overcome setbacks and obstacles and to maintain positive thoughts during times of adversity (including deployments).

Only one spouse will be selected from the maintenance group, medical group, mission support group, operations group and wing headquarters. People who submit the first 15 testaments will receive a thank you tote from the Family Readiness Office and will be recognized.

HOW TO APPLY? Guard members should email their testament to Master Sgt. Jim Knopf in the Chaplains Office at james.knopf@ang.af.mil by April 30, 2010.