Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The dust has now settled on all of the "Military Spouse of the Year" voting and aftermath, and now we're all just waiting until May 8 to see who will be the ultimate winner.  

Of course, each of the six branch winners has really already won. We represent our branch and its families, which is a tremendous honor. For me, representing the Army, that means about three quarters of a million families! It's a huge honor and a huge responsibility. I know that my fellow branch winners feel the same way, and we are all hard at work in our respective spheres while we wait to hear which of us will win even more.

If you are reading this it means you didn't unfriend me amid the mayhem of voting, interviews, memes, and the like. So thank you for that! 

But there were many, many who went above and beyond for me during this whole process, and I want to take a moment to give those folks a shout-out. As I was putting this post together, I realized that every aspect of my life is represented in the people that were pulling for me: my branch, my profession, my city, my faith, my hometown, my friends and family. It was really, really amazing. And I tear up just a little thinking about it. 

Whew! Ok, so here goes:

Houston Gets Behind its Own: Houston really had me covered on the social media. Thank you so much to 002 Magazine and Miya Shay and Sonia Azad from Houston's ABC 13 for promoting my vote on Twitter! Thank you to my friends at the 20K Group and the League of Women Voters--Houston for supporting me over Twitter and Facebook. You guys are amazing!

So Does My Hometown: I'm from Odessa, Texas, which is a city that does pretty well at keeping up with its natives. The local ABC affiliate, KMID, did an interview about my Army Spouse of the Year award, and promoted the MSOY vote as part of the content. Thank you KMID! 

Also, a ton of friends and family from back home tapped their own networks to support me. Maybe it's true that "you can't go home," but I'm sure glad that home follows me on Facebook! :)

Leadership Houston Rocks the Vote: I love Leadership Houston, and I love how alumni come together to lift each other up! I actually lost count of how many friends from LH shared/tweeted/retweeted/otherwise pestered friends and family to vote for me. 

And trust me, the votes were amazing, but what has been even more amazing is the opportunity I've had to talk about military families issues with some of the most incredible leaders in this city! I'm hoping that dialogue is only the beginning.

So Does my Faith Family: I mentioned in a previous post that my church has really been behind me throughout my work for military families. This journey has been no exception. It has been truly touching to see how my faith family cares for my family, and for military families. But I have to tell you, I think we may all need a lesson in patience, because some of these folks are even more anxious for the final results than I am! 

And my Military Family:  Military Spouse JD Network has been a long-time source of support for me, and my MSJDN friends certainly came through on this one. Beginning with a beautiful blog post, followed by shares, tweets, more shares, and more tweets.  Jake's unit, Fort Riley, and the Army generally has been very supportive, not to mention the many friends that we have made across so many other duty stations. 

I can't tell you how much I would love to win this for all of them, the men and women working hard to blaze a trail and make the path easier for the spouses and families that are following behind us! Thank you all!

My People Are AWESOME: I think I need a better thesaurus because I am running out of synonyms for awesome. There were several people who have really gone above and beyond for me, and not just with the votes. Whether it's helping me spread my advocacy message, offering me support and encouragement as I work to make it through this deployment, or just blubbering with me so I won't be embarrassed that I'm blubbering alone, you've been there. 

For fear that I might miss someone, I'm not going to list you, but you know who you are. You lift me up, and you keep me sane. THANK YOU!

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