We all know those people in our military spouse circles. They are the ones who have made military life easier for everyone around. They spend their time volunteering and lifting others up. They are your rock when life gets hard, your sounding board when military life is sucking everything out of you, the boost you need to make it through the next deployment or long training absence. They are the glue of your community.
And they deserve to be recognized.
Lifting up these incredible people is one of the reasons the 2017 Military Spouse of the Year awards was started by Military Spouse Magazine 10 years ago. And it's done an incredible job. Take Corie Weathers, for example. A licensed professional counselor and spouse of an Army chaplain, Corie had quietly been helping military marriages for many years before someone nominated her for the award. And because she won the Military Spouse of the Year title, we now all get to benefit from her incredible advice and grace.
I haven't always been a huge fan of the awards. I thought the process bordered on an internet popularity poll -- and we know those aren't always accurate. But thanks to a few changes in the voting process, the winners are picked through a great combination of popular voting and consideration by a panel of senior spouses, past winners and other community voices. The award's title sponsor, Armed Forces Insurance, goes out of its way to support the nominees, winners and community as a whole.
While one person does ultimately end up winning the "Spouse of the Year" title, a winner for each service branch and each base or area is also selected. That means there's plenty of room to recognize everyone.
Military spouse of the year nominations are open nowIf you know someone who deserves to be recognized by their community, now is the time to nominate. You can see all the nomination rules and fill out the nomination form here.
Nominating someone is easy. And you never know the kind of impact it is going to have.
The nominations are just the beginning of this annual process, of course. Nominations close Jan. 31. On Feb. 2 the "base vote" opens, allowing voters to back one among several who may have been nominated at each individual base or area. It closes Feb. 9, and the winners are announced Feb. 13.
That's when the panel I talked about earlier goes to work. They review all of the Feb. 13 winners, and from among those select 18 candidates nationwide from all the services and the Guard or Reserve. On Feb. 20 a one-day vote opens to pick from among those. Finally, on March 2, you'll have the chance to vote for one of six final candidates to select the actual winner.
All of the six branch winners will be honored at the annual Military Spouse of the Year awards luncheon in Washington, D.C. on May 12. As always, I'll be there live.
Be a part of this wonderful process. Nominate someone today!