While the men and women in uniform are on the front lines keeping the nation free, the military spouse keeps the home front resilient.
Stacy Faris, a military spouse and mother of two, at Yuma Proving Grounds Arizona, was honored as the base-level Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year 2015, for the second year in a row.
Faris is the family readiness group leader for the Military Free Fall School at Yuma Proving Grounds, which is headquartered by the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School located at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The roll and title of MSOY brings big responsibilities and new challenges.
"I want to reach out to military spouses and families. Urging them to take full advantage of everything this awesome military life has to offer is always a priority for me," she says. "Inspiring people to be involved in their communities both military and civilian is a bonus. In a time of dwindling budgets, it is increasingly important that we take care of our own."
As a military spouse, Faris understands the frustrations that many military families go through.
"Resilience is key! Waiting for someone else to do something for you is time wasted," she said. "If you have a problem requiring a solution, be a part of the process to find it. If something within your community needs to be changed, be a part of the conversation to make that happen. Learn what you can about military life, don't expect others to teach you."
One thing that continues to concern military members and their families is continuing budget constraints.
"Our benefits are constantly under attack in Congress. It is terrifying to watch them chipped away time and again," said Farris. "Every little .8 percent taken from our raises, increases in Tricare costs, commissary funding cuts and threats to retirement are gut blows. Those in the military and the families who support them, give up too much to feel like our sacrifices matter only to those who have lived this life."
Military life is a unique culture that most do not fully understand. Many military families rely heavily on each other.
"No one can understand what you go through day-to-day without living this life," she says. "If you open yourself up to the support system around you, the friends you make could be there for a lifetime. Some of my military friends truly are a part of my family, and I cannot imagine my life without them!"