Army spouse Corie Weathers was named 2015 Military Spouse of the Year during the 8th Annual Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year ceremony May 8 on the Fort Myer portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
The ceremony recognizes military spouses' contributions to their families, the military community and the nation by selecting an exemplary spouse from each of the military's six branches. From those six, an overall national honoree is chosen.
Corie is a licensed therapist and the wife of Army Capt. Matthew Weathers, a chaplain at Fort Gordon, Ga. There she uses her degree to provide counseling to both service members and their families.
During her husband's first deployment to Afghanistan, Corie counseled spouses whose service members had died in the line of duty. She and her husband also host weekend retreats for military couples to help strengthen and grow their marriages.
Corie said she tries to bring happiness and comfort to those in need through simple connection.
"Joy comes from connection, and it comes through empathy in that moment where you sit across from someone and you look in their eyes and they go 'me too,'" she said after receiving the honor. "Out of that joy we go and we inspire other people. My goal every day is to love other people and hopefully somebody walks away from taking a moment to be with me feeling more loved than when they first came."
Kate Dolack, editor-in-chief of Military Spouse magazine, said the military spouse of the year from each of the six branches were incredible people.
"I'm standing in front of some of the nation's most remarkable individuals," she said. "These six women are some of the most passionate, driven and exemplary individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing ... They love their communities, they hold them up and support them in times of need."
The other branch winners and overall nominees were:
Air Force: Jana Kingery
Coast Guard: Stacey Benson
National Guard: Julia Kysela
Navy: Antonia Wilber
Marine Corps: Nicole Spaid
Retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Garry L. Parks, chairman of Armed Forces Insurance, said the six branch nominees had been chosen from more than one million military spouses, representing the "best of the best."
But he sang the praises of those million other spouses who, along with their service members, serve their nation every day.
"As military families best understand, spouses also serve," Parks said. "The modern day military spouse ... has been an unsung hero and has endured countless deployments while often still maintaining a full-time job...Beyond any doubt, our nation's military family is far stronger today due to the love, support and phenomenal contributions of the military spouse."
The ceremony also featured a new award: The Gabby Giffords Award for courage and bravery. It was presented to Taya Kyle, widow of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper and subject of the Academy Award nominated film of the same name.
Notable attendees included Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations; Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald Green; Col. Mike Henderson, JBM-HH commander; Deanie Dempsey, wife of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey; Linda Odierno, wife of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno; Ellyn Dunford, wife of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford; and more.
For more information about the Military Spouse of the Year awards, visit www.msoy.militaryspouse.com.