By Kris Gonzalez, Fort Jackson LeaderDecember 2, 2010
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- When Tiffany Moss and her family moved to Fort Jackson in October 2008, Moss had a difficult time adjusting.
Although her husband, Staff Sgt. Shawn Moss, a drill sergeant for Company B, 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, wouldn't deploy, Tiffany Moss knew he would have to work long and erratic hours, leaving the mother of five to take care of their brood often on her own.
She became depressed and searched for emotional support from other wives who might understand, but was disappointed to find there were no support groups for drill sergeants' spouses at Fort Jackson.
"There were some wonderful clubs going on, but nothing specifically for drill sergeant spouses," Tiffany Moss recalled.
So she began to host dinners at her house for drill sergeants' wives. Eventually those wives brought friends and the guest lists grew longer, to include wives of all ranks. Tiffany Moss soon realized that her dinners were becoming too big for her house.
She contacted the Installation Chaplain's Office, which allowed her to use one of its facilities and helped provide child care. In February 2009, she launched the first meeting of the At E.A.S.E. group - Attending to Every Army Spouse Exclusively.
The spouses met, and continue to meet, one Friday night every month to pamper themselves, enjoy each other's company and create networks of friends, Tiffany Moss said.
"It's a family resiliency program," Moss said. "As spouses, we often lose ourselves after we move and move and move. (This group) gives me the opportunity to be Tiffany and not just Mrs. Moss or my children's mom for two hours a month."
The program has become so popular, it has become a model for other installations, Tiffany Moss said.
And she said she couldn't have made it happen without her husband.
"He's the reason I succeeded, because he supported me," Tiffany Moss said. "He was busy being a drill sergeant, but he still found time to be an amazing, supportive husband and an amazing father. He knew what was going on, he didn't sit back on his haunches and make me do everything, and he helped in the community in his own way."
Even with a rigorous work schedule, Shawn Moss joined his wife as she participated in the 3-13th's Family Readiness Group, in chapel activities and at Fort Jackson's elementary schools, where their children go to school. He also volunteered as a leader for the Fort Jackson Cub Scouts, to which his sons belong.
"He is by far the hardest working family man you will ever come across," said 1st Sgt. Marc Grandia, Co. B's first sergeant.
For all of their efforts and their dedication to the Fort Jackson community, the Moss family was named the 2010 Fort Jackson Family of the Year and was honored in a ceremony Nov. 22 at the Solomon Center.
The Moss family was one of 22 Fort Jackson families nominated for the prestigious award.
The nominees included families of Active Army, National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, other military services, retirees and civilian employees, who were nominated based on the individual growth of each family member, love and teamwork within their families, and friendship and service between the families and the Fort Jackson community, said Marilynn Bailey, the installation's Army volunteer corps coordinator.
"It's a celebration of their contributions to the well-being of the Fort Jackson community and how they help strengthen the unity within our military family," Bailey said.
"These outstanding families have demonstrated cohesion, love, support and commitment to our community and improving the lives not just of their own families but the lives of all of our families here on this installation," said Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson's commanding general.
After the ceremony, Shawn Moss said he was surprised and humbled his family had won the honor.
"There were a lot of families that we thought really deserved to win," said Shawn Moss. "I was just happy my command thought that highly of us to nominate us."
Col. Drew Meyerowich, commander of the 193rd Infantry Brigade, said he wasn't surprised at all.
"They're just a great family," Meyerowich said. "We're talking about a great noncommissioned officer who is not only dedicated to the Army, but he's also very dedicated to his family. And his wife is with him every step of the way. They're doing so many things for the community; that's what really makes theirs a super family."
"The Moss family epitomizes selfless service, and has done so for their entire tenure here at Fort Jackson," echoed Lt. Col. Ben Higginbotham, 3-13th's commander.
The Moss family received a trophy, a vacation package, an AAFES gift certificate, and gift certificates from other local vendors.
Tiffany Moss said the recognition was bittersweet because coincidentally, she and her family recently found out they will be moving to Fort Bliss, Texas this month.
"I know it's time to move on and hopefully the things we've started here will continue, but we're excited to see what's in store for us at our next duty station," Tiffany Moss said. "We're always surprised by the things we get the opportunity to do."
She offered this parting advice for other military spouses.
"When you see a need, meet it; don't wait for somebody else to fix it," she said. "Don't wait for somebody to come to you. You start something. Have faith in yourself that you've been put in a position for a certain reason."
2010 Fort Jackson Family of the Year nominees
A-A A+- 1st Sgt. Joel and Amber Baker, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Timothy and Ginger Cardinal, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Kevin and Julie Correira, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Ryan and Elisabeth Jondreau, Company E, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Shawn and Tiffany Moss, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin and Tammie Cruz, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 165th Infantry Brigade
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Scott and Tawnya Harrison, Company E, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth and Tina Parent, Company A, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Sgt. Amy and William Puckett, Company E, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- 1st Lt. David and Sharon Rice, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Rob and Michelle Brickner, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 187th Ordnance Battalion
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Jason and Sarah Condreay, 17th Military Police Detachment
A-A A+- Sgt. Christopher and Esmeralda Cordova, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 171st Infantry Brigade
A-A A+- Staff Sgt. Bradley and Sandra Good, Company B, 120th Adjutant General Battalion
A-A A+- Capt. Christopher and Bernice Letsinger, Task Force Marshall
A-A A+- Chaplain (Capt.) Andrew and Michelle Spriensma, 4th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment
A-A A+- Capt. Nick and Kristen Chaisson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Training Support Battalion
A-A A+- Michael Henley and Karma Hernandez Henley, Adjutant General School
A-A A+- Capt. Michael and Malynda Skiff, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Training Support Battalion
A-A A+- Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Charles and Andrea Lynde, U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School
A-A A+- Cpl. Krystinia Watson and Staff Sgt. Presley Watson, Dental Activity and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Training Support Battalion