We believe stories are important - they connect us with other women who share similar experiences and help us feel as if we're not alone when life throws us a curveball. And as a military spouse - owned company, we believe in the power of sharing stories of fellow military spouses. The military spouse community is a unique sisterhood - they show strength with every relocation, deployment, and lost job; they’re resilient - making a new home and forming new friendships at each duty station; and they are fiercely devoted to the family and military hero they love. Despite the uncertainty and sacrifice that military life brings, military spouses face each new challenge with grace and bravery. At Charliemadison Originals, we're celebrating our sisterhood of military spouses through our Meet a Milspouse series - sharing one story at a time and giving you a glimpse inside their world.
GIVE US A BEHIND-THE-SCENES PEEK AT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY – HOW DID YOU BECOME A MILITARY SPOUSE (MILSPOUSE)? WHAT DO YOU DO IN ADDITION TO BEING A MILSPOUSE? AND A FUN FACT ABOUT YOUR MILITARY FAMILY?
My husband Randy and I have been married for 8 years. Our “how I met you” story is pretty special to me. During high school I worked at a local ice cream shop where the shop owner (who became a dear lifelong friend and mentor) introduced us and immediately predicted we would be married one day! We lost touch until the end of college. We reconnected and were married within a few years!
Shortly after we reunited, Randy shared that he was planning to enlist in the Army. I was nervous and had no idea what this would mean for our life together, but I was head-over-heels so I decided to embrace the adventure. We were married shortly after he enlisted.
After “marrying into the military,” I launched Brave Crate - the deployment countdown box for military spouses. Every month we send a themed box of self care, self development, and long distance love tools to military spouses who are on the home-side of deployment. Our mission is to support military spouses who want to shift their focus away from counting days and onto making deployment count. The community of women that this box has brought together is phenomenal, and I’m lucky to be inspired by their resilience every single day.
Fun fact: we eloped! I realize this isn’t completely unheard of in the military community, but it was totally out of character for both of us.
WHICH MILITARY BRANCH DOES YOUR SPOUSE SERVE IN AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE SERVED?
Active Duty Army and he has served for 9 years.
WHERE HAS THE MILITARY MOVED YOUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE DUTY STATION AND WHY?
We were married in Fort Eustis, VA and then moved to Fort Bragg, NC. We are now living in the city of Philadelphia, PA as my husband finishes out a temporary recruiting assignment.
Every duty station has been special, but our time at Fort Bragg was really formative for us individually and for our marriage. We found a community there that we will be forever connected to. During this season we really learned how to do military-life well from the friends and mentors that were in our circle.
Living in a city like Philadelphia has been a wonderful experience too, but in very different ways. There is virtually no military community here, but we are close to our family and able to enjoy the “perks” of city life. We are both major foodies so the restaurant scene here makes our hearts happy!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MILITARY SPOUSE? TELL US SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED OR HAS MADE YOU STRONGER BECAUSE YOU ARE A MILSPOUSE?
This is a bit embarrassing, but I truly only found my “favorite thing” after starting Brave Crate a little over a year ago! What I really love about being a military spouse is the opportunity we have to connect to a worldwide network of other spouses. Once we launched Brave Crate I really began to open myself to the online community of spouses and found that there are limitless ways to connect and learn. The milspouse community is big enough that you’re always making new friends, but small enough that you’ll see familiar faces everywhere.
Without a doubt the frequent moves of military life have forced me to develop a certain strength and resilience. I’m a planner at heart and also an introvert, so having to live without a long range plan or having to reinvent myself every few years can be difficult. Moving will always be tough for me, but it’s taught me so much about overcoming fears and living in peace even without a plan!
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
The women of Brave Crate inspire me every single day. It is so easy to let life fly past you while you count down to a homecoming reunion, but the milspouses in our community refuse to wish those days away.
I love to watch their individual journeys as they count down the deployment. We have women who are using this season of separation to focus on education, physical fitness, business goals, creative outlets- the list is never ending! When I’m having a bad day I’m encouraged by their commitment to finding joy and purpose during what can be a really difficult time for most of us.
WHICH CHARLIEMADISON EVERYDAY REMINDER DO YOU WEAR ON YOUR WRIST AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR BRACELET?
I’m in love with the Be Present in Blush bracelet for two reasons.
First, the gorgeous blush pink and rose gold palette means that I can wear it with almost anything (hello simplicity!). Second, the message of “presence” really resonates with me. It’s easy to be distracted by tasks or overwhelmed by the next curveball that the military will inevitably throw our way. My greatest goal is to learn to find joy in the moment even if that moment finds me in the midst of chaos.
I actually purchased this same bracelet for my sister recently and the idea that we can wear this daily reminder together even when the military takes our family far away is incredibly special to me.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO STAY CONNECTED TO WHAT MATTERS MOST, DESPITE THE UNCERTAINTY, FREQUENT MOVES, AND DEPLOYMENTS THAT GO ALONG WITH BEING A MILITARY FAMILY?
Prioritizing a weekly date night with my husband has been critical for me. It’s a non-negotiable, so my colleagues and partners know that I’m never available on Friday after 7pm. During our date nights we always share our “high” and “low” from the past week. I love that this simple rhythm can be replicated no matter where we’re living or what’s happening. We’ve even found workarounds for intentional “date” time during deployments!
WE HAPPEN TO BE QUOTE LOVERS AROUND HERE – CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE QUOTE THAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
“This too shall pass.”
I’m not actually sure where this quote is from, but my Mother has reminded me of this my entire life! I always interpreted this in terms of negative moments, as a reminder that the struggles will eventually pass. Recently though I began seeing it through a positive lens as well- a reminder that the joyful moments are also temporary so they should be savored and given my full attention.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
Becky Hoy believes that deployment is one of the best things that has ever happened for the growth of her marriage and her own personal development. As an Army spouse whose husband has been deployed or otherwise away from home for roughly half of their marriage, Becky realized quickly that wishing away the days during deployment could not be an option for her. In her effort to share this message with other spouses, and to support women who wanted to make the most of the deployment season, Becky founded Brave Crate, the deployment care package for military spouses. She shares weekly tips and inspiration as a blogger for Brave Blog and and has curated a deployment-positive support community for military spouses called Brave Board.