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?
I was born and raised in Texas. I am married to Kevin. We have three kids. Our oldest is Kevin, and he lives in TN. He is a police officer in Bartlett and a Marine Reservist. He is married to Kendall and they have a daughter Kinley (who is the light of my life) and one on the way this fall.
Our daughter, Mariana, will be a senior this coming Fall at Liberty University where she is getting a degree in Business Project Management. Our son, Joshua, just had his senior year of high school cut short due to Covid-19, but will graduate from Forest Park High School and has been accepted to Liberty University.
Since Kevin joined the Marine Corps after we were married, I came into this lifestyle with my eyes wide open. His father had been a Marine and my mother-in-law gave me some valuable advice when Kevin joined and I think it made all the difference as far as my attitude and expectations.
I hope I have done the same for my daughter-in-law as they navigate the Reserves. I guess a fun fact for our family is that we are on our 3rd generation of Marines. My father-in-law, husband and son. In 2018, all 3 couples were able to attend my sons Marine Corps Ball together.
In my day to day life, I am one of the owners of Nomadés. Specifically, for the company I oversee the Marketing, Technology and Business Development and Sales. I have an amazing group of business partners the best employees, consultants and merchandisers any one could ask for. I also, recently started substitute teaching for Prince William County and I teach 11th grade Small Group at my church.
WHICH MILITARY BRANCH DOES YOUR SPOUSE SERVE IN AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE SERVED?
He is a Marine and is finishing up his career this year at MCB Quantico. He has been in the Marine Corps for 24 years and we will celebrate 27 years of marriage this July.
WHERE HAS THE MILITARY MOVED YOUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE DUTY STATION AND WHY?
We have been blessed to live in some great places including Northern Virginia, Camp Pendleton, California, Okinawa Japan, Norfolk, Virginia and Beaufort, SC. Honestly, I can say I have loved something about every single place we have lived.
If I had to choose a favorite, I would say Okinawa, Japan. I loved living overseas and learning about different cultures and I was able to travel to some pretty extraordinary places while living in Japan.
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?
Hands down- the friendships with other military spouses. The camaraderie with other people who are living this unusual lifestyle is one of the tools that helped me successfully overcome my fears and doubts. In what “other” career, do you move into a neighborhood and put a stranger down as your emergency contact? Only military spouses understand having your other half deployed for 6 months and the devastation of having that deployment extended.
Most people can’t comprehend Face Timing the birth of your third child, so your spouse can “be there.” Other military spouses have poured into me and helped me grow as a person. I wouldn’t be the same person if I had not been the recipient of these amazing friendships.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
Milspouse entreprenuers inspire me. When we started Nomades, there were not many military spouse owned businesses. As a matter of fact, milspouses having any kind of career was not normal. Getting jobs, maintaining careers, licenses, clients, etc was just almost impossible to do with any degree of success.
In ten years, I believe the landscape for successful careers as milspouses has shifted dramatically. On the daily, I watch the creativity and initiative of milspouses exploding into fantastic ideas and ventures.
WHICH CHARLIEMADISON EVERYDAY REMINDER DO YOU WEAR ON YOUR WRIST AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR BRACELET?
My daughter and I both have the In My Heart Mini Marine Corps, but I just purchased the Love My LEO bracelet.
In My Heart - Marines Bracelet
Love My Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Bracelet
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?
I think social media can have its pitfalls, but texting, Facebook, Instagram is the #1 way I keep up with my family and friends spread near and far… and recently Zoom…LOL.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A FELLOW MILITARY SPOUSE WHO IS STRUGGLING WITH MILITARY LIFE OR DEPLOYMENT?
Tell somebody. Let someone know you are struggling. Sometimes the very act of saying it out loud can bring perspective. If you need help, don’t wait- there are organizations out there that can help you. We have all had these moments. You are not alone. Reboot Recovery, for instance, sole reason for existence is to help military members and their spouses who are struggling.
WE HAPPEN TO BE QUOTE LOVERS AROUND HERE – CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE QUOTE THAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
~ John Wooden
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?