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?
We are an Army Family. My husband and I have been married for over 12 years and have three children. I became a military spouse 30 days after meeting a handsome young soldier who agreed to do laundry with me (It’s a long story).
I am the published author of My Thoughts Abandoned, and Co-Author of Brave Women, Strong Faith. I am also the Co-Founder, along with my husband (Ulisses), of The Bautista Project Inc. a nonprofit organization that provides basic living essentials, educational resources, support groups, and other necessary resources to assist homeless community members with reintegration.
This is my passion. I was homeless as a young adult and I promised myself that if I ever overcame homelessness, I would spend my life, giving to people in need.
WHICH MILITARY BRANCH DOES YOUR SPOUSE SERVE IN AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE SERVED?
My husband Ulisses is Army, he has been for 17 years.
WHERE HAS THE MILITARY MOVED YOUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE DUTY STATION AND WHY?
We have lived in Hawaii, Germany, Colorado, New York, and Florida. Picking a favorite duty station is hard. But if I have to, I’d say Hawaii. I loved Island life. I also had my firstborn child in Honolulu. I took hula lessons, swam in the ocean, and learned about the Polynesian culture. It didn’t hurt that the weather was great.
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?
My favorite thing about being a military spouse is having the opportunity to travel. This is the absolute best benefit of military life. Learning about other cultures is something my family loves to do. Exploring history, and trying new foods is a way we embrace and begin to understand the diverse cultures of the world.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
My mom taught me how to be strong and resilient, no matter what I was up against. She is my inspiration for life. Michelle Obama is my living inspiration. She has faced adversity and racism and still chose to stand up for the injustices of those in need. I admire her selfless service to our country before she was the first lady, during, and even now after her husband has left office. She continues to uplift individuals and communities.
WHICH CHARLIEMADISON EVERYDAY REMINDER DO YOU WEAR ON YOUR WRIST AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR BRACELET?
The Jasper & African Opal Mini Bracelet immediately caught my eye. I was instantly attracted to its uniqueness and beauty. To me, it is a view of the world. Many small stones that create a diverse image of who we are. Together we are one, but separately we are many.
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?
To stay connected. I write stories, poetry, and letters. I love writing. Sending a quick note or card can mean the world to someone you love. I sometimes even send a quick message online just to say: Hi, I love you and I miss you. It really brightens my family’s day.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A FELLOW MILITARY SPOUSE WHO IS STRUGGLING WITH MILITARY LIFE OR DEPLOYMENT?
Reach out to your village. The military spouse village is the most diverse community anywhere. We come from all walks of life, backgrounds, and demographics. Surely, there’s someone who you will create a life-long bond with. I met my best friend at a Family Readiness Group meeting over twelve years ago.
We both didn’t want to be there, we both were struggling with our spouses’ upcoming deployment and our own personal issues. We became reluctant friends. Now, we are reluctant BFF’s. I love her and I would have never met her if I didn’t step outside my comfort zone. So, do it! Step outside your comfort zone and attend a spouses’ event or volunteer at an event.
WE HAPPEN TO BE QUOTE LOVERS AROUND HERE – CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE QUOTE THAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~Maya Angelou
This quote is special to me. I had a rough upbringing and for many years I told no one. I didn’t share my hardships because I didn’t want to be pitied. I later realized that my story could be the very guide that someone else needs to overcome their own hardships.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?