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 YOU DO IN ADDITION TO BEING A MILSPOUSE? AND A FUN FACT ABOUT YOUR MILITARY FAMILY?
I met my husband when I was also in the Army as a combat medic. I was teaching a combat lifesaver class and he was a student of mine. He began to bring apples to class and give them to me. It didn’t take long before we began dating and were as inseparable as you can be when you are in the military lifestyle. Now we have been together for over 14 years and have three young boys.
Fun fact about our family is that we recently spent two years in Korea and that was an incredible experience. I am so grateful we were able to show our children a place so incredibly different than America. It was in Korea that I decided to launch my own holistic nutrition consulting business. It was going to be nearly impossible to find work and I was really wanting to help people get healthier sooner than later. That’s when Health on the Homefront was born. I began giving tours of the local outdoor Korean markets. Those markets are amazing and I miss them so much. Many military families were intimidated by the different produce as well as the communication barriers and I wanted to help them break through that and enjoy the amazing fresh foods.
WHICH MILITARY BRANCH DOES YOUR SPOUSE SERVE IN AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE SERVED?
Active duty Army and he has served for 17 years - we are seeing the end in sight now.
WHERE HAS THE MILITARY MOVED YOUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE DUTY STATION AND WHY?
We met at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and then moved to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. I loved Washington and miss so much of it to this day. The farmer’s markets were plentiful, the people were so friendly and it was gorgeous. All of that wetness makes for a beautiful state. But after having two babies 16 months apart the misty weather proved to be a bit more challenging. Next was Fort Rucker, Alabama and from there we went to Camp Humphreys, Korea and now Fort Riley, Kansas.
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?
The pride I feel for our country and being an American has definitely strengthened by being a military spouse. I feel like we see the world a bit differently from our perspective, with our spouses always taking off for training and deployments. Their entire mission is to train and protect all of us and that is powerful. Something none of us take for granted.
My favorite thing about being a military spouse is how all of us have an instant connection through life circumstances. We have so many similar threads that weave between our lives and we instantly get what the other has endured.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
There are so many people that inspire me and it changes on the daily because I am always looking for inspiration. Rachel Hollis is a huge inspiration for me right now and I just saw on social media that she spoke at a USO event for military spouses and anyone that takes time to come speak to us (because service members get special visits more often) is greatly appreciated. She is so down to Earth and I love her honesty about the struggles she faces every day and all she had to face to get where she is now. Transparency is very inspirational to me. Real and transparent.
WHICH CHARLIEMADISON EVERYDAY REMINDER DO YOU WEAR ON YOUR WRIST AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR BRACELET?
I am immediately drawn to certain colors and combinations and I love the diffuser bracelets the best! I love how I can wear them individually or stack them all and they look just as good together or stand alone.
WHAT DO YOU TO DO STAY CONNECTED TO WHAT MATTERS MOST, DESPITE THE UNCERTAINTY, FREQUENT MOVES, AND DEPLOYMENTS THAT GO ALONG WITH BEING A MILITARY FAMILY?
Well I will say it doesn’t always come easily and those days that aren’t easy or I get a bit disconnected I try to lean into it, feel it, acknowledge it and then know that tomorrow is another day. It’s okay to get angry or frustrated. I think military spouses feel like they can’t vent or get frustrated with circumstances or they will be seen as the complainer. But then when it doesn’t get out and instead it is shoved down deep inside it will find it’s way out eventually. When that happens it will have exponentially grown in a negative manner - short tempered, shut down, or lead to emotional eating.
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