Military Spouse of the Year 2008 does not give up her title but has a teammate now: Tanya Querio. Chelle (pronounced Shellie) let it be known that she is not sitting down and stepping aside but is alive and well and on fire for today’s military. A powerful weapon aimed at complacency – and she is on our side! WAHOOOOO!
Chelle has a heart that is jammed packed with adventure, sensitivity, compassion and sorrows. She is strong, determined and sounded like Wonder Woman when I spoke with her in a great teleconference which you can hear at http://www.defenselink.mil/Blogger/ click on the Pentagon Web Radio spot. Mrs Brewers first love is her family and laced with that love is her love of special needs children around the world. Educated as a teacher, spouse of a psychologist and armed as a USAF brat, Chelle speaks from her depths of experience and her joy of the future. There is no letting go for her.
When asked how she finds time to do all that she does, her straight forward answer was so simply put: she doesn’t find time, she incorporates her family, friends and her feelings. She advises all to be philanthropic: give to others, help others to connect.
I asked her how young spouses can better deal with constant deployments. Her advice was to become stronger, make better connections with children, family, friends. Chelle grew up without grandparents around – sigh, mine did too! It is the life of a brat. And as a terrific brat she is blooming wherever she is planted! Chelle said about giving advice to young spouses… Don’t take it! Be yourself! Be comfortable with who you are. Be a resource to civilian communities. Know your culture. “We make a difference every time we make a good choice!” (No doubt why she was chosen spouse of the year!) Don’t ask who is doing this or that, get in there and “Just get it done.”
Her advice for Tanya Quiero, Military Spouse of the Year 2009, was to make certain that she follow your gut. Do things for the right reasons.
She had fun times too in this position that she held so well. While in Charlotte, Chelle met Quincy Collins, a POW for 7 1/2 years in Vietnam and John McCain’s cell mate for 2 of those years. As she walked beside him she wanted to sing his praise, and he would stop her and say that she was the celebrity, the star, the patriot. WOW. Chelle has proven that this year and I felt honored to hear part of her story: Mom of a special needs child. Therefore the need to travel, live and breath continually in a hospital. Wife of an injured soldier. I would say nothing came easily to Mrs. Brewer – but she didn’t carry that banner at all. She cheered for those in hospitals, families worrying for those in rehab, children needing medical attention. She has a mission- as does our military. She is armed with her background, firm with her backbone and courageous! Thanks Chelle. Well done!