Faces Behind the Hero: Sarah, Army Brat, Navy Wife

This week’s “Face Behind the Heroes” is, Sarah.  She is an “Army Brat” turned Navy wife!  I felt an instant camaraderie as I am an “Air Force Brat” turned Army wife.  Some of just can’t get away from the life :).  Sarah has a lot of great thoughts of the support you can find on base.  Have you utilized on-base / post support?  Put it on your ‘To-Do’ list today!  But first we hope you enjoy reading a few thoughts from Sarah, this week’s “Face Behind the Hero“:

What branch is your husband in? Navy

How long has he been in? 16 years

How long have you been married? 5 years

What is your favorite wedding-day memory? Marrying my best friend while being given away by my father; my two heroes sharing a very special day with me.

Do you have children? Yes. Two boys, Maddox and Liam.

How do you help them cope with military-life? They’re still toddlers, but they cope fairly well – all they knew prior to our transfer to our current Command was a very busy OPTEMPO on an amphibious assault ship. We make deployment and underways a time to learn and grow so we have lots to share with Daddy when he gets home. We take part in United Through Reading, participate in Command events and try to make sure that they know that even though Daddy is gone, he is always with us in our hearts.  (Leanne: I’m so glad you brought up the United Through Reading program.  I am such a fan of the program.  We got quite a few books from my husband when he was in Iraq for a year.  It is truly a GREAT program!)

How many deployments have you been through? How many PCSs? (Including as a ‘brat’) As an Army brat, I’m STILL going through deployments. My father is gearing up for another deployment to Afghanistan – I have lost count of the number, but know that he has been involved in every major engagement since 1986. My husband and I have been through multiple work up cycles, underways and 2 deployments. As an Army brat – too many PCS moves to count, as a Navy wife, we have stayed in the Hampton Roads, VA area and transitioned between Naval Station Norfolk and NAS Oceana.

Now, when someone asks… “What can I do for you?” What do you actually say? What would you really like to say? I’m usually the one asking what I can do for someone else. Helping others is my coping mechanism for deployments and underways – there is no feeling like that of helping another person. If someone asked me what I needed, I guess a good chat over a cup of coffee. I’m lucky to have a great group of friends that are there no matter what.

As a ‘Brat’ how many schools did you attend? Somewhere in the double digits, it’s pretty sad that I can’t remember!

What was your favorite post as a child? I think NTC Fort Irwin, CA was my favorite. It seems odd, but it was always so quiet and private, a world of our own of sorts. The house was great, the parks were fun and they had the BEST high-dive at the base pool.

Where has your favorite base been as a Navy Wife? I love NAS Oceana. It’s great to be a part of the air community. Plus I love military aviation and Oceana has that in abundance!

Where do you find the support you need when you need it? Fleet and Family Support Center, fellow spouses, fellow Ombudsmen and all the great venues available to families for support in our area.

What do you love most about “military life”? The ability to meet people from all walks of life. If you haven’t seen someone in years, the chances of you running into them where you’re stationed are fairly high. It’s a great vast small world, if that makes sense!

What are you passionate about? My work as a Command Ombudsman and a Certified Ombudsman Trainer. I’m passionate about family readiness and supporting the service members and their families.  (Leanne: Want to learn more about the Ombudsman Program?  Head over to the Fleet & Family Support Center website.)

What is your favorite color and why? Green. It just has an energy about it, something about renewal and life I think.

Do you have a favorite quote? “Success supposes endeavor.” – Jane Austen ; “Alone we can do so little – together so much.” – Helen Keller

When you move to a new base what is one of the first things you do? Contact my Ombudsman and Fleet and Family Support Center to make sure that I have the most updated area information and request a Welcome Aboard packet.

Has anyone in the community (business, church, neighbor off base, etc etc) ever gone out of their way to help you, as the spouse of a military-member? Who? What did they do? I think the benefit of living in Hampton Roads is that there are so many military members that the community really embraces you and takes you in. I cannot think of an instance in particular, but I know many other family members that have benefited from the community.

Do you use on base facilities? Commissary? MCSS? MWR? Child Care? Services of that nature. All the time. I love the Commissary, MWR is phenomenal as far as activities and fun things for the kids. Fleet and Family Support Center is the number one recommendation I always make to families to utilize – so many free and wonderful programs available.

A big thank you to Sarah for taking the time to share her thoughts as a Navy wife and her passion for the support a military-family can find on their on base community.  But mostly a giant “Thank You” for supporting the heroes in her life! 

– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.combyLeanneonMonday, March 15, 2010Military Life:,

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