By Senior Airman Jannelle Dickey
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Elizabeth Strong was recently honored as the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year as the Barksdale Air Force Base winner.
“This award empowers and motivates spouses to be better spouses for their military community,” Strong said. “It’s not about being recognized, it’s about being appreciated. When I got nominated, I was on cloud nine.”
The MSOY base level spouses represent an installation’s best example of an unwavering commitment to their military community.
Kristen Wingeier nominated Strong for the award based on personal interaction and noticing the ample times she offered assistance to families in need through the Barksdale AFB spouse Facebook page. In addition, she always extends a hand to newcomers.
“When we arrived to Barksdale, she was there when I was full of questions and needed help around the base and local area,” said Wingeier. “Mrs. Strong took me to lunch to meet other spouses in the area and as she talked I could see the passion she had toward helping fellow Airmen and their spouses coming to Barksdale. I believe she should be recognized for not only helping but truly seeing so many newcomers are at a lost when they arrive to a new installation. ”
As a mother of three, Strong juggles being active with the Barksdale Officers' Spouses' Club, being a key member for the 2nd Bomb Wing holiday party and Air Force Ball committees, and volunteering for various squadron, wing and base level events.
Maj. Christopher Strong, 2nd Operations Support Squadron nuclear operations flight chief, is very proud his wife received this award.
“She was able to do all these things while still taking care of our family while I was deployed for over half of 2015,” he said. “Elizabeth is an amazing person. This experience not only validates her efforts but gives her motivation to do even more.”
The award also contributes to the Barksdale community, Maj. Strong continued.
“As this accomplishment highlights Elizabeth's efforts, it could also inspire others to do more with the base and the community,” he said. “I believe her spouse's welcome packet will have the biggest impact for the base.”
Mrs. Strong’s new sponsorship packet for spouses includes a collection of information for incoming Barksdale spouses to gain insight on neighborhoods, schools, programs, base activities and opportunities.
“I recently created a 12-page electronic packet with information that any new family would benefit from before arriving to Barksdale,” she said. “I have already sent it to seven different spouses and received positive feedback from everyone.”
Now Mrs. Strong is looking forward to sharing her sponsorship packet program with other Military Spouse of the Year base winners.
“I can’t wait to network and meet other motivated spouses with different platforms who have the same passion to ensure Airmen are taken care of,” she said.
Mrs. Strong encourages spouses to make an effort to be more involved.
“I have a motto; “There aren’t any strangers in the world. There are just people who you haven’t said hi to yet’,” she said. “Go out and make those connections with one another. It can be as simple as just saying hi and you can turn someone’s experience completely around.”
For additional information on the Military Spouse of the Year Program, visit http://msoy.militaryspouse.com/.