Friday, May 10, 2013

California Military Spouse of the Year – Army!

In February I found out that I was an Installation winner for the Army MilitarySpouse of the Year – as a Reservists wife we are not attached to a post so I actually was honored to be named for the state of California. Upon the next round of votes I did not advance to the top 3 but I was honored to be nominated and I can’t not believe I was top 15 in the NATION for Military Spouse of the Year as an Army Wife. When I read some of the nominations that people submitted on my behalf I was touched beyond explanation. I am looking forward to being at the Military Spouse of the Year Luncheon and Summit in Washington DC this week and meeting so many amazing military Spouses.

Military Spouse magazine founded the Military Spouse of the Year® (MSOY) award in 2008 to honor military spouses of all ranks and from all branches of service. More than a million military spouses support and maintain the home front while our service members defend this great nation. The Military Spouse of the Year® award recognizes military spouses' important contributions and unwavering commitment to the military community and our country.

The Military Spouse of the Year® award solicits nominations from the military community as well as all Americans in the late fall. Three distinct phases of voting follow, culminating in the announcement of the Military Spouse of the Year® at an annual awards luncheon in our nation's capital in early May. The event attracts Congressional members, senior military and Department of Defense leadership.


In my life I have always hoped to be a positive impact on people – make a difference in someone’s life no matter how big or small. In reading the nominations provided I have done just that. When I read Grant’s I sat and cried because I feel that my husband is one of the most amazing men on the planet; his pride in me means so much!


Shana is truly dedicated to military widows. She is warm and welcoming. Shana has organized many events for fallen family members. Finding happiness is difficult for me but at Shana's events I always smile. She knows all of us by name and is sincere. I am proud to dedicate my friend Shana Smith!

Nominated by: Mary Beth Ratzlaff, Wife of Captain Gregory Ratzlaff Killed in Iraq August 2004


Military Wife - a group of women whom shoes are the hardest to fill. I was once told, show me the man you honor and I will know what kind of woman you are. Shana Smith exemplifies beautifully, the call of duty only few women can fulfill - the Wife of a Soldier. I met Shana under different circumstances. In 2006, My Husband was killed in Action while serving under Operation Iraq Freedom. As an Army Wife myself, the transition from Active to Survivor was difficult. Over the years, I've come across many great people on this journey but the day I met Shana Smith created a unique friendship but a bound between Military Wives. Shana, while working for the organization Got Your Back, not only protects her personal home front but goes over beyond to support the families of fallen heroes. I have not only seen her in action with our families, coordinating events across the US but I've seen her as a Mother and a Wife and if there were a trophy to be given for each day of the week, each minute of the day, she deserves it. As a Military Widow it’s sometimes difficult to grasp the concept of "SURVIVING" such a tragic event, being stripped of a title that meant so much yet I see Shana and I'm so very proud to have not only served as an Army Wife but I am proud that she leads by example, that remains faithful to the duty of her family and the army all while remaining a beautiful woman inside and out. I nominate Shana Smith for Military Spouse of the Year.

Nominated by: Salina Jimenez, Wife of Sgt. David Almazon Killed in Iraq August - 2006 President of California Gold Star Wives of America Chapter


Not only is she an extraordinary wife and mother, she is just as passionate about my military career as I am. She has continued to dedicate her time supporting me, as well as hundreds of widows of fallen brothers and sisters. She tirelessly extends her hands to help in any way possible. She asks for nothing in return and always puts the needs of others before her own. She carries herself in the most dignified manner ever, and sets a remarkable example for our daughter. She has a can do attitude and takes great pride in her volunteer efforts with the Got Your Back Network. She has received the praise and thanks of many service members and widow's for her undying support, and continues to sprint headlong towards all of her many goals. She keeps a full time job, takes our little one to soccer practices, play dates, and ensures homework is done to the highest of standards. I am honored to call her my wife, my best friend, my confidant, and battle buddy. She is the reason honors such as this exists.

Nominated by: Grant Smith, Husband

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