Winners' Circle

We Have All Made a Difference

This time of year brings so many emotions – excitement for the announcement of the branch winners, nervousness for the anticipation of the overall awards and happiness to know that our village has once again grown in beautiful ways.

It can be overwhelming for any spouse to read the stories and accomplishments of our branch and overall winners, past and present, and it can be easy to judge yourself against another. It is my hope that everyone reading about our six amazing branch winners in this issue can identify with common traits they have instead of measuring themselves to fall short in comparison.

It is so easy of a trap to fall into, looking at another person and sizing yourself up against them. I know I did it long before MSOY and I still catch myself doing it to this day. I’ll look at other spouses and think to myself, “How in the world did I make it here when there are so many people giving so much more?” There’s never a winner in that kind of comparison, because each person’s circumstances and opportunities are different.

Last year, as I filled in my nomination for MSOY, I answered the question, “What do you want to do with this title?” very thoughtfully. I said that what I wanted to do is to prove that one spouse can make a difference, no matter how big or small. I am a testament to this, and I firmly believe that every person reading this article right now has made a difference (some might not even know it yet).

Every spouse has the power to influence and create change. If you’re not sure where to get started, take a look at the community around you and see what it needs. Start volunteering somewhere to fill the gaps, start a donation or volunteer chain yourself, participate in command events and inspire your family to do the same. Start small and let it grow as large as you want to take it. Find organizations already in existence and offer your talents. Or take meals to a neighbor who has sick kids at home … small or large, folks.

Each and every one of us are uniquely different, yet tied together by a common thread – our military marriage. We are like one huge family, and it takes many parts and many roles to make a family work. If anyone was lucky enough to attend Town Hall last year, they might remember some beautiful words by Reda Hicks: “To make a beautiful tapestry, it takes threads of many colors.”

Be the uniquely beautiful thread that you are! Our world wouldn’t be as bright without you in it.

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