Lori Volkman, MSJDN Communications Director and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Washington State, and Marcelina Chambers, MSJDN member and Assistant Attorney General in Arizona, have both been nominated for Military Spouse Magazine’s Military Spouse of the Year. Congratulations to both! The first round of voting lasts for only 24 hours on January 22, please vote for both candidates as they not currently directly competing with each other.

Military Spouse of the YearLori is a Navy Reserve spouse, and is competing through Naval Base San Diego. Married to her pilot husband for over 20 years, Lori started a blog in 2010 to document her husband’s deployment — it quickly gained a loyal following. Her ability to see the humor while being honest about the difficulties resonated with military spouses across the country. But her pieces resounded with working moms and the larger civilian population as well. Her husband has since redeployed, but Lori continues to blog about their struggle with reintegration, as well as current events affecting spouses. Last March, she wrote “An Open Letter to Kari Bales,” a post that encapsulated the military spouse community’s support for the spouse of a soldier accused of killing 16 Afghans. Lori’s writing has been featured in the New York Times At War Blog, WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed,” and in Reader’s Digest. She has appeared in interviews in Newsweek’s Daily Beast, the Department of Defense “Family Matters” Blog, America Online’s Military community and has appeared on CNN, the NBC Nightly News, and the CBS Evening News. She is currently working on a book of her deployment stories. I’m not sure she sleeps.

Military Spouse of the YearMarcelina is an Air Force Spouse currently stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB with her husband of 11 years. They have endured seven (!!) deployments, two of which were during Marcelina’s time in law school. She is an Assistant Attorney General for Arizona in the Child Support section and works to connect the local military community to the office. She is also active in the Junior League of Tucson.  She takes great pride in the many hats she wears — mom, attorney, volunteer, military spouse. As a New Orleans Saints fan, she will definitely be getting my vote.

Every year since 2008, Military Spouse Magazine has selected a Military Spouse of the Year.  The winner is chosen through online voting and by a judges’ panel. There are three voting rounds, each to occur over a just a one day period. The first round, Base Voting, is on January 22. Nominations are collected and organized at the base level. The nominee with the highest popular vote at each base will be the respective winner and advance to the branch voting round.

Please join me in congratulating these two amazing spouses and remember to vote on Jan. 22!

– Josie Beets