A Jefferson City native is a 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Base Military Spouse of the Year.
Sarah Otto, a 1998 graduate of Jefferson City High School, learned last week she is the spouse of the year at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren in Virginia.
Although her husband, Fire Controlman 1 Jay Otto, was stationed in Hawaii about two years ago, Sarah Otto and their three teenage children remained in Virginia so the children could finish high school there. The Ottos are anticipating a reunion in about six months.
The recognition honors the commitment and sacrifice military spouses make daily in communities and across the country. Sarah Otto is a program manager for the Military Spouse Advocacy Network. The network's mission is to create stronger military families through education, empowerment and support. Its advocates provide peer-to-peer mentoring, resources and programs needed to overcome challenges with being a new military spouse, being a caregiver, finances, education, careers, deployments, health and transition from active duty.
Otto completed the Navy Services Family Line COMPASS program, in which spouses mentor spouses; all nine modules of ombudsman basic training, to help command ombudsmen and leadership team members work effectively with their commands; family readiness group training; and more.
Otto said being a military spouse taught her patience and flexibility, according to her nomination feature at msoy.militaryspouse.com.
Otto said she would like military spouses to know they make a bigger difference than they might think. She said military spouses are true patriots that keep the "home front working while supporting those that defend our country."
She would like to share with other spouses how they can contribute to and best define their roles in their spouses' careers.