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Magazine seeks nominations for 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year

Stacey Benson, the Armed Forces Insurance United States Coast Guard Spouse of the Year 2015, stands on the right at the 2017 Military Spouse of the Year award ceremony held in Washington, D.C. Photo provided by Stacey Benson

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Military Spouse magazine is seeking nominations for the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) award. The magazine founded the award in 2008 to honor the selfless service of military spouses. The honor recognizes the important contributions military spouses make to their communities and their country.

For 2015 MSOY branch winner Stacey Benson, Armed Forces Insurance United States Coast Guard Spouse of the Year 2015, winning was a life-changing event. Benson lives in Astoria, Oregon, where her husband Larry is assigned to the USCG Cutter Steadfast.

"People are always asking about the program, what it is, how did you get it?" she said. "The Military Spouse of the Year award is an international, merit-based award program that recognizes and supports the accomplishments and goals of 1.1 million active-duty military spouses. One overall national winner is chosen among the individual branch winners. I was nominated and awarded based on the work I did within my military spouses' club community in Newport, Rhode Island, the Military Spouses of Newport."

After winning her title, Benson had some incredible experiences, which continued past her yearlong reign.

"I got to meet the founder, president and CEO of the Semper Fi Fund, the amazing Karen Guenther, and now (it is) my current employer. I got to meet Gary Sinise at his foundation in California and walk the red carpet on Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere of The Finest Hours at TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre)," she added.

A special thrill for Benson, who is a professional photographer, was to have her work featured in Military Spouse magazine on several occasions. It was also featured in Times Square during the busiest travel time of the year. She was also one of 30 spouses featured in a 2017 book called Behind the Scenes: The Tales of American Military Spouses Making a Difference.

So what happens after the year is over?

"It doesn't end; your work isn't over," Benson said. "You always keep the award and title. When you are passionate about your community and doing everything you can to help as many of your fellow spouses as you can, it is not work. It is pure joy! I've met awe-inspiring people who are movers and shakers. It has given me an incredible network of people and organizations across the world that (are) continually doing instrumental work within the military spouse community."

If you know a deserving military spouse who you would like to nominate for this honor, visit and click on the MSOY tab.  Your nominee must be over the age of 18 and be married to an active-duty or Reserve servicemember of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or National Guard. The nominee cannot currently be serving on active-duty, be a Reservist, or be in the National Guard. Male spouses are eligible as long as they meet the above requirements.

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