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2019 Military Spouse of the Year

Patricia Gow, voted base winner for the Washington National Guard

Patricia Gow will be recognized in May in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Brendan Baptiste

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The Armed Forces Insurance annual Military Spouse of the Year Award recognizes military spouses, across all branches, who provide exemplary service to their community. The role of the military spouse is a difficult one and many don't understand what it takes. At any given time, a servicemember can be called away to defend America's freedom. This leaves the spouse to care not only for the day-to-day tasks to run a home, but their family, friends, and to be a pillar of support to other spouses in the community. But even the military spouse needs a shoulder to lean on. And this year, the community voted Patricia Gow as the Armed Forces Insurance 2019 Military Spouse of the Year Base Winner for the Washington National Guard.

Patricia Gow is originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of a career Army soldier. This meant moving regularly throughout her childhood, including spending many years in Germany. Eventually, her father would retire in Washington state, where Patricia attended North Thurston High School. It was there that she became high school sweethearts with her now husband Sgt. Sean Gow. Patricia also has three children. Her oldest is now active-duty Army currently stationed in Virginia. Her middle child has recently signed up to be a combat medic and will start basic training in July. Her love for her country was already very important from her upbringing in a military home, but being the support system to her husband, and now children during their military journey, has only made her patriotism stronger.

Patricia has her own business as an insurance agent. But after her husband spent time away, upon his return there was some movement within the unit. This left a need for some help in the Family Readiness Group. Two of the FRG leads asked if she would like to volunteer her time. She was happy to do so under a smaller role because of her busy schedule. Soon after starting an outreach program providing food to soldiers returning from the field, two more leaders would leave due to unit movement. The commander, being impressed by her outreach program, asked her to take on a leadership role for the FRG.

Having been a military spouse for some time she felt a motherly role in taking care of soldiers. She thinks they are all great people and loves that they trust her to help with any problems they may have. She takes great pride in being able to direct them to solutions. She also wants them to know that the FRG is here to support their families as they are all one big family. Many spouses connecting with Patricia and want to be more involved. 

Patricia wants other spouses to know that she has been through deployments. She understands the struggles many of them will face. How lonely and scary life can become as you go from living a regular 9-to-5 life as a civilian to military spouse overnight when deployments come about. She understands the best way to help is to reach out to the spouses and let them know she is available and that there is a community that wants them here. She hopes to teach them how to face this transition by being flexible and to allow help or to offer help when asked.

Patricia knows there is support, love, comradery, and sense of family in the military that you just don't find anywhere else. When one is in need, many servicemembers come to support.

"It doesn't matter the branch that you are in," she said. "This is the culture and spirit of our military. As one who grew up in it, it was a bit harder to see as a child. But now as an adult, who lives it, and interacts with soldiers and families every day, it's very special to me."

Patricia will be recognized in May in Washington, D.C., at the awards banquet with all other Armed Forces Insurance 2019 Military Spouse of the Year Base Winners. Congressional members, senior military, Department of Defense leadership, as well as other military spouses from around the world will be in attendance for this incredible event. But due to the upcoming deployment and other scheduling obligations, Patricia may not be able to attend the event in person.

However, we would like to send our congratulations to the 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Base Winner for the Washington National Guard, Patricia Gow.

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