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Nohelia Suce

2018 Spouse of the Year Base Winner for the Washington National Guard

Nohelia Suce will be recognized in Washington, D.C. in May. Photo credit: Brendan Baptiste

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There are more than one million spouses who are tasked with taking care of home while our servicemembers are away. But a select few step up to provide extra service and leadership to others in their community. They do it because they know they can be a shoulder to lean on and make a difference. None of them are asking for recognition. However, the community has noticed and Armed Forces Insurance Company has chosen to honor the Echo Company, 1-168 General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB) Family Readiness group (FRG) Lead Nohelia Suce as the 2018 Spouse of the Year Base Winner for the Washington National Guard.

The Armed Forces Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) award has been honoring military spouses from all branches of the United States military since 2008. The role of the military spouse is extremely important. Being a spouse of a military servicemember can be extremely difficult and something that their civilian friends and family will never understand. So it is important that our military spouses look out for each other in times of need.

Nohelia Suce is from New York City. She would meet her future husband, Junior, while vacationing in Miami, Florida. After moving to Florida, Nohelia and Junior would soon be married. Eight years ago Sgt. Suce began his active-duty service at Fort Lee, Virginia. Two weeks after their arrival, he would be sent on deployment.

After her first year as a military spouse, Nohelia would ask herself how she could stay busy in her community while her husband was away for extended periods of time. She would then volunteer with the Family Readiness Group about seven years ago. While watching the FRG leads and think "that is something I could do one day," she would become the FRG Lead for E. 168th and has taken ownership of the role. She felt many spouses have a difficult time and were not getting the support they needed.

Nohelia was also a teacher at Clover Park. She used her diverse background and love of cooking Spanish Caribbean food to reach her students. For example, after teaching students about certain historical events of the world, she would then prepare a meal from that region. This would allow students to experience a bit of the culinary culture from these places and also promote deeper discussion. She would then use this formula for events she holds with military spouses. Food creates an ice-breaker for people and many military family members come from not only all over the country, but in many cases, all over the world.

Nohelia has also taken to social media to reach military spouses in the area. This has been a great way to keep people informed of various events in the area and to stay in touch. She makes motivational videos, and in some cases, uses actual stories, with permission from those involved, to bring some encouragement to those who need it. These stories can be relevant to many others in similar situations, so sharing them is important. She also gives out her phone number to anyone who needs it and is willing to take calls at any hour to make sure her FRG families have a shoulder to lean on.

Did we mention even after all of this work Nohelia is working on her Master's Degree in Secondary Education? She really is taking advantage of every hour to help her community. Nohelia will be recognized in Washington, D.C. in May at a banquet with the other recipients of the Spouse of the Year Base Winners from all other branches of the military. 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.

Congratulations to our 2018 Spouse of the Year Base Winner for the Washington National Guard Nohelia Suce. Enjoy your trip to Washington, D.C.

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