Loving A Soldier Readers,
My name is Ashley F. Johnson and I am from the great state of Iowa. My husband and I have two lovely daughters Natalee (four) and Michaela (one).
I married my husband in 2008 and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was marrying an NCO and felt clueless. I had no idea what was going on. I received a job on post and started to learn all about the amazing programs for families. I passed those resources on to the families in my husband’s unit. When we left Fort Lewis and moved to Fort Campbell, I knew my husband would be deploying shortly after we arrived. I immersed myself in the Fort Campbell community. I learned to listen to anyone that would tell me anything about this life or the area.
I got involved with the enlisted spouses club and met wonderful women that encouraged me to continue to learn. I started taking Army Family Team Building classes and enjoyed them so much I became an instructor. I felt a calling to teach spouses and civilians. I realized so many were just like me, they had no idea what the Army was all about. During the deployment my company commander’s spouse and the Family Readiness Support Assistant realized I could be used in the Family Readiness Group. I began as a point of contact for families. I loved being there for them and providing them resources.
I was then asked to join the welcome committee to welcome new families into the unit. I provided famlies with resources in the community/post and encouraged them to seek out all of the opportunities Fort Campbell had to offer. The BN FRG Advisor noticed how hard I was working and asked me to attend a work group meeting with her. Through these meetings I was able to express the needs of our families thus enabling us to come up with solutions to issues and activities to provide for them.
During my involvement with the working group the idea of a spouse master resiliency trainer came to light. We thought the idea that spouses could teach other spouses how to bounce and not break during adverse events was amazing. The classes were being offered through ACS. We felt the idea of spouses teaching spouses sounded more encouraging. Spouses could easily relate to other spouses. The soldiers were receiving this amazing training, why couldn’t the families? The group had an amazing supporter on our side, Mrs. Maria Mc Conville, and she pushed for the program until it was approved.
In July of 2012, I was honored to attend the first Spouse Master Resiliency Training Course. After graduation I hit the ground running and began training families in my unit. I had amazing command support and was able to train many spouses. I have enjoyed teaching families these valuable skills that will last them a lifetime.
I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in Social Work. I feel that line of work is my calling. If you ask my friends they would say I’m a resource junkie. I like to know what’s going on and share to my friends so they don’t miss the opportunity.
I hope to encourage you through my blog posts to seek out the resources your installation has to offer. I hope to encourage you and your family to live a positive lifestyle through Army Resilience.