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Posted: March 15, 2018 9:45 a.m.
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3rd SB FRG advisor nominated for Military Spouse of the Year

Anna Hagerty, an Army spouse and senior spouse advisor for the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, was recently nominated as the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year. 

“I nominated Anna in January after seeing an announcement about the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year competition in the Frontline,” said Lt. Col. Michael D. Hagerty, the commander of the STB. “I thought it would a nice way to publically recognize Anna for everything she does to support our Soldiers and our community.” 

According to the MSOY Military Spouse website, the award will be presented in Washington, D.C., in early May and honors military spouses from all branches of service who maintain the home front while their service members defend the nation. 

Anna has tirelessly and proudly served besides her husband throughout countless temporary duties, training and field exercises, permanent change of station moves and deployments – including his current tour to Afghanistan. 

Michael believes Anna’s loyalty to not only him, but every unit he has been assigned to throughout his career is what authenticates her nomination.

“My husband and I met in college at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina,” said Anna. “In the course of ten days, he graduated college, was commissioned as an officer and we got married. It was a bit of a whirlwind.” 

Shortly after they were married, Anna found herself in Fairbanks, Alaska -- more than a 1,000 miles away from home.  Once her husband deployed, the sinking feeling of loneliness and isolation soon set in. 

“One of the most difficult things at first was just not knowing how the system works,” Anna said. “Not knowing what’s going on and kind of the lack of communication.”

Eventually, Anna joined her  unit’s Family Readiness Group. The feelings of solitude and obscuration quickly dissipated once she found a family in a group of spouses in situations identical to hers. 

According to policy, FRGs are command-sponsored organization comprised of Soldiers, civilian employees, Family Members and volunteers belonging to a unit. They provide mutual support and most importantly, a network of communications among the Family Members, the chain of command and community resources. 

“I felt an immense amount of comfort in knowing, I wasn’t alone,” said Anna. “I didn’t have to feel isolated or like I was the only one doing this. I relied on the wealth of information of camaraderie of the other spouses.” 

20 years later and Anna is still heavily involved in the FRG community. She has held several positions within FRGs across the Army and has volunteered countless amounts of time and resources to surrounding communities and installations. 

Anna relentless dedication to Soldiers and Families and her contributions along with her unwavering commitment to the military community, is what prompted her husband to nominate her for the award. 

“Anna exemplifies what it means to be an Army spouse,” said Michael. “She's a caring mother and committed volunteer and has served alongside me in the Army for the past 20 years. She helps serve the families of several hundred deployed 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers. In addition, Anna serves the community by volunteering at the local YMCA board and is dedicated to making our base and local community better.”

When asked about her feelings on the distinct nomination, Anna remained humble.

“I’m not doing anything special,” Anna said. “I’m just doing what I need to for our Families, for our friends and the people that we care about. When you do it on those terms, it comes very naturally and easily.” 

Anna hopes to expand her audience by hosting quarterly seminars aimed at younger spouses that will be open to all Families on Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. 

Anna acknowledges FRGs carry a negative connotation with horror stories of cattiness and cliques. She hopes the seminars will offer Army spouses that have heard rumors a new perspective and fresh outlook on the benefits of the command sponsored group. 

“Unfortunately, some of what they have heard may be true,” said Anna. “But that is not the norm and I think it’s important that we foster the kind of environments that are knowledgeable and caring. I want them to see the value in FRGs.”

She adds there isn’t a specific skill set needed in order to be an FRG leader. 

“I love how different everyone is,” Anna said. “I can do things that maybe you can’t and you can do things that I can’t, but together we can do great things. There’s a place for everybody and their own unique talents and gifts.” 

While Lt. Col. Hagerty has a battalion command, Anna has a squad she manages on the home front. The Hagertys have a total of seven children, ranging from ages two to 17. 

“I have my hands full,” said Anna. “But my heart’s full too.”

Anna urges young spouses interested in attending her seminar and senior spouses interested in assisting the forum to email her at annahagerty2018msoyfshaaf@gmail.com. While the date and location of the seminar are pending, she hopes she can utilize her new recognition as an opportunity to spread the word on the importance and benefits of FRGs.


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