Military Spouse Appreciation Spotlight: Genevieve Kruger

By Genevieve Kruger

I come from a long line of family who served in different branches of the military. Serving and supporting the military came easily as I became an Army spouse and mommy of two military children of my own! I was born in California, moved all over the U.S. as an Air Force “Brat” and attended five different schools growing up. My dad finished his military career in San Pedro, California and we settled in his hometown of Fayetteville, NC when I was a teenager. I graduated high school, went to college at Elon University, NC, and then returned to the Fayetteville area to teach High School English. I met and fell in love with my Army husband while he was stationed in Fort Bragg, NC. He then switched his career field from Infantry to Aviation. We started a family while supporting his Army Aviation journey as a Blackhawk Pilot. The Army sent us on adventures to Fort Rucker, AL, Fort Campbell, KY, Wheeler Army Airfield Oahu, Hawaii, and Fort Drum, NY. After a successful 22 1⁄2 years of service and six deployments, my husband retired on December 1, 2022! Upon his retirement, we decided to make Huntsville, AL our permanent home. We bought a new house in April and are happy to be back in Alabama.

As May 12th is a day honored as National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, I feel honored to be recognized in the same ranks of other strong military spouses. Military life has its unique challenges and military spouses are a unique group who not only understand the sacrifices and challenges, but also give that much needed support and encouragement on the home front. I have had some wonderful support serving as a military child and military spouse from the most resilient women in my family and friends. I proudly call them my “tribe.”

I was at the beginning of my career as a High School English Teacher when I met and married my husband. After five years in the education field, I stepped out of the classroom. Soon after, we PCSed *(Permanent Change of Station) to Fort Rucker, AL and started our family. I found it easier for me to be a full time stay at home mom and raise my family while supporting my husband’s career. Although I didn’t work in the workforce, I found joy in many activities raising my daughters and volunteering with clubs and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. This allowed me to meet so many great people in the various local communities I lived in and gain many friendships while raising my daughters alone through deployments and training times. When my husband was planning his retirement, we discussed my desire to return to the workforce. In my journey back to the workforce, I have found some challenges pivoting from my work experience in education and converting the 13 years of volunteer experience to “work” experience. I have been using military spouse resources over the last year to help redevelop my skills and create a working resume with all the many skills I’ve gained as an educator, military spouse/mom, and avid volunteer.

In this new season we are interestingly swapping roles. I was recently hired to work part time as one of the newest Visitor’s Information Assistant of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau Center! My husband has taken on the role as “Stay At Home Daddy,” taking our daughters to school and getting the opportunity to volunteer in the community. My new job allows me to gain work experience, learn a new area and meet new people, while my husband gets to spend more time with our preteen daughters! I am grateful for the friendships made from all over the U.S. who have walked this journey with me and become my family. The best way we can honor all our military spouses would be to embrace them like family, wherever their journey takes them.

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