Marine Spouse Claims Overall 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Honor

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Following more than 1,200 nominations, a national vote yielding more than 100,000 votes and final selection process, Marine spouse Holly Vega has been named the 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®. Vega was recognized for her outstanding commitment to the military community and volunteer work with the American Heart Association and L.I.N.K.S. The winner was announced at the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year® Awards Dinner at Fort Myer in Arlington, VA on May 9.

L-R: AFI Chairman, LtGen Sid Clark, US Air Force (Ret.); 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Holly Vega; LtCol Javier Vega, USMC; Lori Simmons, AFI

“As a military spouse community, we truly shine brighter together and with this title, I hope to connect and reunite spouses so they might be able to join forces on whatever project they are passionate about,” says Vega.

Following more than 1,200 nominations, a national vote yielding more than 100,000 votes and final selection process, Marine spouse Holly Vega has been named the 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®. Vega was recognized for her outstanding commitment to the military community and volunteer work with the American Heart Association and L.I.N.K.S. The winner was announced at the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year® Awards Dinner at Fort Myer in Arlington, VA on May 9.

Vega, who has been a Marine spouse for 18 years, experienced 10 permanent changes of station at six different bases and three deployments has spent those years committed to giving back through her volunteer work at every post. She and husband, Lieutenant Colonel Javier Vega, USMC along with their three children are currently stationed at Marine Corps Forces Central Command (MARCENT) in Tampa, FL.

Vega began her volunteer work nearly 20 years ago when she got involved with L.I.N.K.S., an interactive acculturation program specific to the Marine Corps which empowers new or young Marine Corps spouses by providing them with valuable information and necessary tools to have a successful personal and family life while their Marine serves our country. She also works with Military Home Base, an online resource for military families in search of housing and related resources. Vega also hosts an online video series, Mimosas in the Morning, in which she and her co-host interview military spouses to discuss issues important to them and their families.

Perhaps her most important work is her recent venture as co-leader and founder of Military Hearts Matter (MHM) in partnership with the local Tampa chapter of the American Heart Association. After her own brother had a heart attack at 40 she began her heart-healthy advocacy, but it was Gold Star wife Vivianne Wersel’s story of her Marine husbands heart attack that pushed her to establish MHM. Along with co-leader Jen Fisher, she developed the advocacy group to bring awareness on the stresses of military life for both service member and family and its relation to heart health.

As the 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®, Vega looks to expand the reach of Military Hearts Matter in chapters of the American Heart Association across the country. She will act as the voice of military spouses throughout the country as she advocates on behalf of needed resources and programming to assist military spouses and their families.

“As a military spouse community, we truly shine brighter together and with this title, I hope to connect and reunite spouses so they might be able to join forces on whatever project they are passionate about,” says Vega. “Am so thankful to Armed Forces Insurance for this award, but also for creating an outlet for military spouses to connect and amplify their voices on a national level.”

"Holly Vega exemplifies what it means to be a committed military spouse,” says Armed Forces Insurance Chairman, Lt. Gen. Sid Clarke, USAF (Ret). “Advocate, volunteer, mentor, leader, mother and proud Marine wife. All are qualities displayed by so many military spouses across this country and Holly will no doubt be a fitting ambassador to represent all of them throughout 2019 and beyond. Holly has quietly gone about her business to help so many over her 18 years as a military spouse, and we are proud to celebrate and recognize her with this award.”

Along with Armed Forces Insurance, the 2019 Military Spouse of the Year® is generously supported by Caliber Home Loans; First Command; Willis Re; Deloitte; PCS Grades and Vet Tix.

The Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year® Award was founded in 2008 by Chris Hale, CEO of veteran-owned Neptune Holdings, Military Spouse Magazine’s parent company. In the Fall of 2018, Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) assumed all ownership over the Military Spouse of the Year® program after acting as the title sponsor for the last nine years.

Holly’s full story and more information on the Military Spouse of the Year® program can be found by visiting http://www.msoy.afi.org.

Link to Photos/Video:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kwui7y6237227vk/AABAQv1s5nypYwfKNmsie1Waa?dl=0

About Armed Forces Insurance:
Armed Forces Insurance was founded in 1887 by military leaders with a single mission: to protect the property of those who protect our nation. The company provides premium quality, competitively priced property and casualty insurance to military professionals throughout the United States and overseas. Armed Forces Insurance understands that its members have unique circumstances and insurance needs, enabling the company to offer a level of personalized service that's unequaled in the industry. For more information, visit the website at http://www.afi.org or call 1-800-495-8234, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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