by Mark Hoewing
You’ve heard it before, right? “One person can make all the difference.” That’s what people have said since humans began to talk, but for many of us, those words are very difficult to visualize and even harder to implement.
Fortunately, there are people like Bianca Strzalkowski of Fuquay Varina, North Carolina (formerly New Jersey, Jacksonville, NC, Yuma, AZ, and next stop, San Diego by way of military PCS moves - Permanent Change of Station). Military Spouse Magazine’s “2011 Military Spouse of the Year” has been changing lives and serving this country for many years.
“I enjoy helping people and giving them the tools they need to be successful,” said Bianca. “I conduct workshops for military spouses that I call ‘Independent Dependents’ where I try to motivate people to pursue their dreams and find passion for what they want in life.” She and her husband Ron, their three boys (Alex, Nicholas and Christopher) and two dogs live life with energy, anticipation and a great sense of service to fellow man.
“Education is very important, whether it is formal education for spouses like me, or helping others to expand their horizons, I feel an important role as Military Spouse of the Year will be for me to expand educational opportunities for spouses and provide much needed resources to military servicemembers and their families,” Bianca stressed. Not only is she studying Business/Marketing at night school, but she volunteers with the Marine Corps’ “Family Readiness Program” that is designed to help military families find the resources they need, be they financial, emotional, physical, educational, or spiritual.
One of the programs she created that is making the greatest impact and gaining the most national recognition is her “meals delivery” program. What started as a way to fill in when the need arose has turned into a high-energy program that includes deliveries of meals to military families with new babies, medical conditions, or emergency needs, to mention just a few.
Of course, it’s Bianca’s nature to think of everything, and so the Family Readiness Program activities she undertakes are not gender-based. “In our spouse community, 7% of the spouses are men, so it’s important that we provide opportunities that include everyone, we are all one family,” she pointed out.
“I see one of my roles as being a conduit between the general public and the military, all the while making a difference for military spouses,” Bianca suggested. Voted on by the magazine’s readers and awarded on May 5, 2011, the Marine wife of nine years has already had tea with Mrs. Obama at the White House, appeared on Fox & Friends and featured in numerous national and local publications.
What advice does she have for other military spouses? “Get involved, at your base or branch, regionally, nationally, do something to change lives for the better and do your part,” Bianca advised.
For someone with this type of notoriety and responsibilities, Bianca is extremely accessible. In fact, she invites anyone with comments, questions or suggestions to feel free to email her at 2011MSOY@MilSpouse.com
. You can follow her story through the magazine’s site at www.milspouse.com