For the first time in award history, Paulette Fryar, a Coast Guard spouse, has been named the 2020 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, which recognizes exceptional spouses who have made a commitment to serve their community. This is the first time a spouse of a Coast Guardsman has earned the accolade.
Paulette and husband, Commander Troy Fryar, Coast Guard, are stationed at the Personnel Service Center at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She was recognized for her community engagement efforts and mentoring young military moms through Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS, through Belvoir’s chapel community. MOPS is an international support program that encourages mothers of young children, through relationships and resources.
“MOPS is a way we can let parents know they aren’t alone, when it comes to parenting, isolation, marriage, relationships … anything,” she said.
“With our blended-family children grown, I wasn’t finished ‘momming’ on people, yet,” she said. “As military spouses, we are absolutely our kids’ best advocates. We have to be.”
The MOPS group at Belvoir helps more than 120 young military spouses every year, through authentic community, mothering support, personal growth and spiritual hope.
Fryar is also a member of the Belvoir Spouses’ Club, where she also served as vendor coordinator, for monthly fundraising events and lunches.
“I made some amazon connections, here,” she said. “Three years ago, when I first arrived, I had a friend who was a Coast Guard spouse, who introduced me to the spouses club, it’s girls’ nights out and events and to people in this area. Personal connections are so important for everyone. But, being involved from the start certainly changed my experience, here.
“I joined the spouses club right away, then volunteered with its scholarship program and fundraising. I enjoyed, so much, the spouses’ club … that it represents all branches and all ranks. It’s the best little gem here,” Fryar said.
Fryar also lauded the USO Warrior and Family Center on Belvoir. “It’s such a great resource, especially for a Coast Guard spouse, which is a small community to begin with,” she said, adding she has a passion to connect with spouses from that branch.
As the Fryars are PCSing to St. Louis, for his new position at Scott Air Force Base with TRANSCOM, Paulette said her time being near and serving at Belvoir was awesome.
“It’s been a crazy three years, but quite an experience,” she said. The 14-year military spouse said she just tends to do what’s needed to ‘make it happen.’
With that in mind, and in preparation for their PCS move, Fryar has already reached out to personnel at Scott AFB and applied to volunteer with MOPS and develop a Coast Guard liaison with TRANSCOM.
Editor’s note – Armed Forces Insurance contributed to this story.