Spotlight: Bree Carroll and Military Marriage Day!

Our marriages are the core of our families & when they are strong our force is strong.

…have a desire to improve your relationships or looking for something to keep it going? Military Marriage Day is for you!  

Bree Carroll, Creator of Military Marriage Day

1) We are so excited to start celebrating this week for the first annual Military Marriage Day on August 14th! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came up with Military Marriage Day.

I’m Bree Carroll, a Wife, mom, owner of B Carroll Events, host of Hearts & Stripes Podcast & 2020 AFI Air Force Spouse of the Year.  I’m mostly proud of being happily married for 6 consecutive years.  I truly believe in marriage and the power of being a team.  

My husband and I are not perfect and definitely get under each other’s skin at times, but we choose each other every time and don’t shy away from the tough stuff.  Capt. Donovan Carroll, my husband, is a B-52 pilot and I worked as a civil engineer for the Air Force for 10 years.  We love experiences like hosting dinners with family and friends or taking a trip.  Movies are my jam and I enjoy a good romantic comedy or musical.

2) What will Military Marriage Day involve, and how do spouses participate?

Military Marriage Day is a time to celebrate our marriages.  We take time to honor the service of our active duty, guard, reserve and veteran men & women.  We share thanks to milspouses for all that we sacrifice & do.  Now for the first time we are recognized & celebrated together as the power couple we are because together in marriage is really where all the magic happens.  Our marriages are the core of our families & when they are strong our force is strong.

We will be counting down MMD starting Aug 7th for a week of events.  Think of each event as an opportunity to either celebrate one another, connect with your spouse, build a stronger marriage or grow your relationship so that it’s thriving.  These are the 4 areas of focus and if your happily married, have a desire to improve your relationships or looking for something to keep it going? Military Marriage Day is for you!  

All events will be virtual this year, but in years to come we hope to do an in person festival.  Participants just need to RSVP, which gets them in on all the giveaways, updates and resources.  They can follow along each day via the website lineup or on the Facebook page.  Get ready for date night chats, games, cooking demo, movie night & more.

3) How have you, as a married military couple, grown in your marriage through deployments, PCS moves, and everyday military life? 

MFAN’s 2019 survey showed that 13.7% of their respondents said that their marriages were stronger due to military life.  That is too low!  I strongly believe that the roller coaster ride we endure as military couples should make all our marriages more sustainable.  

Through having a child while my husband was deployed I understood what love without boundaries looked like.  My husband didn’t love us less for not being there and I wouldn’t make him feel like he ever had to choose between doing what her lives & answering the call and being physically here with us.  We learned to be present although we were apart.  

Through PCS we learn each time to keep the focus on the important thing, each other & our family versus possessions & locations.  (Literally PCSing right now from Barksdale AFB to Minot AFB.  Yay lol!)  We offer each other grace and if we have to we debate it out knowing that no matter how much we disagree on the how we still equally care about the same “who” or “why”.  It’s NOT EASY though.  We need as many opportunities as possible to just celebrate that we are still in this thing together. 

4) What advice would you give married military couples? What have you found to be the best resources?

My advice is to get in a practice of marriage improvement (like self improvement) that way your proactive and communicating before challenges arise.  Some of my favorite resources are Hearts & Stripes podcast of course, Lifegiver clinician directory, the Come Home Project community, FREE branch specific services for family counseling, family advocacy and our AMAZING chaplains.  USO & Military OneSource has options as well.  

With resources it’s not a one size fits all and when your at a breaking point in your relationship, you may not feel like looking into every possibility that pops up on Google.  My next challenge will be to find a way to bridge the gap between resources & couples through a single place where they can be easily accessible.

5) Where can we find you on social media?  What do military spouses have to look forward to this week for Military Marriage Day?

Look forward to being treated to amazing giveaways from sponsor like Hope Design Ltd., Westhouse, Discovering Your Spark & more.  Look forward to celebrating, connecting, building & growing your #MilMarriage !  Most of all, look forward to our finale virtual celebration sponsored by Armed Forces Insurance & First Command which will share military marriage stories, Military Marriage Day greetings, and surprise celebrity guests.  

Tune in Friday, Aug 14th at 7 PM EDT live on Facebook

Events:

August 7th, Fri 12PM-Military Marriage Day Kickoff

August 8th, Saturday 12PM-Date Night DIY

August 9th, Sunday 12PM-Cooking Together

August 10th, Monday 6PM-Game Night

August 11th, Tuesday 6PM-Movie Night

August 12th, Wednesday 6PM-Purposeful Planning

August 13th, Thursday 1PM-InDepedent Live

August 14th, Friday-Military Marriage Day!

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