We had the chance to sit down with one of JBLM's most accomplished spouses. Serena West was able to take time out of her schedule as a wife, mother of two, business owner and Lewis Community Spouses' Club chair to talk about her life in the South Sound.
Hi Serena! Could you reflect on winning the award. And could you give us some goals you have for the year?
Discovering that I had been nominated for the Base Spouse of the Year award came as a complete shock. I like to think of myself as a shadow worker, never really wanting to publicize any of the work I'm doing, so to be recognized in such a public forum was quite overwhelming and quite the honor. My main goal for the coming year is to work to continue to build and foster a sense of community among military spouses. This is an incredibly unique life and we all have more in common than we often think. I hope to use my involvement with the JBLM Spouses' Club as well as my business as platforms to bridge some of the gaps between spouses, fostering a stronger sense of community that will inevitably benefit the community around us.
Can you talk about your family and the role family plays in the military community?
I am the wife of an Artillery officer and mom to two little ones: Jordan (10) and Ethan (8). My husband and I have been married for 11 years. We met in elementary school, started dating when I was in high school and have been together ever since. The family plays a pivotal role in the military community. I believe that families provide support to not only the Servicemembers, but also to each other when duty calls. A strong family unit helps strengthen the Soldier, the Unit, and the Army as a whole.
What are some of your favorite family activities in the South Sound?
We love to go kayaking, walk the shore at Tolmie State Park and American Lake, go bowling and try new restaurants in the area. It's taken us a bit to get used to the rainy weather, but the summers are absolutely gorgeous and perfect for long walks with our dogs and time at local parks.
What programs/clubs are you apart of, and how can other spouses get involved?
Much of my involvement this year has been focused on the Lewis Community Spouses' Club where I currently serve as the Ways and Means Chair, running our Cottage Boutique on post. There are so many opportunities to get involved on post everywhere from their unit family readiness groups, to religiously affiliated groups, community service based groups and even the Spouses' Club. I would urge spouses to get involved where they feel comfortable. Thriving in a community often begins when we get plugged in.
Tell us about your business, Westhouse!
Westhouse (formerly Westhouse Decor), came from my desire to use our family name and place that is important to use, especially as a military family. My desire is to build a community among military spouses and families through a brand devoted to the families it serves. I now offer an assortment of signs, stationary and t shirts all tailored to military spouses and families.
You can ready learn more about Westhouse, Serena, and the shop by going to http://www.shopwesthouse.com