Story by SSG Armando Limon on 03/03/2017SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii Military spouses aren't just recognized for volunteerism, but also for encouraging, uplifting, and empowering other spouses.
This is a cornerstone of Sarah Hutchison's beliefs, which is one of the reasons she won Military Spouse magazine's Military Spouse of the Year for Schofield Barracks.
Hutchison, a native of Downers Grove, Ill., and spouse of Staff Sgt. Jesse Hutchison, a platoon sergeant assigned to 29th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Bde. Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, provided much needed assistance to those in need.
"I help those that are down during a field deployment," she said. "I help families when they need to go back to the mainland during an emergency. I will help just about anyone in my community.
"Sometimes it is the littlest thing that will lift someone's day, and from my friends, family, neighbors, people I just met, that is what I provide by offering my services."
Hutchison is involved with the Girl Scouts, volunteers with Wheeler Elementary School, participates in Adopt a Family for Christmas, donates to the homeless and gives shoes to children in need.
She said she has been a military spouse for 10 1/2 years, and it's not as easy as it looks.
"It's hard because you are constantly supporting someone who is putting the Army first," she said.
She said military spouses can't take a day off or call in sick like civilians at a regular job. She does everything she can to support her spouse and family.
"Whether is to go pick up uniforms, to go to the grocery store, to watch your kids to everything, it's tough," she said. "But I would not do anything else."
Theresa Stanifer, spouse to Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Stanifer assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., nominated Hutchison for her selfless service to others.
"No matter what Sarah has going on, she will drop whatever she's doing to help someone else," Stanifer said. "She puts others wants and needs before hers, so she can help others."
Stanifer described Hutchison as a "positive influence on spouses within the unit no matter where she goes. She's always quick to help out or pitch in, no matter what she has going on herself.
"Sarah is an extraordinary woman, she a great mother and wife; she helps everyone she can; she brings smiles to everyone faces," she continued. "You only have to be around her for a short while before she will have you smiling and laughing."
Hutchison said she was shaking with excitement when she received the news she had won.
"I looked at all the other women that won," she said. "If you read some of their articles they are the head of organizations and they're the head of all this volunteer work. I got nominated by a few friends that think how great I am. It's these moments where you just remember that it's worth it. It's just totally worth it."