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May 7: Lori Bell
Lori Bell; Military Spouse of the Year 2010
Hometown: Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska Age: 34 Family: Husband Lt. Colonel Kenyon Bell of the Air Force and their two young children
Lori Bell is 34, and the 2010 winner of the Military Spouse of the Year award. Responding to a need for resources for military spouses and parents at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, she created several programs including the National Association of Military Moms & Spouses (NAMMAS) which has grown into an online resource and database used nationwide.
Lori initiated four separate programs impacting over 1,500 members of her squadron. Through NAMMAS, Lori helps empower mothers and spouses to find their bliss — to build relationships, identify gifts and talents, seek help and synergize with like-minded people. She uses discussion forums and live tele-events to provide resources spouses need for military lifestyle success. "What can we carry to another spouse to help her?" Lori asks. "Look what we've gone through — how can we help each other? I would love to encourage spouses to connect more, relate more, share more and don't be so afraid of repercussions for sharing."
In a squadron of 700 plus members, she created the first three EMS Spouses' Network and held monthly meetings inviting experts to come talk about matters that concern spouses and families; topics ranged from parenting tips to growing home businesses. As a stay-at-home mom, Lori knows first-hand the unique challenges of this special role. She polled military spouses over the internet to find out what their most pressing issues have become. She found the number-one concern was finding purpose and passion beyond being a wife and mother. To meet that need, Lori started the "Purpose Driven, Purpose Livin'" blog for military stay-at-home moms. With this resource, women get a free seven-day inspirational e-course and a bi-weekly newsletter to provide the motivation to reach their own personal goals.
Lori is a veteran and served 10 years in Air Force logistics. She deployed twice while on active duty. Lori is also an accomplished singer, and has sung at over 150 different government events. Additionally, Lori designed a workshop and action guide "The Young Woman's Guide to An Extraordinary Life," which will be used as a resource to assist Alaska's youth in making healthy lifestyle choices. Her motto is "to dream a thing and see it come to pass is one of life's greatest achievements."
Lori is the 2010 winner of the Military Spouse of the Year award. She was nominated by her husband, Lt. Colonel Kenyon Bell of the Air Force. They live at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska with their two young children. As the 2010 Military Spouse of the Year, Lori will be writing a monthly column in the pages of Military Spouse magazine. "It's like a unique club we get to belong to," she says of being a military spouse. "Have fun, look forward to every challenge. We live a blessed life. It's a blessing to be able to serve our country. Appreciate everything."