Amanda and her husband, Jose Arguelles, had been married for three years when Jose decided to enlist in the Army. Their oldest daughter, Aliyana, was 2 at the time.
“We started our journey at Fort Hood,” Amanda said. “I got pregnant with our second, which was our son Axavier, and my husband deployed when I was only a few weeks pregnant. He returned when he was two months old.”
That deployment to Korea was the first of two. His second deployment was to Europe. Missing the birth of his middle child (their third, Amilya, was born in October 2019) was one of the challenges Amanda would discover to being a military spouse. Still, she would not trade her journey for anything.
“We’ve always lived on base so I’ve always had friends becoming more like family,” she said. “And it’s been awesome. We’ve always had really great connections and made some really lifelong friends.”
Amanda created more connections by utilizing Operation Homefront programs. Her children have received backpacks through the Back-to-School Brigade and toys through the Holiday Toy Drive. Amanda has also attended a Homefront Celebration and a Star-Spangled Babies baby shower.
Operation Homefront hosts Homefront Celebrations across the country to honor military spouses and recognize their contributions to their families and build their support networks. Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, Homefront Celebrations offer a rare, elegant night out just for military spouses. The evening includes a catered, sit-down dinner and an inspirational guest speaker.
Through a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, Homefront Celebrations also offer the opportunity for a deserving spouse to earn a scholarship to complete their education. A scholarship recipient is announced at each Homefront Celebration.
Amanda was impressed with the virtual event held in September.
“Joining the event was very welcoming and exciting and they had an amazing motivational speaker which I really enjoyed,” Amanda said. “It’s always good to hear someone who has been a military spouse for a long time how things have gone for them it makes you feel like they are really connected in this and you are all together.”
She said with her husband in training, the event helped her get some time just for herself.
“I loved that they made us feel special,” she said. “And it’s such a nice thing to do. I felt like I got some me time and to meet some other spouses and to connect with them. It really means a lot.”
As a military spouse for six years, Amanda appreciates the effort donors to Operation Homefront because they are supporting the entire military family.
“All of their generosity really makes you feel special,” she said. “It makes your whole day when you get something in the mail. You feel like it is always super special because it is a huge surprise. Their generosity, it just blows you away.”