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Family Story

Military Spouse Appreciates School Supply Event

By Operation Homefront

July 8, 2024

Military Spouse Appreciates Cost Offset from School Supply Event

Living in Hawaii is expensive, especially in the past year as inflation has increased costs of everyday items. For Army National Guard Sgt. Aditya Utoyo’s family, that has meant a tightening budget. 

Aditya’s wife, Annisa Budiman, had heard about Operation Homefront and was waited until the oldest of her two daughters was school age to attend the Operation Homefront Back-to-School Brigade®. This year, her daughter turned 5 and will be in kindergarten.  

Annisa and her family were among 520 people registered for Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School Brigade in July. The drive-thru event was one of dozens held across the U.S. to help military families offset the cost of buying school supplies. 

Since its inception in 2008, BTSB has delivered over 535,000 backpacks to military children. 

“My daughter got a purple backpack and loved it,” Annisa said. “Purple is her favorite color.” 

The couple’s younger daughter is 2. Both Annisa and Aditya are from Indonesia but met when they were in college in Maryland. Aditya is a translator for the military and joined under the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program, which allows non-citizens who are legally in the U.S. to enlist.  

The couple has lived in Hawaii since getting stationed there after Aditya joined the Army in 2014. After his four-year contract with the Army ended, he took a civilian job at a base and joined the Army National Guard  

“My daughter got her school supplies needed to start her first year of school at kindergarten in a really great way.” – Annisa Budiman, Army National Guard spouse

Annisa works at a nonprofit mental health clinic that serves veterans and their families in Hawaii. Her work at a nonprofit makes her appreciate programs and donors that support military families. 

“I think it’s always important to use the resources that we have, especially for Guard families because it can be much more limited,” she said. “We want to show that we are a part of how much that resource is very appreciated and needed in Hawaii.” 

Annisa said the program helped set her daughter up for success while helping the family budget. 

“Hawaii is very expensive,” she said. “For back to school everything adds up. We are very grateful to take advantage of this. My daughter got her school supplies needed to start her first year of school at kindergarten in a really great way.” 

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