Mustang commanding officer’s wife named District 17 spouse of the year
Posted by PA3 Meredith Manning, Friday, February 12, 2016
Rebecca Brinkley married Coast Guard Lt. Matthew Brinkley in 2010. As soon as she said said ‘I do’ Rebecca dove head first into her role as a Coast Guard spouse. Her support for her husband and his unit lead to Rebecca being named the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year for Coast Guard District 17.
When they moved to Alaska in 2014 she did not expect anything to be different in her spousal role, but Alaska presented new challenges.
“Before we moved to Alaska, I didn’t think that it mattered where you lived as a military spouse, the job is always hard,” said Rebecca. ”But living in a small remote town in Alaska can have more challenges than living in a big city with a lot of amenities at your fingertips.”
Rebecca’s husband is the commanding officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang homeported in Seward, Alaska. Seward is a small city on the Kenai Peninsula, which offers very few resources for military families. To reach the closest military medical facility members have to travel three hours on one of the most dangerous highways in the country. The small town provides only limited activities for spouses and families to participate in and shopping resources are minimal. These challenges require Coast Guard spouses to rely on each other for many things.
“I believe that the best work we can do as spouses is to support each other,” said Rebecca. “I am always hosting luncheons, birthday parties, baby showers and game nights for the spouses of our unit to get together, especially on those lonely nights when the Mustang crew is underway. We are a family and I strive to keep the spouses busy and happy so that the unit can concentrate on the mission.”
While the remoteness of Seward can be challenging, it also provides a very tight-knit community for the military families, especially during times that their Coast Guard members are underway. Rebecca and many other spouses spend a lot of time volunteering in the community.
“It is very rewarding to be able to give back to a community that welcomes our ever-changing unit with open arms,” said Rebecca. “We come and go every two years here and it is the community that really makes what we do in the Coast Guard possible. “
Coast Guard members rely on their spouses to take care of the homefront while they are away and Rebecca is an example of one of the most important support systems the Coast Guard has.