The Military Spouse of the Year contest recognized spouses from Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point and New River.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the base of one of the finalists.
Three local women were named Military Spouse of the Year finalists for their respective duty stations.
Jolynn Lee, of Camp Lejeune; Andrea Hackenberger, of Cherry Point; and Randi Burke, of MCAS New River; were named base winners, among 168 others to receive the title.
The list will be narrowed down to a list of Top 18 candidates on Friday.
The Top 18 are then placed in the branch-level vote, to choose a winner for each branch of the armed forces.
Branch winners are announced Feb. 23 with the final vote taking place May 2.
The National winner is then named in May, with the awards ceremony May 10.
The Military Spouse Magazine contest, which began in 2008, is sponsored by Armed Forces Insurance, Verizon, G6 Hospitality, First Command, American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association and Booz Allen Hamilton.
Lee has been through three deployments and nine PCS moves and is the mother of four.
She does volunteer work with her unit command team, the LINKS spouse organization, the spouse club, as a MOPs mentor mom, and is the volunteer co-administrator and co-facilitator of REBOOT Combat Recovery for Camp Lejeune.
Lee said in her profile on the Military Spouse of the Year website that winning would allow her to bring attention to trauma-related issues suffered by the military community.
“REBOOT has shown me firsthand that there is hope for recovery and restoration,” Lee said. “Whether it is childhood trauma, sexual assault, or combat issues - you do not have to walk alone.”
Hackenberger has underwent one deployment and three PCS moves with her husband, and is the mother of three.
She is studying full-time at Liberty University to obtain her masters in Human Services Counseling.
Hackenberger’s volunteer work has included the Family Readiness Program, the Single Marine Program, the LINKS spouse program, Enlisted Spouse Club and the Resident Community Board.
Hackenberger said on her profile if she were to win the title, she would use it to help other military spouses be able to understand the military lifestyle and the unknown.
“I want to be able to provide spouses with resources that they may not be aware of and be able to connect each spouse with other local spouses,” Hackenberger said.
“I want to continuously promote the “Grow where you are planted” saying and teach others that they can fulfill their hopes and dreams even when they are uprooted from their families.”
Burke has been through five deployments and four PCS moves and is the mother of two.
She is involved in her children’s PTO group and the Craven Fitness and Running Club.
Burke said in her profile winning, for her, might mean a chance to inspire younger military wives.
“It will give them hope that they can do it too,” Burke said. “I married young, my husband is enlisted, we struggled, just like most newly married military couples, however, I believe my testimony of overcoming challenges will validate me as a positive role model and influencer among young military wives.”
Reporter Kelsey Stiglitz can be reached at 910-219-8453 or kstiglitz@JDNews.com.