K-State students and military spouses gathered for a luncheon May 6 at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art on K-State’s Manhattan campus in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Speaking at the luncheon was Sharon Gerdes, College of Human Ecology alumna, author and former military spouse. The institute also recognized two recipients of the inaugural Military Spouse Resilience Award: Sara Devine (pictured right) and Carolyn Toliver-Lee (pictured left).
Devine is a K-State graduate with bachelor’s degrees in geography and secondary social studies education. This fall, she became a special education teacher in Junction City, Kansas, and started working on her master’s in special education at K-State. Devine is a constant support to her husband, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and insomnia after his war deployment.
Toliver-Lee is a family advocacy program specialist at Fort Riley, Kansas, and has master’s degrees from K-State and Northcentral University. Toliver-Lee has a conflict resolution certificate from K-State and works with the Child Abuse Prevention Campaign. Her husband sustained a traumatic brain injury and was medically and honorably discharged from the military. In 2004, he sustained another severe closed traumatic brain injury, which left him temporarily blind and paralyzed. He currently receives full-time care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Topeka, Kansas, and the support, love and encouragement of his wife and sons.
The institute plans to make the Military Spouse Appreciation Day Luncheon an annual event. Military Spouse Appreciation Day is recognized on the Friday before Mother’s Day each May. Link to full article here.