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NEWS | May 15, 2024

Military spouses enable readiness

By Carlos Cuebas U.S. Army Garrison Fort Buchanan

The U.S. Army defines resilience as the mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn, and grow from seatbacks.

But for Capt. Olga Maria Tamayo DeJesús, a member of the 210th Regional Support Group under the U.S. Army Reserve 1st Mission Support Command, currently mobilized at Fort Bliss, Texas, the knowledge of resilience does not necessarily come from regulatory guidance but from life.

For example, due to mission requirements, Tamayo has spent multiple Mother's Days away from her family. She will again be far from her family this upcoming Mother's Day for the third year in a row.

"Of course, it is not easy to be far from the family on Mother's Day. I would be lying if I said that," said the mother of three daughters, ages 6, 10, and 17.

According to the Army officer, the key is maintaining a healthy balance between personal and professional life.

"The Army always allows me time to find balance in life. For example, after returning from a previous mobilization, I took several weeks of time off and, as a family, could go on a vacation. Yes, Mother's Day is special, but we can make every day special too with quality of time," said Tamayo, who has been married for 11 years to Juan A. Nieves.

The officer is very grateful for the support of her family.

"Every morning, I thank my husband for everything he does for our daughters and me. His unwavering support allows me to be here today. I am blessed to have him in my life and to have the support of my family," added Tamayo, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

However, not being at home during Mother's Day is not the only difficulty that Tamayo has faced during her 12 years of military service.

"When my mother died, I was deployed to the Middle East. My teammates, my unit, and the Army supported me during that tough time, allowing me to return home to take care of the situation," added Tamayo.

When talking about the death of her mother, Tamayo describes her decision to continue serving in uniform as a way to honor her mother's memory.

"I always told my mother I wanted to grow as much as possible in the Army. She was very proud of me and supported me in my dreams. That memory is my strength to continue serving today. That is why I continue moving forward," the officer added.

Tamayo plans to connect with her husband and three daughters through a video call, as she did during previous Mother's Day. In previous years, her daughters have sent a gift in advance through the post office.

"The path of life is not always easy. There will be rocks on your path to a successful personal and professional life. It does not matter how difficult a situation may be; we must continue. This applies not only to military mothers but also to any other profession," said Tamayo.

Tamayo's personal story showcases the resilience and readiness that the approximately 5,000 Soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve in Puerto Rico display and their commitment to serve the needs of the nation anytime, anywhere. (Photos provided by Capt. Olga Tamayo)