Local News

Wake mom honors sacrifices of military families

Posted May 29, 2011 2:33 p.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2011 7:45 p.m. EDT

— A Fuquay-Varina mother is working to make life easier for the families of soldiers who serve their country.

"You don't have to wear a uniform to be part of this amazing freedom that we fight for," said Bianca Strzalkowski, 31, who is married to active-duty Marine Corps gunnery Sgt. Ronald Strzalkowski.

Along with supporting her husband and three children, Bianca Strzalkowski has worked to help other military families.

As the only volunteer with the Raleigh recruiting station's family readiness program, she created a meals program for new moms across the state and training to help spouses understand the lifestyle of military recruiters.

Military Spouse magazine recently selected her from among hundreds of nominees as the 2011 Military Spouse of the Year. She got to meet First Lady Michelle Obama and have dinner with the head of the Marine Corps.

"It was shocked. It was by far one of the greatest moments of my life," Bianca Strzalkowski said.

Her husband, mother and a fellow military spouse nominated her for the honor.

"I appreciate that I work for an organization that prides itself in being able to recognize those who aren't doing the actual job but are supporting the one who is doing the job," Ronald Strzalkowski said.

Bianca Strzalkowoski said she wants to use her title to get civilians more involved with helping troops. A full-time college student, she wants to help expand educational and career opportunities for military spouses.

She said Sen. Kay Hagan has reached out to her to learn more about the challenges faced by military spouses and how they can be helped.

For now, the Strzalkowski family is enjoying time together ahead of a possible deployment to Iraq.