FORT HOOD, Texas — Meet Jaime Chapman, a U.S. Army Reserve veteran and military spouse living on Fort Hood.
An enormous place compared to her humble small-town roots.
”I grew up in Valliant, Oklahoma,” said Jaime Chapman, COO and co-founder of the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce. “That's in rural southeastern Oklahoma in the Choctaw Nation region of the state. I grew up by a lake. My dad worked at a paper mill for his whole career and my mom owns a convenience store for going on 25 years now.”
A girl from a town of fewer than 1,000 people, she never saw military life as an option until walking by a recruiting office in a mall and joined the Army Reserves.
A decision that changed her life.
”I was in the Army Reserves for six years,” said Chapman. “I thought I was done with the Army and then I met my husband and then married back into the Army.”
Now a mom that has had 14 addresses in 16 years, she has found herself in the hardest job of her life, being a military spouse.
Seeing how hard it is for people in her position to succeed, she helped create the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce.
”We try to create a soft-landing place for military spouses when they relocate,” said Chapman. “For example, here at Fort Hood, we have a number of members that live in the community, and we try to connect them as best we can to local resources. So, they can network and get plugged into the community when they relocate.”
A priceless resource that Army veteran and entrepreneur Mark Bauer, isn’t surprised to hear Jamie helped create.
”I’ve never seen her not engage 100 percent or more when she sees there is something to get done,” said Mark Bauer, Army Veteran and friend of Jaime Chapman.
It’s especially true when it comes to military and veteran families.
”I’ll have a conversation with one week and she’ll tell me about something that she is working on or some that she spoke to,” said Bauer. “Then I will have a conversation with her a week later and she is in Washington sitting at a round table, talking to influential people, and solving the problem that we just spoke about a few weeks before.”
It’s her way of continuing to serve alongside her husband ... a soldier she has a message for.
”I just want you to know that I am proud to be your wife, proud to be the mother of your children, and if I was faced again with the same decision, I would without hesitation, do it all over again. I love you,” said Chapman.
Jaime Chapman served her country in the U.S. Army Reserves and continues to serve as a military spouse in the Fort Hood community.