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The 2018 AFI Spouse of the Year Is Moving Forward

Krista Simpson Anderson, third from left, accepts the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Award in Washington, D.C. May 10, 2018. With her are presenters Ellyn Dunford, Suzie Schwartz and Retired Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III. (Defense Department/EJ Hersom)
Krista Simpson Anderson, third from left, accepts the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Award in Washington, D.C. May 10, 2018. With her are presenters Ellyn Dunford, Suzie Schwartz and Retired Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III. (Defense Department/EJ Hersom)

Krista Simpson Anderson doesn't let how others think she should mourn the combat death of her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Michael Simpson, change her actions.

Instead, she simply lives.

Krista is both a Gold Star wife and the spouse of a currently serving soldier. She's also the Armed Forces Insurance 2018 Military Spouse of the Year.

As a Gold Star wife and a currently serving spouse, she stands with feet in two different worlds. When she chose to marry her late husband's teammate, Sgt. Gus Anderson, she did so knowing that she would face plenty of judgement from the military community for her decision to move forward.

"I married my husband's teammate -- I would've judged me too," she said. "For me I don't feel judged now because I own who we are wholeheartedly."

That confidence, paired with a strong faith life, is what helps her stay grounded and has given her the ability to move forward.

And now, as the newly selected Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, Krista is hoping to use her new found platform to further the nonprofit she founded after her husband's death, The Unquiet Professional (TUP).

TUP's mission is to support and empower Gold Star Families. Unlike other organizations, which fill a mentorship and policy advocacy need, TUP focuses on awareness and Gold Star family member support.

Although she's still shaping just what her award means for TUP and how she'll use it, she said she's hoping for the chance to help the military community understand the casualty process but being accessible.

"One of the things I really want to do is talk to each of the military academies and their classes, and not only share my story, but when it comes to casualty notification and assistance, and allow them to also ask those questions, too," she said.

She also is hoping through the award to get involved in Gold Star family policy on a national level, something that isn't within the mission statement of TUP but she could do on her own.

But before any of that happens, her first challenge will be one all of us have faced: a cross country move. Her husband just got orders to the Washington, D.C. area. Her family will be leaving Washington State and headed East in August.

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