Marine Corps Spouse of the Year Vinny Toth shares his story of acceptance and belonging after “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed and how he’s helping create diverse military spouse communities — especially for male military spouses. Then, Army Spouse of the Year Monica Bassett discusses how she’s also advocating for change: for military families dealing with food insecurity and hunger.

About the guests:

Monica Bassett has been a military spouse for over eight years. She is a stay-at-home parent to two girls, ages seven and two. She is an avid volunteer and advocate for military families, especially those facing financial hardships and food insecurity. Bassett’s prior experience in senior management along with her unparalleled passion for making others better and serving her community have led to record-breaking growth of over 600% in the number of organizations served, funds raised and distributed, and volunteer hours donated to causes critical to the Fort Riley community. Her enthusiasm for connecting, serving, and strengthening her community is evident in the new leaders she has motivated to take on advocacy roles within their community.

Vinny Toth is the 2022 Marine Corps Spouse of the Year. Currently, he is the director of operations at the Marine Gift Shop in Okinawa and sits on several nonprofit organizations.

About the podcast:

The Spouse Angle is a podcast breaking down the news for military spouses and their families. Each episode features subject-matter experts and military guests who dive into current events from a military perspective — everything from new policy changes to research on family lifestyle challenges. The podcast is hosted by Natalie Gross, a freelance journalist and former Military Times reporter who grew up in a military family.

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