Kim SeligmanBy Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso

Before she became a military spouse 10 years ago, Kim Seligman worked as a probation officer. “It was the kind of job where you didn’t want the offenders knowing anything about you,” she explained. “It was hard to sympathize with their struggles. One of the most important things I’ve learned since becoming a volunteer with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is compassion. Doing casework has enabled me to put myself in someone else’s shoes and take my time to advocate for him or her. Our service members work hard for their country, so I feel like when a crisis hits, they need someone who will take the time to advocate for them.”

Seligman recalled hearing about the Society during the pre-deployment brief for her husband’s squadron. “I was reluctant to volunteer at first because I had an eight-month-old infant, but when I started volunteering I was very happy I did! I started volunteering because I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but also do something part-time for myself. What has kept me coming back are the friendships I’ve made with the other volunteers and staff. I consider NMCRS my second family.”

While her husband, a Navy pilot who flies the P-8 Poseidon, was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, so Seligman volunteered at NMCRS Jacksonville. “I held a few volunteer positions in the Jacksonville office: client services assistant, client services assistant lead, caseworker, casework lead, and chair of volunteers. I have also taught a few Budget for Baby classes and I was one of two volunteers who assisted directors and area trainers in the creation of NMCRS University in January 2013 in Mayport, Florida.”

This past year the family PCS’d to Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan while Seligman’s husband takes a two-year-disassociated sea tour. Seligman started volunteering at NMCRS Yokosuka as soon as she could. Currently, she serves as the office training coordinator. She’s been impressed by the loyalty she’s seen from Society staff and volunteers. “You’ll see volunteers and staff who’ve given many years of hard work for NMCRS, all to serve service members and their families.”

Seligman was recently honored by NMCRS President, Admiral Steve Abbot, with a superior service award for her service at NMCRS Jacksonville. “She has performed brilliantly in a number of leadership roles and committed almost 3,900 volunteer hours and driven over 10,000 miles to support NMCRS Jacksonville! Ever the faithful steward and co-worker, Mrs. Seligman is the first to assist wherever and whenever needed.”

She feels privileged to serve. “NMCRS is my safe haven,” Seligman said. “I know that no matter where we PCS to, I have one familiar thing to go to when everything else is brand new. NMCRS is a constant in my life.”

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