The husband of an Air Force lieutenant colonel who became a stay-at-home dad a decade ago to care for the couple’s disabled daughter was named Military Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse magazine during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this week.
Jeremy Hilton, an Air Force Academy graduate and former Navy officer,was the first husband to win the award. He was nominated by wife Renae, who is stationed at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, Md.
After separating from the Navy to care for daughter Kate, who was born with a condition called hydrocephalus that required near round-the-clock care, Hilton became an advocate for families with special needs, Renae Hilton wrote in her nomination.
“Jeremy has taken on a leadership role in advocating for both military and non-military families on issues including special education, medical care and long term care issues. … He has briefed the Congressional Military Family Caucus, numerous Congressional delegations and staffers on the Armed Services Committee, HELP Committee, on the Judiciary Committee and in the White House. At the national level, Jeremy coordinates legislation related to military families impacted by a disability with groups including the Military Officer’s Association of America, the National Military Family Association, Blue Star Families and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. His expertise has been sought by the White House, the Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the National Council on Disability and the Department of Defense,” she wrote.
Deanie Dempsey, wife of Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the award.