In The Running For National Award

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WATSONTOWN -- A woman from Northumberland County is in the running to win a national competition but she needs votes to help get her there. She will face off against 38 other people to become the National Guard Military Spouse of the Year.

Kathy Kling of Watsontown already holds the title of Pennsylvania National Guard Military Spouse of the Year.  The state title was given to her by Military Spouse magazine. She volunteers her time helping other army wives, and says winning the U.S. award would be an honor.

Kathy knows what it is like to miss her husband, Jason.  The couple from Watsontown has spent almost half of their seven-year marriage apart because of Jason's deployments to Afghanistan.

“Each deployment gets easier to deal with because you learn from one deployment to the next.  But no deployment is ever actually easy,” she said.

Kathy and Jason are both volunteers at the Warrior Run Area fire department.  When Jason was deployed the first time, Kathy says she got a lot of support from the people there, but what was missing was support from the military.

“It was that military connection that I needed.  There was a lot that I didn't understand and along with that came frustration.”

Kathy threw her frustration into volunteering with her fire department in Watsontown and into helping other army wives. She is the co-chair of the family readiness group based out of Fort Indiantown Gap. 

Kathy was recently recognized by Military Spouse magazine as of Pennsylvania National Guard Military Spouse of the Year.  She is in the running against 38 other women for the national title:  National Guard Military Spouse of the Year.

“Very proud. Very proud to know that she was nominated,” said Jason.

Kathy's husband Jason is so proud he spoke to Newswatch 16 via Skype from Afghanistan.

“She's well deserving of it and it means a lot to me that she was nominated for it as well.”

Kathy was nominated for the title by a fellow army wife but she says she doesn't do anything that other military spouses don't.

“I show support to my husband, I show support to our family, our friends, and the other family members who have been deployed.”

Voting for National Guard Military Spouse of the year starts Tuesday at 5 a.m. and goes until midnight.  If you would like to vote for Kathy, click here.