Married to: Jeffery Lee
Current location: Camp Lejeune
Years as a military spouse: 29
Jolynn Lee’s story is one that many post-9/11 military spouses can relate to and be inspired by when they reflect on the many years our nation has spent at war. For Jolynn, the journey back from her husband being combat wounded in Iraq and years spent away for deployments brought challenges that have made her a volunteer who understands the ups and downs of military life.
“I literally took everything red, white, and blue out of the house. I was just so burnt out and uninspired,” says Jolynn about her husband’s return after a particularly rough combat tour. “He came home very different and I was tapped out. But we found our way through the darkness and we found each other again. I have to confess that despite the changes and challenges that have come since then, the ride has been very sweet for the rediscovery of love of family and the Corps.”
Jolynn has turned that challenging time into a message of encouragement by now working with REBOOT Camp Lejeune and REBOOT Combat Recovery, a faith-based combat trauma healing course designed to address the spiritual wounds of war.
“We aren’t made to walk this journey alone, and there are those who will walk with you,” says Jolynn. “All trauma hurts, childhood, sexual assault, domestic abuse, combat, natural disaster, but that trauma is meant to be a comma in the life story, not a period.”
In addition to being the administrator and facilitator of REBOOT at Camp Lejeune with her husband, Jolynn has served on the installation’s spouses’ club board, as a Family Readiness Advisor for her spouse’s unit and is a volunteer with the LINKs organization on base as a mentor and presenter.
For Jolynn, her own family’s experiences with trauma allow her and her husband to effectively connect with those they serve in the REBOOT program. Jolynn is a mom of four, including a son who enlisted in the Marines and two daughters who married Marines.
“I am so proud to be a military spouse. I told my girls and my daughter-in-law, when you marry someone who serves in the military, you are marrying the service as well,” says Jolynn. “It is an honor and a privilege that is not for the faint of heart.”
As many military spouses do, Jolynn points to military milestones, like her husband making gunny and when he earned a commission, along with their work on REBOOT as highlights of their life together. And, when it comes to REBOOT, she says,
“I think I have the passion for it having lived the experience. I’m committed and driven to be a voice for the voiceless.”
For her, earning the title of Marine Corps branch winner is all about giving her even more of an opportunity for helping others.
What does she hope to do with the award?
“I hope to continue to spread the word that trauma hurts, REBOOT heals. But if REBOOT isn’t the answer or the fit then we will hold hands and together we will find what does work for the individual in need, for the family in pain, for the veteran who is lost and forgotten. There is hope and healing found in community with others who ‘get it.’”
She met her husband while she was attending the University of South Carolina. “My roommate knew him in high school and he came over to fix our washing machine,” Jolynn says. Jolynn considers herself a shy person but you might not realize that if you meet her because she is full of great energy for the causes she supports and champions.
Congratulations on all your achievements which has brought you to this point to be recognized for your amazing accomplishments! I am so excited to see you on your journey as the Armed Forces Insurance 2018 Marine Corps Spouse of the Year. Your journey, experience and passion for REBOOT is impressive. Congrats again Joylnn and welcome to our #tribe! -Jessica Rudd, 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Marine Corps Spouse of the Year
Connect with us on Facebook!