After hundreds of reader nominations, Military Spouse magazine (MSM) is honored to announce Mrs.
Chelle Brewer as the 2008 Military Spouse of the Year, sponsored by TriWest Healthcare Alliance (MSOY).
The MSOY represents the positive qualities of a military spouse and is truly an “alpha woman.”
The MSOY is both inspirational and representative of the endearing qualities of military spouses. MSM will honor our winner
throughout 2008 during promotions and public events. Trust us when we say, Chelle’s story will truly touch your heart.
Chelle Brewer has a passion for life that extends around the world. She is hopelessly devoted to
supporting her military husband and those who serve with him. And she dedicates her life to helping special needs children
because of her own experiences with her own children. Her daughter, Lorelei, was missing more than half of her heart shortly
before her birth in 2005. Lorelei survived risky open-heart surgery right after birth and continues to defy medical expectations
as she continues with follow-on medical procedures.
Shortly after Lorelei came home from the cardiac intensive care unit, Hurricane Katrina ravaged
the Gulf Coast region. Realizing that hundreds of children with severe health conditions were trapped in that area, Chelle
organized support for them by working with the Department of Homeland Security, Triage 411, United Way of Baton Rouge, and
the Louisiana Governor’s Office. She coordinated with churches, corporations, children’s hospitals, medically
trained foster parents, and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to provide care for patients and their families,
while still unable to leave home due to Lorelei’s condition. Her hard work resulted in recognition from President George
W. Bush, CEO of Capital Blue Cross Anita Smith, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett and led to her current full-time
position as Leadership and Individual Giving Manager of United Way of the Capital Region.
Chelle also volunteers her family as Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica program.
And she and Lorelei act as spokespersons for the American Heart Association (AHA) in support of “heart healthy”
legislation such as the Clear Air Act, an effort to ban smoking statewide in public spaces. Chelle also works with international
celebrities, professional sports teams, politicians, and other notable figures to help educate them and raise money for the
She supports her active duty military husband Steve, who also volunteers for the American Red Cross.
Steve was recently called away from home for duty. She educates her five-year-old son, Cavan, on the importance of volunteerism
by helping him collect pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia. He now annually delivers Christmas presents
to the families of children who are inpatients at the Hershey Medical Center. Since Lorelei’s birth, Chelle has volunteered
as a military medical relief coordinator, working with military families with special needs children helping them get the
medical care, coverage, and the support they need. She also serves as an advisor on the PA Cares, Returning Service Member
Resiliency Task Force. She assists families in gaining access to medical care for their children all over the United States,
Puerto Rico, Romania, Iraq, and other parts of the world. Most recently, Chelle befriended the family of Spc. Justin Farley,
helping find funds needed to cover their daughter’s medical care during his deployment in Iraq, as well as a host of
other military families that regularly call on Chelle for aid in understanding insurance or garnering support for upcoming
Her commitment to our troops led to the creation of Soldier’s List organization, which she
founded in 2002. Soldier’s List sent over 4,000 care packages to deployed soldiers, raised funds to buy supplies and
building materials for schools in Iraq and Afghanistan, sent aid to Iraqi children, and created Veteran’s Day programs
paying tribute to all who serve. Both President and First Lady Bush sent letters of recognition of service for Soldier’s
List efforts and the 82nd Airborne Division honored Soldier’s List with its own flag, signed by deployed soldiers who
received care packages.
Chelle’s work continues to change lives all over the world and she loves working with others
in need. She is a most deserving recipient of the 2008 Military Spouse of the Year award. The daughter of a Native American
military father, Chelle grew up a military brat during her father’s military career. Chelle holds a bachelor’s
degree and master’s degree.