QUANTICO, Va. — Chelsea (Lairson) Otto, a 2008 Butler High School graduate and wife of Corey Otto of Huber Heights, was recently named the Military Spouse of the Year for Marine Corps Base Quantico.
She is the daughter of Jeffrey Lairson and Bonnie Bolton. Corey’s parents are Glenn and Andi Otto of Huber Heights.
Otto, like many other military spouses, has dealt with hardship while her spouse was deployed. In 2011, one month after Corey was deployed, Otto gave birth to a son while Corey watched via Skype.
“Being a ‘single mom’ was hard but with the help of our family and friends, I survived,” Otto said in an email.
The couple is currently stationed at Quantico and will soon be moved to Okinawa.
Otto said that she spends a lot of time helping other military spouses.
“I believe that being involved plays a huge factor in your role as a military spouse,” said Otto. “Not only does it get you out of the house, but it also opens doors for opportunities and new relationships. It’s hard being the new spouse on base, but at one point, we have all been in that position. Being involved helps make the transition easier.”
She also serves others by being an egg donor, something inspired by losing a child.
“I’ve donated six times over the last few years,” Otto wrote. “It’s something I’m very passionate about! My husband and I lost a child in 2012, so we know the pain some of these couples go through. I truly feel being an egg donor was something I was meant to be.”
She said that being in the military family leads to great relationships.
“The best aspects of being in a military family is the relationships,” she wrote. “No matter where you are stationed, you meet people who become your family. Those are the people you spend holidays, birthdays and special events with. Having that close group of friends makes the difficult times easier.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.
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