Crozet Woman Named 2012 Navy Spouse of the Year - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Crozet Woman Named 2012 Navy Spouse of the Year

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A Crozet Navy wife who gives a lot back to her community is being honored by a magazine and Oprah Winfrey.

Tricia Ross and her husband Jeff just moved their family of six to Crozet, so Jeff could get his graduate nursing degree from the University of Virginia.  This is their sixth move, but no matter where the Ross family lives, Tricia devotes herself to her community.  Now, the community is giving back to her.

Tricia said, "As a military spouse we move often, we don't always have the ties to community that we'd like to have, so we have to get ourselves out there, have our voices heard, and make sure that we're active in our community."

Tricia calls herself a proud Navy spouse.  She works to increase literacy and put books in the hands of military children across the country.

"They can get lost in the pages of that book and it's a new adventure and no matter where they go with that book, they can open it up and be in a whole new place," she said.

Now the community is celebrating Ross's passion and service.  She was named the 2012 Navy Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse Magazine.

Jeff said, "I know how much she works hard, not only making our lives better, myself and our kids, but everybody that she comes in contact with she tries to give a positive influence."

The award led her to Washington D.C., where she was one of 30 extraordinary military spouses to be surprised and honored by Oprah Winfrey on "Oprah's Favorite Things" 2012.

Tricia and her family will get a large shipment of gifts from Oprah this year, but the best gift doesn't fit in a box.  Last year, her husband was deployed for 11 months.

"For us it was the very first Christmas that he'd ever missed," Tricia said.

Jeff's homecoming became the holiday to celebrate.

"It's the emotions of it's been 11 months and I always say that it's like Christmas morning - it doesn't just come on December 25, it comes every time a service member comes home and his family sees him," said Tricia.

This year, the 2012 Navy Spouse of the Year will have all her favorite things under one roof.

Tricia says when she was taping the "Oprah's Favorite Things" special, she met other military spouses who give back to their communities in a variety of inspiring ways.  You can catch what Tricia called "the surprise of a lifetime" on the special on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

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