Disney Celebrates Cast Members and Proud Military Spouses During National Military Appreciation Month

by Ali Cozzolino-Smith, External Communications, Disney Parks Experiences and Products

In recognition of Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 12, sometimes referred to as Military Spouse Day, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on not one but two of our outstanding cast members who are also military spouses. Military Spouse Day is celebrated annually on the Friday before Mother’s Day and acknowledges the significant contributions, support, and sacrifices of spouses of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Callie serves as an Engineering Services Manager at Magic Kingdom Park. As a military spouse, she was drawn to work for Disney because of the support Disney provides its employees of different backgrounds. Callie has enjoyed the support she’s received through various diverse groups within the company.

“Through working with Disney, I’ve related to a group for military spouses, veterans, active members, and women in engineering.”

Callie and David
Callie and her husband, David who serves in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

Callie is the proud military spouse of David, who serves in the U.S. Navy Reserves. She learned about the challenges of military family life early in her relationship with her high school sweetheart, David, who joined the Navy right after graduating in 2011. Many military spouses endure lengthy separations from home and family due to extended deployments to areas around the world in support of the mission.

While challenging, Callie recalls how she supported her husband and his fellow Sailors during his deployment in 2012 by organizing a card signing event with friends from college.

“We made cards and put together care packages with all sorts of little trinkets to send to send to David’s fellow service members that weren’t receiving any care mail.” Callie emphasizes how important it was for her to not only take care of her spouse, but to make sure that other people around him were taken care of as well.

Callie and David
Callie and David reuniting after David returned home from a lengthy naval deployment

One piece of advice Callie would give to other military spouses or spouses of new reservists is to “understand that you can’t control every situation, but to trust the process.” Callie said, “Ultimately, every day that he stays with the military, there is a potential to be called and deployed anywhere in the world.”

Kristen is a communications specialist and works to deliver critical information internally to cast members at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Her family has a long history of serving in the armed forces, as her grandparents on both sides served in the U.S. Army; It was fitting that she married a U.S. Army Soldier.

Kristen met her husband, when he was a reservist for the U.S. Army and is incredibly proud of how he carries himself from being in the armed forces,

“He loved his time! His passion and commitment to those who served with him is just inspiring,” said Kristen

Even though her husband is no longer on active duty, he continues to serve the military community by helping veterans or dependents of military service members get the most out of their benefits for college and in everyday life. Kristen speaks proudly of her husband’s current endeavor, “It’s inspiring to see him go out every single day and make a difference.”

Honoring military service members and their families has been part of Disney’s rich history for 100 years. Join us in thanking Callie and her husband, David, a U.S. Navy reservist, and Kristen and her husband, U.S. Army Veteran, for their service.