COLLIER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Time passes slowly for military personnel assigned to war zones like Iraq. But life is also difficult for the husband or wife who’s left behind.

“This is the Panhandle Trail, where my husband and I have organized the ‘I’ve got your Six’ 6K,” said Julia Kysela.

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Kysela says “I’ve got your six” is military jargon for “I’ve got your back.” The 6K race in Collier Township is one of many activities she and her National Guard husband, Dan, organize to help veterans in need.

“This year we’re going to have it on June 14,” Julia says.

Flag Day. Sgt. 1st Class Dan Kysela served two tours in Iraq.

“You just develop a routine,” says his wife. “And you just count the days until he comes home.”

Julia’s routine is to take on military support efforts, ranging from the Valor Clinic to community chair of a network called “VetNet.”

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Her proud husband nominated her for “Armed Forces Insurance National Guard Spouse of the Year,” sponsored by Military Spouse magazine.

“I made it to the top 18. Then I got the word on Friday that I was the 2015 National Guard Spouse of the Year. And it was just exhilarating.”

One winner remains for each branch of the military. And March 4, she says a one-day, online vote will determine, “One over-all winner. One crown for a deserving spouse.”

Win or lose, she says she’s not slowing down.

“I do the things I do because I want my husband to be as proud of me as I am of him,” she said.

For information on how to vote, log on to

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