Cara Loken is the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance National Guard Spouse of the Year. As an Air Guard spouse for the last 17 years, she represents Army and Air National Guard spouses at the state and national level by promoting family support programs and advocating for all service members and their families. She was nominated because of her volunteerism and commitment to improving the quality of life for Guard families.
In addition to being a military spouse, Cara is a mom to a soldier who served four years in the Army. She experienced the unique challenge of having her husband and son deployed to combat at the same time. When her son returned from Afghanistan, he was diagnosed with post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Cara sought ways to help him. She soon discovered the healing impact art had on service members and veterans dealing with mental health issues. Since then, she started Nebraska Arts for Vets providing an outlet for veterans to use art as a platform to reduce anxiety and reactivate positive emotions, self-worth, and self-esteem.
Currently, Cara is also a small business owner, student, and volunteers her time with family readiness and the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program..
She resides in Bennet, Nebraska with her husband and youngest son.