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Last year I was asked by my husband’s first Sgt. to be a Key Spouse for the Squadron. At the time I was pregnant and was too tired to take on any extra responsibility. Several months after I had Adam, I was asked again because they still had not found anyone to be a Key Spouse, this time I decided to say yes. I was really excited to be a part of this program and really excited make a difference!
I already have a Facebook group for the wives stationed at Robins AFB, that I run and I have really enjoyed meeting so many new people and being able to answer any questions people have about the area or the base. I am hoping this Key Spouse opportunity too will be something that I can be helpful with. This is not a paid position, just a volunteer position and I am excited to start helping the spouses in my husband’s squadron!
For those of you who are not sure what a Key Spouse is or what a Key Spouse does, here are a few things straight from the training manual…
Key Spouse Responsibilities:
“Caring for families on the home front allows the war fighter to focus on his/her mission at home and downrange.The Key Spouse’s performance directly impacts unit families’ morale. The Commander and First Sergeant rely on the Key Spouse’s judgment, reliability, and positive attitude to accomplish program goals.”
Key Spouse Role and Responsibilities:
- Trained volunteer
- Interviewed and chosen by the Commander in writing
- Minimum 1-year commitment
- Official unit representative
- Works directly with the First Sergeant
- Role model for family members
- Keeps current roster/database of unit family members
- Establishes and maintains contact with all unit families, incoming unit families, and deployed members’ families
- Visible at unit/group/wing, and A&FRC events
- Track and report trends that affect family readiness—“big picture” snapshot
- Shares potential issues or concerns with unit leadership
- Maintains professional image at all times
A Key Spouse Is:
- A Volunteer
- A team player
- A conduit of information
- An official unit representative
A Key Spouse is Not:
- A counselor
- A babysitter
- A taxi drivers
- A fundraiser
- A gossip
- To assume leadership authority
I also had two days of Key Spouse training both 8 hour days back in August. One of these days was at Heart Link. While there, I got to learn about new opportunities on the base, got a tour of the flightline, and met the mayor of our city and one of the bases’s commanders!
It’s been several months and now that I have settled into a routine with Adam, and am mostly better from all my post-partum health issues I am starting be able to get more organized with this program and start working on the goals I see for this. So far my job has been to call the wives of the deployed members once or twice a month to check in on them and see how they are doing while their husband is deployed. I answer any questions they have and help them in any way I can.
The only list I was given was the list of deployed members, and only a few had numbers/emails for their wives. So right now I am working to get as many names and contact information as I can so I can let them know when there are base and squadron events. Just recently, I met with the chief”s wife and we talked about some goals we had for this program and some things we want to do. Right now we are working on collecting items for some Christmas care packages for the deployed members. We plan on getting all the donated items together and have a pot luck for the ladies who want to come and help put the packages together. I am also working on a lunch/dinner to get together and get to know one another.
Again, I am really excited about this opportunity and I hope I can make a difference and be a help as much as I can. I really enjoy being a military wife, and I want to help and encourage other military wives as well. I am hoping this is one way to start!