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AIrman and Family Readiness Center spotlights the Kraus family
Army Lt. Col. Karl Kraus and his wife, Tiffany Kraus, are involved with multiple volunteer efforts at Maxwell. The couple is pictured at left with their children Kohl, 10, and Abby, 7.(Air Force photo/Stephen Hynes)
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AIrman and Family Readiness Center spotlights the Kraus family

Posted 6/8/2010   Updated 6/8/2010 Email story   Print story


by Kimberly L. Wright
Air University Public Affairs

6/8/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Army Lt. Col. Karl Kraus, deputy of the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School, Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development, and his wife, Tiffany Kraus, share the volunteer spirit, a value they've learned through their experience in the service. "We've had some great role models who have stepped up and made things happen in our communities in the past," said Colonel Kraus. "Now we just feel it is our turn to try to be involved."

This Army family has been a welcome part of the Maxwell community. "We feel honored to have had this opportunity to be a part of this community," said Colonel Kraus. "We have been treated wonderfully and have really come to appreciate the Air Force and the greater Montgomery population."

The family's volunteer service has made quite an impression.

"This family has dedicated themselves 150 percent to the mission here at Maxwell," said Col. Barb Gilchrist, director of the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School.

Colonel Kraus, of Fayette, Iowa, has volunteered as a coach and an assistant coach for the Maxwell Youth Activities Sports programs, served as a den leader for the Cub Scouts, and was elected vice-president for the Montgomery chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. He enjoys "being involved with activities our children are a part of," he said.

Ms. Kraus, who originally hails from Huntington, W.V., has found several ways to assist Maxwell Elementary School, from fund-raising activities to conducting literacy circles and teaching sunshine math, which is designed to challenge self-directed learners. She also participated as the membership and hospitality chair of the Maxwell-Gunter Officers' Spouses' Club for the last two years and volunteers at First Baptist Church.

She became the Key Spouse representative for the Eaker Center after her husband e-mailed her with the request for candidates. "I got the e-mail, but I thought surely they don't want an Army wife," she said. Still, she gladly volunteered for the duty, was selected, and hasn't regretted it one bit.

"It's been a wonderful honor," she said. "The Key Spouse trainer, Andrew (Tveit, the family readiness consultant with the Airman and Family Readiness Center) was so informative and so organized."

During one of her Key Spouse training sessions, Ms. Kraus also met Suzie Schwartz, the wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, who she described as "a wonderful mentor and leader" who encouraged the Key Spouses.

Her job as Key Spouse is to help support the families of Eaker Center in coordination with the first sergeant and leadership, with special emphasis on the families of deployed members. "A lot of people don't know all the opportunities available" for assistance while a family member is deployed, including assistance with car care.

Ms. Kraus feels she has benefited from becoming a mentor. "Its been a wonderful leadership opportunity for me to meet all these families of deployed members," she said.

She also enjoyed the opportunity to meet other spouses, who can empathize with the plight of deployed spouses. "I like the idea of wives doing this because we've all been there," she noted. "It's been a true honor to be selected to do this and a true education."

Colonel Kraus has served 21 years on Army active duty, serving in the National Guard for six years before that. "My dad inspired me to consider military service," he said. "He was in the Guard and introduced me to his unit's recruiter when I was in high school, and I've been fortunate enough to be able to serve ever since."

Honors he has earned include meritorious recognition from the ASMC for exceptional performance in the Education, Training and Career Development category in 2009, as well as second place in the ASMC essay competition.

Their children, Kohl, 10, and Abby, 7, attend Maxwell Elementary School.

As part of the Year of the Air Force Family, Maxwell's Airman and Family Readiness Center is putting families in the spotlight based on their accomplishments, sacrifices and volunteer efforts.

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