Gathering marries spouses with various base resources
Erica Handly and Monica Merrifield, foreground, look at the volunteer opportunities available for spouses as part of the Maxwell-Gunter Officers’ Spouses’ Club Tuesday while attending the spouses’ call held at the Maxwell Event Center. (Air Force photo/Wendy Simonds)
by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs
1/28/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Spouses are used to being asked for their sponsor's unit, their sponsor's Social Security number, their sponsor's duty phone. But Tuesday the focus was on them during the first spouses' call, held at the Maxwell Event Center.
Col. Brian Killough, 42nd Air Wing Base commander, encouraged the wives and husbands present to take advantage of base resources.
"They're all here to help you," he said.
Sometimes spouses can feel unnoticed or unappreciated, but the community is available to help, said Colonel Killough's wife, Sandi.
"Every single person did this (today) because they value you," she said.
This knowledge does the most good when it benefits others.
"We need people to be aware so they can help others," said Chief Master Sergeant Brye McMillon, the command chief master sergeant for Air University. "When you learn more, you do more."
It's critical for members of the team to teach those coming behind them.
"Did we prepare those who will move in when we move out?" he asked.
Chief McMillon's wife, Marie, encouraged spouses to continue learning. There are changes every day on base, and it's important to learn what's new, she said.
The information fair featured tables from dozens of organizations, including Maxwell-Gunter Officers' Spouses' Club, Health and Wellness, Airman and Family Readiness Center, Alabama Joint Family Support Assistance Program, Army Air Force Exchange Service and Defense Commissary Agency.
Myles Hayes, the Maxwell Youth Center program director, talked to parents about team sports. Kids can now sign up for soccer, baseball or T-ball. He also had information on music lessons and a tumbling and dance class for children ages 3 and younger. Call 953-6292 for information.
Education and Training Services raffled off Troy University scholarships and provided information on the GI Bill.
"We provide advice to meet your educational needs," said Jeffery Bouie, an academic advisor. Call 953-5959 for information.
April Jones, outreach manager at the Family Advocacy program, shared information on expectant parent classes offered through the New Parent Support program. She also talked to spouses about upcoming events for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and the mastering the magic of love course. Call 953-5430 for information.
Spouses came for more than just information.
"I thought it would be a good way to meet people," said Becky Doucet, who just moved here in December. She also wanted to take the personality assessment.
Lashunda Lewis and Lt. Col. Jeff Coggin from the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School offered the True Colors personality assessment to help spouses better understand themselves and others.
By looking within, instead of plugging in, people can learn more and make a difference in their communities, Colonel Coggin said.
The assessment focuses on four sets of characteristics, each assigned the color orange, gold, green or blue. Participants learn their brightest and secondary colors. The group discussed each color category's strengths and values.
Bonnie Lundy, who works for the 42nd Medical Group and is active in the Officers' Spouses' Club, learned she was a blue personality, someone who values harmony and personal relationships.
"I pretty much knew I was a blue, but I didn't know I was a gold second," she said.
She figured her husband is a gold, someone who values organization and tradition, but will have him take the test, too.
Lynn Peck, wife of Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Allen Peck, was pleased with the participation at the spouses' call.
"This was a vision of mine, and it looks like it was a success," she said.