Commanders showed their appreciation June 10 at a luncheon to honor those who’ve made the Key Spouse Program, or KSP, a huge success this past year.
The KSP is commander run and uses trained volunteers to help connect families of military members throughout the base. In part they welcome new families, disseminate valuable information and help keep families with deployed members involved.
“When military members relocate they automatically feel that connection [through the KSP] because they have that bond with other military members,” said Brenda Wells, 375th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant.
“A Key Spouse can help bridge that connection to that family so they get familiar with what resources there are. It also gets camaraderie between the spouses going,” she added.
Although key spouses are trained for the duties they volunteered for, the A&FRC assists key spouses along the way and serve as a hub of information.
Samantha Weippert, A&FRC community readiness specialist, said, “We do an initial seven hour training where key spouses learn the ins and outs of the military, how to protect privacy and what their specific job as a key spouse will be.”
The center also offers continuing education to key spouses every month so they know what is going on around base. They can also ensure the information they are giving out is accurate.
Weippert said, “Key spouses complete suicide awareness training as well as sexual assault training because they are the ones gathering information from families and helping the units as needed, so sometimes they might find themselves in situations where they have to help family members in various serious situations.”
Their role in increasing resiliency through a sense of togetherness though is what the luncheon honored.
“We just want to thank them for their service,” said Wells. “Being a Key Spouse can be tough sometimes with trying to balance everything that they have going on normally as well as trying to reach out and help other military families, so they just deserve a big thank you!”
Col. Joseph Meyer, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, added, “We recruit Airmen, but we retain families. We have 141 Key Spouses and Key Spouse Mentors at Scott AFB; many of you are here today, and I want to take a moment to thank you and honor you.
“Thank you for partnering with Airmen and Family Readiness, connecting with families and family members, prior to, during and upon return from deployments. Thank you for bringing those families young to the Air Force into the fold so that they feel a connection in the times when they need it.”