A&FRC hosts Heartlink for new Air Force spouses

by Airman 1st Class D. Blake Browning 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Life can be overwhelming for a new military spouse. What is an LES? How do I get help when I need it? What do I wear to an Air Force Ball?

Answers to these questions and more will be provided at an event for military spouses from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 10 on Ramstein in Bldg. 2120.

Funded by the Air Force Aid Society and hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center, the Heartlink program is a series of classes held quarterly for spouses new to the 86th Airlift Wing or the Air Force lifestyle.

“The Heartlink program is basically Air Force 101 for military spouses,” said Ruthy Srun, 86th Force Support Squadron A&FRC community readiness consultant. “It’s going to cover Ramstein’s mission, Air Force traditions and all the acronyms that the spouses probably don’t understand and still hear day to day.”

The names of leadership and a litany of acronyms aren’t the only things on the agenda. Spouses will also learn about many of the services available to them on base, amongst other useful information.

“Heartlink covers military personnel flight, finance, Leave and Earnings Statements, Air Force protocol and things like that,” Srun said. “In addition, they’ll hear from helping agencies from the installation like the chapel, the Military and Family Life Consultants and the A&FRC. It really is a combination of all of the things a military spouse would find useful. Some of the information is a little bit more obscure, something they don’t hear about everyday like how to read an LES.”

The A&FRC wants to reach as many as they can with this valuable information, Srun said.

“We’re definitely trying to increase participation in the program because it is really good information,” Srun said. “We want as many spouses as possible to attend the event.”

Although there is a lot of beneficial information offered at the meeting, the facilitators of Heartlink try to keep the briefings light-hearted and away from the feel of traditional briefings.

“We always have door prizes, but we tend to kind of go all out in February even more so than usual,” Srun said. “Everybody that attends the class will leave with something special.”

Aside from being informational, Heartlink also offers spouses the opportunity to network and mingle with other spouses who may be in similar situations as them.

“When I was a new military spouse, it would’ve been helpful to me,” Srun said. “It would’ve been helpful to know about the A&FRC. It would’ve been helpful to know about first sergeants and what they do and the different helping agencies like the chapel and MFLC. It would’ve been nice to know what an LES was, how my spouse got paid and where the money came from. It would’ve been nice to know what to wear to an Air Force ball, but more than anything, it would have been nice to get to know other military spouses who were kind of in the same place that I was.”

To register for the event, Airmen or spouses may call the A&FRC at 480-5100 or 06371-47-5100. Reservations for the next class are required by today, considering lunch will be provided.