Military spouses’ role evolves over time

Ann Gregory
Ramstein Family Support Center

Remember the old saying “If the military had wanted you to have a wife, they would’ve issued you one?” Look around — things have really changed in the military family since 1984 when President Reagan first designated the Friday before Mother’s Day as Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
In 2004 the military family may include a husband and wife who both work while sharing the family and parenting responsibilities. More and more in recent years, there are dual military couples in uniform as members of the active duty, Guard, or Reserve.
With increased deployments and other requirements, these families may be doubly affected by their commitment to the military life.
Tech. Sgt. Keith Baber, 435th Mission Support Squadron acting first sergeant and superintendent of the First Term Airmen Center, knows this very well.
He is married to Staff Sgt. Billie Baber, Airman Leadership School instructor at Kapaun, and is quick to point out the value of spousal support and understanding.
He knows that at any given time he or his wife could be sent on extended temporary duty or be deployed, and he realizes that “having that special someone by your side, supporting what you do, and being there when you need them” is critical to their commitment to each other and the Air Force.
He noted that in their current jobs they both have a positive influence on the professional development of Airmen, but “there are times when we both just need to lean on each other for strength. Understanding the importance of the mission and what we do makes it easier to provide that strength.”
Peggy Beauvais, Lead Commu-nity Readiness Consultant at the Ramstein Family Support Center, said, “Now, more than ever, is an exceptionally trying time for all husbands and wives in the military. Many have been separated due to long deployments in the fight for our freedom from terrorism. Yet, they still stand strong and proud, and are awaiting the return of their loved ones.”
One thing has remained constant through all the moves, TDYs, school changes, job searches, and cancelled leaves; during the holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays they’ve celebrated alone, military spouses have stood ready to provide support to their own families and their larger military family.
Whatever the situation, military spouses are true, everyday heroes, and the KMC salutes them.
As part of the observance of 2004 Military Spouse Appreciation, several KMC agencies are saying “thank you” through special events during the month of May.
Several KMC orgainizations are hosting special events during the month.
For details on all of the events, see below or contact the Ramstein Family Support Center at 480-5900 or 06371-47-5900.