MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Moody Airmen are constantly deployed or away from their families. That can put added stress not only on the Airmen, but their families. One program to alleviate such challenges is the U.S. Air Force Key Spouse Program.
KSP is designed to enhance readiness, personal and family resiliency, and establish a sense of Air Force community by working and communicating with service members’ spouses.
“If a spouse ever has a problem, we are there to intercede between the commander, her first sergeant and the Airman,” said Brittany Jones, spouse of Master Sgt. Brad Jones, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flight chief. “Sometimes it's just them needing resources on base, and that's the main thing we lead people to.”
One of the ways the key spouses help connect Airmen and spouses is through the numerous events they host around the year to bolster morale; and much like with the Air Force, all the spouses work together in the events, filling in roles that play to each member’s strengths to achieve their objective.
“As a seasoned key spouse, I take on the major role in my squadron and then disperse what needs to be done to the other [key spouses],” Jones said. “They each have their own little pieces of knowledge that they are more aware of that another one might not be, because every instance is different. The ones who have kids are often better equipped for duties like child care. There's just so many things that come around that's too big for one person that we do it as a group and then go from there.”
Jones explained what inspired her to join the volunteer program nine years ago.
“It feels the worst when your spouse is downrange and you don't know anything happening on base,” Jones said. “You just don't feel like you're involved; you feel stuck at home, isolated. You could be coming to a new base with no friends or family. It's hard.
“After getting involved, I felt like I was more in the know of everything between all the different agencies,” Jones added. “[There are] so many different resources on base that people are not aware of. I think me being involved and then getting the information out has helped tremendously because I've been in a spouse’s shoes. The more information they know, the better.”
For one spouse, the key spouses are her wingmen, being there for her anytime, made most evident during the birth of her son.
“[Brittany] came up to [the hospital] about seven thirty at night and I had a (first shirt) that came up as well,” said Megan Lancaster, spouse of Staff Sgt. Justin Lancaster, 723d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief. “She actually stood above me and held the phone for the whole hour and a half that I was in labor, so my husband could watch the birth of our son. She was encouraging during labor. When I look back on that day, I'm thankful for being there because then my husband could be there as well. At the core of what they do, it’s spouses caring for other spouses.”
Anyone interested in becoming a key spouse may contact their squadron commander or first sergeant for more information.