It takes a village

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Gillespie
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

 It is never easy hugging your loved ones goodbye as they head off on deployment.

For many military families, this is a reality they face often, which is why Heart’s Apart here at Moody Air Force Base has services in place to help ease the burdens of separation.

“Hearts Apart is an umbrella of programs that directly benefit deployed spouses and children,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Kanapaux, 23rd Force Support Squadron readiness noncommissioned officer. “The program focuses on providing resources to deployed and remote tour affected families to ensure they have the tools they need to be successful.”

Hearts Apart helps keep Team Moody families connected with one another while their spouses are deployed by hosting different activities, like their monthly dinners. This month's event was particularly special as Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance for the children.

“The holiday dinner provides them a home-cooked meal that they can share in fellowship with other families on base in a fun atmosphere.” Kanapaux said. “We try to maintain fun things for the kids to do so they enjoy the events as much as possible.”

It’s more than just a meal, it’s a hand reaching out to let families know they aren't alone.

“The holidays are exceptionally hard when your loved one is away,” said Sarah Freid, the spouse of a deployed member. “Getting to connect with other spouses while we don't have to worry about dinner is refreshing.”

The dinners are scheduled bimonthly starting in February and monthly for the holidays
in October, November and December.

“These dinners are important to help connect spouses and families,” Kanapaux said. “The base offers a lot of events for socializing as a whole but these events are directed
and tailored to our deployed families and that is what makes them special.”

Along with the dinners, the M&FRC offers a plethora of resources, everything from deployment teddy bears, custom pillow cases and child care so parents can have a break. It’s important to know that although it takes a village, there's one waiting to help.

For more information on resources available, contact the M&FRC at 229-257-3333.