Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. --
When service members are deployed, on temporary duty or even working a 12-hour shift, their family members may find themselves in need of support. Key Spouses are volunteers who step up to assist families when the need arises, said Amy Negron, 4th Force Support Squadron Key Spouse program coordinator.
Key Spouses and Key Spouse Mentors attended a casualty training course, June 15, 2017, at the Airman & Family Readiness Center at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.
Both Key Spouses and Key Spouse Mentors attend trainings throughout the year to stay up to date with current procedure and to receive information about recent changes.
“We learned about updates to the Air Force casualty notification process,” said David “B” Bernheim, 4th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Key Spouse Mentor.
The training provided Key Spouses with additional resources available to them if needed in the future.
“Our Casualty Representative, Mr. Andrew Colville, provided an overview of how the notification process occurs and the resources provided in the unfortunate event of a casualty,” Negron said. “The purpose is to give Key Spouses the knowledge and skills to act accordingly in a crisis.”
The training participants role-played scenarios to gain information about how to respond during an emergency.
“Training produces knowledgeable Key Spouses who offer solutions when situations arise,” said Bernheim. “I may not be able to fix your problem, but it is my job to figure out who can and put you in touch with that person.”
Key Spouses serve an important role in providing families with resources and support, said Stephanie Martin.
“My Key Spouse Jaime, was super helpful,” Martin added. “She reached out to me before I even arrived to the base. She gave me resources, let me know when events were happening and information about how to get involved with clubs on base.”
Bernheim added Key Spouses are the calm port in a storm. They are the people who can remain objective in any situation. The A&FRC Key Spouse program is in constant need of volunteers since service members and their families often relocate.
“It is high ‘PCS’ season and we have a high number of Key Spouses leaving but we are always in need of Key Spouses,” Negron said.
If someone is interested in volunteering to become a Key Spouse, they can contact their spouse’s First Sergeant, Commander or the A&FRC. A Key Spouse can be a military spouse, a military member, a civilian, or any other individual appointed by the unit commander, said Negron.
Families new to Seymour Johnson AFB can contact their Key Spouse by contacting the A&FRC or their spouse’s First Sergeant.
For more information about the Key Spouse Program contact A&FRC at 919-722-1123.