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Key Spouse program focuses on family-readiness services

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- The 4th Fighter Wing will continue its key spouse program due to its past successes and projected need.

Col. Steve Kwast, wing commander, has decided to reestablish focus on the program which supports communication between unit leaders and family members.

The program calls for each unit to have an assigned key spouse, which is a volunteer position. There are more than 40 key spouses currently enrolled in the program.

The key spouse program is a partnership between the key spouse, organizational leadership, and the Airman and Family Readiness Center. This program is drastically different from a traditional spouse's group. Organizational leadership empowers a volunteer to assist with quality of life programs and services directed at family members.
The key spouse program provides a framework for stability and support. Key spouses inform, support and refer family members to the appropriate base agencies.

According to the Air Combat Command Key Spouse Reference Guide, the dynamic individuals associated with the key spouse program can do much to enhance the flow of communication between spouses, leadership and base support agencies. An effective key spouse program enhances mission readiness.

"Developing and caring for Airmen and their families are top priorities for the 4th Fighter Wing," said Col. Kwast, whose wife, Joni, is the program's chairperson. "The key spouse program provides a line of communication between commanders and the nearly 6,000 family members associated with our wing."

The program's effectiveness is tied directly to the family-support efforts of the appointed key spouse.

"A good key spouse is one who has a genuine concern for others and a willingness to donate their time to improve the quality of life for others," said Faye Jenkins, key spouse program coordinator at the AFRC. "It takes someone who understands what it's like to be in a military family away from home and that has the desire to help make Seymour Johnson home for themselves and others."

For more information on the key spouse program, call the AFRC at 722-1123 or contact a first sergeant.
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