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Key spouses offer stability here at home

Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Published: 04:51PM June 12th, 2014

Air Force spouses are key to maintaining stability on the home front as Airmen maintain focus on the war front, according to the wife of the Air Force’s top officer.

The key spouse program is an official unit/family program overseen by commanders designed to enhance readiness and establish a sense of unity within the Air Force community. The program was standardized across the Air Force in March 2006 to address the needs of all military families with special emphasis on support to families across the deployment cycle.

The program recognizes everyone on the unit’s team — commander, key spouse mentor, first sergeant, key spouse and the Airmen and family readiness center — impacts the unit’s culture and contributes to its ability to accomplish the mission at home or abroad.

The program helps to provide guidance and support in these areas, which key spouses are trained on:

n Increase awareness of installation/community resources

n Identify and help resolve issues at lowest levels (providing info on programs, benefits and more)

n Prepare and support families during separations

n Improve quality of life among unit families

n Enhance family resilience

n Strengthens leadership’s support team

According to Verenice Castillo, the 2013 Air Force Spouse of the Year, all spouses have experienced challenges and even difficult times, but what they learned from that experience has made them stronger, and this program enables them to share with others.

“We have seen that many times, families need more help after the spouse comes back from deployment then during the deployment, families are struggling with the reintegration face,” Castillo said. “We build relationships with all of our families so that when a deployment arrives, the relationship in the unit is already there.”

For more information on the Air Force key spouse program, see the Key Spouse Reference Guide.