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Key Spouses connect Team Buckley

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Many times, when military members are away from home, their spouses hold down the fort. For many, this can be challenging, and they may need others' support.

Buckley's Key Spouses program is an official program administered by commanders that offers wingman support to families in times of need.

"They step up and try to make the spouses feel connected," said Cynthia Harrison, Buckley Airman and Family Readiness Center chief. "A lot of them are here away from home, and they don't have that family network. They're trying to make them feel like the military is that family network."

The program's main focus is to support Airmen and their families in times of deployment, force reduction and other high-stress times. It was developed out of concern for Air Force families as a quality-of-life initiative.

The key spouses program promotes unit and individual readiness, encourages peer-to-peer support and especially enhances family resiliency.

"The key spouses group is important because, as a spouse that is not affiliated with the military, you lose that connection," said Master Sgt. Pourshia Chambers-Motley, A&FRC NCO in charge. "And I think when you have those key spouses, they can bridge that connection."

Key spouses are interviewed and chosen unit commanders. Once accepted, they are trained on many areas such as resiliency and suicide prevention.

The key spouses are also required to go through regular training to stay on top of local and Air Force issues, Chambers-Motley said.

"Spouses are trying to learn how to be connected to that military family," Harrison said. "Those key spouses make them feel like they are still connected to a family; it's just a new kind of family."

If interested in becoming a key spouse, meet with your squadron commander to obtain an appointment. For more information, call the A&FRC at 720-847-6681.
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