Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. --
Key Spouses and Key Spouse Mentors attended a causality training course June 15 at the Airman & Family Readiness Center to stay up-to-date with current procedures.
“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,” said Amy Negron, 4th Force Support Squadron Key Spouse program coordinator. “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,” Bernheim said. “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.”
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.
According to Stephanie Martin, Key Spouses serve an important role in providing families with resources and support.
“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 [gave me] 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 for a Permanent Change of Station, or PCS.
“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, Negron said.