MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Ann Lukens is a quilter. She pieces assorted fabrics of different shapes, colors and sizes into beautiful works of art. She created a 20th anniversary quilt representing all 18 Air Combat Command Family Support Centers that was placed on permanent display at Langley Air Force Base, Va. in 2001. It’s this same attention to detail, commitment and ability to see the bigger picture that Ann used to build the first Family Support Center, now known as the [Airmen and Family Readiness Center, followed by the School Liaison Program] at Moody AFB, piecing together programs benefitting military families. On Aug. 31, Lukens retired after faithfully serving Moody’s community and the Air Force. Retired United States Air Force Brig. Gen. Kenneth Todorov, presided at a ceremony honoring her 30 years of service.
General Todorov, a former 23d Wing commander from 2007-2009, praised Lukens for her years of dedicated service.
“I can’t think of anyone who touched more lives for Moody, its Airmen and their families, than Ann Lukens,” Todorov said. “She’s been an incredible servant leader to so many here and we’re excited about honoring her on Sept. 30th.”
After serving in the United States Air Force from 1976 to 1979, Lukens received an honorable discharge to accompany her husband, then SSgt John Lukens and their son Matt, to Hellenikon AB, Athens, Greece. It was during this time that Lukens established herself as a volunteer. In 1981, she was appointed the Family Ombudsman by the wing commander where she advised him and other senior leaders on issues affecting the welfare of military families.
Lukens and her family were sent to Moody AFB in April 1986 where she volunteered in the Moody AFB Social Actions Drug & Alcohol Program until July 1987 when she entered civil service. Lukens was reassigned in March 1989 as the Family Support Center Director, becoming the first military spouse to serve in this capacity at the first FSC in the Air force.
Under her leadership, several core programs were implemented, but it was her unique perspective as an Air Force Spouse that led to the development of the prototype for the current Personal/Family Readiness Guide and the establishment of closer working relationships with local educational professionals from three counties. The Moody AFRC was named “Best in Air Combat Command” in 1999. However, it was Ms. Lukens’ personal touch in taking care of military families that is remembered most by those of whom have been stationed at Moody.
During the First Gulf War, the tradition of feeding deploying troops began with coffee and donuts purchased by the Lukens in the early years, later evolving to hotdogs, chips and drinks as the local community became involved in supporting our troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Lukens and her husband John were vital in the Airman and Deployed Families Holiday Dinner where single Airmen and families of deployed Airmen could gather for a home-cooked meal and comradery at the base chapel.
After 19 years as the director of the AFRC, Lukens made the decision to focus on military children and their needs by transitioning to the position of School Liaison Officer – Moody’s first and only SLO to date. Lukens was instrumental in the success of the community collaborative Parent University project serving as an instructor. As an advocate for the educational needs of more than 1400 children of personnel assigned to the 23d Wing, Lukens maintained close working relationships with school officials in Lowndes, Valdosta, Lanier and Berrien County districts. She has been the first contact for many military families as they PCS to Moody providing information, easing concerns and assisting with special needs for military children.
Just as the quilts Ann crafts provide comfort and warmth, she has been able to build programs during her 30 years of service to assist the families at Moody, providing aide and the human touch in critical times of need. The programs Ms. Lukens crafted together will continue to support military families long after she walks out the door of the AFRC.