Families come together during deployed spouse dinner

Lt. Col. Gregory Savella, 23d Force Support Squadron commander, high-fives a participant during a deployed spouse dinner, April 23, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The dinner served as an opportunity for the families of deployed members to bond and provide relief. The mission’s success depends on resilient Airmen and families, who are prepared to make sacrifices with the support of their fellow Airmen, local communities and leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

Moody spouses and families may not have sworn an oath in service to this country, but they carry a burden and make sacrifices daily.

As a thank you, the Airmen and Family Readiness Center held a free dinner for the spouses of deployed members at the Georgia Pines Dining Facility, here, April 23, 2019.

“The number one thing I think this provides for our families is that it gives them a break,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Savella, 23d Force Support Squadron commander. “They can bring the kids out where they don’t have to worry about preparing a meal. During deployments, there’s a lot of work (the spouses) have to do on their end, too, and we’re looking for those opportunities to give them some kind of relief. I think it’s the least we can do for the sacrifices that they have to provide.”

The dinner, occurring on every third Tuesday of the month, provides an opportunity for spouses to interact with other deployed families, key spouses and unit leadership. This, in turn, allows leadership to take active measures to create an environment that strengthens the Moody family and enhances their families’ well-being and readiness.

“A lot of (spouses) are in the same boat,” Savella said. “While their spouse is deployed, they’ve still got challenges at home, and this allows them to network, and hopefully build bonds with other spouses that are in the same situation, because you never know when a spouse may need support. The squadrons and units are there for them, but sometimes the best support is someone who’s in the same position, the fellow spouses, and I think that’s key.”

The mission’s success depends on ready, resilient Airmen and families who are prepared to make sacrifices. The dinner provides the support these Airmen and their loved ones need from their Air Force community.

“I feel it’s important because it builds morale and comradery,” said Lynn Forrester, key spouse. “A spouse can face the challenges of being a mother of four, needing her lawn mowed and having to manage all that. If you show up and bring your family, you’re in the same boat, you understand; and when we come together, it’s the outlet of helping others. When you’re here, you can let your hair down, and you get to see how that person serving you isn’t just a commander, he’s another human being that cares. We’re right there with (the spouses), and it’s a great environment.”

The next deployed spouses dinner will be May 21.