DUKE FIELD, Fla. --
The 919th Special Operations Wing recently appointed a new Key Spouse Mentor to help grow the existing Key Spouse Program and enhance resiliency support efforts for Citizen Air Commandos and their families.
“Our goal is to carry out the commander’s objectives, to get people connected and to have a Key Spouse representative from every squadron,” said Mrs. Laura Nimmo, the new 919th SOW Key Spouse Mentor. “I hope to bring the Key Spouses together to see what their needs are so they can be empowered to go out into their squadrons.”
Key Spouses contribute to unit readiness by promoting effective communication between leadership, the Key Spouse Mentor, and families. Key Spouse Mentors serve as advisors to Key Spouses in a supportive role. They serve as a direct link to the commander for resilience and a sense of community in the unit.
Nimmo has been a military spouse for 18 years and traveled to new cities throughout the United States during that time. She always found a way to be involved in her community as she moved to new locations, but her time at the 919th SOW is her first time taking on the role of a Key Spouse and Key Spouse Mentor.
“People are key spouses because they want to serve and they want to help Airmen and families,” said Nimmo. “If somebody needs help or has a tricky situation they should always feel free to reach out to a Key Spouse.”
The Airman and Family Readiness Center provides training for new Key Spouses after they are accepted as volunteers by their respective commanders. Key spouses are not only spouses, but can be a significant other, family member or former unit member.
“This program is about collaborating efforts and joining forces to care for people during their best times and their worst,” said Jacqueline Gonzales, 919th SOW Airman and Family Reediness Center director. “Unit leadership appoints their very own volunteers to carry out the squadron’s vision on caring for their members and families.”
The 919th SOW hopes to grow the KSP to have at least one key spouse in each squadron.
“We need all of the units to have a Key Spouse,” said Nimmo. “We already have so many good helping agencies between Airman and Family Readiness, Peer Network and POTFF (Preservation of the Force and Family). We’re focusing on getting the small bonds built so we can have an effective and responsive support network.”
Nimmo said a key element of establishing Key Spouse representatives in all of the squadrons is ensuring it is value added and meets the needs of Reservists and their families.
“I think people want to connect,” said Nimmo. “I know I do. I just want one or two people to identify with and I think that is an asset of the Key Spouse Program.”
If you are interested in becoming a Key Spouse, talk to your commander to see what options are available.