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Family Support Center celebrates Spouse's Day

by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Thunderbolt editor

The life of a military spouse is dictated more often than not by current military operations. It can mean 12-hour work days, week-long business trips or even year-long deployments, which can all add up to significant time apart.

The military recognizes this and has designated the entire month of May as Spouses' Month to show its appreciation for the sacrifices spouses must make. As part of that endeavor, the Family Support Center here has teamed up with Sprint to offer "Smiles across Miles" from 1:30 to 3 p.m. today.

"Spouses can come in to record a video message or still shots with audio," said Master Sgt. Darrell Natoli, Family Support Center superintendent. "As long as they have an e-mail address to send it to, the people from Sprint will send it right there on the spot."

Sprint originally approached MacDill for Valentine's Day earlier this year offering the messaging service. Sprint personnel said they felt it was a small way they could give back something to the military for their service to the country. The event turned out so well that Sprint decided to offer their services again whenever the Family Support Center's schedule would allow.

Another sponsor for this event is Winn-Dixie, who signed up to provide food for the day and gift baskets for the spouses in attendance. And although there will be plenty of free goodies, the Family Support Center is giving away valuable information as well.

A Heartlink presentation will be given beginning at 11 a.m., which explains the many benefits available to military spouses.

It's an opportunity for spouses who are new to the military to get to know what programs are available, and for spouses new to the area to get to know the local organizations, said Edna Fermin, Community Readiness Consultant.

She said there are many spouses who are away from their family for the first time who have a hard time adjusting to their new way of life and that the services these organizations offer can help ease the transition.

Some of the organizations which will be on hand are the Health and Wellness Center, Life Skills, the Enlisted Spouses Club and a representative from the First Sergeants Council. All of which can be immense help to spouses looking for answers in difficult situations. If you have any questions, contact the Family Support Center at 828-2721.

For spouses who are interested but not able to make it to the "Smiles across Miles" portion of the day, don't worry. The FSC and Sprint have already arranged to return for another session in June for Fathers' Day.



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