Pin program offers thanks to spouses for sacrifices
(Courtesy Air Force Print News)
Air Force officials have expanded the pin program to recognize and thank those who support the efforts of Airmen around the world by introducing the Air Force spouse pin. This pin joins the Air Force employer pin and parent pin as one of the service's most visible public outreach programs.
Peter B. Teets, undersecretary of the Air Force, presided over a ceremony here Oct. 8, where the first four pins were presented to spouses of an active-duty, Guard and Reserve Airman and a civilian.
"In an increasingly volatile world, the Air Force depends on families for their support as never before," said Col. Chris Geisel, assistant director of Air Force public affairs. "It's only appropriate that we reach out to the spouses who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us."
The spouse pin -- a blue star cradled in the Air Force symbol -- is a contemporary adaptation of a wartime tradition. Beginning with World War I, families hung service flags in their windows to display a blue star for each family member serving in the armed forces.
The new pin is given to spouses of American Airmen and civilians in recognition of the sacrifices they make for their spouse's service, Colonel Geisel said.
Besides the 1-inch silver lapel pin, the spouses will receive a personalized letter signed by Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche and Air Force Chief Staff Gen. John P. Jumper.
Airmen and civilian employees can register for a spouse pin and letter through a Web-based program at www.yourguardiansoffreedom.com.
The Your Guardians of Freedom office, a division of the Air Force public affairs directorate, manages the recognition program. The office's mission is to help commanders and Airmen reach out to key audiences to tell the story of Airmen fighting the war on terrorism.
More than 222,000 Airmen have created profiles at the Web site, which has resulted in the presentation of over 318,000 parent pins and over 61,000 employer pins.