Installation thanks military's unsung heroes
May 14, 2009
Belvoir's Spouse of the Year named
FORT BELVOIR, Va.- Army wife Jennifer Humphrey has relocated her children, taken on countless family readiness group responsibilities, and supA,AA,Aported her husband and his comA,AA,Apany during deployments.
Friday, Humphrey's efforts were recognized as she was anA,AA,Anounced Belvoir's Spouse of the Year at a Military Spouse Appreciation Day luncheon.
Army Community Service held the luncheon to honor a group whose service is as important as their uniformed counterparts.
In 1984, President Reagan proA,AA,Aclaimed the Friday before Mother's Day of each year to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day in recognition of the countless perA,AA,Asonal sacrifices military spouses have made in support of the Armed Forces from the earliest days of the Continental Army.
Installation Commander Col. Jerry Blixt and his wife attended the event to personally thank and meet spouses. ' Spouses provide the foundation and support that really enables servicemembers to focus on their mission,' Blixt said.
Michelle Lake, Information and Referral Program manager said she has been in both roles - activeA,Aduty servicemember and military spouse - and, in her opinion, one clearly was easier than the other.
'It is easier being the Soldier,' she said. 'Military spouses are the unsung heroes. It's our responsiA,AA,Ability to keep a good home life so our Soldiers can do their best.
' Spouses take on many things, but make such a positive differA,AA,Aence.' In order to be considered for spouse of the year, servicememA,AA,Abers were required to submit an essay describing why their spouses deserved the honor.
Staff Sgt. Nicholas Humphrey wrote about his wife, ' While my company was preparing to deploy to Iraq in 2004, she volunteered to take over the FRG.
' I was just a sergeant E- 5 at the time, but she did not care about my rank. She saw there was a need and filled that need.
' She sent regular care packages not only to me, but, also, to the whole company. She made sure upon our return that the single Soldiers who were living in the barA,AA,Aracks had clean sheets and towels.
' They also had full refrigeraA,AA,Ators stocked with food donated by local businesses. If the Army calls me away again, I know Jen will be there to take care of everything.' After the presentation spouses received free massages and flowA,AA,Aers. USO and DFMWR donated tickets to amusement parks, varA,AA,Aious excursions, pens, journals, and makeup to the spouses as a way to thank them.
Bookmarks lined the tables thanking spouses for all they have done and all they continue to do.
' This event has been a great way to meet new people and has really made us feel appreciated,' said milA,AA,Aitary spouse Nicole Rofrano.
' It is absolutely important we take time out to recognize our milA,AA,Aitary spouses. They make so many sacrifices,' said Installation Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Berhane.
'We take them from duty staA,AA,Ation to duty station. Each time we move, they have to re- establish themselves and put their careers on hold.
' It is only fitting we recognize their contributions and sacrifices. The Army today enlists Soldiers, but we re- enlist families. They are truly the backbone of the Army,' he said.