By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 7, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 7, 2013) -- Colorful lighting, the smell of vanilla and a hint of jazz set the atmosphere May 31 at the Pamper Yourself event designed to cater to Fort Rucker spouses.
The Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation in conjunction with Month of the Military Spouse hosted the event that included complimentary adult beverages and glasses, free massages and manicures, shopping, facials and entertainment.
"This event is a first-of-its-kind event here on Fort Rucker," said Leigh Ann Dukes, DFMWR sponsorship and advertising sales manager. "We sold around 130 tickets so I have a feeling it is going to turn into an annual event."
The event gave women the chance to meet business owners and employees in a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere that is devoted strictly to them, said Dukes.
"Spouses were able to browse booths, shop, meet with friends and just have a good and relaxing time," she said.
The 98th Army Silver Wings Band's jazz quartet played throughout the night and helped set the tone and mood for attendees while Mercedes of Dothan helped sponsor the event, making it possible for every attendee to get a martini glass.
The event was open to military spouses only and served as a thank you for all they sacrifice for the Army and for their Soldiers.
"Often spouses play the role of mom and dad, and they have to make so many decisions on their own because sometimes they can't talk to their spouse," said Brian Jackson, DFMWR program manager. "It can be hard and stressful to have that on someone's shoulders."
This event was special because of who it honored, he continued; adding that Fort Rucker officials wanted to show spouses how much they mean to the community.
Heather Kern, an Army spouse for eight years, said that it meant a lot to her for Fort Rucker to hold the event because it showed her that the Army recognizes the needs of spouses.
"It shows that they are recognizing what the spouses give up," she said. "To be an Army spouse means you sacrifice your own future to follow around your Soldier so that they can go live out their dreams."
Though Kern said that spouses sacrifice a lot she thinks that if spouses go into it with the right mindset that they can make it a blast, such as attending events like Pamper Yourself.
Vendors that attended included Splash~ A Color, Mary Kay, Spa in the City, Lock N Load, Jennifer Nails, Nicole Allen Salon, 2 Girls and a Spa, Message Envy and Pure Imagination.
Adding to the experience was a fashion show by Maggie B's Bouchique, which featured summer styles for women.
"It was a good way for women to get away from work and the stress of the week," said Jackson. "It is just one way to indulge our military spouses and show them why they are so important to our community."
Gail Jones, who has been an Army spouse for 28 years, said the best thing about being an Army spouse was being with her husband, who she said is still "Army all the way" though he is retired.
"I think that the country forgets that being in the military is a Family affair. I hear people say, 'Well my husband was in the military for 22 years,' and I stop and correct them and say, 'You were also in the military 22 years,'" she said.
"The event is great," she continued, "because it has a lot of variety of things women can look at and everyone seems so happy. The fact that it was affordable is important for these women."
The Fort Rucker Thrift Shop donated the grand prize, a large basket filled with pampering items such as chocolate, bath salts and lotions, at the end of the night to finish the event off right.