By Skip Vaughn, USAG RedstoneMay 14, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- While their Soldier is away, they keep the home fires burning. They take care of the kids, pay the bills and maintain the home.
They are the Army's unsung heroes: the military spouses.
"They are Army strong and we always need to remember they are what makes us Army strong," Garrison commander Col. Bill Marks said.
Team Redstone thanked these heroes Friday with a Military Spouse Appreciation Day celebration at the Exchange. Army Community Service, the Exchange, Commissary, and Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation partnered for the brief ceremony, cake cutting and door prize drawings. The AMC Band's Tennessee River Ramblers played festive music.
"This celebration is the least we can do to recognize military spouses for all they do for Redstone Arsenal and elsewhere," Marks said.
Helping cut the cake were Leif Johnson, husband of Redstone senior commander and AMC deputy commander Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion; Linda Via, wife of Army Materiel Command's commander Gen. Dennis Via; and Marks' wife, Laurie.
The Garrison commander delivered remarks during the ceremony.
"I want to welcome you to this year's Military Spouse Appreciation Day," Marks said. "This is a day when the Army pays tribute to military spouses. We acknowledge that military spouses, men and women alike, are the backbone of the families who support our Soldiers.
"Thirty years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation officially recognizing Military Spouse Day. The commemoration is held the Friday before Mother's Day every year to show appreciation for the sacrifices of military spouses. In 2007, the Army, through the assistant chief of staff for installation management, instituted the Army Family Covenant and the Army Community Covenant, in part to recognize the commitment and increasing sacrifices that Army families make every day.
"Spouses routinely put the welfare of their Soldiers, family and nation above their own. After almost a decade at war and multiple deployments, our active, Reserve and National Guard spouses unconditionally continue to support America's Army.
"The Army must build trust and confidence among Soldiers and families, while recognizing the commitment and increasing sacrifices our families make every day. Sustaining Soldiers is critical to sustaining an all-volunteer force. The strength of our Soldiers comes from the strength of their families."
Among the attendees was Aimee Hernandez, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Javier Lorenzo. They have a son, Joseph Lorenzo, 8, and daughter, Valerie Lorenzo, 5.
"It is a good way to recognize military spouses," she said of the celebration.
Also looking on was Exchange vendor Marsha Pike, wife of 69-year-old Vietnam veteran Evon Pike. The Hartselle couple have a son, daughter and five grandchildren.
"I think it's a wonderful thing," Pike said of the celebration. "And I think they do a great job honoring the spouses. And I think it's something they deserve because they sacrifice so much with their husbands being gone. And I think it's great around Mother's Day, too.
"It's a blessing to have this facility here for them to be able to shop here, too," she added.