By Mr. Kevin Stabinsky (IMCOM)May 17, 2010
On May 7, Fort McPherson paid tribute to military spouses with a cake cutting ceremony at Army Community Services.
"Soldiers know spouses keep things together," said Howard Butler, U.S. Army Garrison deputy commander, at the cake cutting.
Butler spoke of the lack of programs to honor the contributions of military spouses when he first became an Army officer.
It wasn't until 1984, when President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed the Friday before Mother's Day as Military Spouse Appreciation Day, when a special day was set aside.
Though not officially honored for years, Army spouses, both male and female, have always contributed, said Tina Helmick, volunteer program manager, Army Community Services, and a military spouse.
Today, spouses routinely put the welfare of their Soldier, Family and nation above their own, even after almost a decade of war, she said, providing strength for their Soldiers.
That strength is especially important in an all volunteer force, Helmick said. Besides strengthening the volunteer force of today's military, Helmick said most of the volunteers on post are military spouses.
"They (military spouses) give so much. They don't have to, but they give so willingly," she said. "We appreciate it so much and it is a great honor to recognize them."
The Fort McPherson Commissary got in on the thanks by donating the cake and fruit for the ceremony.
Many other organizations on Fort McPherson also contributed as part of the 2010 celebration.
The Golfer's Club gave a free round of golf, including green's fee and cart, to spouses. Free lunches were provided at Divots and the Strike Zone if the military member was deployed or the sponsor paid full price.
The Strike Zone also offered three free games of bowling to spouses. To help spouses enjoy these offers, the Child Development Center gave two hours of free child care to children ages six weeks to four years, and the Auto Care shop helped keep spouses moving by giving $5 off oil changes and free inspection of tires, hoses, belts, fluids, lights, battery, wiper blades and brakes.
The Frame Shop also participated by giving 20 percent off the total bill of any work. All of these were just small tokens provided to recognize the amazing contributions of the military spouse, Helmick said.
Though only offered for a day, Butler said military spouses will always be honored on the installation.
"As long as Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem are here, we will recognize military spouses," he said.