FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A long-time military advocate recently arrived here to help improve the quality of life for Soldiers and Families.
Kimberly Crutchfield, wife of Brig. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, said she is eager to get to know and help the community after her husband assumed his position here last month.
A self-declared "Army brat" and military wife of 28 years, Kimberly said moving here "is like coming home." Her first encounter with Fort Rucker was at age 3, when her father was a student-pilot.
The former teacher said she is particularly passionate about helping Families lead quality lives.
She plans to get involved with post organizations, including Family Readiness Groups, schools, spouses clubs and more, to accomplish this mission.
"Family readiness should be something always in place," Kimberly said. "Being prepared and able to reach people (in any circumstance) is always important."
Taking care of Families who often face frequent deployments and moves is important "so Soldiers can concentrate on (their) mission," she said.
Building resiliency and strength is what helped her two now-grown children thrive in their military lifestyle, Kimberly said.
"I love meeting new people, traveling and seeing different parts of the world," she said. "It's helped our children to grow up with a greater perspective of the world."
Kimberly said she wants feedback from Families on how the command group can improve Fort Rucker.
"We want to make it an even better place to work and live. The Army is all I've known all my life. It's a passion to serve Families and Soldiers and help in any way I can," she said. "We are here to enhance quality of life for Soldiers and Families."
She recommended people provide input through their chains of command, FRGs and the Interactive Customer Evaluation Web site at www.rucker.army.mil/ICE.
Kimberly said her main goal is to show Families how much leaders care for them.
"Tony and I are committed to serving Army Families, and we want to make sure that everyone who lives here now, and those who leave in the future, will always think of Fort Rucker as the best place they have ever lived," she said.
Those who have known Kimberly for years said she will be an asset to the Fort Rucker community.
"(Kimberly) has such sincerity. What you see is what you get. She is a kind individual and has a lot of compassion," said Kim Cox, wife of Lt. Col. Darren Cox, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment commander.
Kim said she witnessed Kimberly's kind nature when the two Families were stationed together during their husbands' 2003-2004 Afghanistan deployment. Kim said Kimberly "was very engaged" and always made sure the unit's Families were taken care of - attributes she believes Kimberly still displays today.
"She and Tony make a strong Army team," Kim said. "Kimberly is a great advocate for Families."
Newer military spouses said they look forward to working with Kimberly and learning from her experience.
"She'll be a huge role model (and) give great advice," said Crissy Baker, Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club president. "She seems like a sweet and genuine person. We are honored to have her as our (club's) honorary president."