FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Although Military Spouse Appreciation Day was officially recognized this year on May 9, Fort Sam Houston paid homage to military spouses May 27 at Army Community Service with an open house.

The purpose of the open house was to highlight some of the benefits and programs that the ACS has to offer to military spouses and their Families.

"We held this event to say thank you to all the military spouses here at Fort Sam Houston. Spouses are the key to retention in the Army," said Rhonda DeVries, director, Deployment and Mobilization, ACS.

Enjoying light refreshments, about 50 spouses came to the auditorium for the event. They had an opportunity to browse the different tables at the center, and talk with several employees and ACS directors who were on hand to answer questions regarding the various programs offered by ACS.

ACS is dedicated to maintaining readiness for military Families by offering a host of services that range from responsive family advocacy and prevention, information and referral, outreach, financial, employment and relocation. "We consider ACS one-stop shopping for services," said DeVries.

Kirsi Kisner is a military spouse and homemaker, whose husband is assigned to Camp Bullis. She has used several services offered at ACS.

"I've taken several classes here and I hope that people will take full advantage of all of the services they have to offer, because it helps you navigate through military life so much better. The more you know the easier it is for you. They (classes) also help you cope with so many issues," said Kisner.

"We want to make sure that Families are linked up with the services that the ACS provides. We want to make sure they know that there is a place to go for their various needs," said DeVries.

May 27 event also included a PowerPoint presentation outlining all of the services that the ACS provides to military families.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day is an opportunity for the services to salute military spouses who help support the military mission. Their support and care of the Family is paramount while the servicemember is away so they can concentrate on the mission at hand.

In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the Friday before Mother's Day of each year to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day in recognition of the "countless personal sacrifices" that military spouses have made in support of the Armed Forces from the earliest days of the Continental Army.