TUCSON, Ariz. - Military families know the whole family faces the challenges of military life---not just the person in uniform. Now Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is building a program to help military spouses build the special strengths they need.
Military life can be full of joyful reunions, but before the reunion, can come a dangerous deployment, far from the family, on the far side of the world.
Military families face frequent moves that disrupt family routines, support networks, friendships, and a spouse’s ability to build a stable career.
Military spouse Jaymie Killoren says, “I was overseas for five years and during that time working was not an availability for me. I stayed at home with the children, and I wasn't able to get into the working environment. I either would have not been paid properly or I would have been paying for childcare, so you know I'm faced with challenges of unemployment.”
Now Davis-Monthan is working to help spouses build the resiliency required to thrive in a military family. It helps strengthen problem solving and interpersonal skills; including challenges that can happen when a service member comes home and has to adapt to family routines that developed and evolved when he or she was away on a lengthy deployment.
Jenn Ulrich learned to teach her children to adapt too, like when their Dad returned from seven months away and instead of vacation, they all went into a COVID quarantine.
“So as a parent I was able to set their expectations. We went out and picked up board games and different activities to make things easier, but really being able to convey these tools to my children have been a huge asset to them.”
DM hopes to expand the spouse resiliency program to the rest of the Air Force and the people in it, say the lessons they’ve learned could help civilian families too.