Spouses find the key to creating a community

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily Saxton
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

Andersen is home to many Airmen, their spouses and families and although being a military spouse can be isolating at times, there are two programs that aim to build a sense of community here in Guam. The Team Andersen Spouses’ Club and the Key Spouse Program offer many benefits to all spouses of Team Andersen, each in their own unique way.

“It’s a great way to meet people and kind of just learn the island, learn the base and just to have that network of people to fall back on,” said Kimberly Jones, secretary of the TASC.

TASC is a nonprofit organization that coordinates scholarships, community outreach on and off base, as well as monthly socials and special interest groups that members can be a part of. An example of the kind of events TASC has participated in is a beach cleanup and repainting the picnic tables at Tarague Beach.

“We offer a social network on arrival to Guam and a support system outside of our active duty member’s command,” said Jones. “Every month we have a game night, a book club, a bowling group and we just started a true crime podcast group.”

The club is open to more than just active duty service members and their spouses. Spouses of retired service members, widowed spouses, civil servants and their spouses, along with spouses of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members residing on Guam can also be a part of the organization.

TASC aims to provide a connection between the different communities here at Andersen, regardless of which command their spouse is a part of. They refer to this as, “finding your tribe.”

On the other hand, the Key Spouse Program is an official Air Force family readiness program.

“The Key Spouse Program is a commander’s initiative that promotes partnerships amongst unit leadership, families, Key Spouses, Key Spouse mentors, the Airman and Family Readiness Center and other on and off base helping agencies,” said Heather Shaw, 36th Force Support Squadron A&FRC Work and Family Life specialist.

Key Spouses and Key Spouse Mentors are volunteers who are appointed by unit commanders. Key Spouses are the liaison between the unit they are appointed to and other families that are a part of that unit. They provide families with information about events on and off base, referrals for base and community resources and meet with unit leadership to discuss the needs of families in the unit. Key Spouse Mentors are more senior spouses who are knowledgeable about all of the resources and serve as a supportive role and advocate for Key Spouses.

“Key Spouses and Key Spouse Mentors are vital to building strong Air Force communities,” said Shaw. “I like to say they are the resource to the resources.”

TASC and the Key Spouse Program are very different but both of them are avenues for spouses to get involved, stay connected and become a part of the community here at Andersen.