JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. In true joint base fashion, Sailors, Airmen and family members gathered for a special luncheon acknowledging the Navy Ombudsmen and Air Force Key Spouse programs Sept. 19th at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Club.
Navy ombudsmen serve as points of contact between a Sailor's family and command leadership by providing information and relief for families coping with day-to-day life while their loved ones are deployed. Similarly on the Air Force side, its Key Spouse program promotes partnerships with unit leadership, families and different community agencies while providing peer-to-peer support wherever needed.
The luncheon's keynote speaker was Tamara Calandra, wife of JBAB commander Navy Capt. Anthony Calandra. No matter where her husband has been stationed, she has always served as a member of the Navy Spouses' Club and is currently a member of the Air Force Officers' Wives' Club.
According to her, no service member should have to worry whether or not their families are being taken care of back on the home front. She also had some tips that spouses should keep in mind for the road ahead.
"It's important to establish good friendships and get to know the people who support you. Though, its also important to have alone time for yourself. I cant emphasize this enough," she said. "Spouses need to recognize their own limits and make time for fun. Decide what to look forward to and nurture others. Most importantly, always be good to yourself."
When addressing the audience, her husband said the success of a deployment can be traced right back to the morale of the unit. That morale he said comes from the families back on the home front.
"The Navy Ombudsmen and Air Force Key Spouse programs make sure any problems get taken care of early," Calandra said. "We don't have a large paycheck for these people, but I think its fitting that we take time to acknowledge what they do and what they mean to all us service members."