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Schriever Sentinel

Schriever supports families during quarterly dinners

Gina Monteith, wife of Col. Wayne Monteith, 50th Space Wing commander, holds Carson Neeper, son of Jennifer Neeper and Ryan Neeper, a deployed 50th Security Forces member, during a quarterly deployed families dinner March 4 at the Tierra Vista Community Center here. (U.S. Air Force photos/Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

Gina Monteith, wife of Col. Wayne Monteith, 50th Space Wing commander, holds Carson Neeper, son of Jennifer Neeper and Ryan Neeper, a deployed 50th Security Forces member, during a quarterly deployed families dinner March 4 at the Tierra Vista Community Center here. (U.S. Air Force photos/Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

By Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Schriever leadership, first sergeants, co-workers and families joined together March 4 in support of the quarterly deployed families’ dinner held at the Tierra Vista Community Center here.

This quarter’s deployed families’ dinner was Italian cuisine themed sponsored by Schriever’s Top 3 and featured scrapbooking, air hockey, live music, face painting, a homemade pasta dinner, and a variety of desserts.

“These dinners are important because so often the military member deploys and the family is left behind,” said Master Sgt. Kim Reese, Schriever’s Top 3 vice president.

“These dinners bring those spouses back into the Schriever community to remind them that, ‘We didn’t forget about you. Yes, we know that your husband or wife is gone but you’re still important to us.’”

This dinner was free for all of Schriever’s deployed members’ families and offered the opportunity to talk with other people in similar situations as well as speak with wing and squadron leadership.

Not only do these dinners remind the families that they have support, it reassures the deployed member.

“I know that my husband worries about how we’re getting along while he’s deployed,” said Staff Sgt. Lakisha Massengale, 4th Space Operations Squadron, of her husband Tech. Sgt. Marcus Massengale, a 3rd Space Operations Squadron member currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. “Knowing that there are functions like the deployed families’ dinner that gives us the opportunity to speak with leadership and establish relationships with other families going through the same thing is a great load-off of his shoulders. He knows that we have resources and that allows him to focus on the mission.”

Initiatives like Schriever’s quarterly deployed families’ dinner are in step with new measures to strengthen and better coordinate the Federal Government’s support for military families unveiled Jan. 24 by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden.

“We believe that when a service member goes to war, the whole family goes to war,” said Col. Michael Mason, 50th Space Wing vice commander. “The deployed families’ dinner is an essential event that displays our unwavering support for the families of our deployed members.”

Next quarter’s deployed families’ dinner will be sponsored by the Schriever company grade officer council.

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