Story and photo by Kerstin Lopez
An annual event recognizing the sacrifices of military spouses by offering a day of relaxation, pampering, resources and lunch drew more than 430 participants to the Southeast Family Center Armed Services YMCA May 12.
“The Military Spouse Appreciation Day event is an opportunity for the Armed Services YMCA to express to the military spouse that we understand and appreciate their role and the sacrifice that they make to the military Family,” said E.D. Rucker, YMCA military outreach coordinator.
“We do those types of events specifically for military Families,” Rucker said. “The event itself is about the military spouse and letting them know about what’s in the community and then providing them with some pampering services.”
Patricia Randle, Army Community Service director, said the appreciation day is an opportunity for spouses to receive information, relaxation and some “me” time.
“It’s something we’ve been a part of for more than 15 years,” Randle said.
“It is a beautiful event, and lets the military Families know about the YMCA and emphasizes what the community has to offer,” Rucker said.
Rachel Milliaon, Family member, said the event is a good chance for spouses to learn more about the community and meet people.
“This is my first year coming here, and I’m very excited. I think it’s a good opportunity to get out of the house and you can meet new people,” Milliaon said.
More than 40 volunteers from local military installations and 32 vendors helped make the appreciation day event a success, Rucker said.
Christopher Alfano, U.S. Air
Force Academy Family readiness center volunteer, said the turnout from the community was tremendous and the event shows the Family members they matter.
“Every year it’s a great event,” Alfano said.