Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Deployed families get stove-free night out

(From Left) Jayme Beaver, Mandy Wagner and Nichole Kinkade, all 50th Space Wing spouses, help themselves to some barbecue during the deployed families dinner here Sept. 19. Families of deployed members were treated to food, fun and a little socializing during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke)

By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Team Schriever deployed families were treated to a night out from the kitchen and the house during the Schriever Deployed Families dinner here Sept. 16.

More than 35 family members attended the event, which featured food, socializing and fun for the little ones.

“We had a great turnout,” said Master Sgt. John Richardson, 50th Operations Group first sergeant. “When organizing the event we really wanted to make it the last summer blowout for the families. With the help of our exceptional key spouses, this event was an amazing success.”

Blowout it was, with barbecue catered from a local restaurant, a bouncy castle for the children to enjoy and even the pool was available for anyone to enjoy.

Nichole Kincaid, the spouse of a deployed 50th Security Forces Squadron member and a new key spouse, enjoyed being around other spouses who were in the same situation she is.

“This is my second deployed families dinner and I enjoy them so much,” said Kincaid. “These events help a lot. Many times when I think I’m the only one going through a certain situation, I will come to something like this and talk to other spouses who are going through the same exact thing. These are folks who are in the same boat as I am.”

Capt. Melissa Banister, 50th Operations Support Squadron, was a little apprehensive about attending the dinner for the first time. Her husband is a major with the 1st Space Operations Squadron who is currently deployed.

“I was hesitant to attend at first because I’m active duty and thought it would be awkward, but it wasn’t,” she said. “Everyone was extremely nice and helpful. All of the key spouses and spouses in general have been awesome.”

Though this was Banister’s first deployed families’ dinner, it won’t however, be her last.

“I definitely plan on attending the next one and making sure the spouses of deployed members in my squadron know about the next event,” said Banister. “I mean it’s free food and has activities for the little ones to enjoy too.”

The organizers of the event understand it’s not just about the fun, camaraderie or even the food. It’s about peace of mind for the deployed members and knowing that their families are taken care of.

“These events are so important,” said Richardson. “Mission effectiveness is paramount downrange. No deploying member can be completely focused on the mission if they are constantly worried about their family back home. This is just one way we are showing those deployed members that we are looking out for their families while they’re gone.”

Richardson also commented that the members of the Schriever Key Spouse program really assisted with making the event a success.

“Our key spouses did an amazing job,” he said. “Although the first sergeants put this event together, we couldn’t have done it without the key spouses. They have been integral in getting the word out to other spouses and also provided the amazing desserts for the event.”

The next deployed families’ dinner is set for Dec. 2.

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