Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Commander recognizes Key Spouses

U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt Col. Bill Liquori 50th Space Wing commander, left, and Chief Master Sgt. John Bentivengna, 50 SW command chief, stand with key spouses following a luncheon Friday at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. Liquori held the luncheon, and presented each key spouse with a certificate and token of appreciation, as a way to say thank you to the all-volunteer group. In Liquori’s two years as commander, the program has grown from a group of 11 volunteers to 64, with each squadron having at least one key spouse.

By Brian Hagberg

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Schriever Air Force Base Key Spouses received a certificate and small token of appreciation from Col. Bill Liquori, 50th Space Wing commander, at a luncheon May 15 in recognition of the work they do with Airmen and their families.

“We do a lot of great things operationally,” Liquori said. “But none of it matters and none of it can happen without taking care of our people, and that starts with all of you [Key Spouses].”

Liquori said he wanted to hold the luncheon as a way for him and his wife, Amy, to say thank you to all the key spouses, and the staff at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, for the way they have grown and improved the program since he took command two years ago.

“Since I’ve been here the last two years the program has tripled and every squadron is covered,” Amy said.

She said much of the credit for the program’s tremendous growth goes to Kendra Humphrey, work/life specialist at the A&FRC. Humphrey is responsible for coordinating the program and making sure key spouses receive the proper training.

“She helps train all of us, keeps us in line and keeps us informed,” Amy said. “She’s just done a really amazing job.”

Humphrey said when she took over the program two years ago, she had 11 key spouses and the program had no central coordination. Today, she works with 64 key spouses plus mentors. She said the program’s turnaround wouldn’t have been possible without strong support from base leadership.

“Colonel Barthel and Colonel Liquori are huge advocates of this program,” Humphrey said. “They’re so involved and their spouses are huge supporters. I think everybody realizes the strong role models and mentors they are, not just for this program but for the Air Force in general.”

The Key Spouse program was originally initiated by the Navy in 1999 as a quality of life initiative. The Air Force formally adopted the program in 2009. Each squadron commander appoints the key spouse(s) for his or her squadron. Each spouse, male or female, volunteers for a one year commitment to the program. They must complete 12 hours of training on topics such as HeartLink, sexual assault and resiliency.

“What the program really is is information, referral and support and just helping other people,” Humphrey said. “We just ask that key spouses be active, visual and involved in the program and everything on base.”

For more information about the key spouse program, or to volunteer, contact Humphrey at 567-7391.

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