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Heart Link shows the way for new military families

By Lilly Flores-Janecek | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office | Aug. 30, 2007

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS — New arrivals to Team Lackland or military life in general are encouraged to attend a spouse orientation to help them gain a better understanding of the Air Force.

The interactive program called Heart Link is offered by the Airman and Family Readiness Flight to provide spouses and fiancees with a better understanding of the Air Force mission, traditions, customs, protocol, support resources and other services unique to Lackland AFB.

"The program is activity based, with more emphasis on spouse participation than just observing and listening," said Terryca Fuller, AFRF coordinator for Heart Link. "It is a full day of fun and activities for the spouse and the presenters."

Heart Link was designed in 2002 by the Air Combat Command Family Matters to strengthen military families and enhance mission readiness by focusing on spouses who play an important role in keeping the family intact during deployments and separations.

The program features presentations by the wing commander and experts from many of the base agencies such as protocol, the Military Personnel Flight, TRICARE, Chapel, Housing and Services.

Spouses who have been affiliated with the military five years or less were originally targeted for the program, but surveys show that other spouses also benefit greatly from the program as well.

"Every spouse could benefit from Heart Link because the information provided will be helpful throughout one's military life," said Ms. Fuller. "With deployment being such a big part of duty now, knowing what programs are offered and available to military families is priceless."

The AFRF will provide spouses with a continental breakfast, lunch and free reimbursable child care. As part of their graduation, participants are presented their own special Heart Link spouse coin.

Register for this class online at www.amc-ids.org/php.

For additional information, call Ms. Fuller at 671-3722.