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NEWS | March 1, 2007

New organization provides support to MTI families

By Jennifer Vollmer Military Training Instructor Association

A new group created to help support the families of military training instructors held its inaugural meeting Feb. 24 at the Airman and Family Readiness Flight on Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

The Military Training Instructor Association's Spouses Auxiliary was formed by several spouses of MTIs assigned here and sponsored by the MTIA.

"We are not trying to change the face of basic military training," said Rhonda Schroeder, president of the spouses auxiliary. "But we are intent on changing the level of support available for the families of MTIs."

Ms. Schroeder said that because MTIs work extended hours on a regular basis, it's imperative for the spouses to have a support system in place. She explained that it's also important that the support be provided by others who are in similar circumstances and understand the demands of being an MTI.

"The charter members felt an overwhelming need to meet and befriend other MTI spouses," Ms. Schroeder said. "We have become somewhat of a surrogate family, celebrating holidays together (since our spouses normally work through them) and providing emergency child care to each other."

There were approximately 10 members in attendance at the first official meeting and discussions ranged from a public kickoff for the group, to fundraising ideas and community service projects.

Holly Perry, member of the organization and chair of the baby layette program, said the first meeting was very productive.

"We are finding new ways to provide needed support to MTI families and help our community," she said

One of the ways the group is planning to support MTI families is to distribute baskets filled with baby-related items to new parents in the MTI corps. The group also sponsors bimonthly meet-and-greet events to welcome spouses of new MTIs.

Other activities in the works include a day of festivities to celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day and a 5K walk/run. Both will be open to all active-duty and retired members and their family members.

For more information regarding membership, contact Rhonda Schroeder via e-mail at mtisa.lackland@yahoo.com.

The next meet-and-greet is scheduled for March 24 at 4 p.m. and will be located at the AFRF.