Heart Link Links Hearts And Minds Of Military Spouses
(January 5, 2011)
AIR BASE, Turkey (12/30/2010 - AFNS) -- The words "Heart
Link" may evoke a mental image of animated cartoon hearts
holding hands or perhaps the infamous paper heart chain that
has become a staple around school rooms during Valentine's
Sometimes spouses may feel like that flimsy chain of paper
hearts, vulnerable and alone.
Heart Link is a program meant to help new military spouses
develop a support network and become more comfortable in a
new and often strange setting of the military environment.
"Going from the civilian sector to the military can be an
intimidating transition," said LeAnn Throlson, an Incirlik
community readiness consultant. "Heart Link helps the spouse
become more familiar with military customs, courtesies,
rank, traditions, benefits and entitlements, as well as what
resources are available to them on base."
In addition to learning what the military has to offer them,
the crash course in "military" is designed to improve
"It improves communication between the member and spouse,
since the spouse will be informed about acronyms and Air
Force culture," Ms. Throlson said.
This dynamic program also explains to spouses their critical
role in the Air Force family.
"Most new Air Force spouses come into Heart Link not knowing
where they fit into the Air Force mission," she said. "They
just think that they're on the outside looking in. It's our
job to show them that they're much more than that."
Spouses learn their intricate role in the mission through
knowledge and networking.
"Heart Link explains to spouses the helping resources
available to them as well as bringing them together with
other spouses, expanding camaraderie while enhancing
communication and knowledge," Ms. Throlson said.
According to feedback from attendees of a recent Heart Link
class here, every military spouse should attend, because
everyone learns something new, no matter how many years the
member has been associated with the military.
By USAF Sr. Airman Erica Stewart|
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Heart Link graphic by Airman 1st Class Mitch
Air Force News
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