Spouses take control

Lisa Allen, wife of Lt. Col. Rob Allen of the 700th Airlift Squadron, has a laugh  after a "rough landing" that resulted in the "red screen of death" at the Eastern Regional Flight Simulator here. Spouses were treated to a full day of reserve life as part of the annual event meant to help reward spouses of Airmen in retention critical areas.

Lisa Allen, wife of Lt. Col. Rob Allen of the 700th Airlift Squadron, has a laugh after a "rough landing" that resulted in the "red screen of death" at the Eastern Regional Flight Simulator here. Spouses were treated to a full day of reserve life as part of the annual event meant to help reward spouses of Airmen in retention critical areas.

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga., -- In the midst of commemorating 60 years of air and space power, the 700th Airlift Squadron took time to recognize and celebrate one of the Air Force's most important assets, its spouses.

Spouses of 94th Airlift Wing members experienced a day in the life of an Air Force Reservist, from pilot to aerial delivery, and ended the day with a flight in one of Dobbins' own C-130s, touring local sights such as Amicalola Falls, Lake Lanier, and Stone Mountain.

"The backbone of our Air Force Reserve members are their spouses," said Lt. Col. David H. Salisbury, 700th Airlift Squadron commander.

They make tremendous sacrifices, not only to the Air Force, but to our country, said Colonel Salisbury.

"Spouses Day is about recognizing the heroes in our lives," said Lt. Col. George L. Pelech, coordinator of the event and a pilot with the 700th AS.

Expanded deployment schedules and longer work days have increased the stress on the family left at home. The hope is that through this small act, spouses understand how much we appreciate all they do while we are gone, said Colonel Pelech.

"Air Force spouses seldom receive the public recognition they deserve for the tremendous load they carry in a military family," said Maj. Terrence E. Green, assistant coordinator. "We have the opportunity today to give them a well deserved "thank-you" for all their hard work and support."

Each participated in a flying session in Dobbins' Eastern Regional Flight Simulator flight training device, experiencing what it's like to fly a C-130 aircraft.

"The flight simulator was cool, although I got a little motion-sickness during my landing," said Tracy Hughes, spouse of Senior Airman Dana Hughes, air transportation journeyman, 80th Aerial Port Squadron.

Participants were given a chance to visit their spouses' work areas during their tour of the base.

"This visit really enlightened me on the mission of the Air Force Reserve and how my husband spends his reserve weekend," said Eleanor Williams, spouse of Master Sgt. David Williams, 94th Aerial Delivery Flight supervisor.

"What he does is very interesting and from what I hear, there's never a dull moment," said Mrs. Williams.

While all agreed that being a military spouse can be somewhat challenging, there are cases where both the husband and wife serve.

"Being in the aircraft today brought back memories of my active duty flying days," said Anthony Wong, spouse of Staff Sgt. Anna Wong, 700th AS, aviation resource manager.

"I realize now that both the Air Force Reserve and active duty have similar requirements and in lots of case, fly similar missions," said Mr. Wong.

Colonel Salisbury presented each spouse with the Air Force Spouses Pin, in appreciation of the sacrifices they make for their spouse's service.

"While all of our Airmen work very hard, their spouses often work harder keeping the households together," Colonel Salisbury said.

"Spouse day was more of a success than I ever thought it would be," said Colonel Pelech. "I heard nothing but praise from our guests, especially on the absolute professionalism of our flight crews. I can't wait for next year's spouse celebration."