Esperanza Romero, a financial specialist with Army Community Service, discusses information with an attendee at the Fort Jackson Military Spouse Appreciation Wellness Expo and Bunco night, May 9. (Photo by Nathan Clinebelle)

Jackson shows appreciation with Expo, Bunco

By Emily Hileman, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

They weren’t just shooting dice at the NCO Club May 9. It was a part of Fort Jackson’s Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

More than 400,000 Soldiers are currently serving on active duty. These Soldiers endure harsh training environments, spend weeks and months away from their Families and miss countless milestones and family events due to their love and devotion to the U.S. What is commonly not seen is a driving factor that keeps them going daily – their spouses.

Spouses are the ones that hold the home together and keep the Family stable, so Soldiers feel confident and capable of performing their duties away from home. They are often a silent force and their efforts can feel underappreciated by the general population because many of them are not in uniform. Army Community Service set aside time on May 9 to host a Wellness Expo and Bunco Night as part of Military Spouse Appreciation Day to show how much they’re appreciated.

“Military Spouse Appreciation Day is a day where we recognize the contributions of military spouses across the Army who continue to inspire their families to prevail over impossible obstacles to be all they can be,” said Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9, Department of the Army.

Events like the one that took place May 9 not only allow spouses to connect with one another and become part of their community, but it is also a way to showcase some of the resources available to them. Some resources include resume writing and federal employment courses, reimbursement of qualified occupational licensing costs, scholarships, and wellness opportunities, just to name a few.

Even if you’re a seasoned spouse with several moves and unique experiences, there’s still something new for you to learn said Krista Parker, Army spouse and attendee. Not only can you learn something new, but you can also meet new people and strengthen your local community.

“The camaraderie and fun that flowed out of the Bunco portion of the evening served as a reminder of the importance of spending time with those who have shared experiences and unique perspectives,” Parker said. “We all have different stories, but we can create a strong bond through our shared experiences.”

If you missed this opportunity, ACS is also hosting a Military Spouse Appreciation Day “Own Your Wellness” seminar at 9 a.m., May 12 at the NCO Club. The seminar includes classes on Yoga, resiliency training and getting a better night’s sleep.