A Visit from Mrs. Rice

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristina Overton
  • 136th Airlift Wing
As Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, Air National Guard director, met with Airmen and senior leaders from the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, during his visit May 20, his wife Nancy took time to meet with unit members as well.

Mrs. Rice met with Key Spouses, Carswell Family Guardians, volunteers, and faculty with the Airman and Family Readiness program to learn about the challenges of Airmen and families within the wing, what the readiness trends are, and what Air National Guard leadership can do to assist.

For the first stop of the tour, Rice was introduced to a few 136th Airlift Wing Key Spouses to discuss specific concerns within their community. Military spouses serve alongside Airmen overcoming lifestyle adjustments such as prolonged absences, relocations, and additional burdens. They also contribute to the wing by supporting programs that assist families during difficult times.

“Military families are very resilient and face unique challenges,” said Mrs. Rice. “I have had the opportunity to travel to more than 50 Air National Guard bases, and each one presents different concerns. I take this opportunity to get to know what those issues are, listen, and channel them to senior leadership.”

Mrs. Rice’s agenda also included one-on-one time with Ms. Kathryn Lynn, 136th Force Support Squadron Psychological Health director, as well as Mrs. Heidi Bearden, 136th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness program manager.

“We discussed a wide variety of topics that are impacting the Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing," said Bearden. “The Airman and Family Readiness program plays a significant role for Airmen during their careers, and through those encounters we were able to provide a thorough perspective of trends and needs of the force. Hopefully, through what we share, leadership can take that information to better support our wing population and its mission readiness.”

The tour ended with an “all call” at the base theater, where Lt. Gen. Rice expressed his appreciation of spouses and the importance of the all-encompassing “military family.” After sharing that he and his wife have been married for 37 years, he acknowledged all the married members throughout the wing and how their spouses’ contributions make us a stronger and better force.

“We, as spouses, are here to support our military members and sometimes just being there can make a huge impact,” Mrs. Rice said. “It can be hard, but we still have to keep forging ahead and maintaining a positive attitude. It’s a part of what [military] spouses do every day, they serve along with the member.”