Enid, OK Chapter Partners with Vance AFB for Military Spouse Appreciation Day

May 30, 2023

In 2023, AFA’s United Forces & Families (F2) Task Force is awarding up to five focus grants to a select group of installations who need funding to design and execute an initiative that will improve the Quality of Life for Airmen, Guardians, and their Families. One of those recipients, AFA’s Enid Chapter 214, used their funding to support the inaugural Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Empowerment Expo hosted by the Vance AFB Spouse Space on Friday, May 12, 2023. Besides strengthening the partnership between the AFA and Spouse Space, the event helped the Enid Chapter recruit 62 new members.

Vance AFB’s Spouse Space was created in 2022 as a place for spouses to work, study, and connect. The physical and digital spaces of the Spouse Space strengthen the Vance community by creating a spouse-friendly environment in which to work, gather, and make meaningful connections. Spouse Space directly supports Vance’s priority of creating resilient families that support the Air and Space Force mission.

The Military Spouse Appreciation Day Event and Empowerment Expo aided Vance spouses in their ability to care for themselves by connecting them with the most relevant resources available. Participating resource providers included AFA, Vance leadership spouses, the Military and Family Readiness Center (M&FRC), Chapel and Prevention Office, and other agencies and community partners. 

Milspouse Appreciation Luncheon
Vance AFB’s Military Spouse Appreciation Day at the AFA-funded Spouse Space, May 12, 2023.

The Empowerment Expo was grouped into unique areas that offered diverse Quality of Life resources:

  • Essential Entry: Military and Family Readiness Center
  • Kid Cubby: School Liaison Office, Child and Youth Programs, Library, Family Child Care
  • Necessity Nook: Legal Office, Emergency Management, Tricare, Fitness Center, Fire Department
  • Exploring Enclave: Air & Space Forces Association, Autry Technical Center, Visit Enid, Arts and Crafts, Information Tickets and Travel, Outdoor Recreation
  • Club Corner: Vance Spouse Club, Asian and Pacific Islander Group, Spouse Space, Key Spouse Program
  • Support Space: Family Advocacy, Chapel, Military & Family Life Counseling Program, Exceptional Family Member Program, Prevention Office, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, Equal Opportunity

Each agency or organization provided swag, treats, or small tokens of gratitude—such as chair massages and professional headshots—to encourage spouses to visit their tables. In partnership with the base Chapel, the come-and-go event corresponded with the weekly, base-wide Hot Dog Friday lunch, which provides a free lunch for Service Members and their spouses.

The AFA table was hosted by Kari Voliva, AFA Vice President of Member & Field Relations, and Lori Earl, Enid Chapter 214 Secretary and an AFA Emerging Leader. The AFA booth offered spouses free one-year memberships, gift cards, and information on initiatives of special interest to spouses and families, including AFA’s two premier STEM Education programs, CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers.

In addition to the focus grants, AFA’s F2 Task Force is also providing field grants to AFA Chapters who want to execute programming support for DAF families in areas like food insecurity, morale improvement, and professional development. In total, AFA is investing $50,000 in quality-of-life initiatives that support Airmen, Guardians, and Families. For more information on F2 grants and how to apply, click here.