Spouses of ANG leadership launch base tour to improve programs for Airmen

Marie Hotaling,wife of Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling, Command Chief of the
Air National Guard and Rebecca Clarke, wife of Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen.
Stanley Clarke, speaks to the 167th Airlift Wing Care Team during their visit to the
unit, Jan. 31. The trip was geared toward identifying challenges facing Airmen and
their families. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Marie Hotaling,left, wife of Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling, Command Chief of the Air National Guard and Rebecca Clarke, wife of Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, speaks to the 167th Airlift Wing Care Team during their visit to the unit, Jan. 31. The trip was geared toward identifying challenges facing Airmen and their families. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Marie Hotaling,left, wife of Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling, Command Chief of the Air National Guard discusses childcare services for unit members with Master Sgt. Donna Sliger during a visit to the 167th Airlift Wing Jan. 31. The trip was geared toward identifying challenges facing Airmen and their families. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Marie Hotaling,left, wife of Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling, Command Chief of the Air National Guard discusses childcare services for unit members with Master Sgt. Donna Sliger during a visit to the 167th Airlift Wing Jan. 31. The trip was geared toward identifying challenges facing Airmen and their families. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Rebecca Clarke,wife of Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, speaks to the 167th Airlift Wing Airmen of the Year for 2013 during their visit to the unit, Jan. 31. The trip was geared toward identifying challenges facing Airmen and their families. (Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Stacy Gault)

Rebecca Clarke,wife of Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, speaks to the 167th Airlift Wing Airmen of the Year for 2013 during their visit to the unit, Jan. 31. The trip was geared toward identifying challenges facing Airmen and their families. (Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Stacy Gault)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Airmen and their families are consistently faced with challenges outside of their job and the services to help with those challenges are not only a priority with Air National Guard leadership, but also their spouses.

Rebecca Clarke, wife of Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke and Marie Hotaling, wife of Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling, Command Chief of the Air National Guard, visited the 167th Airlift Wing Friday to see the programs firsthand.

"Our mission is to go out into the field and listen to the voice of our Airmen, program managers and family members," said Rebecca Clarke. "We want to find out how various programs are working at our Air National Guard bases, then bring back that information to our leadership."

It was the first stop in a tour of bases around the National Capital Region to talk about programs designed to help family members and our Airmen. The open forum included representatives from the West Virginia National Guard Family Program Offices and the 167th Wing Care Team. The care team includes Dr. Daniela Lupu, director of psychological health, Sherry Lewis, Airman & family readiness program manager and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Reynolds.

In addition to the program managers, commanders, first sergeants and chiefs discussed topics such as childcare, mental health, marriage support and finances. But the discussion didn't stop at families and spouses either. The group also tackled the decision of what to do with your dog when you deploy.

"On our first visit to an Air National Guard wing, the 167th went above and beyond to make us feel at home and part of their family. The round table introductions and explanations of each unique program area were valuable beyond compare for both of us," said Marie Hotaling.