Joint Services Conference honors Hawaii’s military spouses

| November 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

Lance Cpl. Tyler L. Main
Marine Corps Base Hawaii Public Affairs

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — In the pursuit of knowledge, friendship, resources and enrichment for military spouses, Marine Corps Base Hawaii hosted a Joint-Spouse Conference, here, Oct. 23. 

More than 50 presenters, 90 workshops, 40 volunteers and about 300 spouses attended.

“I think these conferences are important because it gives us an opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills and be motivated to try something new,” said Karen Broadmeadow, this year’s director and a Marine spouse.

The JSC host rotates among the services each year, and the theme of this year’s conference was “Partners in Paradise.” The title recognizes the partnership military spouses have between friends, colleagues, family members, the military and local communities that help spouses be successful.

Spouses went on a historic tour of the base and saw military working dog demonstrations, the Combat Convoy Simulator, waterfront operations, explosive ordnance disposal unit demonstrations, the endangered bird population and the Nuupia Ponds habitat. They also attended various workshops and an information expo.

“It’s great that we helped spouses identify resources that they may not have known were available,” Broadmeadow said.

The information expo was a buffet of knowledge. Local companies and organizations’ representatives set up display tables and talked with spouses, answered questions and provided informational pamphlets.

Among the 26 organizations in attendance were Operation Homefront, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hawaii Pacific University and Military OneSource.

“This is, overall, a fantastic way to honor spouses,” said Allison Stanton, a workshop co-chair for the JSC. “Every single organization presented for free.”

The conference relayed the importance and appreciation of military spouses, and it was an opportunity for spouses to attend diverse learning opportunities. 

Many workshops were offered throughout the day, including “Successful Photography in Paradise,” “Tablescaping and Event Planning” and “Space-A Travel Tips and Tricks.”

“Partners are everything,” said keynote speaker Susan Page, an entrepreneur and writer who founded a modeling company after the death of her first husband, a Marine pilot. “Don’t be afraid to lead. Follow and go arm and arm with someone. Don’t be afraid to get in step with someone. Don’t be afraid to dance.”

Broadmeadow agreed that camaraderie was an essential part of the event.

“It brings together spouses from all of the services and helps reinforce camaraderie and the purpose we all have as spouses,” she said.

Child care and breakfast were provided, and an early evening wine tasting closed the daylong event. 

Next year’s event will be hosted by the Air Force at Joint Base Peal Harbor-Hickam, and spouses are encouraged to visit the JSC Hawaii website at www.jschawaii.com for more information.

“People should come join in the celebration of being a military spouse, and take the opportunity to participate in workshops that are enthusiastically presented by the military and local communities,” Broadmeadow said.

Category: Community

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