Heart Link: Education and connection

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jordan Lazaro
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – The Military and Family Readiness Center hosted a Heart Link course for the second time this year, April 4, 2023, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Heart Link is a spouse orientation program that is hosted at bases across the Air Force to educate spouses who might be new to the Air Force or need more information about helping agencies available at their base.

When attending Ramstein’s Heart Link, spouses are introduced to each other and connected with representatives from multiple helping agencies, explains Alicia D. McLelland, 86th Force Support Squadron, Military & Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant.

“My favorite thing about Heart Link are the connections made,” said McLelland. “For some of the attendees, this is their first time away from home or their first time overseas.”

Focusing on resources and community, the class is hosted quarterly by members of the M&FRC and supporting agencies to help military spouses learn about resources available.

“The true intent behind Heart Link is to get spouses connected with one another and let them know they are not alone,” McLelland said.

Attendees were introduced to programs available at the M&FRC as well as discussions with members from finance, first sergeants and chaplains during the class.

“We want all spouses and family members to know we are here for them,” explained U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tiffany White, 76th Airlift Squadron first sergeant. “Just putting a face to the name of your unit’s first sergeant is important. Making sure you know your first sergeant helps encourage people to reach if they need help and understand that we are here for them.”

The one-day course ends with the spouses attending a resource fair to get additional information on specific resources that interest them.

“Attending Heart Link has helped me learn more than any website or pamphlet could have taught me,” said Kayla Bousquet, a 691st Cyberspace Operation Squadron military spouse. “Everyone was very friendly and answered all my questions. It was a lot of fun. I was introduced to people who are here for me and in my corner.”

The next Heart Link event is scheduled for Aug. 29, 2023. To sign-up or get additional information, call DSN: 480-51100 or CIV: 06371-47-5100. Registration must be made a week prior to the class date.

*Editor's note: This is two of four in a series about resources provided by the Military & Family Readiness Center at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.