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Wing Key Spouse of the Year 2009

  • Published
  • By Rhonda Griffin
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
The support of loved ones is a huge factor in the success of any Airman. Vette Berrian, wife of Major Scot Berrian, 43rd Civil Engineer Squadron Operations Flight Commander, knows the importance of taking care of family. In fact, helping to care for her husband's CES family recently earned her the Wing Key Spouse of the Year award.

When the family came to Pope about 18 months ago, Mrs. Berrian wanted to be involved with the squadron, so she instantly jumped in with both feet.
"I attended every event, sent out cards to families in my husband's section when they had babies; I just wanted to show my face and wanted the people to get to know us," she said.

Mrs. Berrian has always had a love for the military. She, in fact, spent 10 years in the Army. Now a mother of three, she knows all family members must work together to make military life successful.
"When we take care of our people, their minds are free to accomplish the mission," she said.

Her love for the squadron has grown so much that she now volunteers her time each day in the office. With others happy to have her smiling face around, she has inherited a desk where she now makes cards for all occasions to be given to the squadron members. Made by hand and each unique in its own way, the cards are just one of the many ways she lets the squadron and their families know someone cares.

"I wanted to make myself visible and make people feel welcome," Mrs. Berrian said. "This is like my family and I want to make sure my family feels good.
"I have accomplished all I have because of the love God put in my heart for others."

She even turned down a job to do her volunteer work with the CES.
"My paycheck is knowing my people have peace of mind," she said. "I love the people I work with, and if I can let these families know they're cared for - especially during a deployment - then I've done my job."

Mrs. Berrian said she has been through bad experiences during her husband's deployments and temporary duties.

"I had three children under the age of 5 when a tornado hit, and another time we were snowed in," Mrs. Berrian said of earlier experiences in the major's career. "We were forgotten."

"I vowed then that I wouldn't let those things happen to people in my husband's group," she said.

So after getting herself involved with the happenings at Pope, she was honored to accept a request to be the head Key Spouse. Mrs. Berrian was even more surprised and honored when she learned that she had been named the Wing Key Spouse of the Year.

"I could not do the things I'm doing without everybody being on board and embracing the program," she said. "I'm not trying to step on toes. I just want to be an addition to what they are already working. That's what makes the program so successful."

The Berrian's children wanted to become more involved with the program as well and have taken to creating some of the squadron's cards.

"It's a labor of love for the family," Mrs. Berrian said. "I like to incorporate the children in things so they feel like they are a part of the team."

In fact, she believes it is important in military life to keep each member of the family involved in activities and decisions.

"If not, it can be a long, tedious road," she said