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Feature Stories

NEWS | May 8, 2020

USARCENT Highlights Military Appreciation Month, Spouse Appreciation Day

U.S. Army Central

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C.  – The month of May is officially designated as Nationally Military Appreciation Month. During this month, we honor not only our men and women in uniform, but the brave individuals who stand by their sides, our military spouses.


“Behind most of our Soldiers stands a strong, loyal and resilient spouse who has weathered many moves, held the Family together while their Soldier was deployed, and often had to sacrifice their own careers to support our Soldiers and our Nation,” said Lt. Col. Steve Flanagan, commander of U.S. Army Central’s (USARCENT) Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion (HHBN). “Because our spouses deserve recognition, we are asking our Soldiers to share messages of appreciation on our social media sites.”  


Some of the military Family burdens are now exacerbated by the COVID crisis but the USARCENT Families are responding well.


“These are hard times, and we cannot get past this without you,” said Command Sgt. Maj. J.R. Rodriguez, HHBN’s senior enlisted adviser, as he addressed his unit’s Families in a recent newsletter.


Flanagan’s wife, Carolina, is the leader of the unit’s Soldier and Family Readiness Group (SFRG). She personally understands the sacrifices military spouses make to support their service members and contribute to the unit and local communities. Carolina works closely with military spouses across the USARCENT team, and has a deep appreciation for their commitment and service to their country, just like their Soldiers.


“The Army life is still new to me and while I keep on learning about it with the help of other spouses, I am thankful that I am able to assist our Families who are experiencing not only the normal challenges of military life, but even more challenges due to the COVID-10 pandemic,” she explained.  “Together, we can support one another, get through this crisis, and become stronger.”


USARCENT spouses are part of our Sumter community.  They are teachers, parents, first responders, move managers and volunteers helping to strengthen the community. Military spouses make many sacrifices, including minimal time with extended families, missed career opportunities and the ever-changing tempo filled with moves and deployments. Often referred to as the force behind the force, many spouses are the solid rock of a military family able to juggle many tasks at once. To show appreciation for all they do, we celebrate Military Spouses Appreciation Day on May 8, a day that was first formally recognized by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.


“We are inviting the greater Sumter community to join us as we thank our USARCENT spouses,” Flanagan said, “Post a message and use the hashtag #usarcentmilitaryspouse. We are looking forward to showing our spouses our sincere appreciation.”


About United States Army Central Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion Soldier and Family Readiness Group: The Soldier and Family Readiness Group is a US Army Central’s, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion commander’s program, comprised of Soldiers, civilian employees, family members (immediate and extended), and volunteers belonging to the unit. It forms a network of mutual support and assistance and helps HHBN commander, Lt. Col. Stephen Flanagan in meeting military and personal deployment preparedness and enhances Soldier and Family readiness.