Communicating who, what, where and how

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- "Where did you hear that was happening? I missed that. Who told you about it? It would have been nice to hear about that before it happened. Whom can I contact to get the info?"

Do these comments sound familiar?

As spouses, we often do not see the pop-up slides upon logging in to a government computer, are absent from briefings that offer notification of upcoming events or simply miss the notes home with valuable information. The communication chain may be missing a link, so let's see if we can fill that link for our spouses.

At Spangdahlem, communication occurs via many paths. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming deciding where to look, who to contact or what to ask. The base offers many events organized through the wing, individual squadrons and spouse groups offering volunteer opportunities, age- and interest-specific functions, and much more. Yet the question arises, where can I get the information?

A majority of 52nd Fighter Wing's subordinate units have spouses groups forwarding email notifications, engaging in gatherings, fundraisers, morale and welfare offerings, and much more. Regardless of what some may think, spouses group events aren't just baking cookies. Events are offered based on interests and building a network of local spouses. OK, there might be some cookie baking.

Aside from that, spouses groups are a way to get in touch with folks who are experiencing the same daily challenges and can share ideas, develop bonds and make your time here more enjoyable. If you are interested in making contact with your specific squadron representative, try calling your squadron's command support staff and inquire if they can pass your contact information to the spouse group's leader. Keep in mind it is permanent-change-of-station season and the position may be in transition, so it may take some time to receive a response.

Other resources include The Saber Herald, the weekly base newspaper, which has includes stories on various topics and information for upcoming events. There's the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, which also has a wealth of information. They direct those with questions to appropriate points of contact related to many areas of interest. For more information, call the A&FRC at 452-6422. The 52nd Force Support Squadron prints the Flash bi-monthly magazine found throughout the base or online at www.52fss.com, a must-have bookmarked site. Youth programs offer a great deal of activities and meeting space for Saber youth. To review this summer's calendar, call 452-6422.

There are also unofficial sites online through Yahoo Groups, Facebook and MySpace, focusing on various interest groups around the base. Many of these groups maintain files with previously published base information and offer spouses a network to ask questions, arrange gatherings, and simply exchange thoughts about their assignments here in the Eifel. Who knows, you might even meet some people in your neighborhood online. When accessing and posting to these groups, however, please keep operational security in mind.

Our Saber Spouses Web site, www.saberspouses.com, just celebrated its first anniversary, is the first of its kind and us available for everyone. If you have not yet visited the site, make it a priority to do so. The calendar is updated regularly, along with links and files of information related to the Saber community.

We all experience challenges in getting information. These are only some ideas of where to start and continue your search for all the valuable information distributed within the Spangdahlem community. Each bit of information gained by one person is likely the same information another is seeking; as spouses, we can share it as often as possible. Good luck on your information hunt.

If you would like to comment or provide information about Eifel amenities, spouses groups or other activities and events, e-mail saberheraldspousescorner@gmail.com.