FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Fort Irwin Spouses gathered at the Sandy Basin Community Center on Nov. 18 for an Army Traditions Spouses Seminar to learn about Army traditions, courtesies and the importance of unit cohesion.
The seminar was presented by Lynda MacFarland, spouse of retired Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland and hosted by Kelly Lesperance, spouse of Brig. Gen. David A. Lesperance, commander of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin.
During the seminar, MacFarland highlighted the importance of attending retirement ceremonies, community gatherings and unit organizational days.
“These are opportunities to gather and create unity,” she said. “If our Soldiers are going into combat, we need to support each other, we need to have friends around us that we can count on during the tough times.”
Sharing her observations and experiences over her 33 years of being an Army spouse, MacFarland spoke on courtesies and traditions, such as sending and writing thank you notes and the tradition of welcoming incoming spouses to the installation with flowers.
“Army spouses and families are a special breed— we need to be the keepers of tradition,” MacFarland said. “Tradition matters a lot in every aspect of our lives, it’s too important to neglect.”
MacFarland recommended the Army Spouse Handbook for more information on traditions and to help spouses navigate life in the Army.
The Army Spouse Handbook is by Anne Cross and Ginger Perkins. It provides guidance about the social graces that will make you comfortable in any situation. It’s listed as a guide for attending and planning unit coffees, teas, receptions, formal balls, and dining-outs—including tips for entertaining with ease and flair. You can search armyspousehandbook.com for more information.