Spouses receive awards at Family Day Picnic

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Servicemembers handcuffed and tossed in a mock jail and commanders thrown in the dunk tank, all while the 561st Band of the West Coast serenades family and friends to classic pop tunes. These are all typical scenes at the 129th Rescue Wing's annual Family Day Picnic hosted here.

A not-so-typical scene at the Oct. 3 picnic was a special awards ceremony recognizing wing spouses.

Carolann Wunderlin, 129th Rescue Wing Family Readiness Program coordinator, took advantage of the National Guard Bureau's Year of the Military Family and added the awards ceremony to this year's picnic schedule, she said. She plans to continue the honor as an annual event.

"The unit's multiple deployments this year have been very intense for families," said Mrs. Wunderlin. "I felt that this would be a perfect time to introduce the Spouse of the Year award to showcase what they have been through."

Guard members were asked to submit a one-page testament describing how their spouse demonstrates their independence and resiliency. Leslie Wade, wife of Maj. Gen. William H. Wade, the California Adjutant General, presented the spouse awards alongside Mrs. Wunderlin. The spouses recognized included: 

- Mrs. Stacy Griffiths, wife of Maj. William Griffiths, 129th Rescue Wing
- Mrs. Kathryn St Clair, wife of Master Sgt. William St Clair, 129th Maintenance Group
- Mrs. Marilou Matias Cabugoa, wife of Staff Sgt. Roderick Cabugao, 129th Medical Group
- Mrs. Elaine Vindiola, wife of Tech. Sgt. Mark Vindiola, 129th Mission Support Group
- Mrs. Brynn Wagle, wife of Maj. Michael Wagle, 129th Operations Group

With such a great turn out this year, Mrs. Wunderlin hopes to further involve the children of 129th guardsmen next year.

"I want to have interactive learning activities, tangible for the kids to understand what their families are doing in the military," she said. "I would like representatives from each section to promote their mission with equipment and displays to describe their job."

Arrested servicemembers made bail due to fundraising and were released from the jail controlled by the 129th Security Forces Squadron. Commanders were toweled off and continued to mingle with co-workers. Thanks to these morale activities, hospitality booths, the Mobile Veteran Affairs Center and the attendance of friends and family, the event was a stunning success Mrs. Wunderlin added.