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Thrive Guide arrives at Sheppard Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

The Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce recently published a Thrive Guide featuring base, local and state resources for military-connected families in the area. The Thrive Guide supplements the Five & Thrive Guide, which provides a broader scope of information. The Thrive Guide for Wichita Falls and Sheppard Air Force Base is the first local guide of its kind shared as a resource on the Five & Thrive website.

Five & Thrive is a grassroots effort made to help with resources for quality of life for military families,” said Pam Peterson, military spouse and Thrive Team member. “It's focused on a quality-of-life experience model. It's the relationship between military leaders, community partners, and military connected families, typically a military spouse. It's these three working together to make quality of life at our local installations better for families. The focuses are the five top issues that, through research, have been proven to be childcare, education, health care, housing and spouse employment. Those are the topics that tend to make families want to stay in the military, to join the military, and just overall make them happier and improves their resilience. Resilience leads to retention, which is the focus. So that's really what it started from. It's pulling all of these together into that QX model to make things better.”

The Thrive Guide was the brainchild of Kaycee Denny, Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Partner for the Military Team, and military spouse. She first learned about Five & Thrive from Peterson at a military spouse function and was inspired by the concept of having a one-stop source of easily accessible, relevant information. Working with contacts on base and in the community, she narrowed the focus to reflect the needs of the Sheppard community in an easy-to-use format. The guide, which was a natural progression of the support she already provided the military community through her position at the Chamber, is a “living document” which will be updated regularly.

According to Denny, the guide has relevant information for everyone in the Sheppard community from people new to the military, families experiencing a life change like having children, to retirees transitioning from active duty.

“It’s about being knowledgeable about the situation and not feeling left in the dark, like you're missing something, because I feel like a lot of times spouses have that experience,” she said. “They're like, ‘Oh, I didn't know, I didn't know that I needed to do this.’ And so, we’re educating them on the things that they can do. And then to self-advocate as well. There are a lot of great resources in here, but you still have to reach out to them. Now they can say, ‘I've got this information; I know who to call and I can do it.’”