Do you want to build a snowman?
By Capt. Kay Nissen, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 27, 2019
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- On a snowy night at Eielson Air Force Base, Airmen and spouses gathered at a garage filled with tires and smelling of petroleum, oil and lubricants.
Their purpose, of course, was to build a snowman.
As a part of monthly gatherings hosted by the 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron and supported by the squadron key spouses, the evening’s task was to assemble a snowman from birch wood, as well as build relationships among families on base.
“Crafts enable people to talk. You can see people make friendships, and that’s really awesome,” said Lisa Williamson, 354th LRS key spouse mentor. “I think people like to be creative and just do something. Everyone’s craft is different, just like they are.”
Stacy Jordan is a regular participant at the monthly gatherings, a self-proclaimed “crafter,” and keeps coming back because she finds it more fun to craft with company. At the event, she met Monica Fornataro, whom she found out had come to Eielson from Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, just like her.
“This is one of the first outings I’ve gone to,” said Fornataro, recollecting that she arrived to the base just this summer. While she was on the fence if she’d come back to another event, her assessment of crafting that evening was “so far, so good.”
In addition to providing an opportunity to connect, the monthly gatherings also enable helpful information to be shared with Airmen and families.
During the event, a representative from the 354th Medical Group explained the Self-Initiated Care Kit program, where families can have easier access to over-the-counter medications to save both time and money.
At the end of the night, Airmen and families left with birch snowmen in hand, each as unique and different as the individuals who built them. While not as tangible, Airmen and families also took away a shared experience to mark their time in Alaska.
“The Air Force is your family, right?” Williamson said. “If you never hang out with your family, how are you going to know them?”