Military families serving military families Published Nov. 14, 2022 By Tessa Fulmer 509th Bomb Wing WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- My name is Tessa Fulmer. I am a mother, educator, and a military spouse here at Whiteman Air Force Base. Recently, my class made and decorated a “box of sunshine” for a deployed member of the Air Force. My students held a drive and brought in items over the course of a month. After the success of the first “box of sunshine”, the class decided to work on two more boxes for the parents of their peers who are deployed. I enjoy being challenged to continue learning, growing, and changing in order to meet the continued diverse needs of my students. One of my biggest goals is to elevate the voices of military families, especially when it comes to the challenges military kids face. I love teaching because I love knowing no matter what a student is facing at home or outside of the classroom, when they are in my class they know they are loved, they are safe and they are valued. Teaching military kids is so special because together we experience real life, we gain exposure to new and meaningful experiences, and we share in authentic learning. As a military spouse, I also utilize my unique perspective to advocate for military families, both in my teaching position and as a Key Spouse at Whiteman Air Force Base. I was graciously recognized as the 2021 509th Bomb Wing’s Key Spouse of the Quarter and at the 25th Attack Group for my volunteer work. I’ve also been awarded a Recipient of the National Military Family Association Scholarship in 2019 for my community efforts and volunteerism. The 20th Attack Squadron recently held a baby shower for an expecting spouse while her husband was on a one year remote deployment. The goal was to make her feel connected and supported while her spouse was gone and every Key Spouse stepped up and made it happen. Being a military spouse and a mom to children impacted deeply by their father’s military service means volunteering in this capacity is woven into who I am. I have been able to serve as a Key Spouse at various assignments and squadrons throughout my husband's career and I have seen where spouses need varying degrees of support and connection. I will always have a drive to work with military connected families and I plan to continue to advocate for them.