Photo Information

Cassandra Polk, a Family Readiness assistant with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 225, poses with her daughter, Calynn aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Oct. 10. Polk is highlighted as part of the Committed and Engaged Spouse campaign.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Wenger

VMFA-225 wife fortifies support network while squadron is away

18 Oct 2013 | Cpl. Melissa Wenger 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Sometimes, it takes a meaningful phone conversation, a tall double latte with friends or an all-out holiday party to take a Marine spouse’s mind off of the anxieties of military life. Lucky for the Marines of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 225, their significant others have one standout wife who coordinates just those kinds of distractions.

Cassandra Polk, a Family Readiness Assistant with VMFA-225, volunteers her time to help brew camaraderie within the squadron. Her husband, Sgt. Qualon Polk, an aviation mechanic with VMFA-225 and an Arlington, Texas native, isn’t the only one who benefits from her outgoing nature.

From kickball games to movie nights, these events have a pivotal role in creating a support network for all the families of the unit.

“It keeps them busy,” she said. “It keeps them occupied, so they’re not waiting by the phone for their spouse to call. They’re able to mingle, so when times are hard they have someone to call. They can share with each other what they’re going through.”

Such difficulties aren’t just deployments, but day-to-day challenges as well. One time, Polk’s husband’s orders to Japan were cancelled, leaving them stranded between assignments. She uses that experience as a teaching tool.

“Semper Gumby,” she said. “Be flexible all the time, because you never know what’s going to happen. Just like when we were supposed to go to Japan, but we ended up in the Middle East, things change all the time.”

Staying flexible and also knowing how to utilize resources in sticky situations are things that make Polk a contributor to the ever-ready state of the unit.

“I know if I do my part as a Marine’s spouse, he’s able then to do his job well and he’s able to not worry about what’s going on at home,” said Polk. “For his fellow Marines, [I’m] making sure their spouses get the right information and know what their husbands need at home so the husbands can go about their business and the mission and focus on that.”

While realizing the role of the Marine spouse is integral, Polk said appreciation for it goes a long way.

“Our husbands are busy doing their thing and we’re not always recognized for doing what we do behind our squadron and our units and behind our Marines,” she said. “It’s nice to hear we’re doing a good job and helping everyone get mission-ready.”

Through her selflessness and eagerness to support, Polk expresses that she too feels deeply the Marines’ esprit de corps.

 “I love my Marines, I love my shop, and I love my Vikings,” she said. “They’re my family and I would do anything for them!”

This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting the committed and engaged spouses of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.