MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- The average person would have a tough time juggling what she has on her plate. Kimberly Reed, a volunteer with Marine Aircraft Group 11 takes all that is thrown at her in stride.
What makes her stand out? She takes volunteering in different Marine Corps programs to a whole other level.
Reed married her husband, Gunnery Sgt. Brian Reed, an electronic key management system manager for Marine Aircraft Group 11 and an Owosso, Mich. native, in 2006, at which point they were stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“Ever since then, I try to volunteer with each unit we have been at,” she said. “I get to know what is happening before my husband now, and I have met some awesome friends at the same time.”
As a Lifestyles, Insight, Networking, Knowledge, Skills program mentor, Reed is key in helping families acclimate to the Marine Corps community.
“I like to share the knowledge that I have about the Marine Corps, and I like to talk. So, LINKS is perfect for me,” she said. “I am also one of the outreach coordinators for LINKS as well. It is a pretty big job, so I share the role with [another military spouse]. We go to events sponsored by units or other organizations and recruit spouses or Marines to take the class. We have so much fun and a ton of information to share!”
She uses those opportunities to gather knowledge and then mentors other spouses by sharing her experience with the military lifestyle.
“I want to help other spouses navigate the craziness of the Marine Corps if I can,” she said. “I may not know all the answers, but I can probably point them in the right direction. What I may have gone through may help someone else going through something similar.”
Reed is also an Exceptional Family Member Program mentor. She said volunteering with the EFMP was an easy choice for her because it stands for something very near and dear to her heart.
“I volunteer with EFMP because my oldest daughter has special needs,” she said. “She has a seizure disorder, auditory processing disorder and sensory processing disorder. I also grew up with a mother who is deaf and … I also have a nephew who has Down syndrome. I have seen first-hand how hard it is to raise a child with special needs and to deal with the school districts. It is ten times harder when you are a military family changing duty stations every three years and basically having to start over again.”
Not one to let any spare time go to waste, Reed additionally volunteers with the biannual Leadership Education Seminar. The LES is entirely run by volunteers and offers military spouses personal and professional development.
“I was able to attend the seminar this past spring and learned a ton from the speakers that presented,” she said. “This is the first seminar I am volunteering with them. I am helping the curriculum team leader with a few skits during the three-day seminar and … I hope to be a facilitator and work with the small groups for the spring 2014 seminar.”
While giving so much of her time back to the Marine Corps community might seem a daunting task, Reed explains it’s just a part of who she is.
“Volunteering to me isn't about getting recognized for what I have done,” she said. “It is about teaching, helping others and learning something new while doing it.”
This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting the committed and engaged spouses of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.