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Bonnie Amos, wife of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, greets wives at the Officers Club aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Jan. 31. Amos went on to present her after-action review of her visit to Afghanistan.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Wenger

Mrs. Amos shares laughs, tears, and words of advice with Miramar spouses

31 Jan 2013 | Cpl. Melissa Wenger

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. - The First Lady of the Marine Corps, Bonnie Amos, met with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar spouses during an after-action review of her visit to Afghanistan. Over shared laughter, anxiety, and even a few tears, Amos was able to report her experience of what deployed servicemembers endure from the perspective of a family member.

Amos presented a photographic display documenting her visit throughout Helmand province at the Officer’s Club aboard MCAS Miramar. She used the three-day tour to provide a valuable experience to other spouses.

“I had the opportunity to go where many of you, none of you, or most of you will never, ever go, and yet we’ve spent 10 years of our lives there,” said Amos. “Our Marines have spent 10 years of their lives there. You have lived without your family member for them to go there, and I was able to view where they have been for 10 years through my lens for each one of you.”

As Amos shared examples of the solidarity she witnessed while in Afghanistan, the audience members were forming their own.

“I really love seeing Mrs. Amos and listening to her share about what her Marine Corps experiences are and what she’s experienced as a spouse, as well as just being able to meet other people, have that camaraderie and get to know more people throughout the Corps,” said Denise Korpinen, wife of a lieutenant colonel and native of San Diego, Calif.

Following the presentation, some of the audience members asked questions and voiced concerns, but many just appreciated the First Lady of the Marine Corps’ counsel.

“Mrs. Amos has got a very unique perspective on what is happening in the Marine Corps and in the world … and I think it’s important to be here and to hear what her perspective on things are,” said Joe Hennigan, husband of a lieutenant colonel and native of Somerset, Ohio. “This is a part of the world we’re going to be involved in for years to come and I think a broader understanding of what our spouses go through when they’re deployed to that part of the world is a very important thing to understand.”

Amos left her fellow spouses with key words of advice for moving on from their loved ones’ deployment to Afghanistan.

“Our Marines and Sailors are so incredibly trained and so wonderfully focused on what they are doing,” she said. “Understand when they’re a little bit distracted when they come back, because if I go for three days into this intense atmosphere and I come back a little bit zoned out, imagine what they must do when they come back having spent so much time there.”