#IMSCFamily: Meet Katie Sutherland

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Meet Katie Sutherland, spouse of Master Sgt. John Sutherland with our Air Force Security Forces Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. She has been around the military her entire life having a father who is retired U.S. Navy and being married to an Air Force Defender for 15 years. 

We asked Katie, our October #IMSCFamily spotlight, to tell us a little about her life as a military spouse.

What’s your first memory as the spouse of an Airman?
Driving across the country to our first duty station navigating with only an atlas. When we finally arrived to Cheyenne, Wyoming, it was during the world’s biggest outdoor rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days!  

What’s your best experience as the spouse of an Airman? 
The opportunities and experiences I’ve encountered have been by far the best. Traveling and exploring new places with my family. Making lifelong friendships and reconnecting with them down the road. 

What’s a challenge you and your spouse overcame as a team? 
The short notice TDYs, deployments and health issues. As much as we thought we were prepared, something would come up. It became our normal and we just rolled with it. Being long distance and trying to navigate our marriage, co-parenting, finances, health issues and careers was challenging at times. We needed to understand and learn how important communication is during that time apart. 

What’s your best advice for other AFIMSC spouses? 
Make the most out of any situation. Sometimes you just need to step out of your comfort zone and go find your place at your new duty station. Find things for you and that excite you. Try a new hobby, join the Bunco group, go to spouse events (trust me I met my best friend), explore local shops, sign up for classes and eventually you will find your place. Be willing to be open to change and make the best of any situation. Ironically, shortly after you find your tribe and place, your spouse tells you y’all received orders and are moving again. As hard as it is to say “see you later” to that season of life, be thankful for the opportunities, the work experiences and friendships you made along the way. 

Do you have a mantra that you live by and how does it help?
Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace. It helps because each season of life you are placed in many different situations, opportunities and you need to give yourself grace in that process. Be patient with yourself. 

What’s something you cherish from your time as a spouse and why? 
I cherish that we had the opportunity to adopt my husband’s retired Military Working Dog Llance. He became a part of our family and enjoyed retired life. It was special to be able to have that chance to open our home and heart to him because my husband and him shared a special bond. We loved every second we had with him!