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Key Spouses keeping Airmen safe

Capt. Kaci Jones cuts an ABU top with scissors.

Capt. Kaci Jones, assistant judge advocate, 940th Air Refueling Wing, cuts an Airman Battle Uniform top on Beale Air Force Base, California, April 7, 2020. Jones was taking part in a base-wide initiative to make masks out of old uniform items to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman Jason W. Cochran)

Capt. Kaci Jones loads supplies into her car.

Capt. Kaci Jones, assistant judge advocate, 940th Air Refueling Wing, loads washed uniforms into her car on Beale Air Force Base, California, April 7, 2020. Jones was preparing to distribute the uniforms as part of a base-wide initiative to make masks out of old uniform items to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman Jason W. Cochran)

Capt. Kaci Jones drops off supplies on someone's porch.

Capt. Kaci Jones, assistant judge advocate, 940th Air Refueling Wing, waves to a member of the Beale community on Beale Air Force Base, California, April 7, 2020. Jones was dropping off old uniforms to be made into masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The drop off was conducted in this manner to maintain social distancing. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman Jason W. Cochran)

Beale Air Force Base, Calif. --

 

From Commissary personnel to Security Forces Defenders, the Recce Community is doing their part to keep each other safe.

The Key Spouses are another group going the extra mile, they organized a program that recycles old uniforms into masks that can be used by Airmen to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Capt. Kaci Jones, assistant judge advocate, 940th Air Refueling Wing, is not only a member of the reserves but also an integral member of the Key Spouse program. She has helped organize the effort and distribute materials to the volunteers that will cut and sew the masks.

“Last week Col. Clark, the 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander, let his wife Carly know that the base needed masks,” said Jones. “So we set up a facebook page and Carly worked with the Medical Group to get an approved design.”

The approved design is a mask with two layers, said Jones. The outer layer is made out of material from Airman Battle Uniforms (ABUs) and the inner layer is made of cotton. This design is capable of protecting Airmen, being comfortable and easily distinguishing which side is the inner or outer side. 

“To get the uniforms we’ve done drop offs where people can bring their old ABUs, and the spouses club donated most of the ABU tops that we had in the Airman’s attic,” said Jones. “Then we take them home and wash them. Then through the facebook page people volunteer to either cut or sew. People will message us where they live and when we’re in their area we’ll private message them for their specific address. Then we drop off a bag of clean ABU tops on their porch, we’re trying to do this with as much social distancing as possible.”

After the team has gone through the steps of gathering, cutting, and sewing the material the masks are ready for assembly and distribution.

“This helps keep our Airmen safe and protected while they’re working,” said Jones. “Efforts like this start with one or two people and they can grow rapidly. Every little bit counts. This whole thing started with a conversation between Mrs. Clement, Mrs. Clark and myself and it quickly grew. People will come to me and say ‘I only have one ABU top to donate’ and I tell them that if everyone that only had one top to give or could cut, but not sew, decided not to help, we’d have no one. Every little bit helps the big picture come together.