Carlie Doepker makes a difference through the Enlisted Spouses Club

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Arriving to a new base can be nerve racking - not knowing anyone and feeling like an outsider every time you go out is not a good way to start a new life in a new base. With that said, the Inland Northwest Enlisted Spouses Club is here to help.

Carlie Doepker, the ESC president, and her husband Airman 1st Class Jesse Doepker, 92nd Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, arrived on Fairchild last August from Oklahoma.

"When we got here, I hardly knew anyone," Doepker said. "Then someone told me about the ESC and that I should join to meet new friends."

A few days after settling in, Carlie decided to join the ESC. This has helped her adjust faster than she expected.

"I was picked as the president and didn't think twice to accept the role," she said. "I wanted to see the group succeed and I wanted to help people adjust, make new friends and get to know more about Fairchild."

As the president, it's Carlie's responsibility to make sure the organization stays successful by helping board members make huge decisions for the group.

"I don't really run the group because we have a whole board that has almost a bigger part in it than I do," she said. "I then come in to play when the board has a decision to make and it comes up as a tie ... I'm the tie breaker."

Carlie thanks the ESC for helping her in a number of ways since day one, but none more than supporting her while her husband was deployed.

"I really needed support and comfort when my husband got deployed, and they were there for me to lean on through that rough and challenging time," she said.

Military life can be difficult at times - a lot of changes and challenges occur. Carlie's husband Jesse is thankful to have ESC as a support group for him and his wife.

"I think it's a great way for spouses to meet and really get that feeling of a community," he said. "It gave my wife something to do to keep her occupied when I was deployed."

The ESC organizes fundraising events and activities to help out the community such as treats for troops, handcuff bowling and the annual operation cookie drop.

"We've also helped the Girl and Boy Scouts of America and single Airmen who wanted to attend the Air Force Ball with donations," Carlie Doepker said.

It's highly encouraged for male and female spouses to join. Don't be afraid to explore new things that the base offers, said Doepker.

"We're here to give spouses the ability to have a group to relax and have fun with," said Doepker. "It's a good support group that understands what spouses are going through."

Spouses, enlisted personnel and retirees are welcome to join the organization as its membership grows as time passes according to Doepker.

"We want to get more members and give them time to hang out and relax while at the same time help the Fairchild Spokane community," she said.

The Enlisted Spouses Club holds a social every second Thursday of the month from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Funspot and there will be an election for new board members this year on May 9.

"If anyone wants to join, they can come to our social," said Carlie. "There is a form they will fill out and it covers their membership for a whole year."