When married with children, any business trip taken by a spouse makes life more complicated and a vacation much-needed for the parent staying home — especially if that business trip is a tour of duty in Iraq. This past Saturday, the spouses of deployed soldiers involved in the Hearts Apart program facilitated by Hanscom Air Force Base’s Airman and Family Readiness Center received vacation-like spa treatments at 1-on-1 Self Indulgence Spa in Concord. “It’s just a way to get them out of the houses. There are other spouses who are with deployed soldiers. They know they are not alone,” The program is available to families living both on and off the Hanscom base. It also extends its reach to other branches of services.
Anyone with a deployed spouse or loved one, said Gonsalzes, needs some form of assistance at one time or another.
“Fortunately, we have a pretty good support team,” he said, which helps members through emotionally difficult times.
According to Hanscom Chief of Media Relations Rhonda Siciliano, “The families here really benefit from the services they provide.”
Among other events, said Gonsalzes, Hearts Apart brings adults and children to the library and bowling alley, and organizes holiday parties and picnics.
This was the first year the group organized a mini-spa day.The afternoon was a collaboration of the spa, the Rotary Club of Concord and Hanscom. Over the course of the afternoon, nine women were treated to massages, pedicures, skin care treatments and a sauna inside the walls of the tranquil, serene spa.
“It’s like another world [inside the spa],” said Grace. “You step in there and you are transported. … I think they had a great time.”
Not only did the pampered women leave glowing, said spa owner Cindy McCullough, but the employees also reaped the benefits of the afternoon.
McCullough listened as women told her their stories of raising children on their own while their husbands are overseas. She also heard from a woman who had been deployed and has since returned, only to have her husband deployed.
‘We always enjoy doing spa parties,” said McCullough. “But this had so much more meaning.”