Heart Link program offers hope, stability Published July 13, 2016 By Angela Woolen Robins Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Being a new military spouse isn't easy. It's even harder when the military member deploys, and the spouse is expecting the couple's first child. That's why Fay Sotelo chose to attend a Heart Link class while she was at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. "The people I met became my family away from my family," she said. She experienced her first permenant change of station last September and attended Heart Link at Robins in November. "It put my mind at ease just knowing it was available," Sotelo said. Heart Link classes are offered once-a-quarter and are designed for military spouses who have been married five years or less. But, any military spouse is welcome to attend, said Dell Steplight, personal and work life program manager at A&FRC. The benefit of attending, she said, is to meet other spouses who are going through the same things. "It gives you connections to reach out during hard times. It gave me stability and hope when I didn't know what to expect," Sotelo said of her experience with the program. Heart Link formed at Robins in 1999. The purpose of the six-hour event is to help those spouses who are not familiar with acronyms, military protocol and the military way of life to gain a better understanding of what will be required of them. Steplight encourages veteran spouses to reach out to new spouses via Heart Link. "New spouses often receive information better from their peers," she said. "It's comforting to them." The course covers services both on and off base.