JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
The Virginia Air National Guard's 192nd Wing headquarters is home to a new "Mother's Room", donated by the Hampton Roads Peninsula Zeta Chapter of Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority, Inc. (KEΨ) during a ribbon cutting ceremony July 13, 2023, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Col. Christopher Batterton, 192nd Wing commander, Col. Matthew R. Hummel, 192nd Wing vice commander, Chief Master Sgt. Sean J. Fretwell, 192nd Wing command chief, and various members of the VaANG. Also in attendance was KEΨ National President Beverly Wyche-Reid, retired U.S. Army, HRPZ Chapter President Olivia Turner, retired U.S. Navy, HRPZ Chapter Vice President Katrina Fulton, retired U.S. Army, and various national and local members of the sorority.
Master Sgt. Latoya Patterson, 192nd Operations Group commander support staff, also a soror of the HRPZ Chapter, identified a need to support her fellow sisters in arms and created the mother’s room. She knew they needed a designated area to pump and/or nurse their baby during this special motherhood journey. She worked with her fellow soror Nakaei Grady, retired United States Air Force, to decorate the room with items provided by the HRPZ Chapter.
"It gives me great honor to be able to bring my two families together today,” said Patterson. “I cherish being a part of both organizations, and I am thankful for this opportunity to bring both together.”
Wyche-Reid described her time in the Army in the 1980’s as a new mom and the struggles she faced trying to breastfeed and finding a place to pump to provide for her baby. “I am so grateful that this is happening. We’re growing, we’re building, we’re doing great things. Kudos Hampton Roads Zeta Chapter.”
"Chief Fretwell and I, and the entire Virginia Air National Guard, are so thankful,” said Batterton. “When I think of what the epitome of being a Guardsman is, it’s those ties to the community. To see the community coming together here and presenting this mother’s room for all of our Airmen to be able to use is very special. We’re incredibly thankful."
Fretwell presented his command chief coin to members of the sorority and said, “We celebrate the service to our communities, we celebrate the service and commitment as a second family, but it’s also important that we recognize the milestone of becoming a mother and the challenges that come with being a mother and also serving in our military. We greatly appreciate all of your efforts to make that one step easier for our moms.”
A plaque hangs in the room that reads: Mother’s Nursing Room, Dedicated 13 July 2023. In Honor of your Service and Commitment to Motherhood. This nursing room is dedicated to your needs and the needs of your baby. May this space provide you Blessings, Health and Peace. ‘The moment a child is born, a mom is also born.’
"We are women of service being of service,” said Wyche-Reid. “I’m always saying to the ladies, be creative, be innovative, wow me. This is amazing - this is a first."
Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority, Inc. was founded in 2011 and is an organization of women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military. HRPZ Chapter has been in position since 2014. They are continually trying to bridge the gaps between service and sacrifice. KEΨ’s mission is, “We aspire to HONOR past female service members, UNITE present female service members, and MENTOR future leadership of our Armed Forces.”