TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Being a military child comes with hardship: having to move every two to four years, saying goodbye to good friends, and getting accustomed to a new city and surroundings. A familiarity shared with many other children, but one that hasn’t phased two young Air Force siblings.
Sydnie and Lance Rouleau, 17 and 15, respectively, co-founded the Rouleau Foundation in an effort to bring awareness and improve issues related to military families in 2014 while stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
The foundation has matured to focus on three strategic areas: creating education opportunities, improving morale for military families and encouraging holistic family health.
Since the foundation’s inception, Sydnie and Lance have offered support for military families at Hickam, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and now Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
“Wherever we go, the military supports us, so we want to support them too,” said Sydnie, a senior at Stratford Academy High School.
After being on the receiving end of many 325th Training Support Squadron “Black Bears” events here, they decided they wanted to give back and share their gratitude.
Partnering with the squadron’s honorary commander, Tim Brock, they hosted an end of summer party for the Black Bears.
After receiving donations and gathering volunteers, they led a barbecue luncheon for the Black Bears and their families.
“Sydnie and Lance are great kids and even better Americans. We could all stand to follow the example they have set,” said Lt. Col. Brian “Brutus” Stahl, 325th TRSS commander.
When asked why she donated her time to invest in Tyndall and the Black Bears, Sydnie smiled and said, “I love these events. They are fun, and I get to give back to people who support us and make us feel like family. It’s win-win for everyone.”
With all of the moves, being a military child has its challenges, but Lance doesn’t let that affect him.
“The best part is having family almost anywhere on the globe, and the Black Bears are definitely family to us,” he said.
Sydnie and Lance may have found the one exception to the “don’t feed the bears” rule on Tyndall, and they hope to continue to improve on their goals and motivate others to support each other.