FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood is more than just the men and women in uniform serving, it’s a community of families.
Keri Betley is a military spouse and music teacher at Ira Cross Jr. Elementary School in Killeen.
”It is the proudest and hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Betley. “It’s really cool to watch my husband, someone that I love, do something really great with his life but, it’s also really hard because we move every few years and he’s gone part of the time.”
Originally from southeast Michigan, she grew up with a love of music and like her husband, Capt. Martin Betley, she has chosen to dedicate her life to others and does so through teaching.
”I want specifically to be a music teacher,” said Betley. “I don’t really ever want to teach anything else. The feeling that you get when you make music with other people is unmatched by any other thing in the entire world.”
It’s a feeling that she shares with the children of the Fort Hood community.
”We get to sing, we get to dance, we get to play instruments, we play games and every day it’s fun,” she said. “You see their faces and they’re always so excited to come to music class. That is one of those places that kids love to come to.”
She chooses to work in Killeen because of the support and understanding she feels from the community as a military spouse.
”You know, there’s a lot of grace and support being like, 'I've been there, I've done that, I understand what you’re going through,'” said Betley. “I may not be going through it right now, but I was there once. So, I see you and I support you and it’s good to have that anywhere you go in this town.”
Being a mother and military spouse in Killeen also helps her connect with the children she teaches.
”I think it’s a good place to be real with your students,” said Betley. “To be like, 'this is what’s happening in my life today. My husband just deployed for nine months and I'm not going to see him. So, I'm a little sad this morning' and you can share that with them. Kids all over the place say 'yeah, my dad is deployed right now too or, my dad’s done three deployments.' You have those connection points with your kids.”
Understand the sacrifice service members make, she has a message for her soldier Martin Betley.
”I love you, babe, you’re the best. Thank you for this amazing life. I could never have dreamed of it and it has been totally worth it,” said Keri Betley.
Keri Betley is one of many military spouses who do what they can to give back to the community and does so through her love of music and teaching.