Meet Rhonda McMullins, A Military Spouse That Keeps on Giving!

By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum
It has been said that one of the hardest jobs in the military is that of the military spouse! These are the individuals that are often left behind to keep the home fires burning while their spouses are serving their country, either on a daily basis or in times of war and deployment. In many cases the spouse is the only thing that keeps them going even in the most unbearable conditions. Most spouses do this while also coping with the pressures and stressors of their own job and while often raising a family. Today I would like to say “Thank You” to our many outstanding military spouses and introduce you to one right here at home. It is with pleasure that we welcome Rhonda McMullins to our Veterans Museum family. Rhonda was born in Athens and was raised in Capshaw, AL.

After joining the Air Force (AF) in 1974, her husband Danny spent 20 years serving in Inventory Management and the Computer Programming field. Sometimes Rhonda and her children were lucky enough to accompany him on various training and assignments, but most of the time they stayed at home and anxiously awaited his return. They had a wide variety of assignments including Columbus AFB, MS; Mildenhall AFB, RAF UK; Charleston AFB, S.C.; and Elmendorf AFB, AK.

While keeping the home fires burning, Rhonda also worked for the Air Force. She started out in the staffing department, and during the course of 14 years she was promoted through the training and job classification sections of Human Resources. She worked with civilian and military supervisors to make sure that training and job requirements were met for mission accomplishment at Elmendorf AFB. One year she was responsible for job audits and classification for Eielson AFB in Fairbanks. During this time Rhonda travelled monthly via military plane to achieve on-site job audits and establish a good understanding of their mission and their issues of isolation. One of her most memorable moments of that assignment was during a winter visit when she stepped out of the plane and was met with -48? Fahrenheit! “I thought my lungs were going to freeze during the short walk to the terminal! I was used to extreme weather in Anchorage but nothing could have prepared me for that. Then to finish me off, when I arrived at my billeting that evening the heat was on the blink; it was 50? in my room. When I called down to complain they asked me if I needed an extra blanket! Oh well, you know the saying that whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!”
Rhonda and her husband Danny have always been very patriotic. She says she had a wonderful example of volunteering and serving my fellow man from her mother. “It was woven into my life at an early age; so it was a natural progression to start our married life together serving our country.”

After the couple retired from the Air Force in 1994, they were called into a totally different type of service…the ministry. “We continued in the service of ministry for 20 years here in the North Alabama area. We also had the opportunity to go to foreign countries as temporary missionaries. If you have not had this blessing/self-check experience, I would highly recommend it. This is indeed the most wonderfully blessed nation in the world, and we have God and our military members to thank for this liberated, blessed and rich life that we have.”

Rhonda joined the volunteer staff at the museum in the spring of 2016. One of the reasons Rhonda chose to volunteer at the Veterans Museum was because of her cousin Command Sgt Major (CSM) Billy Duncan and his devotion to the military. “He was instrumental in the operations of the museum, and I had always looked up to him and admired his commitment to serving our country. I wanted to carry on our family legacy in whatever small way that I could.”

Rhonda and her husband Danny have just celebrated 45 years of marriage. They have two beautiful children, Chris and Jaime, and they have been blessed with 12 grandchildren! “Did I mention that they are all very smart, loving and beautiful! I have to say it’s a wonderful and full life!”
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum