Montgomery Village: Junior Airmen’s home away from home

First sergeants and base leadership serve Airmen living at the Unaccompanied Enlisted Quarters a Thanksgiving meal at Dormsgiving Nov. 16, 2017, at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. After everyone had eaten, leadership then sat beside and mingled with the Airmen, talking about their goals and offering any advice to their less experienced wingmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

First sergeants and base leadership serve Airmen living at the Unaccompanied Enlisted Quarters a Thanksgiving meal at Dormsgiving Nov. 16, 2017, at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. After everyone had eaten, leadership then sat beside and mingled with the Airmen, talking about their goals and offering any advice to their less experienced wingmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

Chief Master Sgt. Johnathan Hover, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, spreads sand across the shuffleboard table March 2, 2018. Dorm dinners allow senior leaders to show the junior enlisted members they can provide a positive service to others no matter the rank on their uniforms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

Chief Master Sgt. Johnathan Hover, 14th Flying Training Wing command chief, spreads sand across the shuffleboard table March 2, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Dorm dinners allow senior leaders to show the junior enlisted members they can provide a positive service to others no matter the rank on their uniforms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

Col. Douglas Gosney, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, speaks to his Airmen during a dorm dinner March 2, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Dorm dinners are held for senior leaders to show appreciation to the Airmen by making them a home cooked meal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

Col. Douglas Gosney, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, speaks to his Airmen during a dorm dinner March 2, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Dorm dinners are held for senior leaders to show appreciation to the Airmen by making them a home cooked meal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Every Airman has been the ‘newbie’ at their first duty station and sometimes it can be difficult to meet new people, but Columbus Air Force Base’s Montgomery Village, commonly known as “the Village,” has made meeting and socializing with friends easier.

Located between the two enlisted dormitory buildings, the Village serves as a recreation, work and event center for junior enlisted Airmen.

“I see Montgomery Village as that friend’s house that everyone goes to hang out,” said Master Sgt. Kristina O’Meara, Airman dormitory leader. “A place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable. It’s not supposed to feel rigid or stiff … it’s supposed to feel like home.”

O’Meara said that the Airmen respect the facilities and materials they have been given and she feels they are very grateful for what they have.

The Village has plenty of recreational fun to offer. Some examples are free Wi-Fi, TV, Netflix, new generation gaming systems, pool tables, shuffleboard, retro-style arcade, movie theatre and an outdoor fire pit. It is also used for dorm dinners, a quarterly dinner cooked and hosted by first sergeants, leadership and other members of Team BLAZE for Airmen to enjoy a home-cooked meal.

“I feel all bases should have something similar to the Village,” said Airman 1st Class Rodney Williams, Airman Dormitory Council president. “Being a brand new Airman, you don’t know anyone or anything and the Village acts as a network connecting Airmen to Airmen.”

The Village is named after former Mississippi Congressman G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery, who helped create the Montgomery GI Bill in 1984. Montgomery was a big supporter of the troops and wanted to make sure they were able to make a living when they separated from service. He played a big role in the building of the Village and the newer dormitories.

The Village will be getting more amenities for Airmen in the near future, such as healthy food and soda vending machines and a kitchen for potential cooking lessons.

The Montgomery Village is designed to be a home away from home to let Airmen rest and relax so their morale will be high and they enjoy life in the Air Force.