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By Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Longfellow, Peterson-Schriever Garrison
/ Published December 30, 2020
The Povlich family poses in front of a lite-up Christmas tree in Colorado Springs, Dec. 16. Sara Povlich tested positive for COVID-19 and their family was quarantined during the holiday season. Military spouses pulled together to donate several decorations, cookies and crafts for the family. (courtesy photo)
Christmas decorations were donated to the Povlich family while they were quarantined at Peterson Air Force Base, Dec. 23. The Povlich’s moved from Scott AFB, Illinois to the Colorado Springs area in mid-December. (courtesy photo)
Most people will not dispute times may be difficult for some in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic this year. For the Povlich family, this holiday season was a bit different.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Povlich, assigned to the Mission Defense Team at Schriever AFB, and his wife, Sara and their two children drove from their previous assignment, Scott AFB, Illinois, to their new location in Colorado Springs.
With their spirits high and focused on the holiday season ahead, the Povlich family made it to Colorado with little trouble.
“We were staying in base lodging,” Sara said. “It had everything we needed to ride out the next couple of weeks until our house on base was ready to move into.”
Sara planned on making their temporary lodging facility as festive as possible with a small Christmas tree, lights and decorations as Christopher checked in to his first duty day.
“The next day I felt like an elephant was sitting on my head,” Sara explained. “The next few days were just more of the same. I had migraines and I was dehydrated, dizzy and exhausted. I knew the altitude was going to be an adjustment, but I wasn’t expecting this.”
Two days before Christmas, Sara still hadn’t made it out to buy decorations and the Povlich family received unexpected news.
One of their close friends from Scott AFB informed them that they had tested positive for COVID-19. Sara now understood why she felt so bad the past few days.
After spending a day in the hospital hooked up to IVs and finding out Sara had tested positive for COVID, the Povlich’s drove back to Peterson AFB to quarantine.
“I was worried, but I was mostly sad,” Sara said. “We were at a new base and hadn’t built our support system yet.”
The next day Sara decided to reach out to the base community through social media. She asked if anyone had any leftover decorations or even a small tree they could buy off of them since they never made it to the store.
“Within minutes I was getting responses from spouses offering to bring us things,” Sara said. “All night we had little knocks at our door and presents of cookies, lights, kids’ crafts, a tree and wine, everything we could’ve possibly needed or wanted.”
Kassie Turner, wife of Staff Sgt. Jeffery Turner of the 21st Communications Squadron, explained how she was in Sara’s shoes before and knows what she is going through.
“I was a single, active-duty Airman stationed in Germany,” Kassie explained. “My neighbor knew I was new to the base and had brought over toys for my children. It was nice to feel welcomed by members of the community.”
From then on, Kassie has always given back when her and her family could.
“Although I know TLF is not home, they needed that comfort to know we are here for them,” Kassie said.
Emma, the Povlich’s daughter, holding her favorite stuffed bear, said it best when she looked up at her mom and dad, “Beary says it’s a Christmas miracle.”
Sara explained having been a military child and now a military spouse, she has experienced the beauty of the bonds the community builds with complete strangers—a lot of whom have completely different views and life experiences.
“Despite those differences, we share these bonds because of what we all go through,” Sara said. “Military families get it. And because we get it, I think we find that we are pretty good at taking care of each other when we see the need arise.”
The Povlich’s want to thank those individuals who helped make their Christmas just a little bit brighter.
“I’m so grateful for the community here in Colorado Springs,” Sara said. “We are off to a great new start.”