June 20, 2010

192nd Family Readiness, VFW Post 824 host informational BBQ

By Staff Sgt Meaghan E. M. Selki
192d Fighter Wing Public Affairs

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. — Family Readiness at the 192nd Fighter Wing together with Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 824, hosted an informational barbeque at the Shellbank Youth Center June 6 to educate members on the family programs and services available to Airmen and their families during deployments, after deployments, throughout their military careers, and beyond.

 

Booths were set up and Air Guard members were able to walk the floor and speak with representatives from many different programs at the informational barbeque June 6 at Langley Air Force Base. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Sais, 10th Intelligence Squadron)

In the center of the gymnasium, booths were set up and members were able to walk the floor and speak with representatives of many different programs. Langley Youth Programs, National Guard Family Assistance, National Guard Survivor Outreach Services, Strong Bonds, Joint Services Support, TRICARE, and the Joint Family Support Assistance Program are just some of the entities that were represented. Sections from the 192nd FW, such as the Medical Group and the Chaplains Office, also set up informational displays to continue educating the unit about services offered.

Senior Master Sgt. Frank Quinones, Medical Group senior health superintendant, said, "I really appreciate that these programs are available, but folks don't realize what's actually there for them."

Quinones said he's utilized many of these benefits and recommended them to Airmen in different situations. "The benefits can be used when folks are trying to find a new home or need educational assistance. Also, if a member has been activated, deployed, and returns with a need, medical resources and counseling are available."

 

Langley Youth Programs, National Guard Family Assistance, National Guard Survivor Outreach Services, Strong Bonds, Joint Services Support, TRICARE, and the Joint Family Support Assistance Program are just some of the entities that were represented at the information session. Sections from the 192nd FW, such as the Medical Group and the Chaplains Office, also set up informational displays to continue educating the unit about services offered. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Sais, 10th Intelligence Squadron)

One of the programs best utilized during deployment for the member and family is the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

"This is a program that takes Airmen and their families from pre-deployment all the way through the post-deployment phase. It includes support, benefits and resources," said Chris Valdez, Air National Guard Yellow Ribbon support specialist. "While the member is deployed, we can meet with the family, and we also hold reintegration meetings 30, 60, and 90 days after the service member returns."

The Virginia Air National Guard Family Assistance Center was represented by Marion Albrecht today. "This is an all-branches resource center for everything from mental health, financial issues, help with youth events, etc. It's a one-stop shop while members are away or deployed," said Albrecht.

With all this useful information in a central location at the youth center today, turnout was high, as expected. The line was continuously wrapped around the side of the gym as members filled their plates with hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken, salad, fruit, watermelon, and let's not forget dessert!

VFW, Post 824, again contributed to the success of the event and voluntarily manned the grill outside for the three hour event, despite the 91 degree heat. Our continued partnership with the VFW has been a rewarding one in which the volunteers regularly support unit events such as this.

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