October 26, 2004
Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Program Supports all Services
By Capt. Colin S. Noyes
BLACKSTONE, Va. - The Global War on Terrorism is placing a strain on people across communities throughout the commonwealth. That is especially true of the families of our service members. Just because a service member's family member or friend is not deployed to some strange place on the other side of the world does not mean they don't experience uncertainty, fear, or emotional strain. The people who remain at home have "duties and responsibilities" that must be met just as those Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines that are sent to answer freedom's call.
Homes must be maintained, checkbooks must be balanced, and children must be raised. These responsibilities and requirements don't stop because someone is ordered to active federal service or deployed from where they are normally stationed to a foreign land. Maybe those left at home are not accustomed to dealing with home repairs, legal issues, filing taxes, or the pressures of being "home alone." The Virginia National Guard has a program in place to serve as an outreach to those who must carry on the day to day activities while their loved ones are deployed. That outreach program is supported by Family Assistance Centers located throughout Virginia. The program is headquartered at the Joint Force Headquarters - Virginia located at Ft. Pickett, Va.
The primary mission of the Family Assistance Center program is to reach out to and support families of mobilizing and deploying Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines. The Family Assistance Center provides a wide range of services, support, and referral designed to address the wide range of day-to-day issues encountered by family members affected by mobilization. The intent of the Family Assistance Center is to provide support and referral services to these families as close to their hometown or residence as possible. In addition to providing responsive and personal support to family members this program also reduces the impact of responding to family requirements on mobilization installations which must focus resources on supporting the mobilization effort and installation security. The Family Assistance Center is designed to, as much as possible, relieve the service member of concern about issues impacting on those at home so he or she can focus on accomplishing the mission at hand and returning home safely.
The Family Assistance Center outreach in Virginia has had a significant impact on families affected by mobilizations and deployments. So far this year the Virginia National Guard's 26 Family Assistance Centers located in communities throughout the commonwealth have responded to over 5,751 family members (33 Army, 5,614 Army National Guard, 25 Army Reserve, 6 Air Force, 1 Air Guard, 44 Navy, 13 Navy Reserve, 13 Marine Corps, 1 Marine Corps Reserve, and 7 Coast Guard). These centers have received over 10,995 phone calls and 11,108 e-mails.
The spouse or family member of a deployed service member has access to many resources to answer questions on day-to-day problems and issues. Service members and their families can reach the Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Center in their area by contacting:
In addition to the Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Centers there are other groups and agencies ready to help our service members and their families. Some of these agencies include:
Army One Source is a fairly new asset to families and Soldiers alike. Army One Source is designed to help families deal with life's issues. Army One Source is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Army One Source can be accessed by logging on at www.armyonesource.com. Logon "Army" and password is "OneSource." Army One Source can also be accessed at 1-800-464-8107, outside the US 484-530-5889, TTY/TDD 800-346-9188, Espanola 1-800-375-5971.
For more information contact your local Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Center or Capt. Colin Noyes at 800-542-4028.