UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - No man is an island; entire of himself, every man is a piece of the continent... This famous line from “Meditation XVII,” was written in the 17th century by the English poet, John Donne. It means human beings do not thrive when isolated from others. Although it was written many centuries ago, this fact remains true today and is one of the many reasons why Family Readiness Groups are so important to the military family.
Camp As Sayliyah and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing's Joint Services Family Readiness Group work hard to ensure the family members located in Southwest Asia do not feel isolated. The JSFRG is not only about practical support, but about emotional support as well.
To alleviate the holiday stress and strengthen the bonds between the Families in the area, they hosted a holiday potluck and ensured everyone had the opportunity to participate in the local seasonal events, to include a visit from Santa.
“Fostering a sense of belonging to the community provides a vehicle for families to develop friendships,” said Nathanial Hudson, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing community readiness consultant. “The FRG events bring synergy between military families and create a social network; not only to make friends, but to build a community family; to get first hand information from the people who understand the frustrations and emotional stresses of moving to the area.”
Through successful FRG efforts, many spouses develop a more positive attitude toward themselves, a better understanding of why deployments are necessary and the military mission to maintain readiness.
“We want to bring the families out of the villas and into the communities,” said Capt. Megan Kahn, command sponsorship program manager, 379th AEW. “We want them to experience the culture and make the most of living in a foreign country. We are here to take care of them, and by taking care of them, we are taking care of our soldiers.”
Kahn went on to explain, “The soldier develops a confidence when they know their Family member will receive reliable and friendly support while they are away. This assurance affect the Soldier's performance and enhances their training and mental readiness, which enables them to focus on their job at hand.”
There is something special about traveling around the world with your family. And there is even something more special about the people you meet and the friends you make while on your travels. But the reality is that it is stressful starting over in a new community; sometimes in a new country. Family members can feel isolated and lost when it's time for the Soldier to start work and leave them behind.
Make sure to check out the local Family Readiness Group in your area. Remember, “No man is an island; entire of himself, every man is a piece of the continent”.
Be that piece of the continent and get involved.
By Polli Ogilvie
Area Support Group Qatar Public Affairs
Provided through DVIDS
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