Families, units and needs …

Patricia Shannon
29th Support Group family readiness assistant

That is “family readiness”? I suppose if you were to ask a room full of
people you would get several different answers.  Of course, the
military has its definition of what “family readiness” is all about,
but let’s explore another aspect of what it could mean.  

For example, when I think about mission readiness I think of Soldiers
training hard and staying alert to maintain a state of preparedness.
You don’t wait for a combat situation to arise before training. 
You must be ready at all times so you’re not blindsided by an enemy.
Now take that same formula and apply that to family readiness.

Family readiness benefits the mission and, more importantly, our
families and homes where we deal with the personal battlefield daily.
So how do we do this?

An option would be to educate individuals by recognizing potential
danger spots within families and offering tools that sharpen their
skills and further develop a true state of readiness.

Sound easier said than done? Perhaps, but I think it could be of great
benefit if we try every avenue made available to us. It certainly
couldn’t hurt.

For this reason the 29th Support Group assists the Southern European
Task Force, part of a combined forces  family readiness group
seminars at the Landstuhl Learning Center.

The FRG meetings and events provide a venue for families to socialize
and network, gaining strength, encouragement and help from one another.
The added factor of families who come from the same unit is they build
stronger bonds as they share similar issues and concerns.  

In the months we’ve experienced deployment, the 29th Support Group’s
Family Readiness Support Group has endeavored to create activities and
events that would be entertaining, informative and instructional. No
doubt there’s no end to the creativity of suggested events that one
could do.

The most important factor is that our families are well taken care of
and that includes seeing to the unforeseen needs that may arise. It’s
not always an easy task, especially when you have families who don’t
want to inconvenience the command. But that’s exactly why the family
readiness support groups have been developed. In addition, numerous
agencies in the community are only a phone call away.

Unfortunately, some people have a misconception of who family readiness
support is for – many believe it’s only geared for deployed Soldiers
and their families. However, that’s not entirely true.  Although
families undergoing deployments are a primary concern for the command,
family readiness also includes single Soldiers, single parents,
civilians and fiancées of Soldiers. I’d say that covers about everyone.

For more information on upcoming seminars, call 0631-340-62246.