Planning Session
Community members of the Family Readiness Group meet to discuss workshop offerings.

When a family member deploys, the people left behind can have a tough time emotionally, mentally, financially and physically. In order to better meet their needs, Army Community Service is partnering with community organizations and national agencies to hold Family Readiness Group workshops, the first of which is May 20 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Bicentennial Chapel.

"Our community is coming together to provide what our people need," Kathleen Riester, Financial Readiness/Mobilization and Deployment program manager, said. "It's a comprehensive overview."

On many installations, Soldiers deploy in large groups. Their units or battalions have support systems in place for their family members. Due to its unique makeup and population, those stationed at Redstone have a different experience.

"Our people tend to go in ones and twos," Riester said. "They can feel isolated because there isn't that big group around them."

Reservists and National Guard members also deploy from the area. Because they are not traditional active-duty deployments, their needs, and those of their families, are different. Redstone's community FRG wants those people to feel connected to the military they are serving as well.

Many deployments from Redstone are not Soldiers at all. Civilians from organizations on the installation deploy often in support of their mission. Because they are not servicemembers, many don't know what support is available for their loved ones or where to get it.

"It's so important to get that support," Riester said. "A small issue at home can be huge for a family during a deployment."

The FRG workshop hopes to address many of the issues and concerns of anyone deploying. Topics to be discussed include financial readiness and savings, community and national resources/services, legal, security, and wellness and reintegration. Sections are also planned focusing on civilian deployments and the Red Cross.

For more information or to RSVP for the workshop, call Riester at 876-5397 or e-mail

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16