Family Readiness Groups, Care Teams comfort grieving Families
January 11, 2010
FORT CARSON, Colo. - Few can imagine answering the door one day to see a chaplain and casualty notification officer in dress uniform standing on their porch. While there is nothing anyone can do to bring a fallen Soldier back, some Army spouses are making it their mission to ease the pain of the Families, who have lost a loved one.
The U.S. Army's Family Readiness Group Care Teams are trained to console and assist the husbands, wives and children of the deceased through their time of grief and confusion.
"A care team's job is to provide short term emotional and logistical support to a Family that has suffered a casualty until their Family and personal support system arrives," said Family Advocacy Program Coordinator Jill Nugin, Care Team trainer.
Care teams respond to the death of a Soldier by spending time with the Families of the deceased during their grieving process.
Fort Carson Army Community Services offers a three-hour training course certifying volunteers seeking to become a member of a care team.
The class outlines the responsibilities and challenges volunteers face, such as working with distraught spouses, providing meals for Families, and the five stages of grief; shock, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Upon completing the training, the newly certified care team members receive a care team handbook, and meet with their unit FRG.
Jackie Sadosky, FRG Leader, 4th Battalion, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, said she originally participated in the training to share what she learned about the class with other Family members from her battalion.
By end of the class, Sadosky said she had decided to become a care team volunteer.
"It seems like the best way I can support my husband," said Sadosky, wife of Staff Sgt. Frederick Sadosky, an M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle systems supervisor assigned to Company D, 4th Bn., 10th Cav. Reg., 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
"Our unit only has five care team members right now, and we need more like 20 before our Soldiers deploy," she added.
Nugin said she encourages anyone interested in learning more about becoming a care team volunteer to contact their unit FRG leader and request to enroll in the training.
Serving in a care team is a huge responsibility and care team members must be up to the challenge, said Nugin.
Challenging though it may be, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson Families continue to step up to look after their friends, neighbors and battle buddies.