SAN ANTONIO, TX - Leadership from the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command met with community leaders to discuss how to improve support to soldiers and families during a three-day working group session May 3-5 in San Antonio TX.

"This is tied to the White House's initiative of joining forces, a community-based effort that is inspiring this country" said Shaunya Murrill, FMWRC Chief of Outreach and Strategic Integration Division. "It's a way for us to unify as a country... to support our great soldiers and family members."

Community leaders from Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming worked with Army One Source Community Support Coordinators to develop a vision statement a plan of action to utilize in their local communities and goals which include engaging more people in their state to offer more services.

The community leaders focused on three areas of support--- behavioral health, finance and faith-based support. The Army OneSource program provides easy access to information resources and services designed to support Soldiers and Families.

The event culminated with each state reporting their plan of action to a panel representing active duty, guard and reserve soldiers, faith-based communities and behavioral health and finance professionals. The panel gave feedback and tips on how to improve the community leaders' efforts to support soldiers and their families within their state.

For example, the Michigan state working group determined the greatest needs were training resources for community-based chaplains working with military families in rural locations, and training of first responders and mental health professionals on how to effectively communicate with soldiers and family members in crisis. They plan to address the needs through raising awareness by meeting with and distributing informational materials to faith-based and public safety organizations each month. Another outreach effort will be to engage faith-based and public safety organizations to seek out the necessary resources to meet the needs of our service members, veterans and their families.

Part of the purpose of the conference was to expose each state representative to the problems, lessons learned and solutions of other states. By working with each other, and with the staff of experts from AOS, the goal is to provide better quality of life to geographically-dispersed service members and their families.

Page last updated Mon May 16th, 2011 at 17:24