Family Readiness Support Assistant making a difference at the 841st Engineer Battalion
March 28, 2012
In less than a year, Janette Chandler has impacted the 841st Engineer Battalion with a philosophy rooted in taking care of Soldiers and their families.
The Brooklyn, N.Y. native joined the Miami based unit as the Family Readiness Support Assistant in June 2011. Her primary function is to advise the 412th Theater Engineer Command's Family Readiness Group leader, and the battalion commander. She has also taken on the role of battalion Yellow Ribbon event coordinator, as an additional duty. The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program connects Reserve Soldiers and their families with needed resources throughout the deployment cycle.
Less than two weeks into her tenure, Chandler successfully facilitated a Yellow Ribbon event for the approximately 175 Soldiers and families of the 689th Engineer Company, while the Soldiers prepared for their deployment to Afghanistan.
"I'm impressed with her," said Belinda Parker, the 412th TEC's deputy family readiness leader. "She's dependable; a woman of integrity that you can count on."
After Chandler learned that an 841st Soldier was homeless, she contacted Operation Sacred Trust, a non-profit organization committed to combating homelessness among veterans, and within four days succeeded in getting the Soldier a home.
"She has permanent housing for the rest of her life, a fully furnished apartment and she only has to pay the electricity on a monthly basis," said Chandler.
The FRSA position at the 841st was vacant for a number of years prior to Chandler's arrival.
"I started it from the ground up," said Chandler. "We now have 22 volunteers…and we provide training via conference call to them on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
Chandler served 20 years in the Navy, and retired as a command chief petty officer in March 2009.
She's a Red Cross volunteer, and she belongs to more than three non-profit organizations in the Miami area.
Chandler said, all of her volunteering efforts are intended to positively affect the Army Reserve.