Showcase educates, energizes Raider spouses
May 31, 2012
FORT STEWART, Ga. - In the Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith Education Center auditorium, wives from across the Raider Brigade had a chance to come together for a less academic, but more personal reason, May 16. They were partaking in the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team Family Readiness Showcase, which focused on a wide variety of topics designed to help Family members become more self-sufficient.
"After a deployment [Family members] may get burned out, so the goal for today was to reenergize our Family Members into getting involved with the Family Readiness Group and staying resilient," said Vickie Hollans, the 1HBCT Family readiness support assistant.
The classes covered women's health issues, social media awareness, better parenting methods, 'Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself,' and other topics.
"There are so many new things out there that the Army offers to assist Military Families," added Hollans. "We wanted to show them we are a team and there are a lot of facilitators that want to assist us."
Learning about these programs and opportunities came as a big relief to many of the spouses.
"During my husband's first deployment I didn't have an FRG," said Amanda Nguyen, whose husband is Capt. Kha Nguyen of A. Btry., 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 1HBCT. "I would have been so grateful to have all this information back then. The best thing I got out of today was learning what a lot of the myths were about what is really available to you as a spouse. Being able to see I can take care of myself through the Army system and not be punished for doing it was a wonderful thing."
Not only having the programs, but just the FRG itself, was a great relief to others.
"Actually having support groups that can help me is going to be great for the future," explained Elizabeth Valdesrodriguez, whose husband is Spc. Dayan Valdes of C. Co., 1/3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st HBCT. "I don't have any kids, so it gets really lonely when he is gone. Knowing now I have people to talk to is such a great feeling."
In the future, Hollans hopes to hold more programs similar to this.
"I am looking forward to many more events," she concluded. "It is such an honor to work for 1HBCT because I come in contact with so many wonderful Soldiers and Family members every day."