By Capt. Christopher Larsen ( USARC)June 13, 2013
MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- Members of the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, a U.S. Army Reserve unit headquartered here, showed their support for the families of fallen soldiers June 13 by dedicating a parking space solely for the families' use.
The Marysville Armed Forces Reserve Center at 13613 40th Ave. N.E. is one of 19 Reserve facilities nationwide with Survivor Outreach Services offices.
SOS is an Army-wide program that provides comprehensive support services to survivors of deceased soldiers. Army officials said the program standardizes casualty assistance services and policies across the Army and provides additional staffing at Casualty Assistance Centers, Army Community Service centers, and through Army family programs offices.
"We want to extend support to families both before and after a crisis by maximizing cooperation between government and non-government agencies," said Dan Forsberg, a support coordinator with the Maysville SOS office. "We want to make sure survivors receive all benefits to which they are entitled, and encourage our survivors to remain an integral part of the Army family for as long as they desire."
The goal of the parking space program is to honor and recognize the sacrifice of family members who have lost a loved one, and to make sure the families always have a space available when they come to use the center's services.
Organizers of the event said they chose the date for Thursday's ceremony due to its closeness to an important date in American history.
"Tomorrow, June 14, is the 238th birthday of the Army, and Flag Day," said Scott McKean, the 364th ESC's command executive officer.
One of the unit's leaders said the parking space is another way to honor soldiers and their families for the sacrifices they've made.
"The Army Reserve is dedicated to delivering on the promise of the Army family covenant by providing support to surviving families," said Col. John Worthington, the command's support operations officer.
The space can be used by the family of any deceased service member who comes to the center for outreach services, officials added.