By Ms. Rachel Clark (Army Contracting Command)May 19, 2014
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Simulated turkey shoots, military cargo plane tours and Easter egg-hunts are just some of the activities that happen at the 409th Contracting Support Brigade Family Readiness Group meetings.
"When my husband was deployed, I especially loved having the support and network of the FRG," said Amy Kibe, 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion FRG leader. "It can make such a difference. It really draws you out so you know you are not alone."
FRG is not just for the families of deployed service members and you don't have to have kids to be a part of the program.
"Family readiness is for more than supporting deployments. It's open to all, and we encourage participation," said Col. William Bailey, 409th CSB commander. "We have great support from our civilian workforce. Because we are stationed here in Europe, this is similar to being in a deployed environment. We really have to rely on each other here."
According the Army One Source website, an FRG is a "command-sponsored organization of family members, volunteers, and Soldiers belonging to a unit, that together provide an avenue of mutual support and assistance, and a network of communications among the family members, the chain of command, and community resources."
"I have enjoyed meeting all the people that come and go in the unit. I enjoy hearing the stories and adventures they have been on," said Kibe.
Bailey said to generate interest and maximize participation, the unit also involves the FRG in various unit outreach initiatives.
"We love to have our family members engaged, like when we participated in the community Red Ribbon Run," said Bailey.
"We find getting folks away from the conference table is our key to success," said Tom Finan, 409th CSB FRG leader. "However, if the group does meet in a conference room, there is always a little fun to be had. But more than just fun, there is a lot of value added in the program."
The groups have had multiple guest speakers for different events including a nutritionist from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, an Army Community Services representative to talk about permanent change of station moves, and representatives to talk to the group about suicide prevention.
"I have made some great friends through the FRG and I will always be thankful for that," said Kibe.