By Jeremy Henderson, Army Flier Staff WriterJanuary 26, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The death of a loved one can be a devastating burden to bear, but an upcoming Army Community Service training session seeks to arm volunteers with the knowledge necessary to help family members cope with loss.
"The Casualty Assistance Response Team provides short-term emotional and logistical support to families of fallen and wounded Soldiers," Curtis Williams, ACS mobilization, deployment and stability support operations manager, said. "The team assists prior to arrival of extended family, or when extended family is not available, and supplements assistance provided by others."
CARE Team training for volunteers takes place Feb. 1 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Soldier Service Center, Bldg. 5700, Rm. 284.
"Members of CARE teams should display maturity, life experience, discretion (confidentiality), emotional stability and should be not going through their own crisis at the time," Williams said. They should be assigned to their respective battalion or agency, which assigns CARE team members.
According to Williams, attendees will gain a clear understanding of team roles and responsibilities, the casualty notification process, a Survivor Outreach Service overview and how to deal with grief.
"[Volunteers] provide immediate support after the [casualty] notification; fill the gap between the notification team and family, or professional support; help support grieving families; ensure that the notified family is able to obtain support and help; and sends the message that 'we care.'"
Community members who lack the time to volunteer for the CARE Team can still help families coping with loss, according to Williams.
"[Community members] can support their neighbors by simply making themselves available to listen and give support where it is needed," he said. "There are also numerous ACS volunteer opportunities available and anyone who desires to fill one of the positions should see the Army Volunteer Coordinator for more details regarding the positions.
Additional CARE Team training sessions will be held July 12 and Oct. 11 for those who are interested in becoming a volunteer but are unable to attend the Feb. 1 session.
For more information, call 255-9578.