By Elizabeth Newton and Joe Lipscomb, Fort Eustis Survivor Outreach ServicesMay 27, 2009
FORT EUSTIS, Va. (May 27, 2009) -- Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things anyone can go through. Survivor Outreach Services connects survivors of fallen Soldiers with people who can help them move forward and find strength.
Many times after a loved one has been lost, there are unresolved issues or questions that may surface for weeks, months or even years after the loss. We understand that new issues and questions may surface long after the casualty assistance officer has concluded his duties.
SOS demonstrates the Army's commitment to families of the fallen. The mission of SOS is to provide enhanced services to these families. SOS is a holistic and multi-agency approach to delivering services to survivors by providing services at the garrisons and communities closest to where families live. SOS provides extended financial counseling assistance and long-term support to surviving family members, ensuring that surviving families' needs are addressed thoroughly and to the full extent of our covenant with the Army family.
Survivor Outreach Services
What is it'
Survivor Outreach Services is an Army-wide program designed to provide dedicated and comprehensive support to survivors of deceased Soldiers.
The program is a joint effort with collaboration from the Installation Management Command; the Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command; the Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operation Center; the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.
Every post that has a Casualty Assistance Center will also have an SOS program under Army Community Service. As of April, this includes Fort Eustis. In addition, these services will be available to families from Forts Monroe and Story.
SOS is designed to:
Aca,!Ac Expand and improve services to survivors
Aca,!Ac Define roles and responsibilities for all agencies and all components
Aca,!Ac Improve responsiveness and streamline the assistance process for families
Aca,!Ac Ensure survivors receive all benefits to which they are entitled
Aca,!Ac Encourage our survivors to remain an integral part of the Army family for as long as they desire.
Aca,!Ac Provide financial counselors and support coordinators locally available to survivors.
The SOS program is available through the Fort Eustis ACS Center. The program consists of a financial counselor and a support coordinator. The financial counselor is Joe Lipscomb. The support coordinator is Elizabeth Newton.
The SOS financial counselor helps surviving family members reach their financial goals by offering assistance with basic and complex financial issues. The counselor is knowledgeable in the areas of government survivor benefits, budgeting, college savings plans, health care (TRICARE and MEDICARE), long-term care insurance, asset allocation, retirement planning and life insurance. Additionally, the financial counselor assists survivors with safeguarding assets, investment planning and estate planning.
The SOS support coordinator functions as the long-term support personnel for survivors. They will serve as an advocate for survivors and assist each family with implementing a plan of action based on their specific needs.
The coordinator provides support throughout the grief process, coordinates support groups, provides information and referral services, coordinates respite child care as needed, and provides other services as required.
SOS services are available to all survivors - not just those affected by the current conflict. For information, contact us at the Fort Eustis ACS Center, Bldg. 601, 878-3638.