By Sgt. Stephen Decatur/4th BCT/82nd ABN DIV PAOJune 9, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C - Victoria Kush is getting ready for her husband, 1st Lt. Justin Kush of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, to go on his first deployment.
Victoria works full time, has a 10-year-old son and is expecting another child, but she still finds time to help out her family readiness group with fund raising and activities.
The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division recognized more than 200 family readiness group volunteers like Victoria in a ceremony June 8 at the Silver Ramp on Pope Air Force Base.
The volunteers received certificates of appreciation for their impressive performance preparing the brigade's FRGs for the unit's upcoming deployment later this summer.
"Family efforts are critical to the brigade's success," said Col. Brian Drinkwine, commander of Fury Brigade. "We rest easy knowing we are in good hands."
While FRGs are a source of information and can help direct families to needed Army services, they can also be a support network for families and the Paratroopers they love.
Justin Kush grew up in a military family and remembered his mother participating in FRGs when he was younger, so he introduced his wife to the organization because of the positive things it can do for families.
"They can take care of emergencies, conduct team building events; it's another way for the Army to bring families together," Kush said.
One of the rewards of a robust FRG is that it's an excellent way for family members to make friends.
"You get to work with the other spouses and meet people," Victoria said. "It will make things easier when he goes."
The brigade commander's wife, Doctor Leslie Drinkwine, compared the result of the hard work of the volunteers to a metaphor involving quilts.
"Your volunteer spirit is part of the thread that keeps our Fury quilt together," Dr. Drinkwine said. "Each of you takes time from your busy live to make a contribution to the greater good of the Fury Family."
090608-A-2388D-019 Families of the 4th Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne Division gather at the Silver Ramp on Pope Air Force Base at a recognition ceremony for more than 200 volunteers in the brigade's family readiness groups. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Stephen Decatur)
090608-A-2388D-074 Col. Brian Drinkwine, commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, thanks Kristen Santos-Silva and other family readiness group volunteers from the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment June 8 at Silver Ramp on Pope Air Force Base. More than 200 volunteers were recognized during the ceremony for their help in preparing the unit's FRGs for deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Stephen Decatur)
1. For more information please contact the 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs office at 910-432-3239/907-2826.