WASHINGTON -- Army Community Service has always provided services to ensure the readiness for Soldiers, Family members and civilian employees. That hasn’t changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure there was no interruption of services, ACS is now helping digitally, telephonically and virtually.
Dan Furlano, the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall ACS director, said all of ACS services are available to the joint base community except the lending closet. He said one of the programs that are available at ACS is the Army’s Readiness and Resilient.
Ready and Resilient, or R2, is the Army's strategy for strengthening individual and unit Personal Readiness and fostering a culture of trust, according to the Army Resilience Directorate. R2 provides training and resources to the Army Family to enhance resilience and optimize performance. R2 reinforces the Army Values, beliefs and attitudes, and educates members of the Army team about the importance of building connections with each other, taking care of one another and being there to support fellow Soldiers.
ACS is accomplishing this goal not only through its programs, but also by using the Military & Family Life Counseling Program.
“MFLCs are providing services by Zoom or telephone, since they don’t use government equipment,” explained Furlano. “They remain a solution-focused option for people. They don’t keep notes or keep records as long as there is not a duty to warn circumstance. The MFLC is a great option.”
Furlano added that MFLCs can provide individual as well as Family counseling and classes for small groups. MFLC services aren’t available for civilian employees. The JBM-HH civilian workforce can receive assistance through the Employee Assistance Pro-gram or an insurance company if those services are needed.
Although R2 and MFLC stress the importance of building connections, Furlano pointed out the importance of continuing those connections through the current pandemic, which is a big part of emotional resilience. Working from home and not being able to socialize like before can possibly cause isolation or anxiety in some people, he said.
“It’s also a healthy sign to recognize and say, ‘hey man, I need a little help right here,’” he said. “It doesn’t mean someone is not doing well. We all need a hand from time to time in all kids of concepts. This is a way of establishing relationships that are perhaps new or reinforce existing connections so that we don’t feel isolated and cut off from everyone because we all are in the house.”
Furlano pointed out that the joint base community has done very well in exhibiting their resilience. It’s important for the community to remember it’s OK to receive a helping hand because that doesn’t mean a person isn’t doing well. Resilience is not an inoculation against a problem, it’s the ability to rebound from a problem, he said.
“I think sometimes we say, ‘If I have a problem I must not be resilient,’” Furlano said. “That’s not the case because everybody is going to have a problem in different degrees and different conditions. Every-one’s resilience equation is a little different. Everybody’s equation is unique.”
*This article originally appeared in the Pentagram on June 25, 2020.