By Capt. Kurt Van SlootenAugust 16, 2010
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers and families of the 188th Infantry Brigade participated in a Family Health Awareness Day at Fort Stewart Thursday as part of a directive by Maj. Gen. J. Michael Bednarek, commanding general of First Army Division East. First Army Division East is the brigade's headquarter division located at Fort Meade, Md.
As part of the Army's goal for creating a resilient force and in support of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, First Army Division East implemented a "Division East Wellness," or D.E.W., campaign this year, and brigades are provided a monthly theme to focus on staying healthy and mission ready.
Soldiers, spouses and children completed a walk for wellness, followed by informal training at informational booths.
The training for the Family Health Awareness event was provided by various agencies on post and covered topics such as: child and adult nutrition, drug use prevention and treatment, smoking cessation, and family-oriented training, including child internet usage, and stress and anger management.
"As part of the 'Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition' program, we are trying to get parents to cook more meals for their children and do more activities with them," said Margaret W. Tilson, from the Winn Army Community Hospital Department of Preventative Medicine. She also advocated cutting down the amounts of fast food eaten and time spent playing video games.
"Nothing beats healthy eating," said Raleighetta Varnedoe, registered dietitian/licensed dietitian from the nutritional care division of Winn Army Community Hospital. "People nowadays are eating on the run, eating fast, and not taking the time to make healthy selections. This impacts their overall health and performance."
Varnedoe went on to say that clients she has worked with have made healthy choices and improved their performance, physical training test scores, and have felt better overall.
"Adjusting to military life, with all the moving and changes can be stressful in and of itself," said Mimi Johnson, a family advocacy program specialist who provided brochures with tips for addressing some of the trending problems faced by families.
"Being healthy is a passion of mine, and it starts at home," said Col. Robert A. Warburg, 188th Infantry Brigade commander, "Any time I can help to educate my Soldiers and their families on have a healthier lifestyle, I try to take it."
The 188th Infantry Brigade, along with the other training support brigades in First Army Division East, provides and facilitates theater-focused training for deploying National Guard and Reserve formations. Based out of Fort Stewart, the 188th has been training deploying National Guard and Reserve units for Iraq deployments continuously since 2003.