By Justin Creech, Belvoir EagleSeptember 12, 2011
Fort Belvoir's Army Community Service and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation provide outstanding services to servicemembers here. But, they also have relationships with organizations off post if additional services are needed.
Survivor Outreach Services has a working relationship with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors; the Gold Star Wives; Blue Star Mothers and the Association of the U.S. Army; while ACS's Family Advocacy Program has agreements with the Bethany House; Action In Community Through Service's Turning Points and Sexual Assault Victims Advocacy Service.
TAPS provides grief and trauma information for Survivors, military-survivor seminars and Good Grief Camps for children. Gold Star Wives is a membership organization of widows and widowers of fallen Soldiers. They help their members understand and get the benefits provided to them by Congress. Blue Star Mothers support mothers who have or have had children serve in the military.
"I refer our Survivors, based on their specific need at the time," said Maria Rodriguez, SOS support coordinator. "So, if I know that one of our Survivors is looking to connect to an organization like GSW, I will talk to them about it and give them the necessary resources to get started. They support our Survivors and they support the SOS mission, as well. I love them all."
FAP refers clients to and has Memorandums of Understanding with Bethany House, ACTS Turning Points and SAVAS. MOU's are a convergence of will between the parties involved.
ACTS and Bethany House provide support services and shelter, if needed, for children and adult victims of domestic violence.
SAVAS, for sexual assault victims, provides a wide range of counseling, including for non-offending parents of children who have been sexually assaulted. They provide immediate crisis intervention after someone has been sexually assaulted and also help adults molested as children.
"They provide services for our military victims who may not be able to access our services, or they provide additional services that we may not have," said Melissa Lilliewood, FAP program manager. "All agencies, we consistently refer to, and they also call us if they need our help or assistance."
"If people are retirees, they're eligible for treatment in a medical treatment facility," Lilliewood said. "But, as far as what we do with those victims, it's dictated by the fact they're not an active-duty member."
Lilliewood added that her program will also refer people to outside support agencies.
Kim Mills, DFMWR acting director, said she recommends Disabled Sports USA, Military Home Front and the website, GiftstoArmy.army.mil to anyone who is looking for additional activities, or want to contribute cash, good or services to benefit Soldiers and their Families.
"It's a simple way to get straight to Belvoir," said Mills. "In most cases, their sole purpose is to augment what we do to support Soldiers and their Families."