Getting Involved. Doing Your Part!
As a military wife, girlfriend, fiancee, mom, dad, or friend…it’s important to get involved in the military community. Before my PFC and I were even together, I took interest in what he was doing and actively searched out ways to get involved. I cared about him and loved him as a friend and wanted to know more of what he was going through during this deployment. I felt it would help me better understand and be able to better support him during the year. Since I couldn’t do a whole lot for him directly, I knew contributing to the Army community would ease my mind. For me, living in the DC area, military volunteer opps are abundant. Perhaps where you are located, you aren’t so lucky. None the less there are tons of ways to get involved.
The first thing I did was go onto the Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital’s website and search for ways to volunteer. They required an hour long orientation as well as a background check before getting clearance to volunteer. I complete these and then logged onto Army One Source to track down the different areas of need. I chose to be an AFTB Instructor which stands for Army Family Team Building. These classes are vital to our families and soldiers as they prepare them for life within the Army community. This volunteer position required even further training and I completed about a 20 hour training, including a presentation before AFTB Master Trainers. This is just one of the many opps you have by volunteering with one of the branches and by volunteering on a military base. You can choose from positions that require a daily commitment, weekly commitment, or even on an as-needed basis.
Another important part of the Army community is the FRG or Family Readiness Group. Each unit has one which acts as a support system for the families, most frequently during deployments. They are sometimes in need of FRG Leaders and others within the group who can handle planning events, acting as treasurer, taking meeting notes, etc. The FRG often plans social events to keep the families busy during a deployment as well as assists the families with impending returns. Some unit FRG’s are more active and organized than others, but none the less as a military spouse, girlfriend, or family member it’s something really beneficial to check into. My soldier’s FRG has an e-mail list so even though I can’t be near them physically for support, I still continue to get updates from them on what’s happening.
One other fabulous organization that has been around since 1941 is the USO. These amazing people welcome home our troops all week long, all year long at local airports. This is the place our guys and girls go upon returning from deployment or from R&R. Can you imagine how great it would feel to be there to greet other service members upon their return? They often need people to stuff goodie bags for the troops and help with other events. Please visit their website to learn how you can get involved by going here: http://www.uso.org
Get involved! Do your part!