Air Force

June 27, 2014

Not alone: Stressed families have options, support

Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

NELLIS AIR BASE, Nev. — Being a part of a military family and living the military life can bring added stress to everyday life stressors. The added stress can range from deployments, to financial issues, to everyday family matters. Luckily, there are resources available on Nellis to help families, and individual family members, cope with the added stress that can come from being a military family.

Many of these resources can be found at the 99th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center. Some of the services the AFRC offers can help with financial issues, and how to cope with deployments.

Some of the resources offered are for spouses of deployed or remote military members, they are practical and meant to make everyday life easier and range from free child care to free car maintenance.

“There is one [service] called ‘Give parents a break.’ If they have kids aged 12 or under and the spouse is deployed for 30 days or more, we do offer through the Air Force Aid Society, a few hours a week of free daycare at one of the child development centers or youth center,” said Hiroko Bush, 99th FSS community readiness consultant.

The spouse can then use those free hours of child care to take care of themselves whether it be to go to appointments, or get various errands done without having to take along young children.

Another resource available to spouses of deployed military members is free on-base car maintenance.

“The AFAS offers car care on the primary vehicle if the deployed member is deployed more than 30 days. We can give them a voucher for oil change at the Firestone,” Bush said.

Financial matters are another stressor that the AFRC can help military families plan for.

“Now that we have the force shaping going on, that’s another [added stressor]. The number one thing with that is the money. They may be asking ‘where can I get a job?’” Bush said.

The AFRC offers various services in financial planning and management including classes on how the banking system works, how to set a budget, credit counseling and investing.

For those families who need to focus more on relationship dynamics, communication, and the family unit, the Family Advocacy has numerous programs and classes available to help strengthen their relationships.

“There is the New Parent Support Program which is an in-home service for parents of children aged three years and younger,” said Dr. Bob Thorud, 99th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy officer.

Several other classes for parenting include Love and Logic Parenting, a class where participants learn skills to make parenting fun and rewarding and also make healthy and respectful relationships with their children. Another is Dad’s Class. This class is for expectant fathers and fathers with babies up to six weeks old. Here the participants will learn how to be an involved father and how to manage stress during and after pregnancy, and how to manage deployments.

Family Advocacy does offer classes other than parenting.

“We have an anger management group, alcohol abuse prevention programs and how to drink responsibly, as well as services for teens and how to cope with bullying,” Thorud said.

There is a women’s group, available only by referral and only open to women, where certain issues will be addressed such as effective communication, domestic violence and boundaries.

There is also a men’s group which is also only available through referral and to men. This group addresses physical and verbal aggression, power and control, boundaries, as well as effective communication. For referral to either group call (702) 653-3880.

The chapel team is another resource available to Airmen and their families.

“Our job is to meet the commander’s intent which is to take care of family and any large issues. The number one things we council for is relationships. No one is an island,” said Chaplain (Maj). Rolf Holmquist, 99th Air Base Wing chaplain.

Holmquist also stressed just as we have goals in our career and education level, whether it be attaining promotion or a college degree, we must have goals in our relationships. Books, counseling, and retreats all meant to strengthen relationships are all valuable resources to help set and reach relationship goals.

No matter what is causing strain in the lives of Airmen and their families, it’s vital for them to know that there are resources available, even if they’re not interested in utilizing them.

“I want everyone to know what’s available, now they may not want to use our resources, and that’s their choice, but what would be upsetting for me and the chapel team is that we had a resource that would meet their need and they didn’t know about it,” Holmquist said.

Many military families face unwanted stress every day. Nellis has the resources available to help anyone who asks. Whether it be family counseling or help with everyday practical issues.




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