A portion of the Headquarters of the 108th Sustainment Brigade has been mobilized and will very shortly be deployed to Iraq. That is really why I volunteered to help out. I felt a little guilty that it would have been me to go if I had stayed in a few more months. Also I know that my family got no support while I was deployed in Afghanistan. I wanted to correct that.
But, what is an FRG (Family Readiness Group) and what do they do?
Well, in theory, every unit should always have an FRG. it should be the official support for families of service members, both in the Regular Army and in the Reserves (the Army Reserves and the National Guard are both, and collectively, refered to as the Reserves). In practice it is more common to see an FRG started up for a unit deploying and not continuing much after they get back.
In units based in rural communities I have seen a very close knit family organization, but that was because most of the members of the unit were literally family.
In units without this natural support it can be very important for the FRG to function well.
FRGs provide a clearing house for information for service families. They also provide a source of mental and spiritual support. We have monthly informational and social meetings planned for the year that the unit will be deployed. We are also building a "Phone Tree" so that each family will get a call at least once a month from someone who has information and is ready to provide support (or at least get a request for support started in the right direction).
Deployments can be as hard, or harder on families as on the service members themselves. Support an FRG if you can. For more information about the HHC, 108 SB FRG, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Santa Claus this year is letting his reindeer have a rest, arriving at his appointed rounds in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Here, he stops at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane, Wash. Operation Spokane Heroes hosted the holiday party for Families of deployed servicemembers, who met Santa, rode a carousel and had pizza. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Jocelyn A. Ford)