Base's Family Readiness Group here to help
By SSgt Sherree Grebenstein, 167th Airlift Wing
/ Published April 09, 2009
Martinsburg -- You might think of them as the other unsung heroes.
Members of the 167th Airlift Wing's Family Readiness Group are always available to answer questions, help resolve problems and assist Guardsman and their family members with issues they face.
And it doesn't matter if an Airman is deployed; the organization is available to all unit members and their family regardless of where they are in the world. On Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at the base dining facility, the Wing's Family Readiness Group will hold its monthly meeting with a special mission. A new vice president is being sought for the three year term. Cindy Magners previously held the post. Barbara Wright is the group's president with Carrean Klungle and Christy Miller as treasurer and secretary respectively.
Currently there are about 100 members of the volunteer group, but organizers hope that number will increase at least ten-fold.
"The more people we have, the better the ideas," said Maj. Melissa Shade, who is the military liaison for the Wing's Family Readiness Group.
Maj. Shade pointed out the tight-knit organization provides much more than welcoming Airmen home after their deployments.
"They are the heart of our organization," she said. "They provide support to the unit members and their families."
And with the 1,200-member Wing often a part of fluid deployments around the world, the Family Readiness Group's job is never done.
"They have some great plans for this year," Maj. Shade said.
Susan Sanders, the 167th Airlift Wing's Family Program coordinator, said the group meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the dining facility. She encourages all Airmen and their family members to attend.
"There are no dues," Sanders said. "We just request people's time."
Sanders said the mission of the group is to educate, assist resolving problems and make family dependants of Airmen in the Wing aware of their benefits. For example, the National Guard Bureau's Yellow Ribbon Program helps Airmen and their spouses reintegrate after deployments. From assisting with child care for Airmen attending monthly drill to hosting monthly events for family members such as an Easter egg hunt, the organization lives up to its motto of "Mission First FAMILY Always."
Sanders said the Jefferson County Chapter of the American Red Cross will host a free upcoming CPR class. Anyone interested in participating in the seven-hour class should call Sanders to register.
With having a role in everything from Kids Kamp to the base's annual open house, the 167th Airlift Wing's Family Readiness Group is always in need of an extra pair of hands.
For more information on the 167th Airlift Wing's Family Readiness Group and the various programs it offers please contact Maj. Shade at 304-616-5240 or Sanders at 304-616- 5590. The Family Readiness Group office is located on the first floor of Building 110 in Room 107B and open during normal business hours.