News: Third Army/ARCENT Families educated during conference
Story by Staff Sgt. Mylinda Durousseau
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. - “Families make sacrifices and contributions in immeasurable ways,” said Lt. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Third Army/ARCENT commanding general, to Family Readiness Group Leaders, volunteers and command teams from across the unit’s area of operations during a Family Readiness Conference at Patton Hall, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 28.
The event, the second in two weeks focusing on meeting the needs of Third Army/ARCENT families, brought the attendees together via video teleconference to provide a venue to build relationships, exchange information and ideas and inform senior Family Readiness volunteers.
“One of the best ways to reach soldiers is through their families,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Loredo, Headquarters Department of the Army Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness strategy, policy and training noncommissioned officer in charge.
“Having a strong family support system -- it’s hard to articulate how important that is,” said Loredo. “In order to get resilience to the force you have to target families.”
Unit commanders at seven locations talked about methods they use to support families, recognizing the challenges of having a large portion of Third Army/ARCENT personnel continuously forward deployed.
“We don’t want family members feeling isolated or alone during deployments,” said Brooks.
One way the Family Readiness Group found to keep contact with families was through their first Virtual Town Hall Feb. 21. Soldiers and Families used social media to ask members of the Third Army/ARCENT command team questions that were answered in real time.
“We have families in all 50 states,” said Christiane Turlington, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion Family Readiness Group Leader. “Once we find them we can communicate.”
Throughout the event its participants expressed that families are an essential part of a successful Army.
“Family is part of the Army,” said Brooks, “Family is what backs every soldier; every civilian that serves.”