News: Japanese LINKS employee awarded for volunteer work
Story by Lance Cpl. James Smith
IWAKUNI, Japan - An employee at Marine Corps Family Team Building here received an award for her volunteer work for Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Dec. 17, 2012.
“Our mission is to conduct relevant family readiness training that will help the units become more mission ready,” said Ben Singleton, Marine Corps Family Team Building director. “We educate on resources, benefits and things that can help them.”
Miyuki Gray is a Japanese Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills (LINKS) trainer for MCFTB. As a Japanese LINKS trainer, Gray conditions others to become LINKS mentors and completes her own daily tasks.
“I communicate with Japanese spouses with each unit and support them with guidance and information,” said Gray. “I then contact the Family Readiness Officer in each unit to inform them of the spouses' concerns, issues and problems and provide resources.”
Aside from her daily responsibilities, Gray uses her own time volunteering to help Japanese spouses adapt to a new lifestyle.
“It’s my responsibility to make sure all Japanese spouses are more comfortable to understand a military lifestyle and fill the gap between Japanese culture and American culture,” said Gray. “After being a military spouse for 14 years and having only my husband as a resource to go to, I knew that I could help Japanese spouses more so they won’t go through the same thing I did.”
Gray also said her past experience and knowledge help her assist other Japanese spouses.
Gray received a certificate of appreciation signed by Lt. Col Bruce Gordon, VMFA (AW)-242 commanding officer, for providing an American spouse with a Japanese translator to help her find a daycare in town.
“Miyuki has provided more opportunities for the Japanese spouses than they had a year ago,” said Singleton. “We have many excellent trainers here that contribute so much support, as well as Miyuki.”