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    Virtual Town Hall - Vermont National Guard Family Programs

    Vermont National Guard COVID-19 Response

    Photo By Cpl. Gillian McCreedy | Soldiers and Airmen of the Vermont National Guard practice taking vitals and settling...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Chelsea Clark 

    158th Fighter Wing

    More than 30 service members and families spent close to an hour with the leadership teams from activated units across a digital meeting platform on a Tuesday evening in late April, 2020.

    The Family Programs section of the Vermont National Guard organized the virtual town hall to help families get information regarding the Guard’s role in Vermont’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Planning for the event brought a new dynamic to the table with most members working remotely, leading to several teleconferences discussing the logistics of the town hall. The leadership teams, the director and staff of Family Programs along with a helpful hand from Military One Source, a 24/7 Department of Defense information connection network, all coordinated the information and questions to support the town hall.

    Once launched, the town hall discussed the specifics of state active duty, a different type of orders for Soldiers and Airmen which affect pay and benefits. These orders affect some of the family programs that many may not be accustomed to as well as contacts and resources for members and their families. The leaders also addressed the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for member and patient safety.

    “It was an opportunity to allow family members to meet directly with commanders,” said Candice Bryan-Broe, the senior Family Readiness support assistant with Family Programs for the Vermont National Guard.

    Bryan-Broe noted the “thank you’s” she heard echoed from leadership to families for allowing the service members to support the state’s efforts during this critical and uncertain time for many.

    She equated the town hall to be a mini version of a deployment information session, where there is still a level of family separation and providing those resources is where Family Programs steps in.

    “It was successful, it was nice to see families, smiles and really to allow for a names-to-faces for leadership.” stated Bryan-Broe. “Especially in this time, where physical distancing is how we are now socializing.”

    There may be future town halls through Family Programs, especially if information needs or changes are made to the activation supporting COVID-19 in Vermont.

    Bryan-Broe considered it a success and mentioned that the team was looking at areas that can be added to in future conversations. She also added a cheerful win for the Family Programs team.

    “We even recruited a volunteer!”



    Date Taken: 04.28.2020
    Date Posted: 04.28.2020 14:35
    Story ID: 368697
    Location: COLCHESTER, VT, US 

    Web Views: 32
    Downloads: 0