By Airman 1st Class Cheryl Montgomery
Colorado National Guard Family Programs
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — After four years as the state youth coordinator with Family Programs, Amy Pike has accepted the position as Colorado National Guard's first Survivor Outreach Services coordinator.
Pike's office will be located at the Family Programs office near the CONG state headquarters.
The Army recognized the need to expand and improve services to survivors of fallen service members, so it placed SOS teams throughout active duty bases in April.
Positions for the National Guard followed closely behind with one person in each state.
Pike, working alongside the Army National Guard's casualty assistance officer and Air National Guard's family liaison officer, will function as long-term support personnel for survivors. Pike's experience and education has taught her that when a family loses a service member, the family suffers a significant loss that not only includes the loved one, but also a way of life, a culture and often a community.
"We're here to try to bridge that gap," Pike said. "I want to establish a relationship from the beginning and fulfill the family covenant to help families for as long as they want or need."
Survivors can expect to hear from Pike, who also hopes to collect information to establish the family's needs. Her goals are to set up support groups and find active community groups that also aid in coping.
Of the 71 service members from Colorado who have been killed in action, three were Guardsmen. In addition to working with families who have already lost a service member, Pike will assist servicemembers who experience a loss of an immediate family member, such as a spouse or child. She is even expecting active duty SOS coordinators to call on her when a surviving family lives locally.
"My priority is to the Guard, although if someone contacts me from another branch, I will not turn them away," she said.
Although Pike is anxious to get busy, she's also thankful she has no new cases.
"The Colorado Guard has had some good fortune and I hope that continues," she said. "I hope to be the least busy person around here."
In the meantime, Pike continues to research and train in order to be fully prepared if and when the time comes. To reach her for questions or to employ her services, please call (720) 250-1564.
Pike's qualifications include nine years of ministry experience and multiple classes and workshops on grief throughout her career. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in divinity.
|Date Posted:||11.25.2009 17:22|
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