446th MSS Airman & Family Readiness Center has something for everyone

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nicole Celestine
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Some people may think the 446th Mission Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center here mainly helps Reservists find a job or manage their finances. Others may believe it exists only to help Reservists who are or have been deployed. And there are those who assume the A&FRC caters only to Reservists who are married and/or have kids.

But here's the deal- the A&FRC is a one-stop information center that provides assistance and referral on a wide variety of military and community resources to Reservists and their families. The center's goal is to provide long-term, substantive programs to positively affect those areas of family life that directly impact the Air Force mission. By promoting healthy family development, and concentrating on prevention and planning for positive change, the center provides Reservists and their families with the tools they need to reach their full potential.

Here's a look at some of the programs the center provides year-round.

Hearts Apart Morale Call lets immediate family members and significant others use the Defense Switching Network to call their deployed Reservist from their homes for 15 minutes per call, once a week. Reservists must be on either a temporary duty assignment, deployed for 30 days or more, or on a remote assignment.

Enhancing Relationships classes help couples communicate effectively, work as a team to solve problems, resolve conflicts and generally enhance love, commitment and friendship. Each couple receives the "Fighting for your Marriage," book and a participant manual.

Write from the Heart letter-writing kit caters specifically to Reservists on extended TDYs. Designed to fit in a duffel bag, helmet bag or ABU cargo pocket, this kit contains writing materials in a variety of formats, envelopes and stickers, and gives letter-writing tips to family members of all ages.

For Reservists who prefer keeping in touch with their spouse or significant other online, the Long Distance Relationships Web site provides creative activities that couples can do to nourish their relationships. Reservists interested in this resource can log on to www.longdistancecouples.com for more information.

"Dads at a Distance," and "Moms Across the Miles," are two books that provide more than 40 activities parents can do to help strengthen their relationships with their kids when they have to be away from them. Ideas from the books are also available online at www.daads.com and www.momsovermiles.com.

"The Deployment Planner: A Guide for Military Families," caters to Reservists on TDYs for more than 30 days, helping them and their families develop ways to make the TDY experience a positive one. This resource helps Reservists and family members identify necessary resources, plan to communicate as often as possible, make decisions about finances, and find ways to keep children reassured and in touch with their deployed parent.

The "After the Call, Return and Reunion Guide," helps Reservists and their families prepare for the servicemember's return and reunion. It outlines the reunion process and gives tips on reunion, whether the Reservist is single, married, has children, is a single parent, or has a civilian job.

Resume writing resources are also available at the A&FRC for people applying for civilian or government employment. Servicemembers and their family members also get essential interviewing techniques and information on internet job searches.

The Soldier's and Sailor's Relief Act post-mobilization initiative requires Reservists who are mobilized to call any creditors or mortgage lenders and notify them when they come off orders. Servicemembers are generally protected from paying higher percentage rate payments anywhere from 30 to 90 days after their discharge date. They must let creditors or lenders know if they have a financial situation that prevents them from returning to previous higher percentage rate payments right away. In many cases, creditors or lenders may provide some adjustment time and Reservists can call the A&FRC for help in working out payment arrangements.

For dual military servicemembers with kids and Reservists who are single parents, the A&FRC provides a reference guide to help them complete or update their family care plans. The guide shows servicemembers how to write a comprehensive family care plan that outlines big and small details of a caregiver's future responsibilities.

The McChord Field Personal Financial Management program provides financial counseling free to all military personnel, family members, retirees and base DoD civilians. The program focuses on helping people develop financial management skills to address and correct immediate financial issues and improve overall personal financial management control and expertise. Reservists will learn how to get organized, complete individual and family budget analysis, and develop personalized spending plans.

Car Care Because We Care service caters to servicemembers on TDY, deployed for 30 days or more, or on a remote assignment. Sponsored by the Air Force Aid Society and provided through Firestone Complete Auto Care Store at McChord Field here, family members must submit a copy of their deployed servicemember's orders to receive a certificate, which guarantees free oil change, lube and safety inspection for the primary family car. Each servicemember is allowed two certificates a year.

In addition to these services, the A&FRC offers various annual workshops like its Yellow Ribbon post-deployment workshop and provides information on national military family programs like Operation Purple Family Retreat.

For more information on these programs or to register for any of the programs, workshops and services, call Master Sgt. Steven Thomas, the NCO in charge of the center, at 253-982-5330 or visit the center in Bldg. 1207.