Resources for Military Families

Military deployments are hard on families for many reasons. There’s the emotion of missing a loved one mixed with the fear for their safety. There’s the logistics and stress of running a family as a single parent while a spouse is away. And there’s the challenge and emotions involved in reunions, when couples and kids get reaquainted with one another, sometimes struggling to blend their lives as cohesively as they were before the deployment.

At Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the Readiness and Deployment Support Program offers several resources to families of Marines and sailors serving at both MCAS Beaufort and at Naval Hospital Beaufort.

“That old saying, ‘If the Marines wanted you to have a wife they’d issue one for you’ is no longer relevant. It just doesn’t apply anymore,” said Christina Swick, readiness and deploy support trainer at MCAS Beaufort.

Swick leads programs specifically geared toward children of deployed Marines and sailors.

“We constantly change and evolve these workshops” to make sure we’re addressing concerns and issues families are facing today, Swick said.

The following resources are currently available at MCAS Beaufort:

Hearts Apart: Deployment Support Group

This is a support group for spouses of deployed family members that is designed to bring families together that are experiencing the hardships of separation and deployment. Topics discussed include: Stress Management, Long Distance Communication, Emotional Cycle of Deployment, Dealing with Single Parenting, Resources and Coping Skills. Children are welcome, but free childcare is available.

Kids on the Homefront

This support group brings children together who are experiencing the hardships of separation and deployment. They express their emotions while participating in a craft project to send to their deployed parent.

Kids-N-Deployment

This two-sided workshop is for parents and children (K-5th). The parents’ side of the workshop focuses on children’s emotional and behavioral challenges as well as coping strategies and resources to utilize during the deployment. The children’s side of the workshop provides them with activities and tools to help them cope with deployment and to better express their emotions.

Kids-N-Reunion

This is a two-sided workshop for parents and children (K-5th) designed to offer resources and coping skills needed to assist them with family reintegration.

Stress & Coping

This workshop provides spouses with an understanding of the stress continuum and how it relates to Marines, spouses and children. Participants learn how to manage stress and build resiliency and gain the knowledge of the resources available when the stress becomes something unmanageable. Participants create homemade bath salts and discover tips on personal relaxation.

Safe & Sound At Home

This workshop empowers military spouses with the ability and confidence to be vigilant and responsible for their own well-being. Topics discussed include: Car Care & Safety, Fire Prevention, Disaster Preparedness, Personal Safety Tips, and Basic Self Defense Moves.

Financial Planning

Provides participants with a variety of financial topics: Basic Budgeting, Planning for Financial Emergencies, Legal Side of Finances, and the Importance of Wise Financial Planning.

The Casualty Assistance Process

Given by the Casualty Assistance Call Officer (CACO), this brief educates spouses on the process of Casualty Assistance and reassures them that they will be taken care of in every way possible should the need arise for a CACO to visit them.

Spouses in the Midst

Designed for spouses “in the midst” of the military life, this workshop aims to empower participants through five exciting, interactive venues. Topics include: Relaxation, Networking, Having Fun, Learning Something New, and Communication.

Kids in the Midst

This workshop explores the topics important for children “in the midst” of the military life. Topics include: Having a Good Character, Good Nutrition, Fitness, and Dealing with Emotions and Stress.