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Family Readiness Officers keep Marines, families closer

By Sgt. Gina Rindt | | February 20, 2009

Fightertown Marines and sailors must be ready to deploy at a moments’ notice. While they are away performing their duties, they must have complete confidence their families are well cared for and life is running smoothly in the rear. Family Readiness Officers are available to help make deployments run a little smoother for the loved ones at home.

Having events for adults and children to make sure the families are being well cared for is just one way units offer assistance during a deployment.

“All Family Readiness Officers work directly for the commanding officer of their assigned unit and give spouses at home a sense of camaraderie and support while their service member is away,” said Lynnette Thompson, the Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron FRO. “It will also give [family members] functions to look forward to that will help pass the time and ease the pains accompanying a deployment.”

The interaction gives parents and children a chance to mingle during a deployment. Parents and children interact with each other and enjoy activities such as bowling, movies, fun days and other events planned by the FROs.

“I strongly feel service members and families will become more involved because they want to be  part of a program that is working to benefit them,” Thompson said. “It is important to many Fightertown spouses to have someone they can depend on.”

The FRO provides communication to all families and service members from the commanding officer and other sources on the Air Station. They provide resources such as, welcome aboard packages for new arrivals, ideas of places to visit in Beaufort and activities with the Single Marine and Sailor Program.

“We as FROs make sure the families have all the resources and referrals needed to help while their service member is deployed,” said DeNeil Cox, the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 FRO.

The Marine Corps Family Team Building also aids FROs by offering classes for adults and children. Spouses can also take advantage of educational opportunities on base as another way to achieve more.
The education office makes it is easy to sign up for classes, according to Thompson. They offer classes online, on a local school campus, or on the Air Station.

“I have had a lot of opportunities as a spouse to go to school and to have “mommy and me” classes with my son,” said Janet Martin, a spouse of a Fightertown Marine. “I am also trying to go back to school and get a degree.”