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FRGs answer call of duty

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POSTED: June 2, 2010 2:45 p.m.
Sixty years ago, the Army was not as supportive of married soldiers and their dependents as it is today. The adage, “If the Army wanted you to have a wife, you’d be issued one,” was often heard.
Today, the Army’s mindset has changed. Now, the adage could be, “Strong families make strong soldiers.”
“The family is part of the soldier’s survival,” Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Mobilization and Deployment Manager Linda Moseley said. She helped moderate a Family Readiness Group round-up Tuesday at Club Stewart.
Moseley said 150-175 FRG representatives attended the informative meeting.
“Everyone in the (FRG) process has a significant role,” she said. FRGs help Army spouses get access to services and information, so they can function in a healthy and independent way especially during deployments, Moseley explained.
“FRGs can help young spouses, many new to military life, cope with stressful situations,” she said.
Moseley added soldiers can better function on the battlefield if they don’t have to worry about their families back home.
“Preparation and education is key to stronger families,” she said.
FRG advisor Anita Kazmierczak, a retired lieutenant colonel, said there’s never been a more important time than today to help take care of Army families. Her husband is Col. James Kazmierczak, commander of the 26th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. Her
“This (FRG) job is harder,” Kazmierczak said, referring to her 13 years on active duty and 10 years as a reservist. She said her military training helped prepare her to become a FRG advisor.  
Kazmierczak characterized FRG volunteers as leaders and role models for the current generation of Army spouses.
Military families – and FRGs – can become worn down by multiple deployments, she said. FRGs must find a way to “keep it fresh,” especially when helping young spouses adjust to military life, Kazmierczak said. Young, inexperienced spouses often don’t have the coping skills needed to weather the stress of a lengthy deployment, she said.
Kazmierczak and Moseley agree happier military families translate into higher troop retention numbers.
“The best mentors I had made the most impact on me to stay in (the military),” Kazmierczak said.
 

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