NOVEMBER 9, 2020 – The National Military Family Association, NMFA, manifested over fifty years ago, when a group of military spouses wanted to ensure that their friend and newly widowed military spouse was not forgotten.
The organization’s site states “November is Military Family Appreciation Month—a time when America honors and recognizes those unique sacrifices and challenges family members make in support of their loved ones in uniform. No matter what rank or branch, or where life has taken them, our nation’s military families share the common threads of service and sacrifice.”
NMFA does not just support military families in November, they are available for assistance 365 days a year. The organization provides support in various ways including:
Advocacy – creating and supporting government legislation that protects and cares for military families.
Camps, Retreats & Adventures – Through the Operation Purple Program, NMFA facilitates military families with opportunities to attend kids’ camps, family retreats and healing adventures to support the whole military family.
Scholarships – NMFA academic scholarships & business costs grants to create an opportunity for military spouses to pursue educational or entrepreneurial goals.
Local support for 188th families is supplied by Airman and Family Readiness office, Yellow Ribbon Program coordinator and Camp Alliance.
Michelle Pike, Airman and Family Readiness program manager, states “It’s the recruiters’ job to recruit the member, its Airman and Family Readiness office’s job to assist in retaining the member and their family.”
The Airman and Family Readiness office is located in building 182 and provides over 32 services for 188th members and their families. Services range from the following:
- Transitional Assistance Program TAP
- Deployment Support
- Personal Financial Readiness
- Personal, Work Life Services & Life Skills Education
- Emergency Preparedness
- Volunteer Resources
- Relocation Assistance
The new 188th Yellow Ribbon Program coordinator is Aracely Sebby. Sebby is located in building 182 and her office’s primary focus is providing resources for first time deplorers and their families.
Yellow Ribbon resources include:
- Veteran’s Benefits
- Child & Youth Program
- Legal & Financial Services
Sebby states “The Yellow Ribbon program’s goal is to ensure airmen and their families are taken care of before, during and after deployments.”
In addition to the Airman and Family Readiness office and Yellow Ribbon office coordinator, the 188th now has the support and partnership with Camp Alliance. This non-profit agency’s goal is to provide programs and resources for military units and family readiness by engaging the civilian community (individuals, organizations and businesses) in order to supplement and/or address unit resources and program shortfalls.
Camp Alliance is spearheading the huge task of filling the need for childcare during UTA weekends, with the Kids in Drill program. Brittney Roper, Camp Alliance program director, states “Due to COVID-19 and CDC restrictions, the Kids in Drill program is currently on hold for the health and safety of our military members and their families.” Camp Alliance hopes to re-engage the opening of the program in January 2021.
Roper says “Camp Alliance is also available to provide support for members on T-10 orders, who are in need of childcare options and members in need during the holiday season with the Silver Star program.”
The Silver Star program is designed to organize and encourage community giving efforts of organizations, businesses and the general public during the holiday season to support Arkansas military and survivor families in need. The 2020 Silver Star Gift Registration deadline is 27 November.
The Freedom Frosty is a Silver Star program that benefits both Camp Alliance and Arkansas military families. The Freedom Frosty is part of the Bentonville Run Series. For every mile ran, Camp Alliance receives a $1 up to $10 per entry. For more information on how to enter this virtual race see link below.
Military Family Appreciation month is a time to set aside to recognize the backbone of our military, the military family. The families know what it means to serve. Every day, you get up and support your service member, standing by during long trainings and deployments. They know the risks, but accept this life of service because you know it’s an honor and we thank you for your support.
For more information on the Silver Star program or Camp Alliance, go to: campallianceinc.org
Freedom Frosty: https://www.runbentonville.com/race-series/frosty-5k/
For more information on NMFA go to militaryfamily.org – https://www.militaryfamily.org/november-is-military-family-appreciation-month/