This blog is extremely long and I do not apologize. I feel it so important for army families to be educated about the amazing resources that are available to us. I hope you find this blog informational and provide you with information you might have needed. I covered my favorite resources I’ve used throughout the years of being a army spouse. I’ve used them all and they are all wonderful! Please feel free to leave comments of other great resources you know of. These resources are in no special order, I just love them all.
Armed Forces YMCA
At its 31 branches and affiliates, supporting 45 of our largest military installations, the ASYMCA offers unique essential programs such as childcare, hospital assistance, spouse support services, food services, deployment support, emergency support, computer training classes, counseling, wounded warrior support, wounded family support, health and wellness services, and holiday programs that are tailored to the specific needs of the military community on the local level. In addition to these locations, the ASYMCA and its programs are implemented by partners at eleven affiliated community YMCAs, as well as seven Department of Defense affiliates worldwide, that
have large military communities and are able to benefit from ASYMCA programming.
While we were stationed at Fort Campbell I met my very first friends at a play group at the AFYMCA. They provided play groups for families, science project days and even ice cream socials. This place was just fun! They knew how to help families. I think this was one of the best kept secrets of Fort Campbell. It was a gem. Now they don’t have a building at each installation. But if you find yourself stationed at a post with one check it out!
Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and financial assistance. Wounded Warriors are a specific concern for Operation Homefront. That is why Operation Homefront has established Operation Homefront Village. The caregiver for wounded warriors also needs help and that is why we formed Hearts of Valor. Operation Homefront supports every military family member. We host a gala each year that recognizes an extraordinary military child and we host multiple Homefront Celebrations each year to show our appreciation to military spouses.
My heart pours out for this organization, the amount they give and the love they share is beyond amazing. I’m always telling my friends and family non military to give to this organization because they give to our community so much. They provide book bags full of school supplies to military children; this helps parents so much every year. My second pregnancy was crazy and I didn’t know if I would have a shower or not. They laid down the red carpet for this momma and other momma soon to be it. It was amazing to feel pampered and loved and feel the joy and excitement this new baby would bring. They provided furnished apartments for wounded warriors to stay in free or charge during their treatments! They love and support our community and they provided FREE HOMES! I’m telling you go check them out!!!
Military One Source
Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. Information includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, spouse employment and education, parenting and childhood services. It is a virtual extension to installation services.
Did you know they provide Free Counseling! Face-to-face — Through either Military OneSource or the MFLC program, you can see a licensed counselor or therapist in your local community. Visit Military OneSource or call 800-342-9647 for more information. You can also ask the installation’s Army Community Service! Sometimes you just need to talk it out and what a great resource to help you.
Do you need some tips on moving they got it! Need some deployment resources they got it! Have some question about your child’s development it’s on there. This online resource is a mighty tool packed with information.
National Military Family Association
Founded in 1969, the National Military Family Association is the leading non-profit organization focusing on issues important to military families. We believe that all military families deserve comprehensive child care, accessible health care, spouse employment options, great schools, caring communities, a secure retirement, and support for widows and widowers.
Ever wonder who is fighting for us in Washington? Who’s got our back when Washington wants to cut military family programs? This is the organization that fights for us and sticks up for us. Through their continued advocacy on behalf of military families, they anticipate, listen, and react to the needs of military families through:
- Awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and have awarded over 3,000 military spouses with these scholarship funds.
- Sending 45,000 children to Operation Purple® summer camp, a free program for children coping with the absence of their deployed parent(s).
- Organizing retreats to help military families reconnect after dealing with a war-related injury or after long separations.
- Conducting research to assess the ever-changing military environment and its effect on families.
They also have the link to one of my favorite resources: http://www.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/ResourceGuides/ArmySpouseGuide.pdf
This is a complete guide for Army Spouses I also recommend printing it out or downloading it to your desktop.
Child and Youth Services
Child, Youth and School (CYS) Services recognizes the challenges of our Soldiers and their Families. By offering quality programs for children, youth and students, CYS supports the Army Family Covenant by reducing the conflict between mission readiness and parental responsibility.
Child, Youth & School Services (CYSS) are a wide range of quality programs to help Army Families meet their parental challenges and maintain their mission readiness. Whenever you need it and wherever you are, CYSS is prepared to make life better for Army Families. Programs include daycare programs at your garrison and in your local community, school-age services and online tutoring programs. CYSS also has teen programs, in-home childcare, youth sports and more.
This is one of my first stops when we land at a new post. I don’t even know what my children will be participating it but I register them anyway. This allows for easy sign up when you do want to participate in a CYSS activity. My children have done Dance, T-Ball, Gymnastics and even went to daycare on post.
Army One Source
Army one Source compiles important, credible and up-to-date information in a single location for Army Soldiers and Family members to access at any time of day, regardless of component or physical location.
This is another great tool to look up information. If you want to volunteer on post and not sure where to start they have a volunteer section of positions available on your post. You will also use this website to log your volunteer hours. So please keep track of your hours and log them!!
Army Community Service
- Army Emergency Relief
- AER is the Army’s own emergency financial assistance organization and is dedicated to “Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own.” AER provides commanders a valuable asset in accomplishing their basic command responsibility for the morale and welfare of soldiers.
- AER funds are made available to commanders having AER Sections to provide emergency financial assistance to soldiers – active & retired – and their dependents when there is a valid need.
- AER funds made available to commanders are not limited and are constrained only by the requirement of valid need.
- For these reasons, the AER assistance program is conducted within the Army structure by major commanders and their installation/organization commanders through AER sections and other related organizations.
- Army Family Team Building
Army Family Team Building empowers individuals, maximizing their personal growth and professional development through specialized training, transforming our community into a resilient and strong foundation meeting today’s military mission.
What is Army Family Team Building (AFTB)?
Army Family Team Building is a series of training modules taught through your local Army Community Service or Family Program’s office that cover topics such as basic information about the Army, personal growth skills and leadership skills. AFTB improves personal and Family preparedness which enhances overall Army readiness and helps America’s Army adapt to a changing world.
Why Should I Attend AFTB?
AFTB helps you to not just cope with, but enjoy the military lifestyle. Many of the courses can be applied toward resume’ and career building, self-development and leadership skills. AFTB provides the knowledge and self-confidence to take responsibility for yourself and your Family. The training is available to Soldiers, Family members of all Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and volunteers.
****I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this program! I mean I’m in love with it. This program taught me everything I need to know and everything I didn’t want to know but glad I learned it. If you take one thing from reading my blog is this please please please attend an Army Family Team Building Class. It changed my life so much!!****
The US Army Family Advocacy Program is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse. The program provides a variety of services to soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services.
I had some great times with these programs. I took classes on scream free parenting to the five love languages. I loved them all. They are a great resource!!!
- New Parent Support Program
The Army’s New Parent Support Program is a key secondary prevention program within the Family Advocacy Program which falls under the umbrella of Army Community Service. Established in 1995, this voluntary participation program helps Soldiers and Family members who are expecting a child, or have a child or children up to 3 years of age, to build strong, healthy military families. Through a variety of supportive services including home visits, support groups and parenting classes, the NPSP helps Soldiers and Families learn to cope with stress, isolation, post-deployment reunions and the everyday demands of parenthood.
**** What is great about this program is the home visits! I was 19 pregnant with my first child and had no idea what to do or how to do it. I was no way near home and needed someone to help me. My nurse was amazing answered any questioned I had and even showed me some tricks to calm down my newborn. It felt so great to have someone on my side supporting me.****
Oh last but not least Army Wife Network
We have tons of resources for families and don’t forget to check out the field exercises. That’s where I first learned about a lot of these resources. This has been a go to resource for me the past 6 years. I enjoy reading all the helping hints and blogs from other army wives just like me! Tara taught me about Flat Daddy and showed me how to find resources. Tune into the weekly radio show I’ve learned something new every time I have listened. Please add these resources to your tool belt! Never know when they will come in handy.