80.3 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchives'NETWORK' OFFERS FAMILIES, TROOPS PEACE OF MIND

'NETWORK' OFFERS FAMILIES, TROOPS PEACE OF MIND

Oct. 22, 2001 – The Virgin Islands, in tandem with every state and other territory, has a National Guard Family Programs Office that oversees a "Family Readiness Network of Volunteers."
The network comes into play before, during and after the mobilization of National Guard members. Its primary purpose is to provide information and education for families so that both the Guard members and their families feel secure during the call-up time.
The backbone of the network is a group of volunteers who operate through the National Guard units. There are about 20 units in the Virgin Islands. While of necessity geographical, units also are organized by special duties such as headquarters, water supply and medical service. Each unit has a military representative and a civilian representative who are responsible for liaison using the unit database and a "telephone tree" communication system (in which an individual calls a small number of people, each of whom then calls another group, and so on).
Volunteers are trained to instill self-reliance and prepare families for mobilization of their loved ones. They assist families to prepare and keep on file various sorts of documents, including guardianship and power of attorney, that could be of help in certain circumstances. Thus the Guard members can depart for duty knowing the emergency paperwork is in place.
For the territory, Linda Todman on St. Croix is the Family Programs Office staff. Her task at the moment is to gear up the network of volunteers — from the community and from within the Guard ranks — at this time of international crisis. She says her energy and enthusiasm for her work carry her into the community to pull together volunteers for all facets of the network.
Approximately 80 volunteers are in place now — about 60 of them from the civilian community and the rest consisting of Guard members who have assumed this extra workload. "More volunteers are always welcome," Todman says with a smile. "Whatever skills or knowledge they come with can be useful."
The secondary purpose of the network is to work with youth, with the current concentration being on ages 13-18. These sons and daughters of Guard members are being trained as junior counselors, Todman says, and they, in turn, will work with younger children to allay their anxieties when family members are called away to active duty.
Encompassing both informational outreach and youth support is the Family Care Plan for families with children under age 19 and/or dependent elderly members. It is designed to give mobilized National Guard members a secure sense that their families at home are being cared for in their absence.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,717FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Oct. 22, 2001 - The Virgin Islands, in tandem with every state and other territory, has a National Guard Family Programs Office that oversees a "Family Readiness Network of Volunteers."
The network comes into play before, during and after the mobilization of National Guard members. Its primary purpose is to provide information and education for families so that both the Guard members and their families feel secure during the call-up time.
The backbone of the network is a group of volunteers who operate through the National Guard units. There are about 20 units in the Virgin Islands. While of necessity geographical, units also are organized by special duties such as headquarters, water supply and medical service. Each unit has a military representative and a civilian representative who are responsible for liaison using the unit database and a "telephone tree" communication system (in which an individual calls a small number of people, each of whom then calls another group, and so on).
Volunteers are trained to instill self-reliance and prepare families for mobilization of their loved ones. They assist families to prepare and keep on file various sorts of documents, including guardianship and power of attorney, that could be of help in certain circumstances. Thus the Guard members can depart for duty knowing the emergency paperwork is in place.
For the territory, Linda Todman on St. Croix is the Family Programs Office staff. Her task at the moment is to gear up the network of volunteers -- from the community and from within the Guard ranks -- at this time of international crisis. She says her energy and enthusiasm for her work carry her into the community to pull together volunteers for all facets of the network.
Approximately 80 volunteers are in place now -- about 60 of them from the civilian community and the rest consisting of Guard members who have assumed this extra workload. "More volunteers are always welcome," Todman says with a smile. "Whatever skills or knowledge they come with can be useful."
The secondary purpose of the network is to work with youth, with the current concentration being on ages 13-18. These sons and daughters of Guard members are being trained as junior counselors, Todman says, and they, in turn, will work with younger children to allay their anxieties when family members are called away to active duty.
Encompassing both informational outreach and youth support is the Family Care Plan for families with children under age 19 and/or dependent elderly members. It is designed to give mobilized National Guard members a secure sense that their families at home are being cared for in their absence.