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Old 02-27-07, 10:55 AM   #1
apclassic9
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Family Support Group Meeting

Hey, anybody been to one of these? My son's National Guard Unit is having one Satuday - presumably the deployment rumors are no longer mere rumors....
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Old 02-27-07, 11:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by apclassic9
Hey, anybody been to one of these? My son's National Guard Unit is having one Satuday - presumably the deployment rumors are no longer mere rumors....
I really should not comment, as I don't have any experience with them. But I do have some exp. with crtical incident stress debriefings and such and I highly recommend it. This is a huge one, Mom and you are going to want to have on tap all of the resources that you can. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-27-07, 02:46 PM   #3
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Yeah, I know.... my son refuses to let my husband break his legs....
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Old 02-27-07, 03:24 PM   #4
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Go to the meeting and write down every phone number that they give you, if they don't have them all pre-printed for you. Now is also a great time for your son to investigate joining the American Legion if he isn't a member yet. If he's never deployed before, he likely isn't yet eligible, but he will be upon his return. In any case, they are a great additional resource. Keep me in mind, I'm about to take over the Service Officer position at my post, and I'll be glad to find any answers you may need.
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Old 02-27-07, 04:09 PM   #5
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I've coordinated a couple of these before; in the Navy we call them pre-deployment briefings. Not sure what the NG will be putting out as they're generally geared for spouses/kids who are entitled to direct benefits and support while the servicemember is gone.

Still, there is some good information there like who to contact with questions or concerns and how to get in touch with your son in the event of an emergency back home.

They may also talk about PTSD screening and other post deployment benefits, but to be honest, those are mostly a waste of time at this point. They should provide those briefs just before coming home or just after getting here and they do include things for the family to watch out for.

Important things before deploying? Wills and power of attorneys. Especially if he has kids. Finances; does he have a mortgage or car payment? Credit card bills? You can't just walk away from them despite the deployment. I recommend auto payments.

They'll cover the Servicemember's Civil Relief act that addresses things like lowering interest rates, breaking leases on apartments, cars etc, and things you can't be called to do like jury duty.

They'll cover the USERRA, or the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which is what governs your son's employment when he returns. He has specific things to do in order to preserve his employment as does the employer. Typically, this will be covered by the ESGR or Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve.

They'll cover Tricare health insurance coverage for spouses and kids.

Without my checklist handy, I'm probably forgetting a few things, but those are the big ones.

They'll talk about the mission and timeline as much as they can without violating operational security, so that may or may not be useful to you.

They'll tell you what you can and can't send to your deployed soldier and what is recommended based on where they'll be and the time of year.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what to expect. Bottom line? Go. Take notes. Learn.
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Old 02-27-07, 05:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info - he's a single college student & his only obligation is his auto insurance, which USAA will suspend while he's gone; they took care of the power of attorney & wills at their last guard duty. In your experience, how long after they start holding these meetings do the guys get thier orders? As of yet, no deployment orders.
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Old 02-27-07, 08:53 PM   #7
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That depends on the unit. Some are more proactive, knowing that at some - as yet undetermined point - their turn will come. So, they do these briefings to make sure their people are ready well in advance rather than scrambling at the last minute. Having people prepared allows the unit to focus on training and, when the call does come, getting ready to go rather than worrying about the stuff they need to do at home.

In theory, they may never get called up, but that's not very realistic.

He may actually know but not be allowed to tell you; it's a Force Protection measure. Please don't ask him because if that's the case, you put him in a very awkward position of having to choose between you and his oath and the law. Or, he may not know.

He'll tell when you can... and what he can.
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Old 02-28-07, 09:33 AM   #8
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His unit has ben to Iraq before (2003), and wasn't supposed to be "eligible" for recall until next year, BUT, they changed the unit's designation, bringing them to the top of the list. But yeah, they know they are going - it's just a question of spring or fall.

Thanks again for the info!
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Old 03-03-07, 07:34 PM   #9
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Just thought I'd post an update: I went to this meeting, got some good info, and realized that my son is about the only guy in the unit who is not married with kids. So anyway, I volunteered to do some scut work with their phone tree & newsletter, and also found out (best thing) that they're being sent over to do, in the Co. Commander's words, "horizontal construction" - pushing sand & dirt with bulldozers. That is excellent news, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 03-03-07, 07:40 PM   #10
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is this salsa, or a different son?
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Old 03-03-07, 07:52 PM   #11
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I assume it's her other son since Salsa is 15. ( I still can't believe he is that old!)
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Old 03-03-07, 10:54 PM   #12
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knowing nothing about the national guard, its a valid question
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Old 03-04-07, 06:29 AM   #13
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This is my older son (23) - he doesn't post here. He's been too busy trying not to flunk out of college.
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Old 03-04-07, 12:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by apclassic9
Hey, anybody been to one of these? My son's National Guard Unit is having one Satuday - presumably the deployment rumors are no longer mere rumors....
Not sure what to say man .
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