Collaboration is Key to Family Support Effort, Official Says

WASHINGTON — Col­lab­o­ra­tion is at the heart of the government’s new mil­i­tary fam­i­ly sup­port direc­tive and is the key to sup­port­ing ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies in the months and years ahead, a Defense Depart­ment offi­cial said today.

“We clear­ly are try­ing to find in every agency in the gov­ern­ment ways to col­lab­o­rate and work togeth­er so that we can do the job bet­ter,” John R. Camp­bell, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for wound­ed war­rior care and tran­si­tion pol­i­cy, told Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice. “Every­body believes now that col­lab­o­ra­tion is the future; it’s no longer going it alone.”

Ear­li­er this week, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma unveiled a new, whole-of-gov­ern­ment approach to mil­i­tary fam­i­ly sup­port, with agen­cies unit­ing to cre­ate new resources and sup­port pro­grams for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies world­wide. From health care to child care to spouse employ­ment, Oba­ma announced the gov­ern­ment has made near­ly 50 com­mit­ments to improv­ing fam­i­lies’ qual­i­ty of life, which are out­lined in a White House Report, “Strength­en­ing Our Mil­i­tary Fam­i­lies: Meet­ing America’s Com­mit­ment.”

Camp­bell high­light­ed a few of the col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts that fall under his purview: pro­grams that fos­ter fam­i­lies’ well-being and help wound­ed war­riors, ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies suc­cess­ful­ly tran­si­tion from mil­i­tary to civil­ian life. His area is work­ing close­ly, he added, with oth­er agen­cies as well as with oth­er offices with­in the Defense Depart­ment.

The Defense and Inte­ri­or depart­ments, for exam­ple, will work togeth­er to offer wound­ed war­riors and their fam­i­lies oppor­tu­ni­ties to use Interior’s lands and recre­ation­al facil­i­ties for recov­ery, Camp­bell said.

Through the use of its 500 mil­lion acres of pub­lic land and a host of recre­ation­al and edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams, “the Inte­ri­or Depart­ment will mod­i­fy ongo­ing pro­grams and ser­vices to accom­mo­date mil­i­tary fam­i­lies, espe­cial­ly wound­ed war­riors, in their efforts to regain psy­cho­log­i­cal health, rein­te­grate with fam­i­ly and reha­bil­i­tate,” the report said.

“The Depart­ment of Defense and Inte­ri­or have a long­stand­ing rela­tion­ship,” said Robert G. Stan­ton, senior advi­sor to the sec­re­tary for the Inte­ri­or Depart­ment. “In fact, many his­toric mil­i­tary posts are pre­served and man­aged by the U. S. Depart­ment of the Inte­ri­or, so work­ing to open these nation­al trea­sures to our wound­ed war­rior fam­i­lies is a nat­ur­al fit.”

Camp­bell said he recent­ly vis­it­ed the Inte­ri­or Depart­ment to dis­cuss col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts and pro­grams with offi­cials there and saw an over­lay map of the department’s phys­i­cal resources. Many are close to war­rior tran­si­tion units, he observed.

“There’s a real easy link between the phys­i­cal loca­tion of these war­rior tran­si­tion units and the phys­i­cal plan of the Inte­ri­or Depart­ment,” he said. The geog­ra­phy, he added, will help to fos­ter and ease the path to col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts, such as pro­grams for mil­i­tary chil­dren and employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for spous­es and chil­dren on Inte­ri­or lands.

Camp­bell also high­light­ed a new pro­gram in the works that’s designed to help wound­ed war­riors attain edu­ca­tion and employ­ment. DOD is work­ing with the Labor and Vet­er­ans Affairs depart­ments to cre­ate a pro­gram that will help wound­ed war­riors ear­ly on, he said, not­ing the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing tran­si­tion sup­port with­in the first 30 to 60 days to avoid feel­ings of iso­la­tion.

“The pro­gram will start right away, as soon as they get into wound­ed war­rior tran­si­tion, with some edu­ca­tion, assess­ments [and] we’re link­ing up with men­tors,” he said. “It will give them the answers they need to help them make the tran­si­tion back into their com­mu­ni­ties, back into acad­e­mia or cor­po­rate life if that’s where they want to go.”

Also aimed at eas­ing tran­si­tions, the Defense, Labor and Vet­er­ans Affairs depart­ments plan to revamp the Tran­si­tion Assis­tance Program’s employ­ment work­shop to include an “aggres­sive, hands-on, tai­lored work force readi­ness pro­gram for ser­vice mem­bers and their spous­es,” which includes employ­ment assis­tance dur­ing moves, the report said, mark­ing the first change to the work­shop por­tion of TAP in 19 years.

Along with oth­er agen­cies, Camp­bell not­ed the impor­tance of col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts with­in DOD as well. His area, for exam­ple, is work­ing close­ly with the Pentagon’s office of mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty and fam­i­ly pol­i­cy to cre­ate effec­tive pro­grams and ini­tia­tives.

Camp­bell also stressed the impor­tance of com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment as pro­grams and ini­tia­tives evolve from the fam­i­ly sup­port direc­tive. He praised ongo­ing efforts by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to enlist com­mu­ni­ties in the Defense Department’s efforts to ease rein­te­gra­tion for ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies.

Many grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions are doing great work already, he said. He high­light­ed the efforts of Bar­bara Van Dahlen, founder of Give an Hour, which pro­vides free men­tal health ser­vices to troops and their fam­i­lies impact­ed by war. Van Dahlen, he explained, also has cre­at­ed a blue­print for how com­mu­ni­ties can get involved and help mil­i­tary fam­i­lies rein­te­grate back into soci­ety. Anoth­er orga­ni­za­tion called Still Serv­ing Vet­er­ans, he added, is doing great work with hous­ing, edu­ca­tion, jobs and coun­sel­ing assis­tance for return­ing ser­vice mem­bers in the Huntsville, Ala., area.

Enlist­ing the help of these orga­ni­za­tions, agen­cies and oth­er divi­sions with­in DOD will ben­e­fit fam­i­lies nation­wide, he said. “The gov­ern­ment can’t do it alone,” he said. “We’re fool­ish if we think we can try.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →