Family Readiness Issues Brought to Forefront

 

Staff Sgt. Melancon and his parents listen to the Family Readiness brief at the National Archives

Family members had the unique opportunity to collectively bring talking points to Lt. Gen Stultz, Chief, Army Reserve, regarding issues relating to Soldier and Family readiness.

Yesterday, Family members were divided into two groups and held discussions facilitated by representatives from Army Reserve Family Programs.

The groups focused on positive attributes of the Army Reserve as well as issues that need attention and improvements.

Mr. Glen Meeker, father of Staff Sgt. Meeker, briefed the first group’s issues noting that unit to family communication appeared to be the most difficult challenge.

“Unit’s are not putting out information that regarding family readiness and support programs,” noted Mr. Meeker. “Our suggestion is for all units to make family readiness a top priority.”

The second group, led by Daniele Stowers, wife of Sgt. Stowers, felt the biggest issue facing Soldiers and Family members is the negative stigma associated with Soldier requesting counseling after a deployment.

“Post deployment health assessments are being used to diagnose a Soldier with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting in a three in their profile,” said Mrs. Stowers.  “There’s automatically a negative perception associated with this and that needs to change.”

The issues presented by both groups were not uncommon to Lt. Gen Stultz.  “I’m not surprised by the issues you all brought forward to us,” he said. “We cannot thank you enough for what you do and want you to know we are working on fixing these issues.

“We are addressing the medical issue and revisiting current procedures,” he added. “No longer are we allowing Soldiers to get a diagnosis based off an assessment. Now we are allowing doctors conducting PHAs to make recommendations, not determination.”

In addition, Laura Stultz, wife of Lt. Gen Stultz, talks with family members while her husband holds town hall meetings with Soldiers. Family members present issues and concerns to Mrs. Stultz, who conveys those to the appropriate person to ensure they receive the necessary attention.

“I listen to Family members to hear what’s working and what’s not,” she added. “Then I take that information to the ear of someone important so it’s heard and can be addressed.”

Lt. General Stultz and his wife both thanked the Soldiers and their Family members for their sacrifice and continued commitment to serve the Army Reserve.

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