Fort Bragg offers resources, programs for military families during deployment

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Military families are seeing some relief from the recent deployments thanks to year-round programs and resources within Fort Bragg.

For many couples on Fort Bragg, 18-hour deployment is something familiar; but for some younger couples, that fast-paced deployment can still come as a shock.

The Army Community Service, U.S. Army MWR, and Child and Youth Services Outreach are departments at the Soldier Support Center that aim to help those first-timers.

Lori King, the Deputy Director of MWR, says their goal is to create a comfortable and welcoming environment for those husbands and wives.

"That soldier needs to know that that their family is safe, in good hands, at a great installation that's going to take care of them," King said.

The MWR provides an extensive list of resources including events and quality of life programs like sports, bowling, and trips.

One big topic that representatives say people have been inquiring on is financial advice: powers of attorney, access to bank accounts, and knowing where documents are at.

Catherine Mansfield is the Operations Specialist for the Army Community Service. The ACS can refer military spouses to the proper points of contact in regards to financial questions, emergency assistance with bills, or even training for parenting.

They can also learn about child care services from the CYSO.

CYSO Director Dorene Jenkins says qualified parents with a copy of the deployment order can take it to their office and receive 16 free hours of care per month, per child.

Fort Bragg has 14 child care facilities, each varying in hours of operation but providing a flexible schedule for a parent.

"If there's a crisis, any emergency: mom needs a break, grandma needs a break, the child just needs a break. Then, at least, that child is registered, and we can go ahead and take care of that child," Jenkins added.

Jenkins encourages every parent to register their child for the service, even if it is something that will be used sparingly.

During the Gulf War, many young spouses chose to go home to their families, taking a heavy toll on the Fayetteville economy.

Fort Bragg commanders are hoping the resources in place encourage those first-timers to remain in the area, surrounded by their support system.

King says the strong partnership between the post and surrounding counties allows that husband or wife to have a wide array of options.

"It has changed so much since the Gulf War. I think this community is incredible," King said.
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