Deployment can be a challenging phase of the military lifecycle, but it’s important to know that you don’t have to go through it alone. The military provides a variety of resources and support programs — ranging from educational briefings to morale calls — for your loved ones, children and service members to ease the stress of deployment. Military members may be assigned to a specific installation but support may come from local communities, Yellow Ribbon events or the installation itself.
Family Deployment Support
The leaders and service providers at Vance are committed to helping families remain strong during deployments, extended TDYs and remote tours. A Readiness NCO is assigned to the Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) to work with unit leadership and service agencies to work directly with Airman and families during separations. For additional information or questions please contact the A&FRC at 580-213-6288 or DSN 312-448-6288.
Give Parents a Break
The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) recognizes that Air Force families are subject to unique stresses due to the nature of military life, deployments, remote tours of duty, extended working hours, etc. In an effort to help these families, the AFAS, in cooperation with the Air Force child care community, has agreed to provide funding for child care under our “Give Parents a Break” program. The purpose of this program is to offer eligible parents a few hours break from the stresses of parenting. Active duty Air Force families may use this time to suit their personal needs. AFAS will pay the cost of having the base Child Development Center (CDC) open once a month for families referred to the program. Families will not be charged for the care. Certificates can be obtained at the A&FRC.
Hearts Apart Events
A monthly event (swimming, movie, bowling, skating) is held and sponsored by the Airman and Family Readiness Center. A meal is provided along with various speakers, topics, and themes.
During holidays or other special times, events and activities are provided just for spouses and families. Some examples are arts, crafts, holiday parties, and special activities for children.
Information and Referral
It’s never possible to anticipate all the things that might occur during a separation. Families can contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center if they have a concern and we will help you find the available resources.
Pre-deployment briefings are held on a one-on-one basis. Topics discussed are expectations, support services offered, and positive ways of dealing with stress. Resources are given out and family information is obtained. This briefing is mandatory for active duty members and highly suggested for spouses.
Automated Health & Morale System (AHAMS)
Active Duty Air Force members of all ranks, single and married, who will be deployed for over 30 days will receive AHAMS pin number card for use while deployed. This program makes it possible for the service member to “phone home” to family or friends during deployment and to make emergency contacts when necessary, without added expense to the service member.
When the active duty member returns, they are required to attend a Reintegration briefing. These briefings are held on a one-on-one basis at the A&FRC and topics range from expectation at home and work, how to reintegrate with family and friends, communication, coping skills, and sources to help the process. This briefing is mandatory for active duty members but spouses are invited to attend as well.