Families Ready When Soldiers Deploy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/15/05

Families Ready When Soldiers Deploy

Its never easy saying goodbye. When soldiers deploy to other countries for months, it's especially hard on their families. But the military is making sure soldier's loved ones are taken care of, through F.R.G.'s, or Family Readiness Groups.

These organizations can be a family's life line through the good times, and the bad. Joni Bennett, F.R.G. Director for the 48th Brigade of the Georgia National Guard, says the group support system is huge. "We not only bond with the wives of the soldiers, but the girl friends, moms, dads, grandparents, and the children."

The F.R.G. isn't just there for the families during deployments. They keep in contact with them all year round, doing group activities, and solving family problems. "If they just get a feeling of being afraid or lonely late at night, there's somebody they can call, someone there willing to lend an ear, ready to listen and lend that support," said Bennett.

The groups meet on a regular basis, usually once a month. They exchange information, and enjoy each others company, knowing they share a common bond half a world away. "We are a family. We are the home front heroes, the ones who are left behind. We want to band together and support each other and support our troops," exclaimed Bennett.

They're a family unit, patiently waiting, until their loved ones come safely home.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti; mruberti@wtoc.com

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