Soldiers Have Parents??

We are a military family. All three of our sons enlisted while they were single (unmarried) and many of “Our Guys” (soldiers we consider family) have also been single. As a result, I have from time to time done some complaining about how about half of Army soldiers are UNmarried but that “family” resources and information were principally for spouses — parents left out of the loop. (I actually asked what was being done for the “other half” of the Army while participating in a blogger’s roundtable that included the Secretary of the Army…)
While recently cruising the Army Home Page on Military OneSource, I was pleased to see the following prominently featured on the page:

New to the Army? Help Keep Your Parents in the Loop

If you’ve just joined the Army and your parents aren’t familiar with military life, keep them in the loop with these materials:

I don’t know how long that’s been up there and I’m sure the Army didn’t need any prodding from parents… however it got there and however long it’s been there, THANK YOU!!

The information under “When Your Son or Daughter…” is pretty basic (it’s a starting point), but you should also seek out additional information from sites specific to the military installation/branch of service where your child is undergoing training.

The “Resources…” page provides links to official and unofficial web sites that you might, as a parent, find useful, but also be sure to check out blogs like ParentsZone.org and other military blogs (“Milblogs” — you can find blogs by branch of service as well as those blogs by parents at www.milblogging.com).

As the parent of a soldier, you should become familiar with some of the other resource information contained on other Army and Dept. of Defense sites for future reference… such as the Army Well-Being site and the Military Homefront page.

I’d really like the Army and the other services to produce content specific to parents (or non-spousal family) with the idea that these people are usually remote (away) from their soldier’s military installation and typically have no idea how to contact the installation or chain of command (or even who that might be) in an emergency… or what resources are available to their soldier/sailor/marine/airman/coastie or to the family member (be that a parent, aunt, uncle, sister or brother…) when faced with serious issues involving their child (for example, post-deployment issues). (And, yes, I know that there are those who actually joined the military to AVOID their parents… but every soldier has a next-of-kin somewhere — that are not “in the loop” but should be!)

I did also find some parent-related information for the other services (some official, some unofficial):

for Parents of Marines
A Parent’s Guide to the Marine Corps
USMC – Recruit Training
Marine Parents.com

For Navy Parents
Navy for Moms
Navy Dads

For Air Force Parents
Parents of the Enlisted

AF — you could do better… information or links for parents could easily be added to AFCrossroads.

For Coast Guard Parents (nice job CG!!)

For National Guard Families

General informational links for all branches, Guard and Reserves at Today’s Military and Military.com

Comments

5 Responses to “Soldiers Have Parents??”

  1. LAW on July 11th, 2009 9:31 pm

    Many of these sites are on the left – click on the emblem of your service member’s branch of service.

    Now – please give us the ones YOU use. the ones that helped YOU get information and get through all of this.

    LAW

  2. Twitted by parentszone on July 14th, 2009 10:48 am

    […] This post was Twitted by parentszone […]

  3. Rebecca on July 14th, 2009 8:57 pm

    Finally! I have recently received via ParentsZone the information I have been looking for! I am a mother whose is VERY involved in the lives of her children and I see NO reason to stop now that 2 of my 4 children have enlisted in the Army! Thank you for all of this info! I will be looking into it! I have also begun to look into WHAT steps I need to take to bring THIS awareness to those “in charge”. There is sooooo much “out there” for military spouses BUT we the parents are in need as well!!! Parents will ALWAYS be there for our children (i.e. through divorce or even taking care of our grandchildren so that our child(ran) may serve in the military)! We should be rewarded by having websites AND groups SPECIFICALLY for us! By-the-way, my 2 children who enlisted are not “guys” they are BOTH girls and one is looking at becoming an officer through ROTC (they BOTH completed ROTC in HS)! Their “tough cookies”!!! I am looking forward to communicating with anyone who would like to! Here’s my e-mail address: rebeccamartinezs@yahoo.com

  4. Rebecca on July 14th, 2009 9:00 pm

    I apologize for my misspellings!? I was so excited that I am finally receiving the info. I’ve been searching for! I’m also in excitement as TODAY is the first evening I will be attending BLUE STAR MOTHERS group!

  5. Bridget on July 20th, 2009 2:54 pm

    Hi All,

    I am a Battalion FRSA (Family Readiness Support Assistant), and I maintain the Virtual Family Readiness Group website. This website is available to family members and friends of the soldiers of the unit, but the Soldier must give permission for that person to have access to the site.

    I have few resources on the site for the parents of soldiers. There is a forum that I am hoping will be used. What other online links have you all found to be useful so I can post it on the site for other parents. I am the Mother of two school-age sons and I think I would want to stay informed if they decided to go into the Armed Services.

    Our Soldiers are due to Deploy in fall 09, and I tell the Soldiers to make sure their parents and family get permission for the website and also to ensure that the extended family gets permission to have information released to them about redeployment, flights..etc.

    Army battalions for the most part have FRSAs. If your soldier is deployed and you need information, log onto the Military Post website and find the FRSA that belongs to the unit, so you can get more information. Please remember that there is OPSEC (Operational Security) and some things cannot be discussed.

    Another resource:
    Army Family Team Building. You can log onto http://www.armyonesource (free registration) and take Army Family Team Building classes to learn more about the military lifestyle, acronyms, Soldier benefits.

    I hope some of this proves useful. No Soldier is alone-they have parents, brothers and sister who care.

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