SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --
The military is a distinctive lifestyle that can be unpredictable, unmalleable and tasking – it also comes with a host of advantages.
Like many things, there is no black and white for military service. One truth, however, is that these unique factors can affect relationships and families.
“Frequent moves and trips, unaccompanied assignments, long working hours, deployments and potentially dangerous work can add to the stresses of married and family life,” said Ruth Moore, community readiness consultant, 50th Force Support Squadron, with the Airman and Family Readiness Center. “However, the military provides many services and programs to help families."
To better help families manage expectations for military life, the A&FRC will host a “Opportunities and Challenges of Military Life” class March 27, other resources include Military and Family Life Counselors who can provide support and consultation, the Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program, the 50th Space Wing Chaplain’s Office, Military OneSource and more.
Additionally, the 21st MS clinic offers mental health services for those who may be struggling or wish to get another perspective on their situation. Airmen can call the clinic to talk to the staff or get linked with other Schriever support agencies’ to accurately address their needs.
“If you need help from a support agency, you don’t have to go from one side of town to the other,” said Marnie Hebert, mental health technician at the Schriever clinic, 21st MS. “We are lucky it can be found here, and if we need to, we can lean on other Front Range military bases.”
Hebert, a military spouse who came from a purely civilian background, said she had to make her own adjustments to adapt to the military lifestyle.
“There was a lot I had to get used to,” she said. “What was hardest for me was the mandatory nature of everything. Normally, in civilian life, you work your shift and if you go overtime you expect compensation. In the military, you work until the job is done. You are always on call.”
She said she wished she was aware of these resources when she first became a military spouse.
“If there was a class like this (Opportunities and Challenges of Military Life) for me to attend when I first got married, it would’ve been so helpful,” Hebert said.
Maintaining a healthy relationship is fundamental to maintaining the pillar of mental fitness – part of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness.
Moore detailed how the A&FRC and Schriever support services are always there to help.
"Airman and Family Readiness Center programs and services are provided to ensure Airmen and families remain resilient and mission ready during their Schriever tour,” Moore said. “We strive to meet the needs of the Schriever community through various avenues, to include unit briefings, classes, workshops, seminars and individual meetings."
Hebert shared her advice for those having a hard time adjusting to military lifestyle.
“Get to know other military families, especially those who have been in longer,” she said. “Once you talk to those who have more experience, they can give you pointers and tips. One of the coolest things about the military is that it is self-sustaining. If you need help you can find it.”
To find out more about Airman and family services call 567-3920. For mental health services, call 567-4619. For a list of helping agencies available and links, visit the Schriever website’s webpage here.