Famlilies of deployed have plenty of support

Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 20:39:56-04

It's been two weeks since nearly 200 Idaho Air National Guard Members were deployed to the Middle East.

While members oversees are focused on their role to support Operation Inherent Resolve, family members back home await their return.

Families of the deployed had a chance to say their goodbyes on the tarmac but not before being handed a deployment resource guide.

Local family support services consist of three main branches that are technically separate but work closely together to meet individual needs.

They include the Air Guard family programs, Yellow Ribbon Services and Air National Guard psychological health director.

"We're kind of like a guide," says Technical Sgt. Heather Speidel. "We help people get to where they need to go."

Plenty of guidance is offered before members even think about stepping foot on the plane.

Whether it's mom or dad who will be gone, in this instance for roughly 180 days, it's encouraged their new roles are defined before the Air National Guard member leaves to fulfill their mission. This means even though technologies like Skype and Facetime allow families to connect any logistics back home have already been discussed.

"Our goal is to enable families to be self-sufficient during this deployment but be available for any resources or guidance that they may need," Speidel explains.

In their loved ones absence, families back home can access phone cards, financial assistance, free counseling programs and have their spiritual needs fulfilled through Chaplains.

Personnel back home also call periodically to check in with families.

As far as community support goes, the calls are already coming in with veteran organizations and other groups on the other end asking how they can show their support.

"Boise one of the best cities in the country and one of the most generous I've ever lived in," Speidel concludes.