Kids Deployment Line for Month of the Military Child

MOMC2016v2_400The Airman & Family Services Flight is celebrating April, the month of the military child, with a Kids Deployment Line on Saturday, April 9th from 1 PM to 3 PM.

Visit https://ellsworthafrc.org/kdl/ for deployment registration and event information.

Registration is required for “deploying” kids.

Registration closes on March 23rd at 4 PM or earlier if we reach 100 registrants.

Reunion and Reintegration: 3 Guidelines to help your relationship

welcome home 400During reunion and reintegration, couples will experience change and adjustment, just like they did when the deployment began. Sometimes this can be more stressful than any other part of the deployment process because of the conflicting expectations and changes that have occurred during the separation.

The reunion itself is often full of emotion and expectations. It can be an awkward mixture of excitement, joy, strife, apprehension, among other emotions. Both partners may need to renegotiate routines or responsibilities that were in place due to the deployment in order to find a good balance.

Be Realistic: Throughout the deployment both partners may be daydreaming about what it will be like to be home together. You may expect homecoming to be a passionate rendezvous, but when you are together you feel a little awkward and need some time to get comfortable together first. It is common that during the reunion, the deployer expects their partner to shower them with appreciation for the hardships they endured during the deployment. However, their partner may be looking for the same grand gesture. Instead of understanding that both experiences were challenging, couples may find ourselves in the “who had it worse” game in which neither person gets the validation they need and deserve.

Be Patient: Keep in mind that the deployer is coming home to a family in progress that has developed different routines. What about the partner who had to make the family budget? They may like doing it now, but the deployer expects to pick up that duty again. While one Airman was deployed, his wife started visiting her family twice a month. When he got back, she still wanted to go to her parent’s house often, but he expected that now he was back they would spend more of their time at home.

There can be many expectations on how to handle change. Sometimes the deployer expects things to go right back to the way they were before the deployment. There was one Airman who would read her 4 year-old daughter a bedtime story every night. It was something they both greatly enjoyed. When she got back from the deployment she assumed they would pick-up right where they left off. She was surprised and sad to find that her daughter was uninterested in story time. What do you think happened when she tried to enforce this routine? Sometimes this can cause tension among family members who are accustomed to the way things are. A realistic plan may be for the Airman to observe the new routines for a while and slowly join in when everyone is ready.

Communicate: Good communication can be defined differently by each couple based upon their experiences. However it is defined, good communication usually brings emotional safety for each partner. When one feels heard and able to understand the other person’s point of view, both are communicating well and experiencing emotional safety. Good, emotionally safe communication makes it okay to open up your heart to your partner. When you do your best to listen carefully to your partner, you make it safe for them to open up to you.

floorMany may have experienced times when their communication doesn’t look “good.” Sometimes your normal way of talking just isn’t working, but there’s something that needs to be talked through. Often couples keep trying over and over, or maybe they keep doing the same thing only louder. If this is the case for you and your partner, being able to use a method of talking that structures the conversation and allows both to listen will help good communication. One way of communicating that does this is the Speaker Listener Technique. You can learn about it from our Speaker/Listener Technique page that describes the steps.

There are choices to be made in communicating with your partner. When an Airman returned home, he found that his 15-year-old daughter was acting out at school. His wife was never strict with discipline, because that was a role he normally fulfilled with her support. But during his absence, his wife had allowed her to get away with many things that together they would not have. He had a choice to make. He could assert his power by enforcing new rules or he and his wife could brainstorm together and come up with other options that were reasonable and fair to everyone. They talked about it and agreed to let the daughter have input on the new rules. With consistent structure and guidance and by allowing her to have a say in important matter, her behavior improved and she was no longer getting into trouble at school.

Plan and prepare for the reunion with your partner just as you needed to prepare for the deployment separation. Some plans that you make may need to be readjusted as new events unfold. Be open to new ideas. Most importantly, stay connected and work as a team.

UPDATE: Ellsworth AFB Airman & Family Readiness Center WILL NOT open on Wednesday, 16 December

UPDATE: As of 8:26 AM, the Airman & Family Readiness Center WILL NOT open today, Wednesday, 16 December. We will reopen at our normal time on Thursday, 17 December.

For those that are currently attending this week’s Transition Workshop, the workshop will resume at 8:00 AM on Thursday, 17 December in our classroom. You will be informed as how to make up Tuesday & Wednesday’s briefings at some point during Wednesday afternoon’s workshop.

Since the Pre-Deployment briefing for Tuesday, 15 December was cancelled, it will now be held on Friday, 18 December at 1430 hours in the Deployment Center auditorium.

If there are other changes, we will post them here on our website and to our Facebook page (Facebook.com/ellsworthafrc).

Ellsworth AFB Airman & Family Readiness Center will open at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, 16 December

As of 6:52 PM, due to the weather conditions, the Ellsworth AFB Airman & Family Readiness Center will open at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, 16 December.

For those that are currently attending this week’s Transition Workshop, the workshop will resume at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, 16 December in our classroom. You will be informed as how to make up Tuesday’s briefings at some point during Wednesday afternoon’s workshop.

Since the Pre-Deployment briefing for Tuesday, 15 December was cancelled, it will now be held on Friday, 18 December at 1430 hours in the Deployment Center auditorium.

If there are other changes, we will post them here on our website and to our Facebook page (Facebook.com/ellsworthafrc).

Mailing Deadlines for Delivering Holiday Cheer to Service Members Worldwide

WASHINGTON — Ensuring those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents, care packages and cards in time for the holidays is a priority for the U.S. Postal Service and for friends and family members of military and diplomatic personnel serving around the world.

To send packages to loved ones serving in the military abroad, the Postal Service offers a discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box at $13.80 (online) and $15.90 (retail). The price includes a $2 per box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide.

Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available at no cost at local Post Offices and online at shop.usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship at https://cns.usps.com/go.

To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Dec. 25, the Postal Service recommends that cards and packages be sent to military APO/FPO/DPO addresses overseas no later than the mailing dates listed below.
HolidayMailingDeadlines2015
1 PMEMS is available to selected military/diplomatic Post Offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO address.

2 PAL is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. PAL is available for Standard Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface price for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.

3 SAM parcels are paid at Standard Post prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis.

Complete mailing and shipping deadlines for domestic and international services, as well as additional tips and guidelines, can be found here .

Addressing the Package

  • Write out the service member’s full name in the address.
  • Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP Code (if one is assigned). For example:

Army/Air Post Office (APO)

PFC JOHN DOE
PSC 3 BOX 4120
APO AE 09021

Fleet Post Office (FPO)

SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH
UNIT 100100 BOX 4120
FPO AP 96691

Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)

JOHN ADAMS
UNIT 8400 BOX 0000
DPO AE 09498-0048

  1. Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address.
  2. Include a return address.
  3. Include the service member’s name and address as well as the sender’s name and address on an index card inside the package in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit.

Domestic mailing deadlines are as follows:

  • Standard Post: December 15
  • First-Class Mail: December 19
  • Priority Mail: December 21
  • Priority Mail Express: December 23

Source: Delivering holiday cheer to service members worldwide

Holiday Hustle Hangar Games – Saturday, November 14

2015_11_400Join us for our final Hangar Games on Saturday, November 14th at the Pride Hanger from 1:00 to 3:00 PM.

Come learn about the ups and downs of starting a small business from others that have started their own business. We will have activities for all ages to include: turkey bowling, bouncy castles, balloon artist, photo booth, rock climbing wall, fitness demonstrations, disc jockey and more. LRSVehicleInsp_400

Additionally, the 28 LRS Vehicle Operations Shop will be offering FREE vehicle readiness inspections of your privately owned vehicle.

The 28 BW Safety Office will also have winter safety and survival information available during the event.