Navy support center to offer parents tips
August 17, 2007
NAPLES, Italy — With no slowdown in individual augmentee deployments in the near future, Navy officials in Naples continue to step up services for deploying sailors and their families.
The Navy hospital and Fleet and Family Support Center will hold a workshop on Monday for adults and children of deploying sailors, featuring lectures by a child psychiatrist, a nutritionist and a chaplain. There also will be art therapy workshops for children.
“The need for this workshop and other services has always been there, and we’re working to get those to the members and families,” said Toni Caragiulo, senior ombudsman for Naval Hospital Naples.
Monday’s workshop is open to anyone who might deploy, not just individual augmentees heading to war zones, she said.
A child psychiatrist will provide parents with a rundown of the typical emotions children and teenagers tend to exhibit when a parent leaves for an extended period of time, and tips on how to deal with those emotions and behaviors, said Jodi Pallett, deployment support supervisor for the FFSC.
Pallett will hold art therapy sessions for children, where the younger ones can draw pictures of happy memories involving their parents, she said.
“It’ll be a favorite memory, something they can keep in their room or somewhere, to remind them of their parent,” she said.
For several years now, the Navy has sent sailors to missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other areas to help relieve the strain on the Army and Marine Corps.
But unlike those services, Navy IAs — as they’re commonly called — deploy either as individuals or in very small groups, making it more difficult for commands and support service agencies to track them and make sure they and families receive all the needed help, Pallett said.
The Navy had seen redeploying sailors fall through the cracks of receiving post-deployment and mental health screenings.
To fix the problem, the Navy created the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command to track deploying sailors, and the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center to help augmentees before, during and after their deployments.
Deployment workshopWhere: Gricignano community center, Naples.When: Monday, 1 to 3 p.m. for children ages 5 to 12; 4 to 6 p.m. for those ages 13 to 18.Note: Adults who don’t have children or don’t plan to bring their children can attend either session.