Support our mission
 

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Volunteers have formed a commandwide Family Readiness Group, the first time the support system has existed for the spouses and children of all Sasebo tenants, organizers say.

Already, some Sasebo ships have Family Readiness Groups, organizations that help spouses and children with the adjustment of moving to and living in Sasebo, according to Tiffany Isaacson, the head of the new basewide group.

But now there is a group that will help the families of servicemembers, civilian workers and Department of Defense Dependents Schools teachers as they move into the Sasebo area, Isaacson said during a phone interview Wednesday.

“We want to get to them as they arrive,” Isaacson said. “We’re making sure they understand where they can go to get help and information. If you are a new Navy wife, you may not know about all the services the Navy offers.”

The military offers support to families in many ways, including individual sponsors when servicemembers move and the Navy’s ombudsman program that links spouses to command information.

But the readiness groups focus on providing the spouses and children with more than information, said Isaacson, who was in the readiness group for the USS George Washington last year.

She wants the Sasebo group to be able to help spouses actually to go through the process of learning about their new home, everything from schools and shopping to command decisions that affect families.

“The servicemember has a sponsor” at the beginning of a move, she said. “But the spouse and the kids are in the Navy Lodge and thinking: Now what?”

Isaacson hopes the readiness group can help with that, and she eventually would like to start a buddy system that would pair a community member with each new family for those first few weeks.

As a nonprofit organization, the readiness groups can raise money. The ombudsman program is prohibited from doing that, Isaacson said.

Isaacson said she hopes to use the money to provide each new family with a welcome basket full of both essential information and goods needed in those first few days.

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up