Wartime isn’t easy for the nations, communities, families or individuals involved, and with thousands of troops deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and numerous other areas, military families across the United States are feeling the pain of separation and uncertainty.
“We worry about our loved ones in wartime and we have needs that are uncommon and hard to express,” said Kim Coreson or Soldotna, who recently began organizing a military family support group for the Soldotna area called the Peninsula’s Yellow Ribbon Club.
Coreson is the mother of four sons. Her oldest is serving in the U.S. Army and is stationed in Iraq. Her second oldest boy still is in high school, but has already joined the U.S. Navy and ships out to boot camp in July.
She said she knows from first-hand experience the need for encouragement and understanding during these anxious and emotionally trying times of war, which is why she set out to organize the support group, which meets the second Thursday of every month at the Bear’s Den in Soldotna.
The purpose of the group is two-fold, she said.
“The groups really needs to be driven by the needs of the people involved, but I’d like to see us create a casual, local network of families with deployed, deploying or deployable family in all branches of the military,” she said.
This would establish a venue where the husbands, wives, parents, children and other family and friends or those serving in the military could come together. Coreson said she also envisioned guest speakers coming to address the families on numerous issues, such as coping with grief and finding financial resources since the financial burden of bills and other expenses hamper many military families left behind when a loved one is deployed.
“A second purpose would be to unify efforts that are already under way to assist families here for deployed family members,” she said.
Coreson cited several examples of this second purpose, such as sending letters and cards during the holidays to those serving away from home, making and mailing out care packages to those deployed and providing names and assisting with the holiday tree lighting ceremony in which yellow ribbons are hung from the tree in front of Central Emergency Services in Soldotna.
“Hopefully, if an existing effort needs more hands, we can help,” she said.
The first meeting of the support group was last Sunday, and despite minimal advertisement for the event, 15 people attended. Coreson said she was thrilled by this response, and added that the group in attendance seemed very capable, talented and ready to “get this off the ground.”
A second meeting is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. April 12. The topic will be “Welcome home what we can do to welcome your soldier home.”
Coreson also has established a Web site to announce activities of the support group. It can be found at http://myyellowribbon.blogspot.com. Coreson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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