JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
The Military and Family Readiness Centers at Joint Base San Antonio offer many resources to help military families connect during normal operations, and they are still offering a multitude of classes and support services even though their offices are physically closed.
Conversational Corner was recently created to provide an opportunity for individuals to connect with others. The class is open to all Department of Defense identification cardholders, to include active duty members from any branch of the military, spouses, dependents, and civil service employees.
Sessions begin with a facilitator opening the conversation with a soft topic, presenting a general idea or concept, then the conversation opens to the attendees.
“The goal is to provide a safe place where connection and conversation create opportunities of personal growth and even exploration into new perspectives,” said Criselda Guerrero-Smith, a community readiness consultant who specializes in work-life balance and financial literacy at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. “The program is in its third week of facilitation, and I am hopeful that as the word gets out, individuals will grab a cup of coffee and log into the conversation from wherever they are.”
Guerrero-Smith believes communication is key to maintaining well-being during the current crisis, and virtual classes are becoming the new norm.
“In a time when we cannot have face-to-face conversations, this class offers a virtual outlet that lets us reach out to one another and dive into meaningful conversations and communication,” she said, adding that recent session topics included: ‘Three tools for self-reflection' and ‘Why do we apologize so much?’
“I feel that during this time, it is even more crucial that we foster the relationships we have in our lives and actively work to reach out to others,” she said. “In a time where we may consider ourselves alone, this is an opportunity for us to grow alongside one another.”
To participate in Conversational Corner, call 210-221-2705 to register and receive instructions on how to participate in this virtual class.
Exceptional Family Member Program
Participants in the Exceptional Family Member Program don’t stop having questions just because offices are closed. That is why the program has a support group that offers a question and answer session with experts in EFMP areas of concern. These sessions are open to families of military personnel stationed at or in the process of moving to JBSA.
“The Q&A sessions allow families the opportunity to ask questions of experts in relation to their special needs family members,” said Melissa M. Reyes, Exceptional Family Member program coordinator, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. So far, the group has held two Q&A sessions, one with the JBSA school liaisons and the other with Respite Care program specialists.
During those sessions, the questions families asked were in regard to services and support available during the pandemic.
Reyes assures families, EFMP services and programs are available to them, even though their offices are not physically open.
“Offering our classes and programs virtually has been beneficial for our families as it allows them to still connect while in the comfort of their home,” she said. “We are also able to provide one-on-one consultations virtually, as needed. Families can always reach out to us.”
To schedule a virtual, one-on-one consultation, or to participate in the support group Q&A sessions, call 210-221-2705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment or sign up for a virtual support group meeting.
For more information on other Military and Family Readiness Center virtual programs, services and classes, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mfrcjbsa.