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NEWS | Oct. 19, 2015

Single parents support group helps Airmen connect

JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

Sitting at a wooden table at the Military and Family Readiness Center located behind  the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center here  Tech. Sgt. Annalisa Hernandez, 25th Air Force chaplain’s assistant, and Senior Airman Laura Wehunt, 59th Dental Training Squadron dental assistant, share their experiences as single parents with Sylvia Flores, M&FRC community readiness consultant, during a monthly single parents support group seminar Sept. 18, 2015.

Hernandez remembered randomly sobbing in the shower and her son asking if she was okay.

Wehunt, who recently became a single parent, reflected on a family inviting her and her son to live with them and volunteering to take care of him when she needed to run errands or have solo time to herself.

“It was such a blessing and comfort to be able to share my experiences with them,” Wehunt said. “It’s nice to know there are people to talk to. These seminars let me know that I am not alone as a single parent.”

“It is very therapeutic to be able to exchange my experience of being a single parent with other Airmen who are single parents like myself,” Hernandez added.

The seminar, held one Friday a month, allows single parent Airmen the opportunity to connect with each other and gather valuable information that can aid in reducing stress and promoting quality family life.

The resources the M&FRC provides to single parents include: budget creation programs, resume reviews, stress management apps and a list of different activities to participate in around the city.

“These seminars are a reminder that single parent Airmen are not alone in this battle of life,” said Flores. “We are a team that works together to help them find their way through life to reduce the struggles, bumps and bruises along its pathway.”

Wehunt is grateful for the information Flores supplied.

“She gave me great advice on taking care of myself, even if it means getting up 15 minutes early to enjoy a hot cup of coffee before the start of my day,” she said.

Hernandez expressed her gratitude to the M&FRC for listening to her during the sessions.

“I am grateful to them for listening to what I go through as a single parent,” she said. “They have laughed and cried with me at the same time.”

Wehunt recommends other single parent Airmen attend the sessions because the M&FRC may provide information they may not be aware exists.

“I didn’t know I could go to the legal office on base and get information regarding child support,” she explained. “I didn’t know about the One Stop Shop (which houses the Airman’s Attic, Cinderella’s Closet, the Loan Locker, the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Thrift Shop and the Women, Infants and Children office).”

Wehunt and Hernandez agree that the seminars area great platform for single parents to connect with each other.

“Talking to someone who is in the same boat as you helps because you both have been through the day to day struggles of parenthood,” Wehunt said. “Who better to understand what you are going through as a single parent than another one,” Hernandez added.

Call the MFRC at (210)292-3543 for information on future single parent seminars.