Programs in place to help Airmen, families

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Christy Cruz
  • 71st Medical Group
Military life and service can be challenging - not only for military members, but their families too. There are various base family advocacy programs available to help Team Vance Airmen.

As servicemembers, we train consistently in order to be ready for anything. Our family members, friends and co-workers do their best to provide much of the support we need, but commanders and military helping agencies are also dedicated to providing you with additional support.

The Community Action Information Board is one agency representing the needs and interests of our military families. The CAIB recognizes and resolves concerns impacting the readiness of Air Force members and their families. It strives to promote the Air Force as a positive way of life and enhances members' abilities to be productive members of the military community.

The standing sub-committee and "action arm" to the CAIB is the Integrated Delivery System. The IDS brings issues to the CAIB, works proposed solutions and policy changes and ensures their implementation. Several base organizations come together to bring issues, identified by their specialty, to the board and meets quarterly or when called upon by the base commander.

Issues currently addressed at Vance include tobacco use, alcohol-related incidents, stress, wingman-day activities, strengthening military marriages, communication and increased care for deployed members and returnees showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Knowing where you can turn when you have issues is half the battle when seeking help. Below are the agencies that can provide assistance.

Family Advocacy Program
Phone: 213-6172
The Family Advocacy Program builds and maintains healthy relationships by preventing violence in the family and providing educational outreach activities to help family resilience. Parenting classes, couple's counseling, infant care and positive discipline for single parents are just a few of the many classes available.

Mental Health Clinic
The Mental Health Clinic, formerly known as the Life Skills Support Center, can provide Airmen support from trained mental health professionals regarding personal issues, their thoughts and feelings or aid in strengthening their interpersonal relationships.

Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Treatment
Individual assessment and counseling is available for individuals who are experiencing challenges due to their alcohol or drug use. Extensive educational classes, knowledge about off base helping agencies such as Alcoholic Anonymous and informational handouts regarding abstinence or appropriate drinking are available. Remember, if you are in a situation where you are under the influence of alcohol and need a free ride home, contact a volunteer driver through the Vance Against Drunk Driving Program. Enlisted: (580)-541-4663; Officers (580)-541-7433 or call Safe Ride Home at 233-2224 for a free, confidential taxi ride home within the Enid city limits.

Drug Demand Reduction
The DDR program manager focuses on drug abuse education activities aimed at civilian populations to include school-age children. Events like Red Ribbon Week and Drug Abuse Resistance Education bring awareness and education to our community. In addition, briefs can be provided to unit commanders, first sergeants and supervisors on the drug testing program for our active-duty people.

Airmen and Family Readiness Center
The Vance Airman & Family Readiness Center assists Total Force Airmen, Army, Navy, Marine, Guard and Reservists, DoD Civilians, Retirees and their families on a wide range of work and family issues. The Air Force has many programs and services available through the A&FRC to promote a positive family environment. Visit, for more information.

Chaplain services provide you with confidential pastoral counseling of all kinds. You can find support here for individual counsel, workplace relationships, marriage and family relationships and pre-martial counseling, as well as, spiritual guidance. As supporters of religious freedom, the chapel provides a range of worship experiences and is always available for individual needs. Chapel Connections is an active partnering with local faith groups collecting the information you need when looking for a faith-specific program or Bible study.

Health and Wellness Center
The HAWC offers courses in effective stress management, managing diabetes and hypertension. They also have a tobacco cessation class, Step by Step: Eating to Lower High Blood Cholesterol program and healthy cooking classes. They offer exercise prescriptions, a relaxation/stress free room and healthy shopping tours, all in order to help you regain and maintain physical wellness.

Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
The base legal office provides legal assistance with personal civil legal matters subject to the availability of legal staff resources and expertise. Subject areas include wills, advance medical directives, living wills, powers of attorney, protections and responsibilities under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and notary services. Eligible beneficiaries include active duty, dependents and retirees with priority going to those needing deployment related assistance. Individuals in need of legal assistance should contact the legal office to schedule an appointment. Additionally, the legal office manages the Victim Witness Assistance Program. VWAP provides for the protection and assistance of victims and witnesses, enhances their roles in the military criminal justice process and preserves the constitutional rights of an accused.

Equal Opportunity
The Equal Opportunity office provides military and DoD civilian employees, as well as dependents and retirees, with a variety of programs to address any unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or physical/mental disability. EO seeks to eliminate discrimination and promote an environment free from personal, social or institutional barriers.

Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
The SARC coordinator serves as the single point of contact for survivors of sexual assault. They strive to support survivors after an initial report of sexual assault through disposition and resolution of issues related to their health and well-being. This program offers the option of "unrestricted" reporting, which initiates an investigation, or "restricted" reporting which enables military members to report allegations of sexual assault to specified personnel, without triggering the investigative process. Additionally, a variety of prevention programs which promote a culture of respect of self and for others, including self-defense programs, Internet safety classes and multiple training classes are available.

If you or someone you know may benefit from any of these services, spread the word and share what you now know. All too often we are so preoccupied with getting to the destination; we forget to enjoy the journey.