05/11/05 — Program would aid families of mobilized Guard and Reserve members

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Program would aid families of mobilized Guard and Reserve members

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 11, 2005 1:48 PM

The University of North Carolina is spearheading a program, funded by the Department of Defense, that provides support for families of National Guard and Reserve personnel deployed for long periods of time.

The Citizen-Soldier initiative is geared at addressing the challenges Guard and Reserve members and their families face during periods of mobilization, deployment and return from duty.

Unlike active military personnel who live on or near the military post at which they serve, Guard and Reserve members are dispersed across the state as part of 137 units in 92 communities. Their families lack the benefit of informal family networks that grow up around military bases and posts.

The program extends existing defense department programs by brining employers, schools, child-care providers, health professionals and faith-based organizations into a broad network of family support.

UNC Chancellor James Moeser said the program, which may end up as a national model, could have an indirect impact on the upcoming Base Realignment and Closure decisions.

"The Pentagon is extremely excited about this," said UNC Chancellor James Moeser. "We are creating constructive services, and it positions us as more military friendly."