FORT GORDON, Ga. (NNS) -- Navy Information Operations Command Georgia (NIOC GA) Sailors and their family members use the Family Readiness Group (FRG) for help and support during deployments.
FRG President Lauren Updike and Vice President Marissa Greer have been hosting monthly potlucks, holiday events, birthday celebrations, deployment and homecoming celebrations, and a myriad of other command sponsored and family attended events since arriving to the command in 2010.
"To me, the FRG is a beacon of support and calmness in the bustling home we call Fort Gordon," said Greer. "Just knowing there are other spouses who are there for me to talk to in the event that I have questions or concerns is a big relief to me. The FRG is my Navy family and it is a revolving and growing family, but I find comfort in the fact that they are here to help alleviate those homesick feelings that crop up from time to time."
There is no well-documented history on the Navy's FRG, though there have always been long-established support and comfort groups for Sailors and families since the inception of the Navy.
"Our main focus within the FRG is to provide social, informational and moral building activities to better prepare and support the Navy families here at NIOC Georgia," says Updike. "We continuously look for ways to provide and encourage our families to enjoy the area, get out and meet other Navy families."
The FRG provides a network of support from the command, interaction with the command ombudsman, Fleet and Family Services and other services on base to help settle families in to the area. This "first impression" is a way to ensure an open line of communication is created between the incoming families and the FRG.
The NIOC Georgia's FRG has hosted 76 families at nearly two dozen events since the beginning of the year. Families brought their children to Kinderjam, enjoyed varying flavors and toppings at the summer Ice Cream Social, and donated desserts for the Cake Walk hosted by the FRG during the command summer bash. Pizza parties, the 2nd annual Sock Exchange and the Hunt For Gold provided a safe and fun environment for families to leave their stresses at the door and have some fun. They will be hosting a Holiday Ugly Sweater party Dec. 10 with an ornament exchange and gift exchange for children.
"I can't tell you what the FRG means to me," says Matthew Daniels, a Navy spouse. "It can be rough getting used to a military life, but the Family Readiness Group is always there to answer questions, explain some of the things I may not understand about the Navy or military, and they'll be there for support when we encounter a deployment."
"Keeping up with my three home-schooled kids as well as my own full-time college schedule doesn't leave much time in my day," said Jennifer Cox, wife of Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Joel Cox.
Cox utilizes the NIOC GA FRG Facebook page to check on upcoming command events and FRG meetings.
"I greatly appreciate how well the FRG keeps their social media accounts updated so I can stay actively involved with ease," she says.
NAVIOCOM Georgia's FRG holds a monthly potluck the second Wednesday of every month. The event is open to all Sailors, spouses, families, children, and civilians associated with the command. They can be contacted at email@example.com.
Information on the Navy's Family Readiness Group can be found at: http://www.cnic.navy.mil/ffr/family_readiness.html
For more news from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia, visit www.navy.mil/local/niocg/.