The Importance of Families in the Army

posted on Thursday, December 21, 2017

“I know how important family is, in the Army.”

After 23 years serving in the U.S. military, Jeremy Baker was ready to move from active duty to a more family-oriented role. He heard about the family readiness program, and knew that was where he wanted to be because, as he puts it, “families are important in the Army.”

Baker is the Family Support Assistant, 389th Engineer Battalion in Dubuque, Iowa.

The family readiness teams are responsible for finding necessary resources for families in the military who need assistance. This can range from childcare to food assistance to tutoring services, and everything in between. Military life includes lots of moves from place to place depending on deployments and assignments, and the family support teams are there to offer assistance in navigating new locations, in addition to consistency and stability.

Family readiness teams are available to anyone in the service who needs assistance. According to Baker, “It’s all sorts of families [who we help]. It’s not just young soldiers; it’s the generals, as well. We take care of them, too, that’s our job.” The demands of military life are intense, and family readiness teams help ease some of the burden so that families can focus on being together.

Baker is clear that while often his job is just to serve as a connection between companies and higher headquarters and to do research into available resources, there are difficult circumstances to which he responds. If a family is having a difficult time or struggling with financial issues, that can be difficult, and that is when they reach out to the family readiness teams. Says Baker, “If they are having issues, they can give me a calI... in this role you actually have to deal with some pretty hard stuff sometimes with families. So, you have to be compassionate.”

This is Iowa Select Farms’ first year working with Baker, though we’ve supplied Pork Care Packages to the 389th Battalion in Dubuque, Iowa, for several years. Pork Care Packages support the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation’s objective to show gratitude to members of the Armed Services and their families by providing $40 in coupons for pork products. These coupons are given to family readiness teams, who then distribute them to families.