As a social worker, who has worked for so many years in the civilian sector, I am always amazed at how well the military tries to take care of its soldiers and families. If only the rest of the people in the U.S. had access to some of the wonderful programs designed to support and enhance families and their quality of life. I have been at the Quality of Life Conference here in Garmisch since Monday, and have been impressed and moved by the enthusiasm, true caring, and willingness to help that the military has for the people who dedicate their lives to our country.
Today, I sat in on a brain-storming session for the POWER program, Providing Outreach While Enhancing Readiness. As a POWER trainer, it was wonderful to hear both the problems that people are having trying to use this wonderful tool, and the agreement about the need for the program. The military recognizes how much all the caregivers need help to prevent burnout. What is less clear for our military leaders may be who these caregivers are. It includes spouses, FRG leaders, and providers, but it also includes the service members themselves.
I think this program could be used for everyone, and could help a very broad spectrum of both civilians and military personnel. The other issue is how to keep the program going forward in a time when there are fewer resources and even less time available to us all. I hope we can find a way to use this tool, and carry it out to the people who need it.
I am grateful for this forum, and grateful for the time I have been given to participate in this conference.
Priscilla Fleischer, Ph.D., LCSW
Family Advocacy Program Manager, ACS