Symposium informs, empowers Guam Guard families


The Guam National Guard’s Family Programs Office hosted a Family Symposium for spouses and family members of airmen and soldiers last Aug. 24, at the Dusit Thani Resort Hotel in Tumon.

The symposium’s theme, “Empowering our Family Readiness Groups,” provided briefings on topics, such as Reintegration and Reconnection, Life Skills and Team Building, Social Media and Operational Security, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families, Strong Bonds, the Thrifty Savings Plan, the Blended Retirement Plan, Financial Planning for the future; Transition Assistance, current and upcoming training and deployment information, and The Mighty-eR Spouse.

“Don’t forget that you are valued and the mission won’t be successful without the ‘Mighty Spouse.’ You make it happen, but we need to take time for ourselves,” said Delores Naputi, a work/life specialist, from the Airman and Family Readiness Center at the Andersen Air Force Base.

There were also resource tables by Citizen Soldiers for Life, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Andersen Family Programs, The Navy Fleet and Family Services, New Beginnings and several financial institutions offering Veteran Home Loan Services.

In addition to the family briefings, separate breakouts for children, 12 years old and under, and teenagers, 13 to 18 years old, offered resiliency training, dating violence awareness, financial literacy, emotional health and service learning.

“This event, and the Guard’s youth program in general, is great because I have been able to meet new friends and reach out to others who have experienced or are experiencing challenges of having our parents deployed and gone for long periods of time,” said Haani Losongco, daughter of SFC Joshua Losongco, from the Guam Army National Guard’s GUARNG Element.

Devin Santos agreed, “It is also a great outlet for us because we all learn, together, some strategies in dealing with our feelings about the separation and the time goes by faster.” Devin is the son of Lt. Col. David Santos, who is the commander, Guam Army National Guard 1st-294th Infantry Regiment, and currently deployed to the Sinai. (PR)

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