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Taking care of families; benefits available to Soldiers

U.S. Army Public Affairs

Published: 11:52AM July 25th, 2013

Beyond salary, education and housing benefits, there are Army family support services for Soldiers and their families. These include support groups, counseling and training. Many of the services are offered free or at discounted prices.

The Army offers several unique programs to help Soldiers adapt to transfers and new tour cycles. Through briefings and a Web-based resource called the Standard Information Topics Exchange, Soldiers may access photos, maps, base housing floor plans and information on services and programs offered at the installation.

Financial readiness programs are available to educate and counsel Soldiers in the area of personal finance. Through classes on money management, financial planning and insurance and consumer counseling, Soldiers learn how to eliminate debt and manage their money wisely.

A wide range of family advocacy initiatives are available to Army families, from new parent support groups to abuse prevention classes to assistance for families with special needs.

Every Army post has a Legal Assistance Center that provides free walk-in services. The attorneys on staff offer advice on personal legal matters; review legal documents such as contracts and leases; and prepare wills, correspondence and other legal documents. Legal Assistance Centers also operate tax centers, with free income tax preparation and electronic filing for active duty Soldiers, dependents and military retirees.

Predeployment and reunion briefings are provided through the Mobilization and Deployment Support program. The program offers classes for Soldiers and their families on topics such as how to establish and manage household budgets, how to communicate with children and how to prepare wills. Family members are encouraged to join Family Readiness Groups and maintain communication with the rear detachment of the deployed unit.

Army Child and Youth Services provide affordable child-care programs for Army families. Costs are typically based on rank and pay grade. Programs range from day-care facilities to sports and fitness programs.

The U.S. Army also offers a network of support and leisure services for Soldiers and their families. The Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation program delivers a wide array of recreation, sports, entertainment, travel and leisure activities for Soldiers and their families worldwide.

Visit http://www.goarmy.com/benefits/soldier-and-family-services.html.