Friday, September 01, 2006

open arms, my ass!

For those of you who are involved in or know the military, you know how the Services push that group known as the FRG, Family Readiness Group. They are supposed to be there for the families, to provide them the support they need whilst their soldiers are deployed. The group is supposed to be welcoming, not judgmental and rank is SUPPOSED to be left at the door. After all, we are family members/wives/parents/husbands, and we don't have rank. But as with all things that touch the military, supposed to isn't what is really happening.

I pissed off the head of the FRG I used to be with, by pointing out that some of us DO like information and she isn't diseminating the information that is being sent out (I get it from another group, so know what our group is missing). This woman has come right out and told us that she doesnt like to get online, doesn't like to watch the news (other than FOX!!) and doesn't really want to know much about what is going on in the world or in Iraq. I also pointed out (and folks, I WAS nice about it, I have been assured of that by more than one person who is NOT related to me that read the letter) that putting our group together with another group, whose troops are returning in the fall, while ours don't get back until spring was really hurtful to us. Listening to all the joyful planning for homecoming isn't much fun, when you have over 6 months to wait! I offered, again, to write the newsletter, since we hadn't seen one in over 2 months.

She got terribly upset with me, accused me of picking on her. I figured, ok, she'd get over it. But then she involved her husband, who is with mine in Iraq. He is a senior NCO! I'm lucky, my husband out ranks him. The senior NCO jumped on my husband, and told him flat out that we aren't in that particular company officially and basically indicated that I should leave. Now these men have served together for years. So thanks to a woman who has no self worth but has to run and hide behind her husband, who cannot take ANY criticism at all even when put into a letter offering help because she is obviously overworked, a long friendship is impacted. and I realized what I have always really known. I don't fit in these groups, and should just forget it.

So a few of us are going to make our own group. We are going to do what we wanted to do in the official group, do things that support our families and our soldiers. and folks.... don't believe in the Open Arms, Big Umbrella crap... you have to think "correctly", and remember, don't ever piss off the Top Kick's wife!

Still learning....

I just got onto a new military family website, and posted a query about FRGs... it's very depressing to see that there are a lot of people who are in the same boat with their FRG. But it's nice to have support out there.



DIL said...

It sounds to me like Top's wife his on rose colored glasses and wants to believe her hubby is coming home with this other group. Like most all she cares about is herself and forget all others. I know I learned even for a short time that it is more difficult being on the end as a spouse then a soldier. I am very thankful I was never part of the FRG. And the FRG in Germany was from what I saw one of the better ones. They were already planning for deployment before the boys were deployed. But I didnt get the "pleasure" of meeting with them when they were deployed. I hope all works out with your non-FRG FRG. Talk to you soon

Faith said...

Glad to see there is another democratic wife out there married to a National Guard Soldier. Keep up the good work. I know what you mean about the FRG's. I have been dealing with one from afar.

:-) Don't worry about it. Blogs are great for the other military wives. Believe me they get a kick out of us voicing our opinions.

Email me and I will send you the link to my blog. Which has been deleted and restarted several times. Not because of the FRG but because of an ex with revenge on his mind twisting my words. LOL is my email address. I am here to listen. Are you in California by any chance? LOL

Anonymous said...


i am the son of Liberal Army Wife, and just to respond to the FRG in Germany, believe me, it sucked. It sucked in so many ways i cant describe it.

Boschka said...

Do what you need to dear...FRG or the equivilant when Dad was active duty was a friggan me

Your SIL

Susan said...

I just saw this posting. I have to say, I feel your pain. I had about the same kind of thing going on with our FRG. The battalion commanders wife informed me that I had totally distroyed the moral of the entire company by stating that I was unhappy. Some people are too stupid for words. Good luck, I hope it gets better.

Bear said...

I'm curious as to what you think should be done to prepare spouses for deployment and to support them during deployment. I just came back from a SpouseBUZZ conference in Ft. Hood and I'm pretty sure the spouses there didn't feel that what was currently offered was sufficient. I'd like to see if there is any way we can support the spouses better and smarter, so the war fighter is able to focus on his/her job and coming home safe.

Is it the need for more programs or for the programs already in place to work better?


liberal army wife said...

bear. wish I could answer you on your own site.

the programs need to work better, they need to be implemented correctly, they need to actually be run by someone who gives a damn, who wants to do this NOT the Tops wife who is forced to do it, not the Cols wife who thinks she SHOULD do it, and not the other wife who thinks it will help her husband's career.

if you can, email me. we'll talk.

Chaotic Mom said...

Hmmm... I found this on a search for something else. I'm interested to read now how everything has worked out.

The FRG is the BN CDR's responsibility, to make sure one exists. It's not to be there to solve anyone's problems, but you're right, it's supposed to be there for support when needed. To point you in the direction of help when you need it.

I've been a part of amazing FRGs, and disgusting FRGs. All comes down to leadership, the military side and the spouse side. It is NOT supposed to be rank based at all.

It is very unfortunate you've had to deal with folks like this. I HAVE seen some very good groups, but you're right, they have to be run by folks who volunteer for the positions, not ones that feel like they're forced to do these things. Pre-deployment the group should focus on training these volunteers to provide the best help possible DURING deployment.

I have to head up an FRG in the very near future hear. No, I guess I don't HAVE to, but I choose to. With a very positive attitude, armed with all the experiences I've had (good and bad) to lean on. Fortunately, we'll be assigned a Family Readiness Support Assistant, a PAID person, who will help us out at the BN level. This is for an active duty unit. Does the USNG/USAR have a program like this?

Anonymous said...