Family Strengthening Programs
Entertainer and educator Trevor Romain and his foundation have teamed up with USO Warrior and Family Care to support military children who are dealing with a “new normal” after their loved one has been injured or wounded. Through partnership with the Trevor Romain Foundation, “Taking Care of You” kits have been distributed to children of wounded, ill or injured troops. In 2012, Trevor will also be traveling to various bases near USO locations to visit with active duty parents who are wounded, ill or injured to help them to relate to their children as they both begin to live “in the new normal” of their lives together, as a family.
Stronger Families – Oxygen Couples Seminar
The Oxygen program is designed to help wounded, injured or ill couples strengthen their relationship and work on tough issues in an environment that is fun and non-threatening. Couples learn how to improve communication, better understand each other’s needs, resolve conflicts, rekindle romance and find renewed hope. With the assistance of the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program, Navy Safe Harbor and Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment, the USO is hosting couples workshops throughout the country in 2012.
NMFA Healing Adventures Retreats for Wounded Warrior Families
The USO teams with the National Military Family Association Healing Adventures Camps to bring together families who have a parent who is wounded, ill or injured to participate in a four-day camp experience. Each camp focuses on activities and seminars for families to “learn to play together” after a difficult and long recovery processes.
“We enjoyed the boating. Great staff, excellent activities with the kids. It was good to get away as a family and to spend quality time together.”– Wounded Warrior Spouse, Mom
Families of the Fallen Support
The USO Families of the Fallen Support Program was developed in response to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates approving the policy change that allows media coverage of dignified transfer operations of fallen service members' remains. Before the policy was changed, less than 1 percent of families and friends came to Dover AFB to witness the return of their loved ones. Since the policy change in April 2009, more than 78 percent of families and friends have come to Dover AFB.
The USO Families of the Fallen Support Manager office is at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs located at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. When a branch of the military notifies the family of a casualty, they also inform the USO's Family of the Fallen Support Manager of the family's flight itinerary. Flights carrying the remains of America's fallen arrive at all hours and families do not have much time to get to Dover. To smooth the way, USO centers in airports where families will be passing through are alerted, most often in Philadelphia, so staff can be ready to assist in any way.
TAPS Good Grief Camps
The USO, in partnership with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), hosts multiple grief camps throughout the year for families of the fallen. Good Grief Camps provide children and teenagers with a safe and supportive atmosphere to conduct activities and have opportunities to learn grief coping skills, establish and identify support systems and create awareness that they are not alone in the grief of their loved one.
“The first year I attended the TAPS convention and allowed the children to go to the Good Grief Camp – it was for all of us to heal. The amazingly positive experience for the children is what is drawing us back … I will continue to make attending the camp a priority each year for the children whenever possible. It is THAT special.”- TAPS Surviving Spouse
Physical Health & Recreation
Education, Employment & Community Reintegration