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Fort Hood: First Lady begins work on revamped Military Family Initiative

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:16 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 11:17 AM CDT
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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - First Lady Jill Biden is revamping a military family initiative to help the families of our nation’s heroes.

The program called “Joining Forces” was first launched under the Obama Administration in 2011 with the goal to make life for military spouses and their children much less stressful.

The program helps with things like job programs for military spouses, additional healthcare options and especially childcare.

Jeffrey Yarvis, an Army veteran with decades of experience in social work, says that’s one area made even more stressful for military families.

“We’re a very small and agile force that deploys a lot,” he said.

“I think she’s speaking to the turbulence that families experience with multiple moves, being in and out of several schools just throughout their elementary school years, the unique emotional challenges like PTSD and that being transmitted to children; and then of course, the stress of parenting in this environment.”

Joining Forces is already off to a fast start, launching programs for extracurricular activities, tutoring and mental health options both on and off post.

Yarvis says he thinks the programs could make a huge impact, especially in the Fort Hood community.

“This is a booming area where some of those resources on the civilian side are spread thin as people enter the metropolitan area of Central Texas,” he said.

“Then you have the fact that we’ve been at war for 20 years and so, we’ve learned a lot about the needs of our children.”

The First Lady has named Rory Brosius, the former deputy director of Joining Forces in the Obama Administration, to be executive director this time around.

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