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Air Force Families! It's Time For Action!!!

Posted Jun 08 2009 6:36pm
The Air Force is in the preliminary stages of setting up a respite program for
our EFM families. If your are an AF family, I would ask that you write me a
letter that will be sent on to AFHQ. We need to let them know the urgent need
for a program in the AF. Please tell your story, and how the lack of respite has
impacted the member and families readiness, mental health and well-being, and
anything else you are willing to share. I have included below what I sent in.

It is time for us to make our voices heard. It is time for us to take action. If
you would, please send the email directly to me with the subject line to read
only - Air Force Respite - so I can create a folder and keep track of all the
emails to be sent on.

At the end of my letter I also included my mailing addy and phone number. I have
removed that information for the purpose of this posting as it's getting sent
out to the masses. I would encourage you to include your mailing addy and phone
number. If you do, that information will remain confidential with me and will be
used for no other purpose other than being sent to AFHQ.

Please feel free to pass this post on to any AF family you may know.

Thank you all for your help and action.

June 8, 2009

To Whom It May Concern;

After receiving respite care that is crucial to the health, well-being, and
stability of our family, I was informed by my provider on Saturday night that
the funding for this program has dried up and respite will no longer be
available after June 30, 2009.

In 2006 my husband went TDY and was supposed to be gone for three months. Our
younger son with autism regressed severely, and when reaching out for the
support of our base, our family program coordinator recommended that I put our
son in foster care. The Air Force has continually lagged behind the other
branches of service when it comes to effective and accessible respite programs.
This is quite unacceptable, and is completely out of line with the Air Force
Core Values.

The ability to receive respite care this past year has probably saved our
marriage, tremendously helped our mental health, and provided my husband the
ability to excel in his position, and truly be "at the ready". Without the
ability to continue to receive respite; the lack of action and implementation of
a beneficial and accessible respite program by the Air Force, our family is
again pushed into a precarious situation.

In order for the Air Force to retain an all volunteer force comprised of high
quality members, the issue of providing respite must be addressed quickly and
effectively, because many of these high quality members, such as my husband,
happen to have children with disabilities. We realize respite is not an
entitlement, but rather a crucial support just as any other support, which
allows the member to be "at the ready". Our families are reaching crisis state,
and this can be prevented. I implore of you to take swift action to bring
implementation of an effective and accessible respite program for our Air Force
EFM families.

Very Respectfully,
Angela Warner – Air Force spouse and mom to four children (two with autism)
autismrr at gmail dot com

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