Expo helps soldiers and families prepare for deployment

Expo helps soldiers and families prepare for deployment

FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - Soldiers and their families are now fully prepared for their upcoming deployment, thanks to an expo on post.

There were several agencies at the expo offering a multitude of services, from financial budgeting to child care, all to help the families prepare for when their loved ones leave for deployment.

The soldiers at the expo will leave for deployment in June and will be gone for nine months.

Plans for the expo have been in the works for quite a while now.

“Ever since we found out about this summer’s deployment we were going to look for a way to bring all the agencies available on Fort Sill to help families thrive and bring them in to one place so the families could meet and greet and talk to the agencies,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Porter, Battalion Commander 4-3 ADA. “We’ve got a lot of agencies here to help families out.”

One of those agencies is Army Community Service, or ACS. It offers prevention programs and other resources.

“Often times we get families that come into Fort Sill... There’s nothing to do or they don’t know about ACS, but we are here to support our families, here to support our soldiers," said Kimika Louis, with Family Advocacy Program. "So, we try to provide all free and voluntary events for them and programs so that they don’t have to feel that financial pressure, but they can come access resources, and then when they get that step up they can be successful and resilient.”

Two spouses at the event said each deployment is different, which is why having support from others is so important.

“Every deployment is different. Some deployments are easy, some deployments are really hard, and so you never know what you’re going to get until you actually get in there," said Julia Porter. "So, I think that’s why we value so much connectedness and spending time with other spouses because it helps make that deployment easier.”

“I’m very upset that they’re leaving, but then I’m also exciting because I’ve met a lot of good friends, but they’re also family and I know that they’re here to count on,” said Lauren Taylor.

If you missed the deployment expo, but would like to learn more about the resources ACS offers, you can give them a call at 580-442-4916, or visit them on post in building 4700.

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