By Warrant Officer 1 Thea James, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana National Guard’s (LANG) Office of Family Programs hosted their annual state family workshop and award ceremony for the Soldier and Family Readiness Group (SFRG) volunteers in Baton Rouge, August 19-21.
The weekend’s events included training, planning and recognition to approximately 57 volunteers including key volunteer team representatives, commanders, SFRG volunteers and command family readiness representatives. The workshop focused on communication, networking, information sharing and connecting people with resources.
“When thinking about the state workshop, it’s important to our office that the workshop addresses the issues that impact you as volunteers, families and service members,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Larry J. Johnson, Jr., the state family program director and Soldier and family readiness branch chief. “Taking care of the Soldiers and families within the LANG is an enduring priority for the Office of Family Programs.”
As a result of the recent pandemic, a total of 18 awards were presented to awardees from 2020 and 2021. The awards were presented to honor volunteers that encompassed the initiative and desire to go above and beyond to establish an effective military family support program.
Mrs. Anglia “Nikki” Ganey, lead soldier & family readiness specialist said, “It is our opportunity to provide recognition to volunteers and SFRGs who work diligently providing support to our service members and their families.”
The awards categories for Air National Guard and Army National Guard included: Family of the Year; Family Readiness Group of the Year;Family Readiness Newsletter and Social Media of the Year; Family Readiness Volunteer of the Year; Louisiana Magnolia Award; National Guard Regional Volunteer of the Year Award and National Guard Family Program Community Purple Award.
SFRGs, formerly known as Family Readiness Groups, are integral parts of military life. Soldier and Family Readiness provides both readiness and assistance to service members and families by maintaining the continuity and stability of SFRGs through training, administrative and logistical support to commanders and SFRG volunteers.
“Our workshop focuses on answering questions and providing resources to assist when the need arises. Attendees leave the workshop equipped with the necessary tools to persevere,” said Ganey.
The empowering agency encourages and supplies families the tools needed for problem solving on a personal level, to include medical benefits, emergency financial assistance, veterans affairs information and community capacity building.