Fort Gordon seminar focuses on support during military deployments

Blondell Tolbert attends a presentation Wednesday at Fort Gordon about family readiness groups.

Diplomacy and tact were discussed during the first session of a family readiness group seminar Wednesday at Fort Gordon.


The family readiness group is a structured way for spouses within an Army unit to gain and spread information about upcoming events and support one another during deployments. At times, however, the combination of competing personalities and the stress of having a loved one far from home can strain the cohesion of the family readiness group.

On Wednesday, Tonya Imus, the mobilization and deployment program manager at Fort Stewart, near Savannah, Ga., laid out several scenarios for a mixed group of uniformed soldiers and spouses. They tackled ways to resolve division between leaders, stem the spread of misinformation and avoid corrosive gossip.

“It’s a people thing,” Imus said after the session. “You really have to focus on the professional element and be open to different people.”

Elizabeth Acevedo brought her experience as a family readiness group coordinator to the seminar as the wife of a retired senior noncommissioned officer. The coordinator position requires a delicate balance between the uniformed chain of command and the spouses.

“You have to be flexible and take small steps,” Acevedo said.