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NDW Commemorates 40 Years of Fleet and Family Support Program

07/11/19

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Amadi, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

 

    WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval District Washington (NDW) hosted a proclamation signing to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Fleet and Family Support Program (FFSP) on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, July 10.

    Rear Adm. Carl Lahti, NDW commandant, signed a proclamation declaring July 16, 2019 the 40th anniversary of the FFSP, to be Fleet and Family Readiness Day, a time to recognize the program’s impact on the Navy.

    “Forty years ago, the Navy made a decision to put a real focus on families,” said Andrew Freed, Work and Family Life (WFL) supervisor at Naval Support Activity Washington. “They understand that if the family is doing well, the service member can maintain their focus and readiness.”

    Freed retired after 21 years of service in the Air Force and uses his military experience to comfort service members in distress.

    “The majority of our staff here are either former service members or spouses. We understand the military life, deployments and going through a permanent change of station. My wife told me she felt like a single parent when I was deployed. So when I talk to spouses married to deployed service members I say, ‘I know you feel like a single parent’ and immediately they connect,” said Freed.

    The FFSP is organized into four functional areas: WFL, Counseling, Advocacy and Prevention (CAP), Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) and the Navy Gold Star program. Those programs offer services such as relocation assistance, family employment, clinical counseling, and emergency response.

    “As an ombudsman and staff member, I have seen the programs positively impact Sailors and families,” said Carrie Mast, NDW regional WFL coordinator. “The information, resources, workshops and classes for Sailors and family members provide the support they need, when they need it.”

    “This information available allows Sailors and family members to acclimate to a new duty station, assignment and other life changes that can happen at a moment’s notice. Whether you are buying a car, moving, expanding your family, facing a deployment, Fleet and Family Support Centers have the tools to develop the skills needed to thrive in the military environment,” said Mast.

    Freed says the Fleet and Family Support Center staff relish the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of service members.

    “The greatest joy I get in this job is when I know what a service member is going through and I’m able to speak about those subjects in a way where they know that I understand. Our whole staff sits around during our meetings and discuss what we call our ‘success stories.’ That’s the biggest paycheck that I get,” said Freed.

    Navy families in need of information can download the MyNavy Family application for mobile devices. The Navy community developed the app for spouses and families so Sailors can focus on their mission. The app is free and can be downloaded via the Apple App store, Google Play or in the Navy App Locker at https://applocker.navy.mil.

 

For more information on events happening in NDW, visit http://www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.

For more news from Naval District Washington, visit www.navy.mil/local/ndw/.

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For more news from Naval District Washington, visit www.navy.mil/local/ndw/.

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