July 1, 2014
By Aniesa Holmes
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 2, 2014) -- When Soldiers deploy, Fort Benning spouses can rely on a support program to share common concerns, ask questions and participate in social activities with other Family members on post.
Hosted by Army Community Service, the Hearts Apart program meets quarterly to offer various services for those who have a service member deployed or serving on an unaccompanied tour.
Separations can become overwhelming, particularly when Families don't have the support and regular contact a unit Family readiness group provides, wrote Linda White, ACS relocation program manager, in an email.
"At some point, all military Families experience painful separations," she wrote. "In some cases, Families choose to move to areas closer to their extended Family and friends. Others remain in housing on post or nearby until their Soldier completes his or her unaccompanied tour or deployment."
Hearts Apart allows members to meet new people, participate in activities and share their stories with others. Family member Diandra Tomlin said the program is a great resource to use when her husband, Staff Sgt. Brandon Tomlin of the 75th Ranger Regiment, is away.
"Once I found out about Hearts Apart, it was good a resource for me to find things on post," she said. "My husband is gone a lot and I don't know many people here. I also have 16-month-old twins, so it was a way to get out of the house and meet new people." Tomlin said the best part of the program is knowing that she doesn't have to face challenges alone when her husband is away.
"We sit down and share deployment stories and the things that we go through," Tomlin said. "What helped me the most was having other spouses there to talk to when I have questions, because I have friends who don't understand some things because they are not military spouses. I've met a lot of new people through the Hearts Apart program."
The next Hearts Apart class will be from 11:30 a.m.- to 1 p.m. July 8 at Building 7, Patch Hall on Baltzell Avenue.
For more information, call 706-545-4485 or 706-545-0403, or stop by the office at Building 7 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.