Battle Creek, Michigan –
Deploying thousands of miles from home to support the warfighter and the Defense Logistics Agency mission can be a test of one’s resiliency, but the Family Services program in Battle Creek, Michigan, tries to ease the stress by reaching out to deployed personnel and their families.
During a recent update meeting on the area of operations, Family Services Program Manager Lisa Grenon was praised for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program care packages she sends. Property Disposal Specialist Andrew Walls, a new arrival at the DLA Disposition Service’s Bagram, Afghanistan, site said receiving his care package was great.
“Folks in the AOR appreciate the generosity and the thought that went into it,” Walls said.
Environmental Protection Specialist Larry Leach also enjoyed his package and noted that “Lisa does a fantastic job prior to your deployment ensuring that you and your family have all the resources available for situations that may arise while you’re away from home.” As the “mayor” for the Bagram site, Leach also helps with morale by looking into problems his comrades may be having with living areas or the DLA yard.
“We put in all work orders, assign rooms for billeting, ensure all areas are up to code and order Class 1 items,” Leach said. “Basically, if anything is wrong -- electrical, light out, door not functioning, AC or heater not operating -- people will come to me to get it fixed.”
Normally, Grenon said she tries to work with deploying personnel during training sessions, briefings or other opportunities before they leave, but changes in operations have made that difficult. She did make contact with the recent deployers to get an idea of what they needed.
"They told me they were tired of drinking from Styrofoam cups, so I sent them some tumblers, hand sanitizer, drawstring bags and other things I knew they could use," Grenon said.
For families, Grenon supplies a variety of items based on their needs. If children are involved, she has books she can send and cards the kids can send to their deployed family member. For spouses and significant others she includes information on resources like Military OneSource and resiliency tools like doodle pads with Family Services contact information on the sheets.
Grenon said that family members are thankful for the materials, and the deployers appreciate that she is checking in with their families.
“They always say thank you for the support,” Grenon said. “They like the personal contact whether it’s an email or a phone call…making sure their families are doing well.
Compared with DLA’s other major subordinate commands, Grenon said DLA Disposition Services has more people deployed than all of the others combined. She said it makes her feel great to help take care of their needs.