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Mission: Service — Military Family Readiness Center at Offutt helps military families transition to the area

Posted at 10:26 PM, Sep 06, 2022

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — The military requires tremendous sacrifice from its members and their families to accomplish the mission. Some of that sacrifice may come in the form of an unexpected notification of a permanent change of station, commonly known as PCS. At that point, a servicemember receives relocation orders to another military installation.

During this move, it is likely that they will relocate hundreds of miles from the place a military family once called home. For children in these families, it means changing schools, making new friends, trying out new activities, and trying to fit into an unfamiliar space.

At Offutt Air Force Base, the Military Family Readiness Center is an essential resource for these children and their families to be connected to what they need to transition quickly.

Air Force Master Sergeant JaiaVeralea Upchurch, superintendent of the Military Family Readiness Center, is one of the people they'll likely encounter if they PCS to Offutt Air Force Base. The master sergeant says each family has different needs.

"The first thing that we do is a relocation brief," said Upchurch. "And, that's where we really get to find out where our families are at."

Some resources the center can connect families with include 20 hours of free child care and someone to help families choose the best school for their children.

Liane Yanikov, Offutt Air Force Base school liaison, says making contact before a PCS to the new base will help ease the transition.

"When I know that they're an incoming family, I will make contact with them just to give them some information, such as some public schools in the area, the districts that are in the area, along with websites to those districts," explained Yanikov. "I also send out youth sponsorship forms because as students are moving from base to base, you know, they're saying goodbye to their friends there, and they come here, and they have no friends, or they have no one to connect to."

Upchurch believes there is a correlation between the child's success and the military member's success.

"It's hard for you to come to work every day and deploy and start your job when you know that your child is struggling," she said.

If your child isn't successful, then it can affect success in your military career. If your military career is hindered somehow, the overall mission could be affected.

The Military Family Readiness Center offers several resources not mentioned in this story. If you would like to learn more information about the Military Family Readiness Center at Offutt Air Force Base, click this link.

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