Military families seek support - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Military families seek support

April 10, 2003
Albany - When Debbie Blanton arrived at work on a recent morning, she was overwhelmed with images of war.

"That's the reason I was having a bad day that Friday morning," Blanton said. "I had been watching too much of it and I stopped it."

That day, Debbie and her co-worker Kathy Jenkins, decided it was time for a change.

"It is time to start a support group because if we're dealing with this, and we have each other on a daily basis, but a lot of the family members don't," she said.

Debbie's son Cliff is a Marine stationed in Kuwait. Kathy's sons Kip and Brian are in Iraq with the Army. The support group, she says, will give people a place to bring their burdens. After all, each day is a different struggle.

"I would have my bad days," said Kathy Jenkins. "I mean anything can set you off."

 The military provides a lot of support for spouses during times of war. But it's the parents, girlfriends and friends who are left to find their own support.

Eric Ashley is the director of personal service at the Albany Marine Base. His advice to the group was to turn the television off.

"We have a tendency to get glued to what's happening with the war and all that does is provoke more anxiety for us," Ashley said.

Now, the next time Blanton is having a bad day, she'll have a new group of friends to call.

"I think people are really interested in having a place where they can come and talk and cry if they need to," she said.

A group, she hopes, that continues to grow.

Debbie and Kathy's support group will meet again next Thursday night at 6:30 p-m at Ryan's Steakhouse on Dawson Road. For more information, you can call 432-1131.

posted at 11:55 p.m. April 10 by brannon.stewart@walb.com