Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Family of Heroes resource to serve Schriever

By 2nd Lt. Jason Gabrick

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

A new interactive online learning tool, Family of Heroes, is now available to all members of Team Schriever who have recently returned from a deployment.

The primary focus of Family of Heroes is to help Airmen and their families cope with changes that can occur during or shortly after a deployment.

Air Force Space Command is providing the program and though new to Schriever, Peterson Air Force Base has been using it since December 2011.

“We want to know how receptive the warfighters are to this training but it’s also important to us that we keep it anonymous,” said Steven Brite, the chief of education services for AFSPC. “We want them to be more than curious; we want them to feel comfortable enough to talk to their spouses about what’s really going on in their lives.”

The program is not a run-of-the-mill computer based training course. Instead, Family of Heroes is a flexible platform. Users are taught material applicable to a returning service member and their family and then they use it as they interact at home.

Maj. Catherine Tredway, chief of military personnel programs for AFSPC, returned after seven months at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2011. Tredway was one of the first Airmen to use the program and volunteered her story in hopes that others will give it a shot.

“It was surprisingly helpful,” said Tredway. “When I started out, I thought it would be like any other CBT but, very quickly I felt engaged and wanted to know what it was about. I liked that there were different stories and characters. I identified with them.”

Tredway said she especially liked the way the simulation was tailored to her inputs.

“In one of the stories, a female comes home and she’s talking to her spouse. She realizes that she’s jealous of her mother-in-law because of all of the time she got to spend with her kids,” said Tredway. “And, I realized that I was jealous. I shouldn’t have been, though. I should have been appreciative. The program helped me realize things I hadn’t even thought about.”

No one experience with Family of Heroes is identical to another. The program takes inputs from the service member as they interact with their family and develops a specific path which will be most beneficial to the individual and their family.

Chaplain (Maj.) Glenn Gresham, 50th Space Wing, is excited for Schriever Airmen to use this new resource.

“Family of Heroes is an excellent resource for managing expectations before, during and after deployment,” said Gresham. “It is for both the deployer and the deployer’s family.”

Family of Heroes is available now and can be accessed anonymously at www.familyofheroes.com/peterson

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