by Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
8/11/2015 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Military
life can be stressful for families. Long hours, shift work, moving
every few years, temporary duty assignments and deployments can all take
a toll on family life.
To help alleviate some of the stress from a deployment, the Air Force
has created a new program for Airmen, and their families, who have
deployed during fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30) called
Recharge for Resiliency.
"The R4R program is designed for deployed families," said Karen Draper,
Schriever Sustainment Service flight chief. "It's meant to give the
families the opportunity to reconnect with each other or take a break
because [deployment] is stressful."
To be eligible to participate the following conditions must be met:
deployment, temporary duty assignment of 30 days or more or
365-permanent change of station in support of an active operation, or
dependent restricted assignment, six months or more, must have occurred
beginning on or after Oct. 1, 2014. Eligible participants include:
active duty members and their families; deployed Air National Guard, Air
Force Reserve and Department of Defense civilians and their families;
Air Force Wounded Warrior members and their families; families of fallen
warriors with DOD identification cards; and Army, Navy or Marine active
duty members, and their families, officially assigned to a tenant
organization hosted on an active Air Force base where the Morale,
Welfare and Recreation programs are operated by Air Force Force Support
Draper said because the funds for this program were specifically
allocated, the rules governing participation and programming are
"There are certain things we can't do," Draper said. "We can't do
entertainment, like football tickets, and it's very specific for family
members. You can't have the neighborhood kids go [with you]. Some
programs in the past have had a little bit of flexibility that you
could, but...you can't bring three friends or anything like that."
Each Air Force base was given a specific amount of money for R4R, based
on base population. Because Schriever is a smaller base, Draper reached
out to the U.S. Air Force Academy to form a partnership for the program.
"We have gone ahead and partnered with USAFA so we can offer a broader
range of programs and we're splitting costs between the two bases," she
This partnership also helps ensure enough participation to prevent event
cancellation, said Charles Alfultis, U.S. Air Force Academy Outdoor
Recreation Center manager.
"[Partnering with Schriever] gives us the opportunity to host programs
without being cancelled," he said. "It increases participation to where
we can have an event."
A number of the events planned thus far will take place at USAFA, such as golf lessons, art classes and a family camping event.
"We have a little bit of everything, we've tried to look at a variety of things," Draper said.
Deployed Airmen, or their family members, interested in participating
first need to get a letter from their First Sergeant certifying they are
eligible for the program. Draper said she has already sent a template
of the letter to all Schriever First Sergeants, so members only need to
ask their First Sergeant for the letter, fill out the information and
bring it with them when they register for events.
"Early registration is important," Alfultis said. "It gives us an
opportunity to know if a program is going to have enough participation.
If they wait until the last minute [the program might be cancelled]."
Registration can be done at either the Schriever or USAFA Outdoor
Recreation facilities. Once the reservation and payment, if necessary,
are complete an email will be sent to the member. The email serves as
both a receipt and ticket for the event, so it will need to be brought
for admittance to the event.
"The Academy has been awesome to step up and help us with this
[program]," Draper said. "If someone lives in that area, or happens to
be over there, they can go to Outdoor Rec at the Academy with their
letter and sign up right there."
Alfultis said programs like R4R are important because it provides a
low-cost opportunity to relax, especially for families of deployed
"[R4R] is very important, especially for dependents and the people left
behind while the spouse is deployed," he said. "The program gives the
opportunity to participate in low-cost recreation programs. It's a good
opportunity to relax and relieve stress while the spouse is away."