Veteran Spouse Resiliency Group

From left, Harker Heights Veteran Spouse Resiliency Group facilitators Doris Williams and Michaela Jaimez award certificates to group members Lisa McMullen, Tamara Watson and Laurel Mercer last month in Harker Heights.

The Harker Heights Veteran Spouse Resiliency Group held its last meeting for its fall session recently at Charlie Greene Memorial Hall in Harker Heights, and the newly formed group aimed at supporting veterans’ spouses is now gearing up for a new session.

Group facilitators Michaela Jaimez and Doris Williams will reopen the group’s doors this month for spouses of veterans and spouses of service members who are within six months of leaving the military.

This will be the pilot program’s first spring session as the first fall session ended in late January.

The University of Texas-sponsored program seeks to provide spouses with a direct resource and safe space to discuss personal issues and solutions to unique military-related problems.

With 12 meetings in a session, topics of study include self-care, long-term combat-caused issues and disability of spouses, caregiving and marriage.

As the meetings went on in the fall session, attendees became more relaxed, engaged and spoke at the meeting about their personal experiences.

Group participants also expressed gratitude for the new relationships they’d developed in the program and made future plans to keep in touch after the session’s end. Some good-byes were tearful.

“I want to thank you all very much for supporting us,” Jaimez said at the last meeting in late January. “I said it before: You’re the trailblazers here. This is a pilot group and you guys have been supportive. ... We cannot tell you how much we’ve appreciated that.”

Her co-facilitator was also pleased with how the first session went.

“I think it was the bonding,” Williams said. “It was the bonding of all of the ladies; getting to meet new friends and feeling comfortable being with each other and talking to each other about the things that were going on.”

The last meeting covered finance, and the facilitators and group participants were able to converse about important topics like how to handle the change of cash flow from leaving the military; investing; tactics for saving; how to financially prepare in the event of a spouse’s death; financial management and spending habits; retirement; and spending as a couple.

Program-provided workbooks were used during the discussions and certificates of completion were given out.

Go to www.facebook.com/VeteranSpouseNetwork/ or http://sites.utexas.edu/mvfp/vsrg to learn more about sessions, qualifications for participation, and to find a group.

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