Local News

New Fort Bragg expo offers support to families affected by deployment

Posted January 30, 2020 5:44 p.m. EST

— Brooke Mongiovi is getting ready to navigate uncharted waters.

Her husband is a soldier preparing for his first deployment. This will be her first time alone taking care of their three children.

She went to Fort Bragg’s first Military Spouse and Family Expo on Thursday, which military leaders held to help loved ones left behind when troops deploy.

“I heard about a lot of different things that they offer for families of deployed service members,” Mongiovi said.

She is not alone. For many families at Fort Bragg, the alert that sent about 5,000 paratroopers to Iraq in early January is a first deployment.

That's what makes the support being offered at the expo so important.

“Especially if you’re new to Fort Bragg and you don’t know anybody, coming and joining one of these programs – you get to meet other people that are just like you, and you feel less alone,” said Janette Torres, the wife of a soldier.

The United Service Organizations Inc. understands that sentiment better than just about anyone.

The nonprofit was founded in 1941 in Fayetteville. For 69 years, it’s been helping families get through the uncertainty brought on by military deployments.

Fort Bragg families are often wondering if their loved ones ares OK or when they're coming home.

“With uncertainty comes stress,” said Jim Whaley, CEO of USO of North Carolina. “With stress comes a lot of emotional problems and sometimes physical problems. The USO can help family members migrate and mitigate some of those stresses.”

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