Friday, April 9, 2010

Deployment Question #3--FRG's Again

Thanks for all the comments on the FRG's, I think I am going to check it out, if for nothing else, to say that I gave it another try.

Just a quick note on why I don't care a lot for them--when I was 7 months pregnant and Gunner was deployed to Iraq, my dad passed away.  I sent a Red Cross message, but he never got it.  I asked the FRG leader (who was a flake) to follow up on it, and she said I was out of luck because she was too busy.  I was such a mess at the time, trying to take care of two other broken hearted children, that I just walked away from it all.  Obviously Gunner called me, and I let him know, and looking back I could have called the Red Cross, but I can't say that I was thinking too clearly at that point.  All I wanted was a little help.  Shoot, it's not like I was asking them to mow my grass, I did that at 35 weeks pregnant and sent Em to bed with a phone since I could barely walk afterwards and I was worried I would need her to call 911.


The new question is once again courtesy of a friend that does go to FRG meetings.

One of the Soldier's parents donated a ton of exercise and sports equipment for the guys because they were in a remote location and had requested it.  This parent could not, however, afford to ship the stuff over there and asked for help from the FRG to pay for postage.  The FRG said yes, but there were three women that had a fit.

They said that the money was to be used on them and not on their husbands.  They didn't want money that was in the FRG to pay for anything to go over there to them.

It caused a huge ruckus and it ended with a private donor paying for all the equipment to get shipped over there.

Is the FRG allowed to pay for something like that?  (I know our first one they did)  Would you rather the money be spent on you or on your Soldier, or saved and used on a welcome home party?

Me personally, I say use it to make my husband's life better off over there, especially since now they want to take everything away.


MRS Jen McNeil said...

well, i think that FRG is a huge waste of time. I have been through 2 deployments and both times heard nothing from FRG.(except to call with redeployment times) I think kits pretty selfish of those wives to say they want them money for them. They are not the ones risking their lives everyday over there. I think its disgusting that some private donor had to pay for it b/c of the FRG's childish thoughts. While I understand that the money could be saved for a homecoming party for the soldiers, honestly, how many would attend? I know that after 2 deployments I just wanted to go HOME with my hubby and our kids and be a family for a few days before we started "socializing". Thats just my opinion....and another reason why I will never be apart of FRG unless I can start it up and run it properly!!!

Jenn B said...

I was very lucky with the first (and only, so far since my hubby is in school again) FRG experience. Totally lucky.

But I would think that if the unit's fund wouldn't pay for the shipping that it would be well within the realm of what an FRG should be doing to pick up the bill.

Amy said...

Every FRG I have been part of has paid for items to be shipped over to our soldiers. Every.Single.One.

Sounds like those complainers are selfish whiners. They're the type that bring the FRG down. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

As long as it is not to one specific soldier only then it is okay for the FRG to pay for the shipping, if they have the money. FRG money has to benefit everybody, granted in this case it is benefiting all soldiers over there.

I say, make life better over there!

Julie the Army Wife said...

Both FRGs I have been in have spent money to ship things to the soldiers. They also spend money to buy things for the single soldiers to have when they get home. So it is odd that people would pitch a fit about it all.

JakeyNat said...

Wow, you're on your 5th deployment?!!!! How do you do it?? My husband was also stationed in Fort Carson and just left on his second deployment to Iraq just three weeks ago. This will be the first deployment experience for me and I just don't know how I will get through this and its just been 23 days. I'm just getting acquainted with the whole FRG thing and it just sounds like nonsense to me. They say one thing, but he tells me different. I'm just getting starting on my blog. I think it will help me destress and pass time. Any tips on how to stay strong?? You're practically a veteran and I'm the rookie. I could really use some advice. BTW, where in Iraq did your husband deploy to??

dutchgirl (Ellen) said...

I am generally on the periphery of FRGs, mostly because I steer clear of drama and unfortunately most FRGs have that in abundance. Depending on the leadership, though, I have been involved in the past.. Mostly because I still think that a lot of responsibility falls unfairly on the commander's and 1SGT's wives (that's a whole 'nother can of worms I won't open here)

Over the years some of the best support systems for me were not a formal FRG per se, but were when we were a part of a small unit where wives truly did communicate and look out for one another.

As to the money thing, all the FRGs I've been a part of have used money to send things to soldiers, in my opinion sending the equipment shouldn't have been an issue.

trooppetrie said...

I have a love hate relationship with the FRG. When I was really involved in it or ran it I loved it but then it is like if you are not helping alot then they do not have time for you. did you know there are paid FRG people now. as your rear D about it. we only had one at our last duty station. you can also call ACS to ask them about it. they are there to work with the FRG but are better trained and the soldiers listen to the them more

USNchic said...

The people that complained about using the money on the soldiers are the type of people that give FRGs a bad name. We put together holiday care packages for our sailors when they are deployed. The FRG pays for the items and shipping and we all get together to pack up the boxes and make a social gathering out of it.

Joannafesto said...

Army spouse here. My husband has been deployed more times than I can count. There are good FRG's and BAD FRG's. The good FRG's are the ones that are there to support the soldiers and each other. The bad FRG's are there to gossip, form cliques and one-up each other (those who have confused their husband's rank with there own). It depends upon the command climate. I have been in FRGs that I loved, and others I couldn't get away from fast enough.

Although we occasionally used some of the money raised for ourselves, going away gifts, etc., the bulk of the money went to the soldiers.

However, your treatment by the FRG leader upon the death of your father is reprehensible. I lost my Dad this past summer and my husband was home. I can't imagine treating another spouse this way upon the death of a parent EVER -- FRG or no FRG. I am closing this before I say something I regret (I have a mouth) but this is not the way LEADERS are supposed to act.

Violet said...

I have the same FRG questions going through my mind lately. I too have had some bad experiences, but nothing like yours. However, I have had some good ones too, but in all honesty that was when I was adopted by another FRG that was ran by my good friend. That was the only time my questions got answered and I was contacted about my husband when deployed.

I am sorry to hear how you were treated during your father's death. When the FRG should have been supporting you they didn't and isn't that what they are suppose to do. I hope that by you giving them another chance that you are not let down again.

As far as shipping I know for a fact that the FRG's I have been in have never had a problem sending items to the soldiers even costly ones, just as long as someone else stated it is not to just one soldier. Yes the FRG tends to spend the big bucks on activities for the families and even the balls, but there is always that exception.

Good luck, and by the way I love your blog.

Birdie Woods said...

I used to be very involved with my Soldiers FRG. He is a Reservist so we have very little support around here at all. Our FRG was a freaking nightmare! All they did was sit around and gossip about the female soldiers in the Unit. All of the ladies that were fighting over the leadership role (and they all did) were useless. I asked my Soldier what he thought about the shipping thing and he said that he'd rather the money be spent on fun and events for the families. We dont have any kids and a lot of the families in his Unit are very young and low-income. If you have a big FRG budget I think the shipping is fine, but in our tiny FRG, we were lucky if we could afford a trip too the Zoo for families while the Unit was deployed. Maybe they didnt have the funds?

Mallory said...

As an FRG leader I can tell you YES, that if a totally legit expense. The FRG is there for the soldiers AND their families. Not solely for one or the other. If it is something that can be done to boosts morale, it is totally worth the money.

As for your experiences, I'm so sorry.Every FRG is different. It depends on the leader and the involvement of the Commander. Unfortunately there are a lot of FRGs that are just a gossip group and they never do anything for the families but hurt each other. Then there are some that simply do nothing at all. My advice is that you should give it a try every time you are near a new one. Maybe it will be great. Every FRG is very different so don't give up on them as a whole because one group sucks. Hopefully you will have a better experience with them soon.

Sara said...

I didn't read the other comments, but mine is short and sweet.


So shipping that equipment? Yes. Yes it should certainly be within their rights to use it.

And those women should be ashamed, the dumb cows.