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Leona M. Wheeler Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator Los Angeles, Orange County, CA.

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Presentation on theme: "Leona M. Wheeler Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator Los Angeles, Orange County, CA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leona M. Wheeler Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator Los Angeles, Orange County, CA

2 OUR MISSION THE SURVIVOR OUTREACH SERVICES (SOS) PROGRAM WILL EMBRACE AND REASSURE SURVIVORS THAT THEY ARE CONTINUALLY LINKED TO THE ARMY FAMILY THROUGH A UNIFIED SUPPORT PROGRAM THAT ENABLES THEM TO REMAIN AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE ARMY FOR AS LONG AS THEY DESIRE.

3 OUR PURPOSE THE SOS PROGRAM DEMONSTRATES THE ARMY’S COMMITMENT TO FAMILIES OF THE FALLEN. SOS IS A HOLISTIC AND MULTI-AGENCY APPROACH TO DELIVERING SERVICES TO SURVIVORS BY PROVIDING SERVICES AT THE COMMUNITIES CLOSEST TO WHERE FAMILIES LIVE.

4 “We have a job where we meet human needs. Every life we touch with healing and compassion is a victory. We can’t take away the problems people face; we can only help make things better no matter what our gifts may be.” Leslie J. Summers, Jr., Chaplin, LT COL, USAF

5 WHY DOES THE SURVIVOR OUTREACH SERVICES PROGRAM EXIST? MILITARY SURVIVORS AND THEIR FAMILIES HAVE COMPLEX GRIEF ISSUES: HAVING A LOVED ONE DIE A VIOLENT DEATH, FREQUENTLY AFTER A LONG SEPARATION. OFTEN NOT BEING ABLE TO VIEW THE BODY OF THEIR LOVED ONE. FEELINGS OF ABANDONMENT BY THEIR MILITARY FAMILY AS THEY TRANSITION – LOSING, NOT JUST THEIR LOVED ONE, BUT THEIR WAY OF LIFE. HAVING TO MAKE MAJOR FINANCIAL DECISIONS WITH LIFELONG IMPACT.

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7 CALIFORNIA DEMOGRAPHICS CALIFORNIA IS OVER 163,707 SQUARE MILES THERE ARE OVER 3,500 ARMY, ARMY RESERVE AND ARMY NATIONAL GUARD SURVIVORS IN THE STATE THERE ARE OVER 300,000 MILITARY RETIREES IN THE STATE THERE ARE OVER 2.1 MILLION VETERANS IN CALIFORNIA AND OVER 1.4 MILLION HAVE SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITIES AS OF 5 JANUARY 2012, CALIFORNIA HAS THE UNFORTUNATE TITLE OF BEING NUMBER ONE FOR TOTAL BRANCH DEATHS (702), TOTAL ARMY DEATHS (468), TOTAL ARMY RESERVE DEATHS (36) AND SECOND IN ARMY NATIONAL GUARD DEATHS (29)

8 STRUCTURE OF THE SURVIVOR OUTREACH SERVICES PROGRAM BENEFITS COORDINATORS FINANCIAL COUNSELORS SUPPORT COORDINATORS

9 ROLE OF THE BENEFITS COORDINATORS PROVIDE EXPERTISE ON LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL BENEFITS. WORK WITH CASUALTY ASSISTANCE OFFICERS PROVIDING SURVIVING FAMILY WITH ASSISTANCE TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY FOR THEIR BENEFITS.

10 ROLE OF THE FINANCIAL COUNSELORS PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO SURVIVING FAMILIES THROUGH INVESTMENT AND ESTATE PLANNING EDUCATION. WORKS CLOSELY WITH BENEFITS COORDINATORS, ARMY LONG TERM CASE MANAGEMENT, AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THE SURVIVING FAMILY.

11 ROLE OF THE SUPPORT COORDINATORS FUNCTION AS THE LONG TERM SUPPORT PERSONNEL FOR SURVIVORS. FORM SUPPORT GROUPS, NETWORKS, AND OFFER RETREATS THAT WILL ALLOW SURVIVING FAMILIES THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE SUPPORT. GIVE BRIEFINGS TO THE COMMUNITY AND LEADERSHIP; AND PROVIDE LIFE SKILLS AND SUPPORTIVE COUNSELING. WORK CLOSELY WITH CASUALTY ASSISTANCE CENTERS, BENEFITS COORDINATORS, AND THE CASUALTY ASSISTANCE OFFICER TO ENSURE THE SURVIVOR RECEIVES THEIR NECESSARY SERVICES.

12 ROLE OF THE SUPPORT COORDINATORS (CON’T) WORK WITH MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS AND CONTACT THE SURVIVING SPOUSE TO OFFER SUPPORT SERVICES TO SURVIVORS OF OUR RETIRED SERVICE MEMBERS

13 Taking Care of Business What this is about… Having that hard conversation with those you care about and those who care about you. Planning for the worst…  Estate Planning  Disability Planning  Retirement Planning Why… Our Wounded Soldiers and their Families let us know!  To ease the burden on Families, we must be proactive and plan ahead The survivors of our Fallen Warriors let us know!  Feedback from survivors told us advance planning and understanding a little about the process will help during the “fog” that sets in after a tragic loss.  Survivors from Our Retired Service Members also needs Assistance after the loss of their Love Ones,

14 Like most families, an Army Family is defined in many different ways. It includes… Spouses (married or pending a divorce) Children (minors and adult) Parents (married or divorced) Siblings (including half, step, or adopted) Single parents (with or without physical custody) Dual-military couples A Soldier who is also a long-term care provider for a Wounded Warrior Soldier Military Retiree Family Readiness Planning / Retirement Planning should include everyone who may have a part in making a decision in the event something happens to you.

15 The DD Form 93, Record of Emergency Data, identifies Death Gratuity and Unpaid Pay beneficiaries as well as the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) of your remains Contact information for Primary and Secondary Next of Kin Wills and Trusts Powers of Attorney (General, Special, Specific, Durable, “Springing”) Family Care Plans and guardianship of minors Key information for: Bank accounts, rental/mortgage papers, credit card and utility bills, as well as the location of important documents (birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports, etc.) Retirement Briefs, Services Connected Disabilities, Survivor Benefits Plan Preparing for the unexpected starts at home at any time. Critical topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

16 SOUTHERN CA DAWN LESSLEY ( ) SAN DIEGO, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR LEONA WHEELER ( ) LONG BEACH, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR ADRIAN BALBO ( ) LOS ANGELES, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR LORI PICARD ( ) FORT IRWIN, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR LES TOTH ( ) FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR BRIAN DENNIS ( ) LOS ANGELES, CA, FINANCIAL COUNSELOR NORTHERN CA NATHANIEL PLEASANTBEY ( ) DUBLIN, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR TERRY WHITE ( ) SACRAMENTO, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR CINDY FUGERE ( ) MOFFETT FIELD, CA SUPPORT COORDINATOR LYNN DITTRICH ( ) PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, CA, SUPPORT COORDINATOR DAVID BECK ( ) MOFFETT FIELD, CA, FINANCIAL COUNSELOR

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