/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Helping parents to ADAPT

U researchers Abi Gewirtz and Laurel Bidwell are partnering with the Minnesota National Guard and Reserves to test parenting resources for families with children ages 5-12 who have recently gone through the deployment process

U researchers are assessing new resources for families with a parent returning from a military deployment

By Rick Moore

Gwen Zimmerman spent 22 years in the Army National Guard before retiring last summer, and she knows firsthand the trials and tribulations of leaving your kids behind to serve overseas Between her and her husband, Steve, they’ve been through five deployments

Fortunately, there have been pleasant endings for the Zimmermans

“There’s nothing better than when the pilot wakes you up on your trans-Atlantic flight and says, ‘Folks, I just wanted to let you know we just crossed into US airspace Let me be the first to welcome you home,’” says Gwen Zimmerman “There’s nothing that can replace that feeling and the first time you get to hug your children”

That’s tempered by the reality of returning from a war zone and trying to settle back in to domestic life

“All of a sudden I had to figure out when my kids took naps, what food they ate and didn’t eat, and when they went to bed,” Zimmerman says “I had to remember how to change a diaper again!

“It was really odd You’re like, ‘How could I have forgotten this—what kind of mom am I?’ But you do”

New strategies to help parents

University of Minnesota researcher Abigail Gewirtz has studied the critical correlations between parenting and children’s health, especially in high-risk conditions, and in recent years has become interested in military populations

“Since they put their lives and [the health of] their families on the line for our country, they deserve to get the best of what science can offer,” Gewirtz says “And yet there have been almost no studies of parenting among service members” 

Signing up for ADAPT
Laurel Bidwell, the project director for ADAPT, and Abi Gewirtz are actively seeking families to participate in the project For more information, visit the ADAPT site

That’s about to change Gewirtz and fellow researchers Laurel Bidwell (U of M) and Melissa Polusny (VA) are partnering with the Minnesota National Guard and Reserves to develop and test parenting resources for families with children ages 5-12 who have recently gone through the deployment process

Called ADAPT (After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools), the project examines the effectiveness of an evidence-based parenting intervention that’s been modified for military families in the National Guard and Reserves

Over the next five years, Gewirtz and Bidwell hope to recruit 400 families for the study Families will be randomly assigned to one of two groups—one that receives standard parenting literature and another that participates in a 14-week session with facilitated groups and web-enhanced components

The goal is to equip parents—and by extension, their families—with the best tools possible as they face deployment and then family reintegration

Navigating the new terrain back home

As difficult as it is to leave behind a family for the unfamiliar landscape of an Iraq or Afghanistan, returning back home often entails conquering equally challenging terrain

Zimmerman, whose son and daughter are now 10 and 8, describes a honeymoon period in which the returning parent doesn’t want to be the bearer of discipline Routines vanish And the world at home is suddenly foreign

On a leave during a deployment, Zimmerman suffered from migraines for almost six weeks because, strangely enough, “there was color here,” she says “Trees were green; grass was green There were dandelions The lilacs were blooming There were smells in the air instead of just sand and dust and garbage…

“And my sensory system was overloaded so much that even thought all my children wanted to do was spend all day with me while I was on leave, I was down for the count by mid-afternoon”

Then there are the new family dynamics “My husband definitely had a different style at the house than I had during his deployments,” she notes “Then for the kids to find the new balance … We’ve been through this several different times, and we know we’ve made some mistakes because we’ve recognized it after the fact”

Zimmerman recently completed an ADAPT pilot program and felt the sessions “gave me time not only to get the material but then to personalize it for my own environment and share with other parents”

Gewirtz points out that the group-based components of the ADAPT project are delivered by both community facilitators and National Guard personnel, and down the road it could be sustained within the Guard”

“Ultimately,” she says, “our hope is that if this is shown to be effective, it will not just be used on reintegration, but also during deployment and prior to deployment, to help families prepare and adjust to the changes associated with those stages” Tags: College of Education and Human Development

Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

Article archive