Sisters Create Web Site to Help Families of Deployed Troops
By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 7, 2004 Twin sisters Jackie and Janice know the challenges military families face. Their father served 31 years in the Navy, and as self- described "military brats," they called several places home.
After the tragic events of Sept. 11 and the ensuing war on terror, Jackie Parris said she felt the need to create a Web site that would help spouses and families of deployed troops. She enlisted the help of her sister, Janice Sydnor-Evans, Army Community Service officer for the Beckley Recruiting Battalion in West Virginia.
"I felt the soldiers needed to know there was a site that could assist them and their families in an expeditious manner," said Parris. "I wanted them to know how much we are supporting their efforts."
Parris said that between her research and her sister's knowledge of what families of deployed troops need, they created Operation Support.
Operation Support is full of links to organizations designed to assist troops and their families. It includes listings for Veterans Affairs hospitals as well as for Tricare, the American Red Cross, and service aid societies.
It also contains a list of suggested items to send to deployed troops, such as cereal bars, fruit rolls, dried fruit, toothpaste, sun block and cough drops.
Parris said she has received many letters from troops and their families. "The feedback has been totally positive and supportive," she said. "The many letters I have received have been gratitude for having a one-stop reference."
Many spouses and friends have asked Parris about certain topics. "If their topic is not addressed on the site, I research it and forward the information to the individual who requested it," she added.
Parris said she works on the page often and will keep the site going "as long as we fight terrorism."