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Face of Defense: Soldier, Family Find Helpful ‘Source’

By Army Sgt. Whitney Houston
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Nov. 19, 2008 – Being separated from family can trigger stress and anxiety for deployed servicemembers, especially when children are involved.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Maj. Allan Dollison of the 4th Infantry Division and Multinational Division Baghdad’s 425th Civil Affairs Battalion credits Military OneSource with making his deployment easier on him and his family. U.S. Army photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

But one military family has found a valuable source of help online. The Military OneSource site offers around-the-clock information on parenting, child care, military life, relocation, work, education programs and more.

“Military OneSource was described to me in such a way that if a deployed soldier had a need, like a busted water heater in his house, OneSource could get a plumber out to the house to get it fixed,” said Army Maj. Allan Dollison, who is on his second deployment in four years.

Dollison said his wife, Martha, uses the site to keep their children occupied while he is away from home.

“My wife got online and found out about a scholarship program they have that engages children in sporting activities,” Dollison said. “So she applied for the scholarship and got it. So now the Army, through Military OneSource, is paying for my kids to get karate lessons, which is really cool, and I’m very thankful that they were able to do that.”

Karate keeps their children -- Robert, 8, and Alicia, 9 -- busy three times a week, Dollison said. The classes also instill the importance of hard work and physical fitness, which drives them to excel in other areas.

“They actually competed in a karate tournament yesterday,” Dollison said. “You know, they go to school and take these classes three times a week, so their minds are off the fact that their daddy is away from home. My son just won student of the month for September at his school, so they seem to be excelling despite the fact that I’m not there.”

Knowing his family is cared for back home is comforting and enables him to focus on his job, Dollison said.

“As a civilian, I am a deputy district attorney for Humboldt County, Calif.,” Dollison said. In Iraq, he’s assigned to 4th Infantry Division and Multinational Division Baghdad’s 425th Civil Affairs Battalion.

The demands on Dollison’s time may be high, he said, but programs like Military OneSource give him the peace of mind to stay focused on his mission.

(Army Sgt. Whitney Houston serves in the Multinational Division Baghdad Public Affairs Office.)

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Related Sites:
Military OneSource
Multinational Corps Iraq

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