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Military OneSource

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- A program that is unknown to its designated clientele is useless. A resource unknown to those who might benefit from it is ineffective. Though, there are simple tools available to servicemembers and their families that are designated to assist those who need guidance in finding resources.

One such tool is www.militaryonesource.com, a Web site provided by the Department of Defense that provides an abundance of information, from elder care to financial matters to the transition into civilian life. The site includes contacts, self-assessment tools, articles and statistics covering nearly almost all aspects of a military career for Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers on active duty or in the guard or reserves.

"This site has various resources like financial information, counseling, moving advice, dependent care information and a lot more," said Linda Miles, Airman and Family Readiness Center flight chief. "The site isn't specifically used by the Airman and Family Readiness Center, but we do refer people to it in some instances."

One of those instances may be a need for counseling. Offered free, six off-base counseling sessions are available free to military or family members through Military OneSource.

"Various types of counseling are available through Military OneSource 24/7, including marital, stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, and other mental health counseling," the A&FRC flight chief noted.

Some of the Military OneSource resources are dually at the A&FRC, but under some circumstances people may not have ready access to the center, she added, but there are also unique resources that come specifically from Military OneSource.

One of the interesting aspects of Military OneSource is users are able to order educational materials in a variety of formats on a variety of topics. Booklets, CDs, cassettes and electronic downloads are available on topics such as casualty assistance and survivor support, education, military families, parenting and child care, single issues, special needs, and spouse training, education and careers. And the cost for such a valuable service? It's free.

Another interesting characteristic, the "Healthy Habits" section of Military OneSource, proves to be useful as it includes advice on infertility, personal issues, mental health, relationships, mid-life issues, single servicemembers, military families and staying healthy in general.

"It is basically an information avenue for just about anything you might have a question about. They provide the information you need, help you with difficulties and they can enlighten you on what is available in the local area," said Linda Miles.

However, one of the most useful features of the Web site is it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and provides a toll-free telephone number which provides services with the same hours. The information is constantly accessible and the counselors are readily available.

Members of Military OneSource must be DOD military personnel or family members. The registration process is simple, requiring only minimal information. Once the registration is complete, the user is allowed access to all the member-only information on the Web site.

To access Military OneSource go to www.militaryonesource.com.

(Information from the Military OneSource Web site was used in this article.)