SD National Guard Family Support Services
Serving in the military is a family affair; a trial which Service Member and Family Support is trying to make easier on our service members and their families. Their main focus is on South Dakota National Guard members, but they can provide some assistance to local veterans of any branch.
Guard members and their families serve both their nation and their local community. The center aims to support and assist service members with all of life’s challenges in a way that both supports them in a time of need, while giving them the tools to succeed in the future. Whether it be assistance with finding civilian employment, education and tuition assistance, or pointing to resources provided by the Department of Defense such as Military OneSource, their office is a wealth of knowledge for any situation.
Members looking for assistance with family matters have the option to call the center directly, or several Military Family Assistance specialists throughout South Dakota for those who don’t live near a military installation. This specialized office focuses on eight essential services to ease some of life’s biggest challenges, starting with assistance obtaining ID cards, and helping family members settle into a new community with child care and other local resources. They offer crisis intervention support such as domestic or child abuse, and assistance in case of state emergencies that affect their service member’s status and help minimizing the impact it has on the family. For more routine assistance, legal and financial resources and information is available, as well as help with medical issues such as TRICARE referrals and the Exceptional Family Member Program.
For those transitioning in or out of active status for deployments, information and contacts for the Yellow Ribbon program are available. This includes meeting with unit leadership prior to, support events during, and reintegration upon return from deployments. After their time in the service, Guard members also have support with the transition to civilian life. The Service Member and Family Support office can provide information on programs intended to help the transition, whether it be for health care benefits, tuition assistance and vocational training opportunities, or local resources specific to their community.
Should the worst happen, Service Member and Family Support will help families find support and assistance through Survivor Outreach Services. Their goal is to expand and improve services to Military Survivors, no matter the branch of service, military status, or cause of death whether service related or not. They can help with funeral arrangements and honor guard support can be requested as well.
Military life comes with unique challenges, but the Service Member and Family Support center is here to ensure nobody has to navigate them alone. The most up to date information on their services can be found on their website. Additionally, they provide a monthly newsletter with detailed information and content focused on current needs they see in the community, such as tax filing assistance or school enrollment requirements.