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 TIB Community Portal Forum Index » Current Tour News, Feedback, and Updates » Need some input from priors and families for new program
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Need some input from priors and families for new program Reply with quote

Teresa-Johnson



Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Buddy's wife.  He played trombone in '07, and when he toured I got to spend a lot of time on the road (TIB groupie!) spending time with the team and getting to meet lots of families out there.  Whenever I met families and we'd all stand around and share stories, it seemed everyone had the same types of concerns or questions or complaints.... almost always boiling down to lack of information and feeling left out or left behind and kept in the dark.  Because I got to spend so much time with the team, and because I too have a musical/theatrical production background, I understood a lot of the TIB process that most families don't really get a chance to figure out.  I got to go and work on staff at Worldwide this year, and with my love for the TIB program growing all the time, it had been occurring to me that, since I am a stay-at-home wife with some extra TIB experience and understanding, perhaps I could put that to good use.  

I approached Mr. Edwards at Worldwide and asked if I could serve as a Family Liaison to bridge that gap between the team/staff and the families back home, to provide the families with the knowledge I came away with as a family member so they can have that UP FRONT and be part of the TIB process with their children or their spouses or siblings or whomever.  The tour doesn't have to be unpleasant and unhappy for the family back home; it can be a great shared experience.  It was for me, and I want to help other families have that, too.  The families just need to feel informed and be provided with good moral support along the way.  We've always had plenty of people giving us phone numbers and email addresses and saying "Please contact me if you have any questions".  We always know that those offers are sincere, but you know how scared you guys are when you first start off on tour.  The families are even more intimidated than that, and we're often too nervous to take you all up on those offers!  So rather than offering to be there for them, I'm simply making that call up front, and then following up on it throughout the year.  

I just got back from staging, where I met with each of the team members and talked to them about their family situations. I got a family contact person (or two) from each team member, and over the next week will be contacting those family members to introduce myself and let them know they have someone who has been through what they are going through to answer their questions and be there when they need something.  I'll answer questions they have (or make note of them, find out, and get back to them if I don't know), and then I am going to send out an information packet, filled with all kinds of things that affect the families back home, from how to get to spend time with their team member out on the road to that 72-hour deadline for letting the First Sergeant know if you need to get civilians on base for a show.

My question to you is this:  What things do your family wish they had known up front when you left for your tour?  

I am open to any suggestions as to what to include in the information packet.  As family members, we put you on that plane to go to staging and we know NOTHING about what this year holds for us and when and how we're going to see you again and what we're allowed to do as part of this process.  And as the year goes by, and we go to see a show while you're on the road, or we're just trying to hold down the fort without you, questions pop up all along the way.  I know all the issues that my family had to deal with, I know some issues for the families that I met in '07, and some that my husband had to deal on behalf of the families as First Sergeant.  But I'm very interested in hearing what you and your family learned that could benefit our new Tops in Blue families and keep them from starting out scared and feeling alone and uninformed.

Thanks!
---Teresa
_________________
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. -- William Shakespeare

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