The Military Families Support Group


The Military Families Support Group website is intended to offer help, support, information and guidance for anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one through active service with the UK Armed Forces. They can also offer help and support to injured and traumatised service men and women, and also their families.
It is fairly low profile at the moment in that it has not had that much exposure. However, I know one of the women who runs it who is actively visiting the families of the fallen as well as the injured in Selly Oak.

I am trying to get more more publicity for them. We have them on our links page and they are (hopefully) producing a banner for ARRSE advertising which the CO's have kindly said will run for free.

Please spread the word!
great idea, it may also be a good idea to create of list of contacts from this site who can offer support or guidance in their area or e-mail sites.
I'm a trained counsellor and if i can help i will, through this site.
Good luck, we need people like you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Keep up the good work
Could I please bring a very kind offer to ARRSE members attention that Albert the Custodian from Palace Barracks Memorial Garden has made to the MFSG.

He has offered to donate any money raised from the sale of his Book to help support MFSG, he has been a good friend to us.

The book is a Roll of Honour in memory of those who lost their lives in Northern Ireland and the Falkland islands. It is 129 pages in full colour with an introduction from General Sir Mike Jackson. Anyone who knows Albert will know how dedicated he is and he must have put a lot of effort into getting this published.

It can be purchased within the UK for £6.50 - this includes the £1.50 postage and packing costs, so quite a bargain really. Cheques or postal orders can be made out to M.F.S.G. 27 Greatmead, Kettlebrook, Tamworth, Staffs. B77 1DL.

Albert will send them out promptly, they come in a large padded jiffy bag.
I hope we manage to sell quite a few, both for Albert and MFSG.


Soldiers Mum.
For MFSG people.....this might be of usually takes five years for stuff to cross the Atlantic.....I wonder if 'Call Me Dave' would be interested in putting something similar,tailored to the British experience, in the manifesto as a pledge....

The New York Times

November 14, 2008
Military Families Get Time Off for Care

The Labor Department will release new regulations on Friday that will let family members of seriously injured or ill members of the armed services take up to 26 weeks off from work each year to care for them.

The regulations will also allow family members of those called to active duty in the National Guard or the Reserves to take up to 12 weeks off from work so they can manage needed and often rushed matters regarding a service member’s departure or return.

The regulations list several “qualifying exigencies” that will entitle family members to time off, including short-term deployment, counseling, financial and legal arrangements, child care and school activities, rest and recuperation, military events and postdeployment activities.

Labor Department officials said the law creating the leave for qualifying exigencies did not cover regular active-duty military members. “The point of this was to help families of the Guard and Reserve who have their lives turned upside down when they have someone who has to deploy to active duty and they have a lot of things to take care of,” said Victoria A. Lipnic, assistant secretary of the Employment Standards Administration at the Labor Department.

The department issued the new rules under the Family and Medical Leave Act after receiving more than 20,000 public comments. The military caregiver provision gives family members up to 26 weeks off, longer than the normal maximum of 12 weeks under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Moreover, the provision allows additional family members, including siblings and cousins, to take time off, not just spouses, parents or children.

“We’re very pleased with how they define exigency and the list of caregivers,” said Kelly Hruska, deputy director of government relations for the National Military Families Association. “But we’re disappointed that qualifying exigency provision hasn’t been extended to the regular active-duty military.”

For leaves not related to military service, the regulations state that when companies place injured or ill workers on light duty, that time on light duty cannot be counted as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The new regulations modify provisions interpreted as allowing workers to notify their employers of their need for leave up to two business days after an absence. Under the new rules, workers must follow their employer’s call-in procedures, barring unusual circumstances.

In response to concerns about medical privacy, the department added a requirement that when an employer’s representative contacts a health care provider about an employee’s condition, the representative must be a human resources professional, a leave administrator or a manager, but in no case may it be the employee’s direct supervisor.

“The nonmilitary provisions are a mixed bag,” said Jocelyn Frye, general counsel for the National Partnership for Women and Families. “We remain concerned about employers directly contacting health care providers and infringing on medical privacy.”
Thanks to Barely-Black for posting that, I will put that story onto our site.

At MFSG most of our members are bereaved parents, and there is no statutory amount of time for leave after the loss of your child, no matter who or how or where they died. Many of us have had sympathetic employers, but one of our members is calling for support from the British Legion amongst others, to call for a recognised minimum period of time off work.

The gentleman in question worked for the NHS and was told that he could have the day off for the funeral and they did not have to give him that.

Others it seems just go off work sick.
Last week at the MFSG, we received an email from Sweden which read:-

To the families of soldier Adam Smith 1988-2007, soldier Kevin Thompson 1986-2007, soldier John Rigby 1983-2007, soldier Shaun Brierley 1975-2003, soldier Gordon Pritchard 1974-2006, soldier Richard Palmer 1974-2006, soldier John Jones1974-2006, soldier Matthew Bacon 1973-2005 and soldier Michael Smith 1968-2007.

In the early morning of the 21th of March 2009, we found nine remembrance cards attached to nine broken ballons, deep in our forrest in the south of Sweden.
We were deeply touched when we realized the meaning of these cards.
We have been reading about your loved ones and we can truly understand that you are very proud of them and we are so sad about your loss.
We would just like to tell you that their stories touched us and that we talk about them even though we didn't know them.
The cards landed in a very peaceful and beautiful part of our forrest and we will forever think about your boys when we pass this part.

With best regards

Linda and Per
Torsås, Sweden

We are touched that this couple sent us the email, it proves that people do care, but does anyone know who released the balloons or anything about them?

We would love to know more about this.


Soldiers Mum.
The mystery is solved - This is the “answer” received by the Dail Mail:

"Last year 2008 as Poppy organiser for Runcorn Cheshire I organised balloons of remembrance. The people of Runcorn sponsored these balloons and we released a balloon for every British service man and women that had been killed in Afghanistan or Iraq. The money collected by this sponsorship was donated to the Poppy appeal which meant these brave service people were still helping their comrades even if it was by proxy. The balloons were white for peace. The ribbons red for the blood that had been shed. The remembrance cards bore Rank,Name, Country of death, year of birth and year of death [if possible]
The balloons were released 11/11/08 by local school children. The weather was bad the wind was howling and some of the children had problems keeping hold of the balloons and some got really tangled. Some balloons burst before they got very far so we gathered the cards together and attached them to poppy crosses and laid them in our garden of remembrance.
As i say it was a very windy day and it must have pulled some of the balloons into the high atmosphere, though I am astonished to think that they reached Sweden. I would like to thank the Swedish couple for letting the M.F.S.G know about them. We should never forget these brave men and women and this was our small tribute to them."
Sue Lorenz [Poppy Organiser - Halton Royal British Legion],

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