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Posted: August 17, 2018 9:19 a.m.
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Spouse’s Corner: Spotlight on Michelline Turnbow

Michelline Turnbow, a two-year military spouse from Lincoln, Nebraska, who earned her degree in psychology from Texas A&M University, realized that one way of dealing with dark times is volunteering.  

She, the child of Lebanese parents who immigrated from Ghana.  She later had to deal with depression after her dad passed away.  

 “At our first duty station I had no friends and knew very little about the Army lifestyle,” Turnbow said.  “When my husband was deployed, I had to force myself to leave the house.  I find that volunteering gets me out of the house and talking and helping other people.”

Looking back, she discovered there were things she could have done to help make the transition better.  

“I wish I had gotten involved earlier,” she said.  “Aked more questions, instead of pretending to know things. I wish the sponsorship program was better and we were told what to expect. Now, I just ask around.”

Turnbow now help out at Fort Stewart’s Army Community Service, working on their ‘Behind the Scenes’ articles to highlight people, services and programs. She has become an integral part of the community and now shares some of the knowledge and experience she gained, with other community members.  

 “Without a doubt, I would encourage them (community members) to walk into the ACS building and volunteer,” she said.   She encourages others to volunteer,  meet people, learn about all the services offered.  

“Feeling like an outcast was only in my mind,” Turnbow said.  “Go to your FRG (Family Readiness Group) meetings and see what it’s like.  It’s OK to open up and not be prim and proper. Talk with people about real life. “

She said resources are available to newcomers and long-time residents too. 

  “Besides ACS, the newcomer briefing helped and I looked on Facebook pages for events,”  Turnbow said.  

She said people could gett information from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  

She said she would enjoy seeing progress in five or so years.  

“It would be great if FRG (Family Readiness Group) meetings mentioned the programs offered on post.”

Some of those resources available include the Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Rock Solid email distribution, which provides a list of upcoming events and programs.  Community members can visit their Facebook at Fort Stewart/Hunter FMWR and select “Join My List.”

 Another resource is USO Coffee Connections, on Facebook at USO Fort Stewart/HAAF.  Select events.  Community members are encouraged to join them for dessert, coffee, great group discussions, new friends and welcoming connections.  The offer USO Speed Networking, which is also on their Facebook page.  The innovative USO program provides military spouses with an opportunity to make quality connections and develop their network through speed networking-style events. Military spouses are invited to come and make new social, professional and community connections in a welcoming environment.

The Community Leaders Information Forum is another opportunity to learn more.  Visit the Team Stewart Webpage at www.stewart.army.mil, and select community under the menu item, then select CLIF slides. It provides a monthly briefing on upcoming events on the installation and in the local area.  

•The resources can help you learn about programs like the YMCA-Hinesville, 369-9622, ball gown program, where individuals can check out ball gowns for military balls. Just check it out, dry clean and return.    If you have questions for the author about community resources www.facebook.com/anna.hagertyHagerty. 



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