Chapel welcomes new partners in support

  • Published
  • By SrA. Anna-Marie Wyant
  • 127th Public Affairs
The 127th Wing Chapel now offers support in more ways than base personnel might realize. It is now home to Family Readiness, Retiree Affairs, American Red Cross, and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) offices. Moving into the chapel from various locations, having these offices under one roof and open during the week makes assistance more accessible to military personnel, family members, and retirees.

According to Master Sgt. John Contrucci, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Chapel, having these additions to the Chapel adds the benefit of having similar missions reaching out to people.

"Having these organizations join our chapel staff infused more life and activity into the building," Contrucci said. The Chapel is open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday with Sunday services at 9 a.m. (Catholic), 10:45 (Protestant), and 1 p.m. (Spanish "Gospel").

Family Readiness addresses various family issues such as financial concerns and deployment preparedness. It also has a food pantry for families in need.

"Anyone who needs help can get it," said Deb Schroeder, Family Readiness Center director. "I've been in that position before, and I don't want to make anyone feel like they have to grovel for help."

Schroeder said families are not required to meet specific criteria to receive aid. The food pantry is made up entirely of donations, which can be dropped off during regular office hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. For more information call (586) 239-5583.

The Red Cross handles death notifications between families and deployed military members. In addition, this office offers a first aid and CPR certifying course and a babysitting class at no cost to military members and dependents. Bob York, who has volunteered for the organization for three years, is also part of the Disaster Action Team in southeastern Michigan, which provides temporary housing and other relief to disaster victims and displaced families. Personal hygienic items, such as soap and toothbrushes, can be dropped off at the office.

Retired Affairs assists retirees and their dependents with issues such as benefits, pay, and spouses' deaths. Volunteer Richard McRae retired from the Air Force in 1971 after 20 years on active duty. McRae, who spent six years of his military career stationed at Selfridge, decided to return to help with Retired Affairs after retiring from his civilian job. Volunteers will be available in this office Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ESGR deals with issues between traditional-status guardsmen and Reservists and their civilian employers. For instance, if Guard or Reserve personnel have problems with employers not allowing time off for military duties, ESGR can help. Additionally, ESGR can help thank employers who are especially supportive of military employees. Questions and concerns can be directed to Mal Forys, the ESGR representative for Selfridge.