Airman 1st Class Carmen Turner helps Maria Dungca, the wife of Capt. Jay Dungca, with her travel voucher at a ReStart briefing at the Airman & Family Readiness Center April 21, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Ms. Dungca recently returned from California after the voluntary authorized departure order was lifted. Airman Turner is a 374th Comptroller Squadron finance representative. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Chad C. Strohmeyer)
by Airman 1st Class Lynsie Nichols
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
4/21/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Dependents returning from the voluntary authorized departures gathered for a ReStart briefing here April 21.
The departures served as a precautionary measure to help ensure safety of U.S. citizens and also assisted and expedited Japanese recovery efforts by reducing the demand for food, water, fuel and electricity during the national emergency in Japan.
Approximately 1300 families are expected to return over the next few weeks.
"Our Department of Defense cares about us; they care about what we think," said Col. Otto Feather, 374th Airlift Wing commander. "To know that they were concerned about our peace of mind as an Air Force family, that they're willing to go to that extent to maintain our peace of mind and comfort, it says a lot about how they value us."
During the event, families will be given the opportunity to talk with Yokota veterinary personnel, school liaison, public health professionals and reintegration specialists as well as file their travel vouchers.
"For the folks coming back, this can be a confusing process," said 1st Lt. Jenna Mirandette, the point of contact for family re-integration. "We're working really hard to make it as smooth as possible."
"Some families have children going to schools back in the states and won't (return) until the end of the school year," Lieutenant Mirandette said. "Some families won't be returning at all due to their (sponsor's) PCS orders."
Sponsors or family members should call the A&FRC at 225-4484 or 011-81-311-75-5884 to confirm the physical arrival of their family members to schedule ReStart in-processing.