Ramstein units step up to help military families leaving Turkey

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Larissa Greatwood
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
An ordered departure for U.S. military family members to leave Turkey due to security concerns March 29, resulted in many of them traveling through Ramstein Air Base.

Members of the Kaiserslautern military community, including Ramstein personnel, pitched in to assist fellow military families during the hectic transition.

Various community agencies offered temporary lodging, transportation, medical care, child care, school enrollment, and any essentials needed in the possibly stressful time.

"There are a lot of great things going on here," said Michele Dresel, the Airman and Family Readiness Center director. "Through other hard times like this, we've learned what small details may be overlooked; so we've been able to learn from that and make improvements for this situation to ensure we don't miss anything.

"The families have been assigned their own first sergeant to assist with anything they could possibly need, and we're working side-by-side with him," she continued. "He has worked to assign each family a sponsor to help them along the way to ensure the smoothest transition possible."

Each unit came together to provide their assets to make families as comfortable and less stressful as possible.

"We're taking care of the families by enabling and facilitating base access," said Staff Sgt. Bethany Wright, the 86th Security Forces Squadron reports and analysis NCO. "By doing this, we're alleviating the added stress of them checking in every time they want to come back on base."

Ramstein units have been working tirelessly all week to refine processes and come together as an Air Force family during this time of need.

"It's spectacular how, once the word got out that families were (ordered to leave) Turkey, people have stepped up in droves," said Brig. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, 86th Airlift Wing commander. "It's been individuals, it's been organizations -- the commissary stayed open late so families could do a little shopping before going to their temporary lodging facilities. It's all across the community here, how generous and warm-hearted people, Airmen and Soldiers have been, and that's exactly what we would hope for."