Family matters: take care to take care Published Sept. 28, 2006 By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Wiley 301st Fighter Wing NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas -- Over the past few years, the role of the Air Force Reserve has changed. Our deployments have become longer, more frequent, and more vital to the success of the overall Air Force mission. More and more, we are being asked to deploy to all stretches of the world, often placed in extremely dangerous situations. I believe the men and women of the 301st Fighter Wing have done this with honor and respect, and are a model for all of the Air Force Reserve. But, with the increased operation requirements, we can not neglect the most important thing; our families. We have a responsibility to ensure we take care of those we leave behind. A good source to document important information is the "What My Family Should Know" document, which can be obtained from your First Sergeant. If you are the one taking care of the family finances, share that information as well. Also, we need to remember to update wills and powers of attorney. Our 301st FW Legal Office will prepare these documents free of charge. I would also urge you to talk with family and friends. Ask if they will be available if they are needed -- whether it's to mow the grass, fix something around the house, or any number of other things. I have found most are more than willing to assist. If you are not deploying, offer help to the families of those who are. Through numerous deployments, I have found it more difficult for the family left at home than for the Airman. Our families often wonder where we are, what we are doing, and if we are safe. We should not burden them with undue stress that could have been easily avoided. Not only does this planning help them out, but it also helps us to focus on the mission: to fight and win America's wars.