Local military families will soon receive some emotional reinforcements.
A support group for families of deployed military servicemen and women is being started through the community outreach program of Stein Hospice.
There are six committee members for the support group; they are Rev. Charles Odums, chaplain; Robin Baum, receptionist; Roxanne Sandels, volunteercoordinator; Annie Davis, massage therapist; Rev. Dave Gowen,chaplain, and Katy McGraw, R.N.
Baum's 26-year-old son James Robinson serves in the Air Force and was deployed to Iraq only two weeks ago.
McGraw's son, Chris McGraw, has also been recently deployed.
A picture of her son sat beside Baum as she spoke of him.
"He went into boot camp two weeks prior to 9/11," Baum explained.
"I have to learn to let go and trust God will bring him back to me."
She received an e-mail from her son yesterday as he waits in Kuwait before going into Iraq.
Baum said that it helps to know there are other families in the area facing the same struggles every day.
"It helps you to know you're not going through this alone," she said.
"We're reaching out to brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, the whole family," the Rev. Odums said. Odums' son, Charles Odums II, was killed while serving in Iraq.
"We continue to lean on and trust in the Lord," Odums said.
The support group for the families will begin on Nov. 6 at the V.F.W.
"The entire family is a part of that service member that's being deployed," he added.
"Each of us will have different experiences."
Odums said that it can be difficult at first for families to open up about their experiences.
"Once they do, they do find that it is a relief and a release for them," he said.
There will also be a nondenominational prayer service for military families at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at First Presbyterian Church, 265 Jackson St., Sandusky. Jennifer Grathwol 10/11/07 PULLOUT 1: