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News | April 28, 2020

Portland Battalion Soldier and Family Assistance Program manager keeps families updated during pandemic

By Maj. Jessica Rovero USAREC Public Affairs

Information is a key resource in emergency situations; that’s why the Portland Recruiting Battalion Soldier and Family Assistance Program manager is doing her best to provide program updates to recruiters and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Momilani Williams, an Army spouse herself, has been sharing information and resources about TRICARE, financial assistance, available employment, job assistance, and accessing a variety of family services on social media and through weekly emails.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic (started), … I really wanted to be available and provide relevant up-to-date resources for our Soldiers and family members,” Williams said. “During this time, there are a lot of resources available and changes that have occurred.”

Williams has only been working with the battalion for about two months, but her passion for supporting military families started long before accepting this position.

“I am motivated to support families because of my own experience as a military child, and now as a military spouse and the love that I have for the Army,” she said. “Growing up in an Army family, I knew that I wanted to help and work the military population.”

Born in Monterey, California, Williams lived in many different places as a child. When it came time for high school, her parents supported her wishes to attend with her childhood friends in California. Unfortunately, her father was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2014, but that experience gave her the motivation and dedication to work with and support service members and their families in the future.

Williams earned a Master’s of Science in counseling psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Chaminade University of Honolulu. She went on to obtain her Hawaii Mental Health Counselor License and continued her studies earning two post-graduate certificates in therapy - military families from Northcentral University and military resilience from Liberty University.

With a wealth of knowledge under her belt, Williams was a great selection for the Soldier and Family Assistance Program manager. The position requires her to oversee the battalion’s family programs, provide resources and assistance to Soldiers and family members, and keep the commander advised of the program status and emergent issues.

“These families experience a lot and have to adjust quite often to changes, and being a recruiting family, comes with more challenges and adjustments,” she said.

The coronavirus has added another layer to those challenges as everyone has had to adjust to the transition to teleworking, staying home, and navigating school from home. Information changes are frequent and recruiters and their families are appreciative of Williams’ efforts to keep them informed.

“I have had positive responses from Soldiers and families in relation to the information I have shared,” Williams said. “Many have provided personal feedback as to how helpful it was or just a simple ‘thank you,’ which is always very much appreciated.”

From the feedback Williams has received, a lot of the information she has provided during the pandemic has been helpful. However, people are most appreciative for the updates concerning TRICARE services and unemployment.

“I feel that support in any form is very important for them especially during a time of uncertainty and frequent change such as COVID-19,” she said. “I hope that I can continue to support and be of assistance to many military families now and in the future.”

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