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Program helps single parents develop strong support system

Una Taylor, guest speaker and single parent of five, speaks to other single parents and shares her story during the NPSP Single Parent Brown Bag Lunch at the Munson Heights Neighborhood Center March 29. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Una Taylor, guest speaker and single parent of five, speaks to other single parents and shares her story during the NPSP Single Parent Brown Bag Lunch at the Munson Heights Neighborhood Center March 29. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: April 7, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 7, 2016) -- A strong support system is an invaluable tool for dealing with life’s stressors, and the Fort Rucker New Parent Support Program is looking to put that tool into the toolboxes of new and single parents within the local Army community.

NPSP hosted its Single Parent Brown Bag Lunch March 29 at the Munson Heights Neighborhood Center as a means to give single parents a support system through meeting other single parents, networking and learning what resources are available to them, according to Vicki Harmon, NPSP nurse specialist.

During the lunch, Una Taylor, guest speaker and single parent of five, was invited to share her story with those in attendance. Through her story, she wanted to demonstrate that no matter the odds, that people can accomplish their goals with the right support.

“To me, the services provided by NPSP are very vital,” said Taylor. “Though many of the services are viewed as physical, those services help sustain the parent and children, both mentally and emotionally.”

Throughout her testimony, Taylor spoke of overcoming a difficult relationship and recounted the hardships of how she was going to raise her children after her divorce.

She said that through building relationships and talking with others she was able to overcome and see that she would be able to accomplish her goals.

“We overcome by the words of our testimony,” she said. “Your testimony not only builds you, but it builds your community. Make no mistake about it – we are a community. I feel that my testimony can give back to NPSP, which in turn allows for this wonderful program to reach others, as well.

“We tend to see value in everything but what’s in our own backyard,” said Taylor. “Community equals a common unity. You build your family’s community and you do (that) on a daily basis with every decision you make, whether you think so or not. Build your family’s community on a firm foundation – and NPSP is a brick in that foundation.”

Capt. John Mayer, D Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, said he found Taylor’s story inspiring and, as a single parent himself, he understands the need for that support system, which he often seeks to not only help himself, but others, as well.

“I always like finding support groups and utilizing Army Community Service,” he said. “In previous jobs that I’ve had, I’ve had good experiences with ACS, so when I needed some help, I knew where to go to at least get my foot in the door, which led me to the people who are here with me.

“I wanted to come today because I know that if I’m feeling like this — needing guidance or help — then there are others who might need that, also,” Mayer continued. “This way I can get together with the right Soldiers or family members who need that help.”

Mayer said it’s important to have programs like NPSP because Soldiers can oftentimes get stuck in their own little communities, which isn’t always a bad thing, but can prevent people from branching out.

“Going outside of the circle that you work in and knowing that there are other people on the installation that have a common denominator with you is important, and it makes you feel less alone,” he said. “There is more to the area than just the people where you work. There are so many people who are like you and I want to be able to give back to other people that I know might need some help like I did.”

“People should always have hope,” added Taylor. “Your strength comes from within, but it also can come from those with whom you surround yourself.”

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