GSDF soldiers pictured are: COL Eddie Williams (Cdr, 76th SPT BDE), CSM Alan Holmes (CSM, 132nd MED Bn), 1SG Robert Damaschke (NCOIC, GSDF FHG and Acting CSM 911th SPT BDE), MSG Eddie Gillham (NCOIC, HQ, GSDF G3), SFC John Derucki (SLC Commandant, HQ, GSDF). Also involved but not pictured are CPT Scott Thompson (TRADOC, GSDF), and CPL Melanie Dallas (IET Instructor, TRADOC). Photo courtesy of Qwynn Galloway-Salazar, GA DoD.
Georgia Army National Guard, Oglethorpe Armory, Conley, Georgia, By COL Eddie Williams – Select Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers with prior military service, were recognized for volunteering their time to conduct numerous full-day detailed presentations on U.S. Military culture and deployment cycles to Georgia-based therapists and psychologists. The program was established to educate clinicians so they can help support military service members and families before, during, and post deployment.
The program called the Star Behavioral Health Providers, addresses the need for qualified, civilian behavioral health providers who understand military issues, and is a collaboration between the Georgia Army National Guard (GAARNG), National Guard Bureau’s Psychological Health Program, Military Family Research Institute, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health (DBHDD), Center for Deployment Psychology, GSDF, and Emory University. It was established two years ago as a training, dissemination, and referral system aimed at expanding access to trained behavioral health providers for service members, veterans, and their families.
At the GAARNG Oglethorpe Armory, CSM Phillip A. Stringfield, the Senior Enlisted Advisor and State Command Sergeant Major (GAARNG), presented GAARNG Challenge coins to the GSDF soldiers and acknowledged their assistance and dedication toward helping service members, veterans, and their families.