NEWS | June 20, 2021

NSA Lakehurst eases JB MDL families separation

By Airman 1st Class Azaria E. Foster Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

The impact of military service is not limited to just service members. Loved ones back home also make great sacrifices when one of their family members raises their hand to serve.

 However, the Naval Support Activity, Lakehurst, has been working with the United Through Reading program for four months in an effort to minimize the feeling of separation between families and service members.

“United Through Reading connects military families who are separated by deployments or military assignments, and provides a bonding experience with their loved ones through a shared story time,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos Olivagalindo, UTR volunteer.

The process involves service members reading a book aloud while being captured on video. The video is then stored on an SD card and sent back home to their loved ones.  

“The United Through Reading program serves all branches of the military, to include the National Guard, Reserves, and Special Operations Forces,” Olivagalindo said. “ We can create recordings for separations such as deployments, drill weekends, and late duty nights.”

The video recording helps children see their loved ones face, hear their familiar voice and gives them the opportunity to read along. Additionally it allows the service member to be there emotionally when they can't be there physically.

“I love that I can still be connected with my children while I am working,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Megan Ludwig, UTR volunteer. "That connection is vital for both me and my family when we are separated.”

To participate in the United Through Reading program you can email  carlos.olivagalindo@us.af.mil or ludwig.megan@us.af.mil.

For more information about the United Through Reading program, visit https://unitedthroughreading.org.