Source: United States Navy
For military families with special needs, the Department of Defense Exceptional Family Member Program provides support and resources to help members and their families thrive in military life.
At Joint Base San Antonio, EFMP programs are available to all branches of the military, but an added bonus for Navy personnel in and around San Antonio is that they have their own case liaison for the program.
Josephina “Josie” Rangel is the new Navy EFMP case liaison for DOD’s largest joint base.
“We all know the struggles of moving from place to place, and the stress it can put on families with exceptional family members,” she said. “I encourage Sailors to reach out to their command’s EFMP coordinator, and that person can reach out to me if a Navy family needs additional resources.”
The need for a case liaison specifically for South Texas Navy families was established through a pilot program that took place from November 2019 through November 2021 on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at the Military and Family Readiness Center.
In the pilot, the JBSA EFMP office gathered daily information on the contact made with service members, Rangel said. This data was reported to the Office of Special Needs on a bi-weekly basis.
The reports confirmed the necessity for a Navy case liaison in the JBSA area, she said.
Now that the service has its own point of contact for EFMP needs, Navy members are encouraged to reach out through their command EFMP coordinator, or directly if needed.
“My cases include family members who live in Austin, Houston, and as far south as the McAllen, Texas, area,” Rangel said. “Navy Recruiting Command has a big presence in the area, as well as this being the place where Sailors come to “A” school and “C” school, schools where Sailors go to receive technical training and in-depth instruction in their selected military occupational specialty.
“These service member’s Military Treatment Facility coordinator is in Corpus Christi, so it may be difficult for members to coordinate services,” she said. “I can take care of coordinating their enrollment, disenrollment, and updates locally, and then provide that information to the MTF coordinator in Corpus Christi.”
Rangel said enrollment in EFMP is essential for all military personnel with family members needing continual medical, educational, or behavioral health care, noting that there are over 200 Navy EFMP family members in the region.
“If members want to meet up to discuss their EFMP enrollment, I am available to meet with them,” she said.
Navy EFMP participants are also eligible to attend classes, events, and other EFMP offerings at JBSA.
“By contacting us, we can get members added to our JBSA EFMP distribution list so they receive information on all the things we offer,” Rangel said.
Navy members can reach out to Rangel by phone at 210-221-2705, by email at: 802FSS.FSYR.EFMP-FS@us.af.mil, or at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military and Family Readiness Center, which is equivalent to the Navy’s Fleet and Family Support Center.