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Some healthy relief for military families

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Families of deployed soldiers are subject to a great amount of stress. Having a loved one be away, possibly in a dangerous situation, can cause frequent worry and anxiety.

To provide an outlet for some of that pressure, the North Valley YMCA in Northridge is offering free limited memberships to those who live within that branch’s service area and who have a spouse or parent who has been called to active duty in the U.S. National Guard or the military reserves.

The YMCA Military Outreach Initiative is a joint effort between the YMCA of the USA and the U.S. Department of Defense to help out families who don’t live on or near military bases.

‘Here they have access to workout facilities and a pool,’ says Nicole Casper, the Y’s program director. ‘On top of that, if they have children, they can have access to our programs that can help pass the time and enrich their lives.’ Parents often strike up friendships while waiting for their kids to finish a class. ‘It’s nice to know that at Tuesday at 4 p.m. you’ll have someone to talk to. Those are the kinds of relationships we want to build — it’s the best support you can have.’

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She adds, ‘Taking care of your health helps to eliminate stress, especially for children. This can be like a home away from home.’

Other participating YMCAs can be found on the YMCA of the USA’s website.

-- Jeannie Stein


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