Photo by Maj. Hank
Kelly Barnes, new State Special Projects
for Utah National Guard Family Programs
DRAPER, Utah —
Recently the Utah National Guard Family Programs team has
undergone personnel changes and added some new faces.
When a top-level member of
a team moves on, it can have a ripple effect on the staffing
throughout the organization. Sundee Peterson, longtime
Family Readiness Assistant, took a national-level position
with National Guard Bureau Family Programs, and that opened
the way for current members of the team to move up and for
others to come on board.
Tonia Johnson is the new
Family Readiness Assistant, taking over for Peterson.
Johnson was previously the State Special Projects
Kelly Barnes is now the
Special Projects Coordinator, having most recently served as
Family Assistance Center Coordinator in Spanish Fork. Stacey
Mundy will assume Barnes’ duties, and Laura Roberts will help
staff the Family Assistance Center at Camp Williams.
“Despite these recent
moves and changes, families and Soldiers will receive the
same superior level of support they have always received,”
said Maj. Patrick Osmond, director of Family Programs for
the Utah National Guard.
In the past year Barnes
has supported Soldiers and families of the 115th
Engineers, 120th Quartermaster Detachment, 144th
Area Support Medical Company, and the 2-222nd
Having supervised a family
assistance center, Barnes has pretty much seen and heard it all. People
would come to him with their needs, and he helped them
find solutions for things like flooded basements,
broken-down cars and even personal problems. He estimates
that he’s directly assisted over 400 people since he started
with Family Programs a year ago.
“You have to get people to
trust you and tell you their problems,” said Barnes. “The
more I understand how Family Programs works, you have to
have something special to work here. This job isn’t for
Photo by Maj. Hank
Stacey Mundy, Family Assistance
Center Coordinator, Spanish Fork
Despite the daily
challenges of helping to meet Soldiers’ and families’ needs,
Barnes feels the rewards are definitely worth it.
“I’ve gotten E-mails from
Soldiers whom I don’t even know, saying, ‘I want to shake
your hand when I get home for all you’ve done,’” he said.
In his new post Barnes
will work in Draper and oversee special Family Programs
projects such as the state Family Programs Conference,
Governor’s Day, the Utah National Guard Charitable Trust,
humanitarian efforts and serve as a Guard Family
Team-Building (GFTB) Volunteer.
In his year with the
organization, Barnes knows that Family Programs fills a
critical need and is here to stay.
“It is the family’s link
to the military when their Soldier is gone. Just because the
spouse is gone does not mean life doesn’t continue here,”
In taking over for Barnes
in Spanish Fork, Stacey Mundy is new to the Family Programs team but
is experienced in working in positions where she served and
cared for families and the elderly in the medical field.
“I’m very excited, and I
hope families will put their faith in me that I will be
there for them,” Mundy said. “It’s important for Soldiers to
know that there is a group of people looking out for their
Knowing that she has big
shoes to fill by replacing Barnes, Mundy joked, “Well, I’ve
got big feet!”
Also new to Family
Programs as an employee, Laura Roberts has been a stay-at-home mom
for several years. She has been very active, however, in the
Family Readiness Group of her husband’s unit, the 115th
Engineers, helping to plan and carry out Christmas parties,
summer get-togethers and Halloween celebrations.
Roberts also worked
closely with the Utah State University ROTC program when her
husband was assigned there. While in Logan she was a GFTB
specialist and organized luncheons and get-togethers for
Photo by Maj. Hank
Laura Roberts, Family Assistance Center, Camp
will assist families of I Corps Artillery Soldiers.
Roberts knows the impact
that she can have on families as I Corps Soldiers deploy.
“Deployment is a whole new
chapter in families’ lives, and I hope they feel that they
can come to me and I can help them. Even if it’s just having
someone to talk to,” she said.
In addition to their
experience in working with people in need, one of the
intangibles that Barnes, Mundy and Roberts bring to their
new assignments is that their spouses are all members of the
Utah National Guard.
“Having a spouse in the
military, it changes the way you view things because it
could be you in that situation, said Barnes. “My wife is
well respected in the military. I don’t want to let her
Roberts agrees. “My
husband has a love or our country that I haven’t seen in
anyone. He helps me not take our country for granted. As a
military wife, you know what the spouses are going through.
You have insight that someone who isn’t in the military
doesn’t have. If you’ve been there, you can help them with
whatever they’re going through.”
“In my position, if it
were my husband who was gone, I would be comforted in
knowing that I had someone to go to for help with the things
he used to do,” Mundy added.