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Navigating Storms Family seminar held on base

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Military families are no strangers to storms in life, and Operation Military Family founder Michael Schindler wants to make sure they have the tools and resources to weather them.

The Navy veteran hosted a seminar March 30 at the Escape Zone on McChord Field with the goal of reaching out to military couples and helping them reconnect with each other.

The event, entitled "Navigating the Storms," was organized through the Washington State Military Kids and Family Coalition, a group of organizations that have come together with various skills and resources to support of military kids and their families in Washington.

"Normally they do a big summit, but this year they decided to break it all down into separate training sessions to better reach all of the families," said Stacey Luffy, a coalition member and former Key Spouse with the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Airman and Family Readiness Center officials offered up the Escape Zone to Luffy for any of the training seminars.

"This was the first one we've set up," said Luffy, whose husband retired March 1 after 22 years in the Air Force.

Air Force and Army families packed the center's conference room to hear Schindler speak. Attendees filled out worksheets throughout the event to help highlight some of the key points and Schindler fielded various questions on marriage and other family issues. 

"I get so caught up in the day-to-day (operations) and developing new technologies (for the company), (the event) is about getting back to the individuals that keep our country strong," he said. "Navigating the Storms is really about dealing with both personal and business relationships. It's really conflict resolution. How to take the storms in our life and refocus from the event onto what the mission is. I know sometimes we get so caught up in the circumstance, that we lose sight of what our purpose is and what our mission is."

One of the key points to success, he said, is keeping one's eyes on the final goal.

"We have two focal points in life," Schindler said. "We either focus on the problem or focus on the solution. Where we put our energy is where we can expect a result."

Schindler founded OMF in 2007 with the goal of enriching and strengthening Servicemembers, veterans and their families. Through the collaboration of companies, experts, veterans, Servicemembers and family members who share the sole goal of driving down the military divorce rate, influencing the military suicide rate and strengthening the military family is how the organization accomplishes its mission, he said.

"We're offering some resources, tools, connections ... basically an avenue they know that they can call if they're having some problems," Luffy said.

For more information and a list of local resources, visit

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