Military families gear up for Furlough Friday battle - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Military families gear up for Furlough Friday battle

Marlene Barretto Marlene Barretto
MSG Phil Barretto MSG Phil Barretto
Debra Blanchard Debra Blanchard

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - Military families already face many challenges. Now with Furlough Fridays on their radar, it makes things even tougher.

But at least one branch of the military is geared up and ready to take on this educational mission.

Furlough Fridays are no vacation for the kids of Army families. That's because it plans to turn the days "off" into days "on" for educational and recreational opportunities for its kids.

On this second Furlough Friday at Schofield Barracks, parents are waging war on lost time in the classroom.

The Barretto family patrolled around to find a place for their five-year-old daughter, Trinity to go on Furlough Fridays.

After much discussion, they found the right place right here on base.

"It's very helpful to know my child is being taken care of, she comes to a good facility that has lots of educational activities for them to partake in," Military mom, Marlene Barretto said.

But the Barretto's admit. There were some booby traps along the way.

"We just returned on deployment, so right now my brigade has Fridays and Mondays off and sometimes, Mondays, sometimes Friday, hopefully it stays Fridays to mitigate Furlough Fridays," Master Sergeant of the U.S. Army Phil Barretto said.

The Army already had programs in place for school breaks and other days off. But to show its dedication to families, it came up with a special plan for Furlough Fridays.

"I was a little concerned with what was going to happen to our families to the military children, how it was gonna impact their education," Marlene Barretto said.

From computer labs to arts and crafts activities, kids, parents and teachers are busy coming up with counter attacks to Furlough Fridays.

"We're just taking care of families during this time and doing anything we can do to mitigate some of the loss of instructional time," Activities coordinator Debra Blanchard said.

It's free for kids already enrolled in afterschool care at Schofield. It's 30 dollars a day for kids not enrolled in the program.

"Our organization is here to support soldiers and their families so they can do their mission," Blanchard said.

Powered by Frankly