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Symposium Spotlights Challenges of National Guard Troops, Families

With National Guard troops deployed at unprecedented levels, North Carolina State University is hosting a one-day symposium to raise awareness about the issues and challenges facing the families and children of deployed soldiers.

The Children and Families of the N.C. National Guard Symposium will be held Tuesday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jane S. McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus. The symposium is free for military personnel and their immediate family members. The cost for non-military is $30 and $5 for students.

National, state and local officials will address relevant topics for national guard troops and their families such as access to health care, mental health issues, and education and support services for family members before, during and after deployment.

Mary Easley, first lady of North Carolina, will kick off the symposium, which includes addresses by Maj. Gen. Bill Ingram, commander of North Carolina’s Army and Air National Guard, and his wife Lil Ingram; Maj. Gen. Elder Granger, head of the military health care system; Dempsey Benton, secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services; J.B. Buxton, deputy superintendent of the N.C. Dept. of Public Instruction; Ramon Rajano, director of Wake County Health and Human Services; and Diane Coffill, director of the N.C. National Guard’s Family Readiness Program.

Following the addresses and panel discussions, symposium participants can attend one of four afternoon breakout sessions that will address topics such as posttraumatic stress disorder; school and community support; higher education’s response to veterans with disabilities; and family assistance centers.

The symposium is sponsored by NC State’s Department of Social Work within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information, or to register, visit

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