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United Through Reading initiative keeps families connected

Airmen poses for a picture in the new United Through Reading room

U.S Air Force Capt. Ben Skelton, 39th Air Base Wing chaplain, holds a book in the new room designated for the United Through Reading program at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, August 4, 2018. Through the program, service members can record themselves reading a book, which is sent to their family along with a copy of the book for them to read along. (U.S Air Force courtesy photo)

Picture of the room used for United Through Reading

Pictured is the room used for the United Through Reading program at the Titan Refuge at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, August 4, 2018. The United Through Reading program eases the stress of separation, builds family bonds and cultivates a love of reading for military child. (U.S Air Force courtesy photo)


Being separated away from home can often be hard on service members, as well as the families.


As a way to boost morale and keep families connected, the Incirlik Air Base Chapel recently began sponsoring the United Through Reading program at a newly renovated room in the Titans’ Refuge. This program allows service members to record themselves reading a book and send a copy of the recording and book to their family.


“The idea is to provide a room with an intimate home vibe, so it is like the service member is at home while reading a book,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Ben Skelton, 39th Air Base Wing chaplain. “Our tag line is ‘connecting families across continents,’ and it is unfortunate that our families can’t be here, but we are doing everything we can to provide resources to connect them.”


Skelton who has a family of his own thought it would be beneficial for other service members to capitalize on the United Through Reading program. This not only helps families stay connected while facing physical separation, but it facilitates a bonding experience of reading aloud together while away.


“I have a two-year-old son and I miss reading bed time stories to him… so I wanted to create an environment specifically for military members to read books to their families,” said Skelton. “We have put over 100 volunteer hours into making the space available for other service members.”


For more information, visit the United Through Reading website unitedthroughreading.org or contact the base Chapel at 676-6441.