Congratulations to Lupita Calamese, Director’s Award Winner, South Region - Fort Stewart Military & Family Life Counselor (MFLC)
When Lupita Calamese introduces herself as a Fort Stewart Military & Family Life Counselor (MFLC), she does so with pride. Lupita has served as an aviation soldier, is married to a soldier, and is the mother of a soldier. She conducts her daily MFLC activities with love, support, empathy and deep personal understanding of the sacrifices soldiers and families make to secure our freedoms.
During her three years as a Child Development Center (CDC) Child and Youth Behavioral (CYB) MFLC, Lupita has embraced a wealth of opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of military children and the adults responsible for their care. “It’s an honor to serve the youngest and most vulnerable clients. I feel rewarded with their raw and uninhibited honesty and emotional expression,” Lupita reflected. “My work as an MFLC keeps me smiling. Never a dull workday around here!”In addition, Lupita supports Gold Star Families and Survivors and presents at Survivor Outreach Program events attended by survivors and community advocates. “I’ll never cease to be humbled when looking into the eyes of survivor parents, spouses and children,” Lupita said.
Selinda Torbert-Blue, manager of the Survivor Outreach Service Program, shared this praise: “Pita has been a source of comfort and support for Gold Star Families in Fort Stewart. She is always just a phone call away with a compassionate, caring listening ear. Her professionalism is unmatched. Our Survivors request her by name and have no trouble if they must wait for an appointment as she keeps a heavy schedule. Pita is a wonderful counselor and a true example of what being present and attentive looks like. She is valued for her knowledge and patience with our population. Pita is a pleasure to work with we are pleased to have her on our Team.”
Lupita is a strong mentor for fellow MFLCs; both Adult and CYB counselors often seek her counsel. She continually demonstrates leadership in the CDC CYB team and is recognized as the “go to” counselor when MFLC services are needed for collaborative events and activities on the installation. By developing natural and stable relationships with Fort Stewart community resources, Lupita has established the trust and confidence of program managers and directors. Most recently, Lupita assisted the POC responsible for the Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC), following the mandated evacuation of Fort Stewart due to Hurricane Dorian. She organized the CDC CYB team and coordinated a two-day interval schedule of MFLC support for soldiers and their dependents who needed individual, family or child sessions. In the regional supervisor’s follow-up to the event, the EFAC Point of Contact (POC) gave Lupita high praise for her work.
Following are a few comments from parents whom Lupita has served:
“Thank you, Lupita. Your words were inspirational. I miss him every day, but this helps us get through the day."
“Your resources helped me with my stress while he was deployed, let me show you my new calendar!"
“Thank you for helping me about my baby. Your counseling at parent support was a lifesaver.”
Lupita’s position as a MFLC continues to be a “full circle” life experience. Not only has she been helped as part of a military family herself, she is now a helper who shares the hope of resiliency with a community that gives so much. Congratulations on a job well done and on receiving the Director’s Award in the third quarter, Lupita!