ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center is supporting families of deployed soldiers by providing a toll-free Family Assistance Hotline.

The number, 1-800-833-6622, is for use by family members of soldiers on active duty as well as those in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve called to active duty. The hotline will remain in operation indefinitely.

The call is free from the continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. Hotline staff take calls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT to answer family support-related questions. Emergency assistance is provided between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. EDT.

While the hotline staff cannot give out information about a soldier's specific location, status or mailing address, the staff has been instrumental in linking thousands of extended family members to the family support groups and rear detachments at the soldier's unit.

In addition to local and Army level assistance via telephone, family members can find answers to many routine questions about family readiness, Army Community Service and deployment support resources online at the ACS Web site, www.goacs.org, and at the Army Family Liaison Office Web site, www.aflo.org. Information about Operation Iraqi Freedom is at www.army.mil

The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve state and regional support commands also operate assistance lines, though they may not always be toll free. Information is available at www.guardfamily.org and www.army.mil/usar

The U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center is the headquarters Department of the Army agency responsible for Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs the Army provides soldiers and families worldwide.

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