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LIRR to JFK metrocard question - can a local help?

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I've used the Penn Station to JFK trains occasionally over the last few years - this time I found I was required to buy a new reloadable MetroCard for $5 in addition to the usual cost of the LIRR and Airtrain ticket.

When I returned I tried to figure out how to re-load the $5 metrocard with the cost of the return connections, but I couldn't figure it out or get help. I ended up having to buy a new metrocard.

Can anyone who uses this connection help me figure this out? I now have 2 metrocards. I usually would use this less than 3 times per year but hate having to add this extra charge each time.

thanks

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