Ask the Commander!: August responses
August 28, 2009
<b><i>Colonel answers questions from individuals about anxiety in children, Helemano Military Reservation amenities and additions to the garrison Web site</i></b>
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - The "Ask the Commander" program is designed as a communication tool to allow Soldiers, civilians and family members to get concerns addressed and questions answered by the garrison commander. All submitted questions go directly to the garrison commander; directorates and support staff research queries and provide responses to the commander.
Due to newspaper space limitations, only a sampling of questions are printed or broadcast on TV2, a channel available on Army installations. Generally, the commander answers questions of community-wide impact.
<b>Q: The children that are affected by multiple deployments suffer from increased anxiety. What are we doing to address the anxiety and behavior issues that children have today because of the war' </b>
A: The Department of the Army and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) recognize the impact multiple deployments have on Soldiers and families. USAG-HI has several programs and partnerships that offer workshops and services to meet the unique needs of Soldiers and families, including child-specific programming.
Family Strong Hawaii (FSH) is a recent collaborative effort between Army Community Service (ACS), the Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) Department of Psychology and Psychiatry, and the Religious Services Office through which workshops are conducted by subject matter experts from the respective agencies.
ACS has several other programs specific to helping families with children. The New Parent Support Program offers individualized home visits for parents with children between the ages 0 to 5. Parents can discuss specific concerns within the privacy of their home with a subject matter expert, licensed registered nurses and clinical social workers.
Additionally, the Prevention and Education Program offers workshops such as Kids and Deployment, R&R and Children, and a supportive puppet class for children.
Child, Youth and School Services (CYS2) has two new deployment specialists. Their main focus is to assist families in receiving the benefits available to them during deployment cycles. They ensure that children of deployed Soldiers are doing special projects to connect them with their deployed parent.
Through CYS2's Parents as Teachers: Heroes at Home program, two parent educators go into individual homes, provide developmental screenings, hold group meetings and work with our families to promote early childhood education for children affected by deployment.
Child behavioral specialists are also available through Military Family Life Consultants (MFLC). The benefit of having these consultants in Hawaii has been immense.
Although we see signs of stress in all our programs, the greatest impact appears in our School Age Programs. The MFLC spends the mornings with our Child Development Centers and every afternoon at the School Age facilities and the Teen Centers.
The incidence of serious behavioral issues has dramatically decreased in the past year.
Parents can also schedule an appointment with an MFLC when they identify behavior issues related to deployment.
Lastly, TAMC's School Based Mental Health Services is active in schools with large military populations. All these programs work in conjunction with each other to help protect the health and well-being of our military children.
<b>Q: The Helemano park has no benches for parents to sit on when they take their children to the park. Is it possible to have benches put in'</b>
A: Army Hawaii Family Housing (AHFH) continues to form a strong partnership with USAG-HI to improve the quality of life for our Hawaii Soldiers and families while conserving natural resources.
AHFH has just embarked on a plan to make repairs to 71 tot-lots and playgrounds in AHFH communities. While the hope is to install picnic benches at selected tot-lots and playgrounds, there currently is no funding to support the project.
If funding becomes available through cost savings in other projects, there is the possibility that a picnic bench could be installed at this particular Helemano park by the end of the year. The safety and comfort of our families is always a priority, and we will continue to pursue projects toward that end.
Don't forget that if you have any issues within your immediate community, your first resource is your community manager.
<b>Q: Is it possible for DHR (the Directorate of Human Resources) to publish a list on the garrison Web site of all the required documents for routine processes like family travel, ID cards, passports, etc.'</b>
A: This is a great suggestion on how the garrison can help support Soldiers and family members with the many processes that are part of Army life. We try to design and revise the garrison Web site continuously so that it will be useful to you and to help make relevant information accessible for our entire community.
DHR handles many of our personnel services and is comprised of dedicated professionals committed to offering the best service possible. The goal is to continually strive to provide quality military personnel, administrative, substance abuse prevention, and continuing education services to our Soldiers and families here at USAG-HI.
Currently, we list information on how to obtain an ID card on the garrison Web site, as well as the location and hours of ID card facilities and the required documents. As additional processes are documented, more of this type of information will be added to the garrison Web site so that our community customers can be well prepared when entering a service facility.
ID Card info can be found under the "Services" menu on the left hand side at <a href="http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil">www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil</a>.
To submit an "Ask the Commander" question, send an email to <a href="mailto: AskTheCommander.email@example.com">AskTheCommander.firstname.lastname@example.org</a> or go to the next TV2 taping Sept. 1, 3 p.m., at the Fort Shafter PXmarket. For more information, call Ophelia Isreal (808-655-9303) at Customer Management Services, or call Aiko Brum (808-656-3155) or Jack Wiers (808-656-3489) at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs.
<b>Points of Contact</b>
Aca,!AcCall 808-655-4227 for all Army Community Service programs.
Aca,!AcCall 808-656-0093 to reach Child and Youth Support Services.
Aca,!AcCall 808-222-7088 to reach a Military Family Life Consultant.