Participants in the conference's Medical/Dental work group Oct. 27 include, from left, in the front row: Bob Brown, Justin Bollay and Katherine Tighe; and in the back row, Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Yates, Alice Myles, Lisa Knapp and Kaye Preston.

Members of the total Army family at Redstone had their voices heard last week.

They expressed their quality of life concerns during the 21st annual Army Family Action Plan conference Oct. 27-28 at the Officers and Civilians Club. Thirty-four delegates were evenly distributed in three work groups: Consumer Services, Medical/Dental, and Benefits/Entitlements.

"This is to have all of the Army family voices heard - whether that be DA (Department of Army) civilians, Soldiers, spouses, retirees," Nicki Swindle, quality of life program manager at Army Community Service, said. "And everyone has an equal voice."

Swindle is in her first year as quality of life program manager but has previously been involved with AFAP. Last year she served as a recorder/transcriber for the medical/dental work group.

Cathy Hays was the quality of life program manager until she became a program analyst for Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation about seven weeks ago. She was a conference staff member last week.

Army Community Service served as the conference proponent. The three commercial sponsors included the Association of the U.S. Army, Transition Services, and Redstone Federal Credit Union.

"I was here when it (AFAP) first started in '88," said retiree Bob Brown, a delegate in the medical/dental work group. "And I think it has done wonders for the military. My son is in the Navy and we talk about this and he said 'we don't have anything like this in the Navy.'

"I think the Army places the family just as equal as the Soldier in the field - just as important. And I think that's remarkable and I think a lot of it came out of this Army Family Action Plan," he said. "So I think it's a well worthwhile program that's really appreciated by all. And I think Redstone has one of the best programs I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of them."

Each of the three work groups reported its top three issues, from among the 35 total, Oct. 28. Redstone commander Maj. Gen. Jim Myles and Garrison commander Col. Bob Pastorelli participated in the report-out session.

"All the local issues that (weren't in the top nine) will be worked through either Community First or through ICE with Steve McFadden," Swindle said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16