<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>-When Soldiers deploy from Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, concerns about their Families' welfare can be mitigated with the knowledge that the installation and surrounding communities help take care of them.

Two recent information sharing forums hosted by the 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield were held January 27 and 29 at the Hunter Club and Club Stewart, respectively, to share information with local communities about current economic concerns and community support.

One of the primary objectives of the luncheons was to keep community leaders informed about current operating budget restraints on the installation.

Attending for the military at the Stewart event were Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd ID Deputy Commanding General-Rear; Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Ashmen, 3rd ID Command Sergeant Major-Rear; Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Milton; Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin; and 3rd ID Family Readiness Group Leader, and wife of 3rd ID Commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, Ginger Cucolo.

A sampling of the information provided by the military included good news and bad. The bad included functioning on a reduced operating budget. The good news includes knowledge that the installation has a vibrant and healthy Military Construction Program, totaling about $135 million in FY10.

The good news continued as the command group relayed that Family programs like Child and Youth Services were becoming stronger. They noted a new Child Development Center opened recently on Stewart, with four more to open on the installation by late summer.

As a testament to that fact, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation announced Child, Youth & School Services will hold a Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting for School Age Youth Services Facility, 9 a.m., Feb. 26 at building 8805, on 2599 S. Perimeter Rd, at Hunter Army Airfield.

Among the ideas shared for mutual community and installation partnership efforts were the call for volunteers, a revitalized adopt-a-school program, as well as increased information awareness.

Local community attendees, that included leaders from Flemington, Hinesville, Pembroke, Riceboro, Richmond Hill, Bryan County, Evans County, Liberty County, Liberty County Schools, and installation schools at the Stewart event discussed ways to share that information to a wider audience, such as the community links found on the installation Web site, www.stewart.army.mil/services/community.asp.

Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas pointed out an example of the type of information that could be shared was the free classes to spouses and wounded warriors at Savannah Tech. He also noted Armstrong Atlantic State University was planning to open a chapter in downtown Hinesville by the end of the year 2010.

Before the meeting came to a conclusion, Brig. Gen. Phillips extended his thanks to all the communities for their continued support of Soldiers and Families and noted the installation would continue to help get the word out about opportunities on-post and off to Soldiers, Families and community members.

One of the ways public affairs is trying to support the installation's effort to keep military Families like Private Chris Smith and keep communities informed is by pushing additional information out through social medias venues, like Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Flickr. Links to those supported sites are available on the Team Stewart Web site at www.stewart.army.mil.

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