FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Installation leaders, mayors from the surrounding communities and Families reaffirmed their commitment to one another during the Army Family and Community Covenant signings Nov. 6.

The signings at the Fort Rucker Festival Fields took place in conjunction with the annual Chili 5K and Chili Cook-off.

Brig. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, said the signing was more than just a symbolic gesture, it was a commitment.

"The relationship Fort Rucker has with the Wiregrass community goes back (many) years, it's not new," he said. "We have leaders in our local communities who are committed to us and have seen the commitment first-hand. It is truly, not wavering."

The secretary of the Army created the Community Covenant in 2008 to foster and sustain effective state and community partnerships with the Army to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their Families, according to Crutchfield.

Mayors from the surrounding communities also expressed what they felt the signing of the community covenant means for the post and the communities who call it "home."

"It's absolutely important for all our communities to be able to do this because it shows our support, not just for the installation, but for the individual Soldier and their Families," said Kenneth Boswell, Enterprise mayor. "Our Soldiers do so much for us and our families. They move all over the world and protect us on a daily basis. The least we can do is sign a commitment to let them know how important they are to us as communities."

The mayors also agreed it's important to be proactive with the installation because the Soldiers and their Families are members of the communities, too.

"We invite the Soldiers and their Families to our community for all the community activities we have," said Billy Blackwell, Ozark mayor. "We want to get to know them on a one-on-one basis so they can see that we're just regular people, like them. Even though they're wearing the uniform and protecting us, we still have a lot in common."

Members of the installation command group also signed the Army Family Covenant during the event. The Family covenant began in 2007 to support Soldiers and their Families. This covenant's goals were to build resource programs to provide Families a quality of life commensurate with their service and create an environment where Army Families can prosper and realize their full potential, Crutchfield said.

"Signing this today is a sign of our commitment to our Families," said Crutchfield. "It's not just a piece of paper. The Army is committed to this. Today, I would like to reaffirm that commitment at the Fort Rucker level."

Five "Families of Excellence" from the Fort Rucker community were recognized by the post Army Community Service for their "extraordinary volunteer service to the community" prior to the signing of the Family covenant.

Those Families stood with the command group as they each signed the document reaffirming Fort Rucker's commitment to military Families.

"It makes (Soldiers) feel good knowing that the Army is committed to helping us and our Families," said CW4 Michael Boyle, D Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment instructor pilot course track chief.

Boyle and his Family were nominated by members of the post community as a "Family of excellence" for their volunteer work throughout the installation.

"We know that the Fort Rucker community itself gives so much to us, (volunteering) is just a way of us giving back for something that we probably would have gotten for free."

Page last updated Fri November 12th, 2010 at 12:57