ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - Depot and community partners signed the Army Community Covenant here Nov. 30.

By signing the covenant, Army and community leaders make a promise to foster and sustain effective state and community partnerships by improving the quality of life for Soldiers and their Families.

Depot Commander Col. Timothy Sullivan signed the covenant with Col. Charles Keith, director of the U.S. Army National Guard Training Center at McClellan; Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce President Sherri Sumners; and Kenneth Reynolds, president of the Anniston satellite of the Redstone-Huntsville chapter of the Association of the United States Army.

"The strength that is within our military comes from their Families, employers, schools and communities. The Army Community Covenant recognizes the increasing sacrifices that our servicemembers are making every day," said Sullivan, who became the depot's 32nd commander Aug. 20.

Because a renewal of this commitment is required when any person signing the covenant leaves their position, this is the second Army Community Covenant signed here.

The initial covenant was signed in 2008 by the depot's former commander, Col. S. B. Keller, and about 10 other community leaders, some of which are no longer in office.

The covenant has been signed in Army communities worldwide since April 2008.

Since the initial covenant signing, the depot has hosted two Veterans Supermarket of Benefits fairs at the Anniston City Meeting Center and has enhanced many programs within Army Community Service, to include the Family Advocacy Program, Financial Readiness and the Army Emergency Relief program.

Additionally, this year the depot hosted for the first time a marriage reintegration retreat for couples experiencing deployment.

"This signing of our second covenant shows our continued support to our troops," said Sullivan.

The City of Anniston and the surrounding cities and communities are collectively home to thousands of active duty, reserve, National Guard and retired military who depend on the services provided by local agencies and organizations.

The federal agencies on depot and at McClellan and this area's civic and business organizations are successful in partnering to take care of current and former servicemembers. This also includes the Family members, said Sumners.

"Out in our community we have moms, dads, husbands, wives and children who sacrifice each and every day for our brave men and women in the military," said Sumners. "While we in the community do our best to remember what it takes to have our freedoms, with this covenant we remind ourselves to take care of the people who mean the most to these Families."

Anniston Army Depot's Child Development Center is home to several programs supporting Soldiers and their Families. The CDC's Child, Youth and School Services is active with the Family Care Plan and the Military Child Education Coalition. It also participates in a statewide campaign called Operation: Military Kids to bring community partners together in the support of children before, during and after their Family member's deployment.

JoAnne Amundson, ANAD's CDC director, said the initial Army Community Covenant, signed in 2008, helped set a culture that allowed for the purchase of school buses to take children to and from their respective schools.

Alabama Army National Guard Master Sgt. Dennis King recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan as the senior chaplain assistant with the 135th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. There, he spoke with Soldiers about the services provided in their hometowns.

"I know the warfighters appreciate what their covenant does for them," said King, who is also a training specialist at the CDC.

After the Army Community Covenant signing ceremony, the depot commander and Jim Webb, director of community and family activities, put their signatures on the Operation Excellence Covenants-one a promise to the employees of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the other a promise to customers of Family and MWR. Webb also made certificate and award presentations to his DCFA team.

Page last updated Thu December 9th, 2010 at 11:04