During his Dec. 9 trip to the Natick Soldier Systems Center, Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of Installation Management Command and the assistant chief of staff for Installation Management, reaffirmed his commitment to Soldiers and their Families.

"When we signed the Army Family Covenant, we weren't kidding," Lynch said. "We worry ... that our Army might break because of the wear and tear on our families. I've been to war four of the past seven years. Even though I've been married 28 years, deployments are still a strain on our family."

The purpose behind the general's visit was to show him the great work the NSSC workforce does and provide a comprehensive tour of the installation's facilities.

"My commitment is to go back ... and help improve your infrastructure at Natick," Lynch said after touring some of the labs that were built in the early 1950s.

The general also was given a brief of the NSSC Master Plan from the USAG-Natick Commander, Lt. Col. Kari Otto.

In the centerpiece of his visit, Lynch hosted an Army Community Service focus group at NSSC attended by dozens of Natick Soldiers. He discussed such issues as suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, child care and spouse employment.

"We as an Army are investing $2.1 billion a year on family programs," Lynch said. "It only works if we get the right program to the right person at the right time. If nobody knows about (the programs), you might as well not even have them.

"None of us do a good job of informing our Families. We tend to leave it at the office. The frustration that we have as an Army is how do we get the information to your Families'"

Lynch told those assembled that while the goal was to increase dwell time between deployments, Army senior leadership believes that the nation will continue at war for another decade.

"So what we're doing is unbelievably hard but unbelievably important," Lynch said. "In the world out there, you've got givers and you've got takers. We're givers."

Upon his arrival, Lynch, who did his graduate work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visited the Massachusetts National Guard Armory in nearby Wellesley, where Natick Soldiers can take advantage of extensive family programs. At the armory, he had lunch with Gold Star Family members.

Later, he mentioned the available programs to the focus group.

"I went there today, and it was phenomenal," Lynch said. "All of the programs that we as an Army advocate are promoted there, all of them."

Earlier, Lynch concluded a tour of NSSC by taking part in the annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony. There, Brig. Gen. Harold Greene, NSSC commander, praised the installation workforce.

"The work that you folks do here is absolutely essential," said Greene, asking them to relax over the holidays. "We're in this for the long haul, and the great work that you do isn't over. We need you rested up and ready to go."

Then Greene introduced Lynch.

"He's here today to find out what we do, what kind of facilities we (have) and how well we're doing," Greene said. "He's ... a great Army leader."

Lynch told the Soldiers and civilian employees that they were making history each day at Natick.

"You just have to know that when you go home tonight and you look in the mirror, the reflection back is somebody who's chosen, made the choice, to make a difference in our nation's history," said Lynch. "I'm honored to be with you, and I'm humbled to be in your presence."

Page last updated Fri December 10th, 2010 at 13:55