West Point teens let their voice be heard through AFAP
Andrew Diaz-Recurt, Marlena McGrath and Clayton Vermeesch represented the Youth Group at the AFAP outbrief Feb. 24 at the West Point Club. Diaz-Recurt, an avid skateboarder, spoke on the issue of getting a skateboard park at West Point.

WEST POINT, N.Y. (March 2, 2011) -- The Army Family Action Plan, created in 1983, is celebrating 28 years of action on issues of concern submitted to the Army leadership by Army Families, Soldiers, reserves, National Guard, retirees' and civilians.

The West Point 2011 AFAP outbriefing was held Feb. 24 at the West Point Club and addressed the community regarding quality of life issues that are important on post.

Community member formed work groups reviewed issues and gave recommendations for a wide variety of topics such as the need for detailed information on what Basic Allowance for Housing covers and on-site childcare service for the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fitness Center for after duty hours or weekends.

Patron parking for Keller Army Community Hospital was another issue addressed and the youth group chimed in with concerns about permanent change of station moves during a child's junior year, when preparing for college is important, and the need for a skateboard park.

Force Support group spokesperson Robert McLoughlin, system administrator for the Department of English and Philosophy, addressed one of the issues in housing.

"The main thing we looked at was accountability and transparency," McLoughlin said. "This is needed to deal with any misconception with privatization of housing. One of the problems is the lack of detailed information on what the BAH covers for on post residents."

The Force Support group recommended a detailed monthly statement to explain what the BAH covers for each specific set of quarters and comparing rent, utilities and amenities to fair market value in the local area.

Family Support Group spokesperson Heather Chadwick, spoke about the need for a year round instructional swim program.

"Currently we have three two-week sessions at Delafield Pond, but no program where you can learn to swim," Chadwick said. "We have three indoor pools at the gym and we could create a year round indoor instructional and competitive swim program for all ages and skill levels."

The briefing covered some successes and challenges facing West Point. Strengths included free childcare for Families of deployed Soldiers, a great ski slope, shuttle buses and Family Readiness Groups. Some of the challenging issues are lack of jobs for teens and spouses, inequality of housing with lower enlisted getting the lesser quality housing while officer and higher enlisted receive nicer housing and the limited hours of operation of the movie theater.

Page last updated Wed March 2nd, 2011 at 15:38