Tour normalization takes giant leap forward
April 14, 2011
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- Amenities in this once family member-restricted duty station took a quantum leap forward April 8, 2011, when U.S. Army Garrison Casey opened several new Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities during an open house here.
The opening of Army Community Service in its new location, and new Child Development Center and School Age Services/Youth Center facilities have brought tour normalization to fruition for families in Warrior Country. Since tour normalization was introduced in December 2008, about 850 new families have arrived as command sponsored in Area I.
These facilities are all located within one block of Casey Elementary School - the first-ever Department of Defense Education Activity school north of Seoul. It opened for kindergarten through 8th grade students in August 2010, and the second wing will open this August.
Lt. Col. Richard Fromm, U.S. Army Garrison Casey commander, was joined for the ribbon cutting by Brig. Gen. Charles L. Taylor, assistant division commander (maneuver), 2nd Infantry Division, and directors of the new facilities, who all lent a hand to officially open them to families.
"We have been working on these projects almost two years," Fromm said about the DFMWR facilities in his remarks. "You have sacrificed so much. This is a part of tour normalization and it brings our families here the quality that they deserve in this new community on the peninsula."
Following the ribbon cutting, the Korea Culture Media High School marching band from Dongducheon provided the audience with a lively array of music.
Leaders from Camp Casey went on a tour of the new facilities with Soldiers and their families.
While visiting the Child Development Center, Spec. Kirstyn Warren from Company A, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion here, told Taylor and Fromm the she and her husband had been paying up to $1,800 a month for child care off-post.
"I am so thankful to be able to use the CDC," she said. "We were not expecting one here, which made things much more difficult. We had to work around other people's hours and schedule and we always felt bad when we worked more than 12 hours a day."
As dual working parents they get priority at the CDC and their childcare expense - based on their combined incomes - has been reduced to $360 a month. Dual working parents like the Warrens and single parents are priority one for care.
"We will strategically open positions from the waiting list for families requesting part time and or hourly care," said Chris Bradford, chief of DFWMR.
DFMWR also opened its new Auto Skills Center as part of the festivities. Patrons of the facility can work on their automobiles and can also have the required safety inspection completed there. It is the only inspection station in Warrior Country.
One week earlier, USAG Red Cloud also opened new Child, Youth and School Services and Community Activity Center/Youth Center facilities at Camp Red Cloud.