By Sarah Horrigan, Family and Morale, Welfare and RecreationNovember 6, 2008
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Even before the words "Army Family Covenant" (AFC) were a part of everyday conversations in Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) offices, the idea of bringing an increased quality of life to Soldiers and family members was a part of our everyday culture.
Since the Army Family Covenant has arrived and put a formal emphasis on quality of life, FMWR-Hawaii continues to look for new ways to take the idea of the AFC and bring it to life here in Hawaii.
One of the many FMWR facilities embracing the essence of the AFC is Outdoor Recreation, particularly with its new programs and the partnership with the Wounded Warrior program.
Through the hard work of the Outdoor Recreation team, the facility has undergone major changes in 2008. What used to be a facility primarily used for equipment checkout is now the destination for outdoor programs.
Through Outdoor Recreation, Soldiers and families have a variety of opportunities to explore Oahu and create lifelong memories. Some of these expanded programs include: workout without walls, a morning of physical activity done in a scenic area of the island; whale watching tours; deep-sea fishing; Kualoa Ranch tours that include ATV, movie set and Jeep tours, along with kayak excursions; aquaculture tours, which teach Hawaiian fishing skills; Tour de North Shore, a bike adventure across Oahu's North Shore; hiking, biking and kayaking trips; and scuba, which includes Discover Scuba and various certifications and dives.
One program targeted to deploying Soldiers gives certified divers and a guest a free dive before they deploy, when they return, and during their rest and recuperation (R&R) leave.
In addition to the activity, whichever they may choose, part of the experience includes free transportation involving a tour of Oahu, with the Outdoor Recreation staff teaching patrons about the island while they ride. Outdoor Recreation will also arrange for special group trips at discounted rates.
In addition to its expanded programming, the Outdoor Recreation team also takes care of wounded warriors and their families. Outdoor Recreation works with the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) and gives wounded warriors open seats for a discounted price. Outdoor Recreation was able to open additional seats on a variety of programs, especially deep-sea fishing during the spring and summer, for the WTB.
As you can see, Outdoor Recreation is one of the ways the Army in Hawaii is taking care of Soldiers and families and continuing to bring the ideas of the AFC to life. Keep looking to FMWR in the coming year to see new programs and activities, improvements to facilities, and new ways to get involved through FMWR and allow us to thank you for your service and sacrifice.
Editor's Note: This article was run in a special insert of the Hawaii Army Weekly, the post newspaper for U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, in honor of the one year anniversary of the signing of the Army Family Covenant. To view the entire insert, visit www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/sites/commander/armyfamily.asp.