Soldiers, families gain benefits from expanded programs and funding

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The Army Family Covenant has provided all Army installations the opportunity to increase the quality of life of Soldiers and families through increased funding and programming.

The new or expanded Army Family Covenant programs help Soldiers and families recently returned from a deployment, gearing up for a deployment and support spouses of currently deployed Soldiers.

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) is committed to taking specific Army Family Covenant initiatives and customizing them to meet the unique needs of the Soldiers and families in Hawaii.

Over the next several months you will be seeing better programs and services, increased child care opportunities, and expanded hours of operation at many facilities. Army Hawaii FMWR is committed to providing the best services and programs available anywhere in the world. Through FMWR programming the Army Family Covenant has fully come alive.

FMWR is eager to implement and expand the Army Family Covenant programs. People with ideas on programs they would like to see implemented, or input on the current programs should contact FMWR.

What FMWR has done:
Aca,!AcKolekole Jam II - The Army Family Covenant made the KoleKole Jam II concert, featuring Montgomery Gentry, Bowling for Soup, and Katie Rae Davis a reality. Covenant funding provided this free event, which was attended by more than 15,000 of the Hawaii military community. The evening of food, music, and fun was the Army Family Covenant's way to say thank you to our Soldiers and families for all of their sacrifice and service.

Aca,!AcEnhanced Child, Youth and School Services - The Army Family Covenant funds expanded CYS Service. First, CYS2 registration is now free for all families. For families of deployed Soldiers and wounded warriors, benefits include 16 free hours respite care, four free School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills (SKIES), classes, two free youth sports, reduced full/part time care fees and discounted hourly care. Wounded warriors also received unlimited no cost hourly care for medical appointments. The rear detachment command is now given five free hours of child care per month. Further, CYS2 has enhanced homework support and tutoring opportunities and has upgraded youth technology labs in facilities to assist in communication with deployed parents.

Aca,!AcDiscounted golf - Families of deployed Soldiers and recently redeployed Soldiers and families can enjoy up to $10 off green fees at Army golf courses. Participants just need to download the discount coupon off the FMWR Web site, and present the coupon at time of purchase.

Aca,!AcDiscounted bowling - Families of deployed Soldiers and recently redeployed Soldiers and Families can enjoy $1 off at Army bowling centers, up to three games. Participants just need to download the discount coupon off the FMWR Web site, www.mwrarmyhawaii .com and present the coupon at time of purchase.

Aca,!AcExtended gym hours - Weekend and holiday hours at Martinez and Fort Shafter gyms and weekend hours at the Schofield Barracks Health and Fitness Center have been extended.

Aca,!AcGym towels provided - The Army Family Covenant provides towels at each FMWR gym and fitness center for patrons to use while working out.

Aca,!AcFree fitness classes - Many classes at the Schofield Barracks Health and Fitness Center are free for all Soldiers and family members courtesy of the Army Family Covenant.

Aca,!AcFree pet care - Families of deployed Soldiers are given 12 free days of pet care at the FMWR Kennel with a valid Blue Star Card. These free days are funded by the Army Family Covenant.

Aca,!AcNew outdoor recreation programming - New programs in outdoor recreation have launched, including whale watching, deep sea fishing, scuba and island tours.

Aca,!AcExtended library hours - The Aliamanu Library is open extended hours Wednesday - Friday, and new hours of operation are Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aca,!AcExtended Information, Ticketing and Reservations (ITR) hours - The Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks ITR Offices are now open Monday - Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Aca,!AcExtended outdoor recreation hours - Outdoor Recreation is now open Sundays, noon-4 p.m. and Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Aca,!AcNew fitness equipment - New fitness equipment has been placed in physical fitness centers courtesy of the Army Family Covenant.

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