The welfare of Soldiers and their Families is always a priority in the Army, Area 1 and in the 2nd Infantry Division. That is why the Army Family Covenant was signed Dec. 23 at the Pear Blossom Cottage on Camp Casey by Maj Gen. John W. Morgan III and USAG-Casey and USAG-Red Cloud officials.

The signing ceremony publicly reiterated the Army's commitment to Army Families recognizing their sacrifices and to make a more balanced life for them and their Soldiers.

"It is a small step that shows how committed the leadership is in helping Family members reconnect with their loved ones and make sure the Soldiers receive a better way of life," said Maj. Gen. John W. Morgan III, commanding general for the 2nd Infantry Division.

Recently the Department of Defense approved command sponsorship and tour length increases for the Dongducheon and Uijongbu areas to now include the Camps Casey and Hovey area. Before then, most Soldiers had to endure a one-year unaccompanied tour away from Family members. They now will have the opportunity to take advantage of 24 month accompanied tours

"For over 50 years Soldiers that have lived north of the Han River in what was considered a dependent-restricted area can now begin to have their Families live with them much like any other duty station," said Morgan.

Army-wide the covenant represents a 1.4 billion dollar commitment in 2008 to improve quality of life for Army Families. From education, medical, dental, youth services, and employment opportunities for spouses the spending is part of a commitment by the Army to provide Soldiers and their Families with a level of support and quality of life commensurate with their level of service.

"2008 was a great year and 2009 will be a fantastic year as we continue our commitment in ensuring that our Soldiers and Families are well taken care of," said Morgan.