By Ms. Joyce Costello (IMCOM)March 5, 2009
LIVORNO, Italy - The Camp Darby Army Community Service's Service member and Family Readiness Center opened its doors on Feb. 27 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"The SFRC has a Yellow Ribbon Room with four computers for e-mail, video-producing capability, web-cam capability, Family Lounge with TV and DVD, recliners for relaxation, a children's play room with all sorts of activities for the little ones, a training room, a kitchen, information and referral and a lot more," said Evelyn Watkins, Army Community Service Division Chief.
Brig. Gen. Belinda Pinckney, director of the Army Diversity Task Force, who participated in the ceremony, said this opening ceremony had particular importance to her.
"When the Secretary of the Army decided he wanted to one-stop shopping soldier readiness centers, I was pleased we were able to justify and commit funds to this cause," said Pinckney. "Seeing the fruit of my labor makes me proud and I know you all will enjoy and benefit from it."
As servicemembers and their families visited the new center, many like the Cereceres family were glad to have a place to keep in touch with their loved ones while deployed.
"I think this was a wonderful idea to help the service members and the families stay in touch when ones spouse is deployed," said Zulma Cereceres.
Surveying the new computer systems with the latest in video teleconference hardware, her husband, Air Force Staff. Sgt. Felix Cereceres added that "this really brings us into the new age of technology."
Additionally, the community took advantage of the opening ceremony to welcome home service members that had recently returned from their deployments.
"It is with great pleasure that we recognized and honor those that have placed their life in harm's way and it was very fitting that we were able to do that at the new SFRC," said U.S. Army Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Felix Rodriguez.
Rodriguez added that the community should visit and utilize the many services and opportunities provided to help Families handle difficult situations during the service member's deployment and the SFRC offers a place to find support in addition to a place to hold meetings and training.