By Cheryl HarrisonOctober 30, 2009
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Leaders and community representatives were ready to tackle issues at the Fiscal Year 2010 Fort Sam Houston Army Family Action Plan Conference Oct. 21-23 at the Sam Houston Club. Over 50 issues were discussed and prioritized from housing to behavioral health, as well as recycling.
In its 26th year, AFAP provides a means to support the needs of military Families. Allowing input to leadership expresses the Army's desire to continually support and improve Families' well-being and quality-of-life as top priorities.
The process allows Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians, retirees and Families to identify and forward issues to Army leadership at all levels. Beginning at the local installation-level conference, delegates, consisting of representatives from the local community, are selected and they then prioritize issues that have been submitted for review.
At the opening ceremony, U.S. Army Garrison Commander Col. Mary Garr said, "This is your Army Action Plan and we have a number of issues to discuss. The AFAP has evolved beyond self-help and it is now a formal forum for problems our Families have dealt with. We are one community, one team."
Echoing Garr's comments, Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw, commander, Fort Sam Houston and Army Medical Department Center and School said, "During my four years here I have seen many changes, and the AFAP conference is the force behind many of those changes."
During the three-day conference, delegates, facilitators, recorders, transcribers and issue-support persons looked at submitted issues, prioritized then discussed them.
Subject matter experts were on hand to provide delegates with information and facts on issues in order for the delegates to prioritize and make recommendations.
Installation issues submitted to lead organizations will be reported on at the Commanders' Steering committee. Issues that can be worked locally will remain at the installation. Those that require higher command action are forwarded to the major command level conference. If prioritized at that conference, they are forwarded to the
Department of the Army conference.
Groups were given issues pertaining to medical/dental, community service, recycling, transportation, housing, education, and training and personnel services. Each group presented the top two to three issues considered the most viable.
During closing remarks, Maj. Gen. Keith Huber, commander, U.S. Army South said, "I hope these comments and observations find their way back to the command channel. I thank you for all the hard work and dedication."