Great news for the Natick Soldier Systems Center workforce- the Army Community Service Office is coming out of hiding and hosting a birthday bash to boot. If you have not seen an ACS employee for a while, or are not sure exactly what ACS can do for you, then come by and get reacquainted with your local Army Community Service team and the programs they offer. FMWR will be hosting a Birthday Party and information session entitled "What your USAG Natick ACS can do for you", at 1430 on Friday, July 30th in the Lord Community Activities Center (bldg 32). The event will feature a 15-20 minute informational briefing given to you by the Natick ACS team followed by birthday cake for everyone!

When asked about the history of the Army's ACS program, Natick's ACS Director, Kent Brickman explained, "ACS began in 1965 during the Vietnam War. In earlier years there had been other variations of volunteer lead support services for the Army community but due to the consistent turnover of the volunteer leadership the programs would regularly dissipate. Seeing that there was a need for an ongoing standardized program, the ACS became an official entity July 25, 1965."

As for the expectations for the future, Brickman continued; "the ACS office is currently in the midst of finding a new home and hiring new subject-matter-expert staff in order to bring Natick the fullest array of ACS services possible. Often, the misconception is that ACS is designed to only help Soldiers, this is simply not true. Though Soldiers and their families are one of our highest priorities, we also are equipped to help any military member of any branch-of-service or component, military retirees, dependent family members of both of those groups and absolutely the Family members of the Fallen Through the Survivor Outreach Services program(SOS).

"We will help you in times of great distress or just when you are not sure of which way to turn for assistance. Some of the services that we can assist you with are things such as: financial readiness, domestic violence advocacy, child neglect advocacy, substance abuse issues, relocation assistance (to include items which may be loaned to newly arriving Soldiers and civilian staff), resume preparation, new parent support, mobility/deployment support, providing information about local resources, welcome packets, etc..." said Brickman. "but that's not all- If we do not provide a service that you are in need of, then we will research which person or which agency may assist you in a more appropriate manner and we will then provide you with that information. ACS will then make an appointment with to provide moral support during phone calls with other family support agencies"

"I am sincerely enjoying the experience of rebuilding and re-invigorating the Natick Soldier Systems Center ACS program. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience already, and I look to forward to many great ACS advancements in the very near future. We hope to see you at the ACS birthday bash and info session on July 30 - Don't forget- there will be free cake and the pool will stay open until 9 p.m. for some late night swimming." said Brickman in closing.

The Natick ACS office is currently in the process finding a new home, but for now the team can be found in the Lord Community Activities Center. For assistance please call any of the established contact numbers: Director, Kent Brickman 508-233-4485, Relocation Program Manager, Sandy Sullivan 508-233-4933. If you're interested on visiting ACS on Facebook they are known as "Usagnatick-Acs".