By Charmain Z. BrackettNovember 8, 2010
FORT GORDON, Ga. --After an intense two days of researching and discussing issues that impact the Army community, delegates at the annual Fort Gordon Army Family Action Plan conference decided on the top five issues they felt should be forwarded to Training and Doctrine Command.
The number one issue was support for family members with non-medically diagnosed learning disorders. The top priority might sound familiar to those who have been at Fort Gordon for more than a year.
"This was the top issue at last year's," said Teri Ryan, AFAP coordinator. "It was not prioritized at TRADOC and was sent back down."
However, delegates felt it was something that must be addressed so they are sending it back to the TRADOC level.
Other issues included the formation of a Survivor Outreach Services program for Soldiers who experience the death of a dependent. There is a program for surviving family members of Soldiers, but delegates felt it did not offer services for active duty.
The third issue on the list was extra-hours allotment for programs for children.
Ryan said Soldiers are often required to work hours outside of those where childcare and child programming is available through on-post sources such as Child Youth and School Aged Services.
The final two issues were related to health care. The first had to do with orthodontic restart costs for family members. Often, a family will move to a different duty station during the orthodontic process and will be required to pay more to restart treatment at an orthodontist when they transfer locations. The suggestion on this was to provide lifetime cap on what families paid for orthodontic work.
Also, delegates voted for more comprehensive health screenings for service members saying the current period health assessment is not as comprehensive as the former five-year physical. Service members can request for certain tests to be done, but often they do not realize these tests are available to them.
"The delegates did a great job. They had a lot of hard issues they had to discuss. They did a lot of work," said Ryan.
There were about 70 delegates involved in the conference, and they represented a cross-section of Fort Gordon. Among them were active duty military, retirees, dependents and Department of the Army civilians.