By Renee Reese, Fort Stewart Public AffairsDecember 7, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. (Dec. 7, 2011) -- Third Infantry Division community members posed approximately 100 questions and concerns to garrison leaders Nov. 30 at the quarterly Facebook Town Hall meeting.
Embracing modern technology is nothing new to the Marne community as this was the third information sharing forum utilizing technology this calendar year.
"It continues to grow because it's a word of mouth phenomenon, "said Kevin Larson, public affairs specialist. "They [family members] realize that we are listening and taking them serious, so they keep coming back and they tell their friends and it just continues to grow."
Representatives from each installation directorate at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield fielded questions and concerns regarding increased military presence on Highway 144 to long waiting periods at Winn Army Community Hospital's emergency room.
The process has been refined since the initial town hall meeting, according to Larson. Based on previous meetings, larger sized directorates were partnered with public affairs representatives for assistance with answering questions in a timely manner.
Free flowing communication between directorates and community members is the primary goal of each town hall.
"I think anything we can do involving more modern technology breaks down those [communication] barriers and speeds up that information flow," said Army Community Service Chief Vicki Hamlin.
The next step for each directorate is to ensure they have answered any unanswered questions posed during the meeting. All responses are tracked at the garrison level which is standard.
Although this meeting did not garner large numbers of questions as in past meetings, many directorates received positive comments from participants, according to Larson.
At the events conclusion, Fort Stewart's Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Milton and Hunter Army Airfield's Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Ed Kovaleski thanked participants for the open dialogue and noted the importance of such an event.
"With Facebook, we eliminate people coming out of their homes, getting childcare and sitting in an auditorium," Hamlin said. "This process speeds things up."