By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleJune 14, 2012
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (June 14) -- The sergeant major of the Army and his spouse visited Fort Belvoir June 7.
Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III and his wife, Jeanne, toured Army Community Service, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and other facilities on post, to examine the installation's growth and to speak with Soldiers and Families.
Raymond and Jeanne walked away from Belvoir with great impressions after the day-long visit.
"Fort Belvoir is a great community," Raymond said. "Today I visited the hospital and United States Army Cyber Command. You can't help but be impressed with the pride that individuals who work there have with Fort Belvoir, and it's only getting better."
When Raymond last visited post in August 2011, Belvoir was finishing major construction to roads and facilities in response to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Law that added 4,500 employees to main post.
Raymond said the finished construction provides better services to Soldiers and Families.
"Belvoir is growing, and with it comes a commitment to offer larger facilities and better roads to ensure we give our Soldiers and Families a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their service," Raymond said.
The visit to Belvoir was Jeanne's first opportunity to speak with community members who live, work and play on post.
One stop on Jeanne's tour included a briefing with ACS program directors.
Kim Mills, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, director, said the briefing allowed Jeanne to learn on how ACS is accommodating the needs of Families and Soldiers in education, employment, emergency relief and financial counseling. Directors of programs such as the Survivor Outreach Services and Financial Readiness Program discussed success in helping community members attain employment and improve spending habits.
"It was a wonderful opportunity to provide Mrs. Chandler a perspective from the ground level on what were seeing in the National Capitol Region," Mills said.
"It's more important now than ever that the program touches Soldiers and Families, one at a time, in a variety of ways , targeting individual needs from financial counseling, to handling deployment," Mills said. "The program has much more to offer than most people realize."
Jeanne was pleased to hear about the progress ACS program directors were making with Soldiers and Families.
"The strength of this Army is our Soldiers but the strength of our Soldiers is their Families," Jeanne said. "All Army leadership is completely committed to spouses and their Families."
Jeanne said the programs clearly display the Army's commitment to the Army Family Covenant.
The Chandler's left Belvoir with messages directed towards the Soldiers and Families on post.
"I appreciate what you do for our Army, whether you are a Soldier or a Family member, what you do is important," Raymond said. "Each of you are my personal heroes and I'm proud to serve with you."
Jeanne added, "Thank you, it has been a long 10 years of war. We have the best Army that we've ever had, and we have the best Family members that we've ever had. I'm so proud of them."