By Connor Wolanski, Army Flier Contributing WriterJuly 5, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 5, 2012) -- Army Community Service stands at the ready to help Soldiers and Families as the peak PCS season gets into full swing over the summer.
ACS is involved in a wide range of services for Soldiers, from emergency relief to financial planning to the volunteer corps, according to the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation website.
One of the most heavily used branches is the relocation readiness office, which assists Soldiers both in and out-processing from Fort Rucker.
"I am very inquisitive of any service members who come by here to see what information I can provide them," said Ruth Gonzales, relocation readiness program manager. "We have welcome packets and calendars of events, and provide contact information to a gambit of services such as the vet clinic, school liaison officers, or Lyster Army Health Clinic."
As one of the offices that in-processing Soldiers are required to visit, Gonzales acknowledged that relocation readiness bears the important responsibility of providing Soldiers with the tools they need to get the most out of their time at Fort Rucker.
"We try to provide a little bit of knowledge about everything so that if somebody has a question we can at least direct them where to go," said Gonzales.
Gonzales was also quick to recommend the information referral office as another good source of information for Fort Rucker Soldiers and Families, saying that the two departments work "hand-in-hand."
In addition to information on the various services located on post as well as in the surrounding area, ACS also provides the lending hangar, a federally funded program that loans out appliances and household goods to Families in need.
"[Incoming Soldiers] may arrive here before their household goods, so [at the lending hangar] they can borrow items, normally for 30 days, although those coming from overseas are allowed 60 days," said Gonzales, adding that the office is willing to extend loan times on a "case-by-case basis."
The relocation readiness office also plays a significant role in preparing out-processing Soldiers for their next station, providing everything from contact information for schools to an overview of the job market in the area. Helping to reassure and prepare military spouses and military Families should always be a priority, said Gonzales.
"If it's your first move, we do one-on-one and go down a checklist: 'Have you called your rent-a-company, have you turned off the utilities, are you budgeting because this will be a costly move' -- and it's free," she said.
"[The most rewarding thing is] helping Families -- giving Families a tool or some information they didn't know before. I make sure they know I'm not here to enable them, but to empower them," she said.
For more information on the relocation readiness office, call (334) 255-2887 or visit the office in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 177. The office is open Mondays through Fridays, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.