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    Cavazos prioritizes solutions to installation issues



    Story by Janecze Wright 

    Fort Cavazos Public Affairs Office

    FORT CAVAZOS, Texas— Fort Cavazos leadership and officials are committed to putting people first. As such, improvements and modernizations are mainstays to ensure a better quality of life for Soldiers, family members and the military community.

    The Army Family Action Plan Steering Committee convened in September 2023, to address some of the major concerns voiced by Soldiers and the community, and to strategize effective resolutions for each.

    Chaired by Col. Lakicia Stokes, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Cavazos commander, and attended by installation leaders from several directorates, the committee highlighted five major issues, provided scenarios to emphasize the impact of each concern and collaborated to organize comprehensive and efficient solutions with the well-being of those who live and work at the Great Place in mind.

    Single parents Family Care Plans

    Army guidelines stipulate that Soldiers must always have a family care plan in place. Military leaders discussed the difficulties the mandate can impose and identified specific concerns for single parents with FCPs to include the costs of extended childcare, dual-military couples and caring for a spouse with a new baby.

    The committee developed three solutions with one common thread. Educate commanders who can recommend resources to address service members family stressors, educate current Army programs and resources and raise awareness in the

    newcomer’s brief and educate through the use of current installation programs.

    Lt. Col. Raymond Stapleton, III Armored Corps G-1, suggested using social media to connect single parents through “private groups that single service members can join to seek out family care support,” he said.

    The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program explained partnering with other installation programs to provide a variety of services and resources to increase accessibility within the Fort Cavazos single parent community.

    In collaboration with Army Family Advocacy Program, Army Community Services, Military and Family Life Counseling, Child and Youth Services, Apache Arts and Crafts Center and Judge Advocate General, BOSS will teach quarterly classes about FCPs and what each respective program offers service members and their families.

    BOSS created “Fort Cavazos BOSS,” a Facebook group specifically for single parents that ensures they can share information, learn about new resources and support one another.

    To promote community connections and networking, the BOSS program suggested hosting quarterly “Single Parent Brunch Meet and Greet” events that will allow single parents to meet in person, bond through shared experiences and communicate their issues.

    BOSS said they will continue to partner with CYS to provide free childcare so that single Soldiers can participate in BOSS events. They noted the CYS Kids on Site program offers childcare for BOSS events as well.

    BOSS will also create a class discussion on the “Remind” app solely for single parents to receive information regarding meet times, class times, important information and ongoing single parent events.

    “BOSS’ determination with this networking is to tackle this issue, which assists these single parents in preparing a FCP and learning from one another when deployments or trainings arise,” said Fort Cavazos BOSS Vice President Sgt. Rafael Escamilla.

    The committee recommended elevating the feedback on the challenges of FCPs for single parents and dual-military couples to Army higher headquarters so they can understand some of the parenting dynamics service members face.

    Sidewalk at Chili’s

    The Directorate of Public Works is working to make the area in front of the now closed Chili’s restaurant more user-friendly with the addition of a sidewalk.

    In conjunction with working on installing sidewalks for those with disabilities, DPW reported that the design for the Chili’s project has been completed and will be one of the first awards on the new paving contract.

    DPW broke ground in late 2023 and the project is in progress.

    Cleaning services for ACS

    In response to reports of a lack of adequate cleaning services for the Shoemaker Center, the committee suggested extending the cleaning contract to address the restrooms in the ACS area daily and ensure there are ample supplies available.

    A contract modification was executed in August 2023 and additional areas at ACS are now being serviced five days per week to continue indefinitely.

    Speeding on Shoemaker Lane

    Issues concerning driving well in excess of the 15-mph speed limit on Shoemaker Lane prompted the Directorate of Emergency Services to collaborate with DPW traffic engineers to create a plan to address speeding.

    DPW is planning to conduct a traffic study in the area, install flashing crossing signs and enhance striping for crosswalks.

    Food insecurity

    Statistics, from the Military Family Advisory Network, show that one in six military and veteran families suffer from food insecurity. Hunger remains an issue within the military community and is getting worse each year. Adding to the problem is the negative stigma surrounding hunger and seeking assistance from food banks.

    The committee explored ways for Fort Cavazos to take a more proactive role in supporting military families experiencing food insecurity.

    Recommendations included capturing accurate numbers of service members who suffer from food insecurity, coordinating a Military Family Action Network food distribution on post and making information on Fort Cavazos food pantries more accessible.

    In response to the suggestions, the Garrison Religious Support Office will update its website to highlight Fort Cavazos’ food pantry, its hours and contact information and share information about off-post food pantries. Information about food pantries will also be provided during the newcomers’ orientation.

    The issue will be further discussed during upcoming Community Service Counsel meetings to generate additional information and ideas to address the issue and provide support to service members and families suffering from food insecurity.

    Three of the five issues have been resolved and two are ongoing. Updates on progression will be made available as they occur.



    Date Taken: 02.01.2024
    Date Posted: 02.12.2024 12:19
    Story ID: 463495
    Location: FORT CAVAZOS, TX, US

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