[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               November 13, 2009
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Army Family Action Plan conference examines Fort McCoy issues

Twelve volunteers, who were a good cross-representation of the Total Army Family, worked on issues provided by the Fort McCoy community during an Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) conference Oct. 21-22.
Photo: Members of the Fort McCoy community discuss an issue at the AFAP conference. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Members of the Fort McCoy community discuss an issue at the AFAP conference. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Volunteers were provided AFAP history, process and issue-development training prior to the conference. Five issues were worked by the group.

One issue will be forwarded to Installation Management Command Northeast Region for submission to the U.S. Army Forces Command mid-level AFAP Conference. The issue is glucagon injection for diabetic youth in Child, Youth, & School Services care.

Another issue involving access to Fort McCoy’s dining facilities will be provided to installation leadership for input on possible resolutions.

Delegates chose not to work on two issues. The delegates thought the issues have been addressed with other programs and services currently in place.

One was TRICARE not allowing beneficiaries local coverage for substance abuse. Families have to travel many hours and spend thousands of dollars, in most instances, to have their loved ones treated for substance abuse in a residential treatment facility.

Not having a facility in each state puts a strain on the family financially and emotionally. The delegates thought this has been addressed by TRICARE, and the Prime Travel Benefit is in place for reimbursement.

The other issue not worked on was the procedures of funding and/or reimbursement for Family Readiness Groups, which can be difficult to understand.

With different fund sources and complexity of paperwork and submission of paperwork, volunteers are declining to deal with the hassle involved in claiming reimbursement for expenses or refusing to volunteer because reimbursement takes too long or never comes at all. The delegates decided there are services and programs already in place, and it is more of a lack of knowledge and education at the command level.

The issue of Soldiers traveling up to 50 miles daily and families having to absorb the extra costs and not gaining quality time with the Soldier was discussed by the delegates. They thought this was a non-issue because Soldiers reside where they choose and procedures are in place to request an exception to Defining the Fort McCoy Local Commuting Area Policy 09-09 dated May 1, 2009.

All conference issues are presented to leadership for review and comment at quarterly commander’s AFAP update forums.

Photo: Participants in the Fort McCoy Army Family Action Plan conference gather for a photo after completing their work. (Photo by Army Community Service)
Participants in the Fort McCoy Army Family Action Plan conference gather for a photo after completing their work. (Photo by Army Community Service)

Past AFAP issues and conference recommendations can be viewed at the Army Community Service (ACS) Academy on the Fort McCoy FMWR Web site at http://www.mccoymwr.com.

Some of the local results that have benefited Fort McCoy in past years are:
     • A dangerous intersection by family housing has been made safer.
     • The addition of a second health benefits adviser.
     • Outdated installation directional signs have been replaced.
     • Two guest housing facilities were made available for use by family members of mobilized Soldiers on a space available basis.
     • A skate park was constructed on South Post.
     • Installation taxis now are marked as such.
     • Fort McCoy weather warning systems are continually being improved.
     • The quality of the drinking water is presented to all training units so they know that it is safe.
     • The cell phone policy has been posted on visitor passes.
     • Fishing maps are now easier to read.

The AFAP program already is accepting issue nominations for discussion at the FY11 AFAP Conference to be held in the fall of 2010.

Issue forms can be found at the Web site http://www.mccoymwr.com or by calling the ACS AFAP program manager at 608-388-6507/3505.

(Story submitted by Army Community Service.)

 

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