How do we plan to keep our community strong?

LTC_RuneyTeam Schweinfurt, this is LTC Michael Runey, your Garrison Commander. What’s the one thing that will keep our community events running strong? Willingness to come out and invite friends.

I think the spirit of personal, face-to-face invitation is essential. If we lose it, we’re really going to struggle. I am confident we won’t!

Also, we’re working a couple aspects to reinforce this personal touch and interaction. One is, we’re trying to consolidate our homes. We’re inviting people to move from private rental onto post. We had a very severe housing shortage here about a year ago, so we’ve gone from famine to feast and so we want to give people an opportunity to make the most of their time here. If you want to be close, we have families in leased housing that we’re going to need to move so we can close some leased homes and we’ve got to take care of them, they’re first on the priority list.

Community Celebration

Members of the community wind down at a community celebration hosted by the garrison May 11 , 2012 on Conn Barracks.

Our goal is to keep our Army family housing as full as we can keep it. Both brigade commanders really support this initiative (Col. Scott Petersen of the 18th Engineer Brigade and Col. Geoffrey Mangelsdorf of the 7th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade). And then we can really pour our resources into making the quality of life strong in our housing areas and our community neighborhoods.

We had a big community celebration last year in May and frankly it exceeded all my hopes. To call it very positive would understate it. Guess what? We’re doing it again!

A key lesson for me has been to really engage who’s going to be able to come and make sure they feel like they’re invited. And so I think a lot of this has to do with getting up, around, and talking.

Childrens-parade

Children and staff from the Child Development Center parade through the streets of Askren Manor’s housing area April 1, 2013 to celebrate the Month of the Military Child. The spirit of community is strong in Schweinfurt.

The feel of a community changes for the better when people feel like they’re wanted and they’re welcome. We aim to do is—knowing that everybody is on a different unit time cycle and often on a different personal cycle—to offer places and events to come together where everyone is welcome and invited. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how far so many have taken the idea of building a strong community. Our housing consolidation and community events are essential to going forward.

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