October 28, 2011
By Ms Jessica Lipari (USAREUR)
BAMBERG, Germany -- Army Family Action Plan's history speaks for itself; changes to legislation have occurred, policies have been revisited or established and programs or services have improved.
AFAP is the brainchild of Army spouses who wanted to improve the standard of living for their Families.
This grass-roots program has addressed 683 issues in its 28-year history, according to Army OneSource.
The Nov. 9 deadline to submit issues and sign up to volunteer for the upcoming AFAP symposium here is fast approaching.
This year's timeline for the AFAP symposium is condensed into a full working day on Nov. 29 and on Nov. 30 the groups will present their top two issues to Lt. Col. Steven L. Morris, U.S Army Garrison Bamberg commander.
Since AFAP is a bottom-up program it provides a voice for Soldiers, family members, civilians, retirees and survivors to address local quality of life issues that affect the total Army Family.
"We want to see issues that reflect the bigger picture, not just what the garrison can do today," said Marylou Solorzano, Army Community Service AFAP manager.
"If we do not know what is wrong we cannot fix it," Solorzano said.
Issues can be submitted year-round for AFAP and will be addressed at the garrison-level symposium.
Issues are submitted, prioritized and discussed in small working groups made up of both military and civilian community members during the symposium.
About 90 percent of all issues submitted are handled at a local level by continuing community improvements.
The conference that took place in February brought forth 15 issues that were presented to Lt. Col. Morris.
From there three of the issues were selected to be sent to the Installation Management Command Europe level.
AFAP cannot take place without volunteers, Solorzano said.
"Have a voice and submit your issue to AFAP," Solorzano said. "Volunteer to be a part of the symposium. It is your opportunity to make a difference."
There are several different volunteer opportunities within AFAP including delegates, facilitators, recorders, and issue support.
There are two ways to submit issues to AFAP.
• Through the Interactive Customer Evaluation link at www.bamberg.amry.mil and say it should be a policy or regulation change,
• Stopping by one of the drop boxes (can pick up forms here as well) located at ACS, Post Office, Community Activity Center, and Commissary.
See the 'Have a voice - volunteer' side bar for more details on the various positions.
For more information, call 0951-300-8230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.