Baumholder focus groups list roads, school activities among concerns
Stars and Stripes March 8, 2008
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — A drive around post can sometimes feel like an off-road adventure, bouncing along battered pavement and craterlike potholes.
So it is no wonder that when Baumholder residents gathered for the annual Army Family Action Plan session on Friday, the issue emerged as a matter in need attention.
“Baumholder roads have deteriorated to the extent that they are causing damage to vehicles,” said Capt. John Martin, a rear detachment leader for the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment.
The Army Family Action Plan, or AFAP, is designed to alert commanders to issues of concern and then assemble plans for resolving those concerns. In some cases, issues are local. In other instances, the concerns extend across the Army.
In Baumholder, focus groups were established to compile lists of concerns that touched on subjects ranging from health care and family support programs to youth issues.
One group consisted of students from Baumholder High School, who brainstormed several ideas they contend would make life better for local children. A gym geared to the interests of youngsters, a “kids helping kids mentoring program,” and more after-school programs were some of their ideas.
The teens also suggested a partnership with the Kaiserslautern Military Community, which would involve KMC occasionally sharing some of its after-school instructors with Baumholder.
“When you go to Ramstein, there are so many choices,” said Brad Hayes-Raugh, a Baumholder senior.
Another group suggested that the Army should reconsider how it assigns dentists to installations and making appointments easier to obtain. The number of practitioners should be based on the number of families, not just soldiers, the group said.
Regarding the high school students call for a youth gym, Baumholder’s garrison commander said he’s already scouted a location for such a facility.
“Absolutely, I want to establish a youth gym,” Lt. Col. Derek Rountree said.
But like so many issues in Baumholder, pushing forward with such an effort depends upon whether the Army eventually reverses course and declares the community an enduring one, he noted.
As for improving the roads around post, the solution comes down to dollars and cents.
“We understand funding is hard to come by,” Martin told Baumholder leaders.
Rountree said he would look into the costs of making improvements, but he did not know if the funding would be available.