BAUMHOLDER, Germany — If you are one of the stroller-pushing spouses in baby-booming Baumholder and all those outdoor recreation adventure trips just don’t have any appeal, now is the time to make your voice heard.

“What we’re hearing is, they want more things that they can do with their children,” said LaWanda Cooper, a marketing specialist for Baumholder’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation department. “We’re at 2.5 children or more per household. They want some changes.”

The local MWR is conducting an online deployment survey in which the Baumholder community is being asked to identify things to make life more comfortable for families while soldiers are serving in Iraq. From child care needs to education programs and outdoor recreation trips, the survey hits on a range of issues.

“We’re giving the community an opportunity to give us some feedback,” said Greg Galloway, MWR director. “It just makes sense to listen to them.”

In some cases, people are looking for more child-friendly day trips instead of old standards such as the Paris Express, Cooper said. The survey also asks questions about child care needs, including whether weekend services are wanted.

Financial classes that help spouses learn how to invest the extra money coming in from downrange is another program people are asking for, Galloway said.

So far, there have been about 250 respondents to the survey, which will continue through April. The results will help shape future program options.

“With all the feedback we will be able to tailor our services,” Galloway said.

Baumholder’s 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division recently departed for its third deployment to Iraq. With each deployment, garrison officials take the pulse of the community in an effort to match programs with the demographics of the population. Just as each deployment is different, so is the composition of the community, Cooper said.

“We’re trying to make life easier,” Cooper said. “We need to know what you need from us.”

The 12-question survey can be filled out at the garrison’s Web site.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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