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STUTTGART, Germany — About 60 members of the 6th Area Support Group spent the day Thursday debating what worked in their community and what didn’t.

They also came up with solutions that they passed on to 6th ASG leaders, who also attended the session, and hope some of their ideas may be implemented.

Last year, for example, the group decided the lack of parking needs to be addressed, said Caroline Orama, the Army Family Action Plan coordinator, and the command took steps to improve the situation.

Each year, AFAP holds a conference in Stuttgart, and in other military communities, to sound out community problems.

Areas addressed this year included activities for teenagers, medical and dental services, consumer services, relocation services and family support services.

Gripes went from the mundane — rowdy kids in the movie theater — to the more serious — confusion when being billed for or receiving medical care.

Pam Sherrod, who led the brainstorming team on family support services, said not enough information is distributed about child-care services within the 6th ASG. Her group thinks there are enough child-care options, but people don’t know about them.

Although there may not be space for a child at the service center on the installation where a child lives, there might be space available at another nearby area, she said.

“Child-care centers are as big as they are going to get, and they’re not going to make them bigger,” Sherrod said.

Another care option, she said her group found, are “baby sitter co-ops,” where parents band together and pool their time. She explained a person can baby-sit up to 10 hours a week without being certified.

People who worked on medical issues said costs for full-paying patients should be clear before they receive treatment at military clinics, and there should be a liaison for people who want to see a physician on the local economy.

Michelle Saylor, part of a team that addressed consumer issues, said people feel they need help with problems they encounter on the German economy, such as translating utility bills and leases.

Her team suggested the 6th ASG hire a full-time or full-time equivalent person at Army Community Services to help with translating.

Saylor’s group also said Patch Barracks — which has a food court that includes a Taco Bell, Burger King and Anthony’s Pizza — should have healthier lunch options.

Proposed ideas included contacting the Army and Air Force Exchange Service to have a better selection of salads and sandwiches at its Shoppette, opening up a cafeteria-style lunch area in a closed Chinese restaurant and allowing on base a mobile lunch truck.

A group of mostly teenagers, led by Patch High School senior Courtney Allen, came up with suggestions on how to improve the environment for teens.

Allen suggested expanding the Youth Services teen lounge and sponsoring some teen-only events, like movie nights and “lock ins,” where kids can have a supervised overnight inside Youth Services facilities.

Allen said she was “optimistic” the concerns of her fellow teens would be heard and that some positive changes will occur.

What works and what doesn’t

Here are some of the things conference attendees said benefited the community and some that people said could be eliminated from the 6th ASG community:


• Medical clinic• DODDS• Youth programs• Postal service• Housing office• Commissary• Fitness center• Vehicle registration


• Car wash• Barber, beauty shop• Optical shop• Film developing services• Movie theater on Robinson Barracks• Trophy shop


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