South Korea Area III adds specialized orientation for spouses
Stars and Stripes August 25, 2006
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Military spouses who arrive at Camp Humphreys soon will have an orientation tailored to their special needs.
It’ll inform them about everything from child care and school enrollment to what’s where on Camp Humphreys and Korea-related matters such as local driving habits, yellow-dust storms and shopping off-post.
The orientation is being offered to introduce spouses to “the culture, the Army lifestyles, anything that would pertain to them staying in Korea, making it a good tour for them,” said LaVita Vincent, employment readiness manager for the Area III Support Activity at Camp Humphreys.
Spouses and other family members are encouraged to attend one of the briefings held monthly at Camp Humphreys for newly arrived active-duty military personnel, officials said.
But U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. B.B. Bell recently directed that each of the Army’s four regional commands on the peninsula provide a separate orientation that puts the focus on those things that most concern military spouses.
So in Area III, Army Community Services officials at Camp Humphreys are putting the finishing touches on what will be called “SOS,” for Spouses Orientation Seminar, Vincent said. They plan to hold their first SOS on Sept. 26-27.
The first day’s session, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the post’s Community Activities Center, will include a series of briefings and a question-and-answer session. Officials are seeking volunteer translators who can help convey the briefing information to spouses who speak little or no English, Vincent said.
The briefings will aim to answer questions about a spectrum of topics including what child care is available, its eligibility criteria and operating hours; how children can be enrolled in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools System; and what medical care and youth-related programs are offered.
ACS also is preparing a booklet to give out at the briefings with key information for spouses to take home. The booklet will include a checklist of tasks that should be completed within the first 30 days of arrival, such as applying for a ration card, Vincent said.
The second day’s session, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the post’s commissary parking lot, is an optional local tour — first of Camp Humphreys, then the Anjung-ri section just outside post, followed by a trip to the Pyeongtaek E-Mart, a modern South Korean retail outlet.
Vincent said the Army will provide child care during the sessions, which are open to all spouses.
Such spouse orientations already are in place in Area I in the Uijeongbu area and Area II in Seoul. Area IV in Daegu held its first one Aug. 8 at the Walker Army Lodge, with future orientations to be held there from 1 to 4 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month, said Kevin Jackson, Area IV Support Activity chief spokesman.
Vincent said those wanting more information about the new Area III spouse orientation can call DSN 753-8401 or DSN 753-8321.