Students in Europe should visit colleges too

Lt. Col. Erik Daiga
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

An important decision for many high school students and their parents is where the student will attend college after graduation.

For military students living in the states, making this decision is
easier than for students living overseas since stateside students can
drive to visit colleges. If students in the KMC want to visit stateside
colleges, mom and dad must buy expensive airline tickets.

A group of Kaiserslautern American High School students tried to lessen
the financial burden on parents stationed overseas last year,
recommending that the Army pay for flights to the U.S. when students
visit stateside colleges.

Thanks to the Army Family Action Plan process, the Department of the
Army listened and has taken our students’ request for action.

Members of our community will again have the opportunity to influence
Army policy in the KMC, as well as DA- and DOD-wide, as we hold this
year’s AFAP conference Nov. 16 and 17 in the Armstrong Community Club.

The AFAP process began in 1983 as a way for Army communities to raise
issues to senior Army leadership. In the past 20 years, AFAP has raised
more than 500 issues at the national level, resulting in about 82
changes to legislation, 130 revised DA and DOD policies and 140
improved programs or services.

Great ideas that originated at local AFAP conferences and are now DA
and DOD policies include the military Thrift Savings Plan, TRICARE for
Life, and the High School Senior Stabilization program, to name a few.

The upcoming AFAP conference is an opportunity to bring ideas and
suggestions to one central location at one time. I promise you that I
will review every recommendation from our AFAP conference.

The recommendations that the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern can
implement locally will be done as soon as possible; those we can’t will
be forwarded to our higher headquarters in Heidelberg. U.S. Army
Garrison Heidelberg will then conduct its own AFAP conference early
next year, followed by the Installation Management Activity-Europe and
DA conferences. The bottom line is that your good ideas will be heard.

I invite every member of our joint community–Army, Air Force, civilian
employee and family member to attend our November AFAP conference. To
ensure that all six focus groups (health and dental care, community
support, child and youth services, housing and public works, consumer
services, Soldier and civilian employee support) are properly
represented, please sign up now.

Please call the USAG-K AFAP coordinator at 489-752, to register for the conference.

Working together, we can make the KMC the best place to live and work in Europe.