Town hall focuses on exchange of information

Story and photo illustration by Ignacio “Iggy” Rubalcava
U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder Public Affairs

Swastikas, medical records, SATO travel and excess cleaning supplies were but a few of the topics raised by community members during the U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder town hall Nov. 28 at the Rheinlander Community Club.

This town hall was reminiscent of the garrison’s previous community information briefs where garrison and other community agencies provided vital information to community leaders, readiness group leaders and other community representatives. This information was then filtered down to the rest of the community.

This town hall featured information from agencies like Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the medical and dental clinics, the provost marshal, and other organizations, but this time the information was presented directly to community members.

Community volunteers were also recognized for their service. Tara Walsh, Christy King, Fernando Fajardo and Nicole Waste were recognized for their contributions to the community with certificates of appreciation and volunteer of the month parking passes by Lt. Col. Mike Sullivan, U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Augustus Wah.

Three garrison employees, Mary Johnston from Army Community Service, George Franklin from the Lagerhof, and Nuria Rahman, a human resources assistant, were recognized for customer service excellence via the Interactive Customer Evaluation program. They received certificates of appreciation and garrison coins.

The town hall was streamed live online at and recorded so those who missed it may view the entire session. All questions, comments and answers will be posted on the Baumholder website and Facebook page.

One issue raised addressed the access to medical records once an individual has left the community. It was asked if there was a website available to access records. This capability is not available but Maj. Matthew Harrison from the clinic recommended patients go to the clinic to obtain their medical records as paperwork must be signed to remove medical records.

A community member noted that a swastika on the front of Bldg. 8309 has been altered not to resemble a swastika. The community member said this was an important piece of history and should not be altered. Sullivan said the swastika had been vandalized with spray paint recently. The sand blasting process to restore the bricks that form the swastika caused some superficial change to the coloring but the historical swastika remains intact.

Another community member inquired about SATO leisure travel. She said employees at SATO told her they are no longer offering leisure travel services. FMWR Director Jürgen Hagemann said SATO is a contracted service and they do not receive enough business for leisure travel to justify maintaining that service.

Soldiers and families departing Baumholder often have excess cleaning supplies and other hazardous materials, but the Self Help Store does not accept these items. A community member asked if a central location could be established where these items could be collected for other Soldiers or families to utilize. Director of Logistics Eiko Holzinger said he will look into establishing such a service.

This and other outstanding issues will be readdressed at the next town hall March 27.