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Caring for People forum just around the corner

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The military spouse who complains about base facilities, the non-commissioned officer who hates the food served at the club, the retiree who's sick of waiting in long lines at the pharmacy. What do these people have in common besides dissatisfaction?

They are all viable candidates to participate in Vandenberg's 2nd annual Caring for People forum here slated for April 25 at the Pacific Coast Club from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Caring for People Forum happens once a year and is a collection of eight different focus groups comprised of volunteers from base who will tackle issues that will improve the quality of life at Vandenberg.

"All active duty, reserve, civilians, family members, retirees, single or married Vandenberg community members are encouraged to sign up for the focus groups," said Capt. Martin Adamson, 30th Space Wing Deputy Chaplain. "The Caring for People forum brings community members together to look at ways to improve the quality of life here at VAFB."

Community members can sign up for the forum and request a specific focus group. The eight focus groups will cover family support, deployed support, school support, spouses support, health and wellness support, teen support, reserve support and single airman support.

"We want the benefit of having a diverse group together providing a good generation of feedback, ideas, brainstorming concerns, and prioritizing what are most important to our base people," Adamson said. "There will be lots of discussion on issues that we can identify to make life better."

The ideas harvested from the forum will be up channeled through the 30th Space Wing. Issues that can't be resolved at base level will be forwarded to Air Force Space Command and beyond until the issues reach the level where the desired changes can be handled.

"This forum has had direct, base-wide impact in the past," Adamson said. "An issue with the traffic and parking at Crestview School was raised last year. The school liaison met with the principle and traffic directions were changed, monitors posted and areas marked for drop off created. Another example is giving military parents better information about local school options. Last years' forum led to a local school Information Fair with 14 local education agencies and more than 80 parents in attendance."

The event organizers hope for the betterment of Vandenberg, but that may be contingent on base participation.

"Without knowing concerns or problems experienced by Team V members and families, this forum won't be able to send forward to Air Force wide leadership quality of life requests and suggestions," said Linda Crowder, Vandenberg Airman and Family Readiness Center Community Readiness Consultant. "Since 2009 these Focus Groups have improved quality of life for a diverse populations, family, military spouses, school age children, single airmen, special needs families and deployers."

While the Caring for People forum might change lives for the better at Vandenberg, some believe it exemplifies a long standing Air Force tradition.

"Since its inception in 2009, the Caring for People Forum concept has evolved quickly and is now a preferred means for AF leaders to receive community feedback for review, action and resolution," said Karen Terry, Air Force Airmen and Family Services Branch. "The AF has a long-standing tradition of taking care of its people and takes pride in the great strides it has made to improve the quality of life for Airmen and their families."

For more information or to register the caring for people forum as a group participant, please call the chapel at 606-5773 no later than April 20.