Nothing is immune from a money crunch -- even the super cost effective Army Reserve community centers.
If only this was a surprise.
I had the chance to talk today with senior Army Reserve spouse Laura Stultz. Her husband, Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, is the Army Reserve commander. She said that while the Army Strong Community Centers have been very successful since they first opened in 2009, they’ve had to scale back their plans for the next year to bring the total open to six instead of eight.
It’s a mystery to me as to why it has taken DoD such an incredibly long time (as in -- the entire history of the Reserve) to put support centers in communities far removed from traditional bases or reserve facilities. It also seems to be a mystery to Mrs. Stultz who, along with her husband, has championed the idea since he took command in 2006.
“I dont know why it didn’t happen before -- it was a concept that my husband and I discussed,” she said. “I have learned being a military spouse for 36 years that everything happens slowly in the military.”
Since we first brought you news of the Reserve centers late last year, a new one has opened in Oregon City, Ore. This one is based inside a local college, which Stultz says helps servicemembers connect with their GI Bill benefits.
For the two other planned centers Stultz said they want to open another one at a college and, possibly, have a roving team that travels around a specified area. The current centers are located in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Oregon. That leaves the midwest, southeast and southwest without one.
I’ll definitely keep you updated as this story continues to develop.