An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hands Tied

To give you an idea of some of the absurd rules and regulations we deal with as FRG volunteers:

Our FRG is hoping to provide each incoming single soldier with some of the essentials they will need upon their return--sheets, towels, toiletries, etc. We are gathering free samples and also will use some funds for these things as well. However, we would love to also ask for donations. Many companies would be more than happy to donate items if we provide them with an official written request.

The DA has been considering restrictions on FRG soliciting and fundraising. Ft. Hood announced a post policy in advance of new DA rules.

There is allegedly a written policy, but we can't see one. We were told it is still in the draft stage--but we must follow it nonetheless. There are some powerpoint slides--which are vague and ambiguous, but we have been told they mean we basically can't ask for anything. Other FRGs have not been briefed at all on the new "rules" and others have been given different interpretations.

However, we have been warned, commanders will be held responsible if we run afoul of the new rules...which we can't see...but exist...but no one is sure what they are.

The higher ups have a valid concern that local businesses might become weary of repeated requests--which makes sense. However, they have not put anything more efficient or rational in place of the old system (random requests from every FRG).

So, if we basically are not supposed to fundraise (except within the unit families) and solicit, how do we get things for the soldiers and families?

Allegedly we have "sponsors." This is coordinated through Ft. Hood National Bank. However, we have difficulty getting any information. Apparently they do not have enough sponsors for all of the Battalions. Even if you do get a sponsor, there is no consistency. Your sponsor may give out a hundred pads of paper while someone else's sponsor might give every soldier a care package and provide a new computer for a raffle.

There is the wrong way, the right way, the Army way... and the Ft. Hood way.


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