Garrison welcomes displaced families

Photo by Emily JenningsKathy Fox (left), one of recently relocated family members, talks with Col. LaShanda Cobbs, Wiesbaden Health Clinic commander, during an emergency inprocessing event April 4 at ACS.

Photo by Emily Jennings
Kathy Fox (left), one of recently relocated family members, talks with Col. LaShanda Cobbs, Wiesbaden Health Clinic commander, during an emergency inprocessing event April 4 at ACS.

Five Army Families who were ordered to depart from Izmir, Turkey received a warm welcome at Wiesbaden emergency inprocessing events April 4 and 8 to help them settle into their new home.

They, and hundreds of others, were recently relocated from the region due to ongoing security concerns.
Col. Mary Martin, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander, attended the Army Community Service’s-hosted activities, assessing the Families’ needs to provide a seamless transition.

She explained to everyone that support agencies garrison-wide stand ready to meet the needs of these new arrivals, along with underscoring the importance of everyone coming together to welcome them.
“They are part of the USAG Wiesbaden community now,” Martin said.

Most of the Families departing Turkey were sent to Ramstein Air Force Base, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
But these five Families preferred to come here, to a community where they knew they would feel most comfortable, said Olivia Kreuttner, one of the newly arrived Family members.

“We requested to come to Wiesbaden because we wanted an Army post,” she said. “I can’t say enough how truly wonderful everyone has been. And Colonel Martin has been doing everything she can to help us settle in.”
The women were able to attend the briefing while their children were in school, already getting settled in to their new classrooms.

The middle school made welcome signs for all of the new students, said Kathy Fox, one of the newly-arriving community members who has students in the middle and elementary schools.

Both schools assigned ambassadors to the new students, and school T-shirts and school supplies were provided, she said.
“The reception from the Wiesbaden community has been fabulous,” Fox said. “It felt like coming home. It was very personal. People who greeted us knew our names. They knew our children’s names. My family arrived on my, and my oldest daughter’s birthday. We were greeted with birthday cards and a basket of birthday goodies.”

Just about every organization garrison-wide has come together to provide support for the evacuated families, said Tania Cuervo, ACS division chief. From DES getting them ID cards and IACS access, to DHR getting them their orders to the medical and dental clinics and the list goes on, she said.

“As soon as the community was informed that we would be receiving families, they sprang into action,” Cuervo said. “I have seen other times when support was needed for displaced families and I have to say, Army Families…Army communities are awesome!

“The support from the USAG Wiesbaden organizations has been overwhelming and continues to grow. The community is doing everything in their power to ensure the newly-arrived families have everything they need during their transition. I hope the Families feel welcomed, cared for and safe in our community. After all, this is ‘Our Home in Germany,’ and I want the families to know it is their home too.”

TRICARE is waiving the primary care manager referral requirement for all evacuated beneficiaries, which will help get them medical care while away from their homes and doctors, said Reggie Underwood, chief of TRICARE at Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic.

“We have come up with a different system to support these families,” he said. “It’s going to be easy for them. Pre-approved referrals; no red tape.”

Evacuated beneficiaries can change their TRICARE enrollment to their new permanent location by contacting the regional contractor for that area.

“It has been a blessing to come [here],” Fox said. “The people of this community are true gems.”