FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 2, 2012) -- "Establishing an emergency room or urgent care center on post" is the most "liked" response thus far to the question "If you could change one thing about Fort Lee, what would it be?" posted recently on the installation's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ArmyFortLee).
Many community members on the popular social media site also expressed an interest in building schools on post and opening the commissary on Mondays. One individual suggested a recreational vehicle/camping area here. A fan named Mary Arias Sanden proposed a family gym with free or low-cost childcare. Around 40 individuals have commented to date, with their suggestions collectively earning more than 100 approving thumbs-up.
"We're always pleased when the community contributes their thoughts and ideas through venues like the installation's Facebook page and ICE, the customer evaluation system that can be accessed through the link on the Fort Lee website," said Stephen Baker, deputy director of the Garrison Public Affairs Office here. Baker is the administrator for the installation Facebook page.
"The response to that one simple question on Facebook is also significant because it shows the abundance of great ideas that can be found in our community," Baker added. "Every one of us has something to contribute to the quality of customer service here. Who better than a user can say ‘this works well or that needs to be changed?' The key is to speak up and share your thoughts through the feedback mechanisms that are readily available."
Michelle Hodge, the spouse of Maj. Gen. James L. Hodge, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, is an avid Facebook user and participated in the discussion the question sparked. She reminded participants of the annual Army Family Action Plan conference here. AFAP is the service's "grassroots process to identify and elevate the most significant quality of life issues impacting Soldiers (all components), retirees, Department of the Army Civilians and Families to senior leaders for action," according to the website www.myarmyonesource.com.
"These are some great suggestions and I ... would encourage you to turn them in for the Army Family Action Plan conference in the fall," Hodge wrote in her comment. "They can then hopefully be discussed and sent forward for consideration. Many were already issues and concerns addressed (in 2011), like the commissary being open on Monday. DeCA is aware (of the issue) and working on options."
Additional information about the Fort Lee AFAP, including the procedure for offering input, can be found at www.leemwr.com/comm/ACS/com_acs_acs.htm.
Community members can still comment on the question, which was posted on Facebook Jan. 20. Baker noted that the ideas shared there are only meant to generate discussion and encourage others to get involved in the process of customer feedback.
"The ArmyFortLee page on Facebook is worth a look if you haven't been there before," Baker said. "On top of the regular news updates, photos, videos and important notices, it really helped our Families and community members to stay connected during the earthquake and hurricane last year. They not only got critical updates directly from us on the page, but also turned to each other for help, information and support - and that's what a real community is all about."
More than 2,200 people have "liked" the installation's Facebook page since its launch in June, and Baker said the burgeoning community is still growing quickly.