Story & Photos by Spc. Joseph Knoch, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
KATTERBACH, Germany (August 24, 2019) — Soldiers and their families enjoyed a 5K run, door prize drawings, interactive demonstrations by the Ansbach Military Police and Fire Station, and much more at the Katterbach Fitness Center this Saturday as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, Sportin’ The Home Team, Community Showcase, August 24, 2019, in Katterbach, Germany.
The community showcase is a hometown tradition which provides the opportunity for new Soldiers and families of the USAG Ansbach family to become familiar with all that is available to them.
“The main goal is to make everyone aware of the agencies and services here to support them throughout their time in Ansbach,” said Toni Mcintyre, an Army Community Service Coordinator and one of the event coordinators who organized this year’s community showcase. “I just want them to be aware of everything that we have to offer because there is a lot.”
Some of the organizations present included: the Ansbach Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Library joined by their Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM) Club, the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Environmental Program, the Ansbach Terrace Playhouse, USAG Ansbach Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and many more.
“We have our schools, Army Community Services, the Red Cross, Emergency Management and Anti-Terrorism Protection display, and we also have our theater production team with everyone in costume,” said Kathleen Gavle, the USAG Ansbach Deputy to the Garrison Commander. “We have a lot of community partners, both on and off the installation, come in to let families know what they can do during the course of the year.”
One of the Terrace Playhouse actors who volunteered at this year’s showcase hopes the playhouse can provide a fun environment for Soldiers and their families.
“The theater is a great place for families, especially with children, to come and have a break from the regular stresses and strains of Army life,” said Brian McGrail, the Theatrics Manager at the Franken Kaserne and Ansbach Terrace Playhouse volunteer. “We really give people a sense of belonging because we are like a family at the theater. It gives everyone a chance to unwind and relax in a stress free environment, where they can use their imagination and skills.”
Due to his experience working in theatrics for years, McGrail believes the playhouse is a great environment for children as they grow up because of the types of people, and attitudes that tend to gravitate towards the theater.
“I always found people in the theater to be quite easy-going, fun, and creative,” McGrail said as his voice carried with enthusiasm. “I have four children and they have all grown up in the theater with me. They just loved being around it, and that’s what I’d like for other kids as well. I want them to have the chance to enjoy it as much as my kids did because it’s a load of fun.”
His desire for the well-being and educational development of children was magnetic as that sentiment echoed amongst many of the volunteers at the showcase.
The theater is a great place for those ready to explore and expand their creative consciousness, and the USAG Ansbach EAP is working to help people who are ready to dive deeper into self-reflection and overcome some of the larger stresses in life.
The EAP and Prevention Coordinator, Jannan Melendez, truly believes in the benefit of the counseling services provided through the organization.
“I think this service and the option to receive counseling is important,” said Melendez “We all go through things that are beyond our control and that may be overwhelming at various points in our lives.”
“At these times and during normal transitions in life, we can benefit from seeing a trained impartial professional who can truly listen and provide an outside perspective, tools, and insights to assist with dealing with these things.”
Melendez said there are many options for counseling services within the USAG Ansbach military community, and the EAP is another resource that is readily available for community members.
“Getting to know all of our partners I think this helps us all work better together in the end,” Mcintyre said.
Having the chance to meet people like McGrail, Melendez, Mcintyre, and Gavle is exactly why the Community Showcase is held every year. Everyone had something to share, which served to enrich and empower the personal lives of Soldiers and their families.
“I hope that everyone has a good time, gets to meet their new neighbors, and makes this the best home-town in Europe,” Gavle said.
The Community Showcase reveals the kind of value that being a Soldier or military family member can bring to the quality of one’s morale, welfare and recreation. If you happened to miss this year’s Community Showcase or want to know more about next year’s showcase please reach out to Toni Mcintyre at ACS in Katterbach. ACS is located in Building 5817A, their hours of operation are Mon – Thur 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 12 a.m. – 5 p.m., their German phone number is +49 (0)9802-83-2883 and their Military DSN phone number is (314) 467-2883.