Sunday, February 06, 2011

Mrs. Albrecht Goes to Washington

I feel pretty lucky that I have had so many opportunities to travel as an Army volunteer. This past week I had the opportunity to go and spend a week at the Department of the Army Army Family Action Plan Conference. If you click the link you will see what that means. You can also go HERE to see what issues are open and eventually on that same site will be the issues we discussed at the conference last week. I have been an part of AFAP for almost 13 years now so I was glad to finally go to the DA level conference. Having started at the lowest level, it was nice to see the process at the very top. I got to sit in on the General Officer Steering Committee (GOSC) meeting and listen while they discussed open issues and how they are going to be fixed. When you see "General Officer", that's exactly what it means...a bunch of stars! General Chiarelli, the Vice Chief of Staff presided over the meeting and it was awesome to see his passion about the issues that are going to affect Soldiers and Families at EVERY level.

Throughout the week I had the opportunity to talk to many people at all levels of leadership in the Army. What was interesting was that many approached me when they saw my name tag and saw that I was from FLW. Everyone asked me about the tornado. I will admit I got quite a chuckle out of the response from some of the other delegates who saw all these people talking to me. Many didn't know why they were talking to me...I told many of them that it was simply because I am awesome. Later I confessed that it was all because of the tornado that hit FLW. But even that notoriety was neat because people really wanted to know and I was glad that I could give them a Family Member's perspective on the situation.
I had the opportunity to meet the Sergeant Major of the Army Preston, that was a pretty cool highlight for me.

I don't have a lot of pictures with me and the many other people I had the opportunity to chat with because much of the conference was not a "photo op" as it was put to us. But it was still neat. Probably the biggest highlight for me was getting to hear Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum speak. She has been a hero of mine since I was in junior high watching news about Desert Storm. She was captured after her helicopter went down and released 8 days later. I have always wanted to meet her so when I saw her at the conference it was awesome. I still haven't had the opportunity to shake her hand but it's on my bucket list for sure!

One of the things I love the most about the Army is how small it is. I had the chance to see people from my days at Fort Hood. Not just anyone but some of my AFTB family and you all know how much I love my Fort Hood AFTB Family. It was awesome seeing Connie and Veronica. Veronica was even in my work group and we had a BLAST together.

I also ran into a friend we were stationed with at Fort Knox quite a few years ago. It was great to see Brian.
I did get to see one of my favorite kids and his family in DC. I don't like posting pictures of other people's kids on my blog without permission so I won't post his pic but I will say it was so great seeing the "W" family and the tour they gave me of DC. I very much appreciate that they took me to see the gorgeous Washington DC Temple at night. The picture doesn't do it justice to the beauty that it is.

And of course one of the great things about traveling with the Army is meeting new people. I met quite a few new people. Some I will want to keep in touch with and others I'd honestly hope to never run into again (those will be the ones I run into I know, haha). But I had a lot of fun with Charity, an Army Wife and Soldier who is currently stationed in Italy with her husband. Veronica, Charity and I had many laughs together, the two of them really made the week enjoyable for me.

Overall, it was a great week. I could focus on the ugly parts of the conference but what would be the point? The good outweighed the bad and I have some great memories and new friends to carry with me for a long time.

Got issues? Think you can't make a difference in the Army? Try AFAP!

1 comment:

Candace April said...

Good for you! I did AFAP at the post level and it was a fascinating experience.

Thanks for linking up at!