761st Tank Battalion and Allied Veterans Association

ACS 50th Anniversary Celebration

by Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

7/27/2015 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- Joint Base Langley-Eustis community members celebrated the U.S. Army Community Service's 50th birthday at the bowling center at Fort Eustis, Virginia, July 22, 2015.

ACS provides a comprehensive, coordinated and responsive framework of services that enhances readiness for Soldiers, civilian employees and their families. Such services include outreach, financial and employment opportunities, family member and relocation assistance services.

According to Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation, ACS was based off of Army Emergency Relief, which was created to alleviate social welfare problems of Soldiers and their Families during World War II. The AER was later designated as the Personnel Affairs Offices and continued the same mission for Army families. In operation until the end of WWII, the PAO provided the framework for development of ACS more than 20 years later. Since the ACS' start in 1965, its volunteers have ensured the success of meaningful assistance to Army families.

According to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, Center for Initial Military Training commander, since the ACS's establishment at Fort Eustis in 1967, the center continues to serve as a cornerstone of support for families by increasing the amount of services it provides to meet the changing needs of the Army family.

"The amount of people here reflects how important ACS is to our community," said Funkhouser. "ACS contributes a lot and really helps our families especially during deployments."

Retired U.S. Army Col. Aaron Dotson, who stood up the Fort Eustis ACS, attended the birthday celebration, said that when the program first started during the Vietnam conflict, it was a haven that directed families to various services.

"Metaphorically speaking, ACS is that balm where you come and you can get healing, comfort, reassurance and hope where hope has been lost," said the 91-year-old retiree. "I'm very proud of ACS and what it is doing today. There are so many wonderful changes that have taken place and it is a pleasure to be a part of this celebration."

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