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Media Advisory

For immediate use

June 22, 2004 -- No. 329

Enhanced support for Guard and Reserves, families
focus of Moeser’s ‘Carolina Connects’ trip to Fort Bragg

Wednesday (June 23), 11:45 a.m.
National Guard Academy
Pratt and Lewis streets, Fort Bragg

Media representatives are invited to join University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser on a visit to Fort Bragg. Moeser will meet with Army Reserves and National Guard family members and those working on their behalf to better understand the issues and challenges they face during periods of mobilization and deployment. Earlier in the day, Moeser will see firsthand the kind of training soldiers in the Guard and Reserves undergo.

Moeser’s trip to Fort Bragg is part of his "Carolina Connects" initiative, launched this spring. In the next several months, Moeser will visit each region of the state to highlight the many ways in which the university serves North Carolina’s people and their communities.

The visit to Fort Bragg is especially timely because last week the U.S. House appropriations committee – led by members of the N.C. Congressional delegation – approved $3 million for the university’s Citizen-Soldier Initiative. The U.S. Senate is marking up its version of the defense appropriations bill this week.

The initiative aims to address the needs of Guard and Reserve families with comprehensive and coordinated services. In addition to enhancing communication, the program – if funded – would work to bring employers, schools, child-care providers, health professionals and faith-based organizations into the support infrastructure. This program is particularly critical in North Carolina, where an increasing number of Guard and Reserve forces are being deployed.

Thirty-one percent of the 23,300 Guard and Reserve members in the state are currently mobilized, and increasingly the nation’s security depends on the mission-readiness and retention of citizen-soldiers.

Family Support Services lunch:

Moeser will have lunch with six to eight family representatives working with the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Family Readiness Program. Some work with the N.C. Guard’s Family Assistance Center, located in Fayetteville. Others will come from other parts of the state. Fort Bragg military leaders responsible for family services also will join the lunch discussion. All will meet at the National Guard Academy Dining Facility and go through the cafeteria line; they’ll then convene in a private room. Moeser will talk with attendees about the university’s Citizen-Soldier Initiative.

Army Community Services visit:

Moeser will take a walking tour of Army Community Services, housed in a refurbished school and offering services for all military. The Citizen-Soldier Initiative aims to mobilize communities by activating and coordinating existing civilian resources with military services and programs to connect with and assist military families who do not live near a military installation. Daily activities at the center include child care, games, athletics and support group conversations.

NOTE: Media interested in covering this event should contact the XVIII Airborne Corps Public Affairs Office at (910) 396-5600/5620 by 4 p.m. today (June 22). Interested media should meet at the Stryker Golf Course parking lot on Bragg Boulevard/SR 24 no later than 11:15 a.m. Wednesday (June 23). Each media representative should bring a picture ID (driver’s license) and news organization picture ID. No live trucks will be allowed at this media event.

Carolina Connects background: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/may04/carolinaconnects052704.html

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UNC contacts: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093 or 638-0474 (cell) or lisa_katz@unc.edu; Nancy Davis, (919) 962-2011 or 201-5621 (cell) or nancy_davis@unc.edu

Fort Bragg contact: Ellen Hart, (910) 396-5600/5620