Stuttgart military community second to none

As we head into the holiday season, Stuttgart military community members sure have a lot to be thankful for. I would like to take a moment to reflect on why I’m glad I live here. The centerpiece of our community is made up of units and organizations that perform vital Defense Department missions covering one-third of the globe. These missions provide protection, resources and security training to regions critical to global stability. At a time when much of the international environment is full of so much change, uncertainty and risk, our DOD efforts based right here in Stuttgart are more important than ever before. In addition to these units, the Stuttgart military community is made up of organizations that are focused exclusively on taking care of service members and their families through a multitude of important programs and services commonly referred to as quality of life programs. Organizations such as U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Army Community Service (available to all services), the United Service Organizations, the Religious Support Office and the American Red Cross lead the way in providing vital family-based programs, but they are certainly not alone in this regard. We can count on another 60 to 70 volunteer-run, non-profit organizations in the Stuttgart military community that operate in coordination with the garrison with the unifying purpose of helping to enhance the quality of life for community members. The Stuttgart military community is second to none in terms of volunteer spirit and mobilization.
Last year, Stuttgart volunteers logged in more than 213,000 hours to help service members and their families. This scale of caring for others leads to a community that sticks together — whether it’s raising money for the less fortunate, coming together to search for a missing special needs girl just a few months ago, or setting up clothing drives to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. In many important ways, this community has the feel of a small town in the States where everyone pulls together in times of need. It’s definitely a community where people go above and beyond to help make this a better place for the benefit of others. To top it all off, let’s talk about location. There is no doubt that we live in a great European city full of history and culture, with endless possibilities for off-duty activities.
Stuttgart is one of the safest cities in Germany, has a very reliable and comprehensive mass transportation system, and is almost directly situated in the center of Europe, which provides us great opportunities to travel and explore the continent. Whether its world class ballet, museums, fine dining, a state of the art auto industry, or great outdoor opportunities — Stuttgart has it all. This also includes very supportive, friendly and cheerful host-nation neighbors. I’m grateful to each you for giving of yourself — your service, time, commitment and passion — to better our community. Let’s all give thanks for those who make the Stuttgart military community such a special place.