Information Sharing Brings Community Together and Announces Open Post Events | Article
CAMP ZAMA, Japan — U.S. Army Garrison Japan personnel hosted the first in-person community information exchange in three years on Friday as pandemic conditions continue to improve.
Facility officials provided updates on a range of community services during the quarterly exchange and also announced the return of open post events, starting with an Independence Day celebration on July 2nd.
Before the pandemic, the July 4 event typically had between 10,000 and 12,000 visitors.
This year’s event, which will run from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Yano Sports Field, will feature live entertainment, inflatable games, military displays, and American and Japanese food vendors before ending with a bonfire. 20 minute firework.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to do this,” said Maj. Gen. JB Vowell, commander of the U.S. Army in Japan. “We are going back to some of the normal things that we have to do as human beings, which is to come together face to face.”
On August 6, Camp Zama also plans to hold its Bon Odori Festival, an event that honors the deceased spirits of its ancestors. Japan Ground Self-Defense Force partners will co-host the celebration, which is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the station.
“It’s a great cultural event that we’re going to have,” said Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson, USAG Japan commander. “So let’s get excited, because it’s going to happen.”
During Friday’s exchange, more than 15 presenters spoke about their organization’s updates to approximately 100 community members, who also received a free buffet dinner and a chance to win gift cards.
During his presentation, Captain Ashley LeBaube, who represented the US Army Medical Department’s activity in Japan, shed light on the news from the US Army BG Sams Health Clinic.
She mentioned that free COVID-19 tests were still available for official and unofficial trips to the back of the clinic on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by quarantine tests from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Symptomatic testing is currently by appointment only by calling DSN. 263-4175 or 046-407-4175.
Testing for those with movement restrictions is now done at unit level, she added. At-home testing is also offered to TRICARE recipients, who can have two per person each month and can pick them up during testing hours at the back of the clinic.
The clinic also now accepts handwritten prescriptions from US and Japanese providers. Prescriptions must be written in English and contain full patient, prescriber and medication information, she said.
LeBaube encouraged patients to download the TRICARE MyCare Overseas app, which can help them track appointments and referrals as well as provide access to translation services.
“Being in a foreign country is sometimes stressful for health care and different health care systems,” she said. “So having the app available is really great.”
Diane Thompson, who spoke on behalf of the Army Wellness Center, said the center offers six core programs to improve sleep, exercise, nutrition and stress management.
“The purpose of our existence is to keep our warriors fit for battle,” she said. “In doing so, our goal is to address the key risk factors for injury overuse.”
Risk factors include high or low body mass index, poor sleep habits and poor nutrition, sedentary behavior and smoking, she said.
The center, located at Bldg. 379, has ratings to measure a person’s success as they work toward their goal. The most popular assessment, she said, is the Bod Pod system, a body composition test that determines the ratio of body fat to lean body mass.
Services are open to all active duty soldiers, retirees, adult dependents, and Department of the Army civilians.
Thompson also said unit leaders can contact the center to arrange courses or assessments to improve the readiness of their soldiers.
Totolua Ripley, the commissioner’s store manager here and at Sagamihara Family Housing Area, reminded community members to try the CLICK2GO online ordering site.
Buyers can sign up for curbside pickup service by creating an account on Commissaries.com. Ripley said shoppers who complete eight orders of $25 or more with the service during this month and July will receive a $25 gift card.
“It’s an incentive to use the CLICK2GO service,” he said. “We appreciate if you can do that, as it will help us a bit.”
At the end of the event, Tomlinson asked the public for their input ahead of the next information exchange, which is expected to take place in early fall.
“We need your feedback,” the colonel said. “So let us know what we missed, how we can do better, what was good. We are already planning our next event and can’t wait to improve it for you.
News from the U.S. Army Garrison Japan
USAG Japan Official Site