by Debbie Swearingen, Air Force spouse
Looking for something to do this weekend? Whether you’re into whitewater rafting, football, concerts, camping, golf or just about anything else, check out your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office.
MWR facilities and programs are offered at U.S. military installations worldwide and strive to provide services, special events and trips that will improve morale and increase the readiness of service members and their families.
To get the most out of MWR, you need to know what they offer. The services and programs are even more extensive than you might think. Here is just some of the programs and facilities that may be offered at your duty station:
· Base facilities: These may include fitness centers, pools, libraries, child and teen centers, recreation centers, bowling alleys, community clubs, golf courses, campgrounds, marinas, skating rinks and stables.
· Rentals: Local MWR offices rent all the equipment you could need to explore the great outdoors at costs that can’t be beat. Equipment varies by location, but typically includes campers, watercraft, ATVs and kayaks.
· Tickets, Travel and Tours (ITT): Your local ITT office offers tours, City Passes and discounted tickets to local attractions. Trips offered by ITT are one of the most affordable ways to explore a new station.
· Arts and Crafts: MWR-operated arts centers conduct regular classes in things like framing, stained glass, ceramics and woodworking. Once you’ve taken a few classes you can use the facility’s Do-It-Yourself equipment, saving you money.
· Sports: MWR programs offer year-round, comprehensive adult and youth sports schedules to appeal to everyone in the family. Intramural sports teams, lessons and leagues are offered at many installations.
And be sure to check out MWR online. You’ll find:
· MWR Exchange Vacations offers discounted rates for service members, retirees and their families on vacation packages and cruises. Find them at www.govvacationrewards.com.
· Armed Forces Recreation Centers offer luxury accommodations at affordable prices. Rates are based on rank, with lower ranking individuals getting the best deals. Timing is critical so book well in advance. For details visit www.armymwr.com/travel/recreationcenters. Locations include:
Shades of Green Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida
Cape Henry Inn and Beach Club, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Hale Koa Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
New Sanno Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
Dragon Hill Lodge, Seoul, Korea
Edelweiss Lodge, Garmisch, Germany
· Armed Forces Vacation Club: Search by state for Space Available ‘A’ installation lodging facilities and over 3500 resorts offering discounted rates for military members at www.afvclub.com
· MWR On-line Libraries: Offered through www.MilitaryOnesource.com, they have everything from audio books for children to career preparation exams.
The helpful staff at MWR should be able to help you make your next adventure memorable!
MWR by Branch of Service