Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kayla Jo Finley
Summer is here and for most this means fun in the sun, vacations, sports, and recreational activities. With all the possibilities that summer can bring, a financial burden may follow. If you want to get the most out of your summer without burning a hole in your pocket, Morale, Welfare and Recreation may have a solution for you.
MWR offers a wide range of activities for service members and their families. “There is a myriad of opportunities across the U.S., even overseas, for families to participate,” said Chris Wright, MWR program analyst with DoD’s military community and family policy office.
This year the summer began with MWR focusing on family, fun and fitness. To promote readiness and resilience, MWR offers access to fitness centers and classes year round. Due to the emphasis on fitness, installations and activities have become more readily available. Additionally, some MWR centers may offer access to pools and swimming lessons. Activities for children including, camps and sports, are also available through your installation’s child and youth program.
“MWR has been linked to readiness—it helps build resilience in service members and family members and builds esprit de corps within units,” said Wright. “That’s tied directly to staying fit and promoting healthy lifestyles and to [help] the service member fight mentally and physically.”
Fitness centers and youth programs are just the beginning of what MWR has to offer.
For those who plan to spend time outdoors, MWR has services and programs to help fulfill your summer wishes.
Depending on your destination, MWR has campgrounds, campers and tents available for rent. Additionally, they have camping supplies which include gear, pots, pans and stoves, said Wright. If you are located near water, MWR may also offer boats and jet skis and depending on the installation, you may be able to find cabins right on the beach or near a lake.
If sleeping outdoors is not your thing, MWR also offers lodging. Located on installations worldwide, MWR has hotels which are run by the DoD. These hotels are offered at discounted prices and are available to service members if space is available. Service members are able to book a room and confirm a spot as early as 30 days in advance.
In addition to their programs and services, MWR also serves as a travel agent. At the Leisure and Travel Offices, a full range of services are available to help you book reservations, rentals, hotels, cruises, flights and tours. Tickets to local attractions, events, game and amusement parks are also available through the LTO. To make it even better, MWR also guarantees the best possible prices for all that is offered at the LTO.
“I encourage everyone to check out MWR,” said Wright. He also added that MWR has the same programs and events offered out in town but with the best price available. “In general we are very competitive.”
At the LTO or any other MWR office, one can also find information on programs or specials offered for military personnel. An example of this would be free access to any national park for active duty military and their families. One could also find information on Blue Star Museums, which includes free access to more than 1,800 museums during the summer.
Although some programs mentioned are specifically for summer, others may be available all year such as the library program. MWR offers library access year-round, including an online library.
Many of the MWR opportunities differ from region to region, but the one thing that remains consistent is customers have a say. Every year MWR sends out surveys to randomly selected service members. Additionally, MWR allows customers to provide feedback through customer comment cards and a feedback link at MilitaryOneSource.
All of the services mentioned are just a minor fraction of what MWR offers. To find out more visit Military OneSource.
Also, stay tuned to DoDLive as we uncover the “The Best Kept Secrets” of what MWR has to offer for vacation hot-spots.
Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.
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