MWR Summer Recreation Activities Open to Troops, Families

By Terri Moon Cronk, American Forces Press Service
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WASHINGTON, June 24, 2014 - With summer just beginning, Defense Department officials want to remind service members and their families that low- to no-cost fitness and recreation opportunities exist to maintain military family readiness, a morale, welfare and recreation official said today.

Chris Wright, MWR program analyst with DOD's military community and family policy office, emphasized how feeling healthy and fit contributes to personal and professional success, which is essential to national security.

"MWR has been linked to readiness -- it helps build resilience in service members and family members and builds esprit de corps within units," Wright explained. "That's tied directly to staying fit and promoting healthy lifestyles and to [help] the service member fight mentally and physically."

The summer activities program also is open to DOD civilians, he added.

Within the United States and at overseas installations, MWR offers services and equipment for travel, camping, boating, events and other services, Wright said.

Some of the free summer activities include passes to active-duty members and their families at any federal park in the United States, and free access to 1,800 museums across the nation through Blue Star Museums, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts.

DOD's Online Library, open year-round, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, is a summer resource for education and recreational purposes and offers Internet access.

Equipment rentals from MWR include camping equipment with all the necessities, jet skis, canoes, kayaks and other boats and water-sports equipment, depending on installation location.

DOD Summer Camps are conducted across the country for youth, teens and adults for camping trips, outdoor adventure programs and kayaking and canoeing for adults. Day camps are offered for children.

"We encourage people to check out the programs," Wright said. "[DOD] has a big focus on healthy living with opportunities to get involved in local MWR programs. There is a lot available to service members and families, from good nutrition to fitness."