There is no question in Paul Turner’s mind that Fort Campbell has some of the best community support of any military installation the world over.

One of his goals, as 2nd vice president and future president of Fort Campbell’s chapter of the Association of the United States Army, is to capture that passion and funnel it in a direction that more effectively helps the soldiers and families stationed on post.

“We need to be active and engaging in the community to create a stronger name recognition of AUSA and create an awareness of the positive impact it has for our soldiers and their families,” Turner said. “We are fortunate to live in the Tennessee/Kentucky community that overwhelmingly supports the soldiers and families at Fort Campbell, so I am confident that we will grow moving forward.”

Growing membership is a common topic among local AUSA board members. It must be done, he said, because the mission of the organization is to “inform, educate and connect.” AUSA is the voice of the Army, he said, but to be the most effective voice, it must grow with new voices.

“This mission is important because it is a unified voice of the Army in support of the soldier and their families,” he said. “This is important everywhere, but especially in our community, with such a large presence of soldiers and their families.”

Turner, who said his company has been a community partner with AUSA for many years, said it was a privilege to add to that voice.

“Being a member of AUSA is an honor, but also I feel a responsibility, to help inform, educate, and connect civilians with the needs of the soldiers and their families at Fort Campbell,” he said. “Our board and members are split between Tennessee and Kentucky, and I really enjoy working together with one common goal.”

But growing the voice of the Army cannot be done only by adding new voices, but by maintaining those currently in the ranks. The goal, he said, should not only be to increase memberships at the local chapter, but retain current memberships.

Ultimately, the more members, the more the mission of AUSA can succeed. For the Fort Campbell chapter, educating the community on the needs of the soldiers, helping to funnel their passion toward important causes will help people see what AUSA can offer.

“Our goal should be to continue to grow our membership base as well as our community partners,” he said. “It is important to educate the community on the needs of the soldiers so people see the value in what AUSA is trying to accomplish.”

JESSE JONES is the editor of The Eagle Post. Reach him at jjones@kentuckynewera.com or 270-887-3239.

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