The Fort Bragg Armed Services YMCA is not a traditional YMCA with a swimming pool and recreational sporting, said Mandy McMillan, executive director. To educate the public about how ASYMCA services are geared toward military members and their Families, McMillan and board members held an open house from noon to 3 p.m., Sept. 24.

The open house also introduced McMillan, who assumed her duties in June, to the Fort Bragg community.

“So many people were not aware of what we have. Our mission is to make military lives easier on junior Soldiers and their Families,” McMillan said. “We wanted people to have the opportunity to come in, meet our staff, walk through our building, see what we do, what we offer and to be more comfortable with what we offer. That way, if they can’t use our services, they can get the word out,” McMillan said.

The ASYMCA is the place to go for Soldiers and their Families to take advantage of the resources offered to them and to enjoy Family activities, said Command Sgt. Maj. Yolanda Tate, Fort Bragg Garrison command sergeant major, who attended the open house.

Other attendees included representatives from the United Way of Cumberland County; Peaden’s Seafood & Catering, and Coca-Cola.

Programs and events offered by the ASYMCA include Operation Hero (provides afterschool homework assistance); Baby Bundles (provides layettes to specific new mothers); Kids Olympics (stresses fitness); and Annual Fishing Derby (encourages quality Family time).

The ASYMCA uses charitable donations to make the lives of junior enlisted Soldiers easier. Ninety cents of every charitable dollar is put into deployment support, food and clothing pantries, child care and counseling and other basic life services, according to ASYMCA literature.

I came by to “see the ladies,” said Chelsea Kopp, who until the birth of her daughter, Kinley in August, served as an ASYMCA volunteer.

Kopp’s departure illustrates that the ASYMCA is need of volunteers. For information about volunteering, or about programs and services offered by the Fort Bragg ASYMCA, visit or call 436-0500 or stop by its headquarters at Building 2-2411 Rodney Trail.