Focal Point
A Newsletter Production of the
J-9 Joint and Family Services Directorate
Volume 1, Issue 1

Special points of
Page 2

Happy Holidays Everyone!

time of the

I love the little Christmas song, "It's
the M...
Volume 1, Issue 1

Page 3

By: Kara Coleman
The Georgia Guard State Youth Council held its first quarter St...
Page 4

Family Readiness Support Assistants:
Steady State Unit Family Programs
By: Sharon Coleman

Though Federal missions...
Volume 1, Issue 1

Page 5

Pick an Amount and Make it Count! ...continued from front page.
check the box to add your donat...
Financial New Year!
Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University
classes starting in January – contact

1000 Halsey Ave
Building 447
Dobbins ARB, GA 30069,

Families First!

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J9 Focalpoint Newsletter

  1. 1. Focal Point A Newsletter Production of the J-9 Joint and Family Services Directorate Volume 1, Issue 1 Special points of interest: 16 December 2013 Pick an Amount and Make it Count!  First Choice Veterans Training Program p3  FRSA now apart of the G1 p4  Youth Challenge Commencement Ceremony p6 Inside this issue: Happy Holidays! 2 Youth Programs 3 E.A.T. 3 FRSA 4 Making things better... 4 Guess who’s retiring? 5 Yellow Ribbon Dates By: Melisa Dalton Are you up for a challenge? Most all of us are Patriots at Heart as demonstrated by the number of Service Members and military families that we have across the Nation. But did you know that there is more that you can do to help those that serve and their families here locally? The Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Inc, a nonprofit 501{c}(3) corporation, has been providing emergency relief assistance via grants or interest free loans to our Georgia Guardsmen and their Families since 2004. According to Ms. Harriet Morgan, so far in 2013 the Foundation has approved 276 applications in total amount of $ 262,007.00 with 9 applications in process! 6 The current limit is $1200 for each loan or grant for one time emergency assistance. While other agencies are cutting support services due to budget cuts, there is a simple way that YOU can help! You can pick an amount and make it count! When you file your Georgia Income Taxforms, ...continued on page 5. Directors Corner I would like to thank everyone who works in J9 - Joint Family Services for your hard work, dedication, and kind hearts. Your work has not gone unnoticed by the chain of command and especially those you provide assistance to. As we enter the Christmas season, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We will continue to strive for excellence in all we do to assist our Georgia Department of Defense family. ~ COL Mark London
  2. 2. Page 2 Happy Holidays Everyone! “...the most wonderful time of the year.” I love the little Christmas song, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." It reminds me of all the things that make me happy during the holiday season. Things like "kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer!" I just want to burst into song! But I am also keenly aware that it is the most stressful season of all. Problems like not enough sleep, not enough exercise, too many commitments, too much family, too many expenses, and too much food, topped with a big helping of unrealistic expectations about how perfect everything should be can lead to despair! However, even with the added stressors, this can still be the most wonderful time of the year. While it is never easy, it is always important to simplify. Try these small adjustments and enjoy the beauty of the season: 1). Look at your life and identify the factors that cause your stress, then brainstorm ways to eliminate or at least minimize those things; 2). Reconsider your holiday decorations. They are lovely, but they are also a lot of work; 3). Make a realistic list of the goals you need to accomplish...and stick to it; 4). Get some help...friends and family are often willing to help if we are willing to ask; 5). Talk to someone. There are times when we just need to slow down for a moment and share our is a great stress reliever; 6). Don't forget to exercise, even for just a few minutes each day; 7). REST!! I started with a song, so I'll also end with one...God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Gentlewomen alike! Rest is a gift that we have to accept. No one can force us to do it, we just have to embrace it. I love what David said in the Psalms, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." David said those words when he was in fear for his life, and he embraced the rest and the peace that went with the declaration. This holiday season I wish for you the gifts of peace and rest and abundant joy. May God Richly Bless You! CH Nelson “Rest is a gift that we have to accept.”
  3. 3. Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 3 YOUTH PROGRAMS By: Kara Coleman The Georgia Guard State Youth Council held its first quarter State Youth Council meeting on November 8, 2013 at Rock Eagle 4H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. We are excited about our youth leadership team as they kicked off our program year with a big bang! This year we are also pleased to announce that we have college students who comprise our State Youth Council Alumni Chapter who were also present during the weekend’s meeting. Kirsten Morris and Austin Worden are former State Youth Council members who attended this year’s first quarter meeting. They provided training for our current State Youth Council members and have been active members of our youth program. Both college students regularly support Yellow Ribbon Events as well as other areas of our youth program. We are also proud to announce our newly elected officers; Tori Socia, State Youth Council President, Arial Jenkins, Vice President , McKenzie Kimball, Secretary, & Jayla Blakemore, Journalist. Our youth leadership team has already completed their first Youth Program Newsletter which includes messages of encouragement and advice to other military children. The Georgia National Guard State Youth Council has also made plans to actively support this year’s Yellow Ribbon programming as well as campaigning to conduct community service that benefits our Guard Family. We love and appreciate our Guard youth because they serve too! “...youth leadership team ...kicked off our program year Employment Assistance Team The Georgia National Guard J9 Employment Assistance Team in conjunction with the State Education Office is assisting service members and their spouses in their efforts to obtain employment. Service members and spouses are provided with resume assistance like translating military training and skills into civilian lingo, connected to employment opportunities and job fairs, and much more. In an effort to provide more employment opportunities, First Choice Veterans is a training program that provides intern-to-hire opportunities for veterans and service members. The J9 Employment Assistance Team has partnered with Goodwill of North Georgia (GING) who will implement this program and assess a candidate’s skills and work experience and place them with an employer in a 2 to 6 week, paid trial period with the anticipation of being hired long term. This is a great opportunity for Guardsmen To find out more about the First Choice Veterans Program and other resources, visit a Goodwill of North Georgia career center or attend an information session. Remember, to register with J9 Employment Services, visit gangjob and "Like" us on facebook ( GeorgiaNationalGuard- JobAssistanceCenter) for the most recent listings of jobs and events! For more information, contact Lacy Turner at or 678-569-5781. with a big bang!”
  4. 4. Page 4 Family Readiness Support Assistants: Steady State Unit Family Programs By: Sharon Coleman Though Federal missions are ramping down it is important for the Commanders Unit Family Program to maintain a functioning Family Readiness Group focused on the Steady State phase of the AFORGEN Model through FRG Meetings, Newsletters, Special Events as well as clear and concise Command communications. Below are areas the Command Team and the FRG volunteer leadership, in conjunction with the Family Readiness Support Assistant can focus on to encourage Family Member participation and Service Member morale while maintaining the Commands Family Readiness mission and goals.  Building interpersonal relationship skills  Financial skills Maintaining a personal budget Planning for the future Reducing debt  Health Getting and staying in shape Annual check-ups  General knowledge of benefits that will be available if the Service Member is activated  Family Care Plans  Red Cross Notification Form and Process  Emergency Evacuation Plan (natural disasters) “My Life in a Box” Meet your FAS “Get Our newest FRSA’s, Carla Boggs (FRSA, 201st HRF) and to Know us, Before th Veronica Waters (FRSA, 78 AVN) participated in Welst you Need us” coming Home the 201 RSG on Saturday 23NOV13.  Information on Benefits and entitlements Military ID Cards Military discounts Military One Source Chaplains Programs (Strong Bonds) AFTB J9, Joint and Family Services Community Programs and Initiatives for Military Families The FRSA Programs intent is to foster continuity for the Commander‘s Family Readiness Program, operations, and initiatives. FRSAs primary objective is to provide support for Family Readiness Programs within their assigned command by ensuring an effective interface between the Command, FRG volunteers, Family Assistance and Joint and Family Services Directorate. For more information on maintaining a Unit Family Program and building a functioning FRG please contact your FRSA. FRSA Contact information can be obtained via the Georgia Guard Family Program Website. http:// common/custom.asp?PAGE=407 Sharon Coleman Senior Family Readiness Support Assistant BB) 404-309-6573 Attention: Effective December 9, 2014 the FRSA Team has been moved under the G1. FRSA phone & email information has not changed.
  5. 5. Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 5 Pick an Amount and Make it Count! ...continued from front page. check the box to add your donation to the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Inc (GANGFSF) to help. In 2005, Legislature approved adding a check box to the State of Georgia Income Tax forms. This continues to be a major funding source for the Foundation. In 2012, the Foundation received more than $66,000 from the tax returns. $100,000 with just 10,000 people making the commitment to help. Let’s see if we can make a difference in more people’s lives this year! So we ask, What are you going to do with your $1? GEORGIA NATIONAL GUARD FAMILY SUPPORT FOUNDATION, INC. 1000 HALSEY AVE, BLDG 447 MARIETTA, GA 30060 678-569-5704 We challenge each of you to not only check the box for yourself, but see if you can get at least 9 people that you know to check the box as well on their Georgia Income Tax Form 500. Even if it is only one dollar, $10 would translate to roughly New Bullet Points for the NCOER and OER! The goal of the Army’s SAPR Program is to eliminate sexual assault from the Army and its reserve components. To that end within the OER and NCOER, Soldiers are now evaluated on the commitment to ending sexual harassment and sexual assault. The Army News Service, Nov 7, 2013 reports that a Soldier’s performance in regard to fostering a climate free of sexual assault and sexual harassment will now be recorded on their OER or NCOER. “Officers and noncommissioned officers must commit themselves to elimi- nating sexual harassment and assault and to foster climates of dignity and respect in their units, “said Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh. The October 22 MILPER titled “Changes to the Evaluation Reporting System in Response to Army Directive 2013-20 give guidance to the assessment of Soldiers. Previously, leaders had the option of counseling or not counseling Soldiers’ commitment or lack of commitment to preventing sexual harassment and assault. Now, that kind of counseling is a requirement, says David Guess Who’s Retiring? Many of you may not know it but our Deputy J9 Director COL Dan Zachman will be retiring in January. He will have served over 33 years in the United States Air Force as an officer. We are so excited for the new journey that he will embark upon yet saddened that he has to go. The information for his retirement ceremony is By: CW3 Valerie Thomas Griffee, chief of the Evaluations Branch at Army HRC. He also says “that leaders at every level will be assessed on how they’re meeting the goals and objective to further improve the command climate.” The point that is to be made is that the Army has always held Soldiers accountable when they fail to uphold a standard however; the new evaluation process is to hold them accountable for doing the right thing to ensure that they help to foster a climate of dignity and respect. Col Dan Zachman Retirement ceremony Clay NGC Drill Hall Friday, 10 Jan 2014, 1400 LTG (ret) David Poythress presiding Reception/Party to follow at 1600 Cosmopolitan Restaurant (Former Spaghetti Warehouse) Delk Road, Marietta.
  6. 6. Financial New Year! Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes starting in January – contact if interested in attending. Many of us make those money resolutions…”get out of debt”…”start a savings account”…”buy a home”…”develop a sound financial plan”…etc. How we approach and manage our household income, does, in fact, impact our quality of life. It determines where we live, what we drive, where we vacation, what schools our children attend, and so much more. It also has a significant impact on our family relationships. Financial discord is one of the leading reasons for divorce – and one that can be prevented or eliminated if addressed early in the relationship. Solid, well thought out, financial resolutions and action plans can make a difference in your life and family in 2014. Resolutions must be easy to understand, attainable and measurable to have any hope of success. They must be something for which we will be willing to endure the pain of change in order to attain. They must be personally important to us. Otherwise, the process of making New Year’s resolutions, is merely an annual celebratory exercise we do to bring in the new year – and little more. Financial New Year’s Resolutions that can change your financial direction: 1. Define your financial goals and objectives 2. Develop a monthly spending plan to provide funds for your financial goals. 3. Pull and review your credit report on a quarterly basis to seek to improve your credit score and credit worthiness. 4. Develop a debt reduction plan that is built into your new spending plan. 5. Start a savings account – no matter how small it may be. 6. Commit to a financial education program that will provide a broad base for your personal money management. 7. For one month, write down every dollar you spend – it will provide a starting point for improved spending and savings. 8. Enroll in TSP – either traditional The Joint Family Support Assistance Program provides to you and your family, free and confidential financial management counseling to help you not only define your New Year’s financial resolutions, but, to help keep you on the path to financial success. Call today to schedule your appointment with Lynda Smith – your personal financial counselor -- 770-500-7471 or Two things make money – people make money; and, money makes money. Schedule your appointment to learn how to put your money to work for you in 2014.
  7. 7. GANG FAMILY PROGRAMS PRODUCED BY 1LT EBONI WALKER 1000 Halsey Ave Building 447 Dobbins ARB, GA 30069, Families First! Youth Challenge Academy The Georgia Challenge twenty-week program is a community-based institution that aspires to reduce the number of high school dropouts, increase the quantity of productive citizens, and boost the perceived magnitude of education and life skills training among “at risk” youth. The program will have its Class 2013-04 Commencement Exercise on December 21, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Location: Macon City Auditorium 415 First Street Macon, Georgia. Attire: Military Class A Uniform Civilian Appropriate Attire Yellow Ribbon Program Upcoming Events January 11-12, 2014 PreMOB January 18-19, 2014 30 Day & During January 25-26 30 Day February 8, 2014 60 Day February 22, 2014 60 Day Serving the Georgia DoD, The U.S. Military, and our Veterans, One Family at a Time. We are on the web: J-9 JOINT AND FAMILY SERVICES DIRECTORATE “Military Personnel, Families, and Veterans First!” The J-9 Joint and Family Services Directorate and The Georgia Guard Family Program: Our directorate services the military community of Georgia, providing those services, support and information that are vital to their care. Our staff is committed to providing the best care, in a timely manner, and followed-thru to a successful conclusion so that Military Personnel, their families, and Veterans in Georgia will have the resources, help, and information they need to thrive.