2011 4 1 this week in mcfp april 1 2011 (1)


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2011 4 1 this week in mcfp april 1 2011 (1)

  1. 1. http://www.health.mil/blog/10-06-24/Family_Resiliency_Webinar.aspx. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 ______________________________________________Please note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best results,cut and paste the entire link into your Web browser.From the DASD Please help welcome Mr. Chuck Milam to the MC&FP team! Mr. Charles E. (Chuck) Milam joined the MC&FP team this week on Monday. He comes to our organization with an exceptional 30-year career of serving families and communities at every level within the Air Force. Prior to his assignment here, Mr. Milam was the Director of Air Force Services, Headquarters United States Air Force, in Washington D.C. He‟s worked closely with MC&FP staff and many of our programs – including lodging, libraries, Child Development Centers, youth centers, and family readiness. Mr. Milam‟s assignments have taken him to Army posts in Pirmasens and Zweibrucken, Germany; Air Force installations at Lindsey Air Station (Wiesbaden) and Ramstein Air Base, in Germany; Langley Air Force Base, Va; Vance Air Force Base, Okla.; Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.; the Pentagon; and the U.S. Air Force Academy and Headquarters Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo. Mr. Milam also served as the Air Forces representative on the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors for five years. He is a two-time recipient of the Air Force Services Senior Civilian Manager of the Year award. We are truly fortunate to gain a leader of his caliber with such a clear understanding of our mission and I am ecstatic that he is on our great team! I know our entire military community as well as the Military Community and Family Policy organization will benefit from his tremendous leadership for many years to come. Update on Support to Families Affected by Events in Japan Earlier today, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. Clifford Stanley, wrote about the comprehensive support efforts under way in response to the devastating events in Japan (see http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2011/04/family-focus-friday-supporting-the-dod- families-in-japan/#). Supporting an effort of this magnitude takes many hands across Personnel and Readiness and your team in Military Family and Community Policy is specifically focused on taking care of our military families who have voluntarily returned from Japan to designated Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
  2. 2. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 alternate locations or their ultimate destinations. We expect that more will depart in the coming days. I want to assure all families everywhere that we in MC&FP are focused on two things during this time of uncertainty: staying connected and ensuring that basic needs are met. These are challenging times, and having reliable and useful information is critical to helping us all band together and stay strong. As a result, I will be providing routine updates with the most up-to-date information that I have. To see the most recent update, go to DoD Live at http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2011/04/update-on-support-to-families-affected-by-events-in- japan/#. Until the next post, take care and take care of one another.From DoDEA DoDEA Joins in the Month of the Military Child Celebration Activities Approximately 1.2 million American children and youth under the age of 18 have a parent serving in the military. DoDEA understands that military children often face unique challenges such as having a parent that is deployed; moving frequently; living with or helping to care for a parent injured in combat; or carrying on the legacy of a fallen Service member. Children of military families represent our country in ways that makes any American proud. They are ambassadors who build bonds and make lasting connections and contributions to our nation and world. They are adventurers, often leading mom and dad to the local museums, tourist sites, shops and eateries. They are linguists, learning languages through immersion and foreign language instruction classes and building bridges between cultures with just a simple smile or a friendly wave. During the Month of the Military Child, DoDEA schools will focus on celebrating the importance of military children to our nations treasure and future and take time to recognize the sacrifices these children make every day – just like their parents who serve. We honor military children and will renew our efforts to provide them with a world-class education to help them succeed through their educational journey and beyond. Please join us in saluting military children everywhere. They selflessly serve our nation, too. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – „STEM‟ Education Gains Traction From robotics engineering to gaming technology, DoDEA school officials are hoping their new, cutting-edge courses will spark a lifelong passion for science and technology in their students. Under a new science, technology, engineering and math initiative, DoDEA will roll out four innovative classes in a limited number of DoD high schools in the fall, with plans for a wider-scale launch to follow if the program proves successful. The courses are robotics engineering, biotechnology engineering, gaming technology and green technology engineering. See http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63374From the State Liaison/Voluntary Education Office States Assisting Military Members and Their Families – A Legislative Update Although still fairly early in most state legislative cycles, there are 104 active bills, and to date, 13 bills have been signed into law. The following is a breakout of this activity:Page 2
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 For issue #2, to ensure deployment separation does not determine child custody or visitation decisions, there are 20 bills in 15 states to improve child custody protections. One bill was signed into law – Wyoming. For issue #4, to minimize school disruption for military children during transition and deployment, there are seven bills in six states to adopt the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children and join the Commission. One bill was signed into law – West Virginia. For issue #5, to remove licensure impediments for military spouses and service members leaving the military, there are 12 bills in 11 states to improve the portability of occupational licenses for military spouses. Two states have signed their respective bills into law – Kentucky and Utah. There are five bills in four states to simplify licensing requirement for separating military members; one was signed into law – Utah. For issue # 6, to expand unemployment compensation eligibility for trailing military spouses, there are four bills in three states to expand unemployment compensation. For issue #7, to promote consumer protections and enforcement of the predatory lending regulation, there are three bills in three states to enhance the ability of the states to enforce DoD‟s predatory lending protections. For issue #8, to improve absentee voting for military members and their families, there are 42 bills in 26 states to improve the absentee voting process. Three have been signed into law – New Jersey, Virginia and Wyoming. For issue #9, to comport state laws with DoD rules on disposition, there are 13 bills in 12 states to recognize the DD Form 93, “Record of Emergency Data January 2008,” as the authoritative document for the person authorized to direct disposition of remains. Three bills were signed into law – Alaska, Arkansas and West Virginia. In addition to these bills, Wyoming enacted a professional license extension bill that benefits primarily Guard and Reserve members who are deployed and the Colorado enacted a child care bill that supports the child care pilot program in Colorado. For more information on the top ten initiatives, see USA4Military Families at http://www.usa4militaryfamilies.dod.mil/.From the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office MWR, Resilience, and Mission Readiness – Recreation Builds Physical and Mental Resilience Carol Potter, MWR Policy, was a guest speaker at the 2011 Navy Liberty Programming Summit on Tuesday, March 29, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. She spoke about “MWR, Resilience, and Mission Readiness.” Offering well-balanced recreation programs to single sailors through the Navy Liberty Program provides excellent opportunities for exercise and recreation to reduce stress, improve adaptability, and build resilience. Building resilience in servicemembers to help overcome traumatic experiences, reduce stress, and boost energy levels is important for military mission readiness. Ms. Potter discussed evaluating MWR recreation activities to demonstrate the connection between MWR, resilience, and mission readiness and to measure recreation outcomes. She encouraged participants to communicate the success and effectiveness of single service member programs to resource managers and leadership at all levels. By promoting exercise and recreation, MWR enables servicemembers and families to build physical and mental resilience to stress.Page 3
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011From the Family Advocacy Program Office April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month Family Advocacy Programs are busy with public awareness efforts that promote positive parenting practices, help people recognize potential abuse or neglect, and help people learn how to report it to appropriate authorities to protect children. Among other resources the family advocacy programs are using include a Department of Health & Human Services Web site that offers the Strengthening Families and Communities: 2011 Resource Guide, tip sheets in English and Spanish for parents and caregivers about particular parenting concerns, a calendar for April activities that promote protection of children, and other materials. All of these special resources are available online at http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/.From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth“Forging the Partnership” – Registration to close March 31st! You can be last, just don‟t be late! Have you registered for the conference yet? Plan to join us at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, April 27- 29. Early Bird registration closed March 31, but there is still time – register now! See http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/FRC2011. The conference will offer more than 200 presentations including: keynotes, research presentations, workshops, interacts and computer workshops. Topic areas will address early childhood, school- age, teens, parent/family, health, and community capacity building. In addition, the conference will include more than 80 program showcases and more than 40 research posters. Plan to attend two town hall meetings – one with the Services‟ senior enlisted advisors and the second with religious ministry. Be part of this unique experience – see you in Chicago!From the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs EFMP Program Manager Panel Meet With HHS Family Support 360 Staff Isabel Hodge facilitated a panel of Exceptional Family Member program managers from the Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force at the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Developmental Disabilities Family 360 Technical Institute. The purpose of the panel was to educate the Family Support 360 for Military Families personnel on the OSD and military services exceptional family member programs. Family Support 360 centers are one-stop centers that assist families of those with developmental disabilities. Ten centers are dedicated to serving military families with special needs. The event was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, on March 29, 2011. For more information on Family Support 360, see http://www.addfamilysupport360.org/3_10/index.asp.From the Office of Strategic Outreach MC&FP „s April/May Magazine „Celebrating Military Children‟ Published We are proud to present the April/May 2011 edition of the Military Community and Family Policy eMagazine! Please visit http://apps.mhf.dod.mil/mcfp/emag to read the latest MC&FP program updates and information.Page 4
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 In this issue, we celebrate our military children and youth – who also serve. April is both the Month of the Military Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month. We at MC&FP would like to take this opportunity to share with all our readers ways to protect our military children and youth, invest in their education, and support programs that help them thrive. Our next issue will be published in June.From the Resale and NAF Policy Office Commissary On-Site Sale Events The Guard/Reserve On-site Sales Program provides the commissary benefit to deserving Guard/Reserve members and their families who live in areas that aren‟t close to an existing commissary store. These sales are not only for the Guard and Reserve – theyre for any authorized shopper. Currently, there are no on-site sales for online ordering. For more information, visit http://www.commissaries.com/guard_reserve_sales.cfm In the next few weeks, DeCA will deliver the benefit: April 8-9 Air National Guard Fresno, Calif. April 14-17 Guard and Reserve Chattanooga, Tenn. April 15-16 National Guard LaGrande, Ore. April 15-16 Air National Guard North Platte, Neb. April 15-16 Guard and Reserve Swanton, Georgia April 15-17 Texas Air National Guard Houston, Texas April 15-17 Oregon National Guard Redmond, Ore. April 16 Guard and Reserve Fort Wayne, Ind. April 19-20 Guard and Reserve Fort Myer, Calif.In the News From the American Forces Press Service – Military Children Deserve Nation’s Gratitude Military children continually rise to the challenges of military life and deserve the nation‟s gratitude for doing so, a Defense Department official said today. “We applaud their character and maturity, and we acknowledge that kids serve, too,” Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, wrote in a blog today titled “Month of the Military Child: Kids Serve Too.” See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63411 and http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63394. From the American Forces Press Service -- Top Enlisted Leaders Share Views With Congress Improving housing and child care, giving better access to health care and education, and intervening earlier in high-risk behavior are areas the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are focused on to maintain a high quality of life for service members and their families, the services most-senior enlisted leaders told Congress members yesterday. "The quality of life airmen and their families receive is an overwhelming factor in how long they will serve," Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy told the House Appropriations Committees defense subcommittee during the hearing about quality of life in the military. Roy was joined by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F.Page 5
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 Chandler III, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West, and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Carlton W. Kent. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63385. From the American Forces Press Service – Some Troops Qualify for Extended Tax Filing Deadline Servicemembers serving outside of the United States – including those supporting operations in Libya and Japan – will receive an automatic two-month tax filing extension this year, officials said. This extension is in addition to the nation‟s already extended deadline. Due to Emancipation Day, a holiday recognized by the District of Columbia, government officials have pushed the nation‟s tax filing deadline from April 15 to April 18. See http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63395 From the American Forces Press Service – DoD to Drop Social Security Numbers From ID Cards Beginning June 1, Social Security numbers on military identification cards will begin to disappear, said Air Force Maj. Monica M. Matoush, a Pentagon spokeswoman. The effort is part of a larger plan to protect service members and other DOD identification card holders from identity theft, officials said. Criminals use Social Security numbers to steal identities, allowing them to pillage resources, establish credit or to hijack credit cards, bank accounts or debit cards. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63409 From the Family Matters Blog – Military Children Can Attend Free Camp Military parents seeking a fun – and free – summer camp option for their children should check out the National Military Family Associations Operation Purple Summer Camp program. The association developed the camps to support military children ages 7 to 17 dealing with the stressors of war, according to an association news release. See http://afps.dodlive.mil/ From the American Forces Press Service – Summit Seeks to Improve Non-Medical Care A summit to improve the coordination of nonmedical care for wounded warriors and their families will draw leaders and experts from several federal agencies, the services and the private sector to Leesburg, Va. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63339 From the TRICARE Media Center – Keeping Baby’s Smile Healthy Dental care for babies is important for healthy future smiles and to promote good oral care habits as they grow up. Although they don‟t have teeth yet, babies need dental care just as adults do and care is easy with the TRICARE Dental Program. Generally a baby‟s teeth begin to appear between 5 – 8 months of age, but even before the first tooth appears, parents should be cleaning their baby‟s mouth. See http://www.tricare.mil/mediacenter/press_article.aspx?fid=525 From the TRICARE Communications – TRICARE Young Adult Program: Coming Soon Qualified TRICARE dependents up to age 26 can soon purchase TRICARE coverage on a month- to-month basis. To qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult coverage, dependents must be under 26, unmarried and not eligible for their own employer-sponsor health coverage. For more information, see http://www.tricare.mil/mediacenter/news.aspx?fid=70.Page 6
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011Tips of the Week Nutrition Tip of the Week – The label says it’s Trans Fat Free, but is it? So you‟ve been reading the labels making sure that there are no trans fats in the foods you buy. Don‟t be fooled by the label! Be aware that the Food and Drug Administration allows food manufacturers to label any food that has less than half a gram of trans fat per serving as zero. Foods can contain up to 0.49 grams of trans fats per serving and still be labeled trans fat free. Eat four servings of foods like this and you have reached the 2–gram recommended daily limit without even realizing it. To help protect your heart, eat fewer foods that have partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Choose more fresh foods instead of packaged foods. And take time to read nutrition labels. When in doubt, look at the ingredients for partially hydrogenated oil and beware that trans fats may be hiding there. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary‟s website at http://www.commissaries.com/. Parenting Tip of the Week – Protecting Children In addition to being the Month of the Military Child, April is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you have any concerns about child abuse, the Family Advocacy Program is available at installations to address child abuse in the military community. Staff members work with military commands, military law enforcement personnel, medical staff, family center personnel, victim advocates, and chaplains to assist families with domestic abuse issues. The Family Advocacy Program staff are responsible for seeing that victims remain safe and have access to support and advocacy services. They also ensure that offenders receive appropriate intervention services. Family Advocacy Program services are available to servicemembers, their spouse/intimate partner, and children. See http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/tf/domesticabuse. Let‟s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – Fiber and Your Child Few kids would say they crave a good fiber-rich meal. Although the thought of fiber might bring gags and groans from kids, many appetizing foods are actually great sources of fiber – from fruits to whole-grain cereals. And kids are probably eating them without even knowing it. Not just for the senior-citizen crowd, foods with fiber are beneficial because theyre filling and, therefore, discourage overeating – even though fiber itself adds no calories. Plus, when combined with adequate fluid intake, high-fiber fare helps move food through the digestive system and may protect against gut cancers and constipation. It may also lower LDL cholesterol (the „bad‟ cholesterol) as well as help prevent diabetes and heart disease. For more information see http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/fiber.html#cat161 Financial Tip of the Week – Spring Cleaning: It’s good for your Financial records, too! Finally, spring is here and as we start thinking about spring cleaning, do not forget to clean and reorganize financial record keeping habits. Here are some guides to a cleaner and healthier financial readiness: Put papers in their proper place. Tax filling time is about over, which mean its the perfect time to establish some smarter paper-tracking habits. Establish a file system to easily store receipts that pile up throughout the year. For example, have separate files for expenses related to your car, household, and child care.Page 7
  8. 8. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 If you dont need it, toss it or archive it. Youll probably need to hang on to important documents (some states require to keep up to 10 years of tax filings on hand), but much of your old paperwork belongs in the trash or the shredder. Store most important documents, such as certificates, in an archival box or locked metal file cabinet thats separate from your day-to-day files. Go electronic. Just about everything these days is online, so all the old rules about what you need to keep are changing. Credit card statements, bills, pay records, investment account statements, and even tax paperwork can often be shifted online. If you still need to maintain paper statements, try this: as soon as your quarterly account statements arrive, shred two previous monthly statements. Check your credit score. Your credit report deserves care as well. Visit your installation Personal Finance Manager to get your FICO score or get free annual credit report at annualcreditreport.com to check for any errors, and fix any mistakes that could be dragging down your score. Pay it down. If youre still carrying debt on credit cards, check their interest rates and balances, and make a plan to pay them off. If youre due for a tax refund, consider using it to pay off that expensive debt. TSP. Its a great time to assess the status of your TSP, both for 2010 and 2011. Look at maximizing or increasing contribution to your TSP account. Review your tax withholding. Since taxes are still fresh on the mind, now is the perfect time to revisit whether or not youre withholding the correct amount from your pay. Insurance coverage. Check on your insurance coverage, including renters, homeowners, life, and car. Do you have enough? Or do you have too much? Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Making Friends When You’ve Relocated Making friends in a new community can be a challenge for many people. But for military families, who have to say goodbye to old friends and move to a new area every few years, it can be especially difficult. Below you‟ll find some tips than can help you begin to build a network of friends when you‟ve moved to a new duty station: Join something. Joining a group of some sort is one of the best ways to meet people. So sign up for an exercise class, join a gym or pick-up athletic league, find a book group through the local library, or take an adult community education class. Many installations have support groups for newcomers. Check with your Family Support Center to find out what your new installation offers. Reach out to co-workers. Ask co-workers to recommend a local coffee shop or restaurant and invite them to join you. Invite a co-worker to have a drink or go to a movie after work.Page 8
  9. 9. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 Get to know other parents. If you have children, they can be a great ice breaker. You may meet other parents through school or at a nearby playground. Don‟t hesitate to invite other children over for play dates and take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the parents. Keep in touch with old friends. In the military community, old friends have a way of showing up at new duty stations. Be sure to let all your friends know where you‟re moving -- you never know who might know someone in your new community, and friends of friends can be great resources when you‟re new to an area. Get involved in a faith community. If you are a person of faith you may want to get involved in a local faith community. Find a local place of worship, which can serve as a built-in community, complete with social activities. Volunteer. Volunteering your time is another good way to meet like-minded people. Sign up to serve food at a homeless shelter, clean up a park, or work on a political campaign. Many installations have family support groups that rely on volunteers. Your Family Support Center may have a list of volunteer opportunities – both on and off your new installation. Spend time outdoors. Go for walks, runs, or bike rides in your neighborhood or local parks. If you have a child, go to a nearby playground. You‟re much more likely to meet people when you‟re out and about than you are sitting at home. Try to get to know your neighbors. Ask them for tips about your community, such as the best dry cleaner or electrician. Invite your neighbors over for a cup of coffee or lunch. Never turn down an invitation. Try to take advantage of every opportunity you get to meet people, even if you don‟t feel like going or you‟re not sure you‟d like to be friends with the person who invited you. You never know who you might meet. Realize that you may have to step outside your comfort zone to make new friends. Making friends as an adult isn‟t easy. Sometimes it requires an outgoing and brave attitude. You may have to push yourself beyond what makes you comfortable. For example, you may need to take a chance and invite co-workers to a movie or out for coffee or ask a person you just met in the park if he‟d like to play basketball. Your Family Center can give you information and support on many issues that affect service members and their families. And Military OneSource, a free 24/7 service from DoD, available to all active-duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families, provides information and referrals plus face-to-face counseling. Call (800) 42-9647 or access http://www.MilitaryOneSource.com. Spouse Tip – Cluster Industries Can Help Spouses Make Better Career Decisions Have you ever heard of „Cluster Industries‟? Well, they are one of the most effective strategies for economic development in cities and regions that are reinventing themselves and thriving in todays challenging economy. Cluster industries are a group of similar or related firms that are located in a defined geographic area that share a similar market, technologies, worker skills, suppliers, and buy-seller relationships. They depend on each other to develop their products and services, and subsequently deliver them to their customers. Frequently, workers can find employment in more than one company within this „supply chain.‟Page 9
  10. 10. This Week in MC&FP April 1, 2011 So, when military spouses explore career fields, occupational and vocational opportunities, they should look for cluster industries that are located near military installations. One obvious choice would be the defense industry that produces and delivers services and products that the military services need. By choosing a career field and occupation that supports the defense industry, military spouses have an enhanced opportunity for portable career job opportunities that are more likely to be available when they relocate to a new duty station. Career and education counselors located at community colleges, Department of Labor Career OneStop Centers, military family centers, and Military OneSource toll-free at (800) 342-9647), can provide more information about how to research cluster industries in communities located near military duty stations. ####Page 10