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  • 1. Image description. MC&FP banner image End of image description.Blog post of Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy AssistantSecretary of Defense (Military Community and FamilyPolicy)Image description. Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (MC&FP) End of image description.Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Know Your OptionsDomestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) provides us the opportunity to reinforce ourcommitment to preventing domestic violence in the military. With supportive counseling services andexpanded reporting options, the Department of Defense (DoD) is working hard to prevent domesticviolence and protect victims. Our military’s leadership, from the top down, wants to ensure that ourservice members and their families understand the importance of this issue and what steps we are takingto stop domestic violence, protect victims, and hold offenders accountable for their behavior.Most of us recognize that healthy relationships are built on trust and good communication skills. Whencouples can trust one another and openly communicate, it is much easier to address problems beforethey escalate into potentially abusive situations. Sometimes, however, we need outside assistance tofacilitate healthier relationships: counseling services are available through the Family AdvocacyProgram (FAP), Military and Family Life Counselors (MFLCs), and Military OneSource. I stronglyencourage all couples to take advantage of these excellent resources.However, when abuse does occur, it is important for the victim to understand their reporting options.Conflicting feelings about reporting the abuser or a general fear of reporting may prevent victims fromseeking help. Some may worry about losing military benefits such as housing, medical or commissaryprivileges. The DoD recognizes these concerns and has made reporting domestic violence easier:victims can choose to make either an unrestricted or a restricted report and in both cases can receiveadvocacy, medical help, and counseling.Victims of domestic abuse who want an official investigation should make an unrestricted report bycontacting the service member’s command, FAP, or law enforcement. The incident will be fullyinvestigated, and the victim will have access to victim advocacy services, medical care, and counseling.Unrestricted reports also provide the command with the discretion to take administrative action againstthe offender.Victims who do not want to pursue an official investigation but who would like to receive victimadvocacy services, medical care, and counseling can make a restricted report to a FAP victim advocate, Page 1 of 10
  • 2. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011clinician, supervisor, or a military health care provider. A restricted report allows the victim time toevaluate the relationship and to take control over how much information he or she wants to share, withwhom and when. A restricted report means law enforcement and the command will not be notified ofthe abuse, and there will be no investigation or administrative action taken. For some victims, arestricted report provides a greater sense of control and empowerment.If you or someone you know has experienced domestic abuse or if you would like more informationabout counseling services or reporting options, contact your local FAP or Military OneSource (800-342-9647).For our programs and services to be effective, we need to hear from you. Were you aware of theavailable reporting options? What about your counseling options? Is more communication on this topicneeded? Please join our discussion and share your thoughts and ideas.One incident of domestic abuse is too many. Join me this month to spread the message that domesticviolence victims are not alone and DoD is working hard to prevent abuse and protect families. Untilnext time, be well. Page 2 of 10
  • 3. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011Joining ForcesJoining ForcesFirst Lady to Urge Military Family Support at World SeriesFirst Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will bring theirmessage of military family and veteran support to a vast audience as they attend the first game of theWorld Series in St. Louis.Major League Baseball officials have dedicated the game, which pits the Texas Rangers against the St.Louis Cardinals, to veterans and their families, according to an MLB news release. The game will beaired live on the Fox TV network starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.Obama and Biden’s aim is to encourage Americans to support and honor veterans, service members andtheir families through initiatives such as the Joining Forces campaign and Major League Baseball’sWelcome Back Veterans program. Both initiatives support and honor military families and veterans."We are honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden join us for the 2011 Fall Classicto recognize the courageous men and women who serve the country as well as their families," BaseballCommissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig said in an MLB news release."Major League Baseball has raised more than $11 million over the past several years through ourWelcome Back Veterans program to help support veterans and their families,” he added. “The WorldSeries gives us the perfect opportunity to build on this ongoing commitment."During the day, Obama and Biden will join representatives from MLB and the St. Louis Cardinals,including Hall of Famer and Army veteran Red Schoendienst, at a military family appreciation event atthe St. Louis Veterans Center, a White House news release said.Families attending the event will get a sneak peek at the new Joining Forces and MLB public serviceannouncement slated to premiere during the game. The message features the first lady as well as NewYork Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, both ofwhom come from military families.Obama and Biden also will participate in a special pregame ceremony with veterans and militaryfamilies at Busch Stadium.Additionally, prior to the game, Obama and Biden will answer questions about the Joining Forcescampaign submitted by MLB fans through Facebook and Twitter. People around the country can submitquestions through MLB’s Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #AskMichelle. Page 3 of 10
  • 4. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011Weekly TipsMilitary Community and Family Policy Weekly TipsNutrition Tip of the Week - Counting PortionsWe often hear that we should have a certain amount of vegetables a day or a certain serving of grains.But how exactly do we count how much grain, fruit, and dairy we eat? All food group recommendationsfor the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Patterns — the basis for the USDA Daily FoodPlans — are made in household units (cups for fruits, vegetables, and dairy and ounce equivalents forgrains and protein foods). To find out more about foods in the food groups, how much is needed, andwhat counts as an ounce or cup equivalent, click on Food Groups in the left column of the MyPlatehome page. Then, click on the individual food groups.The USDA Food Patterns list the number of cups or ounce equivalents for each food group for eachspecific calorie level. Remember, your Daily Food Plan takes into account your age, sex, height, weight,and physical activity level to determine your recommendations from each food group.Parenting Tip of the Week - Helping Children Cope with TraumaYou may have heard that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Violence as well as naturaldisasters can cause trauma in children; as a parent, you have an important role with helping childrencope with trauma and protecting them from further trauma. After violence or a natural disaster, explainto children what happened. Let children know: • You love them. • The event was not their fault. • You will take care of them, but only if you can; be honest. • It’s okay for them to feel upset.Do: • Allow children to cry. • Allow sadness. • Let children talk and write about feelings. • Let them draw pictures.Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week - Tips to Help You Eat FruitTips to help you eat fruit: • Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator. • Refrigerate cut-up fruit to store for later. • Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor. • Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100 percent juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand. Page 4 of 10
  • 5. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011 • Consider convenience when shopping. Try pre-cut packages of fruit (such as melon or pineapple chunks) for a healthy snack in seconds. Choose packaged fruits that do not have added sugars.For the best fruit nutritional value: • Make most of your choices whole or cut-up fruit rather than juice, for the benefits dietary fiber provides. • Select fruits with more potassium often, such as bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, and orange juice. • When choosing canned fruits, select fruit canned in 100 percent fruit juice or water rather than syrup. • Vary your fruit choices. Fruits differ in nutrient content.Financial Tip of the Week - Refinance Your Mortgage – Or Not?Q. Im tempted by record-low mortgage rates and the chance to reduce my monthly payment.How can I figure out whether refinancing makes sense?A. If you can get a new rate thats at least a full percentage point lower than your current rate (or,ideally, closer to two points), refinancing can make sense and save significant dollars.But before you proceed, consider these other questions: • What will you pay in fees? Youll typically spend the equivalent of 2 to 6 percent of your loans principal on fees and closing costs, says the Federal Reserve. These costs will vary with your lender and state. Be aware of potential prepayment penalties. • How long have you been paying your current mortgage? If youre at least ten years into a thirty-year mortgage, refinancing to another thirty-year loan might lower your monthly payment, but it will significantly increase your long-term costs — youll be paying interest for many additional years.The better choice may be to refinance to a loan that matches the time remaining on your present one orshortens it. An amortization chart — available from your current lender or its website — can help youdetermine the actual costs and accrued equity. • How long do you expect to live in the refinanced home? If youre planning to sell in the next few years, the savings from lower monthly payments may not exceed the costs of refinancing. • Whats your home really worth? One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when applying for a new loan, is overestimating your homes value in a time of fallen prices. When the lenders formal offer comes in, based on an up-to-date appraisal, the terms may be worse than what youd planned on.And to get the best rates, the borrowed amount should be less than 80 percent of your homes value, asdetermined by that appraisal. Page 5 of 10
  • 6. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011 • How high is your credit score? Those advertised low rates often apply only to people with high credit scores, typically 760 or better. If youve got a FICO score in the 680-700 range, you can expect to pay about 0.5 percentage points more. If youre in the 620 range, youll likely pay 1.5 percentage points higher.To help determine your true bottom line savings use this AARP refinancing calculator or others you canfind online.Military OneSource Tip of the Week - How Service Members Can Stay Connected with YoungerSiblingsWhen you deploy, your younger siblings may worry about you more than usual. Its important to keepup the conversation, but it can be even more difficult – especially if you dont have an email address.These suggestions can help: • Use a personal web page, social networking site, or blog. These can be great ways for your family to keep up with you if you have access to a computer and the Internet. Your Service branch or command may have restrictions on what you can post, so check with your command before you post any information. • Use US mail. You may be used to communicating by phone and computer. But if your access is limited, try using regular mail. Be creative – send cards for no reason or write letters over a period of a couple of days that describe your daily life. • Use MotoMail. Marines and those serving with Marines can use MotoMail, an express messenger system that downloads, prints, and delivers letters to deployed service members who dont have easy access to computer. Messages are usually delivered in twenty-four hours. Register and send messages at www.motomail.us. • Dont dwell on negative news. Too much negative news can be overwhelming for a younger brother or sister.Encourage your sibling to keep a journal. If you cant communicate on a regular basis, your sister orbrother may want to keep a journal to share with you when you return home.Spouse Tip of the Week - Placement Agencies Can Simplify Your Job SearchIt is not uncommon for military spouses to have a difficult time maintaining employment alongprofessional career paths in a mobile military lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.There are a number of "military friendly" career and employment placement agencies that simplify jobsearches for military spouses each time they relocate to new duty stations. Visit thewww.MSEPJobs.org website to identify the placement agencies that have partnered with the Departmentof Defense through the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) program. These agencies areactively recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting military spouses to work for them in deliveringplacement services and to fill exciting positions with client employers.Why would a military spouse want to work with a placement agency?Basically, because placement agencies simplify and take the stress out of searching for and finding ajob. They match available job openings with military spouse career goals. They understand and market Page 6 of 10
  • 7. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011the strengths and talents military spouses bring to local employers. And they know which employers aremilitary friendly.What other things do placement agencies offer military spouses? 1. Job Connections – Career and employment specialists at thousands of locations across the nation and around the world are familiar with local employment conditions and employer needs. They know exactly what skills, knowledge, abilities, credentials, and personal qualities employers are looking for as they develop and expand their twenty-first century global workforce. More importantly, they understand that military spouses are an ideal source for filling current job vacancies, including those that are hard to fill. 2. Career Services – Career and employment specialists are ready to make substantial investments in the military spouses they serve, hire, and place. They provide career exploration, self- assessment, and employment counseling; résumé assistance; interview skills; dress for success tips; job skills training; financial assistance for education; and job placement services. 3. Benefits – If a military spouse is hired to work for the placement agency (on staff or in a job placement with a client employer), the spouse may be offered a benefits package which could include: a 401k retirement plan, paid holidays, medical and dental care, tuition reimbursement, performance bonuses, child care and transportation subsidies, flexible work hours, accrued vacation time, and more. These benefits move with the spouse to new duty locations and are considered a "best practice" for military spouse "continuity of employment."Do placement agencies only fill temporary positions?No. Most placement agencies fill both temporary and direct-hire positions with client employers.Temporary positions allow employers to meet urgent, surge, seasonal, and special hiring needs. In thesepositions, military spouses are able to try out different types of jobs which is especially helpful to entry-level spouses and spouses who are returning to the workforce since many of them want to explore careerfields and business sectors before making important career decisions and investments. Temporary jobsalso offer ideal part-time employment for spouses who want to stay busy, earn extra income, or improvefamily financial health and stability. Direct-hire positions are more likely to be full-time positions withcompanies that offer advancement opportunities long established career paths and ladders. For thecareer minded spouse, direct hire positions provide the best career opportunities.Do placement agencies charge a fee for placing military spouses in job openings?Military spouses should not have to pay a fee for being placed in a job opening. Fees are usually paid byclient employers whose job openings need to be filled. For some employers, it is more cost effective topay a placement agency to recruit, screen, and match job applicants to their vacancies than to performthese functions themselves. Visit www.MSEPJobs.org to find placement agencies that have partnershipagreements with the Department of Defense. These agencies have office locations around the world.What kinds of jobs do placement agencies fill?All kinds, including the kinds that military spouses are seeking: • business and accounting • legal and finance • office services and support • information technology • medical and dental Page 7 of 10
  • 8. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011 • government • human resources • science and math • industrial, engineering, and technicalHow can military spouses learn more about employment opportunities and job searching? 1. Visit Department of Labor’s CareerOne Stop web portal to find the fastest growing, highest demand, and largest employment career fields and occupations; information on state licenses and required credentials; and salary information. 2. Call Military OneSource at (800) 342-9647 or visit the Military OneSource website. Ask to speak with an Education and Career Consultant who can provide career services and information about the MyCAA program which provides financial assistance to spouses who are pursuing portable career related associate’s degrees, licenses and credentials. 3. Visit the MSEP web portal for job openings posted by military friendly employers who are actively recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting military spouses.Relocation Tip of the Week - Sponsorship ProgramSettling into your new location and your new unit takes time. Plan My Move is designed to assist youwith the information about your new location and the Sponsorship Program can be very helpful with theunit information. Sponsors can really make your transition smoother.A sponsor is someone from your new unit who is assigned to you to assist you in settling into your newlocation. A sponsor is sometimes assigned through your unit, and sometimes through the RelocationAssistance Program or the Family Center at your new installation.A sponsors duties include: • Contacting you and your family by letter of introduction or email upon learning of your assignment to the installation. • Sending any information about the installation/area which you may require, or putting you in touch with the proper authorities which can supply the information. • Answering any questions which you or your family may have, or, again, providing the proper resources to answer those questions. • Being available when you arrive at your installation to meet you, show you around, and help you through in-processing.If you have not been assigned a sponsor, or have not been contacted as of yet, request one by contactingyour Family Center, the Relocation Assistance Program at your new installation, or the commander ofyour new unit.Sponsors responsibilities and abilities to be available will vary from installation to installation,depending upon the priority which the installation and unit commanders give to the program. Page 8 of 10
  • 9. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011In the NewsWeve captured the latest Quality of Life (QOL) information, as well as recent additions to the MilitaryCommunity & Family Policy (MC&FP) collection of websites, including MilitaryHOMEFRONT. Allin one location! For a complete listing of QoL topic areas and information, please return to theMilitaryHOMEFRONT homepage.In the NewsNotable Quality of Life developments and Department of Defense announcements and alerts.Biden, Odierno Support Military ChildrenSpeaking at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preventions national conference, Jill Biden,wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno noted theimportance of mentorship and support for military children as they navigate the frequent moves,deployments and separations brought on by more than a decade of war.The Exceptional AdvocateIn this issue: Kids Corner; Spotlight on National Disability Employment Awareness Month;Technology Corner: Program Accessibility Initiatives for Individuals with Disabilities; and PostalService sets holiday mail deadlines.Joining Forces Partner Expands Program for Students from Military FamiliesWhite House Fellow Rodney D. Lewis, represented Joining Forces, Office of the First Lady, at a majorevent recently in Virginia to celebrate the increase in education outreach to students in military familiesby the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI).Know the Facts – Confidentiality and the Restricted Reporting PolicyAdult victims of domestic abuse have two reporting options – restricted reporting and unrestrictedreporting. Victim advocates will work with the victims to help them understand all of their options andto help them decide whether reporting is the right option for them.MEDCOM aims to Apply ‘Medical Home’ Model WorldwideThe Army Medical Command is working to improve care by focusing on creating clinics based on small-group family practices. The goal is to apply the Army Patient Centered Medical Home model to alltreatment facilities throughout the Army.Revamped Transition Program to Benefit Troops, FamiliesOfficials soon will unveil a fully revamped Transition Assistance Program that’s aimed at betterreaching service members throughout the world.First Lady Announces Hiring Commitment for Spouses, VetsFirst Lady Michelle Obama, on a visit with her husband to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., announced aprivate sector hiring commitment of 25,000 military spouses and veterans as part of the Joining Forcescampaign. Page 9 of 10
  • 10. MC&FP Weekly (October 25,2011) 10/27/2011Guard and ReserveImage description. Two National Guard service members End of image description.Oct. 26-29 - Guard and Reserve - Ft. McClellan, ALOct. 29 - Guard and Reserve - Green Bay, WINov. 1-3 - Guard and Reserve - Pago-Pago, American SamoaNov. 3 - Guard and Reserve - Alameda, CANov. 3-5 - Guard and Reserve - Cape Cod, MANov. 4-5 - Guard and Reserve - Jackson, MSNov. 4-6 - Guard and Reserve - Helena, MNNov. 5 - Guard and Reserve - Carson City, NVNov. 5 - Guard and Reserve - Terre Haute, IN Page 10 of 10