This week in mcfp december 17 2010 (1)


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This week in mcfp december 17 2010 (1)

  1. 1.‐06‐24/Family_Resiliency_Webinar.aspx.    This Week in MC&FP December 17, 2010 ___________________________________________________________              At this time of year as we near the end of the calendar, many of us catchourselves asking, “Where did the time go?” Maybe the following snapshots in time will put this inperspective. Ebenezer Scrooge’s phrase, “Bah humbug!” was first read on this day – 167 years ago!The first edition – 6,000 copies in all – were sold out in the first week. Today, millions of copies later,“A Christmas Carol” remains a holiday classic. Do you plan to fly anywhere over the holidays? Todayis the 107th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903. After threeyears of experimentation with kites and gliders, they achieved the first documented successful poweredand controlled flights of an airplane. How air travel has changed since then! Yes, where has the timegone?!We wish a belated ‘Happy Birthday’ to the citizen-warriors serving in the National Guard; theycelebrated their 374th birthday on Monday, December 13th. True to your motto, “Always Ready,Always There,” you are deployed across the globe. You hail from every state and territory and standshoulder-to-shoulder and fly wingtip-to-wingtip with your brothers and sisters in arms. Thank you foryour dedicated service!And lastly, a brief administrative note: This December 17th issue will be the final edition for thiscalendar year. We’ll return Friday, January 7, 2011. During this hiatus, if we have information we thinkyou might need, rest assured we’ll reach out to you. So, until next year and the next edition of thispublication, please accept our best wishes for safe and happy holidays. Thank you for all you do!Have good weeks and take care.Your MC&FP TeamPlease note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best results,cut and past the entire link into your Web browser.From DoDEA• Teachers of the Year Share Insights and Inspiration While in town for training and the annual awards ceremony, DoDEA’s Teachers of the Year shared their thoughts on why they chose to teach and why they have passion for teaching military children. To hear their responses visit: 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   December 17, 2010 • Plans for ‘Imagine Andrews’ Charter School Well Under Way DoDEA’s Educational Partnership team attended an open for ‘Imagine Andrews Charter School’ on Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, near Washington, D.C. The school is set to open in the fall of 2011. The meeting provided information on plans for the school, enrollment and lottery procedures and curriculum. The charter school will offer classes for grades Kindergarten through 4th grade, with an additional grade added each year up to 8th. Imagine Andrews will be run by Imagine Schools, a charter school organization, and was authorized by the Prince George County School System.• DoDEA Winter Break Begins Today DoDEA schools throughout the world will begin winter break on Friday, December 17, 2010. Classes will resume on Monday, January 3, 2011.From the Family Advocacy Program Office• Family Advocacy Program Teams Collaborate with State Social Service Agencies Tib Campise joined Air Force and Army Family Advocacy headquarters staff and representatives from social services agencies and installation Family Advocacy Program teams located in California, Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina for a shared learning collaborative, “Improving Practice with Military Families,” hosted by the Casey Family Programs in San Antonio, Texas. The primary goal was to explore innovative and effective approaches to build and sustain collaborative relationships between child welfare agencies and military installations. The collaborative resulted in draft action plans created by the state social services and Family Advocacy Program teams.From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth• “Forging the Partnership” Conference Planning Continues If you haven’t done so yet, mark your calendars to be in Chicago April 27- 29, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency for the interagency family readiness conference, “Forging the Partnership.” The conference will bring together professionals from DoD and USDA and will build connections, competency and the capacity of our agencies and programs. The conference will feature keynote speakers, current youth and family research presenters, interactive workshops and computer labs. For more information, see the Office of Communications• Please Help Get the Word to Veterans Kevin Secor, Veterans Service Office Liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, asked for wide dissemination of the following information: An organization called Veterans Affairs Services claims to provide benefit and general information on the VA and is gathering personal information on veterans. The organization’s seal closely resembles the VA name and seal, but it is not affiliated with VA in any way. The VA’s Legal Counsel requested that DoDPage 2 
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP   December 17, 2010  provide information about this group and their lack of affiliation with or endorsement by the VA to military installations and mobilization sites in particular. For more information, see• World Wrestling Entertainment to Give Tribute to the Troops December 18, 9 p.m., on NBC-TV For the past seven years, World Wrestling Entertainment – WWE – has traveled to the AOR to meet the troops. In the past, the group spent several days traveling to the various sites, meeting the troops, signing autographs, taking pictures, and so on. On the final day, they would do a WWE wrestling event which would be broadcast on national television around the holidays. This year, they were unable to travel to the AOR but visited Fort Hood, Texas. They visited various units there to meet and greet the troops and they performed a wrestling event which will air this Saturday, December 18, at 9 p.m. on NBC-TV (check your local listings). The show focuses on the service-members and is a huge morale booster for all.From the Office of Morale, Welfare and Recreation• Armed Forces Sports Update Our military athletes have been busy with a number of competitions this Fall beginning with the U.S. Armed Forces Rugby Championship at Fort Benning, Ga. The Air Force dominated that competition and finished undefeated, winning the championship match against the Coast Guard with a score of 56-8. Army defeated Navy in the consolation match with a score of 38-8.• Air Force Women, Army Men, Take Top Honors at Armed Forces Bowling Championship The U.S. Armed Forces Bowling championship was held at Naval Base San Diego. Teams competed in singles, doubles and mixed doubles to determine the overall team championship. The Air Force women took top honors followed by Army, Marine Corps and Navy. The Army men took the top prize followed by Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. See  • U.S. Basketball Team Undefeated, Takes Gold at International Basketball tournament, Belgium The United States was undefeated in winning the SHAPE International Basketball tournament held recently in Mons, Belgium. The U.S. team defeated Italy, the United Kingdom and Latvia by wide margins and won the championship match against Lithuania with a score of 78-71 to take home the gold. See• USA Women’s Team Wins Gold at CISM Marathon The USA’s women’s team won the gold medal at the Conseil Internationale du Sport – CISM – marathon held in Athens, Greece, October 31, 2010. Brazil and Germany won the silver and bronze medals, respectively. The Air Force women took fifth place and eighth place, while the Army took seventh place and the Navy, ninth, to secure the team title. Poland took top honors for the men with the U.S. Air Force athletes finishing in 23rd and 25th place. For a 2011 schedule of Armed Forces and CISM events, see 3 
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP   December 17, 2010 From the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs• Staff Provides Exceptional Family Member Program Training for Newly Assigned Navigators Isabel Hodge, Dr. Maria Barkmeier and Dr. Rebecca Posante presented at the Armys Exceptional Family Member Program training for systems navigators held at the MWR Academy from December 6-17. Newly hired systems navigators were trained on the many programs and resources that may help support a family with special needs. Ms. Hodge and Dr. Barkmeier provided training on community support systems and on special education in the DoD schools. From Resale• Gift Vouchers Extend Holiday Cheer to Commissary Shoppers During November and December, the Defense Commissary Agency reminds anyone who wants to send some holiday cheer to authorized military shoppers that they can do so with gift vouchers. Gift vouchers are available in $25 denominations. Anyone – civilian or military – can purchase them, but only authorized shoppers can redeem them in a commissary. Vouchers are available at commissary customer service areas, cash offices, and from cashiers at full-service checkout lanes.• Commissary On-Site Sale Events. There are no on-site sales scheduled for this week at Guard and Reserve locations. For more information, visit  In the News• From the Family Matters blog – Operation Homefront Helps Indiana Families Throughout the year, Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other relief to the nation’s servicemembers and wounded warriors. Recently, the group’s Indiana chapter arranged for Santa Claus to pay an early visit to the families of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Headquarters Company at Tyndall Armory in Indianapolis. For the rest of the story, see• From the American Forces Press Service – ‘Twas a Night in December Servicemembers stationed from Antarctica to Afghanistan lent their talents and time to craft a video for a poem titled “’Twas a Night in December,” based on Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” but rewritten with a military twist. More than 40 commands around the world, representing every branch of the military service, participated. To see the video clip, go to• From the American Forces Press Service – Spiritual Fitness Can Help ‘Lighten Load’ Spiritual fitness can help “lighten the load” for servicemembers and their families, whether they’re facing combat, dealing with health issues or just managing the day-to-day stressors of military life, the Army’s chief of chaplains said. “I would imagine that soldiers carry some of that in their rucksack,” Army Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas L. Carver said. “[Chaplains] are there in many cases to help them unload some feelings, some of the trauma they’re carrying around. See 4 
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP   December 17, 2010 • From the Family Matters blog – Blogger Shares Holiday Money-saving Tips I’ve noticed, over the years, that holiday shoppers typically fall into specific categories as they embark on their gift-gathering quests. First up are the bargain hunters, who relentlessly search day and night for the perfect deal. They crowd into stores in the wee hours on Black Friday and shut down sites with an overload of Internet traffic from office cubicles on Cyber Monday. See• From the American Forces Press Service – Famous Military Mom Works to Boost Family Support The wife of the nation’s vice president walked into a crowded gym at a dusty Army base in the Iraqi desert and was greeted like a rock star. Soldiers were crowded onto bleachers -- a sea of camouflage uniforms – and let out a thunderous cheer and applause at the sight of Dr. Jill Biden, who glided in with her signature warm smile. See and the Family Matters blog at of the Week• Nutrition Tip of the Week – Are all poultry choices lean? White meat chicken and turkey are the best sources of low–fat protein. Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices. Try to skip or limit breading, though. It adds fat and calories and soaks up more fat if the poultry is fried. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary’s Web site at Tip of the Week – Traveling? Some TRICARE Tips May Help Chances are, you and your family are among the millions of Americans traveling 50 miles or more roundtrip this Christmas/New Years holiday. If you have TRICARE, you are covered while traveling; how you get care depends on which TRICARE health plan option you are using and where you are going. Visit for a quick snapshot of the rules for each plan. In all cases, if you have an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room. In some cases, you may need to pay up front for services and file a claim for reimbursement. Remember to keep all receipts and to file claims in the region where you live, not where you get the care.• Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – Calculating Body Mass Index Body Mass Index – ‘BMI’ – the most commonly used measure for body fat, is calculated by dividing a persons weight in kilograms by the square of his/her height in meters (kg/m2). Current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization define a normal BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9; obesity is defined as a BMI over 30.0; and severe obesity is defined as BMI 35 or higher. For more information and a BMI calculator, go to National Institutes of Health News at• Financial Tip of the Week – Coming Soon! Military Saves Campaign 2011 The 2011 Military Saves Campaign will kick off with Military Saves Week, scheduled February 20Page 5 
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP   December 17, 2010  to 27, 2011. This annual campaign is conducted jointly by the Department of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy and the military services) and the Consumer Federation of America (, an official DoD financial readiness campaign non-profit partner. The goal of the Military Saves campaign is for servicemembers and families to make a personal commitment to saving their hard- earned pay for emergencies, for their near- and long-term financial goals, and for retirement. In taking positive action to save, they will avoid common financial pitfalls that confront many Americans, and most importantly, in ensuring they are financially ready, they will also be mission- ready, enabling commanders to support both current and future military operations. Service and family members are encouraged to go to and register to take the "Saver Pledge". This pledge states that members will commit to saving and encourage others to do so as part of a military savings ‘community.’ The military services are planning promotional events to raise awareness and participation in Military Saves at installations around the world to include financial fairs, guest speakers, fun runs, commander proclamations, ‘saver drives,’ and others.• Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Enjoying the Holiday When Your Loved One is Deployed The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but when your servicemember is deployed, they can be especially difficult. You may experience a range of emotions, from worry to loneliness – even anger and disappointment. The holidays may magnify those feelings, but they can also be a time to strengthen your emotional commitment to your service member and your family. - Get an early start with gifts and cards. Depending on where your service member is stationed, it can take ten days or more for a package to arrive from the United States. Give yourself plenty of time to get your gifts together and send it so your service member will receive it in time for the holiday. If you have children, ask them to write their gift lists early to avoid last-minute purchases that may put you over your budget. - Record a holiday message. Borrow a video camera or audio recorder and record yourself and other family members wishing your loved one a happy holiday season. Do this far enough in advance so your service member receives it in time for the holiday. Or, if you your service member has access to the Internet, you can post it on a private Web site close to the holiday. - Take lots of pictures. Take pictures of you and your family decorating for the holidays, celebrating, and opening gifts. You can send these to your service member via e-mail or post them on a private Web site. - Surround yourself with people. Plan to attend holiday events for families of deployed service members. If you have school-age children, volunteer to help teachers with holiday events. Help organize a holiday potluck party for families in your service member’s command. All of these will help keep your mind off your loneliness and you will be comforted to be with others who are going through the same thing. - Volunteer for a good cause. Collect coats for the needy, help stock shelves at the food pantry, or serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Helping others less fortunate than you will keep you busy and will remind you of all you have. - Do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Instead of celebrating the holiday they way you have in years past, make an effort to keep busy in a memorable way. If you have always stayed home on the holiday, this year go to the movies or spend time with friends walking in a park or nature preserve.Page 6 
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP   December 17, 2010  - Keep holiday decorations up until your loved one returns, if it makes you feel better. Or take them down and put them back up when your loved one returns. Some families celebrate the holidays twice: once on the actual dates and again when their deployed service member returns home. - Accept that this holiday season will be different. It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting everything to be perfect, especially around the holiday. Make the most of this season by enjoying friends, trying new things, and slowing down a little bit. 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 1-800-342-9647 or access• Spouse Tip – Do Your Homework BEFORE You Go Back to School Are you thinking about going back to school to continue your education for future portable career employment? If so, you have some ‘homework’ to do to make sure you will be getting a license, credential or degree that has real value for the investment of time and money you are about to make. Questions you should ask yourself: - Do you know what career fields and occupations you are interested in? Call Military OneSource to schedule a free career counseling session: (800) 342-9647 Also, visit - Do you know what licenses and credentials are required by your career choices? To learn more, visit: - Can you get the education and training you need at a Community College, Technical or Vocational School or do you need to go to a college or university that offers four year or advanced degrees (some of which require continuing education to maintain professional licenses and credentials)? When getting started, the most affordable option may be community, vocational and occupational schools. o COMPARE prices for entry level coursework at different TYPES of schools before you choose a school and enroll in a program of study. o When receiving information from a school, trust and verify that information for “truth in advertising.” Be sure the school has a good reputation in your professional field. o Is your school accredited by an organization recognized by the US Department of Education? Accreditation helps ensure a quality education that is valued by future employers. For helpful information, visit Questions you should ask school recruiters - What is the “true cost” of the education you need as offered and provided by them? This includes: tuition, fees, books, supplies, uniforms, loans (and interest rate costs), internships or supervised clinical placements, and perhaps more.Page 7 
  8. 8. This Week in MC&FP   December 17, 2010  - Calculate the entire cost of your selected program of study and ask if these costs are payable up front or with each course enrollment. Upfront payments may mean that if you do not complete the program of study within the prescribed timeframe, all or part of your investment may be lost. - Will the future salary you expect to earn enable you to pay off any educational loan debt you incur within a reasonable time? To learn more about future salaries, visit: Installation Family Centers ( ) and Military OneSource counselors at (800) 342-9647 can provide personal financial management training and coaching, especially regarding basic household budgeting, credit and debt management. - What is the completion rate of your program of study? This means, how many students enroll and complete the program of study you are about to enter. If the completion rate is too low, let the buyer beware. Find out the reasons BEFORE signing any program of study contracts or enrolling in courses. Talk with career and education counselors at a variety of online and in-classroom/traditional campus military and veteran liaison offices. On-installation education centers at your nearest military installation will also be able to provide you with consumer awareness information see The Better Business Bureaus – federal, state and local – are another excellent source of consumer information. Find out if students are satisfied with the program of study you are interested in or have lodged official complaints. Google it! Completion rates may be low when students are not prepared to go back to school. Military OneSource career counselors can help with school readiness issues: • GED, academic skills, and English as a Second Language referrals and advice • Child care and transportation options • Deployment, relocation, stress and time management information and assistance • MyCAA – the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts financial assistance, provides up to $4,000 for education and training leading to a license, credential or associates degree in a portable career field – for eligible military spouses of service- members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2 and O1-O2. What is the student employment placement rate following graduation from your selected program of study? Are students finding full-time or part-time employment in your geographic location? This means how many students graduating with a degree, certificate, license or other credential are getting jobs within 6 months of graduation from the program of study you are interested in – and where are these jobs located? If you will be moving, will jobs in your field of study be at your next duty location?Page 8 
  9. 9. This Week in MC&FP   December 17, 2010  If employment placement rates are low, you might want to consider another school, career, occupation or program of study. Military OneSource Career Counselors can help (1-800-342- 9647). Learn more about the occupations that are fastest growing, highest demand, have the largest number of employment openings as listed on the following Web sites: and   #### Page 9