This Week in MC&FP
July 2, 2010
In this day of instant information, social networking, and quick communication, it’s
particularly hard to believe that in 1776, most citizens were unaware of their own Declaration of Independence for
a very long period of time. While the declaration was unanimously adopted by the Continental Congress on July
4th, the first public reading wasn’t until July 8th and many states didn’t receive authenticated copies more than six
months later. That delay, however, did not diminish celebrating that brave act a year later.
The July 18, 1777, edition of the Virginia Gazette described an Independence Day celebration that we all might
recognize: “The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of
fireworks…. Everything was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness
was universal. Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America,
by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more.”
Have a good week and take care.
Your MC&FP Team
Please 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.
Acting DeCA Director Named
Thomas E. Milks was appointed acting director, Defense Commissary Agency, by Dr. Clifford L.
Stanley, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, in an announcement made July 1st. The
appointment is effective immediately. Milks becomes acting director following the June 30 retirement
of Philip E. Sakowitz Jr., who leaves the federal government after 35 years of service.
Kaiserslautern School District Superintendent Selected
DoDEA announced the selection of Dr. Dell W. McMullen as the Superintendent of the Kaiserslautern
School District in Kaiserslautern, Germany. "Dr. McMullen is an excellent choice to lead our
Kaiserslautern District," said Charlie Toth, Deputy Director, DoDEA. “She is a proven leader with many
years of experience as a superintendent and we are looking forward to seeing her apply her skills and
expertise to a new environment.” McMullen served as the District Superintendent of DoDEA’s
Georgia/Alabama District at Fort Benning, Ga., since 2002.
States Continue to Address the Quality of Life Concerns
Many issues surrounding quality of life and family well-being can be addressed only by the states. In
response, the USA4 Military Families initiative, worked through the DoD-State Liaison Office, engages
Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their
This Week in MC&FP July 2, 2010
state policymakers about the needs of military members and their families. Governors are now signing
many of the bills passed by their legislatures during their 2010 sessions.
In the past week, legislation enacting the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military
Children – ‘the Compact’ – has been signed by the governors of Rhode Island, Tennessee and Illinois.
With the addition of these three states, there are now 35 states that have approved the Compact which
now covers the transition needs of 88 percent of military children living in the U.S. In addition, the
governor of Hawaii has signed legislation protecting the child custody and visitation rights of service
members when they deploy. This brings the total number of states with some form of protection to 36.
Finally, the governor of Ohio signed legislation that ensures the person designated by the service
member on the DoD Record of Emergency Data (DD Form 93) will be consulted in the event the service
member dies. Eighteen states have enacted specific legislation during the 2010 session. There are still
more bills expected to be signed this year, with 31 bills still active in 13 states and the District of
For more information on these three issues and the other issues impacting the quality of life of our
Service members and their families which the Department is working with state governments, visit
usa4militaryfamilies.dod.mil or usa4militaryfamilies.org.
Dependents Education Council Meets
On June 23 the Dependents Education Council met in Arlington for one of two annual meetings. The
meeting was chaired by Ms. Virginia (Vee) Penrod, acting deputy under secretary of defense for
MC&FP and covered a variety of topics ranging from military construction to the ‘Virtual School.’ The
council advises the DoDEA director on the full range of issues affecting dependent education.
DoDEA Students Compete and Win eCYBERMISSION Competition
Two teams of students from the DoDEA came in second place in their grade and region in this year’s
annual eCYBERMISSION competition. The competition is a free, Web-based science, technology,
engineering and math competition for students in grades six through nine. Sponsored by the U.S. Army,
eCYBERMISSION, allows students to compete in regional and national forums while working to solve
problems in their community. Each student from the two DoDEA second place teams will receive
$3,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds and a certificate. DoDEA’s winning teams are: Rainbow Elementary
School, Ansbach, Germany and Vilseck High School, Vilseck, Germany.
850th Museum Joins the Blue Star Museums Honor Roll
The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, N.H., is the 850th museum to join Blue Star
Museums, the partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and 850
museums nationwide that offer free museum admission to service members and their families between
Memorial Day and Labor Day 2010. For more information, see
USO Launches “ME AND A FRIEND” for Military Kids
The Washington Nationals are the first organization to formally activate this program through its local USO,
the USO of Metropolitan Washington on the 4th of July. Fifty tickets will go to families to launch the
program. The children will be recognized in the stadium during the game and they will be the first to run
the bases following the game. This initiative will continue throughout the season and beyond.
This Week in MC&FP July 2, 2010
“Me and a Friend" was designed by the USO in cooperation with various partner organizations and in
consultation with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Community Relations
and Public Liaison. The program recognizes the unique challenges and sacrifices made by the children of
military service members, especially those who have a parent who is deployed. Most military children
move every few years and must adjust to new a community and make new friends. This initiative provides
an opportunity to connect with their peers. The USO is reaching out to professional sports teams across the
United States and partnering with local military organizations to support military kids nationwide through
The Nationals and the USO-Metro will partner with other military support organizations to distribute tickets
for all Sunday home games. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis through USO-Metro’s
TicketLine program. Military families can also visit www.usometro.org/tickets to check availability.
eKnowledge Corporation Donates $32 Million of FREE SAT/ACT Test Prep Software
eKnowledge Corporation, the leading supplier of interactive learning software for college test
preparation is donating $200 Test Prep Programs to military families worldwide.
Over the past five years, eKnowledge has donated over $32 million of FREE SAT/ACT software to
America’s military families and received tens of thousands of thank you letters and testimonials from
grateful recipients of the donation. The SAT and ACT PowerPreptm DVDs include more than 11 hours
of video instruction and 3,000 files of supplemental test prep material, thousands of interactive
diagnostic tools, sample questions, practice tests and graphic teaching illustrations are indexed for easy
eKnowledge Corporation has extended the FREE SAT/ACT donation program through 2010. Eligible
recipients include service members from all branches of the military who are active duty, retired,
Veterans, Guard, Reserve, DoD employees, and civilians performing military support. Also eligible are
relatives and dependants of anyone who otherwise qualifies from the prior list.
To place an order: www.eKnowledge.com/USA Enter Sponsorship Code: 9F2C2942EB
Commissary On-Site Sales
DeCA is delivering the benefit at the following Guard and Reserve locations:
July 10-11 Bakersfield, Calif.
In the News
“From the field,” Pentagon Channel – Independence Day shout outs
Service members in Iraq and Afghanistan send holiday greetings to friends and families.
From the American Forces Press Service – “Online Tool Eases Overseas Voting Process”
The Defense Department launched an Internet-based program to help service members, families and
other Americans living overseas vote more easily in November’s elections. The new, online voting
This Week in MC&FP July 2, 2010
assistant at www.fvap.gov will make the registration and absentee ballot application process “quick,
easy, seamless and intuitive.”
From the American Forces Press Service – Program Eases Adoption Expenses for Military Families
Air Force Master Sgt. Kipp M. Bourgeois and his wife, Christina, adopted their three children, thanks in
part to financial assistance from the Defense Department’s adoption reimbursement program.
From AFN – High School Awards. It wasn’t the Oscars or the Grammys but the hard work that was
being recognized was just as worthy of awards, petty officer Adam Wolfe has more
From AFN – All Points South: June 17, 2010. On today’s APS 120, streaming high school graduation
in Naples, high school awards ceremonies in Vicenza & Sigonella and summer education opportunities
From AFN – SCIENCE!!! Science fairs have been around for as long as any of us can remember. It
was a time in the school year you either looked forward to or dreaded. SSgt. Joseph Orellana takes us to
the SHAPE elementary school to see what the kids are making these days.
Safety Tip of the Week
July 4 Fireworks Can Foil Family Fun
Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration warn that careless
handling of fireworks and outdoor grills can ruin parties and picnics – and entire summers. More than
30,000 fires are attributed to fireworks every year, and according to Dennis Hunsinger, FEMA Acting
Regional Administrator for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, more than half of those occur the
first week in July.
“The best way to enjoy fireworks is through public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals,”
said Hunsinger. “Summertime should be a source for fun and fond memories—not tragedy,
recrimination or crippling financial burdens.”
If fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, be sure to follow these
important safety tips:
• Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Only light fireworks on a
smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
This Week in MC&FP July 2, 2010
• Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak them with water
and throw them away.
• Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
• Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
• Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
• Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
• Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
For more information, visit: http://www.usfa.fema.gov.
Nutrition Tip of the Week
What’s in the milk group?
All fluid milk, all yogurts, hard natural cheeses like cheddar, soft cheese like ricotta, and processed
cheese like American, plus some milk based desserts like ice cream and pudding are in the milk group.
For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the commissary’s Web
site at http://www.commissaries.com/.
Parenting Tip of the Week
Whether your ‘yard’ is a large open space or a set of glass jars on your kitchen windowsill, you and your
children can enjoy gardening together.
• Visit your local library or go online with your kids to discover what plants are native to your
• Plant a family garden, allowing each child to select a few species. They can make and insert
markers with the plants’ names and their own names.
• Encourage kids to keep a daily or weekly garden journal, recording the steps they took and the
changes they see as the garden grows.
• If your family garden produces fruits or vegetables, sharing some with neighbors or a local food
bank shows children that responsibility can extend beyond their family to their community.
For more tips, visit the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse at www.fatherhood.gov.
Financial Tip of the Week
Resource in the spotlight: www.mymoney.gov.
In 29 April 2010, the Department of Treasury, in partnership with 20 other federal agencies to include
the Defense Department, rolled out the federal government’s primary financial education and resource
referral website, www.mymoney.gov. This free resource is available to the general public, military
members, and DoD civilians and contractors.
The site provides information on financial implications of life events, other helpful resources facilitated
by the 20 Federal agency partners, and financial calculators for virtually any financial need or question.
The site features up-to-date information on the latest developments within the financial industry, and
pertinent articles and news about legislation, laws, and practices affecting the American consumer.
This Week in MC&FP July 2, 2010
Mymoney.gov complements the financial readiness and education resources provided through Military
One Source (www.militaryonesource.com), available free of charge to all service and family members,
regardless of military service or activation status.
Spouse Tip of the Week
Myth: Family life will return to "normal" when my service member returns home.
Fact: The most difficult time for military families is the first three months after the service member
returns home. Family and friends have changed during the deployment; be patient and give yourselves
time to readjust. Accept the idea that each person is likely to have a different perception of what
happened during the deployment. Learning how others have changed and grown, and being open to
accepting those changes, will make the reintegration process much smoother.
Learn more at Military Families Campaign, This Emotional Life by PBS: