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This week in mc&fp october 28 2011

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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.Families Speak Out at Fairchild AFB and Joint Base Lewis-McChordLast week, I returned from an outstanding trip to the Pacific Northwest where I had the opportunity tomeet with families and spouses at Fairchild AFB and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), both inWashington State. If you’ve ever heard me speak in the past, you probably already know that I stronglybelieve that policy makers can’t make effective policies and programs from an office with three whitewalls and a picture window in the Pentagon; it is important to get out of the office and meet with Servicemembers and families to make sure those policies and programs are hitting the mark. This is why Ivalue my travel periods so much – they allow me to hear first-hand the issues and challenges that areconfronting our families. In addition, these periods are also wonderful opportunities to hear about all thegreat things going on with our families that are keeping them strong, resilient, and mission-ready.At Fairchild AFB, I received a very informative tour of the base from both wing leadership and familysupport helping professionals. The tour included a visit to the Airmen and Family Readiness Center andMichael Anderson Elementary School, a public school onboard Fairchild AFB where many of ourmilitary children go to school. I also participated in the first-ever Military Family Summit whichincluded Congressional Military Family Caucus’ co-chairs Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers(R-5 WA) and Congressman Sanford D. Bishop (D-2 GA). The Caucus afforded military families andveterans in the Spokane area the opportunity to hear the latest news on military family support programsand allowed them to ask questions of me, the two Caucus co-chairs, and representatives from theWashington National Guard. The Caucus also featured breakout sessions on the topics of employment,health care, military housing, Guard and Reserve issues, the Exceptional Family Member Program, andeducation. The Congressional Military Family Caucus has their own Facebook page which you canaccess here to learn more about the Caucus and what your elected leaders are doing to help militaryfamilies.My time at Joint Base Lewis-McChord was equally informative and insightful. My two-day visitincluded meetings with base and local school district leaders and many, many helping professionals whoare serving the Joint Base Lewis-McChord military and local communities, to include our woundedwarriors. While I had countless meaningful discussions and learned about many programs making asignificant impact on our military children and families, the highlight of my visit was meeting withArmy and Air Force spouses and Family Readiness Group leaders on my final day. As with my time Page 1 of 10
  • 2. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011with the families at Fairchild AFB, this meeting with spouses at JBLM was an opportunity to discuss thelatest family support initiatives at the DoD level and to have a dialogue about their issues and concerns.The discussions were candid and fruitful, and I as always, I learned a great deal.So what issues did I hear most about? Between the two installations, the issues of most concern werealmost universal: increased access to affordable child care, concerns about the future of militaryretirement and other benefits, licensure and certification for military spouse employment, education ofour military children, consistency of family support program delivery between military Services,Exceptional Family Member Support, concerns with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, andmany others. I will tell you what I told the groups of military families and spouses over the course ofmy visit: we are taking these issues and concerns very seriously, and your leadership in DoD and themilitary Services are being tenacious in both addressing these issues and ensuring that all our militaryfamilies continue to receive the support they need to remain resilient and empowered.Do you have the above concerns as well? Are there others you need to share? If so, please share themon our discussion. Perhaps there are solutions that other military families may have found that can helpyou through these challenges while we look at them from a policy level.I hope to make more visits in the future to meet with more of our military members and families.Perhaps I’ll be coming to your neck of the woods soon! Until next time, be well! Page 2 of 10
  • 3. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011Joining ForcesJoining ForcesTom Hanks Joins Forces with the White House for Public Service AnnouncementFirst Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are collaborating for the national Joining Forcescampaign to support military families and acknowledge their sacrifices and dedication to their country.The campaign encourages all sectors of society to show gratitude for the sacrifices of our servicemembers and their families in the areas of education, employment, and wellness.Tom Hanks, an American actor and producer, is joining forces with the First Lady and Dr. Biden in apublic service announcement (PSA) campaign supporting military families. To view Tom Hanks PSA,click here. Page 3 of 10
  • 4. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011Weekly TipsMilitary Community and Family Policy Weekly TipsNutrition Tip of the Week - Be a Healthy Role Model for Children (Part I)You are the most important influence on your child and can do many things to help them develophealthy eating habits for life. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need fromevery food group. They will also be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. When childrendevelop a taste for many types of foods, its even easier to plan family meals. Cook together, eattogether, talk together, and make meal time a family time. To help you out with this, take a look at thefollowing tips: • Show by example. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables. • Go food shopping together. Grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods come from. Let your children make healthy choices. • Offer the same foods for everyone. Stop being a "short-order cook" by making different dishes to please children. Its easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods. • Limit screen time. Allow no more than two hours a day of screen time in front of TV and computer games. Get up and move during commercials to get some physical activity. • Reward with attention, not food. Show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and talks. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, kids do not need "extras"—such as candy or cookies—as replacement foodsParenting Tip of the Week - Helping Your Child Deal with Peer PressureChildren often seek a sense of belonging at school and will engage in certain behaviors to fit in amongtheir peers. Even in preschool they are becoming concerned with what their friends think and do.Children want to be well liked and included in a group, which makes them susceptible to peer pressure.Peer pressure has been shown to affect children as early as preschool age and becomes an even greaterrisk as they transition into middle and high school. Start building the foundation to help children dealwith those who might try to pressure them into doing something risky. Here are tips to help your childdeal with negative peer pressure: • Choose good friends. Know who your children’s friends are and remind them that a good friend would not try to force them to do something they should not do. • Make good decisions. It is not too early to help children think carefully about the outcome and consequences of an act before they do it. Think aloud and let your child listen to your decision- making processes, as you weigh options and potential outcomes. • Value themselves. Praise your children for something they do well, encourage them in positive, healthy pursuits, and surround them with people who value them. These actions increase their self-confidence and make it difficult for someone else’s opinion of them to be more important than their own. Page 4 of 10
  • 5. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week - Fruit Tips for ChildrenFruit tips for children: • Set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals or as snacks. • Offer children a choice of fruits for lunch. • Depending on their age, children can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits. • While shopping, allow children to pick out a new fruit to try later at home. • Decorate plates or serving dishes with fruit slices. • Top off a bowl of cereal with some berries, or make a smiley face with sliced bananas for eyes, raisins for a nose, and an orange slice for a mouth. • Offer raisins or other dried fruits instead of candy. • Make fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries. • Pack a juice box (100 percent juice) in children’s lunches instead of soda or other sugar- sweetened beverages. • Look for and choose fruit options, such as sliced apples, mixed fruit cups, or 100 percent fruit juice in fast food restaurants. • Offer fruit pieces and 100 percent fruit juice to children. There is often little fruit in "fruit- flavored" beverages or chewy fruit snacks.Military OneSource Tip of the Week - Maintaining a Strong Relationship Through Deploymentsand Separations: Trusting one another while apartMutual trust is fundamental to a loving relationship. You will trust one another more deeply and fullywhile you are apart if you work at establishing a trusting relationship while youre together. You mayfeel uneasy being away from one another and worry that the other is being unfaithful or acting in waysyou would disapprove of. Here are some ways to maintain trust while apart: • Respect one another. Talk with your spouse about what respect means to each of you. In what ways does your spouse make you feel respected? What makes your spouse feel respected? Talking about these issues and about how the other person feels will help you better understand one another. Provide specific examples of ways that he or she has made you feel respected and supported. • Be honest. Sidestepping questions or being less than truthful with your spouse is likely to raise suspicions. Demonstrate how important honesty is to you by always being forthcoming yourself. Tell your spouse about your friends and how you are spending your time while he or she is away. • Remind your spouse of your love. Dont take your spouse for granted. Tell your spouse about those qualities you admire in him or her. This will help your spouse feel more secure – and trusting – in your relationship. If expressing these kinds of feelings is difficult for you, you might do so in a letter. Or look for a card that conveys what you want to say. • Look at your own behavior. Are you spending lots of time with members of the opposite sex? Do you go to nightclubs and bars? Ask yourself if you would engage in these activities if your spouse were not deployed. What needs are you trying to meet through these behaviors? Even if your actions are innocent, your spouse may suspect that you are being unfaithful. • Discuss your concerns with one another. If mistrust is causing anxiety for you or your spouse, talk honestly with each other about your feelings.Spouse Tip of the Week - Tough Interview Questions for Military Spouses Page 5 of 10
  • 6. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011Today’s employers are looking for talented, knowledgeable job applicants who can bring them businesssuccess. For each new hire, they will make training, pay and benefit package investments in exchangefor the work experience, skill sets, and personal attributes they seek.But even if you are the "perfect" match for their job opening, they may have serious concerns about yourmobile military lifestyle and the impact it will have on their business. So, be ready to address theirconcerns honestly, with forethought, and respond in the most positive terms possible. What will youranswers be to these touch interview questions?Relocaton Concerns“How often does your family move?” "How long do you expect to be in the local area?"Did You Know: • As military family members and civilians move up their career ladders, they often change jobs every two to three years. This is the same length of time that a third of the military population receives a new duty assignment which can be within the same geographic region. Will you be in your current location at least this long? Will you be loyal to your employer and stay in your job this long to avoid another job search? Are you willing to be transferred into another job with career potential within their corporate structure if they have a job opening or allow telecommuting when its time for you to relocate? • Military spouses who live in large military concentration areas frequently have the opportunity to stay in one geographic location for multiple tours of military duty. Is it possible you will be in your current location for five to ten years because of follow-on military duty assignments in the same region (e.g., sea/field; shore/garrison, HQ/admin/program management, and school)? Most military families can do this. • Military spouses whose service members are deployed overseas frequently remain within the United States for education, employment, housing, safety, and security reasons. Are you planning to stay in your current location during times of deployment and long separations? Many military families do this. • Todays duty rotation schedules are designed to give military members and spouses "dwell time" at home which provides geographic stability and facilitates career development and advancement opportunities for both military spouses and their military sponsor. What is your anticipated duty rotation schedule?Child Care Concerns"How many children do you have and what are their ages?" "What are your plans for child careand after school care, especially if your military sponsor is deployed?"Did You Know: • Military spouses have access to the best child care resources in America through the Department of Defense (DoD) Child Development Program, which includes Child Care, Development and Youth Services for children of all ages, Respite Care for high stress situations, and Home Care Networks that are ideal for meeting the needs of infants, children with special needs, sick children, and after-hour care requirements. Page 6 of 10
  • 7. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011 • Military spouses also have access to DoD Child Care partnerships in local communities across America and around the world. Referrals for child care services that meet DoD’s high quality standards are made 24/7/365 through Military OneSource, (800) 342-9647. • Military spouses are very resourceful. They build and maintain close personal relationships at each new duty station so they have friends standing at the ready to help out in emergencies. These "extended family" relationships are strong and life-long. They wrap around the globe.Education Concerns"What special training and education do you have that will help you do your job?" "Has it beenhard for you to complete your education since you move so much?"Did You Know: • Research shows that military spouses have higher levels of education than their civilian counterparts despite the fact that they move 14 percent more frequently than non-military families. They also have an accelerated ability to learn that is a direct result of their mobile military lifestyle. Because they are determined to have career success and employment continuity, military spouses actively seek out higher education and technical training that provides them with the licenses and credentials needed to practice their professions regardless of geographic location. DoD’s MyCAA program provides them with up to $4,000 of financial assistance to pursue portable career related licenses, credentials and Associate’s degrees. • Military spouses adjust quickly and well to new surroundings and cultures. That is because they have lived in different regions across the United States and have worked successfully with various socio-economic groups in local communities. Military spouses have also gained valuable experience overseas and have learned or taught other languages. Additionally, many teach English to foreign speakers. • Military spouses bring the richness of their work experience with them each time they relocate to a new duty location and continue their careers. Many have gained valuable experience with industry “best practices” implemented by some of the highest performing public and private sector organizations in the world. They have helped state of the art business practices produce global success.Concerns About Core Values and Personal Attributes"What are your strongest characteristics and your greatest weaknesses?"Did You Know: • Military spouses are patriotic, hard-working, loyal, honest, trustworthy, mature, responsible, and respectful. They are excellent communicators, strong leaders and team players. They are flexible and resilient. These attributes are the keys to their success as they endure the stress of having a loved one in a combat zone or on a long deployment; separations from family and friends; and career disruptions. Their endurance and commitment to achieving personal and professional success carries over into their work-life – which is a great source of pride and professional satisfaction. • Is your greatest weakness the fact that you often have to step out of your comfort zone to perform tasks for which you have little training and experience because of military deployments and separations? Do you realize this has made you are stronger and more capable, by choice AND by necessity? Page 7 of 10
  • 8. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011Relocation Tip of the Week - Travel By Air or AutomobileBefore planning your travel, check with your transportation/travel office on your installation regardingprocedures for obtaining official travel tickets. You can find these offices on theMilitaryINSTALLATIONS website. Making airline reservations, plotting a route and finding temporarylodging are among the myriad of details necessary to your move. Here are some resources: CWTSatoTravel has special sections for Military official and personal travel, and Omega Travel has specialsections for Military official and personal travel. Safety and security are vital for everyone travelingoverseas. The State Department has up-to-date information and travel warnings. You can connect toinformation on embassies and consulates, health advisories, citizenship and immigration, passports andvisas, customs, homeland security, and many other topics of interest from this website. Anotheroverseas travel issue that can be frustrating is currency conversion. The OANDA currency converterwebsite has up-to-date exchange rates for all worldwide currencies. Page 8 of 10
  • 9. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011In 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.Keeping Military Marriages StrongMarriage is tough enough without tossing in the additional stressors of military life. But even thetoughest military challenges can be weathered with some advance planning and healthy communicationskills.Military Post Offices in Iraq to Close Nov. 17Because U.S. forces are coming home from Iraq by the end of the year, the U.S. Postal Service will stopaccepting mail addressed to military post offices in Iraq starting Nov. 17.Consolidation Streamlines Household Moves, Saves MoneyMilitary members and civilian Defense Department employees aren’t expected to notice it, but changesthat start next year at U.S. Transportation Command will help to make their household goods shipmentsmore efficient and cost-effective.November Begins Commissary’s Holiday SavingsThroughout the month of November, DeCAs industry partners will be hosting many in-store promotions– everything from shopping-spree giveaways to super-discounted holiday turkey coupons – in honor ofMilitary Family Appreciation Month, Veterans Day (Nov. 11), and extra savings focusing on the holidayseason.Fashion Guru to Share Style TipsAfter a decade or two of camouflage and boots, Karen is happy to offer these service members someadvice on building a budget-friendly and appropriate wardrobe for todays workplace, courtesy of herhome business called "Work It!"Supporting Our Military This Holiday SeasonCare packages are always a welcome treat for our deployed service members, especially during theholidays when they are away from home defending our freedoms. Thoughts and acts of kindness fromothers for our military families at home are also appreciated.Know the Facts – The Safety PlanSafety plans help victims think through their situations in terms of physical and emotional safety, andprovide easily accessible information on how to obtain emergency assistance, shelter, financialassistance, and childcare, and includes a checklist of items to take upon leaving.The Coming Home Series, Presented by WalmartAmerican Red Cross and Walmart Foundation Partner to assist those impacted by military deploymentthrough workshops and group discussions. Page 9 of 10
  • 10. MC&FP Weekly (October 28,2011) 10/31/2011Guard and ReserveImage description. Two National Guard service members End of image description.Oct. 28-29 - 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

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