J9 Focalpoint-May 2013 Edition


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J9 Focalpoint-May 2013 Edition

  1. 1. AA NNeewwsslleetttteerr PPrroodduuccttiioonn ooff tthheeJJ--99 JJooiinntt aanndd FFaammiillyy SSeerrvviicceess DDiirreeccttoorraatteeThe loss of a loved one in combat is a terrible and tragic event forfamily and friends. For one family, recovery from that tragedy isall about giving back to the servants of Liberty, the U.S. MilitaryService Members. Read on…See Page 3FeaturesPPUUTTTTIINNGG HHEERROOEESSTTOO WWOORRKKSSG Salvatore A. Giunta, MOHHHOONNOORRIINNGG OOUURRYYOOUUNNGGEESSTT HHEERROOEESS“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even thoughcheckered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neitherenjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knowsneither victory nor defeat.”- President Theodore "Teddy" RooseveltPPUUTTTTIINNGG HHEERROOEESS TTOO WWOORRKKThe J-9 Jobs Initiative offers a fulltime staffmember that works directly with Guard andReserve members in Georgia to help them findemployment by utilizing the Hero to Hired(H2H) employment program. Ms. CharleneAnderson is our H2H Employment TransitionCoordinator (ETC) for Georgia. She is also acertified career counselor offering support andassistance with our members that are seekingemployment in the civilian sector.15 May 2013Volume 4, Issue 2ENJOYING THE RIDEYour GeorgiaYellow Ribbon Team……aanndd MMUUCCHH,,MMUUCCHH MMOORREE!!…………Continued on Page 2
  2. 2. 2Spring 2016…Continued from Page 1H2H is a high-tech approach now utilized by thousands of job seekers with many tools that are builtinto the system to assist them with writing a resume, with researching various career fields, to includethe educational requirements, salary ranges and statistical data for future growth in the industry. H2Hnow has over 10,000 employers posting jobs every day, with over 11,000 service members hired since itsinception in 2012. H2H is free not only to our service members, but to the employers that post jobs.This makes it an extremely attractive and highly successful program. H2H is available nationwide andthere is an ETC in every state for those that have plans to relocate.Other valuable tools offered by H2H are a military skills translator, a career assessment survey andprofessional networking avenues in your area of interest. It also offers advice on educationalopportunities geared to your skill set and so much more.While registration does not guarantee you a job, it does offer you an opportunity to connect to jobs thatmatch your military job skills and talents with outside employment. Ms. Anderson works diligentlynetworking and building connections with external employers and outside agencies to developemployment opportunities for everyone. She is always seeking new employers to join in our efforts tohelp all of our Heroes find jobs.If you are interested in learning more about H2H, please visit the website at www.h2h.jobs or contactMs. Anderson at: (office) 678-569-6066 or (cell) 404-219-0342. You can also download the mobile appfor your Android TM Smart Phones or IPhone at www.H2H.jobs/mobile.If you are a service member who is under-employed or unemployed, we encourage you to register todayand include Heroes2Hire in your quest to identify your new career path and locate a job that will fulfillall of your professional expectations. H2H is there for you!FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013PPUUTTTTIINNGG HHEERROOEESS TTOO WWOORRKKReaching Out To Help OthersHow many times have you caught yourself trying to share what you are going through to help someone else? TheVeteran’s Administration (VA) has taken that concept to a whole, new level. The VA is introducing peer to peer supportfor Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).For many Veterans the thought of talking to a stranger, much less a civilian about their combat experience is unthinkable.The VA has put a new twist on the Battle Buddy mindset, but developing a program, where Veterans are servingVeterans in the new peer counseling program. The new program was named in honor of Joseph Dwyer, a Army Medicsuffering from PTSD, that died of an overdose after returning from combat.This program is being offered in addition to the traditional counseling and treatment programs offered through the VA toinclude the Vet Centers, etc.If you need more information about counseling services, please contact the J-9 Family Program team’s Military Familylife Consultant (MFLC), Lynda R. Smith at 706-525-8962.2By Melissa Dalton
  3. 3. 3Spring 2016We have heard the phrase some gave all manytimes in songs and articles. In the case ofMajor Kevin Jenrette, he is still giving back tohis peers. Major Jenrette was killed in the lineof duty in Afghanistan in June 2009. His wifeShannon decided that they wanted to honor hismemory by giving back to the military, soevery year they host an event that honors thisfallen hero with the proceeds going to multiplegrass root organizations.The date of the event was selected to honorMajor Jenrette’s graduation from RangerSchool. The event continues to be held thesecond Saturday in May. Participation as wellas support continue to grow in support of thisevent and honoring of Major Jenrette. Thefocus of the event is a 5K run, which boastsmore than 400 participants each year. Thisyear will be the 4thyear that the event has beenheld. The funds from the 5K walk and runevent are donated to the Georgia NationalGuard Family Support Foundation, Inc.The Georgia National Guard Family SupportFoundation, Inc, a 501 {c} (3), offersemergency financial assistance to GeorgiaGuard Members and their families toaddress basic needs. The organizationreceived a check presented by Mrs.Shannon Jenrette for $19000 last year.These funds allow the foundation to helpmany of our military families in need.If you are interested in learning moreabout the event, go tohttp://somegaveall5k.webstarts.com. If youwould like to make a donation to the GeorgiaNational Guard Family Support Foundation inhonor or memory of your special loved one,please visit the site athttp://somegaveall5k.webstarts.com. Yourdonations help the Foundation to continue itsmission of providing emergency assistance toGeorgia Guard Members throughout the year.In closing, it is awesome to think that not onlydoes Major Jenrette’s memory live on, but heand his family continue to honor us by givingeven more to his Georgia Guard Family.Remember this: “Greater love hath no manthan this, that a man lay down his life for hisfriends.” ~ John 15:13 KJV.members and Families. You can easily makea contribution by going to their website at:https://www.georgiaguardfamily.org/contribute.php.GEORGIA, THE GUARD IS FAMILY!"Freedom" by Steve PenleyFREEDOM is a stirring and penetrating tribute toAmerican soldiers, from the Minute Men to the 48thBrigade, captured on canvas by renowned Georgiaartist, Steve Penley, to benefit the Georgia NationalGuard Family Support Foundation. Remaining signedprints are available at a reduced cost of $ 35.00 each,plus shipping and handling.More informationFOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013
  4. 4. 4Spring 2016WE REMEMBER! OUR TRUE HEROES ARE OUR MILITARY CHILDREN!STAFF SERGEANTSAVLVATORE A.GIUNTASalvatore (”Sal") Augustine Giuntawas born in Iowa, the winter of1985. He is the oldest of threechildren of Steven, a medicalequipment technician, andRosemary, a pre-school teacher.Staff Sgt. Giunta was raised inCedar Rapids and Hiawatha, Iowa.Childhood adventures were in manyinstances a forerunner of Staff Sgt.Giuntas adult life and experiencesin the Army. As a kindergartner, hismother taught him how to removethe screen from his ground-levelbedroom window to escape in an emergency, such as a fire. That night, hereportedly packed a suitcase, crawled out the window, and attempted to takeadvantage of his new-found freedom – but made it only as far as a neighborsbecause he did not know where to go. The open window escape route,coupled with sense of adventure, willing to tempt the unknown, and resultantwanderlust, may have inspired his attendance at the U.S. Army AirborneSchool and military service as a paratrooper.…continued on Page 7FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013The Free and the Brave!NAME: Staff SergeantSalvatore A. GuintaB (Battle) Company, 2nd Battalion,503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment,173rd Airborne Brigade CombatTeam, V Corps, Vicenza, ItalyParents: Steven and RosemaryGiuntaWife: Jennifer GiuntaBorn: Iowa, 1985Hometown: Grew up in CedarRapids, Iowa, where hegraduated from John F.Kennedy High School.On April 12-14 The Georgia National Guard YouthPrograms, in partnership with Operation Military Kids,conducted its annual Month of the Military Child Camp at4H Fortson Center in Hampton GA. 19 youth ages 12 to17 participated in this weekend camp. Military FamilyLife Consultant, Daryl Beard and 5 parent volunteerssupported the weekend activities and were activelyengaged in activities and classes with the youthparticipants.All campers participated in outdoor activities that weregeared towards building resiliency. These activitiesincluded environmental classes, teambuilding activities,canoeing and expressive art.Youth participants were educated through play andreceived a wealth of information that supported resiliencyincluding a presentation by the Georgia National GuardCounter Drug Task Force Civil Operations Team on theeffects of drugs and making good choices.This weekend’s events also provided leadershipopportunities for the leadership component to youthprograms as Tori Socia, State Youth Councilmember and Nick Daum State Youth CouncilPresident facilitated teambuilding activities andinformed youth participants on events and activitiesavailable to them through Youth Programs.Youth exclaimed that they enjoyed the weekend’sactivities and asked, “When can we do this again?”"Every day I remind myself that my inner and outerlife are based on the labors of other men, living anddead, and that I must exert myself in order to give inthe same measure as I have received and am stillreceiving." - Albert Einstein
  5. 5. 5Spring 2016Do You Know Your MFLC Team?In this series of articles, we will be spotlighting a service programoffered by the J-9 GA Guard Family Program Team beginning with ourMilitary Family Life Consultant program. Our Military Family LifeConsultant (MFLC) team provides counselor support in three primaryareas finance, behavioral health and youth support.The goal of the MFLC is to help Service Members and Families througheducation and information on stress, finances, parenting, grief and otherrelated topics to help you minimize stress and to help you developpositive coping skills. Recipients of these services benefit by becomingmore resilient and better prepared to deal with the challenges of militarylife and the deployment cycle.The MFLC will help you to clarify the problem, prioritize the problems,develop an action plan and handle the crisis. They do not tell you how todo something, but work with you to give you the skills needed througheducation and support to help you take control of the situation.Your J-9 MFLC team consists of the following consultants that offerfree and confidential counseling services.Ø Ms.  Lynda.  M.  Smith  provides  financial  based  counseling  and  support  services  to  include  basic  budgeting,  money  management,  Debt  Management,  Consumer  Rights  information  as  well  as  financial  planning  to  reach  life  goals.    She  can  be  contacted  to  arrange  counseling  at  77-­‐500-­‐7471.    Ø Ms.  Lynda  R.  Smith  provides  counseling  services  for  behavioral  health  issues.  She  provides  support  for  dealing  with  separation,  grief,  depression  and  other  related  areas.  She  can  be  contacted  for  counselor  support  at  706-­‐525-­‐8962.  Ø Mr.  Daryl  X  Beard  specializes  in  providing  counselor  support  for  our  youth.  He  can  help  a  parent  to  develop  parenting  strategies,  coping  with  separation  and  general  counselor  support.    Daryl  can  be  contacted  at  706-­‐870-­‐8537  for  more  information.    The support services offered by our staff are free and available uponrequest. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. If youneed additional assistance to contact these staff members, please contactyour local Family Assistance Specialist for assistance.Our team is here to support your Family no matter the stage of thedeployment cycle.Recently I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Theduty was challenging and provided an opportunity for eachteam member to excel. During duty hours, the 170th MPBattalion personnel did an outstanding job at all levels. TheSoldiers even took to serving the GTMO community afterduty hours. Some volunteered to support MWR runs,organized fishing trips, reading to children, and beachcleanups.The Spartan Trail Blazers took on the task of clearinghiking and biking trails on Sunday mornings. The TrailBlazers cleared eight miles of impassable trails creatingcountless hours of biking and hiking communityenjoyment.Additionally, key members, conceptualized, organized andexecuted a fundraiser run in support of a non-profitorganization supporting Haiti’s 2012 earthquake recoveryefforts. The goal of $1000.00 was surpassed and over$2000.00 was collected.Overall, thirty-three 170th Military Police BattalionSoldiers offered over 1000 hours of volunteer service tothe GTMO community.Our duty day missions developed the team; however, truecohesiveness evolved as a result of volunteer activities.Together we were engaged in activities, which had apositive impact on Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen andtheir families. Others who often thanked us forvolunteering encouraged us. One chaplain oftenhighlighted how we were leaving our legacy.At home, our busy schedules may keep us from taking timeto volunteer in our communities. Sometimes we areintimidated by the tasks at hand. However, I encourageeveryone to find time as an individual, a family, or even acommand to become involved in a community activity atleast every six months. As an individual volunteering is anopportunity to meet others; as a family or a command it isa great bonding opportunity. Working together towards acommon cause, no matter how big or small, is extremelyrewarding for all.- 170th Military Police Company SoldierThe 170th MP "TrailBlazers" VolunteerFOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013DIDYOUKNOW?
  6. 6. 6Spring 2016As April winds down to a close, so too does our formalrecognition of our military children and youth. We have had abusy month hosting numerous events across the state in honor ofour youth. The Family Readiness Support Assistants (FRSA)teamed with the Family Assistance Center Specialists (FAS) tohost four regional events across the state.The Month of the Military Child events held on 27 April inKennesaw and Cordele were the big finale to a month longcelebration of our youngest heroes. We worked together toprovide events that offered everything from music to carnivalgames to celebrate our military youth. Many local businesses,agencies and individuals joined us in honoring these “Proud,Ready and Resilient” youth during these events.There were multiple days of activities, games and othercelebrations hosted by the J-9 Youth program staff as well as aCommunity Carnival Fun Day in the Deep South to honor andrecognize our military youth. It is a great honor to be part of suchevents. We all enjoy the opportunity to be able to meet thefamilies and entertain our youth. It allows us a chance to reallyget to see our families relax and enjoy activities no matter whatstage of deployment the family is experiencing.If you missed out this year, don’t worry. Our staff will behosting similar events again next year. Come on out and jointhe fun!HHoonnoorriinngg OOuurr YYoouunnggeesstt HHeerrooeessLife is busy. May brings Mother’s Day, andgraduations, and yard work, and little league games.There are family commitments and social commitments,military commitments, and the Youth Symposium &Family Readiness Conference. Oh, and work. We haveto go to work every day. We are pulled in so manydifferent directions that it can become easy to getfrustrated or even discouraged. I recently talked tosomeone who rattled off all the different elements thatcomprised her daily schedule and I felt tired just talkingto her! The simple answer to life’s demands is to let goof some of our tasks…decide what is most important inour schedule and delete the things of lesser importance;but that often means that someone is going to feel leftout or rejected, which leaves us feeling guilty. That isdifficult too! I would like to tell you that I’m going tooffer you some great way to add time to your day, orgive you a miraculous way to please everyone;unfortunately, I have no great epiphanies in that regard.But in the midst of our busy lives, there can always bepeace and joy. In fact, God has promised it! In the OldTestament, David was really busy, too! He was runningfrom the army of King Saul, who wanted to kill him.He was trying to take care of his family and lead anarmy of men who followed and trusted him. God hadpromised him a kingdom, but at that point he wasmerely surviving in caves. But David had a unique faithin God. He trusted Him completely…and God wasfaithful to David! In Psalm 5:11, David said of God,“But all who take refuge in you be glad; let them eversing for joy. Spread your protection over them, thatthose who love your name may rejoice in you.” Davidchose to look outside the issues of life and find peaceand protection in God. We can do the same today. Lifeisn’t perfect. We don’t have it all together. But as welook at life, I pray that we see that we love well and areloved well. I pray that we don’t get discouraged in allthe things we are doing, but rejoice that we are neededand loved and important, and I pray that we take thetime each day to sing for joy and thank God for the greatgift of this crazy busy life!From the J-9 ChaplainFOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013
  7. 7. 7Spring 2016In high school, the charismaticand outgoing Salvatore seemsto have been, according to hisparents, more interested in“socializing and goofing off”than in grades - and the openwindow frequently providedhim with many opportunities todo so. Indeed, his parentshave said his “energy” couldbe “challenging.” Examples ofhis good humor and frivolityinclude the time ”when hestole the mouse from his mathteachers computer, or sneaked out to put a Kennedy HighSchool shirt on an opposing teams statue.” A neighbor laterrecalled that Salvatores “bravery” stood out when he was inhigh school.Salvatore was a junior at Kennedy High School whenhijacked commercial jets were intentionally crashed into theWorld Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon onSept. 11, 2001. His mother recalled that Salvatoreimmediately wanted to bring the family together and ensuretheir safety by picking up his brother from middle school andsister from elementary school, and she remembers tellinghim: "If the world falls part, I guess I can count on you." Itwas probably this same overriding sense of family andconcern for his rifle platoon brothers, and his recognizedbravery, that motivated his actions in Afghanistan on Oct.25, 2007.In summing up his life prior to joining the Army in 2003,Salvatore said, "The first 18 years of my life were in Iowa.Im an Iowan." With characteristic humility, he added, "Everysingle person who has touched my life has made me who Iam today...The only responsibility I claim for myself is if Iscrew up."While there were indications that Staff Sgt. Giunta had beenrecommended for the Medal of Honor and that thenomination had a good chance of approval, it was notuntil Sept. 10, 2010 that the White House announced thatStaff Sgt. Giunta would receive the Medal of Honor, the firstawarded to a living recipient since the Vietnam War. On theprevious day, Sept. 9, 2010, President Barack Obamatelephoned Staff Sgt. Giunta to personally inform him that hewould be awarded the Medal of Honor and to thank him forhis gallant and selfless service. "President Obama said‘thank you for what I did," Staff Sgt. Giunta said in aninterview after receiving the phone call from the President."My heart was pounding in my chest, so much that my earsalmost stopped hearing. I had my wife by my side. She washolding my hand. When she heard me say, ‘Mr. President,she gave me a squeeze."Profile VideoSince being thrust into the national limelight on Sept. 10,2010, Staff Sgt. Giunta has continuously reacted withcharacteristic modesty and humility. "This was a situation wewere put into," Staff Sgt. Giunta observed. "By no means didI do anything that everyone else wouldnt have done."Its all kind of blurry," he stated a few days after the Medalof Honor announcement, "There wasnt a whole lot ofthinking I needed to do. Looking at it like a picture, Im justanother brushstroke in the picture.""I didnt run up to do anything heroic. Everybodys been shotat, and I might as well run forward," Staff Sgt. Giunta said hethought at the time.In the wake of the Medal of Honor announcement, Staff Sgt.Giunta also candidly observed that Oct. 25, 2007, was "oneof the worst days of my life, and when I revisit it, it kind ofguts me a little bit more every time." He also described hisaward of the Medal of Honor as "bittersweet": "Its a hugehonor...but it does bring back memories of all the people Idlove to share this moment with who are no longer with us."Indeed, Staff Sgt. Giuntas mother recalls her son telling herthat, "The medal [Medal of Honor] should go to the guy onthe right of me and the guy on the left of me. We were all inthe fight."Staff Sgt. Giunta has continued to demonstrate reluctancefor being singled out for his remarkable heroism, observingthat, "This respect that people are giving to me? This wasone moment. In my battalion, I am mediocre at best. Thisshows how great the rest of them are." Humbly summing upthe situation, Staff Sgt. Giunta stated, "If Im a hero, thenevery man that stands round me, every woman in themilitary, everyone who goes into the unknown is a hero."Staff Sgt. Giuntas personification of the Warrior Ethos, hisselfless leadership, and his "conspicuous gallantry andintrepidity at the risk of his life above the beyond the call ofduty" provide tremendous inspiration and exemplify the verybest of the American Soldier today.Article from the Army MOH Pages at:http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/giunta/profile.htmlThe Free and the Brave! …Continued from Page 4FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013"Think how good the greatsoldiers are."– SSSSGG SSaallvvaattoorree AA.. GGiiuunnttaa,, MMOOHH
  8. 8. 8Spring 2016If your idea of an excitingday does not includeriding the “GeorgiaScorcher” roller coaster atSix Flags backwards andblindfolded, then thevolatility of our economyover the past few years islikely to be giving yousome serious heartburn.Breaking news from CNN today (26 Apr 2013) reads…“CNN reports:The US economy accelerated at the beginning of the year, but,don’t get too excited. Economists aren’t optimistic the trend willcontinue in the months ahead.”There are a number of economic influencers we could analyzehere, but, first and foremost, regardless of the current nationalfinancial state of affairs, we as individuals have choices to makethat will dictate the direction of our financial destiny in anyeconomy.The Basics. It’s called “Basic Training” for a reason. Because itis the very basic level of skills required to survive in an uncertainand threatening environment. Many losses in battle come fromabandoning basic survival strategy. The same is true with ourfinances. We must know the basics and commit to doing thebasics – in all economies.What are the Basics of sound money management?1. Define your financial goals – without a clear mission,we cannot know if we’re doing the right things tosucceed.2. Assess your current position – make every effort toknow what’s going on with your money today. Trackevery dollar of spending for at least 30 days to identifyuncontrolled spending on items that do not align withyour basic financial goals. Analyze your bankstatements to determine how many unnecessary bankcharges you’re paying. Also, track all ATM withdrawalspending.3. Identify all debt. Pull your credit report to get acomplete picture of balances and payment history oneach of your accounts. Develop a plan to improve yourcredit score. Significant money is saved over timethrough lower interest rates offered on mortgages andvehicles to people with FICO scores above 720.4. Develop a monthly spending plan (budget) that willenable you to identify the amount of money you canuse to pay down your debt as soon as possible.5. Develop a formal debt reduction plan – and stick to it.Remember, every dollar of interest paid on debtincreases the overall cost of the item purchased. Manytimes we find that we are still paying for items thathave long ago worn out or been given away.6. Start a savings plan. Remember, Uncle Sam with gethis share of your earnings regardless of whatever elseis going on in your life and finances. Do the same foryourself. Put a % of your income in savings beforespending any other money from your pay. Maybe it’s2% -- maybe 10%. Whatever it is, pay yourself first.7. Start saving for retirement – take advantage of thepower of compound interest over time and tax efficientretirement accounts, such as TSP, Roth IRA,Traditional IRA and/or 401(k). Put your money towork for you. The longer your money has to work foryou, the better its opportunity for significant growth.8. Engage expertise. Don’t go it alone. Get help indeveloping your financial road map for the future.Take advantage of the free and confidential personalfinancial counseling service available to you throughthe Joint Family Support Assistance Program madeRemember, as long as you allow your financial situation to bethe result of uncontrolled spending, unpaid debt, randomimpulsive purchases, you have relinquished control of yourfinancial destiny to someone else – most likely, a total stranger.Decide today to take back control of your finances and committo sound basic money management practices and see thepositive change over time to the strength and improved stabilityof your financial future.You worked hard for it – make sure it’s working hard foryou.LLyynnddaa MM.. SSmmiitthh,, CCLLUU,, CChhFFCCMFLC/Personal Financial Counselor  Joint Family Support Assistance Program770-312-0923770-500-7471LSmith1@MFLC.zeiders.comENJOYING THE RIDEFOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013
  9. 9. 9Spring 2016The military is excellent at getting more for less!This is how a team of five can make things happenfor the Yellow Ribbon (YR) program in Georgia;Providing assistance to all of the Georgia Guardsdeploying service members and their families.With a dedicated and hard working team, theYellow Ribbon program in Georgia is standing outamongst other states. Since a recent successful visitfrom the National Guard Bureau (NGB), Georgia isknown as one of the top programs in the Nation.First Lieutenant Eboni Walker recently joined theteam in November 2012 as the YR OIC and manyhave notice the amazing progress that the programhas made. “It’s not just me; I have an awesometeam to work with. They make it so easy for me!”LT Walker says.As most people know, Yellow Ribbon events areheld before deployment, during deployment andafter deployment. Each event requires differenttypes of resources depending on the event andneeds of the unit. The Yellow Ribbon Team isalways looking for more resources to give theservice members and their families the bestinformation possible.SSG Williams is the YR NCOIC and hecoordinates vendors and presenters for all YRevents; enforces the military standard, and overseethe logistics for the events. SGT Reams is the JointServe Support (JSS)/ Event Plus expert whichprovides funding for all our Yellow Ribbon eventsand track YR attendees, he also handles IT andaudio/visual issues for events. SPC Rivers sets upall IPRs with units’ leadership and presenters anddevelops schedules and LOIs for the events. SPCTinnan makes sure everyone knows where togo! As he is responsible for marketing the YellowRibbon brand everywhere we go; to include allsigns for YR events and registration.Everyone on the team is committed to the ArmyValues and constantly displays a selfless serviceattitude by going above and beyond to make sureservice members and their families leave YRevents with the knowledge and resources they needfor any situation.Your GeorgiaYellow Ribbon TeamFOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013From left to right: SGT Andandrio Reams, SPC Joshua Tinnan,1LT Eboni Walker, SPC Darryl Rivers, SSG Rolonzo Williams
  10. 10. 10Spring 2016As summer quickly approaches and outdoor activities resume peopleare searching for a way to get in shape and Military One Source(MOS) has a program to help. Military One Source offers services tohelp with health and wellness.Eligible individuals wishing to improve their health and generalwell-being can seek online counseling for this free service throughMOS. There are four key areas of focus, which are as follows:• Living Lean: Workbooks, emails various multimedia toolsare available to help with nutritional health includingweight management.• Living Easy: Through the use of online media sources andmethods an individual can seek support and guidance tomanage stress and help one to become more resilient.There is even a downloaded manual to help in your efforts.• Living Fit: This program offers a plan to help you get fit,which includes a 90-day Walking Program. Getting up andstarting is the hardest part and staff will help to get yougoing and keep you motivated.• Living Free: This program focuses on smoking cessation.The four week course will help you to take control of thehabit and stop smoking no matter how many times youhave tried and failed.The staff will help you to meet your goals through coaching,mentoring and education. If you are looking for a way to get fitand do not have the time, energy or money to attend a gym,buy smoking cessation aids or just need help to get up andmove, contact Military One Source.To enroll in these programs you can find them online athttp://www.militaryonesource.mil/ or call 800-342-9647,where a consultant is standing by to help you. If you wouldlike more information or have other questions, please contactJani McGee our J-9 Team MOS representative at 404-307-5827.Here’s to your success and the achievement of your goals!!!!FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013JJeeaannss,, aa MMoovviiee,, PPooppccoorrnn aannddOOhh,, SSoo MMuucchh MMoorree!!Abigale Hutchinson, the Sexual Assault ResponseCoordinator for the Georgia National Guard had some highlevel support for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. InMarch 2013, Major General James Butterworth signed aMemorandum approving all GA Guard Members andcivilians to wear jeans to work on Friday, 29 April 2013 inrecognition of the month’s sexual assault awareness andprevention activities. His statement addressed the SARCtheme for 2013, which is “We Own it….We Solve It…together” preventing sexual assault is everyone’s duty.
  11. 11. 11Spring 2016FOCAL POINT!SPRING 2013AAppppllyy YYoouurrTTrraaiinniinngg!!!!!!Governor Deal Signs The Veterans LicensureBill (House Bill 188)In furthering the efforts to ease thetransition into the civilian workforce, Gov.Deal signed the Veterans Licensure Bill(House Bill 188) into law. A committee willbe created to determine which waivers willtranslate military skills, training and testinginto the following licenses: ElectricalContractor Class I, Journeyman Plumber,Conditioned Air Contractor Class I,Residential-Light Commercial Contractor,and Utility Foreman. Also, this samecommittee will consider if veterans spouseswho have these 5 licenses will be able totransfer them from another state toGeorgia.Since the law was signed, a working groupthat is comprised of the division director ofthe Licensing Boards, members of therelevant boards, and members from theGovernors Office of WorkforceDevelopment will work together on theimplementation of this bill. The legislationdoes not change requirements forcertification, including testing and applyingto the board for a license. More informationwill be available soon.For more information, contact Lacy Turner atlacy.p.turner.nfg@mail.mil or 678-569-5781.The wearing of denim to recognizethis day dates back to 1999, whenthe Italian group Peace OverViolence organized Denim DayUSA. Historically, defense attorneyshave used the fact that a female waswearing tight jeans during thecommission of rape as a means ofdefense. This group is working likeso many others to educate peoplethat your choice of clothing does notcondone or invite sexual assault. It should not be viewed asjustification for bad behavior.Ms Hutchinson also hosted amovie and popcorn day showingthe movie the “Invisible War” inrecognition of SAAM’s month.The invitation was distributedstatewide inviting everyone tocome and join in the fight andlearn more about sexual assaultandprevention.If you are avictim of sexual assault or need moreinformation, contact Abby Hutchinsonat 404-308-7945.JJeeaannss,, aa MMoovviiee,, PPooppccoorrnn aannddOOhh,, SSoo MMuucchh MMoorree!!
  12. 12. 12Spring 2016The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to HireHeroes Act of 2011 Implementation Plan requiresvarious courses of action of soldiers on active dutyfor over 180 days. All courses of action start whilethe soldier is on active duty except for theDepartment of Labor Employment Workshop(DOLEW), for returning soldiers that are un-employed. This course must be completed after theirrelease from active duty and before there ending DD214 date. Eligible soldiers must attend a Departmentof Labor Workshop (DOLEW).The objective of this course is to create a customizedemployment transition plan for each soldier. This 3-day brick-and-mortar course is designed to share bestpractices for transitioning into the civilian workforce.Participants will customize these best practices tocreate a plan that will be the vehicle to attain theirpersonal goals. Participants will add information totheir Individual Transition Plan (ITP).The course is broken down into 3 days and sevensections. Day 1 consists of Section 1 focusing on theChange Management Plan, while Section 2 focuseson developing a job search plan and then concludeswith Section 3 focusing on building effective jobsearch tools. Day 2 consists of Section 4 focusing onbuilding an effective resume while Section 5 focuseson the federal hiring, federal resume and federalprograms. Day 3 consists of Section 6 and focuseson the skilled interview and concludes with Section 7which is the post interview analysis process.Based on class size limitations spouses are eligible toattend this training. For more information pleasecontact James Pawlik at 678-569-8257james.s.pawlik.mil@mail.mil or Marvin Thomas at678-569-8193 marvin.w.thomas.ctr@mail.mil.FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013CCDDLL aanndd TTrruucckk TTrraaiinniinngg ffoorroouurr HHeerrooeessAre you interested in a Commercial Driver’s License(CDL)?By: Lacy Turner, Employment Coordinator for Joint andFamily Services (J-9)The Troops to Trucks program is expedited and seamlessprocesses to assist veterans to obtain a Commercial Driver’sLicense (CDL) and ease the transition into civilian employment.Through a partnership with The Governor’s Office of WorkforceDevelopment and The Department of Labor, The Department ofDriver Services (DDS) offers this program at several differentDDS locations throughout the state. There are 3 ways to gain aCDL and start your new career!Veterans who are in their 90 days before or after discharge andhave a DA348 with Tractor Trailer endorsements can visit a DDScenter to take the written and free test up to 3 times. A drivingtest is not required. This is paid for by a grant through the U.S.Department of Labor. To find a DDS Center to take the test, visithttp://1.usa.gov/Xsht3L.Veterans who have not driven in a while and have a DA348 withTractor Trailer endorsements can take a two week driving courseat Albany Tech located at 1704 S. Slappey Blvd, Albany, GA31701 and Atlanta Technical College located at 1560 MetropolitanPkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30310. Eligible veterans will take a shortfree refresher course with a written test and driving test to earnthe CDL. Contact your local career center to learn moreinformation by visiting http://wfia.cybernetixs.com/.Veterans with or without a tractor trailer endorsement can take aneight week course, pass the exam, and get connected withemployment opportunities. Eligible veterans can take this freecourse that is recognized and endorsed by all truck companies.Contact your local career center to learn more information byvisiting http://wfia.cybernetixs.com/.For more information, contact Lacy Turner atlacy.p.turner.nfg@mail.mil or 678-569-5781.
  13. 13. 13Spring 2016Just as our Soldier’s must prepare, train andqualify for their duty-specific skills, so must ourfamilies. Annual Training (AT) provides theopportunity for FRG Leaders to test theircommunication networks and make point ofcontact (POC) “We-Care Calls”. It also enablesthose Volunteer Leaders the opportunity toeducate and revisit some of the Family Carenecessities such as the Single Soldier’s plan.“Who will care for the pets, pay the bills, repairthe car or check on the house?” Is the marriedSoldier or Soldier with dependents, up-to-datewith their Family Care Plan? This applies forboth those who are required to complete thePlan as well as for those who are not requiredbut want to ensure their family is well preparedin their absence. Are they prepared withchildcare arrangements, emergency contactsand pickups? Is the spouse prepared for 15-21days of separation? Aware of all the emergencyplans for their home should one arise? Soldiersneed to provide their families with emergencycontact numbers of full-time staff, and theirFamily Assistance Specialist’s name and contactinformation. Educate your families and Soldiersabout the Joint and Family Services Directorateand be available to resource and refer Familyand Service Members (SM) if needed during thisAT.Annual training is your time to educate, train,prepare and test your Family Readiness Group.Creating resilient families for ANYTIME -ANYWHERE missions!And lastly, use this opportunity to schedule a funFRG outing or get together to build relationshipswith those who will be holding down the homefront when the call to duty comes!FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013Impacting Unit FamilyReadinessVolunteers impact every department within the GeorgiaNational Guard, J9 Joint and Family Services Directorate.During FY12, the impact of volunteers within our FamilyReadiness Program at the Unit level reflected in theoverall readiness of our Georgia National Guard.The Unit Family Readiness Program is the Commander’sprogram implemented to provide information, educationand support to the Unit’s Service Members and theirFamilies. Volunteers are an essential component to theUnit’s mission readiness by preparing and equippingGeorgia’s Service Member’s and their Families with theknowledge and tools to successfully manage military lifethroughout all phases of the deployment cycle.There are many successful Unit Family ReadinessPrograms across Georgia. These programs are staffedwith over two hundred and fifty two committed volunteers,who execute the Commander’s Family Readiness goals.With over 2,784 combined volunteer hours for FY12, theirinvolvement in the Unit’s Family Readiness Program is aninvaluable asset; they have provided support,encouragement, communication and event coordinationduring training exercises, deployments and State-sidemissions, allowing the Service Members to focus on theirmission.The Georgia Joint and Family Services directorateensures volunteer orientation, training, continuingeducation and recognition of the vast volunteer corps andrelies on their commitment to assist Commanders inmeeting Family Readiness requirements.Sharon ColemanSenior Family Readiness Support Assistant
  14. 14. 14Spring 2016Military  leadership,  volunteers  and  Family  Members  have  a  team  of  Family  Readiness  Support  Assistants  (FRSA)  at  the  ready  to  help  with  family  readiness.  The  J-­‐9  Family  Program’s  FRSA    staff  acts  as  a  conduit  to  distribute  information,  offer  education,  training  and  support  to  military  leaderships  beginning  at  the  brigade  level  extending  their  services,  support  and  guidance  down  to  the  units.      These  staff  members  are  few  in  number,  but  active  in  the  State.  Our  FRSA  team  travels  to  offer  support  for  Soldier  Readiness  Processing  (SRP)  events,  unit  family  functions,  Yellow  Ribbon  Reintegration  Program  events  and  so  much  more.        FRSAs  help  to  recruit,  train  and  monitor  the  Family  Readiness  Groups  providing  hands-­‐on  assistance  and  information  to  subordinate  unit  commanders  and  unit  FRGs  on  all  aspects  of  family  readiness,  well-­‐being  and  the  deployment  cycle  support.    They  work  with  leadership  to  develop  and  implement  the  Commander’s  Family  Readiness  Program  and  Communication  plans.    The  FRSA  team  serves  as  Subject  Matter  Experts  (SME)  to  support  rear  detachment  commanders  (RDC)  and  support  post  deployment  reunion  plans,  trainings,  briefings,  and  activities.      In  essence,  your  FRSA  team  acts  as  the  channel  for  information,  training  and  development  of  the  Family  Readiness  support  staff.  Working  hand  in  hand  with  the  Family  Assistance  Center  Specialists,  Transition  Assistance  Advisors  and  other  related  staff,  these  staff  members  make  the  transmission  of  family  readiness  related  information  possible  for  the  GA  National  Guard.      For  questions  or  more  information  about  the  FRSA  program  or  to  request  their  support,  please  contact    Sharon  Coleman,  Senior  FRSA    BB)  404-­‐309-­‐6573    Sharon.l.coleman.nfg@mail.mil      Shelly  Williams,  GA  NG  FRSA  JFHQ-­‐GA/78th  HRF    O)  678-­‐569-­‐5508  BB)  404-­‐309-­‐3758  Shelly.c.williams.nfg@mail.mil    Kari  E.  Corley,  GA  NG  FRSA  560th  BFSB    O)  678-­‐569-­‐5936  BB)  404-­‐309-­‐4859  kari.e.corley.nfg@mail.mil      Julie  Mackim,  GA  NG  FRSA  48th  IBCT  (1-­‐121st  IN  BN,  148th  BSB,  1-­‐108th  CAV)  BB)  404-­‐309-­‐5642  julie.r.mackim.nfg@mail.mil    Micki  Boan,  GA  NG  FRSA  78th  Aviation  Troop  Command/78th  HRF            O)  678-­‐569-­‐3618  BB)  404-­‐308-­‐8744  amy.m.boan.nfg@mail.mil            Sonya  Recker,  GA  NG  FRSA  48th  IBCT  (2-­‐121st  IN  BN,  48th  BSTB,  48th  IBCT  HQ,  1-­‐118th  FA)  48th  IBCT  HQs,    O)  478-­‐803-­‐3153  BB)  404-­‐309-­‐2063  Sonya.w.recker.nfg@mail.mil      Kristi  Justice,  GA  NG  FRSA  648th  MEB  O)  706-­‐685-­‐7530  BB)  404-­‐308-­‐9080  Kristina.c.justice.nfg@mail.mil  FFaammiillyy RReeaaddiinneessss SSuuppppoorrtt AAssssiissttaannttssBy Your FRSA Team, J-9 Joint and Family Services Directorate, GA DoDFOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013The FOCAL POINT! Newsletter, Volume 4:It is always nice for an editor to have his own spot in a newsletter.As we move forward into budgets, deployments, and more uncertaintimes for our loved ones, friends and military family members, knowthat you can be certain of some very important things. For onething, you are not alone. Many went before you, many will go afteryou, and all of us are with you, in spirit if not in body. A secondsurety is that there is more help today than ever for your trials as aU.S. Military member or family member. For those who know me,you know what I would add as one of the top three sureties, forthose who dont know me…suffice to say, I am a man of faith.Should you find that faith is not reassuring to you, then satisfyyourself with the understanding that there are few forces greaterthan the U.S Military, and few people more dedicated to each otherthan the Americans who offer their lives in service to the people ofthis nation and its founding documents. – CW2 Barry Long
  15. 15. 15Spring 2016The Georgia National Guard J9 Employment Assistance Team in conjunction with the StateEducation Office is working to assist service members and their spouses in their efforts to obtainemployment. In addition to helping you with the steps shown below, we can assist with convertingmilitary training and skills to civilian and keep you abreast of upcoming job fairs and workshops.Follow the steps below to success! Remember to "Like" us on facebook(www.facebook.com/GeorgiaNationalGuardJobAssistanceCenter) for the most recent job listings andevents!FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013Attention GA Guard Job Seekers
  16. 16. 16Spring 2016The 2ndMilitary Recruitment Job Fairwas held on April 17that the NationalGuard Armory in Glennville. TheGeorgia Department of Defense andthe Georgia Department ofCorrections partnered to host thisevent to fill approximately 800 openpositions.Col. Mark London was quoted assaying, “What makes this one sounique is that they’re hiring on thespot,” stated Col. Mark London. Hefurther stated, “Whereas, when yougo to most job fairs, they take yourresume and they may interview you,but they don’t actually hire on thespot, whereas the departments herethey are hiring on the spot.”In addition, the following agenciesalso participated: the Department ofJuvenile Justice, the Department ofPublic Safety, State Board of Pardonsand Paroles, GEO Group, andCorrections Corporation of America.The complete statistical data is not inyet, but so far feedback has beenpromising. Of the 800 jobs available,the GDC reports that job offers havebeen extended to 24 attendees, CCAhired 11, Pardons and Paroles have 3to 4 potential applicants. The othersections have not yet reported backthe full results. One job fair attendeewas hired immediately with the GDCand starts work May 16, 2013.With the success of this event, plansare in the works for another later inthe year. In the fall of 2013, there willbe another Military Recruitment JobFair that will be held in the Augustaarea with anticipation of regionalizingthe event and hosting it quarterly inthe near future. More state agenciesare looking to participate like theGeorgia Department of Agriculture atthe next event. Stay tuned for moredetails.MMiilliittaarryy RReeccrruuiittmmeenntt JJoobb FFaaiirr ttoo bbee HHeelldd iinnFFaallll 22001133By Lacy Turner, Employment Coordinator for Joint and Family Services (J-9)FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013
  17. 17. FOCAL POINT! SPRING 2013JJ--99 JJOOIINNTT AANNDD FFAAMMIILLYY SSEERRVVIICCEESS DDIIRREECCTTOORRAATTEE“Military Personnel, Families, andVeterans First!”The J-9 Joint and Family Services Directorate and The Georgia GuardFamily Program:Our directorate services the military community of Georgia,providing those services, support and information that are vital totheir care. Our staff is committed to providing the best care, in atimely manner, and followed-thru to a successful conclusion so thatMilitary Personnel, their families, and Veterans in Georgia will havethe resources, help, and information they need to thrive.Georgia Departmentof Defense1388 First Street, Bldg 840(Finch Bldg)1000 Halsey Avenue, Bldg 447,MailroomMarietta, GA 30060Point of Contact:CW2 Barry D. LongHumanResources/Systems/ATSO/Safety Officerbarry.long@us.army.mil