Volunteer Newsletter: From Air to Ground Issue 13 (May 2012)


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We are pleased to present the latest issue of From Air to Ground, Issue 13, May 2012. As a publication created by volunteers, for volunteers, the newsletter provides a medium for news and updates, addressing current issues, publicizing programs, and educating National Guard families on available services.

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Volunteer Newsletter: From Air to Ground Issue 13 (May 2012)

  1. 1. Issue Issue Seven May 2012 Thirteen July 2011 Branch Chief Volunteer and Child/Youth Paula Sumrall 2012 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR: OH THE THINGS WE LEARNED TO SERVE YOU paula.sumrall@us.army.mil Volunteer & Youth Policy Coordinator MORE Erika Slaton erika.r.slaton@us.army.mil The National Guard Regional Volunteer Team (NGRVT) attended the Professional Development Seminar to develop their skills as volunteers and to network with staff National Volunteer Outreach and Training Program from the National Guard Bureau programs that support service members and their Coordinator families. The NGRVT sessions focused on social media, services and components Deanna Cole of the Joint Services Support website, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Military Families, deanna.l.cole@us.army.mil developing a communications portfolio, compassion fatigue, and NGRVT outreach. National Volunteer Newsletter Team During the opening session, the National Guard Bureau emphasized the importance of collaboration and the need to connect with local community resources. Initiatives Coordinator/Team Lead: like Joining Community Forces support the Nation one community at a time through Chris Yriarte, Oregon cayriarte@gmail.com online communications in which communities can share best practices, learn from each other, and leverage state and local resources to build community capacity. Volunteer Staff: Susan LaFlame, Massachusetts s_laflame@hotmail.com The NGRVT presented a team out-brief that highlighted the increased need to utilize Becca Heffernan, New volunteers at every level to support staff turnover, strengthen relationships between Hampshire all levels of leadership, and support State Family Programs Offices and Airmen & heffernanfamilly@yahoo.com Family Readiness Programs. The NGRVT mission is “Purple” and to speak with One Jenny Testerman, Tennessee Voice on behalf of volunteers who support service members and their families. jenny.testerman@us.army.mil Judy Cook (Member at Large) The NGRVT members welcome you to share your best practices with them as they strive to listen to volunteers and work on solutions to issues that affect the success Regional Volunteer of National Guard Family programs. Representatives Region 1 – Dee Dee Rice region1@guardfamily.org Region 2 – Gordon Lattey region2@guardfamily.org Region 3 – Alice Capehart region3@guardfamily.org Region 4 – Jenny Testerman region4@guardfamily.org Region 5 – Susan Webb region5@guardfamily.org Region 6 – Debra Boynton region6@guardfamily.org Region 7 – Jeanne Zerbonia region7@guardfamily.org Region 8 – Susan Giskaas region8@guardfamily.orgRegion 9 – Valerie Claude-Murray region9@guardfamily.org Region 10 – Terrylee Cox region10@guardfamily.org Tammy Chase (Member at Large) This newsletter contains information of common interest to military families. Contents of From Air to Ground tammychase.vtt@gmail.com are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the National Guard Bureau.
  2. 2. MAY: NATIONAL HOLIDAYS HONORING OUR MILITARY Our great Nation honors our military service Armed Forces Day is celebrated the thirdmembers and the freedoms afforded by our military Saturday of May, falling on the 19th this year. Theeach year with several different holidays. Each holiday purpose of Armed Forces Day is to honor all thosehas a unique purpose and it goes beyond receiving a serving in our U.S. Military – Army, Air Force,10% discount at the local furniture store. For those of Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, including thoseus that are military family members, it is important to serving in the National Guard and Reserves. It isunderstand why we celebrate these days each year. important to note that because National Guard training schedules sometimes fall on the same Loyalty Day is a day set aside for the reaffirmation weekend as Armed Forces Day, the National Guardof loyalty to the United States and for the recognition celebrates Armed Forces Day any day in Mayof the heritage of American freedom. It was made an deemed appropriate by that State’s National Guard.official holiday by the U.S. Congress on July 18, 1958.Following the passage of this law, President Dwight D.Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1959, the first official Memorial Day, which was May 30th, (in 1971 theobservance of Loyalty Day. In 2007, President George federal observance was changed to the last MondayW. Bush issued an official proclamation of the May 1, in May) is a day of remembrance for those who gave2007, Loyalty Day in accordance with the 1958 the greatest sacrifice during their service to ourCongressional declaration. Nation. Memorial Day was originally termed “Decoration Day” because it is a day to go to the Silver Star Banner Day is a day that is set aside graveside of soldiers to place wreaths and flowers ineach year to recognize and honor the sacrifices of honor of the fallen soldier. Memorial Day continueswounded servicemembers. The Silver Star Service to be a day of remembrance today and should beBanner is reserved for those who have been wounded, observed by visiting cemeteries and placing flags orcontracted a serious illness or injury in a war zone. In flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers, flying theApril of 2010, Congress passed H.R.855 making Silver U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon, or participating inStar Service Banner Day on May 1 an Official Day to an organized moment of remembrance for our fallenhonor wounded, ill, and injured veterans. heroes. Military Spouse Appreciation Day is a day that is setaside each year to recognize and honor the It is always important to remember the truecontributions and sacrifices of military spouses. In meaning of our national holidays of honoring1984, then President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Military Service members, so that we do not forgetFriday before Mother’s Day to be designated as the sacrifices made and those that are still makingMilitary Spouse Appreciation Day. Since then, each sacrifices today.President and senior military leaders have echoed thesentiments expressed by President Reagan. In additionto the public support and recognition of these leaders,events are commonly sponsored at installations acrossthe nation and around the world to recognize theimportance of our unsung heroes. Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day or VE Day)commemorates May 8, 1945 (in commonwealthcountries; May 7,1945), the date when the World WarII Allies formally accepted the unconditionalsurrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and theend of Adolf Hitlers Third Reich. The formal surrenderof the occupying German forces in the ChannelIslands was not until May 9, 1945. On 30 April Hitlercommitted suicide during the Battle of Berlin, and sothe surrender of Germany was authorized by hisreplacement, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. From Air to Ground ~ Page 2
  3. 3. LEST WE FORGET. . .ONCE A MOTHER, ALWAYS A MOTHER As we honor those who are mothers or mother figures in our lives; please don’t forget a special group of mothers. These women are members of a noble club and they offer a particular solace to each other that no one else can. What club is this? The Gold Star club. Gold Star Mothers have paid the ultimate price for continued freedom. Mother’s Day can be especially difficult for this special group of women. Their sacrifice should not be forgotten. Often when news of a casualty reaches a community Gold Star Mothers will be the first to respond. If you are unaware of Gold Star Mothers in your community; begin with your unit. There may be a list of members that were killed in action. Afterward, a simple internet search may supply survivor names. Another option would be to contact your local chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers (AGSM), www.goldstarmoms.com, through which cards could be sent to the chapter president for distribution to members. While the second Sunday in May is traditionally set aside as Mother’s Day; in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers Day. AGSM took a position against such a day being designated, stating that gold star mothers already had Mothers Day and that was sufficient. However, when the proclamation was signed, AGSM formally thanked the President for his action. Once a Mother . . . Always a Mother. HOW WELL DOES YOUR FRG FLOAT?Keeping your Family Readiness Group afloat during the summer months can be challenging. No matter what stage ofdeployment you are in, summer poses special difficulties for FRGs. Hectic schedules, nice weather, and deploymentsor Annual Training all contribute to steering your FRG off course. Added to these trials are the everyday challengesNational Guard volunteers face, including geographic disparity. But never fear, here are a couple of life rafts to helpyour FRGs stay afloat!Consider alternate activities for FRG members such as a community service project. Get to know each other byorganizing a day of geocaching or a scavenger hunt. Another option would be for the group to take advantage of anymilitary discounts offered by local amusement parks for a fun, inexpensive get-away.If the summer heat is too much for outdoor activities, consider having “family fun nights.” Plan for family-friendlyevenings. This can include activities like a movie night with a DVD projected on a wall, a video game tournamentsure to involve everyone from age 1 to 100, or a variety of board games for all ages to play.Is your unit currently in a deployment phase? Another option to keep your FRG active is to become involved incommunity events. If there is a patriotic event in your area, participate as a group. Be creative and prepare a float foryour local parade. For FRGs facing geographic disparity, consider offering a small door prize to the member whotravels the farthest or using software like Skype® for reaching across the miles to conduct FRG business.If your unit is between deployments, consider this a wonderful time to get know the other families in your unit better.Try participating in Operation Homefront’s collections and distribution of school supplies to prepare for the upcomingschool year or volunteer for any community service project. Building connections with others that will assist you withfuture deployment cycles will benefit all family members. Your involvement is essential to a successful FRG. Manyhands make light work, and having a strong support system is priceless. From Air to Ground ~ Page 3
  4. 4. ATTENTION JOB SEEKERS: HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE VOW? In an effort to reduce Veteran unemployment, the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 was passed and signed into law last November. Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) for unemployed 35 to 60 year old Veterans, which will begin on July 1, 2012Applications may be submitted begining May 15, 2012. VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to99,000 unemployed Veterans who are at least 35 years old but no older than 60. Eligible participants willreceive up to 12 months of training assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). The Department of Labor (DOL) will offer employmentassistance to every Veteran who participates or applies to the VRAP program. Learn more about VRAP athttp://benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm.Interested applicants can sign up to receive personalized information about VRAP by signing up athttp://gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/vrap_email_signup.html. They will be prompted to providetheir first name, last name, and email address. Once submitted, an applicant can expect to receive six toseven emails about VRAP, including notification on when applications open. Resource Corner:http://www.facebook.com/BlueStarFamilies Online handbook detailing everything from privacy settings to groups toOperational Security and more provided by Facebook.http://www.afvclub.com/ Armed Forces Vacation Club is a great resource to check out before you book yoursummer travel.http://www.militaryfamily.org/publication/kids-toolkit/ This toolkit is free. You can share this with people in yourchildren’s lives to help them understand your military child’s unique life.http://www.military.com/Travel/Home/ Planning that perfect summer family vacation with a Military Discount!http://www.military.com/military-fitness/weight-loss/military-spouse-weight-loss-plan For fitting into that SummerSwimsuithttp://www.operationscreamfree.org Helpling U.S. military families around the world grow calmer and closer,increasing their ability to survive the traumas of service, deployment and war.http://www.ourmilitarykids.org Grants for children of deployed National Guard or Military Reserve personnel.http://www.militarydisneytips.com Tips and advice for military members and their families on how to take advantage of allthe great military discounts available on Walt Disney World vacations that are exclusively available to the military and DoDcommunity.http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces Presidential initiative highlighting opportunities across the public and privatesectors, and lay the foundation for a coordinated approach to supporting and engaging military families for years to come. From Air to Ground ~ Page 4
  5. 5. VOLUNTEER WEBINARS: ON LINE VOLUNTEER TRAININGVTT webinars are online/web-based seminars (visual online and audio with a toll free telephone number) and discussions offering resourcesand tools for volunteers. Each month is a different TOPIC that consists of 1 to 3 sessions.For more information on future VTT trainings please go to www.jointservicessupport.org and click on Events and then Calendar, or e-mailDeanna Cole at deanna.l.cole@us.army.mil or Tammy Chase at tammychase.vtt@gmail.com. JUNE 2012 The National Guard Volunteer Training Team (VTT)TOPIC: Everyone Ready! (ER) Generations: Adapting to is looking for some new volunteers. All applicants shouldVolunteers of Different Ages have good communication skills, know computerTrainer: Peter C. Brinckerhoff programs such as Excel, Word and Powerpoint and how to navigate the internet. All VTT volunteers should expectEveryone is dealing with generational differences, on the job to volunteer 10-15 hours per week.and in private life, so all paid staff and volunteers can benefitfrom the insights in this seminar. Of special interest to:  Those who recruit volunteers of all ages The VTT encourages volunteerism by providing  Those who supervise volunteers of all ages education, promoting communication, and building  Human resources staff who face the same issues with leadership skills for volunteers so they can better serve employees Military Members and their Families. This is accomplished by offering monthly webinars, training and Session 1 information to help create a standardized and professional June 5th 10:00 AM -11:00 AM, Eastern volunteer corps, and a way for volunteers, paid staff and https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/484188282 Military Members to network with each other at a national June 7th level. 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Eastern https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/360586834 The VTT is a team of volunteers from all over the Session 2 country, from all walks of life, who have come together to June 12th help other volunteers. If you are interested in joining this 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Eastern remarkable group of people, please contact the VTT https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/192567866 Coordinator, Tammy Chase, at June 14th 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Eastern tammychase.vtt@gmail.com for an application today! https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/318056114 Session 3 June 19th 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Eastern https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/484903610 June 21st 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Eastern https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/359384770 COORDINATOR/TEAM LEAD: Tammy Chase ~ tammychase.vtt@gmail.com Volunteer Training Team Leads Volunteer Training Team Donna Antal Kenna Pemberton Nicole Campbell ~ ncampbell07@gmail.com Aquanette Clarke Karen Tryon Glory Rossbacher ~ glory.volunteer@gmail.com Judy Cook Gerda Weekley Lori Vaughan ~ lori.vaughan@us.army.mil Elizabeth Flagg Cara Wheeler April McLean From Air to Ground ~ Page 5