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Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) Weekly eNewsletter


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Welcome to the Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) Weekly eNewsletter providing you with access to the latest Quality of Life news and information from the Department of Defense and dates for upcoming Guard and Reserve onsite sales.

The link below will open up the MC&FP Weekly eNewsletter in your browser. If the link above does not work, please copy and paste the entire link into your browser window.

A PDF version of the newsletter is also available for download from the link above.

Your MC&FP Team!

Military Community and Family Policy
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.

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Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) Weekly eNewsletter

  1. 1. Image description. MC&FP banner image End of image description.Military Community and Family Policy WeeklyeNewsletterImage description. MC&FP Weekly Family Image End of image description.In March of 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerces National Chamber Foundation launched Hiring OurHeroes, a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.Working with our network of 1600 state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public,private, and non-profit sectors, our goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of localcommunities where veterans and military families return every day.Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 230 hiring fairs in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District ofColumbia; more than 10,400 have gotten jobs.We have significantly expanded our efforts in 2012 with a goal of hosting hiring fairs in 400communities, the establishment of a stand-alone program for military spouses, and a sustained campaignto enlist the commitments from the small business community to hire veterans and military spouses bythe end of 2014.During our first 15 months, more than 500 employers from every sector of the economy have stepped upto hire more than 10,000 veterans and military spouses through Hiring Our Heroes. View the Hiring OurHeroes Quarterly Report to see how it happened. Page 1 of 9
  2. 2. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012Joining ForcesJoining ForcesTaking action to serve Americas military familiesThe Army operates child development programs in over fifty percent of the states and several foreigncountries, literally around the globe. Ensuring children receive healthy meals and snacks has alwaysbeen a challenge. Although eligible programs participate in the USDA food program, there is a widevariety of food choices that qualify for reimbursement, some of which are not as healthy as others.Encouraged by Ms. Obamas initiative to reduce childhood obesity, a series of nutritionally balancedmenus were developed by Mary Ellen Pratt, Chief of Army Child Development programs.The idea started after visiting several installation Army child development programs and seeing first-hand the types of food children were being served - both in quantity and quality. Ms. Pratt said, "Iremember saying to someone after looking at a full food cart of fish sticks, saltine crackers, friedpotatoes, corn and milk and saying, "Oh good, I havent missed watching the meal service" and herreply, "Oh, yes, you did - those are the leftovers." The food was not just unhealthy, much of it wasundesirable from the childs perspective. Ms. Pratt goes on to say, "I also began listening to the ideas ofthe "Lets Move" campaign and realizing I had the ability to really affect a huge number of children if Ijust did something to fix the problem."Using funding provided by an initiative from the OSD Office of Family Policy, the Army set aboutdeveloping menus in keeping with accepted government nutritional guidelines. These guidelines servedas a perfect blueprint for what became a complete cycle of menus. Although they are 4 - 6 week "cyclemenus" they are also numbered 1 - 52 rather than Spring, Summer, etc. This is because fresh menu itemswhich are readily available in Fort Polk, LA in April may not be available at Fort Greely, Alaska untilJuly. An additional feature generates a report stating the approximate nutrient value by meal/snack, day,and week against the national recommendations for preschoolers. So parents can get a copy of the menuand also learn how much Vitamin A their child received on a given day.The other motivating factor driving the development of these menus was the report "Too Fat to Fight"that was developed by Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids. In this report, they stated that theoriginal impetus for the nutritional guidelines was not just about good nutrition, but a matter of nationalsecurity. Because of the obesity epidemic, many of todays youth are unable to pass the military physicalfitness standards. Many of the children the military cares for will follow in their parents footsteps andjoin the military. What the military does for children in their programs has the real possibility ofaffecting their adult lives.This is part of a three prong approach in the Army Child Development program - the other two whichhave just begun implement the "I am Moving, I am Learning" Curriculum in their programs as well aspurchasing portable gardens for all of their facilities. Additional information regarding childrens healthand nutrition can be found at Healthy Kids Healthly Future website. Page 2 of 9
  3. 3. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012Weekly TipsMilitary Community and Family Policy Weekly TipsNutrition Tip of the Week - CalciumWe all need calcium in our diets to help build strong bones and teeth. But how do you get the calciumyou need if you’re not a fan of milk products? Here are some tips to help you get calcium from someother healthy foods. • If you avoid milk because of lactose intolerance, the most reliable way to get the health benefits of dairy products is to choose lactose-free alternatives within the Dairy Group, such as cheese, yogurt, lactose-free milk, or calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) or to consume the enzyme lactase before consuming milk. • Calcium choices for those who do not consume dairy products include: ◦ Calcium fortified juices, cereals, breads, rice milk, or almond milk. ◦ Canned fish (sardines, salmon with bones) soybeans and other soy products (tofu made with calcium sulfate, soy yogurt, tempeh), some other beans, and some leafy greens (collard and turnip greens, kale, bok choy). The amount of calcium that can be absorbed from these foods varies.Parenting Tip of the Week - Nurture Your Child’s Self Worth.Show children their value to help them develop self-esteem. Parents cannot give self-confidence or self-worth to children. It must be developed from within. Show your children that you value them regardlessof their accomplishments. When children dress themselves, get good grades in school or build a talltower, genuinely congratulate them. Say something like, “It looks like you worked very hard on that.”This gives children a sense of their own worth, not only your approval. Encouragement can build a driveto succeed, but valuing helps them understand that worth is not determined by success or failure.Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week - Focus on fruits.Eating fruit provides health benefits. People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overallhealthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital forhealth, such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Most fruits are naturally lowin fat, sodium, and calories. None has cholesterol. Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as a part ofthe Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. • Keep visible reminders. Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator. • Think about taste. Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor. Add fruits to sweeten a recipe. • Think about variety. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100 percent juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand. • Don’t forget the fiber. Make most of your choices whole or cut-up fruit, rather than juice, for the benefits that dietary fiber provides. • Be a good role model. Set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals or as snacks. Page 3 of 9
  4. 4. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012 • Include fruit at breakfast. At breakfast, top your cereal with bananas, peaches, or strawberries; add blueberries to pancakes; drink 100 percent orange or grapefruit juice. Or, try a fruit mixed with fat-free or low-fat yogurt. • Try fruit at lunch. At lunch, pack a tangerine, banana, or grapes to eat, or choose fruits from a salad bar. Individual containers of fruits like peaches or applesauce are easy and convenient. • Experiment with fruit at dinner. At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections, dried cranberries, or grapes in a tossed salad. • Snack on fruits. Dried fruits make great snacks. They are easy to carry and store well. • Keep fruits safe. Rinse fruits before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub fruits briskly to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. After rinsing, dry with a clean towel.Go to the Choose My Plate website for more information.Financial Tip of the Week - Back to School Shopping.School bells will be ringing before we know it. Now is the time to take advantage of annual back-to-school specials on supplies. Whether you plan to shop at your favorite retail store or in the drawers andclosets of your home, Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends sticking to a budget to avoid thecommon overspending on school supplies.According to the National Retail Federation, parents will be shopping carefully and making specialefforts to save on supplies this school year. 31 percent of families say they will do comparative shoppingonline (compared to 29.8 percent last year), and they will use more coupons (38.7 percent vs. 36.9percent), and cut back on extracurricular activities or sports (14.3 percent vs. 10.2 percent).Many retailers offer back-to-school “freebies” to entice shoppers. Coupons, deals, and giveaways arealways nice, but make sure you actually need the items first. There’s no need to spend money on newcrayons, colored pencils, and notebooks if all it takes is a good sharpening or tearing out a few usedpages from the previous year.BBB recommends considering the following when it comes to back-to-school shopping:Take inventory. There’s always that endless supply of makers, crayons and notebooks around thehouse. Reusing these items can save hundreds of dollars over the years. Consider repackaging,sharpening, and cleaning out older, gently used items before buying new ones. Look for the deals. Someretailers’ back-to-school specials are available for online and in-store purchase. Make sure to check outyour local newspaper for deals. Oftentimes, retailers will put ads showcasing the special buy-one-get-one = free deals, and even coupled items like lunchboxes with backpacks to lure in customers. Shopsooner rather than later and save more.Set a budget. Decide how much you are willing to spend per child, and include your children for a“teachable moment” on creating a budget. After taking inventory, create a shopping list and stick to it.This will help you avoid costly impulse purchases and ensure nothing is forgotten.Shop during tax-free holidays. Many states have tax-free days in August, which can mean significantsavings. Be mindful of restrictions, either a dollar amount or on the type of item purchased. Most taxholidays include clothing and school supplies; some include computers and sports equipment, too.Know what your childs school allows. Schools will often provide parents with a list of required itemsfor the school year, which can help determine what you need to purchase. These lists are also availableat many retail stores and on school websites. Additionally, many schools have specific dress codes, so Page 4 of 9
  5. 5. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012keep these restrictions in mind before spending money on clothes the school may not allow.Check for refund and exchange policies. Be sure you can exchange or return items purchased duringthis time period. Keep in mind some items may be non-refundable or have restocking fees associatedwith a return.For more consumer tips you can trust, visit the Better Business Bureau website.Spouse Tip of the week - Need Help With Your Résumé?Résumés are the most important self-marketing tool in your tool kit when it’s time to look foremployment or continue upward along a career ladder. Résumés represent what you are selling toemployers who are in the market buying the unique sets of skills, knowledge, experience, and attributesthey need to be competitive in today’s twenty-first century global economy.Your job is to make it easy for them to see that you are the perfect match for the job openings they aretrying to fill. The first step is to read their job vacancy announcements and note the requirements forjobs of interest. Then, write a résumé highlighting your skill set, education, credentials, workexperience, and personal characteristics that make you the perfect candidate.When human resource specialists (hiring authorities) read résumés, they put them into three stacks: • not qualified • qualified • highly qualifiedYou want your résumé to get into the third stack: highly qualified. These are the job seekers whowill get called back for an interview and at job fairs, may receive an “on the spot” job offer.If you’ve never written a résumé or you think your résumé needs improvements, here are three sourcesof résumé assistance: • Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) Counselors — These are master’s degree level counselors who have special expertise in career and employment assistance. They can help you use online résumé builder tools, give you sample résumés with language that will make your résumé highly competitive, and give you constructive feedback on your current résumé. There is no charge for their services. Call them at (800) 342-9647 for a specialty consultation. Hours of operation are 7 AM to 10 PM Monday through Friday and 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday. • MilSpouse eMentoring Program — Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Military Spouse Business Alliance (MSBA), this program can connect you to professionals in the business world who can give you good advice on what employers are looking for and what they want to see in résumés. They can help you steer clear of common errors in résumé writing and help you write résumés for each job for which you apply — a great strategy for getting into stack number three. To learn more and to request a mentor, visit the MilSpouse eMentoring Program website. Page 5 of 9
  6. 6. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012 • Military Installation Employment Readiness and Assistance Personnel — At military installations worldwide, Family Centers and Transition Assistance Programs have professional staff members who work with local, regional, and national employers on employment issues. They make referrals to currently open positions, particularly within their regions. They understand local employer needs and can help you construct competitive résumés. Visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS for service provider points of contact, operating hours and service delivery locations.Making Connections with Employers - Once you feel your résumé has been fine-tuned, proofread andis ready to be used in an active job search, visit the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP)Career Portal online. You’ll see numerous job openings in portable career fields posted by militaryfriendly employers who have pledged to recruit, hire, promote, and retain military spouses in portablecareers as spouses move from duty station to duty station. Over 129 Fortune 500 Plus employers arecurrently participating in this highly effective program. They know that the MSEPJobs website is “the”gathering place for military spouse job seekers. Be there!Relocation Tip of the Week - Don’t be a no-show.Pack, pickup, and delivery dates are scheduled on weekdays. You or your designated representativeneeds to be available between 8 AM and 5 PM. You don’t want to miss your moving dates, as this willcause unnecessary hardship on everyone.Military OneSource Tip of the Week - Coping When a Family Member Has Been Called to WarThe following are suggestions to help you manage the stress when a family member is deployed: • Take time to listen to each other. Know that deployment will be a painful and frightening time, particularly for children. The more you can communicate with one another, the less long-term strain there will be on the family. • Minimize exposure to anxiety-arousing media related to the war. When children worry about war, let them know that the war is far away. Acknowledge childrens fears, and let them know that parents, teachers and police are here to protect them. • Remember the deployed member is still a part of the family. Keep photographs of your loved one in prominent locations. Get childrens help in keeping a family journal of each days events for the deployed member to look at when he or she returns. • Understand feelings. Emotions such as fear, anger and feeling "numb" are normal and common reactions to stress. • Spend time with people. Coping with stressful events is easier when in the company of caring friends. Ask for support from your family, friends, church or other community group. • Join or develop support groups. Peer-support groups, led by spouses of deployed service members, can be a tremendous aid to family functioning. • Keep up routines. Try to stick to everyday routines. Familiar habits can be very comforting. • Take time out for fun. Take a walk, spend time with your pets or play a game you enjoy. • Help others. It is beneficial for everyone to find ways you and your family can productively channel energy. Helping other families and organizing neighborhood support groups or outings can help everyone involved. Page 6 of 9
  7. 7. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012In 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. All inone 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.DoD Increases Hiring of People with DisabilitiesStephen M. King, whose office is part of diversity management and equal opportunity, spoke withAmerican Forces Press Service about a recent Office of Personnel Management report that said 14percent of the Defense Departments civilian employees have disabilities, putting DoD in second placeamong cabinet-level agencies for disability hiring.DCoE Outreach CenterWhether you are a warrior, a family member or a clinician, the DCoE - Defense Centers of ExcellenceOutreach Center is there for you as a trusted source of information on psychological health andtraumatic brain injury issues and resources.Employers Court Troops, Spouses, Vets at Job FairsTransitioning service members, military spouses and veterans attending hundreds of job fairs around thecountry are finding themselves on the proverbial red carpet as employers pack arenas to add thoseclosest to the armed forces to their payrolls.Law Allows VA Health Benefits for Camp Lejeune Water VictimsPresident Barack Obama signed into law a bill enabling the Department of Veterans Affairs to providehealth benefits to veterans and families diagnosed with diseases related to water contamination at CampLejeune, N.C.Experts Offer Tips to Cut Kids Screen Time During SummerAccording to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, reducing the amount of time spent in front of acomputer or TV can boost health and happiness, prompting families to do more physical activity and getcreative in finding other ways to spend their time.NFL Team Honors Military with Appreciation DayThe Ravens held its 5th annual military appreciation day drawing an announced crowd of 20,354 fans,including nearly 3,500 seats set aside for service members and their immediate families, to view theteams open training camp practice.The Military Extension Internship Program is now Accepting Spring 2013 ApplicationsThe Military Extension Internship Program provides college students and recent graduates a chance toapply their college education and gain practical work experience within the militarys quality, accreditedchild care and youth programs.UPDATED! The Education Directory for Children with Special NeedsThe Directory now provides information on special education and early intervention services, expansionof the School-Age Directory for children ages three to twenty-one, and the addition of an Early Page 7 of 9
  8. 8. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012Intervention Directory.National Park Service Military Pass ProgramIn support of the White Houses Joining Forces initiative, the National Park Service has launched aprogram that provides free admission to national parks for military service members and their families.Upcoming WebinarsVisit Military OneSource to register for these upcoming webinars: Guardianship and Estate Planning:Person-Centered Planning on Aug. 15, Relocation 101 for Service Providers on Aug. 15, Plan YourResponse for Disability-Related Emergency on Aug. 27, and IEP On the Move on Aug. 29. Page 8 of 9
  9. 9. MC&FP Weekly (August 10,2012) 8/13/2012Guard and ReserveImage description. Two National Guard service members End of image description.Aug 11-12 - Guard and Reserve - Greenville, KYAug 17-18 - Oregon National Guard - Pendleton, ORAug 17-18 - Guard and Reserve - Scottsbluff, NEAug 17-19 - Guard and Reserve - Warrenton, ORAug 18 - Guard and Reserve - Ft. Wayne, INAug 18 - NOLF - Seal Beach, CAAug 25-26 - Guard and Reserve - Plattsburgh, NY Page 9 of 9