Soundoff! Jan. 23, 2014


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Soundoff! Jan. 23, 2014

  1. 1. Soundoff! ´ vol. 66 no. 3 Published in the interest of the Fort Meade community January 23, 2014 resiliency Annual briefing presents installation leaders with overview of post resources page 3 tax time Joint Installation Tax Center cuts ribbon signaling start of free filing assistance page 4 UPCOMING EVENTS Today, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Martin Luther King Jr. Observance - McGill Training Center Monday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.: National Blood Donor Month Blood Drive - McGill Training Center Feb. 2, 6:25 p.m.: Super Bowl Party - The Lanes Feb. 6, 4 p.m.: Right Arm Night - Club Meade Feb. 19, 11:30 a.m.: National Prayer Luncheon - Club Meade snow angel Mina, the daughter of Heritage Park resident Amy Jorgensen, could not wait to go outside to make a snow angel after lunch Tuesday. A fast-moving storm delivered a wintry blast of snow, which produced as much as 7 inches in the Fort Meade-Baltimore area and topped 11 inches in other parts of the state. Photo by Amy Jorgenson
  2. 2. Soundoff! ´ Editorial Staff Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Latter Public Affairs Officer Chad T. Jones Chief, Command Information Philip H. Jones Assistant Editor & Senior Writer Rona S. Hirsch Staff Writer Lisa R. Rhodes Staff Writer Brandon Bieltz Design Coordinator Timothy Davis Supple­mental photography provided by The Baltimore Sun Media Group Guaranteed circulation: 11,285 Advertising General Inquiries 410-332-6300 or email If you would like information about receiving Soundoff! on Fort Meade or are experiencing distribution issues, call 877-886-1206 or e-mail Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Printed by offset method of reproduction as a civilian enterprise in the interest of the personnel at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, by The Baltimore Sun Media Group, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, every Thursday except the last Thursday of the year in conjunction with the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office. Requests for publication must reach the Public Affairs Office no later than Friday before the desired publication date. Mailing address: Post Public Affairs Office, Soundoff! IMME-MEA-PA, Bldg. 4409, Fort Meade, MD 20755-5025. Telephone: 301-677-5602; DSN: 622-5602. Everything advertised in this publication must be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, handicap or sex of purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation or rejection of this policy of equal opportunity by an advertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. Printed by The Baltimore Sun Co., LLC, a private firm, in no way connected with the Department of the Army. Opinions expressed by the publisher and writers herein are their own and are not to be considered an official expression by the Department of the Army. The appearance of advertisers in the publication does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army of the products or services advertised. You can also keep track of Fort Meade on Twitter at and view the Fort Meade Live Blog at Co n t e n t s News.............................. 3 Sports................................... 12 Community.................. 14 Movies.................................. 15 Religion........................ 16 . Classified.............................. 17 SOUNDOFF! January 23, 2014 Commander’s Column Professional counseling is key I hope everyone is enjoying a productive and successful new year so far. Things are certainly off to a busy start for the garrison. We have successfully offered recruitment and retention bonuses to our security guards, and hiring is ongoing. We hope to increase our guard force to reopen the Mapes Road gate in the coming months. We remain set to open the new Express shoppette and gas station on Mapes by the end of February. Construction of the new Exchange is still on track for completion by the end of August. We will be cutting lots of ribbons on Fort Meade this year! On Tuesday, I conducted the annual ribbon cutting and opening of our Joint Installation Tax Center. The center, located at 4217 Roberts Ave., saved our service members $560,000 in total tax preparation fees last year. The office is staffed by a team of trained volunteers and professionals who achieved a total of $4.6 million in refunds for last year’s clients. So I encourage all to make use of this free and valuable resource. During this time of year, I make a point to conduct professional counseling with all those I supervise as a rater. I use the counseling sessions to review and update the individual’s personal and professional goals, and to provide written feedback on what I consider to be their strengths and weaknesses. I provide suggestions for ways to improve and also ask for input on my performance as their boss. Professional development and counseling can be time consuming and difficult, but I firmly believe it is critical to individual and organizational success. If a person is doing a good job, he should be praised, thanked and encouraged to continue. And if a person is performing below expectation, he should be told and afforded the opportunity and guidance to improve. Praise is easy COL. Brian P Foley . Garrison Commander and enjoyable, and often elicits an even higher level of performance. Critique is more difficult, less enjoyable but even more important. Supervisor critique is important because selfawareness of a weakness is difficult for most people and hard — if not impossible — to change without assistance. Counseling enables individual improvement; individual improvement leads to organizational improvement; organizational improvement on Fort Meade means a safer and more secure nation. Finally, counseling should continue throughout an individual’s career, regardless of rank, grade or position. Learning should be a lifelong process. We all have bosses or work for someone — even private business owners work for their customers — and should strive to learn from them. So I encourage supervisors to counsel employees on a routine basis and employees to ask for counseling if it is not already provided. Thanks again to every member of our Team Meade community. Please let the garrison know if there is any way we can support you better. I look forward to seeing you on campus. Commander’s Open Door Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley has an open door policy. All service members, retirees, government employees, family members and community members age 18 or older are invited to address issues or concerns to the commander directly by visiting Foley’s office on Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m. at garrison headquarters in Hodges Hall, Bldg. 4551, Llewellyn Avenue. Visitors are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 301-677-4844.
  3. 3. News Resiliency campaign aids post commanders Briefing highlights Meade resources By Lisa R. Rhodes Staff Writer About 30 brigade and battalion commanders received an introduction to the garrison’s resiliency programs during an Army Ready and Resilient Campaign orientation on Monday. The four-hour presentation, held at McGill Training Center, was organized by Chris Thiel, chief of training at the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. The orientation is required by the Department of the Army, said Thiel. Command teams and joint service commanders also were invited. A previous orientation was held in October. During the presentation, Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Latter commented on the programs featured. The orientation included several garrison representatives who gave brief presentations on a wide range of programs, including the Comprehensive Solider and Family Fitness Program, (a component of the Ready and Resilient Campaign); Master Resiliency Training; Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention; Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center’s Behavioral Health Department; the Army Substance Abuse Program; and the Army Wellness Center. CSF2 is a key component of the Ready and Resilient Campaign and focuses on five dimensions of strength: physical, family, social, emotional and spiritual. Staff Sgt. Levon Moody, a small-group leader at the Signal Corps Regimental NCO Academy Detachment, is Fort Meade’s CSF2 program manager. Moody told the participants that one of the goals of the program is to “help our Soldiers and families cope with the issues they may have when arriving at a new duty station.” An important part of CSF2 is Master Resilience Training, which is targeted to drill sergeants, squad leaders, platoon leaders, first sergeants and company commanders who teach resilient skills to Soldiers in their units. Moody said there are more than 50 MRTs on post who support CSF2. The garrison is required to provide 16 hours of resiliency training to new Soldiers within 90 days of their arrival at Fort file photo In addition to using Gaffney Fitness Center for physical health, resiliency combines mental and emotional skills to help generate optimal performance in combat, healing after injury, and in managing work and home life. The Ready and Resilient Campaign is designed to build upon physical, emotional and psychological resilience in service members, families and civilians so they improve performance to deal with the rigors and challenges of a demanding profession. Meade. Training takes place during the in-processing for Soldiers. Stacey Hale, the garrison’s sexual assault response coordinator and sexual harassment/assault response specialist, said that in fiscal year 2013, there were 25 sexual assaults reported for Fort Meade. Hale said senior leaders have “established a command climate where people can come forward.” But, she said, “one report is one too many.” Hale handed out copies of the Army’s SHARP Guidebook, which defines sexual harassment and sexual assault, and educates commanders on how they should respond to reports of alleged sexual harassment or sexual assault within their units. According to Army statistics, female Soldiers between the ages of 18 and 24, who are within the first 18 months of their enlistment, are most vulnerable to becoming victims of sexual assault. In addition, 35 percent of sexual assaults began as sexual harassment that went unchecked. Mark Fisher, chief of pediatric behavioral health at Kimbrough and a suicide prevention subject matter expert, spoke about the garrison’s suicide prevention efforts and the behavioral health services. “You’re in the trenches,” he said. “You’re with the Soldiers and you will spot things that can prevent a suicide.” Commanders can take advantage of the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training program, the garrison’s suicide prevention course, that is sponsored by the Army Substance Abuse Program. The behavioral health staff is available for active-duty Soldiers during work hours. After duty hours, commanders should call 911 or the on-call garrison chaplain, said Fisher. The behavioral health staff provides psychological evaluations and treatment, including individual and family counseling. The staff treats conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injuries, and mood and anxiety disorders, and helps people deal with family issues, deployments and stress management. Fisher said the staff also provides command-directed psychological evalua- file photo Working with skilled professionals is a key part of the campaign to synchronize multiple efforts and programs to improve the readiness and resilience of service members, Department of Defense civilian employees and families. tions of Soldiers and security clearance evaluations. Jamie Valis, director of the Army Wellness Center, gave a brief overview of the Army’s Performance Triad, which emphasizes proper sleep, exercise and nutrition, and the Army Wellness Center. The AWC’s core programs include health assessment review, physical fitness, healthy nutrition, stress management, wellness education and tobacco education. The center also provides metabolic testing, body composition measurements, fitness assessments and stress management techniques. Maj. Lucas Frank, battalion executive officer of the 3rd Battalion, 312th Regiment, said it is the responsibility of senior leaders to ensure that Soldiers get the help they need. “There is a wealth of Army programs out there that are designed to help Soldiers and their families,” he said. “It is our job as Army leaders to match up the right Soldier with the right program to ensure that the programs are utilized.” January 23, 2014 SOUNDOFF!
  4. 4. N ews Ribbon cutting officially opens Tax Center Appointments to start Monday By Brandon Bieltz Staff Writer Not even snow could stop tax season from kicking off at Fort Meade. Lt. Col. Marion Bakalorz, commander of Headquarters Command Battalion, and tax preparation volunteers officially opened the Joint Installation Tax Center on Tuesday morning with a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. The center, which is located Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at 4217 Roberts Ave., will begin seeing clients on Monday and will remain open through the tax filing deadline on April 15. “We help people find all the credits and refunds that they’re entitled to,” said 1st Lt. Iris Yao, officer-in-charge of the tax center. “It’s helping them do their returns so they get the biggest refund they’re entitled to. “It is free, we don’t charge anything. We do have special expertise in military specific issues.” The center is open to service members, retirees and Reservists with active-duty orders for more than 30 days. Appointments, which are made on a firstcome-first-serve basis, are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Don’t procrastinate, make your appointment soon,” Yao said. Last year, the tax center generated $4.3 million in returns for more than 1,700 people. The free service also saved taxpayers more than $565,000 in preparation fees. Yao hopes to hit those numbers again, despite operating with a smaller staff than last year. “It’s a one-third reduction compared to last year,” she said. “Hopefully we can still see the same amount of clients. .... It’s quality over quantity.” The center can prepare both state and federal tax returns. “We do every state,” Yao said. “We are specially trained because as a military installation, we will see returns from every single state. We’re specialized in understanding and knowing those military rules, and they apply to the states.” The center’s volunteer staff, however, cannot prepare tax returns from business income such as ownership of more than one rental space, conducting 10 or more stock transactions, or self-employed businesses — except for in-home child care. “We’re restrained by VITA [Volunteer Income Tax Assistance] perimeters,” Yao said. “They have their rules that we have to follow.” About a dozen service members have vol- unteered to prepare tax returns this year and recently underwent a weeklong crash course in tax preparation. “It’s talking about everything you need to know to prepare a return,” Yao said. With the expectation of preparing returns for service members, the volunteers were prepared on military issues. “We are especially focused on militaryspecific issues such as combat pay,” Yao said. “We are especially knowledgeable about that because we expect to serve people with those issues.” During Tuesday’s brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, Bakalorz recognized and thanked the service members for volunteering their time to operate the center. “We couldn’t open the tax center without them,” she said. “Thank you for your support.” Editor’s note: To schedule an appointment, call 301-677-9366. Lt. Col. Marion Bakalorz, commander of Headquarters Command Battalion, cuts the ribbon signaling the opening of the Joint Installation Tax Center as volunteers look on during a brief ceremony on Tuesday morning. The staff will begin seeing clients on Monday and will remain open through the April 15 tax filing deadline. photo by noah scialom SOUNDOFF! January 23, 2014
  5. 5. N ews Spouses can claim Social Security benefits Documents to bring at the time of your appointment By Wendy Poulson Social Security Manager, Glen Burnie Social Security can be an important financial asset for married couples when the time comes to apply for retirement benefits. In many cases, one spouse may have earned significantly more than the other or worked for a longer span of years. Or it could be that one spouse stayed home to raise the children or care for elderly family members while the other focused on a career. Regardless of your situation, Social Security will look at all possibilities to make sure both spouses receive the maximum benefit possible. Even if you have not paid Social Security taxes, it’s likely you’ll be eligible to receive benefits on your spouse’s record. If you did work and pay into Social Security, we will check eligibility based on your work record and that of your spouse’s to see which amount is higher. You can apply for spousal benefits the same way you apply for benefits on your own record. You can apply for reduced benefits as early as age 62, or for 100 percent of your full retirement benefits at your full retirement age. You can find your full retirement age, based on your birth year, at • Social Security cards for yourself, spouse and all dependents, if available • All income documents such as W-2 for wages, 1099 for interest and miscellaneous income • If direct deposit to your bank institution is desired, bring a check or other document showing account number and routing symbol. In addition, bring documents or other information substantiating tax credits of deductions for: • Dependent child care (including taxpayer ID or Social Security numbers for child care provider) • Interest on education loans • Rental income and expenses • Itemized expenses • Education credits • Power of Attorney, if signing for your spouse • Any other document applicable to your tax situation pubs/ageincrease.htm. The benefit amount you can receive as a spouse, if you have reached your full retirement age, can be as much as one half of your spouse’s full benefit. If you opt for early retirement, your benefit may be as little as one-third of your spouse’s full benefit amount. If your spouse has already reached full retirement age but continues to work, your spouse can apply for retirement benefits and request to have the payments suspended until as late as age 70. This would allow the worker to earn delayed retirement credits that will mean higher payments later, but would allow you to receive your spouse’s benefit. You also can apply for spousal benefits based on the earnings record of an ex-spouse or deceased spouse if you were married for at least 10 years. Spouses can consider a number of options and variables. We make it easier to navigate them. Visit the benefits planner at www. Take note of the “Benefits As A Spouse” section. If you are ready to apply for benefits, the most convenient way is to apply online at For more information, go to WE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO SERVE. 98% SATISFACTION RATE 1 AMONG USAA MEMBERS . At USAA, we strive for the highest satisfaction rate in the industry. It’s more than a short-term goal, it’s a long-term commitment. Because many of us have served, we’re committed to help make your life easier in any way we can. Compare our members’ satisfaction with customers from other companies. Get an auto insurance quote today. USA A .COM/INSUR ANCE or 800 -531- 8722 Based on a 2013 satisfaction survey of USAA auto insurance members, commissioned by USAA. Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products, or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Membership and product eligibility restrictions apply and are subject to change. Automobile insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, USAA County Mutual Insurance Company, San Antonio, TX, and is available only to persons eligible for PC group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products. © 2014 USAA. 150349-0114 1 January 23, 2014 SOUNDOFF!
  6. 6. N ews Copies of the 2014 Fort Meade Welcome Guide are available now. Please call 301-6775602 or email philip. h.jones.civ@ to request guides for your organization. Tinnitus: What the buzz is all about By Maj. Melissa Leccese Army Hearing Program Staff Officer U.S. Army Public Health Command What is tinnitus? Even if you are unfamiliar with the term, many of you may have experienced this distracting ringing, buzzing, clicking, roaring or rushing sound in the ears at one time or another. Tinnitus is not a disease; however, it is likely to be related to an underlying condition. The most common condition is exposure to noise, both on the job or during recreational activities. Other related conditions include aging, an ear or sinus infection, a head or neck injury, heart or vascular disease, some medications, stress or fatigue. Tinnitus related to noise exposure is believed to be the result of damage or stress to cells in the inner ear. These cells are known as “hair cells” because of the hair-like projections attached to these cells. Hair cells play an important role in the hearing process and damage results in faulty hearing. An estimated 50 million Americans experience constant tinnitus. More than 16 million people who suffer from tinnitus have sought medical attention to find relief. Tinnitus is the most common service- connected disability among veterans. Tinnitus can interfere with ability to concentrate for short or long periods of time. In severe cases, depression and insomnia can often result from the condition. Tinnitus also can be a source of severe mental stress for many people. There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are many treatments and treatment programs available that help people manage this condition. Treatment ranges from counseling groups to help promote relaxation techniques to cope with tinnitus to hearing aids and sound generators that produce gentle, repetitive and soothing sounds to help people sleep. Although there is no cure, tinnitus can be prevented. Turning down the volume or moving away from the noise is a wise practice. Using hearing protection measures is also a good choice. Follow Fort Meade on /ftmeademd Protect your baby from sudden infant death syndrome By Maj. Lakisha Flagg Army Public Health Nurse U.S. Army Public Health Command The birth of a child is a miraculous moment. Unfortunately, about 4,000 of these babies die every year in the United States, and the cause of death for these children is often not obvious or immediately known. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is responsible for nearly half of these deaths. SIDS is the leading cause of all deaths among infants under 1 years old, and it often occurs when babies are between 2 months and 4 months old. Some people call SIDS “crib death” because many babies who die of SIDS are found in their cribs. Years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics identified sleep position as a contributing factor in SIDS deaths. In SOUNDOFF! January 23, 2014 1994, the organization began its popular “Back to Sleep” campaign, which encouraged parents and caregivers to place infants on their backs when putting them down to sleep. The organization admonished parents and caregivers to reserve “tummy time” for times when infants are awake and closely watched by caretakers. “Back to Sleep” positioning was found to be the most effective action that parents and caretakers could take to reduce the risk of SIDS for children in their care. Because of the campaign, the rate of SIDS deaths in the United States decreased by more than 50 percent. Since that time, several other factors that contribute to SIDS have been identified. These factors include physical entrapment in bedding and furniture, suffocation and choking. In response to these newly identified risk factors, the AAP has launched a new SIDS prevention campaign called “Safe Sleep for All Babies.” This campaign encourages caretakers to continue placing infants in the proper sleep position, and advises them to also ensure that their child has a safe sleeping environment by removing all choking and strangulation hazards from infants’ sleep areas. These specific risk-reduction strategies to prevent SIDS include: • Placing infants in a crib or bassinet, in the same room as the parents • Avoiding co-sleeping/placing infants in the same bed as adults or other children • Placing babies on their backs to sleep, even for short naps • Reserving “tummy time” (laying infants on their belly) for when they are awake and someone is watching • Using a firm sleep surface such as a crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet • Keeping soft objects such as pillows, quilts, bumper pads and stuffed animals out of the crib until infants are older than 12 months • Keeping soft objects and loose bedding away from sleep area • Making sure babies don’t get too hot, and keeping the room at a comfortable temperature for an adult • Avoiding the use of cribs that are broken, that have missing parts or that have drop-side rails • Keeping infants away from tobacco smoke and places where people smoke By adopting these simple safety tips, parents and caregivers can reduce the risk of SIDS for infants in their care.
  7. 7. MILITARY PERSONNEL! Let me help you purchase your next vehicle. Work with an experienced Military Spouse Automotive Sales Professional. Melissa Link 410-349-2582 MINI of Annapolis 31 Old Bottom Road N. Annapolis Mention this ad for a $$ Discount! USAA Friendly Text FOLLOW FORTMEADE to 40404 to sign up for Fort Meade news alerts on your mobile phone Learning at home. Learning in the classroom. Learning for success. If you want to maintain, stay competitive, or advance in your career, choose Howard Community College for learning that works for you! Flexible Scheduling Online • Hybrid • Accelerated Convenient Locations Columbia • Gateway • Laurel • Mount Airy Support Services Credit for Prior Learning • Military Assistance Counseling and Career Services Financial Aid Career Programming Workforce Training Certications • Degrees SOUNDOFF! January 23, 2014 Visit to take the next step. N ews Protect your child’s online identity By Jane M. Winand Chief, Legal Assistance Division For parents in today’s Internetbased society, it is a challenge to maintain some control over their children’s activities online. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, gives parents the tools needed to control the personal information that companies collect online from children under the age of 13. COPPA requires any website, online service or app that is either specifically directed to children under 13, or that knows it is collecting personal information from youngsters that age, to notify parents directly and obtain parental approval before collecting, using or disposing of a child’s personal information. The personal information covered by COPPA includes the child’s name, address, phone number, email address and physical location, as well as photos, videos and audio recordings of the child. In addition, COPPA protects persistent identifiers such as IP addresses that can track the child’s activities online over time. When your child wants to download an app or uses features on a site that collects their information, COPPA kicks in. Before the child can use the app or feature, a notice in straight-forward language will appear, either right on the screen or through an email, indicating what information will be collected, how the information will be used, and how you can consent. The notice should also link to a plain language privacy policy that details the kind of information the site collects and what it might do with the information such as targeting your child with marketing, advertising, or giving or selling the information to other companies. The privacy policy should state that those other companies are also required to keep your child’s information safe. You may provide your consent by responding to the notice and clicking on a permission slip that is included or by calling a toll-free number. If your child insists on downloading that app “that all the other kids have,” as a parent you have some choices. First, carefully read the app’s or website’s information-practices statement and privacy notice, and make sure you are comfortable with how the company will use your child’s information. Second, consider providing only limited consent. For instance, you might allow the company to collect your child’s personal information, but not permit it to share that information with other companies. Third, if you do give permission for the collection of your child’s personal information, you have the right to review the information collected. Furthermore, you can revoke your consent at any time and also request that any information collected about your child be deleted from the company’s database. If you think that a website or app has collected information from your child in violation of COPPA, immediately report it to the Federal Trade Commission at, the nation’s consumer protection agency that is tasked with enforcing COPPA. You also may call the Fort Meade Legal Assistance Office and schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney at 301-677-9504 or 301-677-9536. Spring semester begins January 25 Noncredit classes are ongoing Connect with Fort Meade at
  8. 8. C over S tory photo by Nancy Thornhill-Rodrigues Kyle Rodrigues watches falling snow in his backyard at the start of the storm. photo by noah scialom Snowstorm hits Fort Meade, drops several inches of snow photo by noah scialom People walk around Burba Lake as the snowfall accumulates on Tuesday. The installation closed at noon Tuesday and opened two hours late on Wednesday. 10 SOUNDOFF! January 23, 2014 By Brandon Bieltz Staff Writer Anne Arundel County Public Schools were closed for two days, and garrison employees were sent home early Tuesday and arrived late on Wednesday as Winter Storm Janus moved through the area, covering the roads in snow. The storm, which reached the area around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, dropped several inches of snow in the county, including 7 inches at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport by 11 p.m. Fort Meade closed at noon on Tuesday and opened two hours late on Wednesday while crews cleared off the streets —many of which had frozen over as temperatures dropped to single digits. Frigid temperatures remained in the area on Wednesday with a wind chill that dropped below zero. Temperatures are expected to remain near-freezing the remainder of the week. For information on staying warm in cold weather, visit
  9. 9. CENTER: A snow plow prepares for the winter storm on Tuesday morning. The snowstorm would drop roughly 7 inches of powder on the area during the day. LEFT: Orion Wallace blows a handful of snow Tuesday afternoon. Anne Arundel County Public Schools closed for two days Photo by betsy wallace BELOW LEFT: A postal worker delivers mail despite snowy conditions. Tuesday’s winter storm brought more than half-a-foot of snow and cold temperatures to the area. BELOW RIGHT: Milo the cat stares out the window during Tuesday’s snowstorm. photo by Nancy Thornhill-Rodrigues photo by Kelsey Geurts January 23, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 11
  10. 10. S ports Three Soldiers nominated to U.S. Olympic luge team Story and photo by Tim Hipps U.S. Army Installation Management Command PARK CITY, Utah — Three Soldiers from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program earned nominations for the U.S. Olympic Luge Team for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Team USA luge coach Staff Sgt. Bill Tavares will lead Sgt. Matt Mortensen and Sgt. Preston Griffall — who secured their spot with a ninth-place finish in doubles at the Luge World Cup stop — on Dec. 13 at Utah Olympic Park. The U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, or WCAP, duo completed its first run down the 1,335-meter track that features 15 curves in 43.948 seconds, followed by a shakier slide down the mountain in 44.132 seconds — for a cumulative time of 1:28.080. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Bvias Arlt won the race with a 1:27.326 clocking. “There’s always a little bit of pressure when you’re sliding, but for Preston and I, the main thing was just get down to the finish without walls — do something that you’ve done hundreds of times, and just do it OK,” said Mortensen, 28, of Huntington Station, N.Y. “Second run, I tried not to do it OK, but we still managed to get down without any walls.” Griffall, a 2006 Olympian who just missed making the team in 2010, had even more reason to be concerned. As the bottom guy on a doubles team, it’s often difficult to see what is happening. “Our second run, like Matt said, we had some problems on the run,” said Griffall, 29, Sgt. Matt Mortensen and Sgt. Preston Griffall of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program earn a berth in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games by virtue of their World Cup performances, including this run to a ninth-place finish in luge doubles on Dec. 13 at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. of Salt Lake City, Utah. “There’s a big scoreboard, actually, behind curve 14 — because I can’t see directly in front of me because Matt’s sitting there. “So I was turned around and trying to look at the scoreboard to see what place we were in. And we’re still traveling at 60 or 70 miles per hour, and I couldn’t see where the place was on the board.” Another four years instantaneously flashed through the mind of Griffall. “I had no idea what place we were in, and Matt wasn’t doing anything, so there was no reaction at first,” he recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, maybe we didn’t get the place that we needed.’ “I finally was able to see around him once we got further up the outrun and I saw that we were in second place [at that point in the competition]. And at that point I knew that Meade Mustangs weekly roundup Basketball Both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams fell to Old Mill on Friday on the road. The 13-2 Old Mill girls team defeated the Mustangs 43-27. Alexis Jackson scored 13 points for Meade as the team fell to 9-5. Tristan Easton led the 10-4 boys team with 24 points, and Marcus Smith scored 14 in the 77-74 upset loss. The win was the fourth conference win for Old Mill (5-10) this year. The Mustangs will play at North County (boys, 67; girls, 6-6) on Friday. When the teams met early in December, the boys lost 69-66 and the girls lost 45-42. 12 SOUNDOFF! January 23, 2014 we had met the place we needed to in order to qualify for the Olympics. “I was just extremely excited,” Griffall said. “That was what we needed to do. I was happy for both Matt and I that we were finally able to do this after seven years. This is the goal that we had, and we finally met that goal. “I’m just trying to enjoy it right now, and we’re going to look forward toward Sochi, get there, and try and go for it — give ourselves the possibility of going for a medal.” Mortensen was “paralyzed by emotion” the moment he realized the WCAP duo’s second run was good enough to earn an Olympic berth. “All that matters is that we qualified for the Olympics and we’re going to Sochi,” he said. “We ended up in ninth place today, which is same as last week, so that’s really, The girls play at 5 p.m. The boys play at 6:45 p.m. On Saturday, the boys will face off against Harford Christian High School (8-9) at 1:30 p.m. The girls will play at Severn School (13-2) on Wednesday. Wrestling The Mustangs wrestling team hosted its annual “Battle at the Base” tournament on Friday and Saturday. Meade finished the 16-team tournament in fourth place with 461 points, as Kent Island won with 542. Travis Chidebe won the 162 weight-class by a major decision. Justin Pyle finished first in the 172 weightclass by pin. Segun Aboiye finished second in the 197 weight-class. Chidebe was named the outstanding heavyweight of the tournament. The team will compete at Joppatown High School on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Arundel High School on Wednesday at 7 p.m. really good for us.” The next day, Mortensen and Griffall enjoyed a “victory lap,” of sorts, by anchoring Team USA to a silver medal in the World Cup team relay, an event that will make its Olympic debut in Sochi. Kate Hansen slid the women’s singles leg, and Chris Mazdzer filled the men’s singles spot on the relay team. USA Luge officially announced nomination of the 2014 Olympic Luge Team, pending U.S. Olympic Committee approval, during a gala night at the Utah Olympic Park Museum. Joining the WCAP lugers on Team USA: Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, N.Y., Tucker West of Ridgefield, Conn., and Aidan Kelly of West Islip, N.Y., in men’s singles; Erin Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y., Hansen of La Canada, Calif., and Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pa., in women’s singles, along with Christian Niccum of Woodinville, Wash., and Jayson Terdiman of Berwick, Pa., in doubles. “It’s unbelievable,” Mortensen said. “I get emotional thinking about it. It’s been almost 17 years that I’ve been working toward this point, and for it to finally happen is like a dream come true.” Griffall hopes his third go-round might indeed produce the charm. “Emotionally, it’s a pretty powerful thing,” he said. “This is the biggest event for our sport. It only happens every four years. We have World Cups and World Championships in between, but this is the big one, you know? “Yeah, after Matt and I missed it narrowly in 2010, this has been a long time coming.” Football Meade’s football had seven players named to the Consensus All-State football team. First team: offensive lineman Jake Hawk; running back Kyle Evans; and defensive end Niquekko Cook. Second team: linebacker Jamarkeus Hammond and defensive back Kavon Witherspoon. Avery Baker and Segun Aboiye were honorable mentions. Hawk, who committed to the Naval Academy in the fall, was awarded the Al Laramore Trophy for best offensive linesman in the county by the Touchdown Club of Annapolis. Cook committed to play at Towson University. Anthony Watkins, a wide receiver from the Class of 2013, committed to the University of Connecticut.
  11. 11. S ports Jibber Jabber - Opinion Party on, Fort Meade It’s Tuesday, and it looks like the snow is going to make things crazy at Fort Meade once again. As I pour through the 100 or so Facebook comments regarding our operating status, I am more convinced than ever that I need to start blocking posts on certain topics due to an abuse of bandwidth. To paraphrase Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” if you are going to rant on Facebook, here’s a good idea: Have a point! It makes it so much more interesting for the reader — in this case, me. If you aren’t sure what an effective rant looks like, check out this little gem from Seahawk Richard Sherman. bit. ly/1bO87GV Speaking of Sherman, those who are bagging on Sherman for taking away focus from the Seahawks’ win are silly. We’ve got two weeks to hear analysts discuss the matchup and how the team got to the big game. That’s why I will hold off on ranting about how I, the Prince of Prognostication, predicted the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run way back in September. However, with 10 days until the big game, we do need to talk about a certain aspect of Super Sunday before next week’s predictions: The Super Bowl Party. Per usual, Fort Meade has a ton of activities going on to help Fort Meade ring in the big game. And, as it goes, I will not be able to participate in any of them because the Joneses are hosting their annual Super Bowl Bash. There are tons of things that go into making a Super Bowl Party an epic success as opposed to a major fail. Here are the most important: 1. Make the game the center of attention. Fellowship and catching up are nice, but you can do that any normal Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday is about football, so don’t be silly and do things like hide the TV in a corner. Put that bad boy in the middle of the room and make sure there is plenty of seating around it. FYI: sitting on the floor is acceptable. Also, don’t forget the escape area for true fans who need to get away from the chatter and focus squarely on the contest. Mine is going to be in the master bedroom. If technology permits, putting a small screen in the guest bathroom Chad T. Jones, isn’t a bad idea Public Affairs either. Officer 2. Just like any holiday, Super Bowl Sunday should be a family event. But as we know, kids are loud, sometimes whiny, and have a special gift at making themselves the center of attention. Without prior planning, their skills make it almost impossible for you to follow rule No. 1. So make sure you have a place for the kids to go with all the things kids need to be entertained - video games, Netflix (or adequate cable options), and at least one child older than 10 to ensure nothing too crazy happens. If children do wander upstairs or make a fuss, avoid breaking out the belt and instead, pull out some sweets. Of course, don’t make the dessert too exotic or you may miss some valuable game time. 3. Speaking of food prep, it’s no secret that food makes the party, so don’t be cheap. It is OK to ask your guests to bring a dish to pass, but the host is responsible for covering the basics: chips, drinks, cutlery and at least one major dish. We’re going with a Mexican theme this year, along with some chicken wings and at least one recipe from Jabber Nation. Last year, we got a great grape jelly meatball recipe. So, please take a little time to send your best Super Bowl party recipes to me or better yet, post them on the Fort Meade Facebook page. The best recipes will be shared in next week’s Soundoff! and then tried at Chad Bash 2014. In an attempt to #keepithalal, please avoid alcohol in your recipes. And of course, if you want to contact me about this or anything to do with sports, email me at chad.t.jones.civ@ or hit me up on Twitter @ CTJibber. Sports Shorts Running Clinic Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center Physical Therapy, the Community Health Promotion Council, and the Army Wellness Center will host a running clinic on Jan. 31 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Fort Meade Army Wellness Center, 4418 Llewellyn Ave. The free program is open active-duty service members, retirees, family members and DoD civilians of all running ability levels. The clinic will include a health care screening, skills and drills to improve running techniques as well as demonstrations. Space is limited. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call 301-677-2006. Spring Sports Registration for spring sports is underway at Parent Central Services, 1900 Reece Road. Spring sports include soccer, swimming, baseball, softball, track, flag football and basketball. Participants can register at the CYSS Central Registration Office at 1900 Reece Road or online at For more information, call 301-677-1149 or 1156. Intramural volleyball meeting A coaches meeting for intramural volleyball will be held Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. at Murphy Field House. A team representative must be present at the meeting to submit a roster. Only active-duty service members are allowed to compete in the league. Those eligible to play, but do not have a team, can sign up to be on a free agent list. For more information, call 301-677-3318 or email beth.d.downs.naf@mail. mil. Dollar Days Dollar Days at the Lanes is every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bowlers receive a game of bowling, shoe rental, a hot dog, hamburger, small fries, pizza slice or small soda for $1 each. For more information, call 301-677-5541. Texas Hold ‘em Texas Hold ‘em no buy-in games are played Mondays and Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Lanes. Games are free and open to the public. For more information, call 301-677-5541. For more Fort Meade sports, visit Spring, summer, fall or winter... Get involved with Youth Sports on Fort Meade, call 301-677-1105/1146/1156/1179 . January 23, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 13
  12. 12. C ommunity N ews N otes The deadline for Soundoff! community “News and Notes” is Friday at noon. All submissions are posted at the editor’s discretion and may be edited for space and grammar. Look for additional community events on the Fort Meade website at www. and the Fort Meade Facebook page at For more information or to submit an announcement, email Philip Jones at philip. or call 301-677-5602. NEWS EVENTS Blood drive In observance of National Blood Donor Month, the Armed Services Blood Program will sponsor a blood drive on Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McGill Training Center. To learn more about the Armed Services Blood Program, or to schedule an appointment, visit militaryblood.dod. mil. To interact directly with an ASBP staff member or for the latest news, visit Support group presentation The Prostate Cancer Support Group is sponsoring a presentation on “Hormone Therapy 101 for Prostate Cancer Patients” by Dr. Michelle Ojemuyiwa on Feb. 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the River Conference Room, third floor of the America Building, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The program also will be available via video-teleconference at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in the Oaks Pavilion, first floor, Room 332. Spouses/partners are invited. Military identification is required for base access at Walter Reed. Those without a military ID should call the Prostate Center at least two days prior to the event for base access at 301319-2900. For more information, call retired Col. Jane Hudak at 301-319-2918 or email jane. Club Meade lunch service begins Club Meade is offering an all-you-can-eat daily lunch buffet or order from the menu on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Buffet themes are: Monday - seafood; Tuesday - Asian; Wednesday - Southern; Thursday - barbecue; Friday - soup and salad. 14 SOUNDOFF! January 23, 2014 file photo MLK DAY OBSERVANCE The Fort Meade commemoration of the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance is today from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at McGill Training Center, 8542 Zimborski Ave. The free event is open to the public. The keynote speaker is Pastor Johnny Green, a retired member of the Air Force. All Fort Meade service members and civilian employees are encouraged to attend with supervisory approval and without charge to annual leave. Administrative leave is authorized. For more information, call the Fort Meade Equal Opportunity Office at 301677-6687 or the Equal Employment Opportunity Office at 301-677-6298. The buffet is open to all. Lunch service is no longer available at the Conference Center. For more information, call 301-677-6969. Jummah prayers Individuals interested in participating in Jummah prayers on Fort Meade should call 301-677-1301. Fort Meade has a room available at Argonne Hills Chapel Center, 7100 Rockenbach Road. The community also is seeking individuals to join in a morning prayer on Fridays. EDUCATION OSC scholarship applications The Fort Meade Officers’ Spouses’ Club has posted its 2014 scholarship applications on its website at http://www. College-bound, high school seniors and dependent children currently enrolled in college can apply for the Merit Scholarship. High school seniors with an outstanding academic record also will be considered for the Etta Baker Memorial Scholarship. A Military Spouse Scholarship is also available. Applications must be postmarked by April 1. Read the eligibility requirements carefully before applying. For more information, email the OSC Scholarship Chair at scholarships@ Free classes The Navy Fleet and Family Support Center offers a variety of classes at its new facility at 2212 Chisholm Ave. The free classes are open to DoD identification cardholders, including active-duty service members, retirees and their family members, DoD civilian employees and contractors. Registration is required for each class. • How To Work A Job Fair: Today, 9 a.m. to noon: Strategies to make the most of a job fair opportunity • Transition, Goals, Plans, Success (TGPS) Workshop: Monday to Jan. 31 • Career Exploration: Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon: Learn about your personality preferences, values, and interests, and how to use them to achieve success. • First Term Financial Readiness (online class): Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Time Management: Wednesday, 911 a.m. • Medical Record Review: Have your medical records reviewed by Ms. Johnson of AMVETS. Appointment required. To register or for more information, call 301-677-9017 or 301-677-9018. ACS classes Army Community Service offers a variety of classes at 830 Chisholm Ave. The free classes are open to DoD ID cardholders including active-duty service members, retirees and their family members, DoD civilian employees and contractors. Registration is required for each class. • 1st Term Financial Readiness: Tuesday and Feb. 25, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Thrift Savings Plan: Feb. 11, 9-11 a.m. • Buying an Automobile: Feb. 18, 9-11 a.m. • Military Saves: “A Day of Financial Fitness”: Feb. 28, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register or for more information, call 301-677-5590. YOUTH Story Time The Children’s Library at Kuhn Hall offers pre-kindergarten Story Time on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The free event features stories, songs or a finger-puppet theme. • Today: “Silly Stories and Giggles” • Jan. 30: “Ice is Nice” — focusing on penguins and polar bears For more information, call 301-6775522.
  13. 13. C ommunity N ews N otes Grilling Chilling Grilling Chilling for grades six to eight will be held Jan. 31 from 6-8 p.m. at the Youth Center. Fore more information, call 301-6771437. Teen Center events The Fort Meade Teen Center is featuring a checkers tournament on Jan. 31, from 3-5 p.m. Teens will play a freestyle/unrestricted tournament. For more information, call 301-677-6054. Kids Craft Club The Kids Craft Club for toddlers and preschoolers will meet Feb. 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the Arts and Crafts Center. Remaining sessions are: March 11, April 15 and May 6. Fee is $5 per session. Cost includes a craft, snack and juice. Space is limited. Registration is required. To register or for more information, call 301-677-7809. RECREATION Out About • The 18th Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis. Registration opens at 8 a.m. Mass Plunges will take place at both 1 and 3 p.m. Participants take a quick dip in the Chesapeake Bay for $75 in pledges, to raise funds for Special Olympics Maryland. There is a PeeWee Plunge for children ages 10 and younger. The Carnival FunFest heated tent hosts vendors, crafters and roving entertainment including stilt walkers, caricaturists, hop dancers and balloon sculptors. For more information, email plunge@ or call 410-242-1515. • “Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond” will be presented Feb. 1 through March 1 at the Geppis Entertainment Museum, 301 W. Camden St., Baltimore. Museum hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults; $9 for students ages 5 to 18; $7 for children; and free for ages 4 and younger. For more information, call 410-6257060 or go to • Leisure Travel Services is offering its next monthly bus trip to New York City on Feb. 22, with discounts to attractions. Onboard prize giveaway will be offered. Bus cost is $60. For more information, call 301-677-7354 or visit ftmeademwr. com. MEETINGS • Fort Meade Homeschool Co-op will meet Friday and Jan. 31 at 10:30 a.m. at Potomac Place Neighborhood Center. For more information, go to its Facebook page at Fort Meade Homeschool Group and Co-op. • Society of Military Widows meets for brunch the fourth Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Lanes. The next meeting is Sunday. For more information, call Betty Jones at 410-730-0127. • Single Parent Support Group meets the second and fourth Monday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at School Age Services, 1900 Reece Road. The next meeting is Monday. Free child care will be provided on site. For more information, email Kimberly. • Bully Proofing Support Group meets the second and fourth Monday of the month from 4 to 5 p.m. at Potomac Place Neighborhood Center. The next meeting is Monday. The group is geared for school-age children and parents. For more information, email • Marriage Enrichment Group, sponsored by Army Community Service, meets the second and fourth Monday of every month from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Community Readiness Center, 830 Chisholm Ave. The next meeting is Monday. For more information, call Celena Flowers or Jessica Hobgood at 301-677-5590. • Families Dealing with Deployment, Unaccompanied Permanent Change of Station, Temporary Duty meets the first and third Monday of every month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Meuse Forest Neighborhood Center. The next meeting is Feb. 3. For more information, email Kimberly.d.mckay6.ctr@ • Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club will sponsor its February luncheon on Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. at Club Meade. The topic is “Health and Wellness Options” presented by the Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan. Cost of the luncheon is $18. Reservations are required by Jan. 30. Call your area representative or Betty Wade at 410-551-7082. Membership dues are $25 per year, but you may join from February through May now for half price. Members may bring guests at any time to the luncheons, which are held on the first Tuesday of each month, except in June, July, August and January. For more information, call Genny Bellinger, president of the ROWC, at 410674-2550. • Monthly Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the Garrison Chaplain’s Office, is held the first Thursday of every month at 7 a.m. at Club Meade. The next prayer breakfast is Feb. 6. There is no cost for the buffet; donations are optional. All Fort Meade employees, family members, and civilian and military personnel are invited. For more information, call Diana Durner at 301-677-6703 or email diana.l.durner.civ@ • Meade Rod and Gun Club meets the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at Perry’s Restaurant and Odie’s Pub at 1210 Annapolis Road, Odenton, in the banquet hall in back of the building. The next meeting is Feb. 6. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. For more information, call 410-674-4000. • National Alliance on Mental Illness of Anne Arundel County offers a free support group for families with a loved one suffering from mental illness on the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Odenton (West County) Library, 1325 Annapolis Road. The next meeting is Feb. 6. For more information, visit • Women’s Empowerment Group meets Wednesdays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to provide a safe, confidential arena for the support, education and empowerment of women who have experienced past or present family violence. Location is only disclosed to participants. To register, call Tina Gauth, victim advocate, at 301-677-4117 or Samantha Herring, victim advocate, at 301-677-4124. • Spanish Christian Service is conducted Sundays at 1 p.m. at the Cavalry Chapel located at 8465 Simonds St. and 6th Armored Cavalry Road. For more information, call Elias Mendez at 301-677-7314 or 407-350-8749. • Cub Scout Pack 377 invites boys in first through fifth grades, or ages 7 to 10, to attend its weekly Monday meetings at 6 p.m. at Argonne Hills Chapel Center. For more information, email Cubmaster Christopher Lassiter at pack377_cm@ or Committee Chairperson Marco Cilibert at • Boy Scout Troop 379 meets Mondays at 7 p.m. at Argonne Hills Chapel Center on Rockenbach Road. The troop is actively recruiting boys age 11 to 18. For more information, email Lisa Yetman, at or Wendall Lawrence, Scoutmaster, at The movie schedule is subject to change. For a recorded announcement of showings, call 301677-5324. Further listings are available on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service website at Movies start Wednesdays to Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. PRICES: Tickets are $5.50 for adults (12 and older) and $3 for children. 3D Movies: $7.50 adults, $5 children. Today through Feb. 9 Today Friday: “Out of the Furnace” (R). When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn’t follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice. With Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana. Saturday Sunday: “Saving Mr. Banks” (PG13). Author P.L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, Mary Poppins. With Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley. Wednesday Feb. 1: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (R). With the 1970s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. With Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell. Jan. 30, 31: “American Hustle” (R). A con man, along with his seductive British partner, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. With Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence. Feb. 2, 8: “Walking With Dinosaurs” (PG). See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages. With the voices of Charlie Rowe, Karl Urban, Angourie Rice. (3D Feb. 8) Feb. 5, 9: “Grudge Match” (PG-13). A pair of aging boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout -- 30 years after their last match. With Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart. January 23, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 15