Family Connection Newsletter January 2014


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Family Connection Newsletter January 2014

  1. 1. Family JANUARY 2014 Contents connection STEM Summer Program at the USNA “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” Did You Say Something? Expiration of the AHRN Contract Parole in Place for Military Family Members Everyone Serves Anchor Program Provides Valuable Mentorship to Wounded Warriors Employment and Transition Corner Naval District Washington Ombudsmen Appreciation Coffee New Year, New You Family Connection is a publication of the Fleet and Family Support Program. The Navy's Fleet and Family Support Program promotes the self-reliance and resilience of Sailors and their families. We provide information that can help you meet the unique challenges of the military lifestyle. The appearance of external links in this newsletter does not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense. TSP Investments: Making Retirement Dollars Work for Your Future The New Year is always a great time to examine your tax situation, analyze your investments and set goals for the future. While you may already be familiar with the tax advantages of the traditional Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), now there is a new tool that offers a different way to save for retirement: the Roth TSP. To understand whether the Roth TSP is a good fit for you, you need to know how it works, how it differs from a traditional TSP contribution and the Roth TSP’s potential benefits. The TSP is a retirement savings plan for federal employees and members of the military similar to the 401(k) plans offered by many private employers. In the traditional TSP, individuals invest pre-tax dollars into their accounts, deferring the taxes until the funds are withdrawn at a later date. With Roth TSP contributions, you make after-tax contributions to your TSP account. When you withdraw funds from your Roth balance, you receive payments tax-free since you already paid taxes on the contributions. If you have questions or comments, contact Timothy McGough at Because taxes on Roth contributions are paid up front, contributions to the Roth TSP will take more money out of your paycheck than traditional TSP contributions. Even though you will have a little less take-home pay today, switching to Roth contributions can provide greater benefits later. For example, you may benefit from making Roth contributions instead of traditional TSP contributions if any of the following apply: Visit us online at: NNYou expect to be in a higher tax bracket at retirement. NNYou expect the tax rate to increase. NNYou are serving in a tax-exempt zone. The Center Fleet & Family Support Contribution limits apply and all decisions about investments and retirement options should be made carefully and as part of a long-term financial plan. To learn more about Roth TSP, visit the TSP website. You can also meet with a Personal Financial Manager at your local installation or access confidential financial counseling services through Military OneSource. “Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller
  2. 2. JANUARY 2014 STEM Summer Program at the USNA Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are the four focus areas of the United States Naval Academy’s Summer STEM Program. The program is designed to encourage rising 8th-11th graders to pursue a course of study in engineering and technology throughout high school and college. Applications can be submitted starting January 6 through April 15, 2014. “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking can include, but is not limited to: NNRepeated, unwanted, intrusive and frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail and/ or email. NNRepeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents or flowers. NNFollowing or lying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work or recreation spots. NNMaking direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim’s children, relatives, friends or pets. NNDamaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property. NNHarassing victim through the internet. NNPosting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place or by word of mouth. NNObtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim’s garbage, following the victim, contacting the victim’s friends, family, work or neighbors, etc. January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affect­ d 6.6 million e victims in one recent year. The theme — “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” — challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it. Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact. In one of five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims and stalking is one of the significant risk factors for homicide in abusive relationships. Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization. Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts. It is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person to feel fear. Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts or visits. One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices or hidden camer­ as to track the victim’s daily activities. Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalk­ rs e follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes. If you or someone you know is a victim of stalking by an intimate partner or spouse, contact your local Family Advocacy Program at the Fleet and Family Support Center. To find local assistance visit the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Stalking Resource Center. For additional resources to help promote National Stalking Awareness Month, please visit and iPhone, iPad User… Download JSS at the App Store Add JSS to your Mobile Network jss/Mobile.aspx JSS Dial-in Access 24/7? 1- 8 7 7- J S S - N O W1 (577-6691) Document Translation Services from Military OneSource Through its document translation services, Military OneSource provides translation of many legal documents such as leases, marriage licenses, adoption paperwork and school transcripts for service members and their families. New Spouse Orientation New Spouse Orientation is offered as an on-demand course designed to support new Navy spouses. It provides information on benefits, support services, military culture and resources to help spouses adapt to the military lifestyle. 2
  3. 3. JANUARY 2014 Did You Say Something? Listening is an action word for understanding a spoken message, therefore just hearing the words does not mean that you are listening to the message. On the other hand, if you ever thought that you were not listened to, you know that it can be annoying and hurtful. If it happens too often, you might feel ignored or unimportant. This, in turn, damages healthy relationships, thus, it makes sense that healthy military families listen to each other daily. So, how do we show that we are indeed listening? Show that you are attentive by demonstrating active listening techniques, such as responding with nonverbal cues, positive body language and verbal cues. During a natural break in the conversation, say what you thought you understood (don’t repeat – use your own words). If you are wrong with your interpretation, the other person will surely clarify. Once confirmed that you understood the message, you can respond if needed. You may realize that this slows the conversation down; you’re absolutely correct! But, in doing so, you avoid misunderstandings, hurt feelings and future arguments. Now, here is a valuable tip: If you can clarify what you heard by guessing the other’s feelings, you are a skilled listener. For example, Becky says, “This soup tastes bland.” Ben replies, “You worked hard preparing this soup and are disappointed with the flavor.” Assuming Ben was correct that she was disappointed, Becky will feel understood and connected. This is exactly what you want to happen. So, LISTENING matters, it is a great New Year’s resolution and will definitely bring your family closer. Give it a try, practice and see the results. For more assistance in developing healthy listening skills, contact your local Fleet and Family Support Center or go to the following links for examples of active listening: or class/assignments/actlisten.html. Expiration of the AHRN Contract As of 31 December 2013, the Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN) contract will expire and will not be renewed. AHRN will continue to operate as a commercial resource but will no longer be sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD). While the Navy Housing Referral Services program uses AHRN as one of many tools to provide high-quality services to our Sailors and families, this change will not interrupt their commitment to helping Sailors and their families. Navy Housing Referral Services will continue all of the services currently provided via AHRN through existing and commercially available resources. Your Navy Housing Service Center (HSC) is available to provide counseling and needs assessments to assist you in the home-finding process. The HSCs will continue to offer government-approved listings for homes available at your installation. They will work with local property managers, ensuring the continuity of available listings. Service members can contact their HSCs at any time and for any reason through a variety of means, including visiting our website, HEAT, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube), and via email. Parole in Place for Military Family Members President Obama has issued a policy memorandum to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that would allow certain members of military families to remain in the United States during the immigration process. Under these new guidelines, family members who meet certain qualifications may be issued “parole in place” status for a period of one year, meaning that they could remain in the U.S. while working toward permanent residency. The new guidelines grant special parole consideration to spouses, children and parents of all active-duty service members of the armed forces, reservists including the National Guard and veterans. Everyone Serves Everyone Serves: A Handbook for Family & Friends of Service Members During EVERYONE SERVES Pre-Deployment, Deployment and Reintegration is the second edition of the handbook, originally titled “A Handbook for Family & Friends of Service Members Before, During and After Deployment.” This handbook, available free online, serves as a guide for family and friends of service members who are somewhere in the deployment cycle. In addition to advice and information, the book has worksheets, videos featuring real military family members and their experiences, links to organizations and more. Everyone Serves is viewable in the following formats: e-book, Webviewable and PDF format. Download your copy today. A Handbook for Family & Friends of Service Members During Pre-Deployment, Deployment, and Reintegration 3
  4. 4. JANUARY 2014 Anchor Program Provides Valuable Mentorship to Wounded Warriors “The anchor stabilizes a ship when it’s dropped,” said Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) – Safe Harbor Anchor Program mentor Ken Rummel. “Likewise, the Anchor Program can help stabilize our wounded warriors during their separation from service and as they recover from a medical condition that has changed their lives and the lives of their families.” The Anchor Program helps NWW carry out its promise to provide transition assistance to seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, as well as their families. It provides them with an invaluable network of support during a critical chapter of their lives; the conclusion of their military careers. Rummel, a retired command master chief who now lives in Carlisle, Pa., with his wife, currently serves as a mentor to retired Master Chief Eugene Mason. Mason, a Coast Guard veteran, previously suffered a stroke that left his right side paralyzed and significantly impaired his speech. Anchor Program mentors offer a wide range of support, including serving as social contacts, providing personal referrals — recommending anything from the best nearby restaurant to the most reliable plumber — and establishing connections with local employers. ideal companions for a wounded warrior. NWW’s Anchor Program also provides respite to family members and caregivers, who often devote much of their time to assisting their wounded warrior in daily activities. “It helps in freeing up time for me so I can tend to my kids, do work around the house or just relax a bit and read a book or watch a movie,” said Mason’s wife, Jasmina. Rummel, for his part, insisted that serving as an Anchor Program mentor is its own reward. “The joy I see in Gene’s face is doubled in mine. The relief I see in Jasmina’s smile is doubled in my life. I have a more fulfilled life in helping our wounded warriors,” he said. But, perhaps most importantly, the mentors are available to lend an ear — and a hand — to an enrollee as they grapple with the challenges associated with returning to To learn more about NWW’s Anchor Program civilian life. Their experiences with the military, visit the NWW-Safe Harbor website or call on active duty and in retirement, make them 855-NAVY WWP. Employment and Transition Corner If continuing your education is one of your New Year’s resolutions, make sure to sign up for the latest offering from Transition GPS: Accessing Higher Education. The Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC) routinely offer the two-day Accessing Higher Education (AHE) workshop as an additional career training opportunity associated with Transition GPS. Often referred to as a career “track,” AHE assists Sailors interested in fulfilling the educational requirements needed U.S. Navy Individual Augmentees Like us on Facebook. for success in their post-military careers. And since choosing and paying for a school are decisions involving the whole family, spouses of these transitioning Sailors are encouraged to attend. With the AHE counselor’s help, Sailors compare academic institutions to find the undergraduate or graduate programs that best fit their personal requirements and professional criteria. Sailors also learn how to use tuition assistance options (including the GI Bill, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and work-study programs) to avoid graduating with a great deal of debt. The training also includes finding outside scholarship opportunities and avoiding financial aid scams. Finally, the AHE workshop prepares Sailors for success outside the classroom by providing them with network tips and contact information for veterans’ support groups and communities at the campus of their choice. Contact your local FFSC for more information about the AHE workshop. Returning Warrior Workshops (RWW) Returning Warrior Workshop Schedule and IA Family Events — Click “Links and Resources.” IA Discussion Group Schedule View the Fleet-wide list of classes, support groups and events. 4
  5. 5. JANUARY 2014 Naval District Washington Ombudsmen Appreciation Coffee On December 5th, Mrs. Darleen Greenert, spouse of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, hosted an Ombudsman Appreciation Coffee for Naval District Washington ombudsmen. New Year, New You Need motivation to jump-start your New Year’s Resolutions? Are your 2014 goals to find a new career, get in shape or learn a new hobby? Your command ombudsman can assist you in finding the types of resources you need to accomplish your goals, in addition to providing numerous other sources of information. To locate your ombudsman visit the ombudsman registry and click on the link “Contact Your Ombudsman.” 5