|Military Family Network News · May, 2009
| A MESSAGE FROM YOUR MFN TEAM
May 10th is Mother’s Day! Send a special online tribute to your Mom by visiting Stars and Stripes. Tributes will be received until May 9th.
By the way, did you know that the driving force behind Mother’s Day was Anna Jarvis, who organized observances in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia exactly 101 years ago: May 10, 1908? As the annual celebration became popular around the country, Jarvis asked members of Congress to set aside a day to honor mothers. She finally succeeded in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau.)
Jarvis’ idea was very simple: present a white carnation and a heartfelt letter to your mother on a day dedicated to honor all mothers to show how a mother’s sacrifice and devotion matters and how we hold their love dear.
So, those childhood drawings and cards you made in grade school are just the way to go! Dust off those Crayolas and get scribbling!
(For more interesting facts about mothers, visit this link.)
May 25th is Memorial Day. Set those Cell Phone Alarms for 3PM!
On this day, we honor those who have, through their military service, valiantly served our nation by sacrificing their lives for the protection of all Americans. Established after the Civil War and originally called "Decoration Day" by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, Memorial Day was meant to be "a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers."
Maj. General Logan writes:
What can aid more…than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead?
We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth
and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute
to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going
of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to
the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost
of a free and undivided republic…Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around
their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest
flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in
this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and to assist those whom they have
left among us as a sacred charge upon the Nation’s gratitude – the soldier’s and
sailor’s widow and orphan.
So, in the spirit of Maj. General Logan’s sincerest gratitude and his true and moral calling for us to honor and never forget our fallen service members, let us follow his exceptional leadership by joining the White House Commission on Remembrance commemorating this day by promoting the spirit of unity and remembrance through observance of The National Moment of Remembrance at 3 PM local time on Memorial Day; Ensuring the nation remembers the sacrifices of America's fallen from the Revolutionary War to the present; and, Recognizing those who have served and those who continue to serve our great nation and reminding all Americans of our common heritage.
On Memorial Day, then, whether watching a parade or running around at a picnic, when your cell phone alarm rings, take a few moments to pause in a thoughtful, appreciative moment of silence and remembrance.
For more information about the traditions and ceremonial customs of Memorial Day, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
For more information on the White House Commission on Remembrance, visit http://www.remember.gov/ where you can pause in silent prayer for a moment as you reflect on the names of America’s Fallen from the Korean War to present.
Experts from the Field! In case you didn’t catch last month’s hint, this feature is where The Military Family Network introduces professionals who have partnered with MFN to offer trusted advice, services, resources and guidance to you, our military community. So, this month, let’s welcome the authors of You and Your Military Hero and their book buddy, FLIPP:
- Sara JensenFritz, MS, Psy.S., LP
Sara works as a School Psychologist and serves children from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Her duties include psychological evaluation, behavioral consultation, and proactive intervention development.
- Paula JonesJohnson, BSW, M. Ed.
Paula works as a School Social Worker whose duties involve working with students, faculty, parents and community to help children succeed in the school setting.
- Thea L. Zitzow, BS, M.Ed.
Thea is a Special Education teacher and Speech/Language Clinician working with students who have social and communication challenges.
- FLIPP is a loyal and faithful companion whose best and beloved military hero was deployed last year. FLIPP has used this time on his paws to think of fun activities to help kids feel good while their military hero is away.
Welcome Sara, Paula, Thea and FLIPP!
Please take advantage of what these wonderful individuals have to offer. You will be glad you did.
Until Next Month (or you can email us at connections@MilitaryFamilyNetwork.com if you just can’t wait!),
Megan, Luis and Darrell
| NEWS YOU CAN USE
Association of the US Army Family Programs Newsletter: Great Opportunity to Stay Abreast of News that Matters to YOU!
This newsletter is published bi-monthly by the AUSA Family Programs Directorate, Sylvia Kidd. Here’s a peak at a few of this month’s highlights:
- Obama Renews Pledge to Transform VA
- White House Retreat on Veteran Health Care Plan
- An End to Stop Loss, the Start of Payouts
- Paternity Leave for Married Soldiers in Effect
- 2009 May Be the Year of the Military Family
- Reservist Early Retirement Pay
- Legislation Introduced to Reimburse Reservists for Travel
- Joint Electronic Health, Benefits Record Pursued for Vets, Families
- VA Hires Vets to Find Comrades Who Need Help
- Financial Counselor Training Open to Spouses
Read full stories and more in this month's newsletters here and/or here.
If you would like to receive the Family Programs Update by e-mail, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and type "subscribe" in the subject line.
Military Installations Worldwide Encourage Service Members and Their Families to Learn Their Drinking IQ
Anonymous, free alcohol assessment and education available year-round by phone or online. Read More...
| TRICARE UPDATE
Paying TRICARE Enrollment Fees Electronically is Easy
Paying prime enrollment fees electronically may be required in the not-so-distant future—so why not try it now? With widespread access to the Internet, people are finding convenience in paying bills electronically. Paying TRICARE enrollment fees electronically is easy too. Read More…
General Urges Servicemembers to Seek Help for Stress Disorder
Servicemembers at war can be confronted with traumatic, sometimes shocking, events that can cause long-lasting emotional and psychological wounds. Read More…
TRICARE Launches New Web Page to Down Alcohol Abuse
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and TRICARE is committed to creating a "buzz" about the effects of alcohol abuse. A new TRICARE Web page at sheds some light on alcohol abuse and promotes responsible drinking. Read More…
| RELOCATION INFORMATION
The Military Family Network (MFN) is proud to partner with BR Anchor Publishing. Their books offer efficient and cost-effective relocation information that addresses the concerns of all employees, spouses and children. In addition, their publications feature separate military chapters, websites, resources and checklists, prompting military bases around the world to use our books for their "Smooth Move" programs. See our special military prices at http://www.branchor.com/mfn/.
To order, contact Amy Roman, Publisher at email@example.com or 800.735.9209 in the US and 904.641.1140 worldwide and mention you are an MFN member.
| VETERANS CORNER
Talking With Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People
How well you and your doctor talk to each other is one of the most important parts of getting good health care. Unfortunately, talking to your doctor isn’t always easy. It takes time and effort on your part as well as your doctor’s. Read More…
Ceremony to Recognize Vets Not Eligible for Vietnam Wall Inclusion
One-hundred twenty-three American heroes from the Vietnam War era will be honored posthumously this month during the annual In Memory Day ceremony, according to Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Read More…
| MFN BOOK CLUB
You and Your Military Hero
May has been designated Military Appreciation Month – a time for all Americans to honor military personnel and reflect on their sacrifices for this great nation. Millions of military children are forced to make dramatic changes in their everyday lives when their loved ones are deployed. Research has concluded that changes are less stressful for children when they have the tools to manage their daily stressors.
You and Your Military Hero was developed to provide positive coping tools for military children (ages 5 – 1s2) as they adjust to their "new normal" during deployment. This new, interactive activity book incorporates a friendly dog, Flipp, who guides the child through original games and activities on a fun-filled journey that helps develop positive coping strategies. You and Your Military Hero
can be used by both family members and professionals alike to help the child maintain a positive perspective during this challenging time.
You and Your Military Hero
- Enhances emotional well-being
- Develops positive coping skills
- Empowers children and military families to maintain a positive perspective
- Provides regular opportunity for adult/child connections
- Offers user- friendly format for both family members and professionals
UFLIPP, LLC is honored to be aligned with the mission of the Military Family Network and support military families by improving the child’s well-being and establishing positive connections.
In addition to The Military Family Network, other national organizations such as the Military Child Education Coalition and National Military Family Association have endorsed this activities book. For more information on You and Your Military Hero
, please visit www.uflipp.com.
Reporting For Doodie
by J.L. Smith
"What would you do if you were a (suddenly) single Grandmother and both your daughter and son-in-law were deployed at the same time, leaving you as primary caregiver for your 2-year old grandson??? You'd do exactly what I did - REPORT FOR DOODIE!
...I hope you enjoy this account of how this beautiful child saved me from myself an how I used 'The Secret' to channel the inner strength my mother gave me...all compliments of the U.S. Military."
Find out more at the Reporting for Doodie website.
Your Military Family Network is Here! Order Your Copy Now!
The Military Family Network and Capital Books in Washington DC have published Your Military Family Network - the Nation's first military family resource guide! This 650-page book covers all major military support topics from enlistment to retirement! Learn how to create your own personal support network so you have what you need when you need it. Find chapters on money management, TRICARE, relocation, deployment, employment and education as well as military and veterans benefits, PTSD and much, much more. The book also features a compilation of state and local resources available to military families - for the first time in a comprehensive and easy format.
Retailing for $24.95, The Military Family Network is offering this valuable, must-have resource at $14.95+s/h. Buy it for yourself, your family, a friend or loved one – MFN guarantees best price on the web! To order your copy of Your Military Family Network or copies for your organization, please visit Your Military Family Network online or call 1-866-205-2850 for more information. Group discounts available – call or email sales@MilitaryFamilyNetwork.com for details.
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| ORGANIZATION IN THE SPOTLIGHT
VA Welcoming Vets Home with New Web Site, Blog
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched its new "Returning Veterans" Web site -- www.oefoif.va.gov -- to welcome home Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts with a social, Veteran-centric Web site focusing on their needs and questions.
"VA is entering the world of Web 2.0, because that’s where this generation of Veterans is already communicating," said Dr. Gerald M. Cross, VA’s Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Health. "We’re opening our doors to them virtually to let them know what they can expect when they step through our doors in reality."
The Web site will feature videos, Veteran stories, and a blog where Veterans are encouraged to post feedback. The site also will restructure the traditional index-of-benefits format found on other VA pages into question-based, categorized, and easily navigated links by topic. This will allow Veterans to find benefits of interest easily and discover related benefits as they explore.
"We hope our returning Veterans find this site easy and helpful, but also engaging," Dr. Cross said. "As the site grows, we will be linking to Veterans’ blogs and highlighting more of their own stories from their own views. We are their VA, so we are eager to provide a forum for Veterans to discuss their lives."
| BUSINESS FEATURE
K¹²’s Educational Approach - Building a solid foundation
To succeed in modern society, you have to know a lot. And you have to have this knowledge instantly accessible at your mental fingertips. So how do we get all this important knowledge? Well, you might think schools would teach it. But that's not always the case. Schools vary widely in the depth and breadth of what they teach. From one state to another, from one classroom to another, there's dramatic variation in the content of the curriculum and the pedagogical approach of the teachers.
Faced with such variation, how can we be sure our children are learning what they need to know? To address this question, the curriculum experts at K¹² have consulted with many experts in various fields to gain insights into what experts know and how they structure their knowledge. We’ve also examined many state standards, research reports, and model curriculum programs. In our judgment, one of the strongest, most thoroughly researched models comes from the non-profit Core Knowledge Foundation, founded in 1986 by University of Virginia professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr. (Our own John Holdren worked there as Director of Research and Publications.)
Professor Hirsch set in motion a long process of research and consensus-building that led to the publication of the Core Knowledge Sequence. Core Knowledge offers specific content guidelines, grade by grade, in history, geography, mathematics, science, language arts, visual arts, and music. It explicitly and concretely lays out the important knowledge and skills our children need.
In its first years, the Core Knowledge Sequence was tested in a range of schools: private and public, rural, urban, and suburban, some serving the privileged and others the disadvantaged. The sequence was then revised based on this practical experience. The Core Knowledge Sequence has helped inspire and guide K¹² as we developed our curriculum for the elementary and middle grades. We've adapted, varied, and added to the Core Knowledge recommendations based upon our own continuing research into how children learn, how technology can enhance learning, and the best materials to support learning.
The K¹² curriculum offers rich, challenging, and engaging content. Moreover, this content is carefully sequenced so that, from one grade to the next, students build new knowledge on the strong foundations of what they’ve already learned. We’ve been careful to ensure that students of our curriculum won’t suffer from the repetitions and gaps that afflict many classrooms—our students won't get the same lesson, year after year, on the rainforest; nor will they get to high school without ever having heard of the Bill of Rights.
Our curriculum is designed to make sure that kids get the core knowledge they need—that they learn what they need to know to succeed and thrive.
That's what K¹² does better than anyone—we use the right research, the right visuals, the right interactions, and the right use of technology to make key learning really come alive for kids.
K¹² is the nation’s largest online learning curriculum provider for K-12 students. Their online curriculum is widely regarded as the highest quality available. For more information about K¹² and online learning, click here.
| THIS MONTH'S FOCUS
Military Appreciation Month!
"... Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace--many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth--that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice."
– J.F. Kennedy, 1963
In light of President Kennedy’s eloquent and lasting words, it is fitting that we celebrate National Military Appreciation Month by calling on the people of the United States, in a symbolic act of unity, to honor, remember, and thank service members, their families, and the civilian employees of the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard, past and present, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace and whose sacrifices have brought us the liberties that we enjoy today.
This May, the National Military Appreciation Month acknowledges a number of important milestones that highlight the best traditions of our Nation's military history: Loyalty Day, May 1; VE Day, May 8; Military Spouse Appreciation Day, May 8; Armed Forces Day, May 16; and Memorial Day, May 26.
These special dates during National Military Appreciation Month provide reminders that the vigilance of the members of the Armed Forces has been instrumental to the preservation of the freedom, security, and prosperity enjoyed by the people of the United States and that our military personnel and their loved ones have made invaluable contributions throughout the course of our Nation's history. "Every man and woman who has worn the uniforms of our armed services, and every person who has supported their endeavors deserves our gratitude and respect. Their contributions continue to protect and promote the values that define the United States."
While America pays tribute to our military this month, MFN stands proud to offer our appreciation and admiration for everyone in our military community.
For more information about National Military Appreciation Month, how you can show your appreciation or to join in the celebration, visit http://www.nmam.org/index.htm.
| FAMILY SUPPORT
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Reaches Milestone
WASHINGTON, March 30, 2009 - The advisory board of a new program mandated by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act held its inaugural meeting here today. Read More…
Operation Purple’ Offers Summer Fun to Military Kids
The National Military Family Association will host more than 9,000 military children at "Operation Purple" youth camps across America this year. Read More…
Fisher House Re-Opens in Portsmouth
The Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth celebrated its re-opening with a ceremony and open house, April 22. Read More…
| MONEY, EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT
Military Families, Stretching Your Dollars? States May Have Your Money!
When you join the military, you travel and move frequently. Relocation just becomes a fact of life. So, do you think it just might be possible that you may have forgotten a thing or two? Like updating a forwarding address?
If this happens, and a company, organization or government agency can’t locate you, but they have cash that belong to you, by law, they just can’t keep it. They must, after a certain period of time, transfer the assets to the State of your last known address. As a result, all 50 States have gobs of funds just sitting in their ‘unclaimed property’ accounts. And, they are anxious to return it to the rightful owner, for free. That owner might just be you!
These monies can come from housing or utility deposits, bank or credit union accounts, wages, gift certificates, insurance payments, company dividends and more. A lot of times the monies can originate from the estate of a deceased relative, so don’t forget to do a search for their names, too. Now, go here to learn how to search and file claims for your money. And don’t forget to tell your friends and relatives to look, too!
Bank Fees up Nearly Five Percent at AAFES Facilities in 2008
The convenience and use of bank-issued debit and credit cards at BXs and PXs cost the military community dearly last year. In fact, Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers who reached for a bank-issued card in ‘08 ended up shelling out more than $148 million in fees, up 4.93 percent compared to 2007. Read More…
Exchange Online Mall Partner to Salute the Mothers of 500 Deployed Troops
Troops unable to make it home for Mother’s Day this year can enter to win one of 500 personalized art canvases that will be given away as part of Canvas on Demand’s "Operation: Hi Mom" campaign. Read More…
Social Security Offers: Includes Questions and Answers
Social Security has just published a new online leaflet called Major Strategic Accomplishments — Fiscal Year 2008. Read More…
In Times like These, Every Dollar Counts
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." This is the line Charles Dickens used to open his novel A Tale of Two Cities. It could just as easily be used to describe the situation for people who benefit from the marvels of modern medicine, yet find it difficult to afford the high costs of those prescription drugs.
This Mother’s Day is the best of times to help your mom save an average of $3,900 a year on her prescription drug costs. Here’s how.
Finance Soldiers Help Finance Soldiers
The 208th Financial Management Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade arrived in Camp Liberty this past January to assume the reigns of the largest disbursing operation across the Army. Read More…
Forbes.com is currently featuring a must-read essay by August Turak on selfless service, a core value of the American Armed Forces. Military families understand the challenge of translating the spirit of service into the practicality of everyday actions. It is learned through real life experience and sacrifice, and reinforced by communities sharing common ideals that help build strength, unity and success, whether in a family or in defense of a nation.
In our current economic upheaval, business leaders are also returning to this fundamental concept. In his essay, "Business Lessons from the Trappists," Turak examines the remarkable results produced by a monastic community abiding by the principles of Service and Selflessness, providing a field guide for organizations everywhere seeking to instill meaning and purpose into the core of their operations. Championed by Fred Allen, editor for the Forbes.com Leadership Channel, this essay inspires our highest aspirations of service to the greater good.
We invite you to read "Business Lessons from the Trappists" by clicking on this link.
August Turak Website Link
(August Turak is the brother of MFN’s Megan Turak. She is pleased to introduce him and his work to the military community.)
A LEGAL LOOK: Road Rage!
So I am traveling south on Jefferson Avenue towards a local merchant’s shop where I have to stop. As I approach the storefront, I see an open parking space. Read More…
|MISSION CRITICAL INFO
*Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities Available!
National Military Resource Book!
Contact Megan Turak at sales@MilitaryFamilyNetwork.com for more details.
*Military Community Submissions:
If you have a story that you’d like to share with The Military Family Network, please contact Megan Turak.
If you have a song or photo that you would like to share with The Military Family Network, please contact Luis Trevino.
Get Seen! Get Heard! Join MFN’s Referral Network!
The Military Family Network has connected and worked with media outfits of all kinds including ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Montel Williams, Dr. Phil Show, Sesame Street, AARP, Newsweek, Army Times, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Social Security, Department of Labor, Military OneSource, Reader’s Digest, VFW, United Press International, Lifetime, etc. and countless newspapers around the world. These organizations contact MFN for a variety of reasons, but in each case, they want to hear from the military community.
If you are a service member, military family member or veteran and would like to be included in MFN’s referral network for media opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest and contact information and Lou will be glad to include you for future opportunities.
Privacy Notice: The Military Family Network is committed to ensuring the privacy of our military community according to the Department of Defense and MFN does not release or sell information about individuals. In the event that you participate in MFN’s referral network, you will be contacted by MFN about the opportunity first and if you are interested, you will be given the choice to provide MFN with permission to release your contact information (name, email or phone only) or be given the contact information to make the connection yourself. If you are an active member of the Armed Forces, it is always advisable to contact PAO for guidelines, permission, etc., before participating in public media opportunities.