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Welcome to Army OneSource Family News - the monthly newsletter from Army Community Service (ACS) and ArmyOneSource.com, the Army's most comprehensive portal for Family members.

IN THIS MONTH'S ISSUE:

 
Bullying

Dempsey: Hazing, Bullying ‘Intolerable’ in the Military

Emphasizing that bullying and hazing undermine everything the military stands for, the top U.S. military officer said every member of the armed forces has a personal responsibility to uphold its "zero tolerance" standard and intervene to stop any occurrences.

"We are currently investigating several allegations of hazing within our ranks," Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported in a posting on his Facebook site and Twitter.

Dempsey posted his message after the Army brought charges this week against eight Soldiers allegedly involved in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen. Chen, an infantryman deployed to southern Afghanistan with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, was found dead in a guard tower Oct. 3 from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Presidents’ Day, celebrated each year on the third Monday in February, is a day when Americans honor the legacies of the U.S. presidents. The holiday was established in 1800, when Congress declared February 22–George Washington's birthday–a federal holiday. Still legally known as Washington's Birthday, Presidents' Day has become a day to honor not only Washington, but Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president who was born on February 12, and the lives and accomplishments of all U.S. Presidents.

Presidents Day
Voting

The Army Wants You – to Vote!

Among the many freedoms Soldiers fight to defend, the right to vote is one of the most fundamental and officials at the Human Resources Command, or HRC, want to help the entire Army family exercise that privilege.

The HRC, in partnership with the Federal Voting Assistance Program, or FVAP, is working to make the voting process easy and accessible to Soldiers, their families and Department of the Army civilians.

Buffalo Soldiers Tell Their Stories

When James Cooper was a teenager in segregated Louisiana, he worked at a factory for $2 a day and didn't see a bright future.

So he entered the military, attracted by such benefits as free lodging and meals, and eventually joined the ranks of one of the first African American regiments in the U.S. Army, becoming what was known as a Buffalo Soldier.

Buffalo Soldiers
FVAP

Federal Voting Assistance Program

Do I have to be registered to vote absentee?

Registration requirements vary from State to State. Most States and territories require registration to vote absentee. Voter registration and absentee ballot request can be done at the same time by submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and can be easily and automatically completed by using the FPCA wizard at www.FVAP. If you are already registered to vote and only wish to request a ballot, you should submit your FPCA as soon as possible.

For a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions use the link below.

Military’s Gold Star Families Often Feel Disconnected

Jane Horton wears a small Gold Star pin honoring her husband, Christopher, who was killed by Taliban gunfire four months ago.

"It's like an outward expression of a burden carried deep inside," Jane says about an emblem Congress created after World War II for those who lost loved ones to war. Except that no one today seems to know what it means. "I've never been asked about it. Ever," she says.

As the 26-year-old widow of an Oklahoma National Guard soldier killed in combat, it is another reason Jane says she feels a world apart from other Americans.

Gold Star
First Lady Supports

First Lady Unveils Plan to Improve TBI, PTSD Care

Speaking to an auditorium packed with camouflage-clad soldiers and medical students in white lab coats, first lady Michelle Obama announced a new initiative to help doctors better identify, understand and treat the invisible wounds of war: post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and post-combat depression.

Army’s Idea to Take ‘D’ Out of PTSD Is Studied

The president of the American Psychiatric Association says he is "very open" to a request from the Army to come up with an alternative name for post-traumatic stress disorder so that troops returning from combat will feel less stigmatized and more encouraged to seek treatment.

Dr. John Oldham, who serves as senior vice president and chief of staff at the Houston-based Menninger Clinic, said he is looking into the possibility of updating the association's diagnostic manual with a new subcategory for PTSD. The subcategory could be "combat post-traumatic stress injury," or a similar term, he said.

PTSD
Live Music

Live Music At Fresno’s VA Hospital Makes a Big Difference

The hospital was built in the years after World War II. Its ceilings are low, corridors long and corners sharp — all possible stress triggers for those who have been in combat.

Not to mention that a hospital waiting room can make anyone edgy. But the Veterans Affairs hospital in Fresno has found a way to make the experience easier: live music.

A musician playing amid the hustle and bustle is familiar to anyone who has ever sat at a cafe with entertainment or taken the subway. But this has proved to be more. The hospital set out to provide simple distraction, but soon doctors noticed a marked improvement in many of their patients, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.

Back From War, Fear and Danger Fill Driver’s Seat

Before going to war, Susan Max loved tooling around Northern California in her maroon Mustang. A combat tour in Iraq changed all that.

Back in the States, Ms. Max, an Army reservist, found herself avoiding cramped parking lots without obvious escape routes. She straddled the middle line, as if bombs might be buried in the curbs. Gray sport-utility vehicles came to remind her of the unarmored vehicles she rode nervously through Baghdad in 2007, a record year for American fatalities in Iraq. “I used to like driving,” Ms. Max, 63, said. “Now my family doesn’t feel safe driving with me.”

Fear and Danger
Veterans

DOD Studies Intimacy Issues Among Combat Vets

Brannan Pedersen was 16, attending a young activists meeting in Alabama when she first spotted Caleb Vines, then 19, an enthusiastic organizer who wanted to change the world.

She fell hard: Three years after their first date, they married. Later, when they watched the World Trade Center fall, Caleb pledged to join the fight: He enlisted in the Army infantry.

Department of Defense: Phones Can’t Outsmart Troops

The video of four Marines appearing to urinate on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan raises troubling questions not only about military discipline and the laws of war but also about technology on the battlefield.

Simply put: With camera-ready smartphones within reach of nearly every service member, is technology outpacing efforts by military commanders to harness it?

Smart Phones
Jill Biden Book

Jill Biden Writes Kids’ Book, a Tribute to Troops

The wife of Vice President Joe Biden has completed a children's story, "Don't Forget, Nana, God Bless Our Troops," told from the point of view of granddaughter Natalie Biden and a tribute to soldiers and their families. Biden, called Nana by her granddaughter, has met with many military families and said she thought of doing the book as she realized how many people did not understand their experiences. The story is especially personal because son Beau Biden, Delaware's attorney general and a major in the state's Army National Guard, spent a year in Iraq.

"I really feel that you write your best about what you know best," Jill Biden, who taught in Delaware before moving to Washington, said during a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press. "That's what I teach to my students, so I thought using my own experience would have a little more meaning and a little more heart to it."

‘Red Tails’, Documentary Show Pioneering Pilots

After decades of lingering at the margins of history, the Tuskegee Airmen are finally getting their day in the spotlight.

The story of the World War II heroes, now in their late 80s and 90s, is being introduced to mainstream America through a new documentary, “Double Victory,” and a major motion picture, “Red Tails,” both of which are produced by Lucas Films. “Red Tails” was released nationwide.

RedTails
Mil Kids

Defense Department Website for Military Children

The Department of Defense launched a new website for children experiencing the challenges of military deployments.

The highly interactive website, www.MilitaryKidsConnect.org, created by psychologists at the DoD's National Center for Telehealth and Technology, helps children of deployed parents cope with the stress, changing responsibilities, and concern for the safety of their parents.

Checklist for New Military Spouses

Welcome to the military family. As the husband or wife of a service member, you are an active participant in the military lifestyle. You are also eligible for many benefits, including health care, shopping privileges on base, and access to base recreation facilities and other programs. You'll find it helpful to attend orientations and briefings for military spouses, and to read information that comes to you. Once you arrive at the military installation, visit the Community Service Center or Family Support Center as soon as possible to get up-to-date information on benefits and services as well as to enroll in a spouse orientation program. In the meantime, here is a quick checklist to get you started.

New Spouse
New Vet Bill

For Profit Colleges Face Curbs on U.S. Aid in New Veterans Bill

For-profit colleges would be forced to rely less on federal money under a bill aimed at curbing the marketing of degrees to soldiers and veterans.

The proposed legislation, to be introduced today by Senate Democratic leaders, would require for-profit colleges to get no more than 85 percent of their revenue from federal programs, according to a summary from the office of Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, a co-sponsor. Colleges now can receive as much as 90 percent. They would lose federal funding for exceeding the cap for one year, instead of the current three.