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

IN THIS MONTH'S ISSUE:

  

 

President Proclaims November as Military Family Month 

“In our military families, we see the best our country has to offer. They demonstrate the virtues that have made America great for more than two centuries and the values that will preserve our greatness for centuries to come,” President Barack Obama said in his proclamation issued today declaring the month of November as Military Family Month.

 

Pershing Hill hosts WATCH D.O.G.S. father initiative

One of the things Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jamir Burton missed most during his six-month deployment to Afghanistan was being involved with the education of his two school-age children.

So after his recent return home, Burton was one of more than 90 men to participate in a kick-off for the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program held Oct. 23 at Pershing Hill Elementary School.

 

Chaplains step up 'Strong Bonds' to halt suicides

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 25, 2012) -- As part of a push to prevent suicides, Army chaplains want 50,000 Soldiers and additional family members to attend their "Strong Bonds" retreats over the next three months.

Relationship problems are a leading cause of suicides, said Army Chief of Chaplains Maj. Gen. Donald L. Rutherford. He added that research has found that couples who attend the weekend retreats have fewer divorces, two-thirds fewer, in fact, according to a 2010 University of Denver study.

 

Finance information for servicemembers

Service in the armed forces opens doors, and provides new tools that can help you and your family plan for the future. From financing your education to a personal financial management team, learn more about the resources that may be available to you.

Servicemembers and their families face unique financial challenges. But there are also unique protections such as your VA benefits, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and more. Learn more about protecting yourself.

 
AFTB

Army team building makes families strong

The Army Family Team Building program is the primary readiness-training program for Army family members. The program was started after Operation Desert Storm and helps address important issues faced by spouses when their Soldier deploys and leaves them to handle difficult situations.

AFTB is a volunteer led organization that helps Soldiers understand that the more informed their spouses are about the military environment; the better their chances are for a successful career. The better prepared the spouses or significant others are to handle the challenges of military living, the more the Soldiers can concentrate on the mission. It is just as important their families also have a basic understanding of the military, so they can adapt to Army life, accept challenges, deal with change and develop life skills. AFTB provides them that opportunity.

 

Civilians Can Help Prevent Military Suicides, Official Says

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2012 – Defense Department civilians need to understand and recognize the warning signs for suicide just as their military counterparts are being trained to do, the acting director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office said today.

“We want to make sure our civilians are as comfortable talking to our military members as their military leaders are,” Jacqueline Garrick, a licensed clinical social worker and former Army captain, said during an educational session about suicide prevention at the Pentagon conference center.

 
Army Policy

Smartcard pilot for spouses and retirees yields valuable feedback

In October, the Army ended a two-year smartcard pilot for 900 Army spouses and retirees, who log on to Army private networks such as Army Knowledge Online and Army self-service sites. Five installations participated.

The Common Access Card-like smartcards were an alternative to the Army Knowledge Online, or AKO, username/password login for identity authentication. The Common Access Card, or CAC, is used for identity authentication by active-duty Army members and Army civilian and contractor employees.

 

Myer-Henderson Hall hosts International Children's Burn Camp

Several tour buses filled with excited teenagers, camp counselors and staff representing the 17th International Association of Firefighters International Children's Burn Camp, rolled onto Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Sept. 26. The visitors arrived at the JBM-HH Fire Station to spend a few hours with command leadership, firemen and members of the Directorate of Emergency Services.

The teen burn survivors are all first-time visitors to the nation's capital and come from every corner of the United States and Canada. Organized by the IAFF's charitable foundation, the annual week-long camp provides an opportunity for teens to give and receive support from peers and counselors.

 
Burn Camp
Transitioning to Civilian Life

From Soldier to spouse: Four veterans discuss transitioning from active duty to civilian life

After he broke his back, legs and both ankles during a paratrooping accident in Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1995, Jerry Hollo, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr's anti-terrorism officer, spent six months in a wheelchair, taking classes for promotion points. He was resolute on keeping, and bettering, his Army career.

For the next four years, Hollo vacillated between recuperation and reinjury. In the meantime, he married his wife, whose Army career was accelerating. On April Fool's Day, 1999, the Army medically discharge Hollo and he went from Soldier to military spouse.

 

Teens learn how to stop bullying

The difference between flirting and sexual harassment was the topic of an hourlong seminar presented in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

"Teens and Bullying" was held Oct. 11 at the Teen Center. The guest speaker was Mothyna James-Brightful, director of community education at TurnAround, a domestic violence and sexual assault center in Baltimore.

 
Teens learn about bullying
EMP Fair

EFMP fair provides resources, opportunities

Madigan Healthcare System pediatric behavioral nurse Michele Gross has a 14-year-old son on the autism spectrum, but doesn't want that to limit his education and employment opportunities as he gets older.

That's why she took part in a National Disability Employment Awareness Month resource fair Oct. 10 for Joint Base Lewis-McChord exceptional family members.

 

Recycling separates the good from the bad

One of the most challenging aspects of living abroad is adjusting to small lifestyle changes. For Americans in Germany, a pervasive issue is recycling.

While many communities in the U.S. have adopted recycling, Germany has a standardized system that recycles a maximum amount of varied materials. Like all recycling systems, Germany's hinges on the proper sorting of refuse.

 
Recycling

Retired soldiers bring experience, compassion to Survivor Outreach Services

FORT BLISS, Texas – Upon entering a beautifully renovated guardhouse through the prominent Southern-style veranda, visitors discover fine hardwood floors, plush couches and other décor. In many ways, the Survivor Outreach Services Family Center here, located along the installation’s historic Sheridan Road, is more like a home than a military facility.

The inviting atmosphere is also home to a somber tribute. Along a back wall of an adjacent parlor room hangs the photos of dozens of fallen service members, each with their own story. Michelle Jones and Lew Lewis know them all.

 

Biden, Odierno Announce Education Milestone for Military Kids

FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 3, 2012 – More than 100 colleges and universities have signed on to a White House initiative to prepare educators for the unique needs of their military-connected students, Dr. Jill Biden announced today.

Biden, wife of the vice president, made the announcement at George Mason University here as part of the latest accomplishment of the “Joining Forces” campaign she began in April 2010 with First Lady Michelle Obama to rally Americans to support the health, education and employment needs of military families.

 

DOD awards $49 million to public schools

Despite budget cuts, the Department of Defense Education Activity awarded almost $49 million in grants earlier this month to public schools that teach military children.

DoDEA Director Marilee Fitzgerald said she's not just concerned about the 86,000 children who attend her school system, mostly overseas, but also about nearly a million military children who attend U.S. public schools. She discussed the DoDEA Educational Partnership grants Wednesday morning at the Family IV Forum during the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

 

Surgeon general talks resiliency, mental health, at AUSA

Emotional pain is real, the Army surgeon general told a group of Soldiers, family members and family readiness group leaders here, Oct. 23.

Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho illustrated the point by showing a montage of news clips and photos of ground zero on 9-11. Horoho spoke during a family forum at the 2012 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.

 
Surgeon General

Internships Expand Child Care Options, Jobs

The Defense Department is taking internship applications for a program that expands the availability of child care and youth programs, while also giving a leg up to jobseekers in that field, especially military spouses.

DOD and the Agriculture Department formed the Military Extension Internship Partnership in 2010 in concert with a major construction project that started in 2008 to accommodate the growing requests for child care and youth programs, Barbara Thompson, director of DOD’s Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth, told me recently.