This Week in MC&FP
April 15, 2011
Over the past few days, we joined the nation in celebration of our volunteers. Each
year since 1974, one week in April is set aside to recognize and thank the wonderful people who provide
their time and talents in service of others. Many family programs that are now part of the fabric of our
military community were once staffed only by volunteers. What would we have done without them?
It‟s hard to imagine. Today, there are still countless programs that would not exist without that
continued spirit of generosity and willingness to serve. Do you know a volunteer? Very likely, they do
what they do without fanfare or the desire for any special recognition. Ask any volunteer and they‟ll
probably tell you they get so much more than they give. But a sincere, “Thank you.” goes a long way
and means a lot. To our thousands of volunteers, we say, “Thank you for YOUR service!”
Have a good week and take care.
Please note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best results,
cut and paste the entire link into your Web browser.
First Lady Announces Initiative for Military Families at Fountain-Fort Carson High School
During an April 14th event at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, Colorado, a public high school in
the Fountain-Fort Carson School District, the First Lady and Dr. Biden announced the national
expansion of an Initiative for Military Families to 32 high schools that serve students in military
families. Funding for this major expansion has been provided by corporations and foundations;
including ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and others;
and matched by the DoD. DoDEA, in collaboration with the National Defense Education Program
(under the auspices of the Director, Defense Research and Evaluation, will fund a $4.8M, three-year
grant to the National Math and Science Initiative for 11 of the 32 high schools. The grant is aimed at
increasing student participation and performance in Advanced Placement courses in mathematics,
science and English. The National Math and Science Initiative for Military Families is a joint
endeavor to expand a program that provides consistent, high-level coursework in high schools
Month of the Military Child Activities Continue Throughout DoDEA
The Department of Defense Education Activity joins all of DoD and military communities around
the world in honoring military children during April- The Month of the Military Child. Throughout
the month, DoDEA will encourage schools to plan special events to honor military children and have
Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
administrators and principals incorporate the themes of this month into their daily duties and
responsibilities. These efforts and special events will stress the importance of providing children
with quality services and support to help them succeed in the mobile military lifestyle. See the
http://www.dodea.edu/dodeaCelebrates/2011_militaryChild/index.cfm To see current videos, go to
Earth Day is April 22nd
Many DoDEA schools will be participating in Earth Day, April 22, 2011. The first Earth Day, April
22, 1970, was attended by 20 million Americans nationwide, from college campuses to town halls,
and giant teach-ins were organized in New York City and Philadelphia, the latter event turning into a
seven-day event known as Earth Week. That event set a powerful precedent for the rest of the
world, eventually inspiring more than 140 nations all around the globe to have their own Earth Days.
From the Family Advocacy Program Office
Marine Corps Base Quantico Leadership and Family Programs Showcase PSA
The Marine Corps Base Quantico leadership and family program staff yesterday showcased a public
service announcement/video to highlight Child Abuse Prevention Month. The video was developed
and produced by staff in the installations Family Advocacy Program and Marine Corps Community
Service Marketing offices. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpZIkUJ43-M
From the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office
CHEETAH Satellites boost morale in a big way
A recent DoD video clip shows that contacting home is not always easy for servicemembers,
especially for the ones serving at small, remote combat outposts or Forward Operating Bases. Air
Force Sgt. George Maddon takes us to the Operations Coordination Center - District Spin Boldak,
Afghanistan, to see a little dish that's boosting morale in a big way. To see the CHEETAH in action,
go to http://www.dodvclips.mil/?pid=WhRowdGLrkB4cXu_IZmYkqF0Zfy0fcO
From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth
First Lady, Dr. Biden Kick Off Sesame, USO Tour
Calling out over thousands of screaming fans, Elmo introduced a few new friends to Sesame Street
here yesterday. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden,
stepped onto the auditorium stage and into the arms of Elmo and friends as a crowd of local military
and community families stood and cheered. Obama and Biden hosted a concert-style event here
yesterday to thank military families as well as to encourage community members to support and
honor them as part of their "Joining Forces" military family support initiative.
The event also helped to kick off the fifth installment of the Sesame Street and USO Experience for
Military Families, a free traveling tour exclusively for military families. For the April through June
tour schedule, see http://www.uso.org/sesame-2011-tour-schedule/. Planners are currently working
on the remainder of summer schedule; check the site for updated information. To find out more
about the event, see http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63571.
Free Camp Opportunity in the Poconos for Air Force Youth
Island Lake Camp Offers Free Spaces to Military Youth: Island Lake Camp, located in the Pocono
Mountains, Pennsylvania, will provide free summer camp spaces for youth 8-13 years old during the
weeks of Aug. 2-15, 2011. Youth receive interest-based instruction to help develop poise and
mastery of skills in a variety of areas. Interested Air Force youth must submit a scholarship form
which includes a letter that describes, "The reasons why I should be selected to go to Island Lake
Camp." The form is available at Air Force Youth Programs or by downloading from this
Community of Practice link, https://afkm.wpafb.af.mil/DocView.asp?DocID=10857703.
Military OneSource Webinars – April Sessions Announced
Webinars are Web-based training sessions using teleconference audio and the internet to deliver an
interactive seminar. All posted times are listed in Eastern Daylight Savings Time. For more
information, see http://www.militaryonesource.com/MOS/OnlineCommunity/Webinars.aspx
iCan Achieve – Teen weight management Program overview, Tuesday, April 19, at 11 a.m.
iCanAchieve is a 12-month program for teens ages 13 to 18 that will support their weight
management efforts. The program focuses on helping teens make behavioral changes that will
allow them to set and achieve their goals. The program, based on scientifically proven methods,
includes telephonic health coaching, a health assessment, online tools, and educational
information. Come hear about how this valuable program can benefit your teenager.
Digital Literacy for Kids, Monday, April 25, 2011, 10 a.m.
Get AD-ucated! Help kids improve their digital literacy – talk to them about staying safe online,
being good digital citizens, and thinking critically about the advertisements all around them.
Sleep Strategies for Infants and Children, Friday, April 29, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.
Getting infants and young children to sleep – and stay asleep – can be a tremendous source of
stress for parents. This webinar is designed to help parents learn about children‟s sleep patterns
at different stages of development and explore effective ways of helping their children fall asleep
and sleep through the night. Participants will be able to learn about children‟s sleep patterns at
different stages of development, explore specific sleep problems, identify conditions that disrupt
sleep for young children, and learn strategies for establishing a nighttime routine.
For more information on these and other upcoming Webinars, see
“Forging the Partnership” – Registration is still open, but the clock is ticking….
The windy city of Chicago provides a beautiful urban backdrop to the 2011 DoD/USDA
Family Resilience Conference. Each day of the conference will offer a wide range of high
quality workshops, computer labs, program showcases, keynote addresses, research
presentations, research posters and interacts. Gather your colleagues and collaborators, and
plan to experience this professional development opportunity! Plan to attend two town hall
meetings – one with the Services‟ senior enlisted advisors and the second with Service spiritual
advisors. We look forward to seeing you at the Hyatt Regency April 27- 29. See
From the Resale and NAF Policy Office
Commissary On-Site Sale Events
The Guard/Reserve On-site Sales Program provides the commissary benefit to deserving
Guard/Reserve members and their families who live in areas that aren‟t close to an existing
commissary store. These sales are not only for the Guard and Reserve – they're for any authorized
shopper. Currently, there are no on-site sales for online ordering. For more information, visit
In the next few weeks, DeCA will deliver the benefit:
April 19-20 Guard and Reserve San Nicola Island, Port Mugu, Calif.
April 21-22 Air National Guard Tulsa, Okla.
April 27-30 U.S. Southern Command Doral, Florida
April 30 186th Engineers Caribou, Maine
April 30 Reserves Camp Joseph T. Robinson
North Little Rock, Okla.
In the News
From the American Forces Press Service – Voluntary Departure Authorization From Japan Ends
The Defense Department's voluntary authorized departures for service members' eligible family
members to leave Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake effectively ended today. "The
Defense Department concurs with the State Department's determination that the situation in Japan
does not pose significant risk to U.S. citizens," a Pentagon spokeswoman said. "We will continue to
ensure the safety of our families is at the forefront of every decision we make."
The DoD termination follows the State Department's lifting of the voluntary departure order for
DoD eligible family members to depart from Honshu, Japan. More than 7,800 family members
stationed at U.S. military bases throughout Japan were flown to various U.S. locations following
the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the tsunami it caused, and subsequent problems with several of
Japan's nuclear reactors. See http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63583
From the American Forces Press Service – New Consumer Protection Office Seeks Input
Treasury Department officials met here today with service members and their families to better
understand financial challenges in the military community. Holly Petraeus, head of the Office of
Servicemember Affairs in the Treasury Department's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has
been traveling to military posts throughout the country and leading dialogues with troops and their
families since January. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63547
From the American Forces Press Service – Organization Honors Service Members’ Children
“Our Military Kids,” a national nonprofit organization, honored four children and a military
family here yesterday in an award ceremony at the Navy Memorial. During the organization‟s
“Our Military Kids of the Year” event, retired Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace –16th chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Our Military Kids advisory board member – spoke on the importance
of the families service members leave behind when they deploy, especially the children of those
families. “Our military families serve as well as anyone who has ever worn a uniform,” Pace said.
“And these military children have demonstrated amazing talent, resilience and strength.”
From the American Forces Press Service – Department Program Works to Prevent Child Abuse
Child abuse and neglect can affect all levels of society, but for military families, help and support are
at their fingertips. The military‟s strong sense of community gives servicemembers and their
families an advantage in preventing abuse and neglect, said Tib Campise, a senior program analyst
for the Defense Department‟s family advocacy program.
From American Forces Press Service – First Lady, Dr. Biden to ‘Shine Light’ on Military Families
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden said they have spoken with countless military
families in their travels and have heard some "breathtaking" stories of service and sacrifice.
They've talked to wives dealing with fourth and fifth deployments, to children stepping up to care
for their families, and to caregivers who walked away from jobs and homes to care for a wounded
loved one. It's now time, they said, for the rest of the nation to hear these stories.
From DoDEA‟s Press Room – DoDEA Celebrates the Month of the Military Child
Children of military families represent our country in ways that makes any American proud. They
are ambassadors who build bonds and make lasting connections and contributions to our nation and
world. They are adventurers; often leading mom and dad to the local museums, tourist sites, shops
and eateries. They are linguists; learning languages through immersion and foreign language
instruction classes and building bridges between cultures with just a simple smile or a friendly wave.
From DoDEA‟s Press Room – „The Chat Room’ features Bart Epstein from Tutor.com
Chat Room guest, Bart Epstein from tutor.com, talks about this valuable DoD resource for military
students. “Are you a military student who needs immediate help with your homework?
Join us in this edition of the Chat Room to discover a free help program for DoD students….”
Tips of the Week
Parenting Tip of the Week – Summer trips with kids can be fun!
As a parent, you may already be planning family trips for this summer. Let your children be
involved with the planning process; whether they‟re able to help create a packing list or can
research museums or other places they want to visit, let each family member participate with
planning for the trip. Take advantage of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation‟s Information,
Tickets, and Tours – ITT – program, which provides discounted tickets for local and regional
group tours and attractions, theme parks, and movie tickets. Contact your nearest MWR office to
check on availability.
Additionally, this summer, the National Endowment for the Arts is continuing its initiative with
museums across the country to offer servicemembers and their families free or reduced admission
from Memorial Day, May 30th through Labor Day, September 5th. For a list of participating
museums, visit http://www.arts.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index2011.php.
Nutrition Tip of the Week – Quick Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
You are on the way home from work and need to grab something quick for dinner. Instead of hitting
a fast food restaurant try these quick, easy tips on how to make healthy choices. Keep some of these
foods in stock at your house for 30-minutes-or-less dinners that are sure to please. With some simple
tips and tools, it‟s easy to make meals that are nutritious, quick and tasty.
Tips to make Healthy Food Choices
Choose this instead of this to save this
rotisserie chicken fried save 150 calories and get less fat per serving
quick brown rice french fries save 180 calories and get 3 grams fiber per
bake your own french fries save 100 calories and get less fat
baked sweet french fries save 100 calories and get 4 grams fiber,
potato potassium, and less fat per serving
whole wheat white dinner get 3 grams of fiber per serving
dinner rolls rolls
For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary‟s
website at http://www.commissaries.com/
Let‟s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – How Teens Can Stay Fit
Any type of regular, physical activity can improve your fitness and your health. The most
important thing is that you keep moving!
Exercise should be a regular part of your day, like brushing your teeth, eating, and sleeping. It can
be in gym class, joining a sports team, or working out on your own. Keep the following tips in
Stay positive and have fun. A good mental attitude is important. Find an activity that you think
is fun. You are more likely to keep with it if you choose something you like. A lot of people
find it's more fun to exercise with someone else, so see if you can find a friend or family member
to be active with you.
Take it one step at a time. Small changes can add up to better fitness. For example, walk or ride
your bike to school or to a friend's house instead of getting a ride. Get on or off the bus several
blocks away and walk the rest of the way. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator or
Get your heart pumping. Whatever you choose, make sure it includes aerobic activity that
makes you breathe harder and increases your heart rate. This is the best type of exercise because
it increases your fitness level and makes your heart and lungs work better. It also burns off body
fat. Examples of aerobic activities are basketball, running, or swimming.
Don't forget to warm up with some easy exercises or mild stretching before you do any physical
activity. This warms your muscles up and may help protect against injury. Stretching makes
your muscles and joints more flexible too. It is also important to stretch out after you exercise to
cool down your muscles.
Your goal should be to do some type of exercise every day. It is best to do some kind of aerobic
activity without stopping for at least 20 to 30 minutes each time. Do the activity as often as possible,
but don't exercise to the point of pain. For more information see:
Financial Tip of the Week – Credit Card Ripoffs to Avoid
While „waiting for the system‟ to confirm a new credit card account, the customer service
representative on the other end of the telephone line often rattles off a series of special offers like
payment protection plans, over-the-limit protection, buyer's clubs or identity-theft protection. If you
have special needs, the services can sometimes be useful. Anticipating that you'll never squeeze
maximum value from these add-on services, here are some offers that can turn even the best credit
cards into a high-priced plastic nightmare:
Payment protection. If you can't work or you've lost your job, protection plans „cover‟ your
Warning: Fees for some plans can cost as much as 5 percent of your average monthly
balance. Read the fine print. Your bank may even hit you with high penalty annual
percentage rates (APR) after your „insurance‟ kicks in.
Over-limit protection. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure –
„CARD‟ – Act of 2009 requires that consumers opt-in to allow over-limit purchases. Now,
issuers of even the best credit cards are positioning over-limit protection as a valuable
premium service to help you avoid embarrassment at the checkout counter.
Warning: According to a survey of major banks in 2010, you'll pay around $39 for each
incident. Opting in to over-limit protection may even negate federal regulations that cap
Frequent buyer clubs. For decades, marketing companies paid to have their catalogs arrive at
consumers' doorsteps along with credit card statements. Today, affinity buying clubs have
evolved to include members-only websites that promise deep discounts and bonus rewards for
Warning: The fraud trackers warn that it's harder than ever to spot the difference between a
legitimate buying club and a scammer that bought your name on a bank's mailing list. With
coupons and price protection easy to find on the web, these clubs rarely save much money.
Discount travel clubs. Like frequent buyer clubs, large travel agencies often promise
preferential treatment and special perks to cardholders.
Warning: Most likely airlines and hotels will cut you even better deals when you eliminate
the middleman and reserve travel on their own Web sites.
Identity theft protection. Credit reporting agencies have amped up consumer offerings to
include near-real-time alerts when applications for new accounts or other signs of fraud
Warning: Credit bureaus must offer you a free credit report at least once per year, which can
be easily obtained through the Web site AnnualCreditReport.com at
https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp. You can also visit your installation
personal financial managers to receive your MyFICO score.
Separating service from signup. The technique of offering test drives and no-risk samples is one
reason why these credit card add-ons have raised concern. Making it all the more complicated,
you may not really know with whom you are dealing. Therefore, check your credit card
statements regularly for charges you don't recognize. Remember, if you can't wait a day to make
a decision, you probably don't need that service, anyway.
Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Traveling with a Young Child
As summer approaches, you may be looking forward to a vacation or a PCS move. But if you‟re a
parent, you may be anxious about traveling with a young child. Children don‟t always adjust
quickly to new environments or changes to their routines. Fortunately, there are steps you can take
to make traveling with a young child easier.
Choose child-friendly destinations and places to stay. There are hotels and resorts that cater to
young families. These places may offer accommodations, programs, or activities designed
especially for children. Also consider attractions that will appeal to your child, such as a
children‟s museum or an aquarium.
Avoid over-scheduling. If you try to do too much, you are likely to end up with a cranky, over-
stimulated child. Instead, limit the number and type of activities you do. Most young children
will do best with one big activity a day. Remember to make room for downtime, too.
Be realistic about what you expect from your child. Though you may want to sightsee, visit
museums, or catch up on your reading while lying on the beach, your child may not be interested
in any of these activities. This doesn‟t mean you have to plan your whole trip around your child‟s
interests, but if you strive for a balance between activities you enjoy and activities your child
enjoys, you will both be happier.
Try to stick to a routine as much as possible. Children find routines comforting, so try to
maintain your child‟s bedtime, naptime, and other routines as much as you can. This will also
help your child ease back into her routines once you get home.
Be sure to pack some familiar things that will help your child feel secure. A favorite snack, a
beloved book or stuffed animal, or a game or video that your child enjoys can help you get
through any difficult time on your trip.
If you’re traveling by air
Try to book flights during non-peak times. You can also try to schedule a flight that coincides
with your child‟s naptime, but don‟t count on your child sleeping during a flight. The excitement
of a new environment may keep your child awake.
Request an aisle seat so that you won‟t have to climb over people when you child needs to go the
bathroom or for a short walk.
Be prepared for security checkpoints. All children, including babies, must be screened at security
checkpoints. You will also need to send all of your baby equipment, such as car seats and
strollers, through the X-ray machine. It‟s a good idea to talk with older children about what to
expect at security checkpoints so they are not scared. For more information, visit the
Transportation Security Administration Web site at http://www.tsa.gov/ and read the section on
traveling with children.
Consider skipping the pre-boarding option, because it may mean that your child has to sit still
for a longer period of time.
Always allow extra time and check with the airline before you leave home. Delays or
cancellations can be more difficult if you‟re traveling with young children.
If you’re traveling by car
Consider driving at night. Most children are comfortable sleeping in the car, so if you‟re
comfortable driving at night, this may be a good way to make car trips easier on everyone.
Make sure your child is comfortable. Take pillows and blankets to make resting easier.
Plan for frequent rest stops, and give your child a chance to let off steam during these breaks by
playing or visiting a playground if possible.
Sing songs, read or listen to stories, or play simple games. Games like „Peek-a-boo‟ with infants
and toddlers, or „I-spy‟ with pre-schoolers will help keep your child from becoming bored.
Your Family Center can give you information and support on many issues that affect
servicemembers and their families. And Military OneSource, a free 24/7 service from DoD,
available to all active-duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families, provides information
and referrals plus face-to-face counseling. Call 1-800-342-9647 or access
Spouse Tip – What’s Your Public Image on the Internet?
Did you know that many potential employers “Google” their perspective employees before they hire
them? Yes, they certainly do! They look at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogs, and a
host of other online sources of information. Today‟s social network makes it easy. Internet search
engines pull it all together and paint a detailed, minute-to-minute picture of who you are, what you
look like, where you live, how you behave – and what you are saying and doing.
Coupled with your job application and resume, this „real-time snapshot‟ is your first job interview,
an interview you didn‟t even know you had. Without even talking to you, employers are comparing
you to others and deciding who gets an in-person job interview and job offer, and who doesn‟t.
Smart military spouses know this and put their best foot forward beginning with their online public
So, be strategic. Think like a hiring authority. Every time you post personal information, videos,
photos and comments online, remember that career and employment decision-makers are watching
Here are some questions that will help you build an online-image that will put you on a path to
career ladder success.
Have you been professional, respectful and considerate in your online postings?
Does your tone and language make others want to be around you or avoid you?
Do others see you as a good leader? A solid, loyal, hard-working team player? A dedicated
military spouse and community volunteer?
Do you inspire, help and encourage others to be the best they can be?
What personal characteristics do you demonstrate that employers are looking for: honesty,
trustworthiness, articulate communicator, responsible mature decision maker?
Does your career, employment and education history show you have clear goals and are moving
forward with your life?
Are you involved in healthy, constructive issues and activities at the family, workplace,
command and community levels?
Can an employer see that you could be part of his or her business solution not his or her
It‟s all up to you. Make a plan. Reach out for the resources you need. Work hard to achieve your
goals. And start painting that wonderful online picture of who you are still becoming. Take one step
at a time. Let Military OneSource Education, Career and Employment Counselors help – call