This Week in MC&FP
October 1, 2010
Happy New (Fiscal) Year! The last few days have been filled with year-end close
activities. Late yesterday evening, we bid a fond farewell to FY2010 and now look forward to serving as
good stewards in FY2011. As directed by Secretary Gates, we’ll be looking for ways to maximize the
resources that we have, eliminate duplication of effort, and identify ways that we can more effectively and
efficiently support service and family members.
October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when diverse and collective voices join to
promote safe, respectful, and equitable relationships; increase survivor’s access to support systems that are
culturally appropriate; and foster responsive programs. All of us who serve the military community can play
a part in preventing and stopping domestic violence. The Family Advocacy Program is an important
resource in the effort to prevent and respond to domestic violence involving military service members. The
program is available at every military installation with command-sponsored families to facilitate prevention,
ensure victim safety and access to support services.
Take care and have a good week!
Your MC&FP Team
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cut and past the entire link into your Web browser.
From Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)
Three DoDEA Students Selected as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Benjamin Bigelow, Brussels American School; Maria Perry, SHAPE American High School;
and Cody Pumper, Guam High School, were recently selected as semifinalists in the in the 2011
National Merit Scholarship Program. The scholarships are sponsored by the National Merit
Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization. The corporation underwrites all
scholarships with its own private funds along with 450 business organizations and higher
education institutions. Congratulations!
DoDEA Educational Partnership Leader Meets with Process Review Team
DoDEA’s Educational Partnership Chief, Kathy Facon, participated in a process review team
meeting on educational and developmental excellence on Tuesday, September 28. The team is
part of the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff's family support initiative. The team’s focus is to
assess the existing family support programs, share and discuss best practices and identify
progress to resolve any family issues.
Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
2. This Week in MC&FP October 1, 2010
DoDEA Launches Advanced Placement Web Site
DoDEA launched an Advanced Placement Web site this week. The site was part of a
recommendation made by the guidance and counseling task group to vigorously market the
advanced placement program to parents and students. The Web site serves as a resource for
students, parents and teachers and is ultimately focused on getting students to take an interest in
advanced placement. It features additional information on the advanced placement program,
includes interviews with teachers and counselors, and helpful information and resources for
students and parents. The Web site will continue to be updated with new content as content
becomes available. See http://www.dodea.edu/curriculum/AP/index.cfm?cId=AP&sId=intro
From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth
B&B for Vets Offers Free Rooms on Veterans Day
Bed and Breakfasts and inns across the country are providing free rooms on Wednesday,
November 10, in observance of Veterans Day, November 11, to honor servicemen and women
currently serving or who have previously served their country. The program was started in 2009
by the West Virginia B&B Association and this year has expanded to include more than 45 states
and provinces and more than 300 inns. See http://www.bnbsforvets.org/
Consumer Product Safety Commission Announces Recalls
– Fisher-Price is recalling more than 11 million tricycles, toys and high chairs over safety
concerns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the high chairs and tricycles were
blamed for children's injuries. For more information and model numbers for the recalled
products, see http://service.mattel.com/us/recall.asp
– The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
today warned consumers to stop using infant sleep positioners. Infant sleep ‘positioners’ are
devices intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. Infant sleep positioners
can be purchased over-the-counter at retail stores or on Web sites. They are marketed for use
in homes and medical facilities. FDA held a joint media briefing on the safety of infant
sleep positioners Wednesday, September 29, 2010. A replay of the briefing will be available
until October 29, 2010. To hear the briefing, call (866) 462-8976, or for international calls,
From the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs
Military OneSource Webinar Focuses on Individual Education Plans
Dr. Maria Barkmeier, program analyst, for the Office of Community Support for Military
Families with Special Needs, and Ms. Mary Bradshaw, Military OneSource specialty consultant,
provided a Military OneSource Webinar entitled, "Focus on IEPs," on Tuesday, September 28th.
The session provided information on how Individualized Education Programs are developed and
their portability as military families move from state to state or to DoD schools. Sixty-seven
exceptional family member program managers and parents attended the first Webinar. The
Webinar was repeated on Thursday, September 29 and can be viewed on line at
3. This Week in MC&FP October 1, 2010
DeCA joins the First Lady's "Let's Move!" campaign
Let's Move!, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is challenging school nutrition
professionals, chefs, students, parents and others to create tasty, healthy new recipes for
inclusion on school lunch menus across the country. So consider sharing that favorite healthy
family recipe to help support the fight against childhood obesity, and your family may just win
the challenge. You may also send recipes to the DeCA Dietitian to have it posted at Kay's
Kitchen (http://www.recipesforkidschallenge.com/) on the DeCA Web site at
DECA is delivering the benefit at the following Guard and reserve locations. See:
Oct 8-9 Army National Guard Scottsbluff, Neb.
Oct 8-9 Air National Guard Portland, Ore.
Save the Date! DoD/USDA 2011 Family Resilience Conference “Forging the Partnership”
If you haven’t done so yet, mark your calendar now to be in Chicago on April 26 - 29, 2011,
at the Hyatt Regency. The interagency conference, Forging the Partnership, will bring
together professionals from DoD and USDA and will build connections, competency and the
capacity of our agencies and programs.
The conference will feature keynote speakers, current youth and family research presenters, interactive
workshops and computer labs. The call for proposals will be published in early fall and registration will
open sometime in January. We’ll keep you posted. For more information, see
In the News
From the American Forces Press Service – New Military Retirement Home Debuts Washington,
D.C. – More than 100 residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home here are packing up to move
back into a brand-new complex in Gulfport, Miss., that replaces the facility that was destroyed five
years ago by Hurricane Katrina. Emotions are running high as the 135 residents prepare to leave
AFRH-Washington Oct. 4, 2010, and along with it, the deep friendships they’ve forged during the
past five years, spokeswoman Sheila Abarr told American Forces Press Service. See
From the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service – Domestic Violence Prevention
In support of Domestic Violence Prevention month, a ‘Hot Spot’ will air throughout the month of
October on AFN Atlantic, AFN Pacific, AFN News, AFN Sports, AFN Xtra, and AFN Movie. See
the attached file, “2010-10-01_Domestic Violence Prevention.wmv”.
From the DoDEA Pressroom – DoDEA Kicks off Another School Year
4. This Week in MC&FP October 1, 2010
What's in store for DoDEA in the coming school year? What expectations does DoDEA have for
promoting continuous improvement and student achievement? Charlie Toth, DoDEA's principal
deputy director and associate director for education, addresses these questions and more in the
latest edition of the Chat Room. See http://www.dodea.edu/pressroom/video.cfm
From TRICARE Media Center – Learning Good Eating Habits is Elementary
For preschoolers, the food choices made during the ages of three to five are not only important in
the fight against obesity, but they are critical for healthy brain development. Along with
continued physical growth, the National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that it is during these
years children demonstrate curiosity and learn to socialize, adapt to different places and speak
properly. It’s also when parents can set rules for good behaviors, preferences toward learning,
and teach healthy eating habits. Poor nutrition at this stage can lead to long-term cognitive or
behavioral disabilities. See http://www.tricare.mil/mediacenter/press_article.aspx?fid=495.
From the Defense Center of Excellence – Suicide Prevention Web site Launched
Launched today, the new suicide prevention and risk reduction Web site is a collaborative effort
between the Services, the National Guard Bureau, Reserve Affairs, Department of Veterans
Affairs, the Office of Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration, and others. The site is not intended to replace any existing sites, but
will enhance already created materials and allow for a central location of information and
resources. Web site developers welcome feedback (via the site’s ‘feedback’ button). See
Tips of the Week
Nutrition Tip of the Week
Today's pork is leaner than ever before, so lean in fact, that you must be careful not to over-cook
it. The leanest cuts of pork include pork loin, pork tenderloin, center loin and ham. For more
information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary’s website
When a parent is called away on a mission, it’s comforting for both parent and teen to have a
little reminder of each other. Make sure you have a box for both parent and teen and have each
person add items to the other person’s box. This box can be as small or large as you wish and it
can contain as many or as few items as you feel necessary. The contents should be special and
important and can be like a time capsule. Just remember, keep the contents secret until a
deployment occurs! For more parent-teen resources, visit MilitaryHOMEFRONT at
Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Prevention – Making Favorite Dishes Healthier
Recipes you may prepare regularly, and that your family enjoys, with just a few changes can be
healthier and just as satisfying. For new ideas about how to add more fruits and vegetables to
your daily diet, check out the recipe database from the FruitsandVeggiesMatter.gov web site:
(http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnparecipe/recipesearch.aspx) This site enables you to find tasty fruit
5. This Week in MC&FP October 1, 2010
and vegetable recipes that fit your needs.
Financial Facts – The Myth of Zero Percent Financing
There are many 0 percent offers out there, from balance transfers to financing on big purchases,
that may not be quite as good as they seem on the surface. They aren't bad offers; they're just not
as attractive as the headlines seem to make it.
0 percent Balance Transfers
The allure of a 0 percent balance transfer is obvious. It's in the name. You get 0 percent interest
on a balance transfer for 9, 12, or even as many as 18 months. The problem is the pesky balance
transfer fee. A balance transfer fee is a fee, usually 3 to 4 percent, charged whenever you transfer
a credit card balance. It's almost always an upfront fee and while it's probably better than the
purchase APR on your existing credit card, it's certainly not really 0 percent.
0 percent Financing
Whenever you make a big ticket purchase, like a television, an appliance, or a home renovation;
the salesperson will almost always try to sell you on their financing. The 0 percent financing
offer is ubiquitous, but it's only really 0 percent if you're able to pay off the loan before the 0
percent financing period ends. If you don't, many places will charge you interested over that 12
month period. Sound confusing? That's the point! So, the next time you see a 0 percent financing
offer, remember that you may pay more than 0 percent if you carry the balance beyond the
Family and Friend Loans
Sometimes you need a few bucks to make it to the next pay period, it happens more and more
often in our current economy. When it's only a few hundred dollars, it's not an issue because at
those amounts the IRS will not even attempt to enforce it. When it's substantially more than that,
Uncle Sam actually requires that the borrower pay an interest rate at or above the Applicable
Federal Rates (http://www.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/federalRates.html) . Technically, you need to
be charged a nominal amount of interest. This, of course, ignores the social cost of a friends &
family loan, which can be substantial.
While some are better than not getting 0 percent, it's very important that you take a very close
look at what you're applying for because you don't want to be surprised in 12 months with a
much larger bill!
Military OneSource – Quick Tips for Communicating During Deployment
Here are some ideas for keeping in touch when you and your service member are far apart:
Be sure you have the right address. That way your letters and e-mails will arrive on time.
Answer any questions your service member may have asked in an earlier message. You'll
keep the conversation going and keep your family member from wondering or worrying.
Learn about any guidelines for military mail. You'll find rules, restrictions, and other helpful
mailing information at http://hqdainet.army.mil/mpsa/
6. This Week in MC&FP October 1, 2010
Be creative. Letters and e-mails are great, but try adding variety with audio recordings, DVDs,
or video recordings.
Express yourself clearly. Remember that you won't be there to explain what you mean when
your family member reads your message.
Send frequent packages. Ask your family member what is most needed, and be sure to include
special treats, funny notes, and anything else that might bring a smile.
Be honest. You don't have to pretend that you're feeling fine when you're not.
Use the Internet for more than e-mail. For instance, you can create a Web page with pictures
and news, "talk" with your family member in chat rooms, or use a scanner to send newspaper
clippings or a child's report card.
Try not to worry if you don't get a quick response. Your service member may be in an area
with limited mail or e-mail service, or may simply be too busy to respond right away.
Your local Family Center can provide information and support on many issues that affect
service members 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 (800) 342-9647 or access