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Welcome Home...
For those that just arrived, Welcome home! For those that have been here before welcome back. We are your hosts, BJ 'n Cindy. We own and operate this site as well as the sister sites.

As a retired Marine couple, we know just how new and puzzling, and sometimes how lonely or difficult it can be to find what you need. That is why we created this network and filled it with all kinds of resources to help you find whatever you may need... and to find one another.

So once again Welcome Home...

 


From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs 

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Tuesday that first-term Sailors on sea duty now have more time to request extension of their expiration of active obligated service (EAOS) to complete their sea duty assignment known as their prescribed sea tour (PST).

The deadline for Sailors to submit their requests was extended to Dec. 31, 2017, from Feb. 28, as was first announced in NAVADMIN 004/17. This initiative allows first-term Sailors to match their projected rotation date (PRD) with their EAOS and helps alleviate unnecessary gaps at sea.

Customer Service Representatives

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By Lt. Col. Janet Herrick | U.S. Army Human Resources Command February 22, 2017

FORT KNOX, Ky. - The most recent Regular Army Call to Active Duty program is expanded for commissioned officers and warrant officers this year. The program allows Army Reserve and National Guard members in select grades and specialties to go on active duty.

"The Army looks to retain the talent, skills and experience of quality officers who are fit, resilient and ready to serve America's Army," said Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Calloway, director, Officer Personnel Management Directorate at Human Resources Command.

By Courtesy Story, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, California -- There is no greater story teller than a veteran of war. However, it is often difficult for them to articulate the things they had seen in a way that the average civilian might understand. Sometimes the story gets lost in the details. Sometimes the humor or significance of a certain situation is lost on the listener. The term “you just had to be there” is far too often an understatement. Damaso Sutis found a friend to share his story. In fact, he found two.

Retired Gunnery Sergeant Damaso Sutis began his day boarding a bus heading to Camp Pendleton for the 72nd Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration Tour. The tour made stops at the Santa Margarita Ranch House and the Mechanized Museum that houses military vehicles past and present. 

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Friday that it is beginning a beta test of a new web portal designed to aggregate several personnel, training and education websites into one location. 

Today, the content and applications Sailors need to access their personnel information is spread across multiple websites. Over time, that capability will be integrated into My Navy Portal.

From Naval Health Research Center Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Recent research from Naval Health Research Center's (NHRC) Warfighter Performance Department found physical activity may diminish the risk of major depressive disorder (MDD) and suicidal ideation (SI) in individuals with a genetic predisposition.

Study findings were published online in the January issue of "Psychiatry Research."

By Demetria Mosley (Fort Jackson)
February 17, 2017

It's day zero and the heat at Fort Jackson in July is sweltering.

A group of new initial entry recruits stand at attention, forming a sea of green in their newly issued OCP uniforms as they wait with looks of anticipation on their faces for the first glance at their drill sergeant.

By Sgt. Tiffany Edwards, III Marine Expeditionary Force

BAN CHAN KREM, Thailand - U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted Military Operations in Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) training with the Royal Thai Marine Corps Feb. 14, 2017 at Ban Chan Krem, Thailand. The Marines and Sailors traveled to Thailand to participate in Exercise Cobra Gold 17, a co-sponsored, multi-national exercise between the Kingdom of Thailand, United States, and 27 other nations.

"The Royal Thai Marines requested this specific training, which is the foundation of (MOUT)," said 1st Lt. Christian Talarico, platoon commander for 1st Plt., Echo Co., BLT 2/5. "Our Marines are well versed and more than capable to teach this training, which will provide a good foundation for the Thai Marines to build on and increase their proficiency." 

February 21, 2017

It’s not easy to talk with youth about sensitive topics such as cybersafety, healthy relationships, and bullying. To help facilitate these discussions, the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC), in partnership with the youth leadership group, P.O.P! (The Power of Prevention), created the site, “100 Conversations.”

The goal of “100 Conversations” is to increase safety and reduce sexual violence for all youth, and in particular for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. The site’s “Topics” section has links to 100 conversations categorized into 10 major topics including “Boundaries & Values,” “Consent & Laws,” and “Bystanders & Resources.”

By Tom Cramer
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A VA psychologist in Indiana is exploring the effects yoga might have on Veterans suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder.

“There’s just not that much research out there yet about the effect of yoga on PTSD symptoms,” said Dr. Louanne Davis, a clinical research psychologist at the Indianapolis VA and an associate scientist in clinical psychology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  “But we know that yoga is soothing.  Yoga is very meditative and emphasizes being aware or mindful of your breathing and how your body feels moment to moment. This type of practice stimulates the calming branch of the nervous system and helps to reduce the hyperarousal that is one of the symptoms of PTSD.”

WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded three university contracts to research and share local history through the diversity of Veterans' experience found in VA national cemeteries, officials announced Feb. 16.

"The award of these three contracts signifies the VA National Cemetery Administration's (NCA) dedication and commitment to providing enhanced memorialization and lasting tributes that commemorate the service and sacrifice of Veterans," said Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Ronald E. Walters.

By Mika Cross on February 15, 2017

At the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, we know that training veterans for skilled work or helping them prepare for their next interview enhances their ability to live the American dream. A steady, meaningful job provides security for both veterans and their families.

Providing support to military spouses is an equally important part of the department’s goal to expand opportunities for all U.S. workers. Like veterans and transitioning service members, military spouses deserve assistance to achieve their personal career goals.

By Sgt. Laura Gauna, III Marine Expeditionary Force

 OKINAWA, Japan -- The world’s first supersonic short-take-off, vertical-landing aircraft just landed in the Pacific this month, launching the Marine Corps into a new era of expeditionary aviation.

Brig. Gen. John M. Jansen, the deputy commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, expects the new F-35B Lightning II to provide new dimensions of range, speed, stealth and lethality to commanders throughout III Marine Expeditionary Force.

By Sean Kimmons February 16, 2017

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Access to quality child care is an essential benefit for service members with children, especially for those with spouses who work full time or are seeking employment. But with more than 5,500 children waiting to get into Army child care programs, senior leaders are worried the backlog could affect the readiness of military parents.

"This is a huge concern for us," Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey told lawmakers Tuesday. Child care is "critical to our success and something we have to continue to invest in for the future."

By Richard Salomon, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs / Published February 17, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- For months, about 100 Air Force wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans have honed their skills in their chosen sport, with many overcoming significant hardships, in preparation for the Air Force Trials Feb. 24 to March 2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

The Air Force Trials is an adaptive and rehabilitative sports event designed to promote the mental and physical well-being of participants. The trials’ events include wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, air pistol and rifle shooting, rowing, archery and cycling.

By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2017 — The Defense Department’s newly modernized electronic health record system was recognized as successful after a week-long deployment at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, officials there said today.

Fairchild’s  92nd Medical Group became the first military hospital or clinic to use MHS Genesis, a single, integrated electronic inpatient and outpatient health record that transforms health care delivery within DoD’s Military Health System, officials said.

By Army Sgt. Noshoba Davis Louisiana National Guard

PINEVILLE, La., Feb. 16, 2017 — The Louisiana National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force providing an aviation asset in assisting several law enforcement agencies in removing nearly $2 million worth of drugs from the streets of Alexandria, Louisiana, last month.

After a month-long investigation into alleged illegal drug activity, Derrick Felton, 37, of Alexandria, was arrested for possession of nearly 70 pounds of illegal narcotics and a large amount of cash.

DALLAS - There may be several weeks left in the march to spring, but that doesn't mean military families have to wait to start making their yards an outdoor paradise.

Every Friday in 2017, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will award one lucky winner an outdoor living gift package valued as high as $1,499.99 at facebook.com/shopmyexchange. To enter, authorized shoppers simply like and share each Free Friday post and comment with their name and local Exchange.

By Lance Cpl. Ashley Lawson, II Marine Expeditionary Force

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- An open field where injured dummies lie was suddenly crowded as the recorded sound of a bomb reached the eardrums of corpsmen on a patrol nearby during a training exercise. With quick, sharp looks and a feeling of urgency, they each rushed to a wounded “Marine” to save their brothers’ lives.

Corpsmen with 2nd Medical Battalion participated in a Tactical Combat Casualty Care training exercise February 6-10, 2017, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey 92nd Air Refueling Wing 

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash., Feb. 15, 2017 - Four NASA astronauts trained with U.S. Air Force Survival School instructors in water survival and recovery at the fitness center pool here. 

The astronauts underwent the training in preparation for anticipated test flights of the new commercially made American rockets, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Dragon.

By Lance Cpl. Breanna Weisenberger, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

 Okinawa, Japan --

Marines with Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, completed training at Jungle Warfare Training Center, Camp Gonsalves, Okinawa, Japan, Feb. 3, 2017, in preparation for an upcoming spring deployment.

BLT 2/5, usually stationed at the Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton, California, is currently the Ground Combat Element for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. 

 From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Thursday that some Sailors who are considering orders to sea-duty squadrons at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore may be authorized Assignment Incentive Pay (AIP).

AIP is a temporary compensation tool used to incentivize voluntary assignment to billets determined to be historically difficult to fill.

New Documentary Series Wants To Capture That Special Moment When You Hold Your Baby For The First Time

Are you returning home from a deployment, job, etc. to meet your baby for the first time? Do you have a partner who is coming home to meet their baby in the coming months? A Major Cable Network is working on an inspiring new project and we want to hear your story!

*Please note, there is compensation for those selected. *

WASHINGTON — Ten women Veteran artists have been selected to showcase their work at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers around the country in March, to coincide with Women’s History Month.

“It is our hope that this exhibit will provide insight into the diverse experiences of women who serve our country, through their respective lenses,” said Director of VA’s Center for Women Veterans Kayla Williams. “This effort to enhance the awareness of those who serve women Veterans — in VA and in the public — will contribute to improving how they are regarded when they come to VA for care and benefits, and how they are treated in their communities.” 

Hud Charges Oklahoma Landlords With Discriminating Against Veteran With Disabilities

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging the landlords of a Moore, Oklahoma rental home with violating the Fair Housing Act by denying the reasonable accommodation requests of their tenant, a veteran with disabilities. Read the charge.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices for people with disabilities. This includes waiving pet fees for persons with disabilities who use assistance animals.

From Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- A new application for mobile devices designed to support Navy personnel and their families stationed or deployed abroad with cultural awareness and language resources became available for download, Feb. 3.

The app initially provides material for six fleet concentration areas: Bahrain, Italy, Japan, Spain, the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines. The Navy Center for Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (CLREC) plans to continue adding resources on language, history, geography, people, ethnic groups, religious institutions, societal norms, behaviors, etiquette, and culturally-appropriate behaviors for more additional countries as resources allow.

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy released NAVADMIN 025/17, Feb. 6, reminding female Sailors that the third cycle selections for conversation to Submarine Force ratings closes April 1.

This cycle's conversions will be for the 2018 initial enlisted integration of the USS Ohio (SSGN 726) submarine crews in Bangor, Washington.

By Cpl. Nathan Wicks, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, IWAKUNI, Japan -- Aviation ordnance Marines with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 are receiving, equipping and inspecting F/A-18D Hornets at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to support exercise Cope North, scheduled for Feb. 8 - March 8, 2017.

 Cope North is a multi-national, bilateral training event including the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, Royal Australian Air Force, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force. 

By Lisa Ferdinando, DoD News, Defense Media Activity
February 3, 2017

WASHINGTON -- With the tax season upon us, service members and their families can access free tax-filing software and consultations to help them navigate the task of submitting their annual taxes.

Military members and their families can visit the Military OneSource website or call 1-800-342-9647 for the no-cost "MilTax" software, explained Erika Slaton, a program analyst with Military OneSource.

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity
February 2, 2017

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2017 -- The Defense Department has launched mandatory training for eligible service members about their options under the "Blended Retirement System" nearly a year before that new system goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, Defense Department officials said.

The new military retirement system is "one of the most significant changes to military pay and benefits that we've had over the past 70 years," said Anthony Kurta, who is performing the duties of undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

By Don Wagner January 30, 2017

FORT MEADE, Md. (Army News Service) -- Soldiers Broadcasting is launching its newest video series called "Soldiers" Tuesday on Defense TV, YouTube and the new Soldiers webpage.

"These videos showcase the American Soldier in action, preparing for and conducting missions every day around the globe," said Maj. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, Army chief of Public Affairs. "Soldier skills, grit, commitment and character will be on full display. You will be inspired by the Soldiers who defend our nation as part of the greatest team on earth."

By Byron Zuidema on February 3, 2017

Are you unemployed and searching for work? An employer trying to meet your human capital needs for skilled workers? Maybe you’re just entering the workforce and looking for your first job, or have been working for years but interested in switching fields or gaining a new credential.

In all of these cases, an American Job Center near you can help.

By Tami Faram, Marine Corps Base Quantico

QUANTICO, Virginia -- As thousands will be setting their sights on the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 22 in Arlington, VA and throughout the nation’s capital, special Four Star registration packages offering a spectacular weekend at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD will soon be available. 

The Four Star packages are limited in number and will open for registration at www.marinemarathon.com starting tomorrow, Feb. 1 at noon Eastern. 

By C. Todd Lopez
January 26, 2017

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- With just 18 hours of notice, the 82nd Airborne Division can deploy and conduct a forcible-entry operation in support of U.S. interests. But the division wasn't always that ready, and they weren't always airborne.

With 2017 marking the division's 100th anniversary, the 82nd is now launching a series of initiatives to commemorate its history, share the story of how it became the unit it is today, and celebrate all that the paratroopers have done for the United States and the world.

By U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Public Affairs - February 2, 2017

QUANTICO, Va. -- The Army Criminal Investigation Command is cautioning Soldiers to beware of a form of cyber extortion in which criminals engage in online sexual activities with a victim and then demand money or favors in exchange for not publicizing potentially embarrassing information.

In these "sextortion" scams, the extortionist will convince a Soldier to send a compromising photo or engage in a sexually explicit video chat, then threaten to send the compromising images to the Soldier's command, family and friends unless "hush money" is paid, according to CID's Computer Crime Investigative Unit (CCIU).

By Pfc. Gabino Perez, I Marine Expeditionary Force

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- It was a breezy Friday afternoon, Oct. 30, 2015, as the USS Boxer was underway, moving through choppy waters off the coast of Southern California. Marine Sgt. Zachary L. Piepenhagen stood on the smoke deck to take a brief break from work and enjoy a cigarette with his peers when he noticed someone climbing over the guard rail of the ship.

Piepenhagen, without hesitation, sprinted across the weather deck of the ship, jumping over the separation rope, and grabbed the sailor who was attempting to jump to his death. They grappled for a few seconds, the sailor resisting him in an attempt to escape, as both lives were in imminent danger of falling off the ship. Piepenhagen was able to pull the sailor off the ledge and back onto the ship, with the help of two other Marines, holding him against the ship’s bulkhead until help arrived.

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samuel Weldin

SAPPORO, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors stationed at U.S. Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa and its tenant commands began work on a snow sculpture as part of the 68th annual Sapporo Snow Festival, Jan. 30.

This is the 34th consecutive year the Navy has sent a team of Misawa Sailors to Sapporo to create a sculpture and take part in the world's largest snow festival.

By Kellen Leech
January 31, 2017

As thousands of American employers know, hiring veterans is a smart move. There are more than 7 million veterans in the U.S. labor force, meaning they’re either employed or actively looking for work. If you’re curious about working with veterans, here are three great reasons to hire one:

From a Defense Commissary Agency News Release

FORT LEE, Va., Jan. 30, 2017 — Commissary savings now will be reported more often and better reflect the cost of living where patrons shop, the director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency said.

We have updated how we measure patron savings at the commissary, Joseph H. Jeu said. This enhanced way of calculating savings doesn’t change the actual dollars that patrons save, but it will give patrons a better understanding of price comparisons in their local area.

Release No: 013  -  Feb. 2, 2017 
By Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas â€" According to an Air Force Policy Memorandum for Appearance and Accession Standards Review, revisions for tattoo standards applicable to the Total Force take effect Feb. 1.

The guidance, which will be incorporated into Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel, and several others, applies to all members of the Regular Air Force, as well as Reserve and Guard components.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2016 - The Defense Department today announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership program has now partnered with 300 employers, according to officials from the DoD Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Office.

The program, launched in June 2011 by Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is an employment and career partnership connecting military spouses to partner organizations and companies who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers.

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2016 — Many successful initiatives are underway to reform the Military Health System, but the system will require change to continue its many benefits to readiness and patient care, military medicine’s top leaders told a Senate panel yesterday.

Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs; Navy Vice Adm. (Dr.) Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency; and the Army, Navy and Air Force surgeons general made recommendations to a Senate Armed Service Committee personnel panel on defense health care reform.

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2016 - Several tax law changes could significantly affect how service members and their families file their 2015 income tax returns.

"It's probably the biggest set of changes in many years" said Army Lt. Col. Samuel W. Kan, executive director of th eDefense Department's Armed Forces Tax Council, which oversees the military's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

By Karen Parrish
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2016 - Upon taking office almost a year ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter promised reforms, saying "that a blended retirement system is a key step in modernizing the department's ability to recruit, retain and maintain the talent we require of our future force."

An overhaul of the current military retirement system is slated to take effect January 1, 2018. The new system has three elements: a 401(k)-style component with Defense Department matching funds for entry-level and other service members, a mid-career continuity bonus, and a retirement annuity similar to the one now in place for service members that complete twenty or more years of eligible service.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2016 - Elmo, Big Bird, and Abby Cadabby are teaming up with the Defense Department to support thousands of military families as they transition to civilian life, according to Transition to Veterans Program Office officials.

On Jan. 27, the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, launched a website devoted to helping families cope with the changes associated with transitioning into civilian life, the officials said. The site, located at http://www.sesamestreet.org/veterans, includes several videos for children and adults, an activity book called "My Story, My Big Adventure Activity Book," and other resources that military parents can use to help their families communicate through the transition process, the officials said.

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2015 - Blue Star Families celebrated its fifth-year anniversary here last night, recognizing three honorees for going "above and beyond the call of duty" to support military families.

Blue Star Families works in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to strengthen military families and connect the nation to the military.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. NR-065-15
February 24, 2015

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced yesterday that the remains of U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been accounted for and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 1st Lts. William D. Bernier of Augusta, Montana; Bryant E. Poulsen of Salt Lake City, Utah; Herbert V. Young Jr. of Clarkdale, Arizona and Tech Sgts. Charles L. Johnston of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Hugh F. Moore of Elkton, Maryland and Staff Sgts. John E. Copeland of Dearing, Kansas; Charles J. Jones of Athens, Georgia; and Sgt. Charles A. Gardner of San Francisco, California, have been accounted for and buried with full military honors. Jones will be buried Feb. 28 in Athens, Georgia and Johnston will be buried March 2 in Arlington National Cemetery. On March 18, there will be a group burial service at Arlington National Cemetery honoring Poulsen, Copeland and the other crew members. Bernier was buried Sept. 19, 2014, in his hometown. Young was buried Oct. 15, 2014, in Prescott, Arizona Moore was buried on Nov. 11, 2014, in his hometown. Gardner was buried on Dec. 4, 2014 in Arlington National Cemetery.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. NR-059-15

February 19, 2015

DOD Announces Operation Freedom's Sentinel Qualifies for Campaign Medal 

The Department of Defense announced today Operation Freedom's Sentinel as a qualifying operation for award of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Additionally, the transition from Operation Enduring Freedom to Freedom's Sentinel also marks a new campaign phase, "Transition II," for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright signed a memorandum authorizing these changes retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2015 - The Justice Department announced today that under its settlements with five of the nation's largest mortgage servicers, 952 service members and their co-borrowers are eligible to receive over $123 million for non-judicial foreclosures that violated the Service Members Civil Relief Act.

The five mortgage servicers are JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.; Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wells Fargo & Co.; Citi Residential Lending Inc., Citibank, NA and CitiMortgage Inc.; GMAC Mortgage, LLC, Ally Financial Inc. and Residential Capital LLC; and BAC Home Loans Servicing LP formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP (Bank of America).

IMMEDIATE RELEASE   No. NR-042-15
February 09, 2015

 Department of Defense Authorizes Service Stars on the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal 

The Department of Defense announced today that effective immediately, service members are authorized to wear Service Stars on their Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medals (GWOT-EM) to represent deployments in support of approved GWOT operations.

Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright signed a memorandum authorizing the new policy change retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE   No. NR-040-15
February 06, 2015

 Army approves awards for victims of 2009 Fort Hood attack 

 Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced today that he has approved awarding the Purple Heart and its civilian counterpart, the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom, to victims of a 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, following a change in the medals' eligibility criteria mandated by Congress. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in the attack by Major Nidal Hassan, who was convicted in August, 2013, of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Feb. 25, 2014 - A soldier-turned-scribe conducted a writing workshop at the College of William and Mary here Feb. 22-23, the latest in an ongoing, no-cost series of seminars and workshops for veterans, active and reserve service members, and military family members.

The seminars are part of the Veterans Writing Project, a nonprofit program based in Washington, D.C., and founded by veterans and family members.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2014 - Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey wants feedback from service members on the fiscal year 2015 defense budget request that he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined to reporters at the Pentagon yesterday.

In an interview in his Pentagon office posted on Facebook, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff asked service members to contact him about their feelings on the budget in general and the pay, compensation and health care portion of the proposal, in particular.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2014 - Because Defense Department leaders believe personal financial readiness equals mission readiness, officials want service members to "set a goal, make a plan and save automatically" in the Military Saves Week campaign that starts today, a senior Pentagon official said.

Military Saves is a year-long campaign with DOD partner the Consumer Federation of America as part of the larger America Saves effort, said Barbara Thompson, director of the Defense Department's office of family policy and children and youth.

By Marine Corps Sgt. Justin M. Boling
Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps

FORT MEADE, Md., Feb. 13, 2014 - A UH-1Y Venom helicopter pilot received the British Distinguished Flying Cross yesterday at the British Embassy in Washington.

Marine Corps Capt. Brian Jordan, the second Marine aviator to earn the medal since World War II, was honored for his actions June 21, 2012, while deployed in Afghanistan

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2014 - The sacrifice made nearly 70 years ago by the unknown U.S. service member from World War II "helped change the tide of human history and deepen the bonds between [France and the United States]," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a ceremony today at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

At the ceremony, French President Francois Hollande presented the Legion of Honor, France's highest military award, to the unknown service member. The ceremony was part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that led to the liberation of Europe.

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2014 - First Lady Michelle Obama announced today that more than 100 construction industry companies have committed to hiring more than 100,000 military veterans over the next five years.

Obama and Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez delivered remarks at the National Symposium on Veterans' Employment in Construction, hosted at the Labor Department.

Army News Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2014 – The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is warning about a new website scam in which criminals are attempting to take advantage of soldiers and their families.

The “My Army Benefits” website is not an official website, officials said, and is neither affiliated with nor endorsed in any way by the United States Army.

by Staff Sgt. Ian Hoachlander
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Reading a book is a reward in and of itself, but that does not always persuade children to read. To help promote literacy, the Air Force Personnel Center is sponsoring an incentive reading program until March 7.

The One Page at a Time program is open to youth ages five through 13 years, who are eligible to use force support squadron facilities. This program is designed to drive youths to read books, document their literary accomplishments, and earn incentives for each level of their literary successes.

by Janis El Shabazz
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – An up-to-date family care plan can help to ease stress and boost family resilience and readiness during a service member’s absence. 

Family care plans are instructions developed by service members to identify caregivers who have agreed to take care of family members during the sponsor’s absence. 

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014 - The Defense Department has made troops' health records electronically available to the Veterans Affairs Department to speed up the adjudication of disability claims, a DOD health information technology official said.

Now in place for service members who have separated or discharged from the military since Jan. 1, the Health Artifact and Image Management Solution, or HAIMS, electronic system makes certified military service treatment records automatically available to VA to determine disability benefits when a claim is filed, said David M. Bowen, director of health information technology at the Defense Health Agency.

From a Department of Veterans Affairs News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 - The Veterans Affairs Department today launched a new online tool to make it easier for veterans, service members and family members to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA's approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country.

"We are pleased that Post-9/11 veterans are taking advantage of this significant benefit program," said Allison A. Hickey, undersecretary of veterans affairs for benefits. "The new GI Bill Comparison Tool will help future beneficiaries as they make decisions about what education or training program best fits their needs."

From a Department of Labor News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 - The Labor Department has awarded two grants totaling $900,000 to fund services provided by the department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez announced yesterday.

Grants of $450,000 each were awarded through the department's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program to Advocates for Human Potential Inc. in Sudbury, Mass., and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans in the nation's capital.

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2013 - The names of Medal of Honor recipients recognized for their battlefield valor before Sept. 11, 2001, now are listed on the Defense Department's valor website, Pentagon officials announced today.

"Recognizing our brave men and women for their heroic actions is one of the most important things we can do as a department," said Vee Penrod, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy.

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Alston and Morgan Over
Navy News Service

ROTA, Spain, Feb. 27, 2013 - The USO brought all-star entertainment to Naval Station Rota on Feb. 26, the first stop on a spring tour to visit troops abroad. ??

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hosted the star-studded group of athletes, coaches and musicians.

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2013 - As the war in Afghanistan winds down and more than 1 million veterans return to civilian life, the nation's responsibility to help them in that transition will ramp up, First Lady Michelle Obama told the National Governors Association at the White House today.

Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, spoke to the nation's governors to seek their help with the "Joining Forces" initiative to foster support for service members and their families.

By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2013 - The Defense Department is rolling out a program that will allow users of a range of mobile devices -- working anywhere from remote battlefields to the Pentagon to rapidly share classified and protected data across all components.

More than 600,000 DOD employees, from soldiers on the front lines to Joint Staff planners, use government-issued mobile devices, mostly BlackBerry phones. Several thousand of the mobile devices in use in DOD are capable of handling classified data.

By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2013 - Defense Department officials have designated this week as "Military Saves Week" to highlight the need for military families to reduce debt and save for the future, something Pentagon officials emphasize is key to force readiness.

The event is part of the yearlong Military Saves campaign, an opportunity for leaders to stress the importance of good financial habits to all members of the force and their families to encourage saving, reducing debt and building wealth, officials said.

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2013 - Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, today urged the nation's governors to get behind the effort to allow military spouses to transfer professional licenses from state to state.

Speaking to the National Governors Association at the White House as part of the "Joining Forces" initiative that she and First Lady Michelle Obama have championed, Biden noted that 28 states have passed laws to facilitate license portability for teachers, nurses, social workers and other professionals licensed in one state but who have to move to another when their military spouse gets a new assignment.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2013 - The new Distinguished Warfare Medal will retain its place in the order of precedence among military decorations, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today.

Much of the public discussion of the new medal has centered on its precedence. It ranks below the Distinguished Flying Cross and above the Bronze Star.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2013 - The U.S. flag has been a symbol of American courage and patriotism for more than 200 years, and those who serve in the military hold it in high reverence.

So it's no surprise that Army Sgt. William H. Carney risked his life in 1863 to safeguard the symbol of American pride and inspiration, earning the distinction of being the first African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Feb. 19, 2013 - In its quest to help veterans find employment, the Defense Department is collaborating with states, which represent the center of gravity for jobs, said Frank DiGiovanni, director, Training Readiness and Strategy for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Readiness.

DiGiovanni testified Tuesday before a Maryland state administrative panel in Annapolis on the benefits of the state's Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013.  The crux of the act would require licensing units and boards to give credit to veterans for related military training, education and experience. Giovanni heads the licensing and credentialing task force for the Defense Department.

This updated fact sheet contains information about TRICARE coverage for National Guard and Reserve members and their families. It describes TRICARE coverage throughout your career, eligibility, medical and dental benefit coverage options by sponsor status and much more.

by Gloria Kwizera
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas" - Need assistance setting up a budget, learning a new language or doing your homework? Look no further than your online Air Force library, where Air Force library staff work to meet customers’ needs in an evolving digital world.

Worldwide, Air Force libraries offer online learning resources, digital magazines, music, movies and much more for Total Force Airmen, civilians, retirees and family members.

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2013 - A U.S. Army soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor for risking his life to save his comrades during an ambush in Afghanistan has been inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno presented the Medal of Honor flag and Hall of Heroes plaque to Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha. President Barack Obama awarded the 31 year old the nation's highest military honor at a White House ceremony a day earlier.

By C. Todd Lopez
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2013 - President Barack Obama placed the Medal of Honor around the neck of former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha during a ceremony yesterday in the East Room of the White House.

Romesha, the fourth living service member to receive the medal for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, earned the Medal of Honor for actions Oct. 3, 2009, at Combat Outpost Keating in the Kamdesh district of Afghanistan's Nuristan province.

No. 084-13
February 13, 2013

The Department of Defense announced today the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal to recognize a service member's extraordinary achievements directly impacting combat operations.

Modern technology enables service members with special training and capabilities to more directly and precisely impact military operations at times far from the battlefield.  The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded in the name of the secretary of defense to service members whose extraordinary achievements, regardless of their distance to the traditional combat theater, deserve distinct department-wide recognition.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2013 - The deployment of the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg to the U.S. Central Command area of operations has been delayed, according to a statement issued today by Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.

The Secretary of Defense has delayed the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and the USS Gettysburg (CG-64), which were scheduled to depart later this week for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility, Little said in his statement.

By Ashley Roy
Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center

EDINBURGH, Ind., Feb. 6, 2013 - The Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center here recently implemented the Veteran's Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act, a national program designed to assist transitioning soldiers with financial and career planning.

Signed into law in 2011, the program was implemented on November 21, 2012, in an effort to reduce unemployment and debt among veterans.

from The Exceptional Advocate
A newsletter for military families with special needs

Tax season is just around the corner, and it's time to start gathering all your paperwork to prepare your tax return for 2012. To get the most for your money, it is important to know about deductions and benefits you may qualify for and where you can go to get answers and assistance with filing your taxes.

Earned Income Tax CreditYou can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the earned income tax credit. If you are filing a joint return and both you and your spouse received nontaxable combat pay, you can each make your own election. But, if you (or your spouse) make the election, you must include in earned income all nontaxable combat pay you received. You may not choose to include only a part of the nontaxable combat pay in earned income.

The mission of the Transition Assistance Program has always been to provide benefits and provisions to service members and their families preparing to separate from military service. The program offers a step-by-step process of discovery and decision-making, helping service members answer questions about the civilian workforce, possible training and education, civilian career choices, and transition in general. Beginning in 2013, the Transition Assistance Program will become Transition Goals Planning Success or Transition GPS, transforming the way the military prepares its service members and their families transitioning to civilian life which will help reduce unemployment among our veteran population.

The program will roll out in three-phases incorporating the many veteran support activities across the U.S. government into one comprehensive effort by the Department of Defense and the departments of Veteran Affairs and Labor to deliver all-inclusive services to ready our service members for civilian employment.

From a Department of Veterans Affairs News Release

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2013 - The Veterans Affairs Department has launched a new initiative that could eliminate the requirement for an in-person medical examination for some veterans and shorten the time it takes to process disability compensation claims.

Officials said the initiative -- called Acceptable Clinical Evidence, or ACE -- was developed jointly by the Veterans Health Administration and the Veterans Benefits Administration to provide a veteran-centric approach for disability examinations.

From a Defense Logistics Agency News Release

FORT BELVOIR, Va., Jan. 31, 2013 - As soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in Afghanistan sit down to watch the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, they'll enjoy a variety of American-style appetizers and finger foods, thanks to Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

Subsistence personnel ensured delivery of about 49,000 pounds of chicken wings, 46,000 pounds of frozen pizza, 11,000 pounds of mozzarella sticks and 2,200 gallons of chili to warfighters in Afghanistan.

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

NEW LONDON, Conn., Jan. 31, 2013 - The Coast Guard has a constant mission, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told cadets at the Coast Guard Academy today.

"The military -- and I include you in that joint force -- we are the preeminent leadership experience in the world," Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said during an all-hands assembly of cadets.

by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas" - Blue retiree identification cards issued prior to December 2012 had the word "indef" instead of an expiration date. Since December, retiree cards issued have an expiration date effective the day before the retiree’s 65th birthday. Although benefits will not automatically expire, some changes will take effect based on Medicare eligibility, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

"Retirees and their eligible spouses will still have access to benefits and they’ll still be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, but the expiration date - which is one day before their 65th birthday - is a reminder to retirees that they must enroll in Medicare Part A and B to retain their TRICARE for Life eligibility," said Ed Yoder, Air Force DEERS project office.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2012 - More than 100 wounded warriors and military and veteran families will be the recipients of a new home this year, thanks to the generosity of a nonprofit organization and one of the nation's largest banks.

Operation Homefront, which provides emergency assistance to military families and wounded warriors, has teamed up with JPMorgan Chase and Co. to create the "Homes on the Homefront"  program, which will offer deserving military families new homes.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2012 - The Defense Department is working to break down credentialing barriers for service members and veterans preparing to enter the civilian workforce, a DOD official said today.

"The goal ... is to help our veterans, and especially our transitioning veterans, ... get employed," Ed Kringer, director of state liaison and educational opportunity for the Pentagon's office of military community and policy, told an audience gathered for the National Credentialing Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2012 - A new NBC show that rewards selfless people for their good deeds is seeking service members, veterans and their families to spotlight in some upcoming episodes.

The show gives people an opportunity to pay a deserving hometown hero back "for always paying it forward," an NBC news release said.

Naval Support Activity Bethesda

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 17, 2012 - The Navy and more than 25 large employers are teaming up to host the first-ever "100,000 Jobs Mission Hiring Event" at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Md., on Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This "Joining Forces" event is open to veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, launched Joining Forces to rally the nation's support for troops, veterans and their families.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2012 - Officials are hoping efforts to address military spouses' ongoing issues with obtaining occupational licenses after a move will help to remove career barriers and reduce an unemployment rate that's consistently higher than that of their civilian-life counterparts.

Military spouses' employment challenges and suggestions for how states can streamline their processes to better support them are outlined in a new report authored by the Defense and Treasury departments. Alongside Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will unveil the report later today at the Pentagon.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2012 - From education and employment to program cuts and reductions, President Barack Obama's fiscal 2013 budget proposal has been dominating the headlines.

With so much information to process, I figured I'd share the provisions that directly affect troops and their families.

By Elaine Sanchez
Feb. 13, 2012

Over the past year, veterans and military spouses have been invited to a host of career fairs across the nation that connect dozens of employers seeking to support the military community with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of job-seeking troops and spouses.

While face-to-face exposure is an asset, many career seekers aren't able to attend these fairs, whether it's due to distance, finances or life demands.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2012 - Alongside some of the nation's top officials, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will unveil an employment report this week intended to ease military spouses' ongoing issues with occupational licenses, White House officials announced today.

Joined by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the first lady and Biden will release the report, titled "Supporting Our Military Families: Best Practices for Streamlining Occupational Licensing Across State Lines," at the Pentagon on Feb. 15.

By Marine Corps Cpl. Bruno J. Bego
2nd Marine Logistics Group

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Feb. 9, 2012 - Service members and their families often miss important moments in each other's lives during deployments, but technology such as video chat makes it possible to share some of those special moments, even when they can't be together physically.

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group command used this technology so Michelle L. Smoak could see her husband, Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Derek A. Smoak, get promoted to the rank of staff sergeant and receive an award during a Feb. 1 ceremony.

from a Press Release

Ella Kennen taps into her 13 years of experience as a military spouse in her children's tale "The Reluctant Caterpillar," a rich tale that is a finalist in a competition by storybook app publisher MeeGenius.

Ella says the main character in her book is her polar opposite. While the caterpillar Elliot is perfectly happy to stay where he is, Ella has wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to lead a semi nomadic lifestyle. In fact, she wrote the story while PCSing from Georgia to RAF Alconbury in the UK.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2012 - Pentagon officials say they're all for a "New York-style tickertape parade" honoring combat troops who served in Iraq, but bowing to the military leadership's wishes, agree that the best time to do so is after all combat troops have returned home from Afghanistan as well.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Douglas B. Wilson told Lynn Neary of NPR's "Talk of the Town" program the Defense Department fully supports homecoming celebrations for Iraq War veterans.

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 6, 2012 - Navy veteran Hector Hernandez leans down to hug his dog as she pants noisily from her most recent dash around the living room. She nuzzles into his hand -- a momentary calm in the storm of activity that's Bella.

"She's a good girl," Hernandez said affectionately as he throws the ball she's already fetched several times from across the room. But this time, she bounds to his wife and two daughters, pausing to lick each member of her new family.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2012 - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will honor Iraq War veterans and their families at the White House later this month, White House officials announced in a statement today.

The president and first lady will host a dinner Feb. 29 to honor troops who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn and their families.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 3, 2012 - President Barack Obama today continued his commitment to improving employment among veterans by introducing an initiative to hire them as the country's first responders.

"In my State of the Union address, I proposed a new initiative called the Veterans Jobs Corps to put veterans back to work protecting and rebuilding America," he said. "And today, we're laying out the details of this proposal."

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2012 - The deadline is swiftly approaching for the Fisher House Foundation's 2012 Scholarships for Military Children Program, conducted at military commissaries  [ http://www.commissaries.com/ ]worldwide.

Applications must be completed and delivered ? not postmarked, but delivered ? to a commissary by close of business Feb. 24, according to an agency release. People can pick up applications at their local commissary or download it from the scholarship program's website [ http://www.militaryscholar.org/sfmc/index.html ].

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2012 - Federal officials are urging military members, their families and other Americans living outside the United States to register to vote and request an absentee ballot.

Both can be done easily by downloading a federal postcard application on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, Bob Carey, the program's director, said in an interview today with the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2012 - The USO has adapted to the needs of service members and their families throughout its 71-year history and continues to serve America's troops as it works to educate others about the invisible wounds of war, a senior executive of the organization said.

Frank Thorp, a retired Navy rear admiral and senior vice president of marketing and communications for the USO, described the organization's latest effort, a "unique" public service announcement.

By Fred W. Baker III American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 - Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran, died yesterday at his West Virginia home. He was 110.

Sixteen-year-old Buckles enlisted in the Army on Aug. 14, 1917 after lying to several recruiters about his age.

By Lisa Daniel 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2011 - The Defense Department has taken a number of recent steps to improve health care and family support services for military members and their families, the department's two top leaders told a Senate panel yesterday.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee about several areas of improvement during a hearing about the department's fiscal 2012 budget.

By Terri Moon Cronk 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2011 - People whose military service was involuntarily extended or whose retirement was suspended between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, have until March 4 to file for retroactive payments of $500 for each month of their extended service under the "Stop Loss" policy.

The deadline ends the second extension for eligible people to apply to receive the retroactive pay.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2011 - From education opportunities to spouse employment, Defense Department officials are expanding military family support programs to better meet families' current needs, as well as to empower them for the challenges that lie ahead, the DOD official who oversees military family programs said today.

"It's not just about providing fish -- it's teaching to fish as well," Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, told an audience of politicians, spouses and service organization leaders during the Congressional Military Family Caucus Kickoff in the U.S. Capitol building here.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2011 - Defense Department officials are inviting military spouses to air their state licensing issues and concerns as part of an overall effort to boost spouses' education and career opportunities.

The department has created a discussion board where spouses can describe their experiences -- both good and bad -- with state licenses and certifications as they move from state to state.

Long distance relationships (LDRs) and online relationships can often be rewarding but can be also fraught with financial peril.  While we do not condemn developing a relationship in this fashion we would strongly recommend that extreme caution be used.

To that end we want to make everyone involved in this type of relationship aware that there is a scam involving individuals that pretend to be part of the US Military.  They go to great lengths to develop the relationship.  After they are confident they are have the relationship sufficiently, the scam artist will state something in passing that they will be asking for military leave to come meet their new sweetheart.  Sometime later the individual will inform the sweetheart that for the leave to be approved they need money to pay for the approval.  And so it begins...

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 112-11 
February 10, 2011

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of 11 U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Technical Sgt. Charles A. Bode, 23, Baltimore, will be buried on Feb. 11 in Arlington National Cemetery. On Nov. 20, 1943, Bode, along with 10 other B-24D Liberator crew members, took off from Jackson Airfield, Port Moresby, New Guinea, on an overwater mission near the northern coast of the country. During the mission, the only radio transmission from the crew indicated they were 20 miles northwest of Port Moresby, but they did not return to Jackson Airfield.  Subsequent searches failed to uncover any evidence of either the crew or the aircraft.

By Terri Moon Cronk 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 - Unemployed veterans, wounded warriors, reserve-component service members and their spouses searching for jobs can find one-stop shopping at a Web portal designed just for them.

Operated by the Army Reserve, the military-friendly Employee Partnership of the Armed Forces at http:www.EmployerPartnership.org lends assistance not only to those looking for a job, but also to public and private employers who are ready to hire former service members and help to support the troops, said Maj. Gen. Keith L. Thurgood, deputy chief of the Army Reserve.

From a White House News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 - The Veterans Affairs Department is launching the first of a series of new and enhanced services supporting family caregivers of seriously ill and injured veterans.

President Barack Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 legislation in May, authorizing VA to establish a wide range of new services to support certain caregivers of eligible post-9/11 veterans.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 - The Defense Department has joined forces with the nation to combat a childhood obesity epidemic that not only is a matter of health or nutrition, but also is a national security issue, a Pentagon official said.

"When the nation as a whole lacks in this issue, it's pervasive," Barbara Thompson, co-chair of DOD's working group to combat obesity, told American Forces Press Service, noting obesity's impact on everything from recruiting to the nation's health system.

Dear MilitaryWives.com Webmaster,
Thank you for all you do to support military families. We appreciate your efforts to help families who make so many sacrifices to serve our country.

We are researchers at the University of Illinois who are conducting a study about the experiences of military couples following reunion after deployment (see the attached flyer). Our current project builds on two studies we conducted earlier this year involving 479 participants living in 33 states. For a summary of the findings, please see
https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/knobl/www/military.html.

Hello,
I am the mother of a fallen hero, My Marine son LCPL Cody Childers was killed in OEF in Afghanistan on August 20, 2010. We started a memorial fund to send care packages to his Marine brothers and to date mailed over 425 (wecaremarines.com).

from SendOutCards.com representative

A lot of resources are available online for the families of deployed military that help those left back home communicate with their faraway spouses, sons and daughters and parents. The US military has a system that makes it easy for these families to send cards to their distant loved ones - simply mail your card to one of the APOs and the military does the rest.

But what about our military men and women, stationed in foreign countries, who want to send cards and letters? While the military does a good job of delivering letters to loved ones back home, it's not as easy for servicepeople to get their hands on a colorful or customized greeting cards as they would like, nor do cards arrive in the U.S. all that quickly…until now.

By Nick Sistrun 
Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 4, 2011 - Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support will help to add to this year's Super Bowl experience for deployed service members by providing U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan all the wings, pizza and chili they can handle.

As deployed troops in remote locations watch the Steelers and Packers square off, they can feast on french fries, jalapeno poppers with cheddar and cream cheese, chicken wings, onion rings and nonalcoholic beer.

 From a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2011 - Two archeological teams from the U.S. Joint Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command are scheduled to arrive in Cambodia soon to search for Americans unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War, and physicians and nurses from military commands in Hawaii will accompany them to participate in a health engagement mission.

As part of the recovery portion of this dual-purpose deployment, more than 40 recovery team members will excavate a burial site and an underwater aircraft crash site in search of four missing Americans in Cambodia's Kampong Cham and Kracheh provinces.

By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2011 - From benefits and compensation to education and training, an online directory is providing wounded warriors, veterans and their families a direct connection to thousands of state, local and national resources.

"There's so much information on the Web right now, it's nice to have one place to access all of the content, the services, the information you need," John R. Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy, told American Forces Press Service. "It really permits the service member and family the ability to get information directly."

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2010 - Attention all Facebookers, Twitter tweeters and YouTubers: a new Defense Department policy authorizes you to access these and other Web 2.0 platforms from nonclassified government computers, as long as it doesn't compromise operational security or involve prohibited activities or Web sites.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2010 - Defense Department officials have updated and improved access to the National Resource Directory, a Web site for wounded, ill and injured servicemembers, veterans, their families and those who support them.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2010 - A week after announcing the temporary halt of the Defense Department's Military Spouse Career Advancement Account operations, the head of the program assures participants with approved financial assistance that their enrollment will be unaffected.

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2010 - Funding programs to support soldiers and their families is the Army's top priority in the new fiscal year, the service's secretary and chief of staff told a Senate panel today.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 143-10
February 23, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today that its National Resource Directory [ https://www.nationalsresourcedirectory.gov/ ] (NRD) Web site for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families and those who support them, recently received a comprehensive system upgrade to provide users with easier access.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2010 - New guidelines from U.S. Strategic Command officials allow servicemembers to use "thumb drives" and other flash media to store computer data under specific circumstances.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2010 - During a week-long tour through Southwest Asia, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spent time focusing on what he calls his No. 1 priority: servicemembers and their families.

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2010 - Defense officials encourage military families to once again take advantage of the free electronic tax filing services offered through Military OneSource.

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2010 - Defense officials encourage military families to once again take advantage of the free electronic tax filing services offered through Military OneSource.

By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 3, 2010 - Army Capt. Matt Pratt and his songstress wife, Lisa, lived the dream in southern California Feb. 1, thanks to an Army morale and recreation program that supports soldiers and their families.

Springfield, Virginia 2/3/2010

The Army Family Support Center provides information for families of deployed soldiers. It is built in the public ActiveWorlds virtual reality universe, and a completely free nonprofit endeavor. The Center uses the information room concept. In essence, an information room consists of virtual objects as a sign or picture and each of these, when selected, opens a webpage. The Center provides more than just simple information. Unlike a webpage, it is built in a virtual reality environment where more than one individual can participate in the experience. This enables users anywhere in the world to interact with each another, form personal relationships, share experiences, point out resources, and problem solve. Its greatest advantage is the elimination of travel and distance. The Center also provides teleports to a large number of other information rooms. The users validate resources thereby enhancing the relevancy of data presented.
 

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class William Selby
Special to American Forces Press Service

MIAMI, Feb. 2, 2010 - Scientists, researchers and former NFL players have joined together to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and brain injuries, a spokesman for the Defense Department "Real Warriors" program said today.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2010 - Tricare recipients will see no increase in their premiums next year, if Congress approves that provision of the fiscal 2011 defense budget request, as expected.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2009 - Young military children who thought the first day of school was imminent may not have to worry about reading, writing and arithmetic until next year because of a change in entrance age requirements.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2009 - Troops nearing retirement eligibility may be able to tap into the transferability benefits provided in the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, even if they're unable to serve four more years of duty due to service policies, a senior defense official said.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2009 - Two years is much too long to determine service disabilities, especially when the injuries obviously qualify a servicemember for full benefits and compensation, a senior Defense Department official said here today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., Feb. 21, 2009 - The construction of a new Soldier and Family Assistance Center here underscores the nation's commitment to those who sacrifice so much, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said during a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2009 - U.S. military members are affected by the global economic downturn, and the Defense Department is providing information and services to help troops and their families develop "good financial stewardship," a senior Pentagon official said today.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2009 - A Colorado-based group is connecting deployed troops with volunteers eager to "adopt" them.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 102-09
February 17, 2009

Pursuant to President Obama's decision today, Secretary Gates ordered the deployment of two additional combat units, totaling more than 12,000 troops, to Afghanistan.

By Army Sgt. Shannon Black
Special to American Forces Press Service

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq, Feb. 13, 2009 - Soldiers serving with Company A, 27th Brigade Support Battalion, may not be with their loved ones tomorrow for Valentine's Day, but they've figured out the next best option.

AUSTIN, Texas - Febraury 14, 2009 - As U.S. military couples worldwide celebrate Valentine's Day, new resources to help military families maintain strong relationships despite living apart are now available with the launch of a new Web site, www.psmissyou.com.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2009 - A nonprofit organization and officials from four Veterans Affairs hospitals joined forces to plan four free "Valentines for Veterans" concerts to show appreciation to veterans and their families.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2009 - The Air Force has reinstated its Good Conduct Medal for exemplary service by enlisted airmen, senior military officials announced here today.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2009 - Military veterans transitioning from service to the classroom face challenges more complex than simply memorizing dates, learning theories and mastering equations.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2009 - It was pouring liquid sunshine as the Fisher House Foundation and the Veterans Affairs Department prepared to dedicate the 43rd Fisher House in Brentwood, Calif., on Feb. 6, but the significance of the event wasn't lost on Mother Nature.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2009 - With April 15 looming, the Defense Department is on call to take the sting out of tax return preparation for servicemembers.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2009 - Charges against an accused terrorist being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were dismissed yesterday by the judge who oversees the military commissions system, Defense Department officials said.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2009 - Sixteen million new toys were distributed to 7.6 million children over the Christmas holiday through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

For Immediate Release                                  
February 5, 2009
Respected national organization providing comfort and care to bereaved military families since 1994 steps up efforts to support suicide survivors, calls on the American public for support

WASHINGTON – Over the last year, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) has experienced a 300% increase in the number of families seeking comfort and support following the suicide of a loved one who served in the Armed Forces.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2009 - A troop-support group that provides clothing specially adapted for wounded troops recovering in military hospitals, will roll out a new line of garments later this year.

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2009 - A Military Health System Web site continues to help returning servicemembers and families adjust after a deployment ends, the site's program manager said Jan. 29.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2009 - A series of educational assistance programs administered by the Veterans Affairs Department, commonly called the GI Bill, have helped servicemembers pursue post-secondary learning for decades.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

EL PASO, Texas, Feb. 28, 2008 - The 1st Cavalry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team may be a relative newcomer here, but more than 3,000 of the unit's soldiers got a Texas-sized hometown heroes' welcome yesterday as the city hosted a homecoming parade to honor them for their service in Iraq.

By Ed White
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2008 - An Air Force Space Command major and two staff sergeants stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., are proving that just three servicemembers can affect people halfway around the world.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2008 - The simple request for a "mom hug" from a young Marine serving in Iraq ignited one mom's desire to inspire all servicemembers.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2008 - A troop-support group in a small southern Michigan town is working to raise public awareness and appreciation for troops and their families.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2008 - Veterans looking for a job in the Cincinnati area should have an easier time, thanks to a new partnership.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2008 - Away from the rigors of combat last night on an evening dedicated to their selfless service, the only shootout troops worried about was between dueling National Hockey League teams.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2008 - Organizations that lend their support to military families were given their due here today during the National Military Family Association's annual Leadership Luncheon.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 0139-08
February 20, 2008

A network of land-, air-, sea- and spaced-based sensors confirms that the U.S. military intercepted a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite which was in its final orbits before entering the earth's atmosphere.      

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2008 - More than 60 years after the custom was last observed, five states have endorsed the Silver Star banner as their official symbol for honoring war-wounded veterans.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2008 - If laughter is the best medicine, deployed troops are getting huge doses when they open care packages full of red clown noses.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 132-08
February 15, 2008

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of three U.S. servicemen, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors. 

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2008 - Deployed troops have no doubt been in fights they'd rather have avoided, but thanks to a new program, they can now pick their battles, and have some fun doing it.

No. 016-08
February 12, 2008

Assistant Secretary of Defense (Reserve Affairs) Thomas F. Hall will host the 2007 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards presentation at 10 a.m. EST, Feb. 15, at the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon (2d floor, A ring, 1st corridor). 

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2008 - Military families have long used the U.S. Postal Service's flat-rate shipping boxes to send care packages around the globe. Beginning March 3, they'll get a price break.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2008 - Wounded servicemembers have a helping hand available when it comes to transitioning back into their communities.

By Sharon D. Byrd
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

The thoughts of many Americans are with the brave men and women who are serving their country in the armed forces overseas.  So I thought it might be a good time to review the connection between service in the military and Social Security.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2008 - A weekend incident in which a Russian bomber "buzzed" the Nimitz battle group in the Pacific raises concerns about Russia's intent and the message it was meant to send, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress today.

By Kristen Noel
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2008 - A proposed arms-control treaty banning use of cluster munitions and aiding countries that use them could affect U.S. operations with NATO allies, a Defense Department official said.

Group Announces Scholarship Opportunity
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2008 - Homefront America, a troop-support organization based in California, recently announced it will, for the third year, award 25 scholarships in May to benefit military children.

By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 11, 2008 - Fighting wildfires in Virginia became the newest mission for members of the National Guard, who were dealing with many domestic emergencies as the new week began.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2008 - A critical illness can stretch any family emotionally and financially, but when the patient is a child, the potential stresses are even greater.

By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 8, 2008 - Nearly 300 members of the National Guard responded to call-ups from governors in seven states over the last week after tornadoes hit the South and snowstorms blanketed the West.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2008 - Veterans pursuing higher education through DeVry University may be eligible for scholarships up to $1,000, but the deadline to apply is quickly approaching.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2008 - Letting servicemembers know they're not forgotten this Valentine's Day couldn't be easier, thanks to a national troop-support group's online care package program.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2008 - An organization led by a U.S. Army officer is helping children in Iraq and Afghanistan know the joy that Beanie Baby toys bring to so many American kids.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2008 - Hundreds of volunteers across the country will make sure troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan feel loved on Valentine's Day.

USA WEEKEND, the nation's second-largest magazine as carried in 600 US newspapers, is looking to continue its cover-story coverage of the great things that our deployed troops are doing overseas with a Father's Day the themed cover story for the 6/15/08 issue: Great Dads Serving This Nation.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2008 - Support by the boxful from a New York home-front group is keeping servicemembers' spirits high as they serve overseas.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., Feb. 1, 2008 - Cold drizzle and hot metal rained upon the ground here yesterday as a group of 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers honed their mortar- and howitzer-targeting skills in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan in April.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2008 - People in uniform who go out of their way to boost the morale of fellow troops could be rewarded for their positive attitude and hard work, thanks to a group dedicated to keeping members of the armed forces connected and entertained.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007 - Retired Army Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall was admitted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes today, one day after President Bush presented him the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007 - Two nonprofit groups that support servicemembers are inviting amateur and professional photographers to look through their viewfinders with a patriotic eye for the 2007 "I Love America Day Photo Contest."

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 27, 2007 - Special Operations forces will grow by 17,000 active-duty members over the next six years, a senior military official said today at the 18th annual Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Symposium here.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007 - Great Britain will deploy an additional 1,400 troops to Afghanistan this summer, British Secretary of State for Defense Desmond Browne told the country's Parliament yesterday.

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007 - More than 100 years before the Marine Corps actively recruited women, Lucy Brewster secretly signed up, served on "Old Ironsides," and fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812. That's just one of many fascinating but little-known facts about women in the military the Pentagon Channel will offer its audience during March's Women's History Month.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007 - Saying that changing his itinerary was "never an option," Vice President Richard B. Cheney stuck to his planned schedule after a suicide bomber's attack this morning on an entry gate at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, where the vice president was visiting.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2007 - When Army Sgt. Brian Horn deployed to Iraq in 2003, his unit was spearheading the war effort. He and his men were ahead of supply lines, and after seven months in country, they were still sleeping on the ground.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2007 - America's largest carry-out pizza chain is giving veterans the chance to put the leadership and teamwork skills they developed in the service to use and make a good bit of dough in the process.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2007 - An organization that has distributed more than $3 million in scholarships and interest-free education loans has entered its second half-century of service to the extended Army Aviation family.

By Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy, USA
American Forces Press Service

LEXINGTON, Ky., Feb. 21, 2007 - A Kentucky Army National Guardsman has become the first Guard soldier -- and only the fifth servicemember overall -- to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2007 - When it comes to connecting troops and their families with services they deserve, Pat Kerr is in a league of her own -- literally.

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 198-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 The Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Navy have begun a review of the medical care provided at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center to those wounded in service to their country.To complement these efforts an independent review group will be formed to look into outpatient care and administrative processes at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2007 - More than 300 business leaders will visit a southern California military base tomorrow to observe Marine Corps training as part of their support of the military.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2007 - "The Marines," a PBS documentary highlighting the history and heart of the smallest branch of the U.S. armed services, airs tomorrow on PBS stations nationwide at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2007 - Military members with a desire to mentor and shape young minds now may not have to face the anxiety of an uncertain future when retiring or separating from the military.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2007 - The Defense Department is working to address patient-care problems recently identified at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the department's flagship medical facility, a DoD spokesman said today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2007 - With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan underway, the San Diego-area community was looking for ways to help wounded servicemembers returning to the area. So in 2004, community members started the Warrior Foundation, an organization that reaches out to wounded troops and their families.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2007 - The Defense Department's top reserve official today recognized the nation's top family readiness programs.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2007 - Top military family program leaders from across the services gathered here yesterday intent on answering tough questions on how to better work together.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2007 - The 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters, based in Fort Stewart, Ga., will deploy to Iraq sooner than originally scheduled, DoD officials announced today.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2007 - About 500 Pennsylvania National Guard members were called up to assist thousands of motorists stranded for almost a day on icy highways, a Pennsylvania state official said today.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2007 - The Marine Corps is reaching out to former Marines in its effort to grow the service, the Marine commandant said today.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2007 - The Pentagon Channel launches a redesign of its Web site Feb. 19, improving its line of products that distribute the channel's military news and information to men and women in uniform.

By Edie Rosenthal
Special to American Forces Press Service

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 16, 2007 - Army Warrant Officer 1 Derrick Rodriguez is literally in the clouds after graduating from the OH-58D flight course at the Army's Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Ala., where he learned to fly the Kiowa Warrior helicopter. But being in the clouds is not what excites this 26-year-old.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2007 - After sending thousands of homemade Valentines and boxes of candy to troops serving overseas, SI Yellow Ribbon Campaign is gearing up for its fourth "Operation Jellybeans to Heroes Unseen."

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2007 - The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, located in Vicenza, Italy, will deploy to Afghanistan this spring, DoD officials announced today. This Army brigade combat team previously was scheduled to deploy for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 177-07

 The Department of Defense announced today the 173rd Airborne Brigade, located in Vicenza, Italy, will deploy to Afghanistan beginning in spring 2007.The brigade, which was previously scheduled to deploy for Operation Iraqi Freedom, will instead deploy to Afghanistan.Upon the recommendation of commanders on the ground, the Secretary of Defense approved this request, which will maintain the current level of forces necessary to provide sufficient military capability for the NATO-International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to further improve security and stability operations

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2007 - When he returned home from an 11-month deployment to Iraq in October 2005, Army Staff Sgt. John Reid realized he'd stashed away a sizeable sum of cash and wanted to put it to work for himself.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2007 - Troops and their families are exchanging Valentine's Day video messages on air today through the Military Channel's "Operation V-Day."

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2007 - A California-based home builder has donated a 10-passenger, wheelchair-accessible minibus to the Armed Forces YMCA and the Warrior Foundation to be used to transport wounded servicemembers around San Diego.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2007 - Testing for some of the systems slated for the first "spin out" of the Army's Future Combat Systems program has gone well, except for one minor glitch: the soldiers testing them don't want to give the prototypes back.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2007 - Beginning Feb. 19, three America Supports You members a week will get the chance to shine when the spotlight swings their way.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2007 - More than 40 years after demonstrating the heroism immortalized in the bestselling book and movie, "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young," retired Army Lt. Col. Bruce P. Crandall will receive the Medal of Honor, the White House announced yesterday.

By Pfc. Benjamin Gable, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Feb. 10, 2007 - "Snail mail" is quickly becoming a thing of the past for deployed soldiers thanks to the 1st Cavalry Division's commitment to keeping families close through video teleconferences.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2007 - The New York National Guard is preparing to assist local communities stricken by a winter storm that has dumped as much as 10 feet of snow in some areas, a state National Guard spokesman said today.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2007 - A U.S. veteran who lost both legs in 2004 when a roadside bomb exploded in Iraq will begin a new career because his indomitable spirit moved a total stranger to give back to those who have served their country.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2007 - Operation Homefront is encouraging Americans to have a heart and "Share the Love" with a servicemember or military family this Valentine's Day through its "eCarePackages.org" program.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii, Feb. 9, 2007 - A Marine wounded in Iraq traveled the final leg of his journey back to his unit in style yesterday.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

STERLING, Va., Feb. 8, 2007 - Marissa Strock and Jake Kessler sat in adjacent wheelchairs while prosthetic specialists attached carbon-fiber feet to their titanium legs.

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2007 - During his State of the Union address in January, President Bush uttered these chilling words: "The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people, and it is unacceptable to me." The president went on to say "It's clear we need to change our strategy in Iraq."

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2007 - This Valentine's season, Sears and Kmart customers will lend a hand, and a heart, to military families.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2007 - Friends and family back home will have a chance to see their servicemembers in action and hear their personal messages via video thanks to the efforts of a cable network dedicated to the military.

Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter

The court martial of Lt. Ehren Watada ended unexpectedly today with the judge declaring a mistrial due to his misgivings about a pretrial agreement.

By Danny Westneat
Seattle Times staff columnist

To see what's at stake in the Ehren Watada court-martial trial, all you have to do is look out the courtroom window.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2007 - A troop-support group has launched an essay contest to award scholarships to military children in gratitude for the sacrifices they have made while their parents serve the nation.

American Forces Press Service

DALLAS, Feb. 6, 2007 - Good grades in school can yield more than a sense of satisfaction for children of military families, as students can cash in on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's "You Made the Grade" program.

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2007 - The troop-support group SemperComm is asking for nominations for its 2007 awards program recognizing the morale-raising efforts of troops stationed throughout the world.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2007 - The U.S. military will establish a separate U.S. Africa Command to oversee military operations on the African continent, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced during Congressional testimony today.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

STERLING, Va., Feb. 5, 2007 - At the Sport Rock Indoor Climbing Center here, a sign warns that climbing can cause serious injury. If Army Capt. Scott Smiley could see the cautionary sign, he would probably disregard it.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2007 - President Bush's defense budget request for fiscal 2008 includes a 3 percent military pay raise as well as increases for housing, health care and other quality-of-life benefits and programs.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2007 - Newman's Own, the Fisher House Foundation, and the Military Times Media Group are inviting volunteer organizations that serve military families to compete for a share of $75,000 in grants.

By Capt. Steve Alvarez, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2007 - Florida National Guard soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, will deploy from Orlando to help Central Floridians recover from Feb. 2 tornadoes that left widespread devastation in several Florida counties week and killed 19 people.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Sterling, Va., Feb. 4, 2007 - The sky was the limit forsix wounded Iraq war veterans who met here Feb. 2 at Sport Rock Indoor Climbing Center.

By Carrie Williams
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2007 - Military families have an opportunity to apply for scholarships for their children at certain commissaries, but they better do it soon -- the deadline is Feb. 21.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2007 - The Defense Department's Military OneSource family support program is once again offering free, online tax preparation and filing for servicemembers and their families, officials said.

By Staff Sgt. Glenn Chrisman, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Iraq, Feb. 1, 2007 - Many soldiers from the 1744th Transportation Company weren't alive the last time the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl, in 1986.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2007 - The Defense Department recognized a California high school at the Pentagon today for supporting one of its students and a program she undertook for the nation's servicemembers.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2007 - Members of the Pentagon Memorial Fund Committee gave a sneak preview today of a prototype of the 184 benches incorporated in the memorial's design to honor those killed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack on the Pentagon.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2007 - Tens of thousands of football fans will flock to Florida this weekend, passionate about their pigskin picks, but a handful of Florida Guardsmen are hoping that the game is anything but exciting for them.

 By Jim Garamone
 American Forces Press Service

 ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 26, 2006  - In a biting cold wind, families and dignitaries gathered at Arlington National Cemetery here today to remember American servicemembers who gave their lives in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Provide Comfort.

 By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2006  - Terrorism remains the pre-eminent threat to U.S. national security and interests abroad. But if progress continues at the current pace in Iraq, the terrorists can be defeated there and the U.S. can gain a foothold in the war on terror, a top U.S. official said here today.

 By Rudi Williams
 American Forces Press Service

 AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 28, 2006  - Eleven servicemen and women were honored for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan and during Hurricane Katrina at a special reception hosted by the Defense Department and Army Test and Evaluation Command here.

 By Jim Garamone
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2006  - Underneath a portrait of Czar Peter the Great, the Russian Ambassador to the United States presented two U.S. officers with the Order of Friendship for their parts in rescuing submariners trapped underwater off the Kamchatka peninsula in August.

 By Capt. Steve Alvarez, USA
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2006  - As it has for more than 200 years, the U.S. Coast Guard is carrying on its wartime service in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

 By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
 American Forces Press Service

 CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Feb. 24, 2006  - The Marine Corps officially joined the ranks of U.S. Special Operations Command here today in a ceremony that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld called an important milestone in the nation's fight against terrorism.

 By Donna Miles
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2006  - With "the greatest force for freedom in the history of the world on their side," Americans should feel confident in efforts to combat terrorism and spread democracy, President Bush said today in praise of the nation's armed forces.

 By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2006  - The Defense Department today launched a national program to increase awareness among servicemembers and their families about domestic violence.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2006  - A delay in the mailing of absentee ballots means ballots sent in by some servicemembers and their families overseas for the March 7 primary election in Texas will be counted until March 20, Federal Voting Assistance Program officials here said.

 By Samantha L. Quigley
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2006  - A U.S. Navy ship already in the area for an exercise is steaming for Leyte Island in the Philippines to provide disaster relief assistance, U.S. State Department officials said in a news release today.

 By Steven Donald Smith
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2006  - A general lack of financial knowledge makes servicemembers an ideal target for predatory money lenders, so the Defense Department is doing something about it, officials said here today.

 By Rudi Williams
 American Forces Press Service

 COLLEGE PARK, Md., Feb. 16, 2006  - Today's National Guard is dramatically different from the National Guard of even five years ago, the Guard's top officer said here today.

 By Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Williams, USN
 Special to American Forces Press Service

 NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY, Calif., Feb. 16, 2006  - Army boxers topped all services with 13 points at last week's 2006 Armed Forces Boxing Championships here.

 Feb. 15, 2006
 Release No. 013

 RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Today is the deadline for senior raters to
provide lieutenants in the 2002 and 2003 year groups eligible to meet the
2006 Force Shaping board a copy of their retention recommendation forms.

 By Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Murphy, USN
 Special to American Forces Press Service

 ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Feb. 15, 2006  - The USS Theodore Roosevelt and associated strike group units completed their support of maritime security operations and Operation Iraqi Freedom today when the carrier and USS San Jacinto transited the Suez Canal as they continue their return trip home.

 By Steven Donald Smith
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2006  - The U.S. Army needs the support of Congress to win the long war against terrorism and to meet other 21st century threats, Army officials said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee here yesterday.

 By Gerry J. Gilmore
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2006  - A new mail delivery contract is projected to save millions of dollars in costs to air freight letters and packages to U.S. servicemembers deployed in the Middle East, a senior DoD official said here yesterday.

 By Paul X. Rutz
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2006  - Two organizations have teamed up to send valentines to troops in Baghdad in a union made possible by "America Supports You."

 By Samantha L. Quigley
 American Forces Press Service

 ATLANTA, Feb. 11, 2006  - Twelve representatives of seven grassroots troop support organizations met here yesterday for the first of eight planned regional "America Supports You" summits.

 By Donna Miles
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2006  - A partnership that enables military members and their families to file their tax returns electronically without charge is proving tremendously popular, with 103,000 returns already filed as of Feb. 7, a Military OneSource official told the American Forces Press Service.

 By Donna Miles
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2006  - First lady Laura Bush thanked U.S. airmen at Aviano Air Base, Italy, today for their sacrifices as they and their fellow servicemembers defend the United States and help bring peace and stability to the world.

 by Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein
 Air Force Print News

 WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Air Force released a revised version of its religious guidelines Feb. 9, its latest step in a process started after a review at the U.S. Air Force Academy indicated a need for additional guidance.

 By Samantha L. Quigley
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2006  - The Defense Department's new National Security Personnel System is on track for initial implementation, the system's program executive officer told the human resources specialists attending the a symposium here yesterday.

 By Donna Miles
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2006  - If you or another servicemember or military family you know needs help, the support you're seeking might be just a few clicks away on the "America Supports You" Web site.

 By Gerry J. Gilmore
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2006  - After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, some people doubted that the world's nations would unite to prosecute a forward-leaning global war against terrorism, but, in fact, that's just what has occurred, President Bush said here today.

 By Paul X. Rutz
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2006  - A British organization has reached across the ocean to join an American group in the common purpose of supporting the troops, creating a Web site that acts as a giant Valentine's Day card.

 By Gerry J. Gilmore
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2006  - The Defense Department is proposing that working-age military retirees and their families pay higher premiums to help address rising health care costs that have doubled over the past few years, senior DoD officials said here today.

 By Jim Garamone
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2006  - The Army is going through a remarkable transformation and is far from a "broken" force, DoD officials told the House Armed Services Committee today.

 By Samantha L. Quigley
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2006  - The president's terrorist surveillance program serves the purpose of gathering intelligence against terrorists wishing to attack the United States, the nation's No. 2 intelligence officer said in appearances on Sunday morning talk shows.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2006  - As the Army Reserve reshapes its force structure to make it more prepared for future overseas or domestic missions, the component will emerge as a more fully manned, better-trained and more capable force, its chief told the American Forces Press Service today.

 By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2006  - In a tribute to those who have gallantly served the country, the Pentagon today unveiled a photographic exhibit titled "Visions of Valor."

 By Paul X. Rutz
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2006  - Some talented troops will soon have their songs professionally produced thanks to "Songs from the Soul of Service," a partnership in Texas.

 By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
 American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2006  - The results of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process have created opportunities and challenges for the military community at large, and specifically the military medicine community, the BRAC Commission's chairman said here today.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2006  - Adjustments to the Tricare program are necessary to ensure military health benefits are maintained at a superior level for many years, a Defense Department official said here yesterday.

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2006  - Reinforcing his State of the Union message, President Bush today defended his decision to go to war in Iraq and repeated his assertion that victory is America's only option.

By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2006  - In four years, "Operation Homefront" has grown from a local San Diego effort to a national presence, continually increasing its ability to help military families.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2006  - The family of a fallen Marine President Bush honored as a hero during his State of the Union address last night and five servicemembers invited to attend the address expressed gratitude today for the nation's support for the military.

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