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Military Family Network News   ·   July, 2009 



Perhaps no other holiday stands out in our country's history more than Independence Day. It is a time to celebrate the birth of our great nation, founded upon principles of equality and freedom, and earned by the sacrifices of our founders.

Here are a few interesting tidbits you may not know about this popular holiday:

  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
  • Of the original 56 signers, fives were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed, and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
  • Twenty-four or the original signers were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well-educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

While we are enjoying cookouts with our families and fireworks on this holiday, let's be sure that we take a moment to remember these great patriots who set the stage for the freedoms we have today. And, of course, we need to be sure we thank those who now protect those freedoms, those who came before them, and the families who support them.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Happy 4th

Until Next Month (or you can email us at if you just can’t wait!),

Megan, Luis and Darrell


'Pets of Patriots' Program Ensures Care of Soldiers' Pets

When Soldiers deploy they often leave behind loving family members, including small furry ones.
To alleviate some of the concerns Soldiers have regarding their pet's care, the Hawaiian Humane Society offers a unique service called the "Pets of Patriots" program. More

Knights Out Calls For President to Issue Stop-Loss Order

Knights Out, an organization of 400 straight and gay West Point graduates, former staff and faculty, and allies, respectfully calls on our President to sign a stop-loss order immediately to allow Lieutenant Dan Choi, and all other gay and lesbian soldiers, to continue to serve without risk of expulsion under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. More here

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Are you ready for summer? The 2009 Atlantic Hurricane season begins in June, and though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is forecasting a likely "near-normal" season, being prepared is the best way to keep you and your family safe in the event of a natural disaster. Even if you are not one of the more than 35 million people who live in the regions most affected by hurricanes, being informed of and prepared for what you should do in any emergency or disaster is a smart bet. More here



Take an Active Role in Your Health Care

Today’s patients can and should take an active role in their medical care. During Patient Safety Month, TRICARE especially wants to encourage beneficiaries to do just that. Patients who make an extra effort to communicate with their health care providers, as part of a team approach, can help build trust and improve their provider-patient relationship. More here

An inaugural meeting of TRICARE West Region senior leadership focused on understanding and addressing a critical challenge facing military force readiness – the stigma of seeking behavioral healthcare. Read more

TRICARE Reserve Select Numbers Increase

The number of National Guard and Reserve members purchasing TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) coverage is growing. More here

A TRICARE Reminder About Covered Infertility Treatments

Infertility is a difficult condition for families to cope with. Many TRICARE beneficiaries may be wondering what their options are if they find themselves in a situation where infertility becomes an issue. The answer is, with a few important exceptions, TRICARE covers most infertility treatments. Read more



Pendleton welcomes new Family Readiness Center

With more than 40 years in service, the San Luis Rey Officer’s Club closed its doors only to re-open as the new Marine Corps Family Team Building Readiness Center, June 5. More here

A "Congratulations" Card For New Brides

Weddings are in season at this time of year. If you’re planning to have one, or know someone who is, make sure you put Social Security on the to-do list — because we may need to send you a card. A new Social Security card, that is. If you plan to exchange your maiden name for a married name — including hyphenated names such as Smith-Jones — be sure you let us know. More Here….



Suicide Prevention Message Rolls Through Cities Nationwide

The Department of Veterans Affairs took to the road, literally, when it decided to advertise about its “VA Suicide Prevention Lifeline” on public transportation buses in 124 communities across the country.

“We continue to look for new, innovative ways to reach our veterans,” said Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of veterans affairs for public and intergovernmental affairs. “VA wants to make sure to exhaust all avenues to reach those in need of our services.”

Currently, that includes public service announcements by actor Gary Sinise and TV news personality Deborah Norville. Suicide prevention coordinators also have been passing out information for several months now, Jan Kemp, the VA’s national suicide prevention coordinator, said. Read more



You and Your Military Hero
Empowering Children

May has been designated Military Appreciation Month – a time for all Americans to honor military personnel and reflect on their sacrifices for this great nation. Millions of military children are forced to make dramatic changes in their everyday lives when their loved ones are deployed. Research has concluded that changes are less stressful for children when they have the tools to manage their daily stressors.

You and Your Military Hero was developed to provide positive coping tools for military children (ages 5 – 1s2) as they adjust to their "new normal" during deployment.    This new, interactive activity book incorporates a friendly dog, Flipp, who guides the child through original games and activities on a fun-filled journey that helps develop positive coping strategies.  You and Your Military Hero can be used by both family members and professionals alike to help the child maintain a positive perspective during this challenging time.

You and Your Military Hero
  • Enhances emotional well-being
  • Develops positive coping skills
  • Empowers children and military families to maintain a positive perspective  
  • Provides regular opportunity for adult/child connections
  • Offers user- friendly format for both family members and professionals

UFLIPP, LLC is honored to be aligned with the mission of the Military Family Network and support military families by improving the child’s well-being and establishing positive connections. 

In addition to The Military Family Network, other national organizations such as the Military Child Education Coalition and National Military Family Association have endorsed this activities book.  For more information on You and Your Military Hero , please visit

Reporting For Doodie
by J.L. Smith

"What would you do if you were a (suddenly) single Grandmother and both your daughter and son-in-law were deployed at the same time, leaving you as primary caregiver for your 2-year old grandson??? You'd do exactly what I did - REPORT FOR DOODIE!

...I hope you enjoy this account of how this beautiful child saved me from myself an how I used 'The Secret' to channel the inner strength my mother gave me...all compliments of the U.S. Military."

Find out more at the Reporting for Doodie website.

Your Military Family Network is Here! Order Your Copy Now!

The Military Family Network and Capital Books in Washington DC have published Your Military Family Network - the Nation's first military family resource guide! This 650-page book covers all major military support topics from enlistment to retirement! Learn how to create your own personal support network so you have what you need when you need it. Find chapters on money management, TRICARE, relocation, deployment, employment and education as well as military and veterans benefits, PTSD and much, much more. The book also features a compilation of state and local resources available to military families - for the first time in a comprehensive and easy format.

Retailing for $24.95, The Military Family Network is offering this valuable, must-have resource at $14.95+s/h. Buy it for yourself, your family, a friend or loved one – MFN guarantees best price on the web! To order your copy of Your Military Family Network or copies for your organization, please visit Your Military Family Network online or call 1-866-205-2850 for more information. Group discounts available – call or email for details.


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DRIFIRE Performance Wear

In times of war or peace, being in the military has never been predictable. But with DRIFIRE, your FR wear can be. DRIFIRE is the first and currently remains the only performance FR garment that provides the flame resistance you need with the moisture management and comfort you deserve.


OK, We Admit It - We Love the Spotlight!

We can't help it, we are SO excited about the new site! And we know all of you are going to be excited, too!

It's almost here. Any day now, you will go to our site and see a totally brand new sleek design with features you are going to love. We have worked diligently designing, developing and building our new home on the web, and can hardly wait to invite you in!

So what can you expect from the new site? First, it just looks better! Based on feedback from our users, it is much more visually appealing.

Second, the navigation, that is, the menu system, has been reworked into a format which makes it much easier to find all the great information available to you. The new system allows us to place information in more than one category, which means you will have multiple ways to find what you need. An enhanced search feature makes it even easier to connect with tips, news, and information provided by our expert and community sources.

In addition, the site is much more interactive than ever before. Some of these features include:

  • Your own blog, along with the ability to comment on other blogs, subscribe to them, and syndicate them.
  • Fully functional forums where you can discuss matters of importance to you and your family with your fellow community members.
  • Full "Web 2.0" syndication and sharing capabilities. Can you "Digg It?"
  • You will be able to let your voice be heard by commenting on news articles, information and stories.
  • Much of our most useful information comes from those who have "been there." You will be able to share your experiences, tips and expertise with your fellow community members.
  • And much, much more.

We are looking forward to the launch, so be sure you are there to see it! Keep checking in - it will be very obvious when the new site is up. We can't wait to hear what you think!

Keep watching!



America's National Independence Day Parade takes place annually on July 4th at 11:45 am in Washington, D.C., on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street before a street audience of hundreds of thousands of spectators. The Parade consists of invited bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams, VIP's, national dignitaries, and celebrity participants. The Parade is a major national event which seeks to draw the attention of Americans to the real meaning for the holiday. It is a patriotic, flag-waving, red white and blue celebration of America's birthday!

The Parade is co-hosted by the National Park Service and produced by Diversified Events, which is under contract to the National Park Service.

Find out more at the Official Parade website.



BXs and PXs Offer Valuable Learning Experience for Students Making the Grade

According to the Department of Defense, children of active-duty military personnel attend, on average, six to nine different school systems from kindergarten to twelfth grade. More Info

Families Prepare to Help Children Cope During Military Deployments

In today’s Military, deployments are part of life. Pending a deployment in the States or overseas, the family, especially the children, may have anxiety and concerns. Not to worry, there are many ways to help children cope with the absence of a deployed parent. More Here

Operation Purple’ Offers Summer Fun to Military Kids

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2009 – The National Military Family Association will host more than 9,000 military children at “Operation Purple” youth camps across America this year. Read More



Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Raises More Than $300.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation recently raised more than $300,000 at its 23rd Annual Washington Gala to benefit high school and college students from families of active-duty and former Marines. Read more…

TRICARE Increases Payments for Beneficiaries with Special Needs

TRICARE has increased the amount it will pay for certain Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) benefits. ECHO assists eligible family members of active duty sponsors who are diagnosed with moderate or severe mental retardation, a serious physical disability, or an extraordinary physical or psychological condition. More here

Commissaries ask customers – 'What’s in your closet?'

You can plan for a summer outing, but you can’t plan for a natural or man-made disaster. This month, the Defense Commissary Agency wants to help you plan for both. More

DeCA hosts first military resale executive leadership forum

The lines of military resale are blurred for most customers. But behind the scenes, the organizations that serve the military all have separate and specific missions. On March 20, the leadership of the nation’s military commissaries, exchange services, the morale welfare and recreation commands, and installation management met to discuss how they can improve their service through increased cooperation. Read More ...



The White House Creates Data Transparency via

Government data permeates our lives. The atomic clock at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standardizes our time, dictating when we arrive at meetings and take our children to soccer practice. Read more

Swimming and Boating and Diving: Oh My!

In signing up for the military, service members volunteer to handle all the dangers of combat. No one enlists thinking they will die in their off-duty time. More



*Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

  • Newsletter!
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  • National Military Resource Book!

Contact Megan Turak at for more details.

*Military Community Submissions:

If you have a story that you’d like to share with The Military Family Network, please contact Megan Turak. If you have a song or photo that you would like to share with The Military Family Network, please contact Luis Trevino.

Get Seen! Get Heard! Join MFN’s Referral Network!

The Military Family Network has connected and worked with media outfits of all kinds including ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Montel Williams, Dr. Phil Show, Sesame Street, AARP, Newsweek, Army Times, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Social Security, Department of Labor, Military OneSource, Reader’s Digest, VFW, United Press International, Lifetime, etc. and countless newspapers around the world. These organizations contact MFN for a variety of reasons, but in each case, they want to hear from the military community.

If you are a service member, military family member or veteran and would like to be included in MFN’s referral network for media opportunities, please email with your interest and contact information and Lou will be glad to include you for future opportunities.

Privacy Notice: The Military Family Network is committed to ensuring the privacy of our military community according to the Department of Defense and MFN does not release or sell information about individuals. In the event that you participate in MFN’s referral network, you will be contacted by MFN about the opportunity first and if you are interested, you will be given the choice to provide MFN with permission to release your contact information (name, email or phone only) or be given the contact information to make the connection yourself. If you are an active member of the Armed Forces, it is always advisable to contact PAO for guidelines, permission, etc., before participating in public media opportunities.



Commissary Connection!

DeCA accepting commissary certifichecks

The Defense Commissary Agency will accept outstanding CertifiCheck gift certificates from authorized customers thanks to a plan approved today by the Department of Defense. The approved plan allows DeCA commissaries to honor CertifiCheck gift checks now through July 31, 2009.

“I am happy to report that DeCA and DoD have found a way that we can honor our customers’ unredeemed certifichecks,” said DeCA Director and CEO Philip E. Sakowitz Jr. “We have been deeply concerned about how this situation has impacted our customers worldwide, and we’re happy that we’ve been able to find a solution.”

CertifiChecks Inc., the Dayton, Ohio, company that has issued the commissary gift checks since 2002, announced Feb. 26 on its Web site that it had ceased operations and was filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Read Full Story...

You can also go to to find more savings at your nearby commissary, as well as healthy eating tips, recipes and the Virtual Commissary - an online shopping experience that could help you save time and money.

Remember, the Commissary ... It's worth the trip!


© 2009, The Military Family Network
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Phone: 866-205-2850 or 412-531-1970 | Fax: 866-226-2859 or 412-531-1978