|Military Family Network News · July
MESSAGE FROM YOUR MFN TEAM
HAPPY 4th OF JULY-MONTH!
Traveling from coast to coast lately, MFN has been spending a great
deal of time visiting our military family friends. It always brings us
great joy to see the service members, veterans and families that we
serve especially because it is uplifting to witness the integral bonds
of camaraderie and community that they share. And, it doesn’t
seem to matter whether in groups of two or ten or a hundred or more,
these individuals possess something that is truly special.
Recently, an Army friend wrote to tell MFN about his 4th of July
holiday: “I was just across from a giant fireworks barge on
the Charles River here in Boston and the view was spectacular. There is
nothing like a 4th on the water with good friends.”
Fireworks and friends, MFN couldn’t agree more.
But we noticed something more and it took some R&R over the 4th
of July weekend, to put it all together. As we lounged around for a
part of the weekend, we found ourselves captivated by the History
Channel’s recount of the history of America including the
Revolutionary War and also HBO’s series about
America’s second President, John Adams. While most of us are
generally familiar with our country’s fight for liberty and
the subsequent birth of our nation, it is truly a fascinating story to
see the personal histories of those who courageously and boldly struck
out on this path to freedom.
There were acts of bravery that risked life and liberty, long periods
of separation and isolation, deprivation of the most basic human needs,
anxiety and fear as battles closed in on women and children whose men
– mostly merchants, farmers and frontiersman – left
them, to assume the role of soldiers.
But there was also resilience, mental and emotional fortitude, courage,
determination and ingenuity, selfless service and the willingness to
sacrifice so that future generations could possess their ideals in
body, mind and spirit. What they cherished, they would give to others.
This is our American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Guardian and Marine. This
is our Military Family.
So, this July, we celebrate our country’s Independence, our
forefathers and we celebrate you. Your dedication to our nation, its
security and our inalienable rights deserves our highest respect and
utmost gratitude. As you honor the values and the traditions that make
up our national identity, we honor you.
MFN encourages Americans everywhere to recognize this honorable service
in kind. Let us serve and contribute, too. USA.gov offers some great
ideas on how you can help your country. We hope that you will visit the
following link to find a fit for you: http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Usgresponse/Help.shtml.
Until Next Month
(or you can email us at connections@MilitaryFamilyNetwork.com
if you just can't wait!),
Luis and Darrell
K12 is the largest provider of online education in America for grades K
through 12. We all know how often many of our military families are
required to move. K12 is a way for those families to have a consistent
educational experience, year after year. In fact, no matter where you
are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection, K12 can
give your children a high quality, American education.
Congratulates its Grads!
country, K12 high school seniors are
receiving well-earned diplomas.
Learn more about the graduating classes at the California Virtual
the Youth Connection
High School in
Chicago, and Agora Cyber Charter
Pennsylvania, celebrating its largest graduating class to date!
K 12 offers many education opportunities to military families, no
matter where you are deployed in the world—public, private,
or school at home. And, we offer our service families a
15 percent discount. For
more information go to
, or call 866-667-1262.
families make great sacrifices. With K12, education doesn't have to be
one of them.
12's Corner - Look for it each month!
YOU CAN USE
some fun and visit the Social Security
Administration’s records on most popular baby names dating
from 1880 to
present. You can look up names by decade, states, twins – you
can even do a
popularity search on your name! Try it out: it’s a hoot! Read more
customer alert: The Commissary has a new Facebook Page
to unforeseen circumstances, the Defense
Commissary Agency has lost its Facebook page, along with its
base. We do hope you will follow us to our new
Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Defense-Commissary-
help us grow again. We look forward to your comments, suggestions and
energetic conversations. Thank you for your patronage.
'Stop Loss' Soldiers to
of soldiers will leave their units in Iraq and
return home early over the next two months to help meet the president's
mandated troop strength of 50,000 in the country by Sept. 1. Read
Advocate More Reserve Support
leaders are working
hard to create the same kind of
support network for the reserve components that exists for the active
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday. Read more
Ask, Don't Tell' Surveys Hit
Department officials e-mailed surveys
to 400,000 servicemembers as part of a special review to prepare the
for a potential repeal of the so-called “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” law that bans
gays and lesbians from openly serving, Pentagon officials announced
today. Read more
Chief asks Soldiers to participate in
of Staff of the Army
Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli,
strongly urges Soldiers to participate in a study that will help the
learn more about the causes of suicide and improve prevention efforts. Read more
of Defense Announces 2010
Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Recipients
Department of Defense has
announced that Bill Bragg
Plumbing, San Francisco; Intuit, Mountain View; and City of Irvine
Department will receive the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support
Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to
their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the Guard and
Reserve. Read more
| TRICARE AND
Offers Hope to Heal War's 'Invisible
Intrepid Center of Excellence
opened here June 24 with the promise of being a world leader in the
diagnosis and treatment planning for the signature brain injuries and
psychological conditions of wounded warriors. Read more
TRICARE Online Feature Allows Users to Save Personal Health Data to
feature on TRICARE Online
now allows users to save
their personal health data such as medication and allergy profiles,
information and a personal health summary to a Portable Document Format
file on their computer, Military Health System officials said June 10. Read more
an Infographic about the Childhood
Move! initiative and GOOD are
working together to help address the challenge of childhood obesity by
awareness about the problem and the ways the nation is working to
address it. Read more
Program Newsletter Delivers
TRICARE Dental Program
newsletter, published three times a year, provides great information to
enrollees about their dental benefits.
Makes Traveling within
the U.S. Carefree
for a road trip or vacation requires planning –
what to pack, where to stay and what to do – but taking a few
minutes to think
about health care before hitting the road can save a lot of hassles.
MFN Welcomes LowVARates
over 20 years of experience working with active and retired military home
owners. We have built a solid reputation as a company that gives back to those
that have served this country. LowVARates.com
is easy to use and a very informative website that allows you to access all of
the latest information regarding VA home loans. We are not a lender and we are
not affiliated with any government agency, including the Department of Veterans
Affairs. We bring approved VA lenders and eligible veterans together so that
getting a loan is as easy as possible.
We invite you to use LowVARates.com
not only to apply for your VA loan, but to also keep up to date with all of
your hard-earned VA loan benefits.
Programs Expand for Military Children
From camps to golf clinics to acclaimed museums, military
children have an abundance of free summer programs to choose from this year, a
Defense Department official said. Read more
Don’t Let These
Byways Be Bygones!
[Source: U.S. Department of
Planning a vacation by car this summer? Try a scenic route
to your destination as designated by the Federal Highway Commission! The U.S. Secretary of Transportation
recognizes certain roads as All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways based
on one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and
Their definition of "scenic" reaches beyond
breathtaking vistas. All of America's Byways® are "scenic",
representing the depth and breadth of scenery in America--natural and man-made
panoramas; electrifying neon landscapes; ancient and modern history coming
alive; native arts and culture; and scenes of friends, families and strangers
sharing their stories. Discover more of America’s treasures at http://www.byways.org/
Texas Guard Prepares for Season's First
About 2,500 members of the Texas National Guard are on
standby in anticipation of Tropical Storm Alex, which is expected to become a
hurricane and hit the lower Texas coast late July 1 or early July 2. Read more
| VETERANS CORNER
VA to Help Build
Women Veterans Communities and Networks
The Department of Veterans Affairs opened registration on
July 8 for a women Veterans forum that will address the quality of VA health
care, the provision of benefits for women, and ways for VA to continue
improving access to the care and benefits for women Veterans. Read more
Advances Transformation Toward a
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced
today plans to develop a fully automated, online system for handling Veterans’
disability compensation claims. More than a simple digitization of existing
paper-based claims, the new system is part of VA’s modernization of the
end-to-end processing workflow. Automation will substantially reduce processing
time and increase accuracy while simplifying the way that Veterans interact
with the claims process. Read more
Officials Commit to
Disabled Veterans' Businesses
Defense Department officials are committed to providing
service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses with contracting
opportunities, and are closer to its goal of awarding 3 percent of department
contracts to such businesses, the acting director for the Pentagon’s Small
Business Programs Office said today. Read more
VA Simplifies Access
to Health Care and Benefits for Veterans with PTSD
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced a
critical step forward in providing an easier process for Veterans seeking health
care and disability compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
with the publication of a final regulation in the Federal Register. Read more
Your Stress with this Brief
and Simple Test
Life can be stressful and challenging so it’s
important to monitor your stress levels to insure that you remain
strong. This simple and easy test will help you gauge your current
stress. Then, you can adjust your behavior to relieve or help you cope
with your stress.
So, how does this test work? The link below will render a picture of
dolphins. Although they are displayed in slightly different
perspectives with mild
color variations, the two are virtually identical. When the picture is
by a stress-free individual, these are the only differences that will
However, the greater the level of stress, the greater the difference
perceive. This test is not sensitive enough to pick up mild stress
only higher levels of stress.
So, are you ready? The test is quite simple. Sit upright. View the
head-on, take a deep breath, breathe out and then open the picture and
directly at it.
|ASK MFN'S MILITARY FAMILY
Robin is MFN's
Military Family Specialist. She is a regular feature to our monthly
newsletter to help connect you with solutions to challenges in your
military life. So, please meet Robin, a soldier of eighteen years and a
family programs specialist. She will be your guide to keeping informed,
being prepared and, well, mopping up messes if that's what it takes!
You can reach her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
for some good old Q&A or you can sit back and keep reading as
we introduce some of her fine work right here in MFN's monthly
newsletter. So, as they say, "On with the show!"
How do go about
replacing lost dog tags? I’m
a veteran and I
want a dog tag like the ones I was
issued in 1960 when I joined the service.
are several ways to do it:
- If you are a veteran that
is active duty or
Reserve, than you usually can go to your supply person and request
- You also can buy them at
such as an active duty post like Fort Rucker in Alabama or if you live
near a post, go to the clothing and sales shop that they have on post;
- You can also go to places
or the Army Air Force Exchange Service www.aafes.com
(Looks like they cost $6.00 at Supertrooper;
- Or, if all else fails, try
a place like
PETCO where they sell dog tags for pets and make your own.
Frank, I checked in with a good friend who is a
veteran and also belongs to the American Legion and he offered the
are right; you can find many ways to get dog tags nowadays,
on-line, stores, etc. I don't think, however, that they have actually
since the 60's, especially the ones issued to the military now. I
looked at my
wife's dog tags that she recently had done by her military unit and
them to mine issued in the early 70's, and you can't tell a difference.
would probably suggest is to have the veteran go to a local Reserve
unit and explain
what he wants. I am sure they would be willing to accommodate him.
It’s good public
relations for them to help veterans if they can.”
So,Frank, you have several alternatives, now. Good luck - I’m
sure that one will
work for you.
|Manage Your Subscription:
MFN Helps Businesses Reach the
We all know
how the Military Family Network serves military service members, veterans, and
their families by providing resources, information and trusted expert and
community advice to help them navigate through military life.
But did you
know that MFN also helps businesses with their outreach as well? By introducing
the military community to trusted businesses, MFN can help you tap into a
market that is traditionally hard to reach, but desires your services. And with
our new website nearly ready to go, we will offer even more possibilities, both
for businesses and the community we serve.
military and family friendly businesses, we offer a variety of communication services that allow you to promote your programs,
products and services while demonstrating your support for our military service
members, veterans and their families. MFN encourages its business partners to
offer military deals and discounts as their way of thanking our military
community for their service to our nation. And, while MFN can provide the
sophisticated marketing reports that you’ve come to expect from your campaigns,
your biggest reward will come from knowing that your advertising dollars are
taking care of military service members, veterans and their families. In fact,
your support saves lives.
military community, there are numerous
new features to look forward to like improved and simplified
navigation, enhanced forums, the ability to add your own blog, and a dedicated
server giving MFN much more bandwidth and processing power to provide you with
a greatly improved user experience.
already seen the ever increasing number of experts in various fields who are
coming on board with MFN to give you the information you need. Now, enhanced
search and tagging capabilities will make it easier for you to find this
is so much more. How many times have you read one of our news articles and
wanted to respond? Or perhaps you saw an informational piece on our site, and wanted
to contribute your own knowledge and experience? Well, now you will be able to!
You will be able to leave
comments, discuss topics with your fellow community members, easily
syndicate the content to your RSS feeds, and a few surprises that, well, our
lips are sealed!
So as they
say in show-biz: Don’t Go Away! There’s More to Come!
|ORGANIZATION IN THE
Warmest Aloha to the Members of Military Family Network!
Come discover Kilauea
Military Camp (KMC) and the Big
Hawaii! KMC invites you to experience the “essence
amidst an active volcano, lush
rainforests, lava fields, tropical flora and fauna, black sand beaches,
and breathtaking island landscapes.
|KMC is timeless
Hawaiian resort serving all
branches of the services and
features lodging, dining, tours, recreation, and more. This unique
Army Morale, Welfare, & Recreation facility is situated near
the edge of
the active Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii
on the Big
and is the state of Hawaii’s
number one visitor attraction. There are 90 vacation cottages and
one, two, and three bedroom units with numerous amenities and
Select units include a jetted tub and/or kitchen. There is an array of
and indoor recreational opportunities at KMC as well as within the
group accommodations are available as well as function rooms for
20% Off DEPLOYMENT
SPECIAL for lodging, dining, tours, and
- For those on R&R or just returning from deployment
- For details and restrictions, visit www.kmc-volcano.com or
call (808) 967-8333 or 438-6707 direct from Oahu
Other specials may be
the year at www.kmc-volcano.com. Make sure to
check out our “Wiki-Wiki” on-line specials!
Also, plan ahead and
book a stay at KMC for
these upcoming special
Free Weekends, August 14-15,
September 25 &
November 11, 2010. The National Park Service has designated
for visitors to all National Parks. To support this initiative, Kilauea
Military Camp, will be opening its doors to all Hawaii
allow them to “Experience How KMC Supports
America’s Troops”. All KMC
facilities and services, including guestrooms will be available for the
2. Inaugural “Volcano
Rainforest Run”, August
21, 2010 – In
partnership with the Volcano
military runners and walkers are invited to participate! KMC
prizes to be
awarded to top military finishers. For race details and fees, please
Race Director Sharron Faff at (808) 967-8240 or go to www.volcanoartcenter.org.
KMC is open to Active
and Retired military,
Reserves, National Guard,
Dependents, DOD Civilians including Coast Guard Civilians, and
guests. For U.S.
military veterans or those on special business with the DOD, please
accepted up to a year in
advance. Rates start at $72.00
per night (subject to change without notice). Call (808) 967-8333 or
dial from Oahu
at 438-6707. E-mail email@example.com. For more information or to book on-line,
please visit www.kmc-volcano.com.
Thank you for your time
We look forward to serving
you in the future.
Kilauea Military Camp
| THIS MONTH'S
A soldier's life...is
not all song and dance
Susan Cohn Rockefeller's new documentary
song can make a difference in a soldier's life.
Striking a Chord
is a window into the soldier's world,
where troops maneuver between constant threat and crushing boredom.
It's also a
look at how the power of music can provide some relief and a return,
brief, to a sense of home.
the support and participation of legendary
musican/songwriter Nile Rodgers' We Are Family Foundation,
Striking a Chord seeks to create
awareness about the soldiers' situation and promote the power of music
cope with the stress of combat and in the healing process of
Stress Disorder (PTSD).
first stop? The film's premiere on August 4th at the Woods Hole Film Festival,
the oldest independent film
festival on Cape Cod.
to know more? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
look forward to keeping you up to date as we continue on
with the adventure of this film and our goal to help support the health
well being of American troops.
- The Striking a Chord Team
| FAMILY SUPPORT
for Wounded Service
Members and Their Families
Healing Adventures is a family camp experience for active
duty or medically retired service members who were wounded or
emotional trauma or illness related to their service in Operation Iraqi
(OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Members of the National
Reserve may be in either activated or drilling status, provided their
was sustained while on active duty status. Read more and to
Rican Government Issues Birth
government of Puerto Rico on Monday extended the
validity of current birth certificates until Sept. 30, giving U.S.
born on the island more time to apply for and receive the new,
security-enhanced certificates. Read more...
Sexual Abuse and/or
Assault: Advice for Husbands and Significant Others
Gift from Within]
this webcast, Dr. Frank Ochberg offers advice and
suggestions to husbands and significant others about how to be
the women in their lives who have encountered sexual abuse, rape, and
To listen, visit: http://www.giftfromwithin.org/html/webcast3ram.html
Gift from Within.org : Gift from Within is a
non-profit organization dedicated to those who suffer post-traumatic
disorder (PTSD), those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for
individuals; develops and disseminates educational material, including
videotapes, articles, books, and other resources through its website;
a roster of survivors who are willing to participate in an
network of peer support; is designated by the Internal Revenue Service
501(c)(3) public charity, eligible to receive tax-exempt grants, gifts,
Make your gift or donation to
Gift From Within at http://www.giftfromwithin.org/html/support.html
| MONEY, EDUCATION
Deadline is July 31
to redeem commissary gift certificates expires for customers who were
TDY March 6-July 31, 2009.
patrons, who were deployed or away on temporary
duty during the original limited CertifiChecks redemption period of 6
July 31, 2009, have until July 31, 2010, to redeem their commissary
Benefits for Wounded
service members can receive expedited processing of
disability claims from Social Security. Benefits available through
Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans
require a separate application. Read more
Your Benefits! Social
Yolanda York, Public
Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration
My husband and
I are both entitled to our own Social Security benefits. Will our
benefits be reduced because we are married?
Security does not have a marriage penalty. When each member of a
works in employment covered under Social Security and they meet all
eligibility requirements to receive retirement benefits, their lifetime
earnings are calculated independently to determine their benefit
Therefore, each spouse receives a monthly benefit amount based on his
own earnings. If one member of the couple earned low wages or failed to
enough Social Security credits (40) to be insured for retirement
or she may be eligible to receive benefits as a spouse.
Security recognize common law marriage for the purpose of paying
Social Security follows the laws of the state where the
worker was residing at the time of death or the place where the worker
residing when the spouse applies for benefits. In order for a common
marriage to be valid, it must have been contracted in a state where
marriages are recognized.
states do not honor common-law marriages, so you should
check local laws. However, most states (even those in which a man and
could not enter into a valid common-law marriage) will generally
common-law marriage validly entered into in another state. Again, check
Can I receive
Social Security benefits and Unemployment Insurance benefits at the
benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test
do not affect your receipt of Social Security
benefits. However, the
unemployment benefit amount of an individual may
be reduced by
the receipt of a pension or other retirement income, including
Security and Railroad Retirement benefits.
You may wish to contact your state unemployment office for information
your state applies the reduction. You can find
at the following Internet address: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/map.asp
Preparation Aids Financial Stability During Deployments
and a detailed
spending plan can help
servicemembers and their families dodge the financial pitfalls that can
up during and after a deployment, the Pentagon’s personal
|MISSION CRITICAL INFO
Family Network in the social
fan, share your military life
experience and help others build a personal support network for their
military career. MFN's Facebook
page connects you with friends
you can count on while MFN's Twitter
page keeps you informed.
Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities Available!
Contact Megan Turak
for more details.
- National Military Resource Book!
If you have a
story, song or photo that you would like to share with The Military
Family Network™, please contact Luis
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
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
with your interest and contact information and Lou will be glad to
include you for future opportunities.
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
| MFN BOOK
Invited to a
Virtual Book-Launch Block Party for Minefields of the Heart!
invited to a virtual party to celebrate a new book for veterans and
their families: Minefields of the Heart: A Mother’s Stories of a Son at
War by Sue Diaz. While the final mid-July date has yet to be set, the
event will feature the world premiere of the book’s video trailer, food
for thought from celebrity guests, prizes, and party favors especially
for service members and their families, including:
- Free care packages
- Downloads of guides
- Travel and vacation
- Money-saving coupons
- Free books, CDs, DVDs, and
- And more!
Come see what the buzz
is about. One click
and you’re in: www.minefieldsoftheheart.com so check in often
around the end of July so you don’t miss the party!
do combat veterans and their loved ones bridge the
divide that war by its very nature creates between them? How does
has fought in a war come home, especially after a tour of duty marked
near-daily mortar attacks, enemy fire, and roadside bombs? With a
eye and a mother’s warmth, Sue Diaz asks these questions as
she chronicles the
two deployments to Iraq of her son, Sgt. Roman Diaz, from the
the home front. Minefields of the Heart is
a story of innocence lost, understanding gained, and hope reaffirmed.
Your Military Family Network
Your Copy Now!
Military Family Network reference book is the most complete source of
information for the active military, veterans and their families that I have
seen. At first I just skimmed through it, but when I read the contents and your
instructions on how to use this book, I realize this book was worth much more
than the purchase price. Thank you for providing a helping hand for our
military who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Your book it is a
treasure for me and for all military personnel."
- Curt M.
Offer Free Admission to Military
duty servicemembers and
their families will gain free
access to hundreds of museums throughout the nation this summer, thanks
partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star
Families. Read more...