In this issue:
  News You Can Use
Organization Spotlight
This Month's Focus
Family Support
Money & More
Mission Critical
Veterans Corner
Book Club
Military Family Network News   ·   June 2010 



Recently, an MFN friend announced that she would be retiring after more than 20 years of service with the military.

"Whoohoo!" she exclaimed and we "whoohoo'ed!" right along with her; this was certainly something to celebrate.

And soon, we discovered that "whoohooing!" was a lot of fun! So, for the past several weeks, whether things are up or down, inside-out, right-side-in, up-side-down or right-side-up, we "whoohoo!" and it makes us feel a lot better about, well, just about everything. So, won't you "whoohoo!" with us? Try it! It's fun!

School's out! Whoohoo!
It's Summer! Whoohoo!
Happy Father's Day! Whoohoo!

And doesn't it feel great to Whoohoo! for Dad? This is a cheer that's befitting a man - especially a man who selflessly and courageously defends our nation's freedoms and protects his family while providing for their spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and social well being. Our fathers and husbands don't get all wrapped up in frill, so it's nice to have the chance to shower them with respect and gratitude - even if they only indulge us this one day. That's why we put meat on the barbeque and grill outdoors; our guys don't want a fancy restaurant or a horse and pony show! Don't misunderstand: our dad's wear the uniform; they know what it means to represent. But when we celebrate our fathers, we honor them with gusto; and when we do that from our hearts, with love and pride, no distance here on earth or in the heavens above can keep our families apart.

Hey guys! Enjoy your day - You've earned every moment of it!

Whoohoo! to you from MFN!

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

Megan, Luis and Darrell


Meet K12!    
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, K 12 can give your children a high quality, American education.


  • K12 Summer School Enrollment is Open  
    Does your child need to make up a course this summer? Looking to get ahead or dive deeper into a subject of particular interest? With 53 courses, including world languages, electives, and courses specifically designed for credit recovery, our Summer School program might be just the thing.   Find out more!
  • Learn a New Language before Summer Ends with K12 Powerspeak Courses
    Put your kids at the top of their class—for less!
    K12's individualized approach gives your children the chance to be at the top of their class. We provide education options that meet your children's personal needs, whether that's scheduling, pacing, or the way lessons are presented. With K12's proven online education programs, you can help make your children's school experience one that is uniquely theirs—and help them succeed in the process. World language courses, independent study, teacher-supported courses, even full-time private schooling! Enroll now!  
  • Announcing Michigan Virtual Cyber Academy  
    K12 is pleased to announce the opening of our latest school! Michigan Virtual Cyber Academy serves students in grades K-12, and is now enrolling grades K-8 for the 2010-2011 school year.   Go to to learn more!
  • K12 Wins Multiple Awards  
    The U.S. Distance Learning Association has recognized K12 with its 21st Century Best Practices Award, K12's CEO Ron Packard for Outstanding Leadership, and more.   Read the full press release.  

    To learn more about K12's latest news go to

Informative Events: Learn About K12

  • K12 has great options for online learning.  And great, free seminars to learn about them!  

    Choices, choices!  Are you interested in our virtual public schools, now available in over half the States?  Want to learn about our outstanding private academy?  Perhaps you simply want to purchase a single course to meet a specific need?  Or, do you need multiple courses to create your own full-time, at-home curriculum?  

    K12 has it all, and the choice is yours. To help you on your educational journey, please review the one-hour, interactive, online seminars below to find out more.  Then, simply sign up and attend from the comfort of your own home!

For more information...

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.

Military families make great sacrifices. With K12, education doesn't have to be one of them.

K 12's Corner - Look for it each month!


Deployed for Father's Day: Five Perspectives

As Americans celebrate Father's Day this weekend, thousands of military fathers will be deployed thousands of miles from their families. Five service members shared their Father's Day memories and personal perspectives about what it means to be a military father serving in wartime. Here are their stories. Read more...

Families Talk Face-to-Face Miles Apart

When Soldiers from U.S. Army South deployed, many were told to prepare for at least a six month deployment, but hope for three. With that in mind, Soldiers said goodbye to families and headed to Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response. Although many families keep in touch via phone, email and Facebook, very few have been able to video chat with their loved ones. Read more...

Summer 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...

Free Legal Services

Did you know that each Service has available legal assistance for its service members ranging from deployment readiness to consumer affairs like contracts, leases, purchasing and sales agreements, etc? Called the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps or U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps or The Judge Advocate General United States Air Force, you can find help only a call or click away. Visit their websites to find information about the types of services that they provide.



TRICARE SMART Website: One-stop Information Portal for Guard, Reserves

National Guard and Reserve members who may not live near a military treatment facility or TRICARE Service Center no longer have to rely on printed publications as a main source of TRICARE benefit information. Read more...

Blood Pressure: What's Your Number?

It's a familiar process that begins most visits to a health care provider. An inflatable cuff is fastened around the patient's upper arm. A nurse or technician inflates the cuff until blood flow is momentarily blocked at that point and places a stethoscope over the cuff. The nurse listens as the cuff deflates, allowing blood to flow again, determining the patient's blood pressure. Read more...

Avatar Project Seeks to Help Military Amputees

In the blockbuster movie "Avatar," Jake Sully, a former Marine who lost the use of both legs in combat, climbs into a vessel that magically restores his body when he assumes a new, 10-foot-tall avatar identity.

A new project being funded through the Advanced Army Medical Technology Initiative promises to bring some of that same technology to real-life wounded warriors to promote their rehabilitation and help to ease their reintegration into society. Read more...



Near or Far, Let MWR!

Whether you are planning to enjoy your vacation at home or on the road, don't forget about all of the travel, lodging, event and recreation benefits offered to you through MWR. You can receive help planning your trip, learning about attractions, saving money through discounts and military deals as well as reduced costs for rentals like game equipment and picnic items. So, before running off to your next activity, check your MWR or visit them online: [ Navy MWR ][Army MWR] [Air Force Services Agency].



Improving Health Care for Veterans

President Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 into law. The law includes provisions that help provide support for the caregivers of seriously injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, helps improve services for our nation's 1.8 million women veterans, and helps expand the availability of health care for veterans and services preventing veterans from becoming homeless. See more...

Army Chief Presents Medals at Warrior Games

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. made a surprise visit to the inaugural Warrior Games here yesterday, capping a pivotal night in medal game play. Unfortunately for the Army's top military officer, he had to hang gold medals around Marine Corps teams' necks, as they topped the Army teams in both the sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball competitions. Read more...

VA Updates Online Application for Health Benefits

Veterans will find it easier and faster to apply for their health care benefits now that the Department of Veterans Affairs has updated its online Form 10-10EZ, "Application for Health Benefits." "VA is committed to tapping into the best that technology has to offer to ensure Veterans receive the benefits they have earned," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We continue to look for new ways to improve access to care and benefits." Read more...

Department of the Army Taps VA to Help Serve Our Nations Veterans

Today, at the request of the Army Secretary John McHugh, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced that Patrick K. Hallinan, a over 31-year employee of VA's National Cemetery Administration (NCA), is being detailed to the Army to assist in the management of Arlington National Cemetery. Read more...



Help Bike Free Donate Bicycles to Military Kids!


We want to bring to joy, freedom, and fun of a bicycle ride to others - specifically the children of our military fighting for freedom.

Bike Free is registered as a 501 c(3) charity.  We, Paul Lebelle and Adam Burkowske, are looking to raise enough money to distribute at least 10,000 bicycles and helmets to children of our deployed military personnel by Christmas time.  To accomplish our goal we are riding our own bicycles across our beautiful country.  Along the way we will be having various fund-raising dinners at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Restaurants, stopping by Rotary Clubs, having bike shop auctions, music concerts, bar-b-ques, you name it! Visit bikefree to follow along with us on our journey.

We begin our trip on June 9th.   Leaving Baltimore we head west, traveling across Maryland sweet Maryland to Cumberland, from there we will make our way to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Fort Wayne, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Colorado Springs, Denver, Yellowstone, Montana, Portland, then down the coast of California to San Diego.

We need your help! Visit this link to make a donation today.

And for those who have not been on a bicycle in some time, we encourage you all to hop on a bike and have a spin around the block.  You will find the wonderful fun of riding a bicycle never leaves you.



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 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!"

Hey Robin,

I am in the Army IRR and am trying to join the Reserve; do I need to change my medical status (PULHES)? I can't seem to find the information that I need, where to go or who to ask.

Thank you for your assistance,

Hey Stu,

NO! If you are in the IRR, take your discharge certificate and DD214 to a Retention Recruiter on site at a Reserve Center in your local neighborhood or city. In most instances, you should have no problem getting back in. Your PULHES shouldn't matter much if you have been Honorably Discharged into the IRR. In some cases, however, depending on the reenlistment code reported on your DD214, it may require a waiver. Your PULHES has to do with the physical status of your body when you got out of the military. So while each instance must be evaluated on its own merits, I would suggest that you consult your local Reserve Recruiter or walk into your local Reserve Center and ask for the Retention Office. They will have all the regulations and documents you need to join the Army Reserves.

Peace out, Robin


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Mona Rabin Welcomes You to Anderson Creek Realty!
Military Relocation Broker Near Ft. Bragg

"Professionalism, Respect, and Honesty" are characteristics I strive to live by, both as a realtor and as an individual.  I have worked in sales for over 30 years and recently found my niche in real estate.  Fortunately, I both live and work in a beautiful gated community called Anderson Creek Club, just minutes from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. I am committed to giving you the best possible advice that I can.

I grew up in a military family, and my spouse is a retired colonel of the United States Army; therefore, I have a special affection for our entire military community. I remember the security I felt living on military posts and have found the same support system at Anderson Creek Club. It is for that reason I decided to go to real estate school two years ago and began working in the best community in the Fort Bragg area.

The advice that I give to my home buyers is to get a pre-approval letter first before beginning the buying process to see what price range is best for your budget. Then, take your time in choosing the home that is perfect for your situation. To home sellers, my advice is to make sure your home shows in the best possible way, inside and out, because the first impression starts at the curb.

I invite everyone relocating to Fort Bragg or Pope Air Force Base, or even if you are not relocating but know someone who is, to please call me. Come take a look at Anderson Creek Club and make sure to ask for Mona! I would consider it an honor to take you on a tour and even treat you to lunch in our beautiful bar and grill. Because of men and women like you serving our country, I am very proud to be an American. In my opinion, YOU ARE THE BEST and you deserve the best possible service. Please visit our website then contact me, Mona Rabin at

Thank you,

Mona Rabin, Broker Associate
910-814-4835 · Cell: 910-489-5579


The Military Father: A Hands-On Guide for Deployed Dads

"Fathers today play a greater role with their families and children than ever before. However, military dads and dads-to-be are often separated from their families for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, there are very few resources for military (and deployed civilian) fathers, who are looking for guidance on how to be in close touch with their families back home. THE MILITARY FATHER, written by the country's leading authority on fatherhood, will fill that gap, providing deployed dads with everything they need to know to stay (or become) involved with and connected to their family regardless of the distance that separates them.

Part I of this essential sourcebook covers pre-deployment and explores the profound effect a dad's absence will have on his spouse, his children, and himself. It also provides extensive pre-deployment checklists and detailed tips aimed at preparing the dad and his family for separation and long-distance communication.

Part II, During Deployment, explains how to stay involved and connected when you're far away, and includes specific strategies and activities designed to help dads and their family remain close across time and distance.

Part III, Coming Home, offers advice on post-deployment times from preparing to come home and surmounting the challenges of returning to military or civilian life. In addition, the book includes a chapter on how dads can support a spouse when she's the one being deployed, and a comprehensive listing of resources available to soldiers and their families.

Flavored with the author's trademark wit, warmth, and intelligence, this guide combines a wealth of knowledge from experts, scientific studies, and interviews with scores of military fathers and their families.

THE MILITARY FATHER includes cartoons that complement the text, solicited from deployed military or civilian fathers and family members, ranging from those on active duty to veterans."

To order your copy of The Military Father: A Hands-On Guide for Deployed Dads, visit or for more information about Armin and his other books, visit .



Welcome Home, GI Dad

By Armin Brott - An accomplished author, speaker and former Marine, Armin Brott is an authority on fatherhood and families. His books have sold millions of copies world-wide. He writes " Ask Mr. Dad ," a weekly newspaper column, and his " Positive Parenting " radio show airs in San Francisco and other cities.

Dear Mr. Dad: I've been deployed in Afghanistan for 13 months and am returning home next week. Being apart from my wife and children for so long has got me committed to making some major changes in my relationships with them. How easy will this be to do?

A: There's nothing like being away from your family to get you thinking about making life better when you get home. "I'm going to spend more time with the family; not get upset over minor things like spills on the carpet, clogged toilets, or idiot politicians; and help the kids more with their homework." All great goals. The problem is that the guy who made those resolutions (you) may not be the same as the guy who'll be trying to make them a reality (also you): Although things may look pretty much the same as they did before you left, being deployed has changed you. Lots of other things have changed too:

  • Friends. You just spent the last year with some very close friends, living through the same hardships, facing the same dangers, and providing emotional and social support to each other. Friends back home are great, but unless they were deployed too, they probably have no idea what you've been through, and you not have much in common anymore.
  • Roles. One of the hardest things for returning dads is to figure out how to plug themselves back into their family. It's natural to imagine that you'll jump right in and pick up as if you'd never left. That's a lovely thought, but a completely unrealistic one. While you were gone, your family had to create new routines, new ways of communicating and making decisions, new approaches to discipline. Mom has been the primary decision maker, the kids have taken on some of your old chores, and no one may be interested in making any changes.

While may be proud that your family came through your deployment in good shape, you may be a little surprised—and, honestly, a little disappointed. After all, the logic goes, if they thrived so well without you, do they need you anymore? The answer is, Yes. A lot. They love you, too, and want you to be a part of the family again, to resume your duties as teacher, mentor, authority figure, fixer of all things broken, bad joke teller, and heavy lifting guy. It's just going to take some time. Chances are, you'll never get back 100 percent to the way things were. Instead, you, your wife, and your kids will end up creating a completely new routine that combines the best of the pre-deployment and during-deployment ones.

  • Even the animals. Some pets may not like having to compete with you for attention, and may resent that you're sleeping on "their" side of the bed. Be prepared for some unusual behavior and some unpleasant "gifts" (cats are especially fond of punishing their owners for perceived slights . . . ).

While some of these changes are good, others may be more troubling. For example, it's going to take a while for you to stop worrying that every car that pulls up alongside you might be a potential suicide bomber or part of an ambush. And it could take years before you're able to stop ducking for cover every time you hear a loud noise or a bang. These things won't just affect you. It can be more than a little frustrating for your family to have you constantly worrying that you're about to be blown up.



First Lady Calls on Nation to Support Military Families

"We know that our military families are some of the most patriotic, some of the most dedicated, the most service-oriented Americans you will ever meet. They are spouses who somehow manage to do it all -- like the woman from Michigan who wrote to me saying -- she said, "I wear many hats -- career woman, mother of three daughters, and a soldier's wife." She described the everyday challenges of holding the family together during her husband's deployment. But she added, "I am proud of my husband and so very proud to be a soldier's wife." Read more...

Don't Make it Worse! Use of Alcohol or Drugs After Trauma

Angie Panos, Ph.D., CEAP and Patrick Panos, Ph.D., ABPP
[Source: Gift from Within]

"My friend has survived a traumatic event and I want to help them. Wouldn't the best thing be to just take them out and get them drunk?" This is a common question posed by many friends, neighbors or family members. Alcohol is ubiquitous in our culture. It plays a part of many family, social and religious celebrations and traditions. Confusion about its safety occurs because it is a legal substance for people 21 years of age and older. The use of alcohol or minor tranquilizers after a traumatic event used to be a fairly standard treatment protocol. However, the research over the last decade clearly shows the deleterious effects of alcohol to a traumatized person. Alcohol produces changes in their neurochemistry and nervous system that are ultimately harmful and exacerbate, rather than reduce, the symptoms of traumatic stress. Read more...

About Gift from : Gift from Within is a non-profit organization dedicated to those who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals; develops and disseminates educational material, including videotapes, articles, books, and other resources through its website; maintains a roster of survivors who are willing to participate in an international network of peer support; is designated by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) public charity, eligible to receive tax-exempt grants, gifts, and donations.

Make your gift or donation to Gift From Within here .



New Scholarship for the Children of Fallen Service Members

The children of military personnel who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001 can apply for an educational scholarship similar to the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. Benefits are retroactive to Aug. 1, 2009. Read more...

Preparation Aids Financial Stability During Deployments

Preparation and a detailed spending plan can help servicemembers and their families dodge the financial pitfalls that can spring up during and after a deployment, the Pentagon's personal finance director said. Read more...

Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Program

The following link provides information and a general description of education benefits under MGIB-SR Chapter 1606, Reserve Educational Assistance (REAP) (Chapter 1607, Title 10 USC), or Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30, Title 38 USC). It includes information to help you receive payments under each program and offers suggestions on where to go for help and how to get more detailed information. The information may be of help to you in making a decision to enter training. Read this information carefully to understand the full range of available benefits. The information provided is not meant to determine your eligibility for either program. Do not rely on the information provided to determine if you are eligible for education benefits. Read more...  

Know Your Benefits! Social Security Q&A

Yolanda York, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration

We've all been told, over and over in fact, that we need to put away a "little something extra" to carry us through those unexpected emergencies and our retirement. Save for retirement they say, "Save, save, save." But no one ever seems to tell us how much! Well, in this month's newsletter, Yolanda York does the math and provides some helpful tools to get us on the road to security and a prosperous retirement. So, don't delay, read " Save On A Rainy Day!" as soon as you can: More Info...



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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.



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Museums Offer Free Admission to Military Families

Active duty servicemembers and their families will gain free access to hundreds of museums throughout the nation this summer, thanks to a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families.

More than 600 museums in 50 states and the District of Columbia have signed up so far to participate in Operation Appreciation: Blue Star Museums. The program offers active duty servicemembers -- including activated Guard and Reserve -- and up to five of their immediate family members free admission to participating museums from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Read More...

Tribute to the Armed Forces

Kings Dominion is pleased to announce that it will offer FREE admission to active duty and retired military personnel on Sunday and Monday of the July 4th weekend as a part of its Tribute to the Armed Forces program.  The exact dates are July 4, 5, 2010 and includes all branches of the service, National Guard and Reserves. Read More...


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