Archive for August, 2012

Blue Star Families to Host Military Family Financial Summit, 8 September in Norfolk, VA

Posted by Charlotte Webster

Blue Star FamiliesBlue Star Families – an education and advocacy network to benefit the families of deployed servicemembers and veterans, is organizing a workshop for military veterans and their families. The workshop, which will take place at Old Dominion University on Saturday, September 8th, 2012, will feature a variety of workshops on various financial topics of interest to military families.

Workshop topics will include the following:

  —Children’s Financial Literacy

  —Post-Military Career Planning

  —Military Spouse Portable Entrepreneurship

  —Homeownership and Property Management

  —Savings, Investments, and Retirement

  —Managing Credit and Dancing Around Debt

  —College Planning

The keynote speaker will be Keynote Speaker: Neale Godfrey, the CEO and chairperson of the children’s Financial Network. Godfrey has authored many books on financial literacy and child-rearing, including the New York Times bestseller Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children.

Additional speakers include:

  • Admiral Craig Quigley, USNR, the executive director of Hampton Roads Military & Civilian Federal Alliance
  • Dr. Vivian Greentree, Director of Research and Policy at Blue Star Families
  • Veronica Jorden, a member of the board of directors at the Military Spouse Business Association.



The price of admission is perfect: Free! Also, child care for children ages 3-12 will be provided on-site, also free of charge.

The event will take place at the Webb University Center on the Old Dominion University Campus, 1515 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, Virginia, 23508. Registration and breakfast will commence at 8 a.m., and workshops will begin at 9 a.m. and continue to 4 p.m.

Interested participants can register online.

Amazing Veterans: Chuck Norris Edition

Posted by Kelli McKinney

Happy Friday, all. It’s Friday, and we’re all thinking about the best way to ease out of the work week and into the weekend. Naturally, we’re also thinking a lot about veterans, because that’s what we do. What better way to celebrate the start of the weekend than to pay homage to one of the biggest, baddest, most jaw-droppingly awesome veterans of all time, the man’s man himself, Mr. Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris wants YOU    by AurihalconFor decades, this multi-talented man of action has roundhouse kicked his way into our homes and hearts, and inspired many a young person’s journey into martial arts and even armed forces service along the way. Born in Oklahoma, he began his career in the Air Force as an Air Force Policeman. Mr. Norris competed in martial arts for many years before starring in action films and television series, and has been an active philanthropist as well as starting his own martial arts form, Chun Kuk Do.

In 2007, Mr. Norris was awarded the title of honorary Marine by Commandant Gen. James T. Conway. Texas Governor Rick Perry named him an honorary Texas Ranger in 2010. He has been an outspoken advocate for veterans’ issues, including pensions and care for hospitalized veterans. He served as spokesperson for the U.S. Veterans Administration and was named 2001 Veteran of the Year at the American Veteran Awards.

Over the years, Chuck Norris has become the stuff of legend, inspiring some fans to devote entire web sites to ascribing mythical, superhuman qualities to him. You’ve probably heard or read about some of them over the past couple of years. Here’s just a couple of my personal favorite little known “facts” (from

When the boogeyman goes to sleep at night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water and make it drink.

Chuck Norris does not get frostbite. Chuck Norris bites frost.

Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

Chuck Norris has already been to Mars. That’s why there are no signs of life there.

Or how about this one: Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits. (That one makes me shudder a little bit.)

He waited patiently for an invitation to visit Marines in Fallujah, and watching this clip it’s easy to see that he is as humbled and honored to be there as these Marines are to have him. And the Marines have brushed up on their Chuck Norris facts to prepare for his visit. Check it out.

Now in his 70s, Chuck Norris doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Although he might be one of the more famous veterans in our midst, he’s hardly the only veteran who deserves our awe and respect. For those of you who have served or are serving, thank you. We owe you far more than we could ever possibly repay. And, just so you know, we are jealous that you get to claim Chuck Norris as one of your own.

Who are some of your favorite veterans? Why do they inspire you? Let us know and we might feature them on our blog! Tell us about them in the comments below.

(Image by aurihalcon on

Veterans Wanted to Star in New Musical Reality Show to Raise Awareness for PTSD

Posted by Kelli McKinney

Auditions Open Through 8/31 

rock star croppedIf you have served in the Middle East, can carry a tune and live in the Delaware Valley area, you may be what producer Steve Holtzman is looking for.

Steve Holtzman is a seasoned reality tv producer, and Lou Faiola, of the Cherry Hill School of Rock, are collaborating on a new web-based reality show that will feature twelve musically gifted veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The dozen talented men or women will form three rock bands and perform a Veterans Day concert.

Proceeds from all sponsorships, donations and ticket sales will benefit a non-profit organization called Give an Hour, based in Bethesda, MD. Give an Hour offers free mental health services to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.

According to an article on Westminster Patch, Holtzman was inspired to develop the show in part by his daughter’s transformation after attending the Cherry Hill School of Rock. He says his twelve-year-old has blossomed from a shy adolescent to a rocking lead singer in the Cherry Hill house band. And he doesn’t think tweens are the only people who can benefit from a musical experience. Holtzman believes the power of music can help make a positive impact on military vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A review of the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder reveals that between 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffer from PTSD. These “invisible wounds” can have a profound impact on veterans’ adjustment to civilian life as well as to their families and loved ones.

Although no one will be kicked off any island or booted from any kitchen on this program, there will be plenty of excitement and drama in the 10-episode series. Viewers will follow the bands as from the first time they meet until the season finale: a benefit concert at World Café Live on Veterans’ Day. Part of their journey will include surprise challenges, cameo appearances and advice from celebrity musicians, and guidance from professional stylists and sound engineers. A prize package awaits the winning band, but every musician will be a part of something special: knowing they have helped those who served.

The first episode in the series airs Sept. 13 on the show’s website. The season finale will be a benefit concert at World Cafe Live on Veterans’ Day. If you think you have what it takes to compete on the show, or want to find out how you can help make a difference in a veterans’ life, check out the Bands of Brothers website.

Football Friday, Navy vs Notre Dame

Posted by Kelli McKinney

Navy football fieldThe end of August marks one of our favorite times of year: The kickoff of college football season! More specifically, this time of year brings those cooler weather activities like cooking out and tailgating, hanging out with good friends at the stadium (or parking lot, or front yard) and cheering our favorite teams on to victory. Who can forget marching bands, drum corps, fighter jet fly-overs and those awesome pre-game chants? All these things make for the amazing tradition that is college football. Now that it’s here, we can hardly contain our excitement.

With the Navy Midshipmen taking on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame this weekend, we thought it would be appropriate to get the party started a little early with this toe-tapping tradition from the Midshipmen drum line.

These guys look so sharp, it’s hard not to smile and head-nod along to the beat, isn’t it? I have so many great memories of watching our marching band’s drum line perform in the field out back of the stadium before home games. Fifteen or 20 drummers would start out with a simple beat, then they’d build it up as more and more people gathered. Pretty soon there’d be a huge crowd gathered around to listen, cheer, and work themselves up into a frenzy before the game was even underway.

Whether you’re a huge fan or an occasional spectator, sports are a tremendous way to connect with people – whether sharing a stunning victory or a shocking upset, there’s nothing better than commiserating with friends both old and new at a football game (or any other type of game, for that matter). There’s something about being packed into a concrete bowl with thousands of other people wearing similar colored clothing and goofy hats that makes life worth living. It’s no wonder that listening to sports over the radio or watching over the internet has helped keep our soldiers connected and motivated while they serve overseas. People love that warm feeling of community and honoring that time-tested tradition known as “bragging rights” when their team defeats a longtime rival. (See also Army v. Navy or Oklahoma v. Texas)

If there’s someone special you’ve been meaning to get in touch with, there’s no better time than the present to reach out and let them know you’re thinking of them. Our Friend Finder is a great way to re-connect with fellow veterans or family members — you can even take the opportunity to brag about the scores from last nights’ game, if you’re so inclined. Taunt if you must, but remember — on any given Sunday, any team can win. At least, that’s what I heard.

You don’t have to go to college to appreciate college football, but if you’re on the fence about one school or another, check out their stadium and campus life. Most schools now have distance education programs, so you can take classes online that fit your schedule plus go down to campus and enjoy a ball game once in a while. It’s a win-win.

Speaking of win, who will you cheer for this weekend? Notre Dame or Navy? Have you listened to a game while serving overseas? What’s your favorite pre-game tradition? Will you watch a game with friends or family this weekend? Tell us about it below. And have a great Friday!

(US Presswire photo by Evan Habeeb)

Do You Road March to Stay In Shape? It Could Get You Arrested as a Terrorist

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

military training runEnjoy doing “battle-focused” PT? Do you go running or road marching in remote areas? When you do, do you pull on your Army boots and go jogging or humping in a remote area? Do you enhance realism by carrying a dummy weapon?

A lot of troops do it. It’s good training.

It can also get you arrested as a terrorist.

A 23-year-old West Virginia National Guardsman, William Alemar, was arrested while out doing PT. He was carrying an Airsoft rifle, which shoots non-lethal training pellets designed for recreational and training use. They are generally considered safe in force-on-force training, provided participants use appropriate protective equipment.

He was also wearing body armor and military camouflage. He was running near two Martinsburg-area schools when he attracted the attention of police, who stopped him and arrested him. He is being charged with “committing a terroristic act” and “wearing body armor while committing a felony offense.”

Three Martinsburg police officers, Martinsburg Patrol Officers Michael Jones, Craig Richmond and Erik Herb, arrested him at gunpoint. At the time of his arrest Alemar was carrying a knife and several standard magazines, but there was no ammunition in the magazines, and the pellet rifle – designed to look like an AR-15, could not fire 5.56mm ammunition or any other lethal round, anyway.

Alemar is being held on $50,000 bond, cash-only.

After his arrest, police searched his apartment. They recovered an air pistol that also shoots similar Airsoft pellets and military equipment. Martinsburg police seized the equipment as evidence.

All Guard members and reservists who don’t have any military equipment in their homes and garages, raise your hand.

Alemar is a veteran of operations both in Iraq and Afghanistan. His father stated he believes his son was simply trying to stay in shape for his next assignment, according to the Herald Mail, the area newspaper.

Cops weren’t wrong to stop and search the man. But given the plausible necessity of staying in shape between deployments, the lack of actual weaponry, the fact he had nothing on him that was illegal to carry, and the utter lack of any other circumstantial evidence that the soldier had any ill intent whatsoever, the prosecution for terroristic activities is clearly absurd.

The arrest comes, of course, in the wake of the infamous movie theater shooting last month in Aurora, Colorado – in which the shooter was also dressed in combat gear and wearing a ballistic vest. This shooting was also followed in close succession earlier this by another mass shooting by a white supremacist at a Sikh temple. Law enforcement officers across the country are highly sensitized to potential similar incidents.

That would explain the initial search and detention, of course. But not a prosecution on terrorism charges. There is a deeper context to this particular incident: The Department of Homeland Security, under Janet Napolitano, released a document in 2009 indicating that the DHS was profiling returning veterans as “potential domestic terrorists.” While some veterans and conservative groups objected to the association, others pointed to the case of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, who himself was a veteran of the Gulf War of 1991, and who bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, as a retaliation for the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

The report specifically mentions veterans in the following paragraphs:

The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks…

Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities…

(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit andradicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including     Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

— (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

The bottom line: If you’re out doing PT in battle gear – or anything that looks like battle gear, be prepared to be stopped by police wondering what the heck you’re up to.

And just in case you have a dumb District Attorney who’s never served, have a good lawyer on speed dial.

Servicemember, Are You Ready to Vote?

Posted by S.E. Davidson Parker

ballot boxVoting: we take it for granted. So much so that when the federal election of 2008 brought out 61% of eligible voters, the media noted the “great” increase; only 52% of eligible voters participated in 2000, the last presidential election that had no incumbent. In federal midterm election years (where there is no presidential determination), the rates go down ever further: 38% in 1994, and 36% in 1990.

Military voter turnout is even less than the national average. In a Columbia University study, only 43% of eligible military voters actually voted in the 2000 federal election. The Pentagon commissioned its own survey in 2005 that produced higher results, but questions and concerns concerning validity and reliability of the surveys methodology leaves the results questionable.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program developed by the Department of Defense to help assist in increasing the number of military voters (and their eligible dependents) has fallen short of its goals. The Pew Center on the States (a member of the Pew Charitable Trust) has found through its Making Voting Work project that service members (and their dependents) either are not receiving effective assistance from their Voting Assistance Officer or are simply not receiving their ballots when overseas. Those service members deployed in combat zones are particularly affected by absentee voting; either they don’t get their ballots on time, don’t receive the correct ballots, or have their federal write-in ballot rejected by state auditors unfamiliar with this new ballot.

The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act of 2009 hopes to rectify the problems of the past few years. It requires a 45-day post-election day window to receive and count absentee ballots. It requires states to have electronic voter registration and to be adequately trained to deal with the federal write-in ballot. The responsibilities don’t fall solely on the states; it also requires military and overseas voters to re-register every election cycle to ensure correct contact information.

It’s because of the military that we no longer have property ownership qualifications for voting. American Revolutionary solders came home to find out that they were good enough to fight for their country, but not good enough to vote because they did not own land. That issue was quickly resolved during and shortly after the war on both state and national levels.

Honor your predecessors. Exercise your right to vote; register to vote and then vote! When changing duty stations or being deployed, make sure you change your address. Contact your state’s voting office and elected legislators when problems do occur to ensure the next time these problems will not occur. Encourage others in your unit to vote. Every four years, this is your Commander-in Chief.

Happy Birthday U.S. Air Force! September 18, 1947

Posted by Charlotte Webster

We do the impossible every day. —United States Air Force website, 2012

US Air Force F-16Through grit, determination, and downright stubbornness, the National Security Act established the United States Air Force in 1947. Technically, this is correct, and we celebrate it every September 18th. However, the Air Force has a long and distinguished history prior to 1947.

The first incarnation of United States military air power came with the establishment of the Aeronautical Division of the Army Signal Corps in 1907, which then reorganized under the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps in 1914. World War I helped create many advancements in aviation, but to the dismay of airmen, the Army’s focus remained on the ground. The Aviation Section was again reorganized as the Air Service with the National Defense Act in 1920, but it was still under the command of the United States Army. Senior Officer Billy Mitchell vigorously led the fight for an independent air corps, to the extent that he was court-martialed in 1925 for relaying his complaints to the media.

In 1926 the Air Service was renamed the Army Air Corps. Hap Arnold, Carl Spaatz, and Mason Patrick continued to quietly advocate for a separate autonomous air service through the 1930s and into World War II. Learning from Mitchell’s political missteps (which basically ended Mitchell’s career), they knew that the Air Corps would have to prove its effectiveness and capabilities on a large-scale, consistent basis. World War II provided that opportunity.

Through the leadership and persistence of Hap Arnold, Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall issued Circular 59, War Department Reorganization in 1942, stating that the Air Corps would be autonomous. This circular came with a twilight clause; it would expire six months after the end of the war. Within two years of V-J Day, the Air Corp went from a force of over 2.2 million to less than 304,000, a serious blow to its hopes of independence. However, it had a new and important ally; President Harry Truman.

In 1945, President Truman called for legislation establishing a separate air service. “Air power has been developed to a point where its responsibilities are equal to those of land and sea power…” Recognizing this need, he pushed for the passage of the National Security Act which established the Department of Defense with three branches of the military; air, sea and land. Truman signed this act into law in 1947.

The National Security Act provided no structure for the development of an independent air service. In four years, Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington and Chief of Staff Carl Spaatz created the infrastructure necessary to maintain an independent military force, developed promotional systems, and started to integrate the Air Force. In addition, the new United States Air Force would successfully pass its first test “with flying colors.”  The Berlin Airlift of 1948 (in response to the Soviet Blockade) proved the necessity of a continuously readiness worthy Air Force. Congress would finally pass Air Force Organization Act in 1951, but much of the work was already done.

The Air Force would continue to prove its worth with the improvements in aviation technology, the extensive development of aeronautical sciences, and the ramifications these advancements held that led to improvements in the civilian sector. It still does today.

“All that I am…I owe to the Air Force.” —Chuck Yeager (first man to break the sound barrier)

Happy Birthday, U.S. Air Force!

How I Gave Myself Insomnia: The Haka Dancing Soldier Video

Posted by Kelli McKinney

If you are one of the millions of people in the U.S. who have a tough time sleeping, you might not want to watch this video. Or maybe you should, because you’re awake anyway. I only say this because it is rhythmically hypnotic and I’ve watched it, like, 12 times now in just the past hour. I can’t seem to stop myself.

The soldiers in this video, part of New Zealand’s Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) Company, are performing a traditional Maori Haka dance. If you watch rugby, you may have seen the New Zealand team display this dance form. It’s a posture dance, performed by a synchronized group, featuring shouting rhythmic chants, swift, energetic movement and lots of foot stamping. Back in the day, the Maori created War Hakas to intimidate the opposition. The War Haka in particular sent a clear message of strength and prowess. I think that message comes across loud and clear from this performance.

I would love to know how long it took this troop to master the choreography and the chants – it is impressive! It had to have been a huge undertaking, and looks like it was an amazing experience. The intensity of the movements and chants are what make the Haka so mesmerizing.

Think about what you could do if you applied this kind of energy and intensity to pursuing a degree with your military education benefits. Your military experience and training can be applied toward an advanced degree program, so you can get a degree in less time and then put all of that energy into getting promotions or finding a civilian job when you leave the military. I don’t know where the American Council on Education stands on Maori traditional dancing – I highly doubt that that particular skill would be translatable into college credit, but I am not sure. If there’s anyone out there from the ACE, your expertise would be appreciated here.

Have a great weekend, all. If anyone needs me, I will be at the computer, studying this little gem frame by frame until I have the moves and lyrics memorized.

Free Dari and Pashto Lessons for Active-Duty Military

Posted by S.E. Davidson Parker

USO logoSponsored by the USO, Pimsleur is offering free MP3 downloads of their Dari and Pashto language programs. These two languages account for the majority of languages spoken within Afghanistan and are its official languages. Dari is used in education and business with approximately 50% of the people speaking it. Pashto is spoken by approximately 35% of Afghanis. Pashto is also spoken in northern Pakistan. There are 30 lessons available in Dari, and a total of 60 lessons (two 30 lesson courses) in Pashto. These courses retail for $120 each.

Pimsleur Language courses are known the world over for giving users the ability to begin speaking effortlessly with near-native pronunciation, using common, everyday vocabulary.

Pashto Levels 1 & 2, and Dari Level 1 all-audio MP3 programs are easy to download for use in the field or on a base. Upon completion, each learner will have attained intermediate proficiency in speaking and understanding Pashto or Dari, and in reading the Pashto or Dari alphabets.

Expanding your language skills can help beyond your military deployment. Civilian corporations need employees who can communicate across the globe, as interpreters, stateside liasons or in offices located overseas. With more companies diversifying their business plans and with growing opportunities in the Middle East, pursuing a business degree with your military education benefits along with learning a new language can solidify your chances of securing a civilian job once you leave the military. 

Soldier Gets Evicted While In the Hospital…Or “Why You Need a Power of Attorney”

Posted by Charlotte Webster

filling out formsHere’s a story currently circulating the Web that illustrates why every servicemember needs a power of attorney.

SGT Porrazzo, a soldier out of Fort Hood, Texas, was injured in a military exercise in Yakima, Washington, and was hospitalized for an extended period of time. His landlord noticed he had missed a rent payment, and so contacted his unit. His First Sergeant informed the landlord that the soldier was in the hospital, and he did have the money to pay rent. However, he didn’t have his checkbook with him in the hospital and was unable to physically write the check to pay the rent. The First Sergeant assured the landlord that he would be paid when the soldier got out of the hospital.

So far, so good.

But when the Soldier got out of the hospital and returned to his home in Killeen, Texas, he found that someone else was living in his home. What was worse, according to reporting by the blog GuardianOfValor, the property management company had already auctioned off his belongings. Everything that could not be auctioned off was thrown away.

To make matters still worse, the soldier asserts that he had a number of firearms, including a Barrett .50 caliber rifle, which the property company could not account for.*

According to SGT Porrazzo’s sister, Jeannette Porrazzo, who is acting as a family spokesperson, SGT Porrazzo inherited the Barrett from his father, who used to operate a gun store. SGT Porrazzo inherited quite a number of firearms from his father, in fact – there may have been $50,000 to $100,000 worth of firearms in Porrazzo’s home, according to the family. Although the company had removed the contents of the home and changed the locks, they could not account for the missing firearms.

A representative of Team Line refused to comment for this story, other than saying the story was “not true. “She referred further questions to their attorney. However, she could not or would not provide us with the attorney’s name. Jeannette Porrazzo, speaking for the family, affirms that the Guardian of Valor blog’s reporting was correct.

The larger question here is this: This soldier had already been on several deployments, and would have been offered an opportunity to create a power of attorney document as part of the mobilization process each time. Why was there no power of attorney in place at the time SGT Porrazzo was injured?

Depending on how the language was constructed, a power of attorney document could have enabled Jeannette Porrazzo, or some other trusted friend or family member to write a check from SGT Porrazzo’s account to pay the rent on his behalf while he was incapacitated.

But when Porrazzo was incapacitated, there was nothing in place to allow for it.

“We thought everything was going to be fine,” said Jeanette, when we spoke to her via telephone. “We were relying on what they were telling us, which was that they were working with Mark.”

Meanwhile, Mark’s platoon leader was bugging his company commander, every day, trying to get the company commander to help him get a power of attorney.

The moral of the story:

When you created a power of attorney document before your last deployment, chances are good it was a limited power of attorney, and good only while you were overseas. Yes, it’s important to place controls on the POA document. Even family members and spouses have been known to abuse a delegation of power of attorney to clean out bank accounts while troops are deployed. But you can craft a power of attorney to become effective only under certain conditions, such as your hospitalization.

In this case, the soldier was hospitalized out of state. His sister, likewise, was out of state, in California. And the right hand did not know what the left hand is doing.

If you are incapacitated in an injury, as SGT Porrazzo was, you probably aren’t going to get any warning. In this case, if there’s no power of attorney document already in place, chances are you won’t be able to create one. Your family members can’t do this for you. It would require the intervention of a court to allow a family member access to your financial resources, even to pay your rent on your behalf – and courts are extremely reluctant to intervene.

You can customize the POA – for example, appointing one family member power of attorney over a checking account and the other over your other assets. Or you can limit it to making transfers for a specific purpose. These are called “limited powers of attorney,” and these are important safeguards to protecting yourself from abuse while you are incapacitated.

Here are some commonly requested and crafted power of attorney documents:

  • POA for Check Cashing
  • POA to Buy/Sell/Lease Real Property
  • POA for Clearance of the Installation
  • POA for Voluntary Appointment of Guardian
  • POA to Apply for Dependent Identification Card
  • POA to Accept/Terminate Military Quarters
  • POA to Buy/Sell/Lease Vehicles
  • POA to receive or store household goods
  • POA to authorize medical care for children
  • POA to ship or store personal or household goods.
  • POA to Ship your privately-owned vehicle
  • General POA

You can get just as injured in a car wreck or training accident in the United States as you can in Afghanistan. A power of attorney document is a must – both for soldiers and spouses.

Don’t let what happened to the Porrazzo family happen to you and your family.

  • Make an inventory of all the checks you have to write each month – even money you pass on to your spouse or other family members to use to run your household with.
  • Make a list of everything you need someone doing on your behalf if you’re incapacitated for a significant period of time.
  • Then make an appointment with your JAG or attorney, customize it how you need it, and get the document in place.

Back to SGT Porrazzo…

Mark Porrazzo isn’t talking to the media, except via his sister, Jeannette. He’s concentrating on trying to make a full recovery. As of early August 2012, it could be another four months before he’s released from the hospital. The injuries may end his Army career after 15 years.

The family isn’t accepting cash donations, and Mark’s not answering emails. But the family is welcoming letters of support, which you can send to:

SGT Mark Porrazzo

31st CMCO

Building 14020

Fort Hood, TX 76544