Military Authority Blog

Summer Fun for Small Humans: Camps and opportunities for military kids

Posted by Kelli McKinney

Somewhere around the third week of summer vacation, the chorus begins.

“I’m bored.”

“There’s nothing to do.”

“Can we go someplace?”

By now, you’ve probably heard this song a few times – or at least enough to start scouring the Internet for activity ideas. Is it too late for summer camp? Can anyone afford summer camp?

Search for local summer camps on the web may net you some interesting finds.  Although many camps fill up quickly, there are usually some last-minute cancellations and a persistent parent may be able to waitlist their way to a coveted spot.

And if you’re interested in summer experiences geared toward the needs of military kids, Operation We Are Here also provides a (long) list of summer camps that are one-of-a-kind opportunities. Plus, military families are often eligible for scholarships – or even free registration. They’re so cool they make us wish we could go to camp!

Here’s just a few that we found on the awesome site Operation We Are Here:

 A Backpack Journalist summer workshops and camps

Helping youth ages 12-18 find their voice through Narrative Writing, Reporting and Broadcast, Songwriting, Film making, Cowboy Poetry and Digital Storytelling. For military youth and service members, especially diagnosed with PTSD or TBI, our writing and journaling and digital storytelling are focused on helping each service member work through the issues each face.

Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard Teen Leadership Summits

A week-long camp for 14-18 year old dependent teens of current Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard military members focusing on leadership development and self-confidence, learning about programs and services available to AF dependents, and building an appreciation for and sense of belonging to the AF community.

Air Force Space Camp – Huntsville, AL

This camp focuses on showing12-18 year olds what it takes to be an astronaut Imagine experiencing simulated Space Shuttle missions, training simulators, rocket building and launches, scientific experiments, and lectures on the past, present, and future of space exploration.

Army Reserve Family Programs Camps for Youth

Youth have the opportunity to participate in unique experiences at little or no cost. Winter Camping Opportunities are provided by Military Teen Adventure Camp grants, Operation Military Kids, and YMCA locations. These camps are open to Military-connected youth regardless of Branch of Service who have a parent/loved one in any phase of the deployment cycle; priority is given to children/youth from geographically dispersed families. Camps for youth with special needs (cognitive and physical) are also listed.

Camp C.O.P.E.

Camp C.O.P.E. provides military families with an unforgettable weekend at camp. Camp C.O.P.E. gives these children hope and patience and courage. Camp C.O.P.E  lets them be just kids- again! Through therapeutic interventions, certified therapists teach children and their families how to cope with their changed world due to deployment, injury or loss of a family member as a result of their service in our country’s military. Camp C.O.P.E. provides weekend camps across the country free of charge to children and families of military personnel.

Camp Corral

Camp Corral is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Since its founding, in 2011 as a one camp pilot program, Camp Corral has grown over 700%. Over 6,500 children have been served and the program has expanded to 23 camps in 19 states. Although any child from a military family is eligible, registration priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members.

Camp Yellow Ribbon (East Troy, WI)

Camp Yellow Ribbon 2015 will take place August 16-20, 2015 at Camp Edwards YMCA Camp & Retreat Center, East Troy, WI.

Camp Yellow Ribbon offers a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed.

Camp Yellow Ribbon provides a fun and educational outlet for children in military families, from all service branches. The goal of this specialized camp is to help them to learn how to cope with the challenges of having a family member who is deployed or has returned from overseas.

Our goal is to create a memorable camp experience and an exciting week of outdoor fun and adventure while allowing campers the opportunity to gather and learn in a safe place, vent their fears and frustrations and to meet other children who are experiencing similar challenges. Camp Yellow Ribbon also gives campers opportunities to learn, grow, and celebrate the military experience.

Defending the Blue Line

Our mission at Defending The Blue Line (DTBL) is ensuring that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey. We accomplish this by providing free equipment for military kids, hockey camps, special events, and financial assistance for registration fees and other costs associated with hockey.

Minnesota National Guard Youth/Teen Camp (Camp Ripley, MN)

The Minnesota National Guard Youth/Teen Camp is for children of active and retired Minnesota National Guard service members. Activities include archery, hiking, biking, canoeing and camping – all while connecting with other military kids. Exploring a training site at Camp Ripley, seeing various military vehicles and marching in formation help youth better understand the military their parents serve in.

Week 1: July 26 to Aug. 1, 2015

Week 2: Aug. 2 to Aug. 8, 2015

Operation Free Ride (Horses for Heroes)

An opportunity to ride a horse for free!

Operation Free Ride is a program that offers weekly, hosted or sponsored horseback riding sessions that are free for every member of their family! This program serves military families with a deployed family member, as well as families who have a family member with a disability or serious illness. While our program is not able to serve the needs of the developmentally disabled or those with serious or terminal illnesses, we invite the other family members to enjoy the distractions and benefits to body and soul that only a day with horses can provide.

Operation Free Ride is just one of the programs that help Horses4Heroes fulfill its mission to make horseback riding affordable for, and accessible to, the families of the heroes in our community including, but not limited to: active duty military personnel, veterans, law enforcement officers, fire fighters/EMTs, critical care and hospice nurses and others.

Our Military Kids (grant for children of National Guard and Reserves)

Along with the sacrifice of having a parent away in service for months at a time, many Guard and Reserve families are financially stretched and cannot afford the fees for sports, fine arts, or tutoring programs so crucial to a child’s sense of well-being. Additionally, because these families are Guard and Reserve, they are geographically dispersed throughout the country and often live too far from military bases and installations to access the available support services.

Our Military Kids, founded in 2004, fills these gaps with a simple grant program that pays for children’s activities. Eligible families apply for a grant, and within days of receiving the application in the Our Military Kids office, a packet is sent to the child thanking them for their service to our country and notifying them of the award. The check to pay for the activity is sent directly to the service provider.

Our Military Kids helps families who often fall outside the parameters of established support programs – the families of National Guard and Reserve service men and women who have been and are continuing to sacrifice so much for our country.

Operation Military Kids Summer Camps

Operation: Military Kids is proud to host camping experiences for the children, youth and families of all military services experiencing deployment. Visit the link for information on camps for 2015. Also visit the link “State Information” on their website (and their state Facebook page) to learn of camp opportunities for military children in your state.

Operation Purple Camp (National Military Family Association)

Operation Purple camps offer a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed. The goal of the Operation Purple camp program is to give military children tools to help deal with the stresses that result from a parent’s deployment, through a memorable camp experience in a “purple” environment. Operation Purple camps are open to military children of all ranks and services: active and reserve components—and give priority to children whose parents are in a deployment phase.

Plantation Military Camp Program (Broward County, FL)

The Frank Veltri Tennis Center, the Plantation Community Tennis Corporation and the Broward County Veteran’s Council have been working together since Summer 2010 to provide free tennis camp scholarships to children with a parent or parents on ACTIVE Duty or who are currently DEPLOYED and reside in Broward County, Florida (priority to City of Plantation Residents).

Purple Heart Ranch (Sterling City, TX)

(Military Warriors Hero Support Foundation)

Purple Heart Ranch is open exclusively to combat wounded heroes and to Gold Star families. The ranch is also open to children of combat wounded heroes and those who have a parent currently deployed to a combat zone. Both the families of the wounded heroes and the parents of the children are encouraged to come and enjoy the experience with the hunters. There is fishing available at both properties and many other activities for the families. Both ranches are rich in history and are littered with Native American artifacts, especially arrow heads.

Sisters under Sail – Daughters of US Military Sailing Scholarship

Sisters Under Sail is a non-profit dedicated to teaching teenage girls leadership skills and life lessons through sail training.

Daughters of U.S. Military and Canadian Forces, age 13 – 18, have been invited to sail aboard Tall Ship Unicorn with Sisters Under Sail as we sail the Great Lakes in 2015. Sailing as the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world, Sisters Under Sail is dedicated to teaching teen girls leadership skills and life lessons through sail training.

To honor their service and sacrifice, Sisters will award several scholarships to teens whose parent(s) is a Fallen Warrior or Active Duty, Active Status in the Military, including the National Guard, Reservists and Coast Guard.

VFW Camp Trotter (Newaygo, MI)

Camp Trotter is a children’s camp located 7 miles East of Newaygo on M-82. The camp sits on the shores of one of west Michigan’s beautiful and picturesque lakes.  It is owned and operated by the Department of Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.  The management and oversight is carried out by a committee of elected members of the Michigan VFW, who take pride in keeping the camp in pristine condition to ensure the comfort and Safety of our guests.  The camp is fully licensed and insured with the State of Michigan.

Camp Trotter exists primarily for children of veterans, but is not limited thereto; we offer five weeks of camping to children seven to twelve years old from all over the United States. The camp includes summer activities on site including swimming, boating, hiking, biking, arts and crafts, archery, softball, volleyball, as well as campfire activities. The children are given a general knowledge of science, art, and nature, and taught patriotism, courage, self reliance and kindred virtues. We try to further instill upon our campers morals and values by combining educational activities with fun, our goal is to guide and assist our youth to build a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

 

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Use the Summer to Prepare for School

Posted by Debi Teter

Summer is in its full glory. With all the sunshine and snow cones around, it hardly seems possible that college is right around the corner. When college starts, it can be a pretty big upheaval if you’re not ready for it. There’s a new routine to follow, new people to meet and new horizons to be explored.

This can be super exciting, or terrifying, or a combination of the two. Whether you’re about to start your first semester or your final year of college, make the transition from summer to fall by doing three things:

  1. Read, read, and read some more.  Your high school reading list may have been intense, but college level English literature  will probably require more reading and more frequent assignments.  Keep your brain nimble and prepare yourself for an increased workload by making reading a habit.  Your local library may have reading lists that you can peruse for ideas.  If you already have your class schedule, you could look for the syllabus or requirements and get a jump start on reading the course material.
  2. Practice managing your time.  This is less about managing activities down to the minute and more about learning how to prioritize, create a schedule and stick to it.  If you’ve played high school sports or participated in extracurricular activities like Model U.N,  – or if you’re returning to college after working or serving in the military – time management may be second nature to you.  If not, start small.  Set a couple of goals for yourself and manage your time accordingly to achieve them.  When you start classes in the fall, you’ll find it a little easier to keep your commitments and stay on top of your course load.
  3. Work.  If you worked during high school, or have served in the military, a summer job won’t be anything new to you.  But if you didn’t, or if you plan to work while you’re in college, summer employment (or internship) can be a great way to get used to managing a work schedule, saving, and budgeting your money.  Plus, it can help you explore career possibilities, make connections, or just save some cash for books.

The college experience is amazing, but there are some aspects that simply take some getting used to.  Make it easier on yourself by making some small adjustments now.

What are some ways you’re preparing for college?  Let us know in the comments.

 

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Use It or Lose It

Posted by Kelli McKinney

Grade school students – from kindergarten to high school – are often sent home at the end of the school year with invitations to all sorts of summer programs. You name the subject, and there’s probably a supercharged, extra awesome summer camp designed to sharpen the student’s skills and prepare them to impress teachers in the fall.

But what about college students, you may ask…where’s their supercharged summer camp?

After all, if you’re not actively practicing a skill, that skill is going to atrophy a little.  In other words – you’ve got to use your brain to keep it sharp, whether you’re continuing/starting school in the fall or entering the job market.

Unless college students enroll in summer coursework or sign up for an internship (both of which we recommend, by the way) – there’s only one camp program they can really count on, and that program’s name is Life.

Once you flipped your graduation tassel and tossed your cap, you probably began building your own extra awesome network of resources. After all, if you’ve enrolled in an online degree program, enlisted in the military, started a job or started a family, you’ve already entered the lifelong process of building experiences.

Another word for that is learning. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to engage the ol’ cranium. Here’s just a few ideas to start you off:

  1. Offer to start a business blog for your boss (friend, spouse, brother…).  (Or, start a blog on a topic that interests you.) As you research, take photos, and write about the business, remember to stay focused on the positive. You want your blog to contribute to your work instead of creating controversy or losing customers. Blogging is a great way to learn and express yourself at the same time.
  2. Volunteer.   Investigate local organizations whose work you appreciate or respect, and find out how you can get involved.  Participating in volunteer work can be an eye-opening experience on many levels – and it helps your community support worthwhile causes.
  3. Read.  So, this one is pretty much a given.  But for some busy people, reading is a luxury activity that frequently falls by the wayside. Don’t let that happen to you. Whether you read newspapers, e-books, or traditional tomes, the key to preventing cobweb brain is to read, read, and read some more.
  4. Set goals.  Small, achievable targets add up to big, impressive wins.  Want to improve your vocabulary?  Get a word-of-the-day app and read it when you wake up each morning. By the end of the summer, you will have learned (or at least read) about a hundred new words.
  5. Get out of your comfort zone.  This doesn’t mean moving from the couch to the loveseat. This means try something new.  It doesn’t have to be dramatic, expensive or newsworthy. It just has to be different for you.  Mixing things up a little keeps you and your brain engaged, spurs creativity and can improve your problem-solving skills.

What are some ways that you’re boosting your brain this summer? Shout it out in the comments below.

 

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Odierno: More Women May Attend Army Ranger School

Posted by Debi Teter

women-in-army-ranger-schoolThe U.S. Army’s top officer said more female soldiers can attend the service’s elite Ranger School.

Speaking to defense reporters in Washington, D.C. this week, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said the service will likely extend a pilot program to allow women to continue to attempt the grueling two-month Ranger course.

“We’ll probably run a couple more pilots,” Odierno said, according to reports. “It’s been a real success for us, and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade held its first co-ed Ranger course on April 20 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Nineteen women and 380 men were pre-screened for the combat training course.

Three of the women failed to pass the Ranger Physical Fitness Assessment, a requirement to enter Ranger School. Eight out of 16 female soldiers completed the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week, which consists of day and night land navigation, obstacle courses, skill tests and a 12-mile road march with a rifle, fighting load vest and rucksack weighing approximately 47 pounds.

But the remaining women weren’t able to complete the first phase and advance to the second phase of the course. The eight female candidates, along with 101 male candidates, will be recycled to repeat the Darby Phase of Ranger School.

“Ranger School is the Army’s toughest course, and this iteration is no exception,” Benning officials said in a press release.

Ranger School is a punishing ordeal that many young infantry leaders, both officers and sergeants, are encouraged to complete. Only about half of the participants end up graduating.

 

#womeninthemilitary #armyrangers #rangerschool

 

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Use Your Summer Wisely

Posted by Kelli McKinney

summer-prep-for-fall-educationIt’s May. You’ve just enrolled in an online degree program starting in August. Now what?

Before you grab the sunscreen and hit the pool, you may want to make sure you’re ready to hit the books this fall.  Your college or department will probably have some specific instructions on getting up to speed. In the meantime, here are some tips you can use this summer to make sure your adjustment to online education is as smooth as soft serve.

Take time with the system

When it’s available, spend some prep time navigating through your class environment. You don’t have to do this all at once. You’ll want to make sure that you know how to do these things before your first class:

  • Access course materials: syllabus, videos, study guides, reading materials
  • Download and print any reference material
  • View, download, and turn in any assignment
  • Take a test
  • Get feedback from a classmate/give feedback to a classmate
  • Ask a question of the class or the instructor
  • Find an advisor
  • Create or join a study group
  • Get system support/technical help
  • Contact your instructor
  • View your grades

Check on financial aid

If you’re receiving military education benefits, grants, scholarships or loans, contact your school’s financial aid office regularly to make sure everything is in order.  Find out:

  • How and when tuition is paid
  • When/if loans are due (when to start paying back)
  • If other fees or books are covered
  • Who to talk to if there’s a problem
  • How to check your account balance

 

Make time for the work

You’re ready for the first day of class, but are you ready for the next four months of classwork?  Go ahead and block off some time daily or weekly for completing homework and preparing for tests.  A good rule of thumb is to plan three hours of homework each week for every one hour of credit. So for a three-credit course, you’ll want to set aside nine hours of study time. If you have a job or family, start talking with them now about the kind of time commitment you’ll need to make in the fall to be successful in the class.  And make sure you’re designating plenty of time for them too.

Watch the syllabus

When your syllabus is posted, read it. All of it. Mark test dates and homework dates on your calendar. If there are books to download or purchase, the key to saving money is buying them early online. There are bargain booksellers online that may be less expensive than the virtual school bookstore – but again, the key to savings is buying early.

Protect your computer

You’re going to send and receive a lot of files, so you need to make sure you have a security program in place. If you’ve already got one, keep it updated and running.  Not only could a virus knock you out of commission and make you miss an important due date, identity theft is just plain horrible. Don’t risk it – use a good security program. Your school may even have a few that they recommend.

Make a back-up plan

Even the most reliable internet connections can experience outages. But when entire degree programs are conducted via the internet, instructors expect you to have connectivity and they don’t usually take “I couldn’t log in” as an excuse for missing assignment due dates.  Have a back-up study location – a local library, coffee shop, deli, or school, for example – just in case your provider fails.

With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to make a big splash not just at the pool this summer, but also in your classroom this fall.

 

#militaryeducationbenefits #militarystudents #onlineeducation

 

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Online Degree Options for Military Spouses

Posted by Debi Teter

You’ve sacrificed for your country, traveled to places beyond your imagination and dedicated your life to your job. And now you’ve decided that it’s time to make a change. Perhaps education is part of your plan, but you know that you will need to work, care for your growing family and go to school in order to make it happen. It’s a scheduling challenge, to be sure, but it’s not impossible.

Exactly how is this supposed to work, you may be wondering?

Two words: Online. Education.

An online degree program gives you the structure of a degree program, deadlines to work against, and support from professors, advisors, and students – but puts you in the driver’s seat.  They’re a smart choice for many working adults because they offer the prestige of an accredited university along with the flexibility that online services provide plus they acquaint you with technology like video conferencing and shared workspaces that you will encounter in many workplaces.

If this sounds like an option for you, consider these popular online degree programs.

 

Business Administration

Looking for an entrance to the business world? Look no further than a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

The Appeal: It’s the closest to a “jack-of-all-trades” degree you can find. The business administration degree provides a solid foundation in the basic building blocks of industry: finance, accounting, marketing and communication. These skills are what most employers seek, regardless of how the economy is performing.

The Degree: The College Board, an academic group that administers exams like the SAT, says that a degree in business administration teaches students how to “plan, organize, direct, and control an organization’s activities.”

The Career Potential: Anything from a personal financial advisor to a marketing research analyst can begin with a bachelor in business administration.

 

Accounting

If numbers are your thing, check out a degree program in accounting to jump-start a successful career.

The Appeal: When all is said and done, companies need someone who knows how to balance the books and pay the bills. This makes the tools of the accounting trade desirable now and for years to come.

The Degree: Most accounting students learn about financial measurements and methodology, plus specialized areas like business law, government accounting, auditing and nonprofit financial performance.

The Career Potential: The possibilities are extensive with an accounting degree. From tax examiner or auditor to analyst or accountant, this degree can prepare you for a number of careers with staying power.

 

Health Care Administration

Thanks to the nearly indestructible baby boomers, a health care administration degree is a highly desirable asset.

The Appeal: Health care service providers are gearing up to serve their communities, and with the numerous changes taking place in the medical insurance industry, there will likely continue to be a need for savvy administrators for the foreseeable future.

The Degree: Health care administration majors learn all fathomable aspects of overseeing health care facilities.  According to the College Board, coursework can include health care law, ethics, aging, and long-term care.

The Career Potential: This degree is a must-have if you want to be an executive administrator in the medical field, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.

 

Communications

With the click of a mouse, any message can be delivered in virtually any media anywhere within seconds. If this fact fascinates you, you are not alone. This is why communications degrees are in demand.

The Appeal: Organizations need people who know how to craft, distribute, and monitor messaging in order to both protect their brand and help grow it successfully.

Degree Details: In addition to learning how to read, write and speak publicly, communication majors learn to deconstruct a media message and debate issues.

The Career Potential: A bachelor’s degree in communications is one option to help you prep to pursue a public relations management position, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. You can also take a communications degree to get a job in marketing, advertising and marketing communications.

 

Computer Science

To paraphrase Madonna, we live in a technological world.  If you’re tech-savvy and want to continue to adapt with the ever-changing times, a degree in computer science might give you the staying power you seek.

The Appeal: Application and software development are going to continue to be needed as long as we continue to work and play on mobile devices.

The Degree: Courses in computer science degree programs usually include programming in various “languages” as well as software design and user interaction.

The Career Potential: Application and software developers, system administrators and technicians usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a related field.

 

Education

Molding the next generation of thinkers and do-ers is a noble – and much needed – pursuit.   If this appeals to you, a bachelor’s degree in education could be the way to go.

The Appeal: Baby boomers are beginning to exit the workforce, and their absence is not going to go unnoticed.  The need for strong teachers is perhaps more urgent than it has been in several years.

The Degree: Education majors study curriculum theory, teaching strategies, special education needs, educational psychology, and practical issues like lesson plan design, school health, and safety issues.

The Career Potential: To teach in a public school, you must have a license from the state plus a bachelor’s degree in education.

 

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American Red Cross Services for Military Members and Families

Posted by Debi Teter

ARC-helps-military-families-during-disastersYou might know the American Red Cross as “those people who do the blood drives,” but like the military, they have a rich history of service. A national service organization for more than a century, the 700 locally-supported chapters of the American Red Cross has helped more than 15 million people each year people mobilize to help their neighbors. These volunteers learn valuable skills to prepare for and respond to emergencies in homes, communities, and around the world. In addition, almost four million people also donate blood each year through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States.

The American Red Cross also maintains a strong commitment to serving all members of the military, whether active-duty, Guard, and Reserve service members or their immediate family members. They are an important resource for our service members and those they love.

American Red Cross services for military members and their families include:

Emergency communications

Communicating important news with family members is one area the Red Cross supports. Whether it’s to share the birth of a child or the loss of a loved one, the immense worldwide network maintained by the Red Cross  helps keeps military personnel anywhere (including on ships at sea, at embassies, and in isolated military units)linked  with their loved ones.

If you need to send an emergency message, contact the Red Cross and have the following information on hand:

  • service member’s full name, rank, Service branch, Social Security number, and military address
  • information about the deployed unit and the location of the rear detachment unit (for deployed service members only)
  • name, phone number, and relationship of person in the city or town where the emergency occurred (to provide more information if required)
  • name and contact number for hospital or funeral home to verify the emergency

 

Social services and disaster assistance

The Red Cross provides counseling, family support and help with VA appeals for service members and their families. There are some chapters that offer special courses or support groups for military families to help themselves and others deal with the psychological challenges of the deployment cycle.

 

Direct support to service members

Red Cross staff members deploy overseas to provide direct emergency communications. In overseas locations, the Red Cross may offer respite from harsh conditions and bring a little bit of home to the troops by operating a twenty-four-hour canteen service with coffee, cold drinks, snacks, games, videos, and books. Red Cross teams also visit patients in clinics and hospitals.

 

Military family members who wish to volunteer with the Red Cross can also find opportunities such as:

  • positions as greeters, hospital guides, wheelchair escorts, patient chaperones, and pharmacy aids working at medical facilities in areas such as physical therapy, the emergency room, pediatrics, dermatology, and radiology
  • volunteer caseworker positions at Red Cross locations
  • a Dental Assistant Program (DENTAC) for training as a dental technician
  • pet-therapy volunteer positions to cheer up patients in military hospitals
  • blood donation center positions to assist with blood drives
  • disaster-response positions to provide relief support

 

The American Red Cross is accessible in a number of ways:

  • Active-duty service members stationed in the US and their immediate family members may call the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service (AFES) Centers for help at any time 877-272-7337.
  • Members of the Guard and Reserve, retirees, and extended family members can access services through their local Red Cross Chapter, listed in local telephone directories and in the chapter directory.
  • Overseas personnel stationed on military installations may call installation operators or the on-installation Red Cross office.

 

#AmericanRedCross #RedCross #MilitaryFamilies #Volunteer

 

 

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Army Veteran Noah Galloway In Final Four on DWTS

Posted by Debi Teter

Army-Veteran-Noah-Galloway-DWTSWould you ever think an Army veteran with a prosthetic leg and a missing arm would be a dancing champion? Well, Noah Galloway is close to earning that title.

Galloway, who lost limbs from an IED while deployed in Iraq, is a semifinalist on the televised dance competition “Dancing With the Stars.”

Galloway seems to be a fan favorite. He and his professional dancing partner, Sharna Burgess, do not get the best scores from the judging panel, but they earn a lot of votes from viewers.

DWTS is shown on ABC. Performances are on Mondays at 8pm EST. Results of each week’s competition are on Tuesdays at 8pm EST.

#DWTS #NoahGalloway #DancingVeteran #FeelGoodFriday

Photo credit: ABC

 

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New Initiative Matches Small Veteran-Owned Businesses with Large Corporations

Posted by Debi Teter

The Coalition for Veteran Owned Business, a collaboration between Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and First Data Corp., has been launched as a way to put an estimated 2.5 million veteran- and military family-owned businesses into the supply chains of large corporations.

The new business initiative that features some of the biggest companies in the country, including American Express, The Walt Disney Company and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and aims to connect veteran-owned small businesses with larger corporations.

Veterans start small businesses at a higher rate than the general population but often aren’t as aware of private sector opportunities. The initiative is designed to put small businesses owned by veterans or military spouses into direct contact with larger corporations to sell products or services. The coalition will also offer entrepreneurial education and training. One goal is to indirectly improve veteran hiring by boosting veteran-owned businesses, which are more likely to hire former service members.

Interested in owning your own business? Read a few steps to take today to get started.

 

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Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Report Ignores Problems Says One Senator

Posted by Debi Teter

Last Friday the DoD issued the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office’ (SAPRO) annual report on sexual assaults and harassment in the military. The report showed that sexual assaults reported by military personnel numbered 6,131 in 2014, an increase of 11 percent over the previous year.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., isn’t satisfied saying the report fails to account for attacks on  military spouses and civilian women at bases nationwide.

“The more we learn, the worse the problem gets,” Gillibrand said in releasing an analysis by her office of limited data provided by the military on 107 cases at the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton in California and  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Gillibrand’s review of the cases showed “a high prevalence of sexual assault against civilian women near bases and civilian spouses of service members — two survivor groups not counted in DoD prevalence surveys.”

Gillibrand charged that military spouses and civilian women who live or work near military bases “remain in the shadows” because neither group is counted in the SAPRO reports.

Gillibrand said that her office asked for all files pertaining to the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault cases from 2009 through 2013 at the four bases in February 2014 – Hood, Pendleton, Norfolk and Wright-Patterson. Instead, DoD only provided the 107 case files from 2013 at the four bases.

“These 107 files are a snapshot of the thousands of estimated cases that occur annually — the latest projection for 2014 alone is 20,000 cases of sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“What we’ve found are alarming rates of assault among two survivor groups not routinely counted in DoD surveys, survivors declining to move forward with their cases and very low conviction rates,” she said.

The Pentagon released a statement in response saying: “The department does not have standing authority to survey non-DoD civilian populations. However, federal surveys have found that the prevalence of sexual assault for non-DoD civilian women is statistically the same for military women and female spouses of military members.”

In response to Gillibrand’s charges on underreporting, Laura Seal, a DoD spokesperson, said that the trends in the DoD report showed that in FY2014 there were “indications of increased confidence in our military justice system. Reporting is up: We estimate that one in 10 military victims reported in FY2012, and one in four military victims reported in FY2014.”

 

 

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