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   ·   September, 2009 


Hi All,
We love September and here’s why:

It’s Back to School: 2009-2010!!

"Summertime winding down and summer vacations coming to an end signal that back-to-school time is near. It’s a time that many children eagerly anticipate — catching up with old friends, making new ones and settling into a new daily routine. Parents and children alike scan the newspapers and websites looking for sales to shop for a multitude of school supplies and the latest clothing fads and essentials." -- U.S. Census

While the US Census Bureau certainly captures our back-to-school traditions and feelings, it forgets to mention the most important aspect of returning to school: learning. Well, this month, MFN brings two organizations to your attention that know all about quality learning and how to ensure that our military children are receiving the education they need. So, please check out MFN’s "Business Feature" highlighting K12 - the largest provider of online education in America for grades K through 12 - as well as MFN’s "Organization in the Spotlight" highlighting the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) "whose role is to identify the challenges facing the highly mobile military child, increase awareness of these challenges in military and educational communities, and initiate and implement programs to meet those challenges."

So to help prepare for going back-to-school, visit’s Back to School page. There, you’ll find information on:

  • Financial aid
  • Local libraries
  • Education reform
  • Vaccinations
  • School breakfast and lunch programs
  • Child care
  • And much more!

And while we’re on the topics of preparing and learning, now’s a good time to remind you that…

September is National Preparedness Month!

"As part of our nation's military, whether on active duty, reserves, civilian employee or family member, you play an important role in ensuring the welfare of our homeland. It is also important to prepare yourself and your family for all types of emergencies so you can increase your personal sense of security and peace of mind. Preparing makes sense. Get ready now." For more information and to find Service specific readiness links, visit and check our "News You Can Use" section of this newsletter for more great ideas on how to get a kit, make a plan and be informed.

So now you know why we love September – it’s a perfect fit for MFN’s mission of supporting our military community with information and resources that can be used as tools for readiness and well being. Preparedness and learning – gives us goose pimples all over! Don’t you just love September, too?

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

Megan, Luis and Darrell


Defense Department Web Site Eases Information Delivery

The new Defense Department Web site is designed to make military news and information more accessible, and also invites greater participation from the public, the department's top public affairs official said yesterday. Read More ...

Pentagon Officials Say: 'We Want to Hear From You'

WASHINGTON - Defense officials at the Pentagon have redesigned the Defense Department Web site to use social networking tools to engage the American public -- particularly 18- to 24-year-olds. Read More... helps U.S. Hispanics with government questions
Gives info on jobs, education, immigration and more...
[Source: Federal Citizen Information Center ]

Getting what you want from the U.S. government can be difficult enough in English — imagine if you only speak Spanish! For America’s 44 million Hispanics, however, there is a powerful tool to answer questions about Federal benefits, employment, education, immigration and other important topics – – the official all-Spanish portal to the U.S. government.

Finding complete and reliable information on the net usually takes too much time – you go to three or four sites compare information and try and find the most trusted site. saves you time by offering free and useful information from all government agencies, from Social Security to Housing and Urban Development. can help you:

  • Find jobs in the federal government
  • Make sense of confusing paperwork, whether applying for financial aid or  preparing taxes, or skip the paper and fill out forms online
  • Communicate with the right government agencies, international organizations and embassies
  • Access government information if you are a new immigrant or visitor
  • Open or expand your business

If the internet isn’t the easiest tool for you to use, the site offers quick spoken and virtual tours (this link) on how to use the site and find what you’re looking for. You can also email questions and get a response in two business days or less, or call 1 (800) FED - INFO (that’s 1-800-333-4636) and choose option #2 to speak with an information specialist in Spanish. Get what you’re looking for from your government without the hassle. Visit and get what you and your family need quickly and easily, direct from a source you can trust.

Identifying Hoaxes and Urban Legends

Chain letters are familiar to anyone with an email account, whether they are sent by strangers or well-intentioned friends or family members. Try to verify the information before following any instructions or passing the message along. Read More...

September is National Preparedness Month!


Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.

However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them.

In addition, learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government.

Emergency preparedness is no longer the sole concern of earthquake prone Californians and those who live in the part of the country known as "Tornado Alley." For Americans, preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. ( )

Are you prepared? Take this quiz to determine your Readiness Quotient.



New Address? Make Sure to Update DEERS

Important life events like moving or having a child go off to college are milestones in military families’ lives. No matter where their journeys take them, it’s important for families to keep their DEERS records up to date whenever they hit these and many other milestones.

For TRICARE beneficiaries, keeping Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) records up-to-date means uninterrupted access to TRICARE’s world-class health care. DEERS is the worldwide computer database of uniformed services members (sponsors), their family members and others eligible for military benefits, including TRICARE.

Read Full Story.

TRICARE Obtains Lower Prices on Retail Prescription Drugs

The Defense Department is projected to reduce spending by $1.67 billion on prescription medications sold in retail pharmacies in fiscal year 2010, following the full implementation of Section 703 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2008.

"These are significant savings to the Department of Defense and are crucial to our effort to slow the rapid growth of pharmacy costs," said Rear Adm. Thomas McGinnis, chief of TRICARE pharmaceutical operations.

For the past several years the Department of Defense (DoD) has paid commercial rates for prescription drugs purchased in the TRICARE retail pharmacy network. However, DoD is included in the 1992 Veteran’s Healthcare Act as one of the "big four" government agencies entitled to federal prices when it purchases pharmaceuticals for its beneficiaries.

DoD currently receives federal ceiling prices, the maximum price that can be charged for brand name drugs, in military treatment facilities and the TRICARE Mail Order Pharmacy. Through authority provided in Section 703 of the 2008 NDAA and the "final rule" implementing the regulation, DoD will now get these same discounts in the TRICARE retail pharmacy network. The final rule was effective May 26, 2009.

Controlling the growth in pharmacy benefit costs for both the beneficiaries and the government is an ongoing process for TRICARE. Beneficiaries can sign up to get e-alerts for updates to their pharmacy benefit through the "email Updates" link on the front page of



Air Mobility Command Launches Its First Official, Command-level AMC Travel Web Site
(Yeah! Space-A Made Easy!)

Space-available flights, also known as "military hops," are a unique benefit to U.S. service members, retirees and their families. Under the AMC travel program, unused seats on U.S. military and military-contracted aircraft are made available to non-duty passengers on a space-available basis (once space-required or official-duty passengers and cargo have been accommodated). People planning to travel the AMC military travel system can now point their Web browsers to for the latest in AMC travel information. Read More...


If you’re planning a move, then you and your family might be interested in this little bit of information provided by the US Census Department: Public schools in New York spent $15,981 per pupil in 2007; more than any other state or state equivalent. New Jersey ($15,691) and the District of Columbia ($14,324) have the next-highest spending rates. States spending the least per pupil are Utah ($5,683), Idaho ($6,625) and Tennessee ($7,113). For more data on public education spending, see the Department of US Census’ detailed data sets!!



Feeling Inspired? Creative? Give Art a Try!
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons seeks war injury related art.

Wartime experiences not only affect the military personnel and their loved ones, but the physicians and medical teams who treat them. As a tribute to injured troops and families, civilians and the orthopaedic surgeons who are caring and have cared for them, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is opening the call for entries to a unique, juried art exhibition: Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements. A cash award will be given. Submissions will be accepted at through October 15, 2009. Read more about how to participate here.

Strength At Home
A Federally Funded Paid Research Project Is Offered in the Northwest Arkansas and Boston Areas To Help OEF/OIF Vets Strength Family Relationships, Decrease Anger and Manage Stress

A team of researchers are working on two federally-funded paid research programs for veterans who were recently deployed overseas. Many veterans face considerable challenges transitioning from deployment to civilian life. As part of these federally funded research projects, the OEF/OIF Couples Intervention Program at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville is currently offering groups to work with veterans on strengthening their family relationships, decreasing anger, and managing stress. Some groups are for veterans only while others are for couples. These groups are led by therapists who are familiar with the unique experiences that military families face. In addition to potentially improving relationships, the results of these studies may improve services for other veterans and their families. Furthermore, veterans and their partners will be paid for completing study-related questionnaires and interviews. These groups are being offered in the Northwest Arkansas and Boston areas.

This website link will direct individuals to additional information about these projects, including common questions and answers, background summaries of the key personnel involved, and contact information for both the Northwest Arkansas and Boston sites: ( People who are interested in the study (e.g., veterans, active military, female partners/spouses) are asked to contact us at the following number: (479) 575-3770. Per State and professional codes, confidentiality is protected.

Veterans Affairs Helps Veteran Small-Business Owners

More than 1,000 Veterans who own small businesses and seek to do more contracting with the federal government recently heard Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki extol the importance of small businesses and reaffirm the commitment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help veterans start or expand their companies. Read More...



Your Military Family Network

Order Your Copy Now!

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

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



Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

  • Newsletter!
  • Website!
  • National Military Resource Book!

Contact Megan Turak at for more details.

*Military Community Submissions:

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

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

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

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

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



Military Mom Interviews Son’s Reggae-Rock Band

SFC Robin Broadway, the NCOIC of the Family Programs Office for USAR 63RD RRC, has been in the military for over twenty years and during this time, has had multiple accomplishments as a proud Army soldier. Recently, however, she told MFN:

“I am very proud of my military career, but more importantly I am the proudest of my family. I have a wonderful husband who is a musician and produces his own music. I have a very talented nineteen year old son, Keith, who is in a reggae rock band called Llama Lipstick. He and his band mates have been together for about two years. I help them in any way I can as it makes for a lot of fun and gives us a very cool family connection.”

For Robin, part of that fun was taking the opportunity to interview her son and his band mates between sets at a local gig.

Mom: How was Llama lipstick born?

The Band: Llama Lipstick was born when rock n' roll was born.

Some of our songs are about Peace and Love, some are helping to create a greener planet.

Mom: Who are the band members?

The Band: It just had not come to be until Jimmy, Keith, Leon, and the Love brothers "Johnny Rasta and Lit Sev" made their way to each other to make it happen. Some people say that Jimmy should have been born in the 60's.

His beliefs, his style of music, and his all out love for the arts proves that.

Don't think that his sound is strictly 60's rock.

No no.... his sound is all over the place.

Keith is a redneck gone hippie. When he is not in deep thought he is always messing around on his many guitars dropping those fat baselines' straight on Long Beach!

Leon, whose guitar methods are just amazing, came in the picture when he moved from Big Bear to Huntington Beach. With skills to pay the bills this eerie Lion rips that shit up any chance he gets!

Johnny Rasta (John Love) and Lit Sev (Chris Love) have been rocking L.B.'s bell for years with projects like Suicidal Soldiers and The STxLL xLL Crew. With their dub style lyrics and there fearless "Positive Mental Attitude" the Love brothers are a force to be reckoned with!

Llama Lipstick has been playing since 2007. They've gone through their ups and downs and have proved that they'll always stand strong.

Mom: What is the future of the band?

The Band: With a mission to play good music and represent Long Beach CA to the fullest, there is NO stopping them! ha ha We are in the studio this month cutting our first CD..

Mom: What are the band’s influences?

The Band: Keith says "my Mom" and our family has been a big supporter of me.

Also I have been playing since I was about 10years old when my mom bought me my first guitar. My step father has been a great support as well, so, with the whole family involved we are doing great for a new start up band.

Our musical influences are Bob Marley, Zig Zag Man, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, 311, Janes Addiction, Sublime, Stone Temple Pilots, and anyone doing their own thing and loving it.

Mom: Sounds like some ‘Feel Good Music.’

The Band: Thank you very much.

Mom: What do you think about soldiers listening to your music over in the war?

The Band: We would love to have our music playing over there with all the troops. We are sure that the 18 to 30 year old crowd would love our music and could also relate to our songs.

Maybe someday we can tour with the USO and play live for them.

Mom: Where can people find your music?

The Band: We have several areas where folks can listen to us. One is our myspace page at or you can see us playing live on youtube at If you live or visit Southern Cal you can catch us playing around the LA area.

Mom: In closing, what would you like to tell all the military and their families?

The Band: Rock ON, Peace be with everyone, and hope you all like our Reggae Rock sound. Take care and return home safe. And, most of all, thank you for what you are doing for our country.


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For K¹² International Academy lead teacher Kasey Johnson, time is relative when you have students in 32 different countries and enough international time zones to make your head spin. But the veteran K–8 teacher views her global student body as one big happy—and exciting—classroom.

"We have students from all over the world— China , Dubai , Australia , and the United States , for example—and we have clubs, socials, and extracurricular activities where we all meet for educational purposes, and to have fun," says Johnson.

Through the K¹² International Academy, students create a global community that enhances their collective education, learning firsthand from each other about different cultures and ways of life. For example, there is an International Club that lets students "travel" to different places all over the world and learn about a country's culture, food, trade, religion and much more. And the Global Gab newsletter keeps everyone up to speed on the latest school news, events, reminders and fun things, such as cool new websites. "And we also produced a student yearbook this year for our graduating seniors," adds Johnson.

What impresses Johnson most about the K¹² curriculum for grades K–8 is that it is "mastery" based. Students can pace themselves to master objectives, creating a solid foundation for continued academic improvement.

"One of the reasons I originally got into teaching was to devote time to the individual student," Johnson says, adding "You often can't do that in a traditional school. Now, I find that I can spend more time with students and families on individual students' needs, even though we are global."

Just how does Johnson manage students in different time zones throughout the world? "It was quite challenging at first because someone could send me an e-mail about a meeting  'tomorrow,' but it was 'yesterday' here in the United States ," Johnson recalls. She eventually solved the problem by taking advantage of the academy's online scheduling tool and free "world clock." The clock, which students also have access to, uses an Internet-based application that converts different time zones throughout the world for coordinating meetings.

Says Johnson: "We use That does all the work to schedule meetings so we don't have to spend the time doing the calculations. It's been great, especially since every country has its unique school and work week."

Time truly is relative when the world is your classroom ( ).

About K12

K 12 is America's largest online curriculum provider for grades K through 12, with more than 1 million online course enrollments to date, delivered worldwide.

More information can be found at or click here for information specific to military families ( )

Options include:

  • Tuition-free, full-time public schooling ( ) in many states
  • An accredited online private school ( ) available worldwide
  • Over 150 individual courses including world languages, AP, and electives available for direct purchase
  • Active duty families can always save 15% on independent study courses or full-time options with teacher support.


Back to School Tips From the Military Child Education Coalition

For many families, the 2009-2010 school year has begun! Some children will return to a familiar school, while others will be in a brand new community. How can parents help their students succeed?

No matter the age of your student, research shows that parental engagement is positively linked to student achievement through high school and beyond. Being engaged in your child’s education is important whether your child is starting their first day of Kindergarten or their freshman year.

Help your child succeed on the path to higher learning with these tips:

Start a record portfolio. This portfolio will be essential the older your child gets, especially if your family is highly mobile. Include detailed records, contact information for schools, and teachers’ names. Create basic categories such as "Academics" and "Extracurricular Activities". Encourage your child to get a least two teacher recommendations during each year of high school. And keep it simple! A three-ring binder is a fine portfolio.

Maintain communication with your child’s school and ask questions. The more the professionals at your child’s school know your child’s world, the more they can help you and your child. Ask, "Is there anything else I need to know? Is there another way for my child to satisfy these requirements? Are there any other questions I should have asked?"

Encourage extracurricular activities: Athletic activities, volunteer opportunities, and "transportable" programs such as JROTC, scouting, and academic clubs are wonderful for physical and mental health and often teach skills and life lessons not found in a classroom.

Listen to your child - then listen to your gut. No one knows your child as well as you. While it makes sense to consult experts, there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Do what is best for your child; advocate for what is best for your child.

Encourage your child to take demanding classes. Numerous studies have linked rigorous course selection to student achievement. The quality of a course is what matters most! Even earning a "B" in an advanced course versus an "A" in a basic course can, in the long run, better prepare your child.

This information is adapted from the Chart Your Course: Planning a Successful Journey through High School and Beyond. To obtain your complete kit, visit

About the Military Child Education Coalition
The Military Child Education Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, world-wide organization that identifies the challenges facing the highly mobile military child, increases awareness of these challenges in military and educational communities, and initiates and implements programs to meet the challenges. Their focus is on all military installations, their supporting schools, concerned organizations, and caring individuals. For more information, please visit



Although MFN believes that all of our service members, veterans and families are winners, this month we give special recognition to some reallylucky winners from the Army Reserve’s Los Angeles’ Yellow Ribbon Conference in August:

Congratulations to Sean S. and Jeffrey W.!
Winners of the LoungAir® - A Convertible Air Comfort System!
Compliments of VMK Innovations

The Military Family Edition LoungAir, a four-in-one comfort system, quickly inflates with its 120-v pump for optimal sleeping accommodations to fit most adults and children. The multi-functional Military Edition LoungAir is a Heavy Duty Model with double-thick vinyl for added durability - perfect for additional bedding, casual seating for family rooms and especially handy for relocation, fishing, camping, kids rooms and more. Visit to get yours today!

Congratulations to Keeley B.!
Winner of the book You and Your Military Hero, Compliments of the authors, Sara JensenFritz, Paula JonesJohnson and Thea L. Zitzow

Congratulations to Joe A.!
Winner of the books Love You More Than You Know , Compliments of authors Janie Reinart and Mary Anne Mayer

Congratulations to Brenda L., Robert M., Michael M.!
Winners of the book The Military Father: A Hands-On Guide for Deployed Dads Compliments of the author, Armin Brott



Congratulations to Rhonda N., Sheila C., Ampornpan P., Cheri W., Cathy E., Elizabeth S., Ed S.!
Winners of the book Your Military Family Network. Compliments of the Military Family Network

Congratulations to Linh T.!
Winner of the book Footsteps Around the World, Compliments of author Beverly Roman and BR Anchor Publishing

Congratulations to Keria D.!
Winner of the book Is My Family Moving? ompliments of author Beverly Roman and BR Anchor Publishing

Congratulations to Andrea S.!
Winner of the book Home Away from Home, Compliments of author Beverly Roman and BR Anchor Publishing

Congratulations to Brian D.!
Winner of Relocation 101, Compliments of author Beverly Roman and BR Anchor Publishing




Tied by Yellow Ribbon, Guard Hosts Joint Workshop

The strength of the National Guard's Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program lays in its flexibility and an open door policy for all service branches and dependents, Guard officials recently told program managers at a national conference. Read More...

Commissaries Help Promote 2009 Constitution Day Poster Contest
Source: DeCA]

The Defense Commissary Agency has joined several organizations to help promote the 2009 Constitution Day Poster Contest. Commissaries worldwide are displaying colorful posters that detail basic contest requirements, the submission deadline and the Website:

The poster contest is open to youth in grades K-12 (including homeschoolers) to celebrate Constitution Day, Sept. 17, by designing a poster showing how the entrant benefits from the freedoms embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 1. Details, resources and entry forms also are available at the GovDoc Kids Group wiki. For more information on the contest, visit: Constitution Day Contest.

Explore, Learn, and Have Fun with
[Source: The Federal Citizen Information Center ]

The school year is coming into the homestretch. Kids are busy at work on those final reports, projects, and presentations. Which Internet source can they turn to for official, trustworthy information for their assignments?—the official kids’ portal of the U.S. government.

With’s collection of 1,200 links, your children will have a world of exciting and educational
sites to scope out. And because is free from unsafe links and advertising, you can let them browse the site freely, without worry. They can explore a virtual mall and learn how to become smarter shoppers. Watch live animal web cams to see the antics of the pandas and gorillas at
the National Zoo in Washington , D.C. Or keep an eye out for the next time the International Space Station will be flying over your town.        

Log on to regularly to find out which fun and interactive kids’ website from the government will be the "Site of the Month." And learn about the exciting day-to-day work lives of people like FBI agents,
zookeepers, Peace Corps volunteers and more in the "Career Spotlight." Play games that teach about everything from art history to healthy diet and exercise to predicting the weather. And get the latest information about the best ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

With its three sections, is a great resource for everyone—children in grades K-5, children in grades 6-8, and teachers and educators. Kids can easily find activities and sites geared to their grade level. And adults can order or download free publications, colorful posters, and practical lesson plans.

When the kids need information for those final assignments, or when they’re restless on a rainy summer
day, send them to the place where they can have fun and you don’t have to worry:—the official kids’ portal of the U.S. government.

Gift From Within Offers Free Podcasts and PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers

Gift From Within ( offers valuable insights into PTSD and hope for survivors of trauma by providing peer support services, articles and podcasts that have in depth information for anyone who is in need of more understanding about PTSD.

"Practical tips for military families living with combat stress and PTSD"

In this podcast, the founder of Gift From Within, Dr. Frank Ochberg, and the founder of the Military Family Network, Megan Turak, provide military families and extended members of the military family community practical guidelines, actions and skills for dealing with combat stress and PTSD situations. It’s free so come with us and listen in:

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.

'Defender's Edge': a New Approach to Combat Stress

"We rolled in and saw these Army vehicles on fire with Army bodies hanging out of them. We were told it was supposed to be peaceful there. And then, some friends of mine in the unit right in front, they went across the first bridge in Nasiriyah. That was ambush alley. Read More...



Spouses Can Apply Online, Too!

Did you know that spouses can apply online, too? That’s right. If you are a spouse applying for benefits based on your husband’s or wife’s record, you can do it online from the convenience of your own home. It’s so easy! More info...

Some Homework Before Going Back to School

Do you have a son or daughter who is turning 18 soon, collecting monthly Social Security benefits, and returning to high school this fall? If so, then we have a bit of homework for you. More...

Parent IEP Perception Survey
[Source: LTC S. Campbell]

Research is being conducted to evaluate parents' perceptions of the IEP process. An IEP is an Individualized Education Program that documents specifically designed instruction strategies that are tailored to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability. If you would like to take the survey, proceed to ttp:// or this link. If you have more than one child with an IEP, please take the survey once per child to reflect each child's unique IEP. Every IEP is individualized. Your experiences with each IEP will also be different. All data gathered from this computer-based survey will be kept very confidential. This research is being conducted by Dr. Margo A. Mastropieri, Ph.D. from the Special Education program at the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University.

The National Council on Disability is seeking public comment on disability issues related to various sectors of public policy. One of the categories they are seeking input is for Education, There is a series of questions on the document that one can answer related to education. The Deadline for Public Input Submission is Sept 15! Go To and click on the link - which will open a word document with instructions and what information they are seeking

GI Bill Transferability Here!

With the Post-9/11 GI Bill's option to transfer unused educational benefits to eligible family members taking effect tomorrow (August 1, 2009), it's no surprise that more than 25,000 service members have pre-applied, a Pentagon official said today… Read more here or visit the Defense Department's Web site for requesting the benefit. The site,, is accessible using a common access card, Defense Department self-service user identification or a Defense Finance and Accounting Service personal identification number. Spouses and family members must be enrolled under their servicemember sponsor in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System, also known as DEERS, to be eligible for the transfer benefit. Military members also can link to the site through

Financial Management During a Medical Crisis
[By Linda Foster, MA and Medically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD – Source:CarePages]

When your loved one has a medical crisis, there are many difficult emotions to handle and decisions to make. However, it's essential that you have a sound financial management plan in place now to make everything easier later on. Read more at this link.

Call 1 (800) FED - INFO For Access to Free Resources

These days, you don’t have time for advice that costs money or sends you in the wrong direction. Your tax dollars pay for an information service to help you, so use it! Call 1 (800) FED- INFO (that’s 1-800-333-4636) to reach the federal government’s answer hotline, where they’ll answer your government-related questions or get you to someone who can.

The information specialists at 1 (800) FED- INFO are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time to answer questions in English and Spanish. For pre-recorded answers to the most popular questions in both languages, call 1 (800) FED- INFO 24 hours a day. On the web, visit to access the same "Frequently Asked Questions" database the information
specialists use. Or chat with a specialist and get your question answered online—click on the Live Help – Web Chat tab to get your question answered anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Good advice can save you time and money, no matter what’s on your to-do list. For access to a great, free resource, give 1(800) FED- INFO a try.




The Raven Drum Foundation

The Raven Drum Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to serve, educate and empower veterans and people in crisis through the power of the drum. We are based in Southern California and travel throughout the United States to provide service where we are needed. Over the past decade, Raven Drum has been honored to work with amazing groups of people. We are continually inspired, especially by our veterans, to continue serving and sharing our gift of healing and peace. Find out more:

Musical Talent Boosts Soldiers Morale

Lost within the song, a fellow Soldier, Pfc. Andrew S. Wells, field data tactical system specialist, Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, strums on his guitar for the gathered Soldiers.
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September Case Lot Sales – Commissaries Promise Huge Savings

Commissary customers can save 30 percent or more on their purchases every day, but in September they can save even more by shopping at a worldwide case lot sale at their local commissary. Visit: Case lot sale for the dates.

As seen in the past, the Defense Commissary Agency's worldwide case lot sale promises record numbers of customers taking advantage of savings up to 50 percent or more on bulk-sized products. These items range from canned goods, beverages, toilet paper, paper towels, produce, fresh meat, seafood, pet supplies, cleaning and laundry products, and more. To learn more about your commissary's case lot sale, read the rest of the article here: September case lot sale promises huge savings.

If you can't make it to the commissary, visit September's On-site Sales at this link!

DeCA is thinking outside the box of conventional commissary locations as it strives to deliver the benefit to geographically separated Reserve and National Guard members and their families throughout America. We are taking the benefit on the road to authorized shoppers, conducting on-site sales out of warehouses, aircraft hangars, armories, tents in parking lots and even the back ends of semitrailers.

The sales are open to authorized commissary shoppers - Guard and Reserve, active-duty military and retirees and family members. Please bring military ID to enter. Cash, checks and major credit cards and debit cards are accepted.

Scholarships for Military Children Program

The 2009 Scholarships for Military Children Program has awarded 625 scholarships worth $1,500 each to children across the United States and overseas. The scholarships program is administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families. Funding for the scholarships comes from commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public. Every dollar donated to the program goes directly to funding the scholarships.

The 2010 scholarship season begins Nov. 1 . For more information about the program, log on to . To see a list of this year's recipients, click on "view 2009 winners." Read More ...



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Phone: 866-205-2850 or 412-531-1970 | Fax: 866-226-2859 or 412-531-1978