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American Society of Military Comptrollers


									                  American Society of Military Comptrollers
                      Great Plains Chapter Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 5                                                                                              November 2003

              President’s Corner
                                                                     Lawson AutoPlex and the Fort Sill Federal Credit Union
                         Valerie Bloomfield, Chapter President       sponsored our Golf Tournament/Scramble. We thank
  Dear Friends,                                                      them both for their generosity in making the event
                                                                     possible. Thank you also to our members Sharon
  On Friday October 24th, we the members of ASMC had                 Holcombe, Verta and Mike Williams, Toni Barnes, Becky
  a very successful golf tournament/scramble at the                  Skinner, Rosemary Bazor, Barrington Bloomfield and
  Lawton Country Club. While the turn-out was low, (we               Amber VanHoozer for their hard work, their dedication
  had three teams), we our success lay in our visibility to          and support in making this event a success.
  the Lawton business leaders that were taking in a round
  of golf at the club, and checking us out in the interim.           Jennifer Sizemore and John Raines from ASMC
                                                                     National Headquarters visited Fort Sill on October 9,
  When you talk about ASMC, many ask, “What’s that.”                 2003. Their visit was very enlightening. They informed
  Some asked if we were Marines. Most hadn’t heard of                chapter officers of ways that our chapter could become
  ASMC and wanted to know who we are, what we do,                    more active in the Lawton and Ft. Sill communities, and
  and where we are located.         Well!    We had the              how we can earn more money for the chapter by
  opportunity to tell the Lawton business leaders who we             volunteering to assist a host chapter at a National PDI.
  are, what we do, and where we are located. And, as it              (See article on page 2.) Our earning potential for
  turned out, some of our members are well known in the              volunteering could net us from $10,000 to $90,000,
  business community. As a result of this exposure,                  depending on the success of the National PDI. The
  ASMC has gained some legitimacy in the Lawton                      work, they said, will not be easy. We would be working
  community.                                                         closely with the host chapter to get speakers, getting
  We had the opportunity to explain that we are a private            things ready for the event, and working at the PDI. To
  organization located at Ft. Sill, and that our goal is to          accomplish our task, we need to commit the chapter and
  provide support to MWR, New Directions Home for                    25 of our members in advance of the 2005 National PDI
  Battered Women, Toys for Tots and that we participate              in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  annually at the Salvation Army Angel Tree. It felt good!           While visiting, Jennifer and John met with Col. Ken
                                                                     Crowder, DFAS Director, and COL Herring and COL
             Inside This Issue                                       Graham from the CG’s Office. Together, we briefed the
   2    Chapter News                                                 Commanders on the advantages of ASMC and our
   2    American Society of Military                                 involvement in the community. We also outlined our
        Comptrollers PDI 2003                                        plan to assist with hosting the National PDI, and what it
   3    House Government Committee Okays                             will mean for our chapter and the Ft. Sill community.
        Premium Conversion for Retirees’
        FEHBP Payments
   3    Military Marriages: Standing Strong                                                ASMC
   4    Are You at Your Peak?                                                       Great Plains Chapter
   5    The Eagle
   5    Helpful Web Sites
   5    A Cowboy President
   6    It’s a Fact (?) –
   6    Did You Know?
   7    What Women Want…to Know
   7    Okie Rules to Live By
   7    Upcoming Events

                 Chapter News                                      an “angel.” It’s not too late to become a part of
                                                                   something that can make you get into the real spirit of
October Luncheon
                                                                   Christmas! A sign-up sheet will again be available at the
President Valerie Bloomfield announced that the                    luncheon on November 20.
Chapter’s participation in the Post Garage Sale netted
                                                                   News Items
$113. She recognized members that worked with
Certificates of Appreciation. Recipients included Verta            New CDFMs. Congratulations to the following members
Williams, Mary Beadles, and Toni Barnes. Verta’s                   that passed the three CDFM examinations in order to
husband, Mike, also received a certificate for his                 attain professional certification.
tremendous help in doing whatever needed to be done
                                                                   Mary Beadles, Kathy DeLozier, Jana Haynie, Marketta
during the sale.
                                                                   Jones, Debra Jordan, Barbara Milam, and Jamie Wright.
Instead of a speaker, attendees enjoyed an informal                Congratulations! You did good!
gathering and played bingo.
                                                                   Not So Good News. Member Mabel Dawson, DFAS,
Winners! Congratulations to bingo winners that won                 recently returned home from the hospital after suffering a
door prizes. They included Sandra Minnick, Valerie                 broken kneecap in a fall. Mabel may be off work for
Bloomfield, Debra Jordan, Mabel Dawson, Candace                    some time and would probably appreciate a visit, card,
Black, and Paul Murray. The winner of the last bingo               or word of encouragement from her friends.
game played for the 50/50 prize of $30.50. Angela
                                                                   We Want to Know. Please e-mail Dixie Anderson,
Robinson and Paul Murray split the honors.
                                                         , if you have member news.
Congratulations to all!
                                                                   Do you have a new baby, or grandchild? Let us know.
               New members. Welcome new members!                   Have you completed your degree, gotten a promotion,
               Patricia    Provires    transferred  her            received a professional certification (CPA, CGFM,
               membership to our chapter since our last            CDFM), or made a career change? We’d like for
               newsletter and Lillian Stefan (MEDCOM)              everyone to hear about it!
               joined our ranks.
                                                                   See you at the next meeting!! Mark your calendars
Holiday Food Baskets. Our chapter will again collect               for November 20, 2003.
food items for distribution to needy families in the
community for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both
DRM and DFAS will have collection boxes for your                            Association of Military
convenience. If you are willing to post a box in your                       Comptrollers PDI 2005
work area, collect donations, and assist with distribution,                                Submitted by Bill Durham, DFAS-LW
please notify one of your chapter officers. Everyone,
please be generous in sharing that with which you are              ASMC National Headquarters offered the Great Plains
blessed with those less fortunate.                                 Chapter the opportunity to be a co-sponsor of the
                                                                   National PDI in Salt Lake City, Utah in May 2005. Your
Parade of Lights. Thanks to those that volunteered                 officers accepted the challenge.
their ideas, equipment, and labor to allow our chapter to
once more come to the notice of the local community.               This is a great opportunity that can reap great benefits
        Our chapter will construct a float to participate in       for our chapter, but will require sacrifices by members
          the Parade of Lights on November 21. Want to             wishing to participate. Since I had the opportunity to
             help? What fun!!                                      work on a National PDI, I was asked to share my
          Volunteers for the Angel Tree. Member
response for manning the Angel Tree in Lawton’s                    Some of the benefits include sharing in a portion of the
Central Mall has been great! There are a few time-slots            income generated by the National PDI. This can range
left open. If you haven’t yet volunteered, won’t you help          from $10k to $90k, depending on the attendance. In the
ensure that some children in the Lawton-Fort Sill                  past, when more than one chapter sponsored a PDI,
community have a merry Christmas when they normally                profits were divided based on the number of members in
would have nothing to which to look forward?                       each chapter. Another benefit is that we are able to
Volunteering to help with the program will only cost you                                                 Continued on Page 3
a few hours of your time, unless you decide to sponsor
ASMC PDI 2003                        Continued from Page 2         supplemental premiums. Since 2000, current federal
                                                                   workers have paid health insurance premiums with pre-
work with our National Headquarters to determine the
                                                                   tax dollars through a premium conversion program. "It is
program, speakers, and other detail of the conference.
                                                                   increasingly difficult to pay double digit premium
However, with the benefits come the sacrifices. Our                increases with low single digit COLAs," said Charles
commitment will require our chapter to spend many long,            Fallis, president of NARFE. The proposed retiree tax
hard hours in working with the Salt Lake City Chapter, as          break must now be approved by the House Ways and
well as National Headquarters in developing, planning              Means Committee.
and working the PDI. Members that work the PDI (we
must guarantee 25) will not have the opportunity to

attend the classes or lunches. However, they will get to
attend the evening programs and the banquet on Friday                  Military Marriages: Standing
night. During the day, volunteers will be very busy
assisting with the PDI. Some of the areas participants                            Strong
could be in charge of include, (i) protocol and dealing                                                  Tom Neven,
with VIPs, (ii) introducing a speaker at each session, (iii)       The possibility of war is something that hangs over all
driving speakers to and from the airport, (iv) working on          military marriages, putting a strain on what even in
hotel reservations, etc.                                           normal times can be difficult: keeping a family strong.
Our president will be asking for volunteers to assist in           Even in peacetime, our soldiers, sailors, airmen and
this PDI. I encourage anyone that wants to volunteer to            Marines face long deployments away from home, some
be sure and give much thought to what you are                      lasting as long as six months and even a year.
committing to do. In order for the PDI to be successful,           Add to that the fact that many in the military marry young
workers must be fully committed.                                   and that many of them are in the lower enlisted ranks
                                                                   where, to put it mildly, the pay ain't the greatest, and you
                                                                   have a recipe for marital conflict.

                                                                   Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're already a
 House Government Committee                                        military spouse — or if you're contemplating becoming
 Okays Premium Conversion for                                      one.
  Retirees’ FEHBP Payments
                                                                   You'll sometimes hear military commanders talking
                  FederalDaily (OnLine), September 29, 2003
                                                                   about a strange thing called C3, often rendered as C-
The House Government Reform Committee approved                     cubed. It stands for command, control and
legislation on September 25 that would allow federal and           communications.
military retirees to pay their health insurance premiums
                                                                   Every military marriage needs its own version of C-
with pre-tax earnings. The panel, chaired by Rep. Tom
                                                                   cubed: communication, communication and more
Davis, R-Va., passed the measure, H.R. 1231, on a
voice vote. Davis, who sponsored the retiree bill, said it
"provides a means of relief from rising health care                This may seem obvious, but there are many ways
premiums." Supporters said it would save the typical               husbands and wives fail to communicate with each
retiree $400 annually. The vote on "premium conversion"            other, from assuming one knows what the other is
came following three years of efforts on the part of Davis         thinking to failure to understand how the other thinks.
and the National Association of Retired Federal                    (It's that whole men are from Mars, women are from
Employees (NARFE). Davis's bill would alter the tax                Venus thing.) Throw in separation for long periods of
code and allow civil service and military retirees to pay          time and great physical distance and the problems are
their Federal Employees Health Benefits Program                    compounded.
(FEHBP) premiums on a pre-tax basis on wages                       Fortunately, the distance problem has been helped by
excluded from both income and Social Security payroll              technology, namely e-mail. Gone are the days of writing
taxes.                                                             letters and wondering when or even if they've been
It would also permit active-duty military personnel to                                                    Continued on Page 4
take a tax deduction on their Tricare health insurance
Military Marriages                    Continued from Page 3         friends are daily praying for you to gird you for a port
received, then waiting an equally long time for a return
letter. The military has done a tremendous job of making            Also, try to form a support group among the men on your
e-mail available to its men and women.                              ship or in your unit to keep track of each other while on
                                                                    liberty. Trust me, there are plenty of wholesome
E-mail has spontaneity missing from ink-and-paper
                                                                    activities to check out at a foreign port call.
missives, and you can attach photos to the e-mail to
update Dad on Timmy's new tooth or Sally's soccer                   Coming home
triumph. (For purposes of this article, I'm assuming the
                                                                    We've all seen the pictures of tearful reunions as a ship
deployed spouse is male, although, of course, a great
                                                                    pulls into homeport. The joy of seeing a spouse and the
number of women also serve.) The simplicity and speed
                                                                    release of tension — knowing that he's safe — make for
of e-mail make it easy to discuss some of the everyday
                                                                    strong emotions.
matters you would normally discuss face to face. In fact,
                                                                    The trouble is, those emotions don't last. Reality quickly
with the loneliness of separation, you might actually find
                                                                    sets in. The dishes still need to be washed and the floor
yourselves communicating more than you did across the
                                                                    vacuumed. Both spouses are probably exhausted, too,
breakfast table. And don't think this should be saved for
                                                                    physically and emotionally. Add to this the fact that Mom
really weighty matters; take time to discuss the small
                                                                    has mostly been running the show while Dad is away
matters like the clogged sink or the ding on the car
                                                                    and you have the makings of a major blowup.
fender or, if you have children, your frustration at having
to be a "single parent" for a long period.                          For example, it's important for Dad not to immediately
                                                                    start doing things differently now that he's "in charge." If
If for some reason you don't know how to reach your
                                                                    it's your first deployment, you might actually see
spouse by e-mail, your post family-support office should
                                                                    changes in your spouse that will catch you by surprise.
be able to hook you up with the appropriate people. Just
                                                                    After all, the skills needed to cope while the spouse is
about everyone deployed overseas or aboard ship has
                                                                    away for an extended time don't just disappear now that
access to e-mail. Commanders do a great job of keeping
                                                                    he's home. If you're one of those strong, take-charge
families informed about what is going on as the unit
                                                                    types — let's face it, most people in the military are —
prepares to deploy.
                                                                    this might take a bit of getting used to.
                                                                    If you hold a rank whose military duties require you to
For wives left at home as their husbands travel                     lead a large number of people, remember that your
overseas, particularly wives of sailors or Marines, there's         spouse is not one of them. No barking orders, no threats
always the image of a man having a girlfriend in every              of courts-marital, no dropping her for 50 pushups.
port. Even though that was largely fiction, it is true that         Seriously, though, it's sometimes hard to break out of
male servicemen face tremendous temptations when                    command mode into husband or Dad mode. Wives, be
making a foreign port call. A major profession in most              understanding. Dads, listen to how you're speaking to
seaports, to put it frankly, is prostitution. Add the nude          your wife or children.
clubs, bars and other temptations to lure lonely men and
                                                                    We should all be thankful for the men and women willing
you have the potential for great trouble. In fact, some
                                                                    to place their lives on the line to defend our nation. As
men rationalize that when they're deployed, they're not
                                                                    with our nation as a whole, the strength of our military
really "married," so any indiscretion is somehow okay.
                                                                    depends on the strength of its families.
(The dalliances of wives whose husbands are away are
also a staple of Hollywood.)                                                 Tom Neven served seven years in the Marine Corps.

That's why it's important to build a strong trust factor into
your marriage. For Christians, prayer is the most
important shield to rely on. Arrange an e-mail prayer
chain so that men and women from your church — many                          Are You at Your Peak?
might be in the military too, so they can relate — can              There is more to scheduling our day than simply how
pass prayers and other news on to the deployed spouse.              much work can be accomplished in a workday. Our
There's nothing like knowing that your wife and church
                                                                                                           Continued on Page 5

Are You at Your Peak?                 Continued from Page 4                      Helpful Web Sites
bodies run on biological cycles of a 24-hour period, also           Comparison shopping: (great for
called circadian rhythms. These cycles or rhythms make              electronics) or
our attention and focus higher at certain times. So, put
                                                                                Want to know how to pack for a vacation or
yourself ahead of the game by learning when you are at
                                                                                TDY trip? Check out the forecast for the
your best (and worst) due to the natural ebb and flow of
                                                                                area you plan to visit at
your body’s rhythms.
                                                                                Need to know how to get where you’re
Fact: Circadian rhythms dictate that people are at their
                                                                                going? Try
most energetic and focused during the late afternoon
and early evening hours, and also first thing in the                To learn about family issues from a Christian viewpoint
morning. These hours are also the time when the                     visit This is the official website for
fewest injuries and errors occur on the job and when                psychologist James Dobson and Focus on the Family. It
people are least likely to feel drowsy or doze off.                 even has great, healthy recipes!

What to do: Schedule heavy and physically demanding
work, as well as complex, and mentally challenging work                        A Cowboy President
(such as project planning and brainstorming) during
these hours.                                                        It used to tick me off when the Muslim detractors in the
                                                                    Middle East, or the socialist detractors in Europe,
Fact: The early hours of the morning (right before                  Hollywood, and others called our President a cowboy,
dawn) and early afternoon are the times when energy is              but the more I think about it, the more glad I am that he
at its lowest point (this is true regardless if a large meal        is.
is consumed or not).
                                                                    When I was a kid, cowboys were my heroes. Well, I
What to do: Save these low-energy hours for low-risk                mean the ones in the white hats, not the black hats, who
maintenance tasks and breaks.                                       were usually the bad guys.
The bottom line: A little science in your scheduling can            There were Tex Ritter, Tom Mix, Buck Jones, Hopalong
make a difference. Learn how circadian rhythms affect               Cassidy, the Lone Ranger . . . there were Red Ryder,
your employees and help your workplace be productive,               Gene Autry, Roy Rogers . . . then later, there were
injury-free, and a more satisfying place to work.                   Marshall Matt Dillon, Hoss & Li'l Joe Cartwright,
    Oakstone Publishing 2003, via Wellness Connection, State        Paladin, Maverick and others . . . including Rawhide's
                               Wellness Council, Jul-Sep 2003       Rowdy Yates.

                                                                    What were common attributes of these legendary
                                                                    cowboys? Here are a few:

                    The Eagle
                                                                    1. They were never looking for trouble.

                                                                    2. But when trouble came, they faced it with courage.
Quran (9:11) -- For it is written that a son of Arabia
would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle               3. They were always on the side of right.
would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while           4. They defended good people against bad people.
some of the people trembled in despair still more
rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of          5. They had high morals.
Allah; and there was peace.                                         6. They had good manners.
(Note the verse number!!!!!)                                        7. They were honest.
                      Source unvalidated, received via e-mail       8. They spoke their minds and they spoke the truth,
                                                                       regardless of what people thought or "political
                                                                       correctness" (which no one had ever heard of back
                                                                                                         Continued on Page 6

A Cowboy President                    Continued from Page 5                           It’s a Fact (?) –
9. They were beacons of integrity in the wild, wild                  The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in
   West.                                                             China in 1910.

10. They were respected. When they walked into a                     The youngest pope was 11 years old.
    saloon (where they usually drank only sarsaparilla),
                                                                     The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
    the place became quiet, and the bad guys kept their
    distance.                                                        San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National
11. If in a gunfight, they could outdraw anyone. If in a
    fistfight, they could beat up anyone.                            Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great
                                                                     king from history:
12. They always won. They always got their man. In
    victory, they rode off into the sunset.                                  Spades - King David,
                                                                             Hearts - Charlemagne,
Those were the days when there was such a thing as
                                                                             Clubs - Alexander, the Great
right and wrong, something blurred in our modern world,
                                                                             Diamonds - Julius Caesar
and denied by many.

Now, I still like cowboys . . . They represent something
good -- something pure that America has been missing.

Ronald Reagan was a cowboy. Ronald Reagan was                                        Did You Know?
brave, positive, and gave us hope. He wore a white hat.
To the consternation of his liberal critics, he had the              The new $20 bill makes it easy to detect counterfeit
courage to call a spade a spade and call the former                  cash? The numeral in the lower right corner on the fact
Soviet Union what it was -- the evil empire. Liberals                side changes from copper to green when the bill is tilted.
hated Ronald Reagan.                                                 When held up to light, the authentic bill’s watermark can
                                                                     be seen from both sides. So can the plastic security
They also hate President Bush because he distinguishes
                                                                     threads, which are embedded in the paper and spell out
between good and evil. He calls a spade a spade, and
                                                                     the bill’s denomination.
after 9-11 called evil "evil," without mincing any words, to
the shock of the liberal establishment. That's what                      John Gill, Special Agent, Public Affairs, US Secret Service,
cowboys do, you know.                                                      Washington, D.C. via Bottom Line Personal, Volume 24,
                                                                                                                         Number 21
He also told the French to "put their cards on the table"
(old West talk), which they did, exposing their cowardice            26% of US adults get no exercise at all? Forty-five
and greed.                                                           percent exercise enough, and the rest get some
                                                                     exercise—but not the 30 minutes of moderate activity
Cowboy detractors are wrong. In the old West, might did
                                                                     five times a week recommended by the American
not make right. Right made might. Cowboys in white
                                                                     College of Sports Medicine and Centers for Disease
hats were always on the side of right, and that was their
                                                                     Control and Prevention.
might. I am glad my President is a cowboy.
                                                                        Statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
He will get his man. Cowboys do, you know.
                                                                       Prevalence of Physical Activity Survey 2000-2001via Bottom
                                                                                             Line Personal, Volume 24, Number 22

Editor’s Note: President George W. Bush had the courage and          The best way to lose love handles is to exercise less
conviction to sign into law on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 a         frequently—but longer? Longer workouts cause the
ban on partial-birth abortion.                                       body to burn more fat. If you have love handles, do at
Partial-birth abortion is a heinous practice whereby a baby is       least two 90-minute cardiovascular workouts per week
delivered to the point where a device can be inserted at the         instead of six 30-minute sessions. Keep your heart rate
base of its skull (without anesthetic) and its brain suctioned       at between 60% and 80% of its maximum during most
out. This mother, grandmother, and US citizen applauds our           aerobic exercise. To calculate your maximum heart rate,
Cowboy President’s action! Dx                                                                                  Continued on Page 7

Did You Know?                           Continued from Page 6           Here’s why: “destination transference.” Though difficult
                                                                        to explain, an illustration might help. At times, a man
subtract your age from 220. Check with your doctor
                                                                        may agree to take his kids to the library but, inexplicably,
before starting any exercise program.
                                                                        end up at the outskirts of town near the junkyard.
       Eric Hart, professional triathlete and author of Triathlon       Understandable mistake. Junkyards have lots of stuff.
     Training in Four Hours a Week via Bottom Line Personal,            So do libraries.
                                        Volume 24, Number 21
                                                                         A smart guy will explain that he thought it would be
The interest rate on a new Stafford student loan has                    good for the children to see a junkyard first before
dropped to its lowest level ever—3.42%? People who                      checking out books about one at the library. In other
consolidate student loans immediately after leaving                     words, he meant to end up at the junkyard so that he
school can get a rate as low as 2.875%.                                 could create a teachable moment. Don’t jump to
                Bottom Line Personal, Volume 24, Number 22              conclusions. He knows where the library is and will get
                                                                        there in due time, though not necessarily before the
Letting your dog jump in and out of your SUV or                         books are overdue.
pickup truck can cause them to suffer painful back

conditions as they age? The steep angle of takeoff and
landing and the hardness of the pavement do the
damage—especially to large dogs, such as Labrador                                 Okie Rules to Live BY
retrievers, German shepherds and rottweilers. Have
                                                                        Mortgaging a future crop is like saddling a wobbly colt.
your dog use a ramp or steps to get into or out of a high
vehicle—or support the dog’s weight—lowering him/her                    A bumblebee is faster than a John Deere tractor.
gently as they get out of the vehicle.
                                                                        Trouble with a milk cow is, she won't stay milked.
Christine Zink, DVM, PhD, canine sports medicine veterinarian
                                                                        Don't skinny dip with snapping turtles.
and author of Peak Performance: Coaching the Canine Athlete
            via Bottom Line Personal, Volume 24, Number 21              Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not

   What Women Know
                                      John Perrodin,                       Upcoming Events
Question: Why can’t men ask for directions?                             Mid-Year National Council                    Nov 12-13
Answer: Because it’s not necessary. Real men don’t                      Meeting
use Mapquest, and gas stations are for fuel and air —                   November Luncheon
not questions. Speaking for myself, I’m not shy about the
fact that I have an inerrant sense of direction. I consider             Speaker—Maurine Wiseman,                     Nov 20
it a gift. There have been many occasions when it may                   IRS, Abusive Schemes and
have appeared to others that I didn’t know exactly where                New Changes to the Tax Law
I was going. But that was a ruse, a clever way for me to                Parade of Lights                             Nov 21
entertain the children — especially the one in desperate
need of a rest area.
                                                                        Food Basket Donations                        Nov/Dec

It’s exhilarating to go over the river and through the
                                                                        Angel Tree                                   Nov 28 -
woods to grandmother’s house even if she lives in a
                                                                                                                     Dec 14
high-rise apartment downtown. Aren’t we supposed to                     ASMC Mini-PDI                                Mar 12
enjoy the ride? Someone may read this and say, “I know
men who have gotten lost.” That may be, but I doubt you
know any who have admitted to being lost. There’s a
huge difference.


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