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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 1 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. email@example.com, 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 thoughts. 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 2 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, family.org 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 communication. 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 3 Military Marriages Continued from Page 3 friends are daily praying for you to gird you for a port call. 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. Trust 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 4 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: www.BizRate.com (great for called circadian rhythms. These cycles or rhythms make electronics) or www.ALLBRANDS.com 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 www.weather.com your body’s rhythms. Need to know how to get where you’re Fact: Circadian rhythms dictate that people are at their going? Try www.mapquest.com 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 www.family.org. 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 then). Continued on Page 6 5 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 Monuments. 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 www.goodolddogs.com 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 6 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 yelled. What Women Want...to Know John Perrodin, family.org 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. 7
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