Family Matters Newsletter - STATES by 1278186


									RI National Guard
Family Assistance Center

                                         Family Matters Newsletter                                        March 2009

           Military OneSource
          It’s Tax Time Again!
Military OneSource is pleased to announce that
beginning Monday, January 19, 2009; we will once
again provide free tax consultation and filing
services to military service members and their
Families during the tax season. As in the three
previous years, users will have free online access to     The Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides
the TaxCut Basic program.                                 a wide range of protections for service members. It is
                                                          intended to postpone or suspend certain civil
A brief overview of the program:                          obligations to allow service members to devote full
                                                          attention to duty and relieve stress on themselves and
 Users must register for Military OneSource and log
  on to the site for access to the online TaxCut          their Families.
  program. A separate logon for the TaxCut site is
  required.                                               Some of these protections could help service members
                                                          who face difficulties meeting their mortgage payments.
 Those eligible for the program are active duty,         Whether these protections are available generally
  Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation             depends on when the service member bought the
  status), spouses and dependent children                 property in question. That is, did the service member
  (authorized in DEERS), family members handling          become obligated under the mortgage before or after
  the affairs of a deployed service member, DoD           entering active duty?
  employees working in support roles (Army
  Community Services, Fleet & Family Services,            Many SCRA protections only apply when active duty
  Family Support Center, Marine Corp Community            military service has had a "material effect" on the
  Services), and severely injured service members         service member’s ability to pay. "Material effect"
  or family members handling their affairs.               generally means the service members are less well off
                                                          financially because of active duty. That could be
 Participants   will have free access to the H&R         because they make less money or have more
  Block Basic    TaxCut program. Those with more
  complicated    returns may incur charges if they
  upgrade to     the H&R Block TaxCut Premium
                                                          Service members who are having any financial
                                                          difficulties with their mortgages -- or are having any
 Participants can e-file one state resident return for   legal problems -- are strongly encouraged to seek free
  each federal return that they e-file with TaxCut        legal assistance at a military installation right away. A
  Online. Find out more about the program by              locator service can be reached at this Web site:
  visiting the Military OneSource Tax page and our
  FAQs.                                                   Military OneSource
        Emergency Financial Resources:                    Call anytime: 1-800-342-9647
                                                          Access online at
 Mortgage Difficulties and the Service members Civil
 Relief Act (SCRA)                                                     You name it... We can help.
                                 Family Matters Newsletter

     Related Links

                                                    Reintegration and Veteran's
                                            Reintegration and Veteran's Support
                                                 Support-Operation Homefront
                                                     Operation Homefront
                                     To our Military Soldiers, Airmen and Families: if you are in need of any assistance,
                                   please click on the link below to be directed to the Operation Homefront website. Please
                                          fill out an application for assistance.

                                    National Guard Childcare Subsidy Program
                                   The National Guard is working to assist spouses and family members with the cost of
                                   childcare during deployment. Guard and Reserve members who are in a Title 10 status
                                   are eligible to receive a subsidy to use off-post childcare. The subsidy program is
                                   coordinated through the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral
                                   Agencies (NACCRRA). The amount of the subsidy is based on total family income, the
                                   number of children and type of child care needed. The minimum monthly pay out is
                                   $100 per child per month. A call center has also been set up to help Guard members
                                   navigate the paperwork and process of receiving the subsidy. For more information on
                                   the program visit the National Guard Family Program’s website at:   or call 1-888-642-2799.

                                   Volunteers Needed For Youth Summer Camp

                                 Applications are now being accepted for volunteer staff for this summer’s Operation Purple
                                 Camp RI. Volunteers must be over the age of 18, complete an application, interview and
                                 background check. Staff positions include camp counselors, bus drivers, medical staff,
                                 logistic staff, audio visual and administration staff. Volunteers may work overnight or day
                                 shift and may work the entire week or just a few days. Full time technicians may apply for
                                 (3) days of admin leave to volunteer at the camp. For more information or to receive a
                                 volunteer application contact
                                        Family Matters Newsletter

                                    Job Fair for National Guard Members
                                        Need a Civilian Job or a Better Job?
                                   Please register by e-mail:
                                   Summary of the event:

                                   As you know, unemployment in Rhode Island is at a record high. Guard members are like
                                   many New Englanders who have been hit hard by economic times. ESGR has an
                                   opportunity to support military service members by providing an organized venue for
                                   employers to have direct access to Guard members. This job fair will include
    Donna C. Callahan              informational briefings for employers to help them understand the applicability and
    Executive Director             transferability of military training to the civilian work environment. Many different
                                   industries will be represented.
 Employer Support of the
    Guard and Reserve              Date:     Monday, March 9, 2009, from 3:00 pm through 7:00 pm
       Rhode Island                Location: TBD (Rhodes on the Pawtuxet is the desired location)          Please note the following requirements:
             mil                   1. Attendees must be current members of the National Guard or a member of a Reserve
                                   unit. (This event is not for former Guard members or inactive Guard members who have
                                   Veteran status. These groups have access to employment support from the RI Department
  401-275-4189 (office)            of Labor and Training VETS reps.)
    401-474-9110 (cell)
                                   2. The event is free, but registration is required via email to me (participants should
    401-275-4306 (fax)
                                   include their name, contact phone number, desired job/industry, their military unit, and
                                   their commander's name).

                                   3. Spouses seeking employment may accompany a registered Guard member to this

                                                   Get Info, Deal with a Problem,
                                                                        Discover Options
                                                                             Dial 211
                                 2-1-1 is the fastest and easiest way to get information when you need it. 24 hours a day, 7 days a
                                 week. One call gives you access to resources across your community, whether you need to get
                                 help - for you, for a family member or for a friend - or want to help. No more wrong numbers,
                                 no more wasted time trying to find the right person to call. Someone at 2-1-1 will help connect
                                 you to the services or information you need. Confidentially, for free, in your language.
                                 after-school programs, alzheimer's resources, basic needs - food, shelter, child care/health services,
                                 consumer protection, counseling, crisis intervention, disability services, domestic violence programs,
                                 donating food, clothing, emergency shelter, energy/utility assistance, family counseling, financial
                                 assistance, health care/insurance, HIV/AIDS testing, homelessness, housing or rent assistance, job
                                 training, legal assistance, mentoring opportunities, parenting education programs, problem gambling,
                                 senior services/elder care, substance abuse programs, suicide prevention, transportation assistance,
                                 veterans services, and volunteer opportunities.
                        Family Matters Newsletter                                                          4

                        FRG News
                                     Family Readiness January 2009 Open House
                        The Family Readiness open house that included Family members, Soldiers, and Family
                        Assistance Center staff, was a great success. We were able to introduce some new staff members,
                        new programs and find out what is going on in other FRG’s (Family Readiness Groups).
                        MG and Mrs. Bray attended and MG Bray spoke to the group reiterating his support of the Family
Please Register Today   Assistance Center, (FAC), team and Family Readiness Groups. Maureen Horton, Family
      It’s Free!        Assistance Center Coordinator, discussed the highlights and services offered at the FAC. Marie
                        Kuhn, Military Family Life Consultant talked about the November FRG focus group and what
                        Families want from Family Readiness Groups. Amy Rachiele conducted a roundtable discussion
 PASSPORT               on “what is going on in Family Readiness groups.”
                           Fundraising for FRG’s was discussed: i.e. successful Bazaars, craft classes, walk-a-
   APRIL                    thons/dance -athons, golf tournaments.
                           Community awareness was addressed, revitalizing the media into recognizing families,
    29TH                    separation, and deployments.
                           Parental involvement, how do we help, train, and recognize the struggles of parents during
                            their child’s deployment.
5:00-7:00 PM               New Soldier’s and Family involvement- how do we reach out?
                            Toni Nuttall, Yellow Ribbon Coordinator, introduced the new program and discussed how it
AT SCHOFIELD                fits into the deployment cycle.
                        Valerie Rezendes discussed Military OneSource and its importance. She also displayed many of
 705 NEW LONDON         the items you can find on Military OneSource web page. Wayne Parker talked about the Guard
      AVENUE            Family Portal and its usefulness to FRG’s. He also registered new users.

   CRANSTON, RI         It is 2009 and we are moving ahead with Family Readiness Programs. We have a great deal of
                        new ideas for connecting Family and friends. Stay tuned for exciting programs to come from the
                        Family Assistance Center.

                        The Family Assistance Center will be open on Tuesday evenings until 9:00 p.m. for your
                        convenience and we will be scheduling different events for those nights. Examples: round table
                        discussions, clubs, trainings, and other types of events. Thank you to those who attended our open

                                           The Family Program Team Welcomes
                                                        It’s Newest Member
                         Alan Vieira, a Licensed Social Worker, LICSW, joined the Family Assistance Program
                         Team in January as the Director of Psychological Health. He is available to conduct mental
                         health assessment and referral for pre and post deployment for National Guard members and
                         their families. Mr. Vieira is an active member and participant on the suicide prevention
                         team. He will conduct immediate face-to-face and phone risk assessments and make
                         appropriate referrals to ensure that the Soldier and Families obtain the assistance they need.
                         Mr. Vieira will meet with unit commanders and Soldiers to teach them how to minimize
                         maladaptive psychological reactions to traumatic experiences.

                                        Family Matters Newsletter

         Related Links                    State Child and Youth Program
                                          Military Teens Rock On
                                          at Guitar Hero Contest
                                        The first RI Military Youth Guitar Hero contest was held this past December, and a
                                        great time was had by all! The event was sponsored by the Rhode Island Military
                                        Youth Council and held at the Family Assistance Center in Cranston. Competition
                                        was tough, but by the end of the night 3 grand prize winners were awarded some
                                        terrific prizes. Winner of easy level was Brianna Latendresse, medium level was
                                        Michelle Desillier and the winner of hard level was Corey Storm.

                                               RI Selected to Host
  Major General Bray challenges
        Jesus Rivera at a                    Operation Purple Camp
      game of Guitar Hero.
                                        For the third consecutive year, the Rhode Island National Guard Child and Youth
                                        Program has been selected by the National Military Family Association (NMFA) to host
                                        an Operation Purple Camp. This year’s camp will be held August 9-15 at Camp
                                        Hoffman in West Kingston. Military youth between the ages of 7 and 17, of all branches
                                        of service are eligible to apply to attend this camp. Applications will be available at
                               in the early spring. Priority is given to children of service members who
                                        have deployed in the last 18 months and to children who have not previously attended
                                        an Operation Purple Camp.

                                        Operation Purple Camp activities include swimming, boating, archery, arts and crafts,
                                        nature studies, sports and games and other traditional camp activities. In addition, the
                                        camp focuses on issues that specifically pertain to the Military child. Activities and
   A camper enjoys exploring a          discussion groups are held on deployment and reintegration stress, giving kids the
    Military vehicle during ’08         tools needed to learn resilience while faced with the these difficult experiences. For
    Operation Purple Camp RI            more information on Operation Purple Camp Rhode Island or other youth activities

                                             Rhode Island Military
                                                Youth Council

                                         Are you a Military youth between the ages of 12 and 18? Are you motivated by
                                         helping others, creating change and speaking out for what you believe in? If so, you
                                         should join the RI Military Youth Council (RIMYC)! The RIMYC was formed in order
                                         to support the RI’s Military Members, their Families and their Youth. This council
 Members of the RI Military Youth        consists strictly of volunteer members between the ages of 12-18 years old, working
 Council at the State House during       together towards a common goal of identifying, defining and addressing issues that
the signing of the RI Military Family    contribute to the future of our Military Youth.
                                         The purpose of the council is to actively involve Youth in events, trips, meetings and
                                         training sessions that enhance the quality of life for our Military Youth. The next
                                         meeting of the RIMYC is March 10th .
                                        Family Matters Newsletter

         Related Links                    LOCAL NEWS
                                           RI Receives Grant to Support
                                                  Military Kids
                                        Rhode Island was recently selected to become an Operation Military Kids, (OMK)
                                        State. This acceptance means that $90,000 is coming our way to improve
                                        programming for our Military youth.

                                        OMK is a joint collaboration between community organizations with a common goal
                                        to support Military kids in our own communities. To learn more about youth
                                        opportunities through OMK visit

                                                                LifeSmarts Competition
                                        I would like to invite all of you to cheer on our team "The Guard Kidz" at this year's
                                        LifeSmarts competition on 6 March at the State House. The first match begins at
                                        9:00 a.m.

                                        Our team will be competing against other High School students from around the       state for a chance to compete at the National LifeSmarts competition.
                                        I am very proud to say that our team has been studying diligently and are already
                                        doing very well in the preliminary scoring phase. We are the only youth
                                        organization in the state to send a team, the rest of the teams are representing High
                                        Schools. HOOAH!!!
                                        Our team members are: Tim Matchett (Team captain), Michelle Desillier, Nicole
                                        Benz, Brianna Latendresse, Gabby Kurtis, and Liz Morse.

                                                      Woonsocket Fire Department

Through the dust and debris at Ground
                 Zero           Since colonial times, the fire service and firefighters have always been best known for
                                        their role in helping others in need. Well, today is no exception. Representatives of the
                                        Woonsocket Fire Department, IAFF Local 732 came to the Family Assistance Center
                                        in December 2008 bearing gifts. Accepting on behalf of the Family Assistance Center,
                                        LTC Darlene Dorego of the RI National Guard was presented with $1,000 in phone
                                        cards from Steven Reilly, Union President, Michael Lataille, Secretary/Treasurer and
                                        Christopher Oakland, Vice President.

                                        I am sure each service member who uses these cards to phone home to their loved
                                        ones are extremely grateful for the generous and caring gift these firefighters gave.

                      Family Matters Newsletter

                      GetGet info, deal wiBuilders Helping Heroes
Related Links
                               What is the Builders Helping Heroes Program?
                      Builders Helping Heroes is a not-for-profit initiative in which members of the RI
                      Builders Association donate their time, energy and resources to provide construction
                      assistance to veterans with special housing needs as the result of injuries sustained in
                      armed conflicts since September 11, 2001. The program aims to help veterans and
                      the families of those injured or killed in combat operations since that tragic day, adjust
                      to life after being injured. Typical projects range from installing a wheel chair ramp to
                      performing interior renovations to improve accessibility.                                Who is Eligible to Participate?
                      Military personnel entitled to be awarded the Purple Heart Medal after September 11,
                      2001 are eligible for assistance from Builders Helping Heroes. Dependent Family
                      members of military personnel killed in action after September 11, 2001 are eligible for
                      construction assistance as well. Construction projects must take place on primary
                      residences in Rhode Island.

                                                       How Can I Apply?
                      The Builders Helping Heroes Board of Directors, with assistance from the Inter-
                      Service Family Assistance Committee, ISFAC, will consider all applications and will
                      approve projects based on need and available funds. Recipients may or may not
                      participate in any program publicity. To apply, please contact the Family Assistance
                      Center: (401) 275-4057.

                                10 Ways to Tell Your Children……
                                                        I Love You
                     1.  Make your home a place of safety, acceptance and love.
                     2.  Build feelings of self-worth by showing your children how they
                         are special.
                     3. Offer children opportunities to learn and succeed.
                     4. Make sure your children eat healthy foods, exercise regularly
                         and get enough sleep.
                     5. Spend time with your children. Talk, laugh, play and enjoy each
                     6. Protect your children. Make their safety your top priority.
                     7. Acknowledge, praise and reward your children’s successes.
                         Don’t criticize when they try but fail.
                     8. Set limits to make children feel secure and to teach them
                     9. Make a hug, a squeeze, a loving smile an everyday occurrence.
                     10. Say the words, “I love you,” at least once a day.
                  Family Matters Newsletter                                                    8

                                         Everyone Loves A Deal
  Related Links
                     Here Are A Few Deals We’ve Found For You!
                                  Just Click On the Link and Enjoy!

                                         Family Program Team
                                  Phone Numbers and Email Addresses
                           Name                  Phone #                        Email Address
                  LTC Jeannine Vachon         401-480-3257
                  Maureen Horton              401-275-4093
 YOU NEED IT,     Ed Ouellette                401-275-4057
WE’VE GOT IT!!!   Wayne Parker                401-275-4162
                  Amy Rachiele                401-275-4418
 CHECK OUT        Alan Vieira                 508-269-5418
                  Marie Kuhn                  401-450-2737
 THE FAMILY       Laura Paton                 401-275-4132
  PROGRAM         Toni Nuttall                401-275-4177
                  Valerie Rezendes            401-275-4105
   WEBSITE        Tina Scully                 401-886-0148

Click on Family    The Military and Family Life Consultant is scheduling educational, support and family
 Program Tab      activities at the Family Assistance Center on Tuesday evenings from 6:30PM – 8:00PM.
                  There are programs scheduled on communication, stress management, parenting and
WWW.RI.NG.MIL     suicide prevention awareness; support groups for parents of service members and a book
                  discussion, scrap booking and a Family night for Families of deployed service members.
                     If there are any educational, support or Family activities that you would like to have
                  scheduled at the Family Assistance Center, please contact the Military and Family Life
                  Consultant at

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