LOUSIANA NATIONAL GUARD

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					           LOUSIANA NATIONAL GUARD                         Jun 2003 = Kids' Annual Training, 24 – 27 Jun 03
           OFFICE OF FAMILY PROGRAMS                       (Proposed)
           BLDG 57, JACKSON BARRACKS                       Jul 2003 = National Workshop, San Diego,
            NEW ORLEANS, LA 70146-0330                     CA
            (504) 278-8325 or 1-800-541-5860
                     “FALL 2002”
                                                             OPERATION READY TRAINING PROGRAM
The Office of Family Programs prepared this edition of     New Operation READY Resources (Resources for
“Family Focus” newsletter. We are diligently looking       Educating About Deployment and You) are now
for a Newsletter Coordinator to assume the                 available on line. Operation Ready is a wonderful tool
responsibilities of the “Family Focus”. Anyone             to prepare your families for deployment. Please take this
interested? If you have questions or concerns regarding    opportunity to download this material and include with
the “Family Focus” please call us at 800-541-5860.         the units existing Family Readiness Library of resources.
We ask that you please keep everyone in mind when you
come across information that will enhance our Guard        The program includes the following resources:
Family Quality of Life. You can send input to the Office
                                                            Army Leaders’ Desk Reference for Soldier and
of Family Programs at susan.bush@la.ngb.army.mil ,
                                                              Family Readiness
Carrie Matirne at family.readiness@lanewo.ang.af.mil ,
                                                            Soldier and Family Deployment Survival Handbook
or fax to 504-278-8156.
                                                            The New Army Family Readiness Handbook
                                                            Army FRG Leader’s Handbook
                                                            Family Assistance Center
        OFFICE OF FAMILY PROGRAMS
             FY 2003 CALENDAR                               Predeployment and Ongoing Readiness
                                                            Homecoming and Reunion
State Family Program Advisory Council Meetings
1st Quarter = 20 Oct 2002, Alexandria                      Although the Army created this program, the
2nd Quarter = 10 Jan 2003, Lafayette (Core Council)        information is valuable and can enhance both our Air
3rd Quarter = 12 Apr 2003, Alexandria                      and Army Family Readiness Programs.
4th Quarter = Jul/Aug 2003, New Orleans (Core Council)
                                                           This material is available at http://goacs.org , from
Family Program Training Events                             Deployment                           Readiness/Support
New FRG Leader Basic Training, 16-17 Nov 02, New           Material/Categories/Operation Ready.
Orleans
State Family Program Workshop, 11-12 Jan 03, Hilton        You can also use the address below to go directly to the
Hotel, Lafayette                                           operation ready material.
                                                           http://www.armycommunityservice.org/vacs_deployment/user
LEGOS Basic Course, Jun/Jul 03, Alexandria
                                                           /res/res_user_display.asp?action=display_channel_objects&ch
(Proposed)                                                 annelID=146903

Other Key Events
25-29 Nov 2002 = Military Family Week
Dec 2002 = Unit Family Day Activities                         ANNUAL FAMILY READINESS PROGRAM
11-13 Apr 2003 = National Youth Services Day                              AWARDS
12-13 Apr 2003 = Officer Conference, Alexandria
12-13 Apr 2003 = Enlisted Conference, Alexandria           Its that time of year again. Time to recognize the
27 Apr - 3 May 2003 = Volunteer Recognition Week           volunteers that make your unit Family Readiness Groups
                                                           so successful. The Annual Family Readiness Program
May 2003 = National Military Spouse Day
                                                           Awards Memorandum was recently distributed.

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Nomination packets for these awards need to be received
by 10 December 2002. Awards Include:
                                                              NEW FAMILY READINESS GROUP LEADER
Army & Air Family of the Year                                             TRAINING
Army & Air Family Readiness Group of the Year
Army & Air Newsletter of the Year                           The Office of Family Programs is hosting its second
                                                            “New Family Readiness Group Leader Training
Recipients of these awards, along will all nominees, will   Course”. The class is being conducted on 16-17
be recognized at the FY 2003 State Family Program           November 2002 at Jackson Barracks, New Orleans, LA.
Workshop on 11 January 2003. Commanders, please             The goal of this course is to train new FRG Leaders and
take the time to submit nominations for your deserving      Battalion Volunteer POCs with the basic knowledge of
Family Readiness Groups. Thanks.                            how to effectively do their jobs. This course will only
                                                            be offered on an annual basis. 25 Seats are available for
                                                            the November training.
      FAMILY READINESS TRAINING
__________________________________________                  Applications are being mailed, shared on the RCAS
                                                            system and are also available on the Family Program
      FY 2003 STATE FAMILY PROGRAM                          Web Page.
      WORKSHOP & YOUTH SYMPOSIUM

We are already starting to plan for the FY 2003 State        ARMY FAMILY TEAM BUILDING TRAINING
Family Program Workshop and Youth Symposium.
The workshop is being conducted on 11-12 January            AFTB MASTER TRAINER COURSE
2003 in Lafayette, at the Lafayette Hilton and Towers.      The Army Family Team Building Master Trainer Course
FRG Leaders, MACOM/BN/WING POC’s, Family                    is designed to train volunteers to become certified AFTB
Readiness Officers and Commanders are invited to            Master Trainers. This is an Army funded program,
attend the workshop. The agenda includes the following      however both Louisiana Army and Air National Guard
topics:                Mental                Readiness,     Volunteers can attend. AFTB Master Trainers are in
Coaching/Advising/Mentoring, Community Resources,           turn used to train State Level Guard Family Team
Benefits/Entitlements/Protocol, Effective Leadership,       Building Instructors (GFTB) and instruct at various state
Recruiting Today’s Volunteers, Intermediate FRG, Web        level training events (state workshop, new FRG Leader
Page Design and three simultaneous Chat Rooms               Training, etc). We ask that GFTB volunteers commit a
(Deployment Readiness, Newsletters and other forms of       period of two years to the program.
communication, and Fundraising).
                                                            The Army Family Team Building Course available to
                                                       th
The Youth Symposium is open to youth in grades 9-12 .       LA National Guard Volunteers is MT 03-02, scheduled
They will have a separate facilitated session during the    for 6-12 April 2003. The LA application deadline is 20
workshop. A networking social activity is also being        January 2003. The location of this course has not been
planned for Saturday evening. We can support 25 youth       determined yet.
for this event. Volunteers interested in supporting the
youth symposium should contact our office.                  Please share this information with your volunteers and
                                                            help us to recruit for the Family Program Team. This is
We are looking for volunteers to help support the           a wonderful opportunity for training volunteers and to
workshop. If you are interested please contact the Office   get your Family Program moving forward. You can find
of Family Programs at 800-541-5860. If you have             out more about AFTB by visiting their web site at
suggestions or requests for certain topics please share     http://www.armyfamilyteambuilding.org/home.asp?
this information with our office. The workshop is your
opportunity to become more knowledgeable in Family          AFTB/GFTB STATE LEVEL INSTRUCTERS
Programs. We encourage all Family Readiness Group           Ft. Polk offers a State Level AFTB/GFTB Instructors
Leaders to become involved and participate in this          Course, which is now open to Guard Volunteers. This
training event.                                             course trains volunteers to be certified State Level
                                                            Instructors for all three levels of AFTB/GFTB.
Applications are being mailed, shared on the RCAS           Expectations of our State Level Instructors include
system and are also available on the Family Program         supporting unit request for GFTB classes and teaching at
Web Page.                                                   our Family State Level Training Events. Again, we ask
                                                                                                                   2
that GFTB volunteers commit a period of two years to         strong verbal and written communication skills and good
the program.                                                 organizational skills.
                                                                  Duration: Normally a one-year commitment
AFTB/GFTB State Level Instructor Training Dates are
3-6 Dec 02 and 6-9 May 03.                                   Louisiana National Guard Newsletter Coordinator
                                                                  Job Description: Create the State Level Newsletter
Any interested volunteers should contact either CPT          “Family Focus” on a quarterly basis. Gathering of
Bush/SGT Butler at 800-541-5860 or Mrs. Carrie               information from all sources, organizing writing and
Matirne at 504-391-8505. We will be glad to answer           editing of material; typing or word processing; final
questions that you may have on this training.                editing; layout and paste-up. Will receive input support
                                                             on content from the Office of Family Programs. The
_____________________________________________                Office of Family Programs will make distribution.
                                                                  Time involved: Approximately 20 hours per quarter.
      VOLUNTEER JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS                                 Qualifications: Must believe in and support the
                                                             Louisiana National Guard Family Program; have a
We did not have too many takers on our Volunteer Job         family member in the Louisiana National Guard; typing,
Announcements, so we decided to put them out again.          spelling and grammar skills; creativity, energy, and
The Office of Family Programs is announcing the              artistic talent; have strong verbal and written
following volunteer position vacancies, along with a         communication skills and good organizational skills.
brief job description. These positions are critical to the         Duration: Normally a one-year commitment
future success of the Louisiana National Guard Family
Readiness Program and the readiness of our families.         Louisiana National Guard Youth Coordinator
Applications will be taken until filled. If you are              Job Description: She/he will assist the Office of
interested, please call our office for more information.     Family Programs implement the Youth Program for
                                                             Louisiana Army and Air National Guard youth.
Louisiana National Guard Lead Volunteer                      Provides input, management and administrative support
    Job Description: She/he will assist the Office of        needed to implement the Youth Program. Involved in
Family Programs implement the Louisiana National             the planning and coordination of Youth Program for the
Guard Family Program. Provides management and                LANG.
administrative support to the office. Involved in the            Time involved: Approximately 10 hours per month.
coordination of volunteer management. Resides within             Qualifications: Must believe in and support the
commuting distance to the Office of Family Programs.         Louisiana National Guard Family Program; have a
    Time involved: Approximately 24 hours per month.         family member in the Louisiana National Guard; have
    Qualifications: Must believe in and support the          good listening skills; like to help people in need; have
Louisiana National Guard Family Program; have a              strong verbal and written communication skills and good
family member in the Louisiana National Guard; have          organizational skills; have the ability and desire to
good listening skills; like to help people in need; have     communicate and develop programs that benefit the
strong verbal and written communication skills and good      youth of the LANG.
organizational skills.                                          Duration: Normally a one-year commitment
    Duration: Normally a one-year commitment
                                                             Louisiana National Guard Education and Training
Louisiana Air National Guard Lead Volunteer                  Coordinator
    Job Description: She/he will assist the LA Air                Job Description: She/he will assist the Office of
National Guard Family Program Coordinator implement          Programs implement the Louisiana National Guard
the Louisiana Air National Guard Family Program.             Volunteer Training Program. Serves as the Chairperson
Provides management and administrative support to the        for the Louisiana Educated Guard Organization for Self-
office. Involved in the coordination of volunteer            Readiness (LEGOS). Provides management and
management. Resides within commuting distance to the         planning support to implement all education programs
159th FW Headquarters, Belle Chasse.                         offered to LANG Volunteers.
    Time involved: Approximately 24 hours per month.              Time involved: Approximately 10 hours per month.
    Qualifications: Must believe in and support the               Qualifications: Must believe in and support the
Louisiana Air National Guard Family Program; have a          Louisiana National Guard Family Program; have a
family member in the Louisiana National Guard; have          family member in the Louisiana National Guard; have
good listening skills; like to help people in need; have     good listening skills; like to help people in need; have


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strong verbal and written communication skills and good    Sponsorship representative. Include a FRG sponsorship
organizational skills.                                     letter in with the sponsor’s letter or the unit welcome
      Duration: Normally a one-year commitment             packet.

Louisiana National Guard Web Page Coordinator              Telephone Network/Contact Person – is the link of
Filled – Mr. Russell Madere                                information from the Commander to unit families. This
                                                           is an official function and should not be abused by
                                                           spreading rumors or gossip. The Contact Person
      FAMILY READINESS GROUP NEWS                          overseas the accurateness of the unit roster and volunteer
__________________________________________________         roster.

   FAMILY READINESS GROUPS –GETTING                        Newsletter – a vital source of information,
               STARTED                                     communication, and outreach. This official document
                                                           must contain official information in an enjoyable format.
References needed to assist with starting a Family         Make you Commander visible by adding a
Readiness Group (FRG):                                     Commander’s Column or Corner. Use your newsletter
                                                           to help spouses and other family members take care of
DA PAM 608-47, A Guide to Establishing Family              themselves i.e., Spouse employment tips, finding
Support Groups                                             scholarships.

AR 608-1, Army Community Service Center                       Keep your FRG gender, racial, and culture neutral.
                                                           Check the demographics of your unit to ensure no one is
AR 608-8-8, Total Army Sponsorship Program                 excluded and members feel welcome to participate.

USAREC Reg 608-1, Family Readiness Handbook                    Today’s military spouse is generally employed
                                                           outside the home or attends college, the Family
The Family Readiness Group (FRG) Leaders Handbook          Readiness Group must appeal to this lifestyle. Make
                                                           most tasks things that could be done at home and keep
All these references are found in the Family Readiness     meetings to a minimum. Each chair position must
(Purple) Resource Binder. Each unit/squadron has been      include a job description, volunteer agreement, and
issued this resource.                                      appointment orders. Since volunteering can be used on a
                                                           resume for paid employment, maximize your positions
   Today’s FRG is made up of officer, enlisted,            to entice family members to get work experience.
civilians, and family members – The Total National         Document volunteer hours and conduct a volunteer
Guard Family. The FRG mission is to provide mutual         recognition program.
social and emotional support, outreach services, and
information to your fellow military members and family        The Family Readiness Officer must ensure the unit
members.                                                   budgets for FRG activities and functions. The budget
   Including military members and civilians in your        included supplies, equipment, volunteer training, and
FRG is a good way to get family members to participate     award recognition program. Volunteers should be
in activities and volunteer to take FRG tasks.             limited from paying out-of-pocket for any FRG function
There is no need to recruit membership into your unit’s    to include postage, telephone charges, and childcare.
FRG, everyone assigned to the unit is automatically a      Certain out-of-pocket expenses of volunteers are
member. You may, however, want to recruit for              authorized reimbursement using either Appropriated
participation in FRG activities/tasks.                     Funds or Non-Appropriated Funds.
   Consider having a FRG council consisting of the
Commander, the Family Readiness Officer, FRG                  Remember, the number one reason people don’t
Leader, chairpersons, Chaplain, Legal Advisor, and Rear    volunteer is because no one ever asked them to. Take
Detachment Commander. This council meets to discuss        time and talk with your family members and personally
FRG activities, give the Commander status reports,         ask if they would be interested in volunteering to be a
keeps the FRG focused, and shows command support.          working member of the unit Family Readiness Group.
   Critical functions of the FRG are:                       _____________________________________________

Family Sponsorship – appoint someone as the welcome                           NEWSLETTERS
chairperson. This person will work closely with the unit
                                                                                                                   4
One of the essential tasks for a Family Support Group         3. Even if the newsletter tends to be a one person
is to publish a newsletter. The distribution of               operation, make every attempt to involve as many
information is a primary function, and the newsletter is      people as possible with columns (Chaplain’s corner,
one of the most viable and effective means for doing          commander’s call, new personnel welcomes, chairman’s
this. However, it is not a job for the faint hearted.         chat, etc.)
Here are some helpful hints to make the job a little
easier.                                                       4. Take the trouble to do a good layout with lots of
                                                              graphics and use of white space.
1. Be aware of the regulations.
                                                              5. Include in the masthead the following:
        a. AR 25-30 outlines regulations relative to                  a. Name of periodical.
publications and reproduction.                                        b. Name of publishing agency or command
                                                                      c. Mailing address including zip code.
          b. Until the message of November 1990, unit                 d. Commercial and DSN telephone number.
          family support group newsletters were not                   e. Names of agency head or commander.
          authorized. However, that message did                       f. Frequency of publication.
          authorize the following:                                    g. Names of the various editors.
                  1) Letters may contain both official and            h. Volume of issue number and date of
                  unofficial information, and this must be    publication.
                  specified.                                          i. Expiration and issue dates when official
                  2) Letters may be published in one          information is included.
                  color ink only and should be limited to a
                  maximum of 16 printed pages.                6. Include a statement indicating that the views and
                  3) Frequency of distribution is at the      opinions expressed in the periodical are not necessarily
                  discretion of the commander.                those of the Department of the Army or the Command, a
                  4) Appropriated funds are not               disclaimer.
                  authorized to mail these newsletters if
                  they contain unofficial information.        7. Be very careful not to use copyrighted material
                  However, NAF of FSG funds may be            with out the express written consent of the author or
                  used to mail them.                          publisher. This can create untold difficulties.

          c. A message of June 1991 refined this guidance     8. Do not duplicate money or other official
to say:                                                       documents. If you do want to show the new ID card, be
                  1) Appropriated fund postage may be         sure to write “Sample” over the ID card as you explain
                  used by commanders to discharge their       it.
                  MWR mission, which allows
                  commanders latitude to disseminate          9. Remember to keep articles brief, concise, and
                  legitimate family support and MWR           accurate. Use the who, what, where, when, why and
                  information.                                how style of newspaper writing for factual reporting.
                  2) However, revenue producing items         Identify statements of opinion by the author.
                  may not be mailed.
                  3) Items may not be mailed which are        10. Find the artists in your community who can help
                  not the exclusive business of the U.S.      you by producing graphics and doing layouts.
                  government. Such excluded information
                  includes bowling league scores, birth       11. See editors and commanders as allies in
                  announcements, or recipes.                      producing the newsletter rather than enemies. Be
                  4) NAF funds may be used for mailing            unafraid to submit your copy to other’s eyes for
                  with NO RESTRICTIONS on content.                comment and correction. Your publication will be
                                                                  better for it.
2. Secure the consent and support of your                     _____________________________________________
commander. Without him you can do very little with
your newsletter. Ask him to regularly contribute to it.        THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE
Perhaps he may consider including your newsletter in his               VOLUNTEER MANAGERS
regular correspondence with his troops.
                                                              Editors Note: This is very true – whether you are

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managing family member volunteers or leading those         Click submit
men and women who volunteer to serve as soldiers and       You’re done! Be sure to take note of your username and
airmen in our units.                                       password, and keep them in a safe place.
    1. Fully comprehends how volunteers fit into
        achieving the mission and vision of the            Check out the October Questium Newsletter at:
        organization                                       http://www.questium.com/news/ng/vol3/gen.html
    2. Creates rewarding and challenging work for
        volunteers related to that comprehension.
    3. Is aware of and practices highly responsive                       DEPLOYMENT ISSUES
        customer service.                                  _____________________________________________
    4. Understands that volunteers must be recruited
        based on their wants not the organization’s        The 769th has established their own MWR tents, if
        needs.                                             anyone is interested in sending mail or goodies direct to
    5. Is honest and forthright with volunteers.           the 769th the mailing addresses are below. The
    6. Never puts a volunteer before the well being of     packages intended for general distribution throughout
        the organization and its clients or community.     the Battalion can be addressed to the BN Chaplain,
    7. Makes full and creative use of every resource at    Stephen A. Sanders; the BN S-1, Jason Mahfouz; the
        her/his disposal; other volunteer’s resource       Readiness NCO for HSC, Brett Rivere; the Readiness
        agencies, networks and networking, training,       NCO for Co A, James A. Vicello; or to the BN PSNCO
        printed and computer based tools, etc.             who is attached to Co C, Clinton Kidder; or the
                                                           Readiness NCO for Co C, John Gonzales.

        NEW ON-LINE RESOURCES FOR THE                      NAME(no rank)                   NAME (no rank)
           NATIONAL GUARD FAMILY                           HSC 769TH En Bn                 Co A 769th En Bn
                                                           APO, AE 09354                   APO, AE 09354
The National Guard Bureau has contracted with
Questium to develop and manage a website that will be a    NAME (no rank)
readiness and wellness asset to National Guard families.   Co C 769th En Bn
Questium Personal and Professional is your online          APO, AE 09355
solution to health, work and life challenges. We provide
a wide range of information, tools and services to help               Individually wrapped pieces of hard candy
you better manage your personal and professional life.                 (Twizzlers, Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Roll
                                                                       Pops; Bubble Gum; Skittles; Suckers; Life
Visit           Questium              now            at:               Savers; Candy Sticks; Sweet Tarts, etc)
http://www.questium.com/news/ng/vol3/gen.html                         Cookies
                                                                      Peanuts, pretzels and other snack foods
You can also access online tools for stress, anxiety,                 Microwave popcorn
depression and insomnia, as well as expert guidance,                  Wet wipes
articles, and resources for daily living.
                                                                      Sunscreen
                                                                      Lip balm
Please note: To use Questium News, you’ll need a user
name and password. If you haven’t registered yet, you                 Foot powder
can easily do so by following these instructions.                     Wrap-around sunglasses
                                                                      Batteries
Click the “Register” link on Questium News and you                    Small pencil sharpeners
will            be            directed           to                   Kool-Aid and other drink mixes
http://www.questium.com/news/ng/vol3/gen.html                         Blank greeting cards (birthday; anniversary,
                                                                       etc)
Enter ng in the access code field                                     Toiletry items such as shaving cream,
At the pull-down menu, select your home state                          razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shower
Enter your first name, last name and e-mail address                    soap/gel
Choose a username and password                                        Videos, DVD’s, music CD’s and cassettes
Select a secret question and enter your answer                        Playing cards
Please check the “ACCEPT” box to accept the Terms
and Conditions of your site

                                                                                                                  6
           Small board games such as Chess, Checkers,       and     messages       to    service     members        at
            Dominoes, Parcheesi, Yahtze, UNO,                http://www.defendamerica.mil ,
            Cribbage, and Jigsaw puzzles                     http://www.anyservicemember.org       and      operation
           Recent paperback books (mysteries, action,       dearabby.net. More information on USO packages is
            drama, and science fiction are highly read)      available by calling 866-USO-GIVE or on the Internet at
           Puzzle books                                     http://www.usometrodc.org/ . For more on family and
                                                             individual help programs, visit
Packages and boxes should be packed, taped securely          http://www.military.com/Resources/ResourceFileView?file=A
and shipped via the U.S. Postal Service. Unsealed letters    ctive_Family.htm
and cards may be included in the packages. Priority          _____________________________________________
shipping is recommended, which takes 8-12 days;
otherwise it will take approximately three weeks for            FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER (FAC) FOR
packages to be delivered. Custom forms that identify the                          LOUISIANA
contents and value of each package are required and can       The FAC is located at the 769th Engineer Battalion
be obtained at local post offices.                           Armory and manned by area Recruiting and Retention
_____________________________________________                Members. The number is 800-926-9570.
                                                             _____________________________________________
            OPERATION DOULA CARE
                                                                           DEPLOYMENT STRAIN
Operation Doula Care provides, free of charge, birth
doula support to the pregnant wives of U.S.                  Fort BENNING, Ga. (Army News Service, Sept. 23,
service members (Active Duty, Reservists, National           2002) -- A deployment's strain on a relationship doesn't
Guard, Coast Guard) that have been deployed or "called       end when the soldiers come home.               Stresses of
up" as a direct result of September 11th and are             readjustment to family life can be tough on a family, too.
subsequently taking part in Operation Enduring               "While on a real-world deployment, soldiers deal with
Freedom.                                                     stresses of the unknown, being away from their family,
It also provides free birth doula support to the pregnant    and there is a 'no-kidding' life and death struggle," said
wives of U.S. Military members that have been injured        Lt. Col. John C. Chin, Ph.D., command psychologist,
or have become deceased as a direct result of Operation      who has worked with special operations the majority of
Enduring Freedom. A birth doula is a woman that has          his career. "When soldiers get a sense of mortality, it
Received specific training to provide physical, emotional    wakes them up, and they realize it's their family and
and informational support to a pregnant woman before,        children who matter the most. If they maintain a solid
during and after birth of her baby.                          foundation in those areas, it makes for a better life."
The state of Louisiana is covered by Operation Doula         There are more concerns for younger marriages, Chin
Care. For more information on that program, please           said. Spouses are faced with new challenges, like
contact its Director, Melissa Olsen, at 406-248-4499 or      financial and child care concerns and become more
by emailing her at pioneerdoula@msn.com.                     independent and may feel contempt for the returning
                                                             soldier for taking some of their independence.
                                                             During redeployment, family members typically deal
                                                             with conflicting emotions. There is the excitement that
   DONATIONS FOR 'OPERATION USO CARE                         the soldier is coming home. On the other hand, there is
               PACKAGE'                                      some apprehension, according to the Department of the
                                                             Army study "The Emotional Cycle of Deployment, a
Stars and Stripes reports that since November, the           Military Family Perspective."
United Services Organization (USO) has launched its          Some concerns include "Will I give up my
worldwide “Operation USO Care Package” program,              independence? Will we get along?"
asking affiliates across the globe to pitch in and provide   Ironically, even though the separation is almost over,
deployed troops with toiletries and sundries needed to       there can be renewed difficulty in making decisions.
ease their deployments. Since autumn 2001, the staffers      "Soldiers reconnecting with family are coming from
from USO headquarters in Washington have mailed kits         profound emotional experiences, and the spouses also
to those serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, and          had these experiences, dealing with day-to-day issues by
provided others to military police assigned to guard the     themselves, financial issues, taking care of the children
Pentagon and other facilities in the nation’s capital. The   and gaining independence, Chin said.
USO also is reaching out to individuals and corporations     "Sometimes partners can't understand what the other was
to help with the program; a donation of $25 will cover       dealing with while they were apart," he said. "It's better
the cost of one package. People can also post greetings      to ease into the relationship-maintaining a degree of
                                                                                                                     7
independence and not to push spontaneous reconnection.        Post-deployment is probably the most important stage
It's a new relationship. Both partners have changed from      for both soldiers and spouse. Patient communication,
their experience."                                            going slow, lowering expectations and taking time to get
Many spouses also have a burst of energy during this          to know each other again is critical to successful
stage, according to the study. There is often a rush to       reintegration of the soldier back into the family.
complete "to-do" lists before their mate returns-             The separation of deployment provides soldier and
especially around the home. It is almost inevitable that      spouse a chance to evaluate changes within themselves
expectations will be high.                                    and what direction they want their marriage to take.
Homecoming for the soldiers can be a joyous occasion,         Although a difficult as well as joyful stage, many
but also a frustrating one.                                   military couples have reported that their relationship is
The date of return may change repeatedly. Despite best        much stronger as a result.
intentions, the spouse at home may not be able to meet        "NCO and officer leadership need to know their people
the returning soldier-short notice, sitters can't be found    intimately," Chin said. "Family support groups need to
in the middle of the night, unable to get off work.           reach out to the young folks, particularly the ones who
Soldiers may expect to be received as "heroes" and            don't participate, to prepare them for the stresses of
"heroines" only to find that they have to make their way      deployment."
home.                                                         Most Army installations offer a wide range of service
The reunion with the children can also be a challenge.        and support for soldiers and their families, Chin said,
Their feelings tend to depend on their age and                including counseling from mental health professionals,
understanding of why the soldier was gone.                    chaplains and Army Community Service advocates.
Babies younger than 1 year old may not know the soldier       (Editor's note: Pfc. Brian Trapp writes for the Fort
and cry when held, according to the study. Toddlers may       Benning Bayonet newspaper.)
be slow to warm up. Pre-schoolers may feel guilty and         _____________________________________________
scared of the separation. School age children may want a           STAYING CONNECTED WHEN YOU'RE
lot of attention. Teen-agers may be moody and may not                        DEPLOYED
appear to care.
In addition, children are often loyal to the parent who       Staying in touch is a great way of easing the pain of
remains behind and do not respond to discipline from the      separation. Here are some tips for fostering
returning soldier, according to the study. They may also      communication among family members. Please note,
fear the soldiers return if a parent says, "Wait till Daddy   however, that communication with loved ones on active
gets home."                                                   military duty may not be possible in some cases. These
Eventually, soldiers will want to reassert their role as      tips are intended as a guideline only.
members of the family, which can lead to tension,
according to the study. This is an essential task and         If you are called to military duty away from home:
requires considerable patience to accomplish
successfully.                                                            Assess communication capabilities.
It is not realistic to return home and expect everything to               Determine what type of communication will
be the same as before the deployment.                                     be available to you (phone, email, fax, etc.)
Reconnecting and understanding both have changed                          and alert your family of any potential
sometimes during the deployment is critical, Chin said.                   complications that may make
The soldier may become a control freak but must realize                   communication difficult (power outages,
the spouse gained independence during their time apart,                   remote areas without phones, no email
and that's a good thing. It helps take some of the day-to-                access, traveling, etc.).
day responsibilities off of the soldier.
Soldiers may not approve of privileges granted to                        Contact loved ones as frequently as
children by the non-deployed parent, according to the                     possible. If possible, let your family know
study. However, it is probably best for the soldier not to                when you will be phoning them, so they
try to make changes right away and to take time to                        don’t miss your calls. If you can’t make a
renegotiate family rules and norms. Not heeding this                      telephone call (or are concerned about the
advice, the soldier risks invalidating the efforts of their               monthly phone bill), consider alternate
mate and alienating the children.                                         methods of communication such as email or
Soldiers may feel hurt in response to such a lukewarm                     fax. Letter writing is another easy way to
reception, according to the study. Clearly going slow and                 keep in touch, though the mail will take
letting the children set the pace goes a long way toward                  longer. Keep a mental list of things you
a successful reunion.                                                     want to talk to your child about, such as
                                                                          friends, school and hobbies. Ask your
                                                                                                                      8
        children to send you something from their                    learn more information.
        activities at school, home or in other
        programs, such as dance lessons, youth                      Plan a reunion. Have the children help plan
        groups or Scouts. If your child has a pet, ask               a reunion when your loved one returns. It
        about it.                                                    can be a simple family dinner or a party
                                                                     with friends and family-as long as it is
       Maintain personal relationships. Instead of                  special.
        writing a single letter to your family, try
        keeping individual, personalized contacts                     Source: LifeCare®, Inc., 2001.
        with each family member to show them how
        much you are thinking of them.                     The true measure of an individual is how he treats a
                                                            person who can do him absolutely no good. Ann
       Tape record yourself. Some people have                                  Landers
        difficulty expressing themselves in letters,     _____________________________________________
        but they often find they can talk to a loved
        one on tape much more freely. If possible,                      FAMILY CARE PLANS
        make cassettes detailing your daily events
        and feelings, and send it to your loved ones     WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 1, 2002) -
        so they can hear your voice. Encourage           About 36,000 single-parent soldiers are in America's
        them to do the same.                             Army today and another 27,000 soldiers are part of a
                                                         dual-military couple-and those figures don't even include
       Send photos and post cards. While you are
                                                         soldiers who deploy and leave their families home alone,
        overseas, send photos and postcards, if
                                                         making their spouses temporary sole parents.
        possible, to help loved ones, especially
                                                         Every single-parent soldier, dual-military parent, and
        children, understand where you are and
                                                         single and dual-military pregnant soldier is required to
        what your life is like there.
                                                         develop a Family Care Plan by Army Regulation 600-
       Plan ahead. If you plan to be away during        20. Emergency-essential civilians are also encouraged
        birthdays and other special events, wrap a       to have a Family Care Plan.
        few gifts and ask a friend or neighbor to        The plan, DA Form 5305, as a minimum includes proof
        deliver them to your loved one on the            that a guardian has agreed to care for dependent children
        special day.                                     under the age of 18. Powers of Attorney for medical
                                                         care, guardianship and the authorization to start or stop
If your loved one is called to duty away from home:      financial support should be in the packet. Military
                                                         identification cards should be issued for children who
       Remember to share everyday events. Keep          reside with a single parent or dual military couple.
        your loved one posted on daily family            Lastly, the regulation requires a letter of instruction to
        events via telephone, email, fax or letters.     the guardian/escort. This letter should contain specific
        For example, talk or write about your            instructions needed for the guardian to ensure the care of
        daughter’s soccer game, your toddler’s play      the dependents.
        date, or movies you saw so your loved one        Things the regulation doesn't require but experts say
        feels involved with day-to-day routines at       should be considered for the packet include: birth
        home.                                            certificates, social security cards, shot records, other
                                                         medical or insurance cards, medication dosages for the
       Send mail. Send photos, school papers,           child if necessary, and lists of family-member addresses
        drawings, care packages, etc. to your loved      and phone numbers in case of emergency.
        one, if possible.                                "What it boils down to is that the Family Care Plan is
                                                         something that may be utilized and not just a paper
       Make a countdown calendar. Have your             exercise, said John Meixell, attorney advisor with the
        children make a "countdown calendar"             Army Legal Assistance Policy Division . "Soldiers need
        which will help them understand how long a       to make realistic decisions as to who they trust with the
        parent will be gone and when he or she will      care of their children and provide them with all the info
        return. Hang a calendar and have children        they need to exercise reasonable care."
        mark off the days, or construct a chain of       To make an assessment on what is and is not reasonable
        paper links that can be torn off each day. If    care, officials say the planning process should be
        you don’t know your loved one’s exact            ongoing and not begin at the last minute.
        return date, keep children informed as you
                                                                                                                   9
"A deployment or mobilization is a really stressful                       KIDS ESSAY CONTEST
situation to start with," said Mary Ellen Pratt, who heads       “WHY I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN”
the Army's child development programs at the U.S.             _____________________________________________
Army Community and Family Support Center. "When
families have to worry about one more things like what            WHY I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
happens to your child or your children, that's really         (We wanted to share this essay submitted by one of our
going to affect how ready you are to go off on a              own Guard Youth)
deployment."
Officials also recommend that parents keep documents                    Just today as I was sitting in my History class I
such as birth certificates in one place (an accordion-style   learned that I was going to be the leader of my groups
organizer or file cabinet special drawer). They say           first debate. The subject was events leading up to the
parents should label or tab folders to make it easy for the   American war for Independence. When studying for my
guardian to find documents fast. They say parents should      speech I realized how hard the colonists had to fight just
make advance contact with financial institutions,             to lower their taxes. I’m always finding out more and
children's doctors, schools and daycare providers prior to    more about my country, her wars, and her soldiers.
deployment.       They even recommend giving these            Whenever someone complements the soldiers of
agencies a copy of the Family Care Plan.                      America I feel a burst of even stronger pride because
With more than 23,600 National Guard and Army                 both of my parents are a few of the many soldiers being
Reserve soldiers mobilized so far for Operation Noble         complemented by every day American citizens most of
Eagle and Enduring Freedom, Sgt. Maj. Charles Steele          whom they don’t even know. I also realize every single
of the New York National Guard State Family Program           day the endless windows of opportunity there are just for
says his contingency plan's focus is on more than just        being in America and having an excellent education. Just
providing families with rosters.                              an education is something that most kids in other
"A single parent or dual-military family has to give          countries don’t even have and to think that some people
serious thought to their FCP (Family Care Plan)," said        take that for granted is unimaginable to some. When
Steele. There has to be an agreement between the              reading how unfortunate some people are in other
caregiver and the children involved. If either party feels    countries makes me eager to learn and eager to be the
uncomfortable with the situation, it could be a very bad      best person I know how to be. Even though I am just a
situation.                                                    youth of 12 I know I represent a wonderful, great,
When parents are considering caregivers, adult parties        powerful country. After the attacks on the world trade
should discuss and be prepared to plan activities for         centers my father was sent to Ft. Polk for six months. He
children, said Steele. Children watch the news and they       could only see my family and I on the weekends. After
are aware of things that happen, Steele said. He said         those six months he was sent to Cuba. He should be back
keeping them involved in other activities may be one          some time in December. My mother also in the military
way of calming their fears.                                   is on the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support
Also, Steele said the caregiver should be willing to          Team for Louisiana. When my mom is going from
attempt to keep the parent and the children connected as      training missions to schools it’s like I don’t even have
much as possible.                                             parents, but then I think of all of the children who have
"We give out letter-writing kits to deployed parents and      lost their parents and I then realize how very fortunate I
calendars to their children," said Steele.                    am. Even though I miss them terribly sometimes I know
The kit is just one way the family program encourages         it’s a tiny sacrifice that my brother, family, and I have to
interaction.                                                  make, because we know the sacrifices far greater than
The kit is complete with post cards and a map of the          ours that others have had to make. One of the things that
world and distinctive envelopes, so when the child sees       make me realize how fortunate I am is my Spanish class
the envelope, the envelope can be easily recognized.          at school. One of the reasons I realize how fortunate I
(Editor's note: This article is part of a special ARNEWS      am in Spanish is my teacher. She is Cuban and she is
"Focus" package on single-parent soldiers.)                   always telling me how hard it is for others just to live
 _____________________________________________                each day. Just living for them means to struggle against
                                                              starvation, weather, government, and diseases they have
                  YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICE                    no way of protecting themselves against. All in all I
                                                              guess I’m proud to be an American because of the
                   INFORMATION                                happiness America has in store for her people, and just
                                                              being able just to walk outside and be full of joy and not
_____________________________________________                 having to live in fear day after day, and the fact that my
                                                              country has been through so much in her History, and is

                                                                                                                       10
still strong on top and always will be strong and on top         Military Children Program will be available beginning
makes more sense for me to be a proud American than it           Nov.1 at your local commissary and for download at
is for anyone to be anything else in the world.                  www.commissaries.com. Applications can be submitted
                                                                 to commissaries in person or by mail. Qualified sons and
     This report was written by Corrine Mae Dunn.                daughters of U.S. military ID card holders, to include
                             12 YRS OLD-7TH GRADE                active duty, Guard and Reserve members and retirees,
                                                                 may apply for the $1,500 scholarships. Eligibility of
                                                                 applicants, including survivors of deceased members,
      HELP ON THE WAY FOR PARENTS OF                             will be determined using the DOD ID Card Directive.
       MILITARY-CONNECTED CHILDREN                               The deadline for filing applications is Feb. 21, 2003. In
                                                                 2002, DeCA and Fisher House awarded 520
American Forces Press Service reports that help is on the        scholarships. Recipients represented all branches of
way for parents who want to be advocates for their               service, Reserve component and retirees.
military-connected schoolchildren but don't know where
to go when they move from place to place around the              VISIT DeCA ON THE WEB AT
world. The Military Child Education Coalition has                www.commissaries.com
created a Parent Workshop program to help them. The
first workshop is slated Sept. 24-25 at Fort Jackson,
S.C., during the Transition Counselors Institute training                NATIONAL MILITARY FAMILIES
conclave. Other workshops will be announced later. The                          ASSOCIATION
four-to-six-hour workshops will be conducted in
conjunction with TCI conclaves at military installations         The National Military Families Association (NMFA)
across the country. The workshops will be taught by TCI          is looking into the issues surrounding the need
trainers, who are educators with secondary school                for childcare services for the Army National Guard,
experience; high school counselors;                 transition   similar to the Air Force Aid Society Program, which
specialists; military parents; and others. The                   also benefits the Air National Guard .
institute trains transition counselors who understand the        More to follow.
needs of mobile military-connected students and have
the skills to bridge the transition from school to school.
Parents can get more information on the MCEC Website                       BENEFITS AND RESOURCES
at http://www.militarychild.org . The site gives testing
requirements, which may be different from state to state
and overseas. The parent workshop is free to MCEC
member installations and school systems, except for                   PANEL PASSES TAX-RELIEF BILL FOR
travel and lodging assistance for the trainers. For more                        RESERVISTS
on family and individual help programs, visit
http://www.military.com/Resources/ResourceFileView?file=A        Stars and Stripes reports that a bill that would offer
ctive_Family.htm                                                 eagerly awaited tax relief to reservists, guardsmen and
                                                                 their families has passed the Senate Finance Committee,
                                                                 an important hurdle on the way to becoming law. The
                                                                 Foreign and Armed Services Tax Fairness Act of 2002
      2003 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MILITARY                             proposes amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of
                 CHILDREN                                        1986, including allowing reservists and National Guard
                                                                 members to deduct the cost of military-related overnight
Information about the 2003 Scholarships for Military             travel from their annual tax bill. This benefit would
Children program, including applications and eligibility         affect the estimated 100,000 individuals who travel more
requirements, can be found starting Nov. 1 at                    than 150 miles, one way, each month to get to their drill
www.commissaries.com or www.fisherhouse.org or at                duty, according to Jay Spiegel, executive director of the
your local commissary.                                           Reserve Officers Association in Washington. The bill
                                                                 calls for the travel deduction - which used to be
                                                                 permitted before the Tax Reform Act of 1986 tightened
      2003 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MILITARY                             the rules - to be "above the line," which means that
      CHILDREN PROGRAM ANNOUNCED                                 reservists could take the deduction if they itemize, or
                                                                 simply accept a standard deduction. Overall, the entire
Applications for the third annual Defense Commissary             cost of the bill to the government would be about $1
Agency/Fisher House Foundation Scholarships for                  billion over 10 years. For a guide on taxes, visit
                                                                                                                       11
http://www.military.com/Finance/Content?file=taxes_main.ht   services. TRICARE Prime enrollees will not have
m&area=Content                                               co-payments or need referrals or authorizations from
                                                             their primary care managers unless they go to a non-
                                                             network provider. TRICARE Standard and Extra
       LOW INTEREST RATES GOOD FOR                           beneficiaries do not have to obtain referrals, but they
             SERVICEMEMBERS                                  will have to pay applicable cost shares and deductibles
                                                             for the school physicals.
Service members who are thinking about purchasing a          _____________________________________________
home or are interested in refinancing their current
mortgage at a lower interest rate can find information       You can achieve your goals through the power of
online at http://www.military.com . In addition to           positive thinking...
providing free information on VA loans and                   _____________________________________________
conventional loans, Military.com has a short
online form service members can fill out to receive more              GIVE THE GIFT OF GROCERIES
information. The service is free, and the form can be
accessed at:                                                 Want to make sure your grandchildren in Germany are
http://www.military.com/Finance/Content?ESRC=mr.nl&file=     getting a bountiful dinner this holiday season? Worry no
apply_for_loan.htm&area=Content                              more. Commissary gift certificates are now available
                                                             online through the Defense Commissary Agency’s Web
                                                             site at www.commissaries.com. Anyone may purchase
      FREE PATRIOTIC COIN FROM USAA                          the gift certificates, but only authorized commissary
                                                             shoppers can redeem them at the commissary. This new
Representing all military branches, the coin is USAA’s       customer service is made possible through a business
way of thanking you for your military commitment             agreement with CertifiChecks Inc. DeCA does not
and service to our nation. You can contact USAA at           derive any income from the agreement. The commissary
usaa.com or call (888) 391-6408 for your free                gift certificates, available in a variety of denominations
patriotic coin.                                              ranging from $5 to $100, may also be purchased in the
http://www.usaa.com                                          United States through a toll-free number at 1-877-770-
___________________________________________                  GIFT (4438). Purchasers overseas should use the online
                                                             link at www.commissaries.com. Order forms will also be
     TRICARE BENEFIT FOR SCHOOL AGE                          available at commissary customer service desks and can
                CHILDREN                                     be downloaded from the DeCA Web site as an additional
                                                             option. The forms may be filled out and sent by mail or
A provision included as part of the FY 2001 National         fax to CertifiChecks. Customers may pay with a check if
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that makes                  they use the order form. A standard charge of $4.95 pays
school-required physicals for children age 5 through 11 a    CertifiChecks’ costs for printing, mailing and handling
TRICARE benefit has finally been implemented!                of up to 20 certificates – as long as all are going to the
Because school physicals are routinely provided at           same address. Typical delivery of certificates is four
military treatment facilities, many military families did    to10 days. Additional charges apply for bulk orders and
not know these examinations were not a TRICARE               for special handling or delivery. Check out the
benefit before passage of this law unless they               “frequently asked questions” on www.commissaries.com
had to obtain one from a civilian provider and found
they were not reimbursed for the cost of the physical.
The new benefit covers only physicals required for                 FREE PUBLICATIONS FOR FEDERAL
admission to school and not sports physicals. It is                          EMPLOYEES
retroactive to October 30, 2000. Claims may be
submitted for any covered physicals received since that      With hundreds of FREE publications written specifically
date. To file a claim for this reimbursement,                for Federal Employees. Feddesk.com brings YOU all the
beneficiaries should attach the receipt and paperwork to     latest FREE handbooks and guides published by the
a claim form and send it to their regional managed care      Federal Government. These handbooks and guides are
support contractor.                                          now brought together for the first time on one, easy-to-
    Beneficiaries may download claim forms from              use website - Feddesk.com. Now you can quickly - and
the TRICARE Web site at                                      easily - find the handbooks you want and need! To get
http://www.tricare.osd.mil/claims/default.htm                your own FREE copies of these handbooks, simply go to
or may contact a local TRICARE Service Center.               our NEW website: http://www.feddesk.com .
TRICARE regards school physicals as preventive
                                                                                                                    12
                                                                The staff answering the telephone doesn’t always
    Just some of the FREE Federal Publications you'll        have the expertise or information, but we are willing to
    find on the NEW federal website - Feddesk.com:           help you find out.
                                                                In addition to our toll-free number, family members
    - 2003 Federal Employees EMERGENCY Federal               may also email the Army Family Liaison Office about
    Benefits                                                 quality of life issues: armyfamily.link@hqda.army.mil
      Telephone Directory                                    _____________________________________________
    - Federal Children's Scholarship Handbook
    - Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)                             WEBSITE RESOURCES
    Handbook
    - CSRS Retirement Handbook                                  http://www.esgr.org National Employer Support of
    - FERS Retirement Handbook                                   the Guard and Reserve
    - Tax Retirement Planning Guide                             http://www.laesgr.com LA Employer Support of the
    - TRICARE Handbook                                           Guard and Reserve
    - Medicare Handbook                                         www.hooah4health.com New Army site for
    - Vet Benefits Guide                                         deployed soldiers, families, and loved ones.
    - Competing for Federal Jobs Handbook                       http://www.la.ngb.army.mil/fs/index.htm LA National
    - Career Transition Handbook                                 Guard Family Program Web Page
    - Federal Travel Card Rules                                 www.guardfamily.org National Guard Bureau
    - Federal Leave Handbook                                     Family Program Web Page
    - Workforce Diversity Guide                                 www.army.mil Army Knowledge Online
    - Guide to Processing Personnel Actions                     http://www.tricare.osd.mil Tricare
    - Thrift Savings Plan Guide
                                                                http://www.militarylifestyle.com Valuable
    - Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Resource
                                                                 Discounts and Coupons for all military members.
    Guide
    - Veterans' Guide to Employment in the Federal
    Government
                                                             PLEASE REMEMBER THAT 23 NOVEMBER 2002
_____________________________________________                IS NATIONAL FAMILY VOLUNTEER DAY –
                                                             DON’T FORGET TO RECOGNIZE YOUR FRG.
                                                             ADDITIONALLY, 25-29 NOVEMBER 2002 IS
  TOLL-FREE FAMILY LINE IS A VALUABLE                        MILITARY FAMILY WEEK.
              RESOURCE

Family members needing information about any Army                              VOLUNTEERISM
quality of life issue may call our toll-free number at the
Pentagon. We make a difference in your day.                  No one can become rich without enriching others.
   The Army Family Liaison Office Information Line –
1-800-833-6622 - take calls Monday through Friday,           We make a living by what we get, we make a life by
7a.m. – 4:30p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.                      what we give
   All requests are handled confidentially and dealt with
promptly. Army family members who do not live near a         What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us.
military installation have found the information line        What we have done for others and the wold remains and
particularly valuable.                                       is immortal
   Often-asked questions on the toll-free line include,
but are not limited to:
                                                             Any questions regarding this newsletter can be directed
       Family support questions, particularly about         to the Office of Family Programs, CPT Susan Bush, at
        child support                                        800-541-5860. Thank you.
       Single soldier parent questions
       Reserve Component family member questions
       Active-Duty soldier-spouse questions
       Army finance system questions, particularly
        about allotments

                                                                                                                   13

				
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