Army Family Related
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McLEAN, Va.—Military.com announced the launch of its new online base guide for Fort Hood today.
The Fort Hood version is the second in a series of guides to be launched around the country in and around military installations.
Anchoring the appeal of the guide is the ability to post information about the area and engage with other military personnel, veterans and their families online.
Traditionally, information about military installations was spread out among many different resources. The Fort Hood Base Guide — http://www.military.com/base-guide/army-base-fort-hood — brings those individual resources together in one place and acts as an online forum for visitors to ask questions and get answers from real people in the area on topics popular to the military audience such as housing, community features and schools.
Military.com President and retired Rear Admiral T. McCreary said, “Camaraderie is a touchstone of military service and our goal here was to bring that sharing of information and advice online, pairing it with comprehensive and continually updated information about facilities, events and resources on and off base.”
Specific information found on the guide includes a base directory of telephone numbers (both commercial and DSN), addresses, maps and links to installation services and resources.
In addition, visitors can access local news, weather and upcoming events as well as information on relocation, housing, health care, education, recreation, family services, dining, money and spouse employment.
“This is a living product,” said Ward Carroll, editor of Military.com. “It’s designed to not only provide important information in a hurry but to give members of the military community a place to share lessons learned with each other.”
Military.com is the nation’s largest military and veteran online news and membership organization serving active duty personnel, reservists, guard members, retirees, veterans, family members, defense workers and those considering military careers.
Military.com enables Americans with military affinity to access their benefits, advance their careers, enjoy military discounts, and stay connected for life.
Military.com is a business unit of Monster Worldwide Inc.
Fort Hood Base Guide: www.military.com/base-guide/army-base-fort-hood
Article Courtesy of KDHnews.com
The Harker Heights chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart presented a donation of $943 to the William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home in Temple on May 4.
Jack Palmer, commander of Chapter 1876, and his wife of 41 years, Susan Palmer, president of the chapter’s ladies auxiliary, presented the donation on behalf of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
The donation will help to provide a safe and secure setting at the state veterans’ home by building a rail around a new patio.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart was chartered by Congress in 1958 and is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat.
Although its membership is restricted to the combat wounded, the order supports all veterans and their families with a myriad of nationwide programs by chapters and national service officers.
The William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home provides long-term, skilled nursing care.
Texas State Veterans Homes provide a broad spectrum of health care services, comprehensive rehabilitation programs, special diets, recreational activities, social services, libraries, and certified, secured Alzheimer’s units, each with its own secured outdoor courtyard.
For more information on veterans’ homes and other veterans programs, call 1-800-252-8387 or go to the Texas Veterans Land Board website: www.texasveterans.com.
Article courtesy of kdhnews.com.
Brittany Mease was just one of the many Fort Hood spouses to speak out about what she saw as a threat to her family.
“Some of us have budgeted for hard times, but others haven’t,” Mease, a mother of one, wrote in a letter she sent to the president’s office. “It’s not like we ever thought we’d be faced with a potential ‘shutdown’ of pay.”
Congress must pass a budget every year, which means that a government shutdown is possible every year.
The budget passed by Congress on April 8 is only effective through September. If lawmakers can’t come to an agreement by fall, military families could be back in the same predicament.
As the law stands, military paychecks would be affected by a shutdown. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, is working to pass the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011.
This bill would ensure that members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components and supporting civilian and contractor personnel, would receive pay and allowances for active service performed when a funding gap caused by the failure to enact interim or full-year appropriations for the Armed Forces occurs.
“This is a crisis for families,” Carter said.
“It’s a threat to national security. The world we live in is very dangerous and we can’t have that kind of stress on the military.”
Regardless, Mease and other military families are preparing for the worst. Aside from cutting down on eating at restaurants, traveling to visit family less and buying store-brand groceries, Mease and her husband also set up a separate banking account to transfer money into each month for emergencies only.
Mease founded the Facebook group, Fort Hood Army Wife and Mommy Life, and said the pay crisis brought people together.
“I’ve noticed people really helping each other out,” Mease said.
Spouses have even gotten together through the Facebook group to teach each other about cloth diapers, homemade laundry soap and gardening.
Kathy Gilmore, Army spouse and the mother of three, said the best way to prevent this type of crisis is to have savings.
“We upped the amount going to (a savings account) after everything last month,” Gilmore said. “I don’t want to see the money.”
She purposely doesn’t allow herself to view or have easy access to the account, so she’s never tempted to dip into it.
But Denise Igo, an Army spouse and founder of the Facebook Group, Fort Hood Wives with Events, said sometimes savings just isn’t a realistic option for families.
“Most families don’t have the means to save,” Igo said. “Even if it could happen again, there’s nothing most people can do about that. If it happens again, everybody will be in the same situation.”
To help some families, Igo organized a free garage sale through Facebook on April 17. Those who brought items were allowed to take anything they needed.
Items ranged from canned goods and baby supplies to clothes and even a computer.
“This was directly helping us all out,” Igo said.
Fort Hood offers free financial counseling to military and civilian families working on post, as well as emergency loans and grants through Army Emergency Relief.
When it comes to saving money, Karen Bradshaw, the Financial Readiness Branch manager, said even though it’s not as easy as it sounds, it can be done.
“No matter how much you make, if you live below what you make, you can always save money,” Bradshaw said. “There is help for anyone who thinks they can’t save money. Come talk to a counselor and we’ll find a way.”
The primary focus of the financial readiness office is to educate families to become financially fit.
“If soldiers are distracted and thinking about their finances, they are not thinking about their job,” Bradshaw said.
The branch trains noncommissioned officers within each battalion to be command financial specialists and family advocacy specialists to serve as the first line of assistance for soldiers who indicate finance or relationship problems.
These specialists can lead soldiers toward the program that best fits their needs.
Fort Hood’s financial counselors say the first financial goal to meet is to save $1,000. Eventually, Bradshaw recommends that savings be built up to three to six months worth of expenses to be prepared for emergencies.
But, Bradshaw said, for those who do find themselves in a financial emergency, Army Emergency Relief is there to help. Last year, AER assisted Fort Hood families with $7.8 million. The vast majority of that is given out in interest-free loans, and about 5 percent in grants.
“We’re here as a safety net,” Bradshaw said. “But we want to teach you how to fish, not just give you fish.”
Article and photo courtesy of Rose L. Thayer, Fort Hood Herald
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