By David McNally, ARL Public Affairs July 25, 2017

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Army scientists and engineers recently made a groundbreaking discovery -- an aluminum nanomaterial of their design produces high amounts of energy when it comes in contact with water, or with any liquid containing water.

During routine materials experimentation at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, a team of researchers observed a bubbling reaction when adding water to a nano-galvanic aluminum-based powder.

By Lance Cpl. Jake McClung, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. -- Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373 supported the Veterans Village of San Diego during their 30th Annual Homeless Veteran Stand Down July 21 to 23, at San Diego High School in San Diego.

The stand down offered homeless veterans shelter and provided services such as medical care, dental care, legal assistance, haircuts and food for three days.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

1. Am I eligible for the Veterans Choice Program?

To be eligible for the program, you must be enrolled in VA health care and must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charlotte C. Oliver Defense Media Activity - Navy

CHARLESTOWN, Mass., July 24, 2017 — After a two-year restoration at historic Dry Dock 1 at Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park, America's oldest commissioned warship, the USS Constitution, was refloated July 23.

Since entering dry dock, May 18, 2015, ship restorers from the Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston and teams of sailors have worked tirelessly side by side to bring Old Ironsides back to her glory.

The reality of paying for college is that many families find themselves struggling to cover the entire college bill, despite having already filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and receiving federal, state, and school-based financial aid and scholarships. If you find yourself in this position, here are some ideas to consider and places to look to help fill the gap between what your financial aid covers and what you owe your school.

TIP: The financial aid office at your school is an excellent resource. If you didn’t get enough financial aid, contact your school’s financial aid office. They can help you explore your options.

By: Tom Philpott July 13, 2017

Military Update: The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted to make permanent the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) set to expire next spring, and paid monthly to 63,000 survivors of service members who died on active duty or, more commonly, died of severe service-connected health conditions in retirement.

If the Senate initiative becomes law, the SSIA payments of $310 a month also would be adjusted annually, starting in 2018, by the same percentage cost-of-living adjustment used to keep military retirement from fading to inflation.

By Lance Cpl. Niles Lee | July 21, 2017

Sailors with 4th Marine Logistics Group and Expeditionary Medical Facility Camp Pendleton came together in support of Innovative Readiness Training Louisiana Care 2017, alongside members of the Air National Guard, to provide medical support to local communities in the Saint John the Baptist Parish, Tangipahoa Parish and Assumption Parish in Louisiana, July 10-24, 2017.

IRT Louisiana Care 2017 is providing Louisiana communities with medical, dental and optometry care at no cost to patients, while also providing service members the opportunity to work with other branches in a domestically deployed environment to prepare them for future deployments or mobilizations.

 By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval officers unable to pursue full-time graduate studies now have an additional education option with the FY-18 Graduate Education Voucher (GEV) program, announced July 11.

Detailed in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 160-17, the GEV program offers eligible officers the opportunity to receive funded graduate education during off-duty hours. Through GEV, unrestricted line (URL) officers can apply to receive funding for Navy-relevant graduate education meeting the requirements of at least one sub-specialty code as specified by the Navy Sub-specialty System.

Recently married? Getting married soon? Congratulations! Weddings can require a lot of planning, and you probably already have a ton on your plate, but there is one item you may not have on your to-do list that I recommend you add—figuring out how getting married can impact your student loans.

Now that you’ve read the title, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Wait. Getting married impacts my student loans?” If you’re enrolled or interested in enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan, it sure can.

By Alan Zilberman on July 12, 2017

Do you follow any of your favorite brands on Instagram? Ever checked into a restaurant on Facebook? Tweeted at a company or government office about a customer service issue?

Social media is not only a tool for people to keep in touch; it has also become an important way for businesses, government and organizations to reach wider audiences. It provides a dynamic avenue beyond radio, television and other traditional forms of advertising to interact with clients or consumers directly.

By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md., July 31, 2015 - Military families face the challenges of deployments and frequent moves and the impact they have on their children's morale and education.

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. David Mason, a security forces first sergeant here, his wife, Jennifer, and their four daughters spoke with DoD News about the impact his deployments have had on their family.

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015 - The award of the new modernization contract for electronic health records is a great opportunity to "save money, save time, and most importantly, save lives," Christopher A. Miller, the Defense Healthcare Management Systems program executive officer said today.

In a culmination of a more than two-year effort, the Defense Department today awarded a $4.3 billion contract to Leidos, Inc. Now begins the hard part: Putting the contract in place, Miller said.

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015 - The Defense Department wants to remind its health care beneficiaries who carry commercial health insurance to provide their policy information to their TRICARE providers, a Defense Health Agency official said recently.

Mark Ellis, a DHA senior health program analyst, said the issue is important to DoD because by law, commercial health care insurance companies pay first and TRICARE pays second on medical bills.

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2015 - The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of the Military Lending Act, covers all forms of payday loans, vehicle title loans, refund anticipation loans, deposit advance loans, installment loans, unsecured open-end lines of credit and credit cards, DoD officials explained.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all Americans including all military members (active duty, retired, Selected Reserve, or Retired Reserve) and their eligible family members must have health care coverage that meets a minimum standard called minimum essential coverage or pay a fee. Your TRICARE coverage meets the minimum essential coverage requirement under the ACA.

"The term "active duty" means full-time duty in the active service of a uniformed service for more than 30 consecutive days".

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ATLANTA, July 31, 2014 - Officials at the Mail Recovery Center here hope to assist service members in recovering their lost items and offer tips to prevent misplacement or delays.

Lionel A. Snow, Mail Recovery Center manager, shared the mission of the U.S. Postal Service's only remaining mail recovery center. 

From a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau News Release

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2014 - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 13 state attorneys general obtained about $92 million in debt relief from Colfax Capital Corp. and Culver Capital LLC, also collectively known as "Rome Finance," for about 17,000 U.S. service members and other consumers harmed by the company's predatory lending scheme.

"No one who serves our country in uniform -- especially during a time of war -- should ever fall victim to predatory financial practices," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement, "and today's announcement is an important step in righting this wrong." 

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2014 - Service members and their families can be easy targets for scammers, and financial education is key to prevention, the deputy director of the Pentagon's office of family policy and children and youth.

In an interview with DoD News, Navy Cmdr. Peter Hoegel noted that today is Military Consumer Protection Day.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2014 - The Defense Department has joined more than 35 other federal and state government agencies and nonprofit organizations to highlight free consumer protection resources for military members, the assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said today.

Holly Petraeus noted in a blog post that today is Military Consumer Protection Day and that efforts are underway to assist in protecting service members.

I work for A Million Thanks (www.amillionthanks.org)

We are a registered 501c3 organization whose mission is to send thank you letters to active duty military around the world.  We have sent over 6 million letters to date and have an increase in mail coming in recently. 

Usually, we have military personnel who want to receive mail contact us directly but we have more mail than addresses currently.  Would you mind making some sort of post on your website asking those military personnel who want to receive mail, and military families who want their loved ones to receive mail, to contact me.  

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by Staff Sgt. Ian Hoachlander
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas"* - Airmen projected to deploy or have recently returned from a deployment can participate in the PLAYpass Get out and Play Program and save $500 to $1,000 on installation programs.

The PLAYpass program is based upon discount cards which provide eligible Airmen and family members the opportunity to participate in force support squadron programs for free or at a reduced cost.

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American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2013 - A soldier now serving at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., will receive the Medal of Honor for valor in combat in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama will present the nation's highest award for battlefield gallantry to Army Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter in a White House ceremony Aug. 26.

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American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2013 - President Barack Obama has issued a proclamation marking July 27th as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.   The following is the text of the President's proclamation:

Today, America pauses to observe the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War -- a conflict that defined a generation and decided the fate of a nation. We remember the troops who hit the beaches when Communist forces were pressing south; who pushed back, and fought their way north through hard mountains and bitter cold. We remember ordinary men and women who showed extraordinary courage through 3 long years of war, fighting far from home to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.

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From a Tricare News Release
7/24/2013  

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Effective October 1, 2013, all TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) beneficiaries will be required to pay their monthly premiums by an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or through military retired pay allotment.  The ability to pay premiums by check or through an online bill pay system will end in September.

Most TRDP enrollees will need to take no action; however, Delta Dental sent letters to all TRDP participants on July 19 with information on where to submit EFT authorization forms and how to submit an EFT authorization online at www.trdp.org.

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

MCLEAN, Va., July 24, 2013 - Two fallen Navy petty officers became the 18th and 19th recipients of the National Intelligence Medal for Valor in a July 22 ceremony at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence here. The families of Petty Officers 1st Class Jared W. Day and Michael J. Strange received the posthumous awards.

Calling Day and Strange "two young heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion to their country," Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper presented the medals in front of a standing-room-only gathering of families, friends and shipmates.

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By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 - Several government agencies are working on initiatives to improve educational success rates for service members, veterans and their families, senior Department of Veterans Affairs and consumer protection officials told lawmakers today.

Curtis L. Coy, deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity for VA's Veterans Benefits Administration, testified with several other witnesses before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on educational outcomes for military members and veterans. Holly Petraeus, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's assistant director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs, also testified.

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By Claudette RouloAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 - No matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes, the nation must continue to fulfill its sacred pledge to account for its missing warriors, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for prisoner of war and missing personnel affairs said today.

"We honor the sacrifices of our missing and the sacrifices of their families," W. Montague "Q" Winfield told attendees at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Louisville, Ky.

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By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2013 - Opening his address today to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention with a tribute to Korean War veterans, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called on the nation's 22 million veterans to become partners in helping the Defense Department work through "historic transition and change."

Every major conflict in U.S. history has been followed by a period of "realignment and redefinition," with "enormous ramifications and consequences for our entire defense enterprise," the secretary noted.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 521-13
July 18, 2013

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Bernard J. Fisher of Wilkes Barre, Pa., was buried July 16, in Arlington National Cemetery.  In January 1951, Fisher and elements of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (IR), 24th Infantry Division (ID), were deployed northeast of Seoul, South Korea, where they were attacked by enemy forces. During the 19th IR attempt to delay the enemy forces from advancing, Fisher and his unit moved towards a more defensible position, when the unit suffered heavy losses.  It was during this attack, that Fisher was reported missing.

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 IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 522-13
July 18, 2013

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael B. Judd of Cleveland was buried on July 15, in Arlington National Cemetery.  On June 30, 1967, Judd was aboard a CH-46A Sea Knight helicopter that was attempting to insert a U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance team into hostile territory in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam.  As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was struck by enemy fire from the surrounding tree line, causing the aircraft to catch fire.  The aircraft crashed landed.  Although most of the reconnaissance team to survived, Judd and four other crew members of the team, died in the crash.

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By Karen ParrishAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2013 - Senior officials from the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs assured Congress today that they are closing in on solutions that will alleviate the backlog of veterans' health benefit claims and streamline processing of current and future claims.

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, testified along with Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Jessica L. Wright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and witnesses from the Department of Veterans Affairs before the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees.

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By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2013 - The Navy and Marine Corps spent the last decade moving away from their traditional supporting/supported roles, "and it's time to come back," Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of naval operations, said today at a forum on the future of maritime forces.

For the Navy, Greenert said, that means maintaining a day-to-day presence where it matters, "and we've got to be there when it matters."

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From a Department of Veterans Affairs News Release

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2013 - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki today announced the award of nearly $300 million in grants that will help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.

The grants have been awarded to 319 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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From a Defense Finance and Accounting Service News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, July 11, 2013 - Injured Army veteran Jeffrey Mittman and 29 other military veterans will be honored July 16 during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game held at Citi Field in Queens, home of the New York Mets.

Mittman and the other finalists were chosen by People magazine and MLB in their joint "Tribute for Heroes" campaign. Each finalist was selected after receiving the highest number of votes among other veterans representing their chosen MLB teams. Mittman will represent the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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By Donna MilesAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2013 - Forty years ago today, an enormous fire erupted at the National Personnel Records Center in suburban St. Louis. Burning uncontrollably for almost 24 hours, it destroyed some 16 million to 18 million military personnel records including official documents veterans need to apply for the benefits they've earned.

"It's like a MASH [Mobile Army Surgical Hospital] unit," Marta O'Neill, who heads the National Personnel Records Center's Preservation Lab, said during a telephone interview. "There may be 15 different routes that a record could take so we can still preserve the information and get the benefits to the veteran."

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., July 9, 2013 - Getting educators and care providers to understand the particular needs of military children is crucial, a Defense Department official told the Military Child Education Coalition's 15th National Training Seminar here today.

Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy, emphasized the need to work with local communities near military bases where three-quarters of military families generally live.  As an ex-Air Force child and former military spouse, Milam spoke about the challenges of military children through his own experiences.

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By Terri Moon Cronk

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2013 - While dodging financial scams seem to have become a part of life, Defense Department officials have measures to protect the military community from such circumstances, a senior Pentagon official said in a recent interview.

Scamming incidents in the military parallel those in the civilian community, Barbara Thompson, director of the Defense Department's office of family policy, children and youth, told American Forces Press Service.

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The Coalition to Save our Military Shopping Benefits will be cheering on Team USA at the Olympic Summer Games in London. And one lucky military commissary patron will win a Gold-Medal Shopping Spree worth potentially thousands of dollars in free groceries!

Every time the U.S. Olympic Team wins gold, the progressive Gold Medal Shopping Spree prize pool will grow by $50. If one of our military Olympians wins gold, the pool will grow by $100! Our randomly selected grand prize winner will receive the total value of all U.S. Gold Medal victories in $50 and $100 commissary gift cards.

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By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2012 - The Defense Department unveiled a new website today that honors service members' highest acts of valor.

The site -- at http://valor.defense.gov -- is designed to raise awareness of service members' heroism and to help deter those who falsely claim military honors, officials said.

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Are you a young Military Mother aged 18-25 now raising your children as a single parent since the deployment of your husband?

Do you feel overwhelmed trying to balance motherhood and time for yourself?

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American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is awarding nearly $100 million in grants that will help approximately 42,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced.

The grants are going to 151 community agencies in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to a VA news release.

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By Erin Wittkop
American Forces Press Service

CROWNSVILLE, Md., July 13, 2012 - Army Sgt. Jonathon Biddle never imagined that the challenge of learning to ride a horse would help him recover from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and severe anxiety. A program called Horses for Heroes, however, is helping the wounded warrior do just that.

Biddle joined the Horses for Heroes program in the fall of 2011, following a month-long hospital stay at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. It was Biddle's wife, Jackie, who encouraged him to try the program after he brought home a flyer from the Warriors in Transition Unit. The program, started in 2009 by Maryland Therapeutic Riding Inc., is designed to help wounded warriors relieve stress so they can focus on healing.

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By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2012 - Much has changed in the 20 years since the Defense Department ramped up its family support programs by providing policy and guidance from the Pentagon to installations.

And that support is continuing, with many more programs and a broader reach, DOD's senior official for family support said today.

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I'm working on a new uplifting television program focused on bringing people & communities together.  "The Choir" documents a highly-recognized, award-winning Choirmaster as he attempts to create choirs in the most unlikely of settings.  He feels choirs allow people to come together and express themselves as a community, and although they're made of many voices, individuals often find unexpected personal rewards and growth through their choral experience.

"The Choir" is not another competition show about finding the next pop superstar or watching people sing off-key in front of judges for a humiliating audition segment.  This show is about building community spirit with neighbors, peers, co-workers, and others through the simple joy of singing.  It's open to all military wives!  Vocal talent is welcome, but not required because there are a variety of ways to contribute to the choir's success.  (Right now, we're focused solely on the wives of our military men, but if anyone else is interested, it could possibly open up to others as we progress.)

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2012 - Transitioning service members and veterans will be able to learn how to become entrepreneurs through a U.S. Small Business Administration-sponsored pilot program, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills told reporters here yesterday.

Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup is a pilot program designed to provide the training, tools and resources that transitioning service members and veterans will need to establish businesses, Mills said.

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By: Ron Irwin

(Hollywood - July 4, 2012) America it seems is a warring nation and throughout American history in the twentieth and twenty first centuries Hollywood has always played a part through its movie power. In World War II major stars and producers contributed in many ways. Jimmy Stewart joined the Air Force and mega star John Wayne while not serving in the war did make movies with a positive spin to bring hope to the American people. Shortly after the end of the Korean War Hollywood gave it face with classics like “The Hunters” starring Robert Mitchum and “Pork Chop Hill” starring Gregory Peck. The super controversial Vietnam War that lasted far too long and claimed millions of lives including 58,000 American lives got Hollywood’s attention with the classics “Apocalypse Now” and “Platoon.” But the more than decade long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have received little attention from Hollywood and what has been produced has been almost exclusively anti war propaganda.

It is perfectly fine to be anti war, but as thousands of Americans, and others, die and are wounded in these struggles the American media in general and Hollywood in particular has simply turned a blind eye on the subject; that is until now.

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By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2012 - Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines considering separating from the active-duty military this year may seek employment options in the railways industry, which today became the latest to pledge jobs to veterans.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the 5,000-job pledge in a conference call with reporters, making rail the latest industry to offer jobs as part of the Joining Forces campaign. He was joined by Ed Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, and Navy Capt. Brad Cooper, director of Joining Forces, which First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, created to help service members, veterans and their families.

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By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2012 - As Americans were preparing last week to celebrate America's 236th birthday, hundreds of teenagers from military families were treated to three days of fun and learning here in the nation's capital.

About 600 teenagers who participate in Boys & Girls Clubs of America in or around military installations flew in with about a hundred of their mentors for "Operation Washington," a first-time event co-sponsored by BGCA and the Close Up Foundation as part of a partnership grant from the Departments of Defense and Justice, said Kevin McCartney, BGCA's vice president of government relations.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 563-12
July 05, 2012

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of six servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, were recently identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Col. Joseph Christiano of Rochester, N.Y.;
Col. Derrell B. Jeffords of Florence, S.C.;
Lt. Col. Dennis L. Eilers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
Chief Master Sgt. William K. Colwell of Glen Cove, N.Y.;
Chief Master Sgt. Arden K. Hassenger of Lebanon, Ore.; and
Chief Master Sgt. Larry C. Thornton of Idaho Falls, Idaho, will be buried as a group in a single casket representing the entire crew on July 9 in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Sweet'N Low Offers Prize Packs For Exemplary Members of the Military and Their Loved-Ones

BROOKLYN, NY --  As a thank you to the U.S. troops on duty within the US and overseas, America's favorite zero calorie sweetener,  Sweet'N Low®, is recognizing the contribution of United States servicemen and women with its first Sweet On A Solider sweepstakes.

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HGTV contest will give a dramatic free makeover to winner with the tackiest, most outdated living room in the country.

(Minneapolis) – HGTV is teaming up with the editors of HGTV Magazine to find the tackiest, ugliest, most outdated living room in the U.S. The winning entry will be featured in a half-hour special entitled: The Most Embarrassing Living Room in America.

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By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2012 - Eligible military members and federal civilian employees who face financial loss when selling their primary residence may receive compensation, provided they apply for the Expanded Homeowners Assistance Program by Sept. 30.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages HAP on behalf of the military branches. The HAP, initially created by Congress in 1966, provides financial assistance to qualifying homeowners when a closure or significant change in operations at a military base leads to severe losses in the local real estate market.

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From a Department of Transportation News Release

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2012 - Veterans and their families will have better access to local bus, vanpool and other transportation options with $29 million in grants, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.

During a conference call with reporters, LaHood said the grants will fund 64 projects in 33 states to help veterans, wounded warriors and their families find affordable rides to jobs, and job training, education, and health facilities.

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By Elaine Sanchez 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2011 - A government office dedicated to protecting service members and their families from financial predators and pitfalls officially opened for business this week.

As the military arm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of Servicemember Affairs is intended to strengthen military families financially and to serve as an advocate on their behalf, explained Holly Petraeus, who was tapped to head up the new office in January.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 660-11 
July 28, 2011

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced Monday that the remains 12 U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are Army Air Forces

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By Donna Miles 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2011 - The Department of Veterans Affairs today announced nearly $60 million in grants aimed at preventing homelessness among veterans and their families, with particular focus on veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the awards, the first to be presented through VA's new Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. The grants will go to 85 nonprofit organizations in 40 states and the District of Colombia to serve an estimated 22,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.

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By Elaine Sanchez 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2011 - First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, unveiled a new program this week intended to celebrate Americans going above and beyond to improve military families' lives.

The Joining Forces Community Challenge will award prizes to people and organizations that have demonstrated exceptional military family support, from lending a hand with accounting during tax season to hosting a parade to welcome home wounded warriors.

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By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill 
National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2011 - They are used to their deeds pass as unnoticed as their battlefield movements, but six Special Forces soldiers took the limelight here last night to receive a French military award roughly equivalent to the Silver Star.

Five National Guard soldiers and one who serves on active duty were honored with the Croix de la Valeur Militaire ? or French Cross of Military Valor -- in a private ceremony at the French ambassador's residence attended by senior leaders including Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Army chief of staff, and Army Maj. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, deputy director of the Army National Guard.

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The American Freedom Foundation And Bff Entertainment Support Our Troops And Families With The 'ultimate Friendship Bracelet'

NEW YORK, NY - July 22, 2011 - The American Freedom Foundation (AFF) and BFF Entertainment cnnect today's military and their families with the 'ultimate friendship bracelet'. This unique charitable program, launched more than a year ago has since sold more than 15,000 bracelets in support of our troops and their families. To continue the success of the program,BFF and AFF are reaching out to military wives and their families to complete the "connections" and receive their free 'Ultimate Friendship Bracelet'.

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Nonprofit Makes Special Deliveries at Army Base with the Help of Penske

Apex, N.C. — As part of Mission Heart Hug, the nation’s only program dedicated to assembling, collecting and distributing shoebox gifts to military spouses, Support Military Spouses made shoebox deliveries to Fort Bragg Army Base in Fayetteville, N.C., this month. Approximately 200 shoebox gifts were delivered with the help of Penske Truck Rental.

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Surprise someone you love!

Sing & Dance your heart out for someone you love!

BEFORE YOU READ ANY FURTHER, THIS IS A SURPRISE SHOW - DO NOT SHOW THIS NOTICE  TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE PERSON YOU WANT TO SURPRISE.

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By  Linwood Outlaw III
TRICARE Management Activity

TRICARE’s commitment to providing quality medical care to beneficiaries affiliated with the uniformed services includes National Guard and Reserve members and retirees. Several health care options are available to reservists and their families. But their eligibility for certain plans is determined by the sponsor’s status.

While activated under federal orders for more than 30 consecutive days, National Guard and Reserve members are eligible for the same health care benefits as other active duty service members. These benefits include TRICARE Prime, Prime Remote, TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Prime and TOP Prime Remote. Enrollment is required for TRICARE Prime options. The families of activated National Guard and Reserve members are covered under the same health plans as other active duty family members. Families can learn more about the available plans by clicking the “Quick Links” tab located on the home page at www.tricare.mil.

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By Cheryl Pellerin 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 - The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor has released an online publication that will help community service providers aid homeless women veterans, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis said today.

Solis addressed an audience of several hundred at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Theater on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

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Families of soldiers really need to get involved and call their members of Congress and urge them to sign the discharge petition for the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011.

The only way this bill can even be voted on is if 218 members of the House of Representatives sign the discharge petition. Once they get 218 to sign on, they can bring it to a vote and it will most likely pass. If they do not get 218 signatures, the bill will just sit in committee and never get voted on, and that means that politicians can use our military as pawns in their political chess match.

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UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - July 14, 2011 - NBC's popular reality series "The Biggest Loser" is launching a 13-city cross-country search to find new contestants for the next edition of the hit show. Individuals and teams of two who have at least 85 lbs. to lose are encouraged to apply for the new season, which will begin airing in January, 2012.

Casting producers are looking for outgoing and charismatic teams of two and individuals who have the personality, desire and competitive edge to vie for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lose weight, change their lives forever and compete for a grand prize of $250,000. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and legal residents of the United States.

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Hello Everyone -

We learned about this scam in February and although we "thought" everyone was aware and that it stopped - it has NOT!! Please read and pass this information on as there are many that are still being taken by these IMPOSTERS and PRETENDERS....  
BJ 'n Cindy

Long distance relationships (LDRs) and online relationships can often be rewarding but can be also fraught with financial peril.  While we do not condemn developing a relationship in this fashion we would strongly recommend that extreme caution be used.

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By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2011 - First Lady Michelle Obama will take part in three events over the next several days to promote "Joining Forces," a national initiative that mobilizes all sectors of American society to support service members and their families.

The first lady and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, have made numerous appearances to widen the program's reach.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 623-11 
July 18, 2011

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of three servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Lawrence N. Harris, of Elkins, W.V., Cpl. Judge C. Hellums, of Paris, Miss., and Pvt. Donald D. Owens, of Cleveland, will be buried as a group, in a single casket, on July 20 in Arlington National Cemetery. In late September 1944, their unit, the 773rd Tank Battalion, was fighting its way east to France's eastern border, clearing German forces out of the Parroy Forest near Luneville. On Oct. 9, 1944, in the final battle for control of the region, Hellums, Harris, Owens and two other soldiers were attacked by enemy fire in their M-10 Tank Destroyer. Two men survived with serious injuries but Harris, Hellums and Owens were reported to have been killed. Evidence at the time indicated the remains of the men had been destroyed in the attack and were neither recovered nor buried near the location.

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From a Department of Housing Urban Development News Release

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 - The Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide $46.2 million to public housing agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to supply permanent housing and case management for 6,790 homeless veterans, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today.

This funding, from HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, known as HUD-VASH, is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans.

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By Lisa Daniel 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2011 - President Barack Obama today awarded the country's highest military honor to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry, an Army Ranger who was shot in both legs and had his hand blown off while saving his fellow soldiers during a firefight in Afghanistan.

Petry became only the second living veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the award, which Obama presented during a White House ceremony attended by Petry, his wife and four children, and more than a hundred of his family members, mostly from his native New Mexico.

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By Elaine Sanchez 
American Forces Press Service

CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2011 - In a business suit and with resume in hand, Kelly Cotton made her way down a row of employer booths, each decked out with attention-getting posters, handouts and a variety of trinkets adorned with company logos.

The Marine Corps spouse was on the job hunt. She had moved to the West Coast about two weeks ago -- her family's eighth move in 13 years -- leaving behind a job she loved on the East Coast.

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By Elaine Sanchez 
American Forces Press Service

CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2011 - Calling the final stop of their whirlwind West Coast tour the "seriously most important," Great Britain's Prince William and his wife, Catherine, visited with military spouses and veterans and helped to shine a light on the importance of troop and family support at a hiring fair here yesterday.

The royal newlyweds -- also a military couple -- received a resounding cheer as they entered Stage 15 of Sony Pictures Studios here, where a crowd of more than 1,500 veterans and military spouses and 160 employers had gathered for the Mission Serve: Hiring Our Heroes Los Angeles hiring fair.

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By Terri Moon Cronk 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 - A tax credit for companies that hire military veterans could be the next step in helping the acutely underemployed group, President Barack Obama suggested yesterday in his Twitter town hall meeting.

The president addressed many economic issues surrounding his theme of how to reduce the federal deficit, and was asked about jobs for veterans while fielding questions submitted on Twitter.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 560-11 
July 07, 2011

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Maj. Richard G. Elzinga of Shedd, Ore., will be buried on July 8 in Arlington National Cemetery. On March 26, 1970, Elzinga and his co-pilot went missing when their O-1G Birddog aircraft failed to return to base from a familiarization flight over Laos. Fifteen minutes after the last radio contact, a communication and visual search showed no sign of the men or their aircraft. Search and rescue missions continued for two days with no results.

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By Lisa Daniel 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2010 - The Defense Department has identified two sailors who went missing in Afghanistan's Logar province last week, and U.S. forces there are focused on finding one still unaccounted for, a Pentagon spokesman said today. 

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By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2010 - Eligible servicemembers and veterans have less than three months to apply for Retroactive "Stop Loss" Special Pay. 

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By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, (7/26/10) -- Progress is being made at the national and state levels for broad improvements in the public education of military children, but parents still should be involved at the local level to affect change the most, the head of the Military Child Education Coalition said.

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Calling All Military Spouses! 

Have you had trouble with the intimacy your relationship once your spouse returned from deployment?

Dr. Laura Berman, a world-renowned Sex & Relationship Expert, has a brand new show on OWN…
and she's here to help YOU!

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By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2010 -  The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program will resume Oct. 25, but with some significant changes to the popular spouse employment program, a defense official announced today. 

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By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2010 - The National Guard is sending 1,200 troops to the Southwest border states to provide temporary support for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, officials announced today. 

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By Lee McMahon 
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity 

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2010 - Sheet protectors, a frank discussion ahead of time and an 8x10 photo taped to the car seat -- these are a few of the tips Army spouse and mother Rebekah Sanderlin has come up with to help cope with family separations after more than a half-dozen deployments. 

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By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2010 -  Defense Department officials are committed to providing service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses with contracting opportunities, and are closer to its goal of awarding 3 percent of department contracts to such businesses, the acting director for the Pentagon's Small Business Programs Office said today. 

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A TRIBUTE TO SERVICE
ROAD TO REUNION

Docu-reality series
A Docu-reality series brought to you by Gillette, Walmart and the USO.

Are you a military family awaiting the return of a soldier
who has been away for a while?

Are you a soldier returning home to a family you haven’t
seen for a long time?

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By Staff Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs 

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - The Air Force launched a new public website this month to help educate and inform Airmen about the service's dress and appearance standards and policies. 

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July 12, 2010
No. 10-62

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - It's important for military couples to talk to someone about marital struggles or stress they may be experiencing. Marital, couples and family therapy, often referred to as counseling, are all types of professional behavioral health interventions available to eligible married couples enrolled in TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime Remote and TRICARE Prime Overseas. 

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By Jim Garamone 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2010 - Survey responses on the possible repeal of the law that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military will allow leaders to make informed decisions, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today. 

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Ashworth College lends support to "Operation Backpack Brigade" and "Operation Homefront"
 
NORCROSS, Georgia - July 7, 2010 - "Ashworthy Causes", Ashworth College's (http://www.ashworthcollege.edu) on-going community outreach program, has kicked off its latest military focused initiative, "Operation Backpack Brigade" in support of Georgia's Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization that has met more than 105,000 needs of military families.

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By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2010 - After my whirlwind weekend in Iraq with Dr. Jill Biden that I shared in my last blog [ http://afps.dodlive.mil/2010/07/06/blogger-joins-dr-biden-visiting-troops-in-iraq/ ],  I walked away with an even deeper appreciation for her efforts to support our troops and their families. 

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 586-10 
July 07, 2010 

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from World War I, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 

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This study will implement telephone groups for spouses with service members who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan. The groups will focus on education, skills building and support.  The purpose includes building resilience through education and learning, better communication, and coping skills. The program is based on the Department of Defense (DoD) face-to-face post deployment Soldier and Spouse BATTLEMIND program.

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We don’t have to tell you how hard it is. But if you would like to know more about what to expect and how to deal with it, there’s a new website designed to help. It provides information about how the deployment process may affect you and your family.

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By Lisa Daniel 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 4, 2010 - When Defense Department and USO officials created the "Me and a Friend" program, Kelsie Vick was who they had in mind. 

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 571-10 
July 02, 2010 

The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of seven servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors. 

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By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2010 - When I was in the Air Force and stationed in Turkey, it was evident when it was coming up on the time to vote. Voting awareness booths would spring up throughout the base to educate us on how to vote by absentee ballot. 

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By Elaine Wilson 
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2010 - The Labor Department is awarding more than $5 million in grants to help homeless female veterans and veterans with families find jobs and work toward a "bright future," the secretary of labor announced today. 

New television show is casting families who want to welcome home a family member

We want to surprise your family by bringing someone home for a celebration.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2009 - With the Post-9/11 GI Bill's option to transfer unused educational benefits to eligible family members taking effect tomorrow, it's no surprise that more than 25,000 servicemembers have pre-applied, a Pentagon official said today.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 543-09
July 23, 2009

The Department of the Army announced today the planned activations of the 46th Engineer Detachment, 615th Engineer Company, and the 52nd Engineer Battalion Headquarters at Fort Carson, Colo. These force structure actions support the 2007 "Grow the Army" initiative.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 542-09
July 23, 2009

The Department of the Army announced today the planned activation of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, at Fort Bliss, Texas.

For those that are not aware of it there is a company called MilitaryHandbooks.com that offers FREE handbooks covering a wide range of important information.  Whether you are active duty, Researve and/or Guard, retired or veteran the handbooks are for you.  They covering healthcare, benefits, base installation directories, scholarships and more.

The nine different handbooks include:

By Rob McIlvaine
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2009 - The Post-9/11 GI Bill takes effect Aug. 1, but in the meantime, servicemembers may submit a request to transfer benefits to their spouses and children now.

American Forces Press Service

KABUL, July 23, 2009 - U.S. Forces Afghanistan's Facebook page logged its 20,000th fan today, passing the milestone a little more than two months after going public, making it the fastest-growing official military Facebook page, military officials here said.

By Army Master Sgt. Julie Avey
Special to American Forces Press Service

SAN DIEGO, July 23, 2009 - Two California teenagers are honoring National Guard parents who have had travel to overseas locations or natural disasters at home in a project they have named "Sisterhood of the Traveling BDUs."

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2009 - Military children and their families were honored here yesterday by a troop-support group and others when the Washington Nationals took on the New York Mets.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2009 - "Sesame Street" usually conjures visions of Muppets teaching young children their letters and numbers, but they also teach life lessons to help military children cope with deployments, injuries, and now, loss.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 526-09
July 19, 2009

The Department of Defense announced today the identity of a soldier listed as Missing-Captured on July 3 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

By Army Capt. Michael Greenberger
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 16, 2009 - Celebrities stopped by here yesterday to entertain troops as part of the star-studded USO's Summer Troop Visit.

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2009 - Servicemembers interested in using the new Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits this fall are encouraged to contact the Veterans Affairs Department soon to determine their eligibility, the VA's director of education said.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2009 - With more than 3,000 job openings, the creators of a new Web portal are hoping to attract disabled veterans seeking employment.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 513-09
July 14, 2009

The Department of Defense announced today additional major units scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The announcement involves three division headquarters and eight brigade combat teams consisting of approximately 30,000 personnel. 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 512-09
July 14, 2009

The Department of Defense announced today the deployment of two units to Afghanistan. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, from Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vicenza, Italy, have been alerted to replace forces currently deployed in Afghanistan, in order to maintain the capabilities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

By Gabrielle Kirk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2009 - The Military Health System is one of the many Defense Department organizations embracing social networking in order to provide information to and receive feedback from servicemembers.

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2009 - To honor the military and provide a little fun and excitement over the summer months, the rock group Def Leppard and Raven Drum Foundation have started giving away 100 free concert tickets to military members and veterans with military ID for each show in the 2009 Def Leppard summer concert tour.

By Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class William Selby
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2009 - The fifth Army Reserve soldier to earn the Silver Star since the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001 spoke about his experience in a "DoDLive" bloggers roundtable July 6.

by April Rowden
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - With thousands of children available for adoption in the U.S. alone, and with adoption fees that can reach well into the thousands of dollars, the Air Force is helping ease the initial financial obligations for those military families opting to adopt.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2009 - A partnership forged today with the Helmets to Hardhats organization promises to translate into construction careers for reserve-component soldiers.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2009 - President Barack Obama yesterday signed a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Air Force Service Pilots of World War II, the first women in American history to fly military aircraft.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2009 - Servicemembers' long-term rehabilitation shouldn't keep them, or their family members, bound to the hospital grounds, and the Yellow Ribbon Fund is working to make sure that doesn't happen.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2008 - A new Web site is giving the American public a nonpartisan opportunity to join entertainers, professional athletes and politicians in expressing gratitude to servicemembers defending the nation.

By Army Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
Special to American Forces Press Service

SANTA FE, N.M., July 31, 2008 - New Mexico Army National Guard aviators put their hoist training to the test not once, not twice, but 57 times July 27 after Tropical Depression Dolly caused flooding in the high desert environment of Ruidoso, N.M.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2008 - The Defense Department, the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration have signed a memorandum of understanding that will give servicemembers access to commercial airports as they are transiting to and from combat zones.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2008 - Nine U.S. Army soldiers will take aim at Olympic gold in Beijing.

The soldier-Olympians are wrapping up their training throughout the United States and will depart for China in August.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2008 - "The Gigantic Garage Sale" at the South Florida Fairgrounds in Palm Beach County July 26 proved to be not only fun for shoppers, but also was lucrative for "Forgotten Soldier Outreach," a care package organization.

By Air Force Capt. Al Bosco
Special to American Forces Press Service

MATHER FIELD, Calif., July 30, 2008 - With the latest California wildfires mostly under control, Army and Air National Guard aircrews supporting the firefighting effort can finally begin to breathe, as many aircraft are pulled from active support to a stand-by role.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

OMAHA, Neb., July 30, 2008 - As competitors were hurrying from one competition to the next at the 28th National Disabled Veterans Wheelchair Games, some paused between venues to commit to history their accounts of their military service and the impact it's had on their lives.

By Air Force Lt. Col. Lloyd J. Goodrow
Special to American Forces Press Service

HAYFORK, Calif., July 29, 2008 - California National Guard's Task Force Pick came to the rescue when wildfires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest here threatened the nation's tallest Ponderosa pine tree.

By Sharon Foster
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2008 - A Marine in Fallujah pens a song about standing watch. A sailor stationed in Hawaii scribbles a lullaby for his son while in the Iraqi desert. A soldier raps into a tape recorder to entertain his unit. Songwriters like these servicemembers were among the many who submitted their original songs to this year's "Songs From the Soul of Service" songwriting contest.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2008 - Individuals and organizations around the globe are planning special commemorations to mark the quickly approaching seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2008 - The latest GI Bill considerably improves the opportunity for today's servicemembers to obtain their education, a senior Defense Department official said.

American Forces Press Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 28, 2008 - Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Louisiana National Guard departed the Mather Flight Facility here yesterday to support firefighting operations in California's Yosemite Valley.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today called it a "sacred responsibility" to care for the generation of American military children affected by the deployment, and in some cases the death, of a servicemember parent.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2008 - Veterans transitioning from war to peace may need a place to call home, whether it's for the long or short term, the executive director of a North Carolina-based program that offers them that and a good bit more said.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 630-08
July 24, 2008

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2008 - The founder of a Texas-based troop-support group proved volunteer work can be glamorous when she was chosen as one of five winners of a contest to honor women involved in their communities.

By Paula J. Randall
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT BENNING, Ga., July 24, 2008 - Six soldiers of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit are living out their wildest dreams.

By Army Sgt. Susan Wilt
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT BRAGG, N.C., July 23, 2008 - When Army Staff Sgt. Clarence Masiwemai greets someone, it's with a large grin and firm handshake. Beneath his smile, his chest and arm are covered in badges and awards that showcase his Army accomplishments, including the Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge and the esteemed Ranger tab. At 23, Masiwemai is a decorated combat veteran who's led paratroopers in Iraq. In many ways, he seems like the prototype of a paratrooper on an Army recruiting poster.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2008 - Wounded veterans have a new source to turn to when looking for housing to meet their individual challenges after the expansion of a successful pilot program in Texas.

By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

LAS VEGAS, July 23, 2008 - Army Staff Sgt. Dremiel Byers secured an Olympic berth by defeating U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program teammate Spc. Timothy Taylor in the Greco-Roman heavyweight finals of the U.S. Olympic team trials for wrestling June 15.

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., July 22, 2008 - As Tropical Storm Dolly beat a northwestward path over the Gulf of Mexico toward southern Texas and Mexico, at least 600 Texas National Guard members prepared for storm duty today after being called yesterday by Gov. Rick Perry.

By Michael McNulty
Special to American Forces Press Service

HEIDELBERG, Germany, July 22, 2008 - Camp Victory in Iraq is nearly 2,000 miles from the nearest Army library in Europe. But troops deployed at the sprawling base near Baghdad International Airport soon will have access to a broad spectrum of library resources through an e-Branch kiosk.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2008 - After matching servicemembers re-entering the civilian work force with military friendly employers, "Hire a Hero" is stepping outside its box and trying some matchmaking of a different kind.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2008 - For deployed troops, hearing about support from back home can do wonders for morale, but getting a big box full of goodies and necessities is even better.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2008 - The hunt for a fulfilling job can be frustrating, but disabled veterans have a new online tool available to help them tackle that task.

By Army Pfc. Michael Schuch
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq , July 18, 2008 - When Patton's tanks rolled across North African desert sands, letters of encouragement, love and support from family back home connected 1st Armored Division soldiers to loved ones left behind.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 610-08
July 17, 2008
          
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.            

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2008 - Servicemembers being treated at military medical facilities in the national capital region now can recuperate with their families thanks to one group's ingenuity and the generosity of corporate donors.

By Army Spc. Allison Churchill
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq, July 17, 2008 - The Navy's amphibious construction battalions usually build water structures such as piers and bridges.

By Army Pfc. Scott Davis
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 16, 2008 - Modern-rock band Sevendust put on a performance like no other for servicemembers here July 12 at the final stop on their first United Service Organizations tour.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2008 - Wounded veterans and their families looking for help reentering civilian life can turn to an organization in Huntsville, Ala., that takes a holistic approach to that task.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., July 15, 2008 - About 60 servicemembers preparing to retire or separate from the military got the word loud and clear during a recent Transition Assistance Program workshop here: If Uncle Sam can't have you any more, the public school system would love to have you.

Kate Sandefur, Local Salute
July 15, 2008

Local Salute is excited to offer free advertising to businesses owned by Active Duty military or their spouses.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2008 - Hundreds of military family members will gather next week for Marine Parents United's 5th Annual Marine Family Conference, where they'll have opportunities aimed at helping them better understand military life.

By Navy Seaman William Selby
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2008 - It's not always easy for members of the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., to remember they're an Air Force Reserve unit.

By Air Force Master Sgt. Veronica A. Aceveda and Airman 1st Class Shen-Chia Chu
Special to American Forces Press Service

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del., July 14, 2008 - A 326th Airlift Squadron aircrew landed at Dover Air Force Base, Del., July 11 with two giant squids in its cargo compartment.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2008 - In the next three years, an untold number of veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will benefit from a new partnership between two organizations who share only geographic proximity and a desire to honor servicemembers.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 592-08
July 11, 2008

Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner signed into law Wednesday legislation to ease the transition for military children as their service member parents move from assignment to assignment during their careers.     

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2008 - More than 400 guests attended a dedication ceremony for the 39th Fisher House recently built on the grounds of Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Richmond, Va., one of the VA's four Level 1 polytrauma centers.

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Jill Jamgochian
Special to American Forces Press Service

CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif., July 11, 2008 - The 146th Airlift Wing at this station in Port Hueneme isn't equipped to drop fire retardant, but the California Air National Guard unit has found another mission that will keep them involved in the effort to battle wildfires.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 587-08
July 11, 2008

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.    

By Minnie Jones
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, July 11, 2008 - Years of preparation by U.S. Army South, Brooke Army Medical Center, Northrop Grumman Corp. and family members finally came to fruition on the night of July 2 when three American civilian contractors set foot in San Antonio.

By Sharon Foster
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2008 - A company that publishes an annual deployment guide has sped up its schedule to release the 2009 guide this fall.

By Sharon Foster
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2008 - Two years ago, Steve Newton, founder of Silver Star Families of America, asked the governors of all 50 states and the mayor of the District of Columbia to sign a proclamation to observe May 1 as Silver Star Banner Day, honoring wounded and ill servicemembers from all wars.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 10, 2008 - Patriotism runs high at Chick and Ruth's Delly, a mainstay along the Maryland capital's Main Street. Ted Levitt, the deli's owner, starts each morning leading patrons as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance. A huge flag hovers high over the lunch counter, and yellow-and-orange walls are covered with photos of troops in uniform.

By Bryant Jordan, Military.com

On Monday, June 30, 2008, President Bush signed legislation ushering in a new era in GI Bill benefits. The legislation, which the Senate passed overwhelmingly, is part of a $162 billion war spending bill. 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE   No. 575-08
July 09, 2008 

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.  

By Meghan Vittrup
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2008 - An organization that focuses on helping severely injured veterans channels its efforts toward providing the kinds of assistance they don't otherwise get.

Kendra Bushong 
Canine Companions for Independence

I'm writing to share with you a little bit our mission.

By Army Pfc. Christina N. Sinders
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2008 - Long known to protect the waters surrounding the United States, the question asked each time someone sees them is, "What is the U.S. Coast Guard doing here?"

By Sharon Foster
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2008 - Movies and games have always been popular among deployed troops, providing a break from the intense daily realities of their duties and a way to fill downtime while away from their loved ones.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., July 7, 2008 - About 60 servicemembers gathered here today to begin five days of seminars and workshops to help them tap into experience and skills gained through the military as they transition to civilian careers.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 567-08
July 03, 2008
          
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2008 - TriWest and the Montana Army and Air National Guard recently launched a pilot program to help Guard members and their families deal with post-deployment stress.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

BETHESDA, Md., July 2, 2008 - They may not be on the pro tour yet, but two military children got a taste of the big time when they helped pro golfer Fred Couples kick off the second AT&T National at Congressional Country Club here today.

By Meghan Vittrup
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2008 - The cast of the Lifetime cable network drama "Army Wives" graced the red carpet at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here yesterday to help kick off the July Fourth week and salute servicemembers' often-forgotten spouses.

Do you have an original poem or children's story about military life that you'd love to share with military kids?

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 560-08
July 02, 2008

The Department of Defense announced changes today to improve the enlistment screening process by standardizing enlistment criteria and generating uniform reporting of waiver types across all services.    

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2008 - Former servicemembers who disagree with the disability ratings they received when they were discharged as unfit for military duty can now apply to have those ratings reviewed by a new Physical Disability Board of Review.

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

DES MOINES, Iowa, July 1, 2008 - Although terrorists are not responsible for the rain waters flooding the Midwest, at least one National Guard counterterrorism unit was wet and waist-deep in a battle here to protect their communities.

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2008 - The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program, called "AW2" for short, held its fourth annual symposium in Indianapolis last week to identify the most important issues to advance wounded soldier care, the program's director said yesterday.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2008 - Servicemembers expecting to lose annual leave on Sept. 30 due to caps on carryover leave will be the first to benefit from a new policy that allows them to keep more annual leave, earn or hold on to certain special leave categories, and in some cases, sell back accrued leave.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2007 - A new system that updates rules written in 1986 governing how officers receive credit for serving in joint assignments was unveiled at the Pentagon today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2007 - Radio talk-show host Laura Schlessinger is used to millions of people listening to her. Today, however, it was her turn to listen, as Defense Department officials acknowledged her support of America's servicemembers.

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2007 - A Navy SEAL recruiter went the extra mile ? or extra 135 miles, to be exact ? to reach athletes who may have the fitness and drive to make it through the notoriously difficult SEAL training course.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2007 - An online nonprofit group is helping servicemembers preparing to transition to the civilian work world connect with solid job opportunities.

By Spc. Nathan Hoskins, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, July 29, 2007 - The top U.S. general in Iraq presented awards to four Apache pilots for their part in the July 2 rescue of two other pilots downed by enemy fire during a July 27 ceremony in the Victory Base Complex here.

By Pfc. Benjamin Gable, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, July 29, 2007 - Comedians Dave Attell and Scott Kennedy are keeping troops laughing during an eight-stop USO-sponsored comedy tour for servicemembers deployed to the Operation Iraqi Freedom theater of operations.

By Kevin Robinson

Fort Lee, Va. – Commissaries worldwide have been directed to remove from their shelves all packages of 8–ounce Gerber ORGANIC Rice and ORGANIC Oatmeal cereals due to a potential choking hazard.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2007 - USNS Comfort has arrived in El Salvador, the hospital ship's fifth port of call during a four-month humanitarian deployment to more than a dozen Latin American and Caribbean nations.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2007 - Fourteen wounded U.S. Army soldiers received Purple Heart Medals today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here before an audience of nearly 250 family and friends, fellow servicemembers and medical staff.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2007 - There's no horsing around when it comes to helping servicemembers down the road to recovery, as far as one troop-support group is concerned.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2007 - A television special that looks closely at challenges military families face when a parent is deployed has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2007 - Recognizing that their missions are global in scope and often have strategic implications, about 140 reservists and National Guardsmen from every service are wrapping up a course here that's widening their operational apertures.

By Capt. Brian M. O'Malley, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

SHINDAND, Afghanistan, July 26, 2007 - Afghan and international forces are looking to solve to Afghanistan's poppy problem and to maximize agricultural output. Now, Army 1st Lt. Gris Babcock of the 207th Regional Security Assistance Command here may have found a way to help.

By Tech. Sgt. Gregory Ripps, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, July 25, 2007 - Patients in the emergency room at the Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital here may find themselves being treated by someone in a camouflage uniform.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2007 - Through scholarships, care packages and emergency financial relief, the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund, a troop-support group in Montana, honors its namesake.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2007 - Portraits created by "Project Compassion" capture so much -- the twinkle in an eye, the smallest hint of a smile, the evident pride of a newly minted Marine, everything good families remember about loved ones killed fighting the war on terrorism.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2007 - What began as a shared love of German cars has morphed through friendship into a passion to honor, educate and entertain servicemembers, Operation Wheels of Freedom's program director said.

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2007 - Data for nearly 600,000 households enrolled in TRICARE stored on a government-contractor's unprotected computer server could have been exposed to hackers, defense officials announced today.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

SCHWEINFURT, Germany, July 20, 2007 - Over the past week, Marine Gen. Peter Pace personally thanked thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for their service. Today he traveled to this German city to thank their spouses for the very real sacrifices they and their families make in the war on terror.

No. 906-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2007

 The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2007 - Earlier this season, Budweiser and race-car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. drew attention to a little-known charity with big aspirations.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2007 - For servicemembers, "Operation Open Arms" is all about fun in the southwestern Florida sun. It's about much more than that for Capt. John Bunch, however.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 888-07
July 17, 2007

The Department of Defense approved today a policy change to the U.S. Central Command Rest and Recuperation Leave Program, increasing the time provided to military service members for rest and recuperation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 17, 2007 – American and Iraqi military forces broke up al Qaeda operations in the Diyala River valley during “Operation Ithaca,” conducted July 12, a U.S. military officer said today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 17, 2007 – A San Diego-based group is working to remind troops serving overseas that folks back home are grateful for their efforts, the group’s founder and chairman said.
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2007 – The Women’s National Basketball Association showed its support for the military by giving out 2,000 free tickets for U.S. servicemembers and military family members to attend this year’s All-Star Game held yesterday at the Verizon Center here.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2007 – With country music legend Charlie Daniels at his side, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England today honored Robert Rosenthal, who with his wife Nina has been bringing top entertainers to stateside troops since 2002.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2007 – Jeep is partnering with the New York Mets major league baseball team, a New York television station and New York auto dealers associations to help put both a U.S. servicemember and a support-letter writer each behind the wheel of a new vehicle.
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2007 – Each day, as the nation’s volunteer military men and women perform their mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, they know the enemy they’re up against employs uncommon tactics and weapons. They know that a simple misstep could cause disfigurement or death.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2007 – The National Homeland Defense Foundation distributed more than $500,000 in temporary financial assistance to over 300 families of deployed military personnel since 2005, according to the foundation’s president.
By U.S. Air Force Capt. Nora Eyle
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 12, 2007 – Senior Airman Jennifer Cianfrocca may get the most mail at Camp Cunningham’s post office here, but her care packages are not just for her alone -- they are also for everyone with whom she works.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2007 – No single troop-support group can meet every request servicemembers make, but through partnerships with three other groups, Silver Star Families of America is coming closer.
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2007 – Thanks to a Phoenix talk show host and troop-support group, Operation Homefront of Arizona, troops with Internet access will be able to hear what their comrades are saying.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2007 - In the month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Mike Talleda was searching for a way to help the country and motivate others to do the same.

By Staff Sgt. Christine L. Andreu-Wilson, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., July 9, 2007 - Though clouds were overhead at the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race July 7, nothing could dampen the spirit of the 49th annual race or its fans.

By Jen Rodriguez
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, July 6, 2007 - Sweetheart, Jackson and Ellie Mae, three pooches, are helping to change the lives of wounded warriors at Brooke Army Medical Center here.

By Elaine Wilson
Special to American Forces Press Service

SAN ANTONIO, July 6, 2007 - Army Spc. Hollis Richardson glides across the rink, balancing his body on just a slab of metal and two thin blades. He digs two sticks into the ice, kicking up a light mist as he rushes to propel himself to the puck. Veering to the right, he evades an opponent and knocks the puck to a teammate just as he collides with another player, metal slashing metal.

By Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Sapp, USMC
American Forces Press Service

SAN DIEGO, July 6, 2007 - In a tribute to the military and Independence Day, Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres went with a different-looking uniform for their game at Petco Park here July 4.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2007 - Servicemembers who've suffered serious injuries resulting from their wartime service can get financial help thanks to two congressionally legislated programs, a senior U.S. military officer said July 3.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2007 - President Bush took advantage of a Fourth of July address yesterday to urge all Americans to show support for men and women in uniform who continue to defend American liberties.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2007 - An AH-64 Apache helicopter crew rescued two U.S. pilots after enemy fire brought down their OH-58D Kiowa helicopter south of Baghdad yesterday.

DoD Announces Units for Next Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation

The Department of Defense announced today additional major units scheduled to deploy as part of the next Operation Iraqi Freedom rotation.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

HOUSTON, July 27, 2006 - Experts with the Military Child Education Coalition are working to help military children deal with the death of a parent through a new initiative: "Living in the New Normal; Supporting Children through Trauma and Loss."

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2006 - The Federal Voting Assistance Program office is pulling out the stops to ensure all servicemembers and their families who wish to can vote.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2006 - "Operation: S.A.M.," or Saluting All Military, is working to ease servicemembers minds about how much support they have back home.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2006 - Additional U.S. military police will deploy to Baghdad to serve alongside Iraqi law enforcement officers, President Bush said here today following a White House meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2006 - Everyone within the Defense Department makes an important contribution to the overall mission, so it's critical that every member -- military, civilian and contractor alike -- ensure they do their jobs right. That's the message behind "Check It," a new Defense Department campaign that Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England will launch later this week.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2006 - The Air National Guard is an integral part of the National Guard force and is transforming to better meet its dual roles of assisting in homeland defense and contributing to the global war on terror, the component's new director said here today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 - With a name that sounds like a Madagascar Penguins' plan, Operation Christmas Stocking has commenced.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 - Military disc jockeys based in Afghanistan today inaugurated radio-broadcast news and other programming to an estimated in-country audience of 18,000 U.S. servicemembers, an American Forces Radio and Television Service official said here today.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 - If a deployed servicemember misses a milestone in a family member's life, it's gone forever, unless someone at home keeps a good record.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 - Watching TV coverage of Marines from their former unit helping Americans leave Beirut churns up a host of emotions for former Marines who served there when a barracks was bombed in October 1983.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 - Two-thirds of U.S. troops serving in Iraq say they believe the cause they're fighting for is worthwhile, according to a new Stars and Stripes survey.

DoD Announces Selection of Enlisted Advisor for Reserve Affairs

The Department of Defense announced today that Marine Corps Reserve Sergeant Major Joseph A. Staudt has been selected to serve as the next senior enlisted advisor to the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs (ASD-RA).

By Monique Reuben
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2006 - A Georgia teenager is spearheading a troop-support rally to be held later this week in Atlanta.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2006 - An organization devoted to the unique education challenges that face the children of military families is using the World Wide Web to help transitioning parents and students get information about schools across the nation.

(Salt Lake City-July.18, 2006)   Western Governors University (www.wgu.edu) is offering supplemental $1,500 scholarships to students participating in Troops to Teachers and Spouse to Teachers programs managed through the Department of Education and Department of Defense by Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES). Bachelor and master degree programs are offered by WGU's Teachers College.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2006 - A contracted ship has docked in Lebanon to evacuate U.S. citizens caught in the fighting there, and U.S. officials have ordered the expeditionary strike group based around the USS Iwo Jima to assist in the effort, DoD officials said here today.

I created the following letter in hopes of getting greeting cards to send to the troops.  Can you help?? I haven't had a very good response so far.
Thank you
Jennifer Nelson

By Ashleigh Covington
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2006 - An Internet community of support for troops overseas has arisen from one mother's concern that some of her son's fellow servicemembers were not receiving mail or the support they needed from home.

By Karen Fleming-Michael
American Forces Press Service

FORT DETRICK, Md., July 17, 2006 - Quitting smoking was the last thing Army Master Sgt. David Dulen expected to do when he deployed to Iraq in September.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2006 - A U.S. military team is now in Lebanon evaluating the possibility of evacuating thousands of American citizens there, a Defense Department spokesman said here today.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2006 - U.S. soldiers freed a kidnapped Voice of America journalist and captured four suspected terrorists in two separate operations in Baghdad July 14, officials in Iraq reported.

By Pfc. Paul J. Harris, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BALAD, Iraq, July 16, 2006 - Civil affairs soldiers are here working to ensure local Iraqis have the strong foundation needed to rebuild and sustain their government long after the coalition leaves Iraq.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2006 - Marine Lt. Gen. Frances C. Wilson took the reins today as the 12th president of the National Defense University at Fort McNair here.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2006 - More than 115,000 kids have at least one parent deployed in the war on terrorism, and that doesn't include those children affected by routine deployments, according to an organization that supports military children.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2006 - The Army National Guard is experiencing its biggest and longest-running recruiting success since the end of the draft, the chief of the National Guard Bureau told Pentagon reporters today.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2006 - With about 3,600 troops reporting on or ahead of schedule so far for border security duty in the Southwest, the National Guard is solidly on track to meet the requirement of up to 6,000 troops by Aug. 1, the chief of the National Guard Bureau told Pentagon reporters today.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

HOUSTON, July 14, 2006 - A top Army general and his daughter praised the Military Child Education Coalition for the organization's work helping military parents and their children cope with challenges during transitions from one school to another.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

HOUSTON, July 14, 2006 - It's important that teachers and other school officials understand factors affecting children of military families, a senior Army general said here yesterday.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2006 - The Armed Services YMCA is sending servicemembers free CDs with new and old popular country music hits that express pride in America.

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

HOUSTON, July 13, 2006 - The Marine Corps has made tremendous improvements in its family-support programs since the war on terrorism began, a top general in that service said here yesterday.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2006 - The Missile Defense Agency successfully completed a developmental flight test of a major element of its ballistic missile defense system today at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., agency officials said.

By Master Sgt. Orville F. Desjarlais Jr., USAF
American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, July 12, 2006 - Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Long likes a challenge. But a couple weeks ago, one challenge seemed insurmountable.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2006 - United Service Organizations of Metropolitan Washington will get a sizeable boost from Northrop Grumman Corporation tomorrow to help establish its newest military airport lounge, at Washington Dulles International Airport here.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

HOLMDEL, N.J., July 11, 2006 - U.S. military men and women have given the Iraqi people hope, Iraq's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations said during a July 9 ceremony here at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2006 - A memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England underscores the department's standing policy of treating detainees humanely and orders commanders responsible for detainee affairs to review their practices to ensure they are in compliance.

American Forces Press Service

PITTSBURGH, July 11, 2006 - Oakland A's All-Star pitcher Barry Zito, founder of "Strikeouts for Troops," will donate $500 for each strikeout thrown during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game here this evening.

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 11, 2006 - The transition of security responsibilities in southern Afghanistan to NATO will be positive for Afghanistan and enable U.S. forces to expand their focus on the counterinsurgency movement there, the top U.S. general here said today.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2006 - Five members of Major League Baseball's Houston Astros bullpen will collectively contribute to 'Strikeouts for Troops' this season.

DoD Makes Changes to Qualifications for TRICARE Reserve Select

The Department of Defense announced today the eligibility determination period for the new TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) program, and as a result, every member of the selected reserve will now have the option to purchase their health coverage from TRICARE.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2006 - With hurricane season in full-swing, military officials are encouraging servicemembers who don't own their own homes to purchase renters insurance to protect their personal property.

By Ashleigh Covington
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2006 - Inspired by the book "A Treasure Trove," by Michael Stadther, and the Disney movie "National Treasure," 10-year-old Rachel and 8-year-old Kelsi Okun created their own scavenger hunt to raise scholarship money for military children and spouses.

By Spc. Stephen Baack, USA
American Forces Press Service

WUERZBURG, Germany, July 6, 2006 - The U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, known as the "Big Red One," bid farewell to its host country of Germany at Victory Park on Leighton Barracks here today.

By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2006 - Napoleon Bonaparte once opined that an army marches on its stomach, meaning that to be effective, a military relies on good and plentiful food.

By Elaine Wilson
Special to American Forces Press Service

SAN ANTONIO, July 5, 2006 - As the city celebrated July 4 with colorful parades and family barbecues, a small group of cyclists rode into Fort Sam Houston marking an independence day of their own.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2006 - The Daughters of the American Revolution honored two soldiers and the founder of an organization that builds adaptive homes for wounded servicemembers at their 115th annual meeting here June 30.

By Monique Reuben
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2006 - Two teens' ongoing effort to help deployed servicemembers communicate with their loved ones back home inspired the Orlando-Conway, Fla., chapter of International Moms Club to donate $4,000 to "Cell Phones for Soldiers" June 28.

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam R. Cole, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, July 3, 2006 - Two U.S. Navy ships - USS Patriot and USS Salvor -- completed a five-hour, navigationally complex transit down the Saigon River to arrive here July 1 for a scheduled port visit aimed at enhancing U.S.-Vietnam relations and allowing the sailors of both ships to experience the culture-rich city and outlying area.

By Tech. Sgt. Devin Fisher, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., July 3, 2006 - U.S. Northern Command has a new partner in defending North America from future terrorist and natural disasters.

Summer Christmas

The South Shores Church in Monarch Beach is looking for families of Marines scheduled to be deployed during the holidays this year.

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