Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Survivor Outreach Services 'keeps the promise' of Army Family Covenant

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Survivor Outreach Services ensures Families of Soldiers who lost their lives in the defense of our country do not go unnoticed. And more importantly, it is a commitment to deceased Soldiers' survivors that they will not be forgotten.The program is a joint effort with collaboration from the Installation Management Command, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command, Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operation Center, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. SOS standardizes casualty services and policies across the Army and provides additional staffing at Casualty Assistance Centers and Active Component and Reserve Component Family Programs. SOS responds to the need for specialized staff at Casualty Assistance Centers to help casualty assistance officers support survivors, as well as adding additional staff who have the sole mission of providing continuing support to survivors.A relatively new Department of the Army program, SOS demonstrates the Army's commitment to fulfilling the Army Family Covenant by providing support to active, reserve, and Army National Guard surviving Families for as long as they desire.After a loved one is lost, unresolved issues or questions that may surface months or even years later. SOS provides support through benefit coordinators, financial counselors and support coordinators with individualized attention. Benefits coordinators provide expertise on local, state and federal benefits. They also work with casualty assistance officers, provide the surviving Family with assistance in order to understand and apply for benefits. Read Story

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reaching for the SKIES

FORT MEADE, Md. - Three times is the charm.Ten-year-old Emmanuel Roberts tried twice to complete a high-flying side kick during a Tae Kwon Do demonstration Saturday afternoon, but he wasn't successful."I was laughing," Emmanuel said of his lack of concentration.But when Emmanuel took his instructor's advice and focused his energy, the Manor View Elementary School student split a piece of wood in half with the force of his foot, garnering applause from the audience."It was easy," he said after the event.Emmanuel was one of 80 Fort Meade children who participated in the second annual SKIES Unlimited Winter Showcase at McGill Training Center. The event is sponsored by Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration & Skills Unlimited, an education and recreation program offered by Child, Youth and School Services.The children, who are enrolled in SKIES dance, tumbling, music and Tae Kwon Do classes, showed off their talents in a two-hour presentation that left smiles on the faces of parents and other family members."It was nice," said 2nd Lt. Renee Roberts, of her son Emmanuel's martial arts performance.Roberts said Emmanuel excels in his Tae Kwon Do class. "It's actually good to see him do it," she said.Elizabeth Lombardo, the instructional program specialist at SKIES, said the showcase, which is held in spring and winter, is a family affair. Read Story

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fort Hood Hall of Remembrance honors fallen troops

FORT HOOD, Texas - Army Spc. Jonathan Emard, 20, was killed June 4, 2008, in Tikrit, Iraq, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire and hand grenades.At Fort Hood, his is one of 97 photographs of fallen servicemembers enshrined in the survivor outreach services program's Hall of Remembrance. The photos reflect the faces of fallen soldiers and Marines following their weddings, combat missions or other photo sessions. Some are in uniform, some are dressed casually, but all are represented the way their families wanted them to be remembered. The hall has room for more than 700 photos, and staff members hope more survivor families choose to honor their soldiers on the walls of the hall. Whether their deaths were due to combat, homicide, suicide, training or vehicular accidents, all of them died while serving on active duty. The soldiers pictured are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters whose memories live on not only in the hearts and minds of their loved ones, but now also in a solemn room here dedicated to their service and in memory of their sacrifices.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

New youth center in Brussels is Army Family Covenant initiative

BRUSSELS - After the video gaming center and rock-climbing wall, Brussels American School student Trinity Hill hadn't fully thought out the rest of the amenities planned for her school's new youth center. What she may have missed about the spacious new homework center and computer lab, joked USAG Brussels Commander Lt. Col. Darin Conkright, is all the extra homework her teachers could give her.Officials from Brussels garrison and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District marked the beginning of construction on a new Child, Youth and School Services Youth Center located on campus Jan. 20. "I'm excited just having a bigger place to go and being close to the school," the 11-year-old Hill said, decked out in a hard hat and ceremonial shovel. "We're going to have an actual place to do homework. I used to have to go to the library because of all the noise at the old place."Construction on the $6.4 million facility is scheduled to be complete by early 2011 and will accommodate roughly 150 students. "This is an excellent example of the Army Family Covenant in action at the Brussels garrison," said USAG Brussels Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Cordova. "When this center is finished, there's going to be so much more for the children right here at the school, without having to travel back to garrison first." Read Article

AFAP delegates choose top five issues of Army Soldiers, Families

ARLINGTON, Va. - On the final day of the 2010 Army Family Action Plan conference, delegates broke from individual working groups and voted on the top five issues that Army senior leaders will discuss at the General Officer Steering Committee meeting in June.This feedback, they believe, can lead to policy changes that will encourage Families "to consider the Army their home." Overall, the conference, held Jan. 11-15, brought 82 issues originating from installation-level AFAP conferences held during the past year. With these issues came nearly 100 delegates to whittle the original list of concerns down to the 16 considered to be of the highest priority. Resolving such problems help to elevate the standard of living for Soldiers, retirees, Family members, survivors and civilian employees, said conference participants.Indeed, this on-going process is considered paramount by Army leaders, especially the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh. "Our challenge is to provide for Soldiers and Families as best we can," he told conference attendees."Your role is essential to help us focus on implementation of these programs; to ensure they're the best to provide what's needed," McHugh said.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Environmental awards winners announced !

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 15, 2009) - Five installations, three teams, and one individual will receive Secretary of the Army awards for their environmental and sustainability program achievements during fiscal year 2009. Read the entire story here: