Military Family Assistance Center Marshall, Minnesota
HOT OFF THE PRESS FROM YOUR LOCAL MILITARY FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER
It's been a long time since an issue of the "FAC Facts" has circulated through our Service Members and Families. A short time ago I was asked to put together a list of resources to go into a unit's newsletter. We spoke about it and came up with resurrecting the FAC FACTS. In the FAC FACTS we not only list the contact information for various resources we explain what they do and provide you a short background. We are serious about what we do and what we give you is our best possible contacts to assist you. Part of our charter is ensuring that the resources we provide are well researched, trustworthy, and professional and whose mission is to help you! First of all, here's a refresher on our services. We are the Military Family Assistance Center! You call us with an issue and we will listen, research and provide you with not just any resource but the best possible resource for that particular issue. REMEMBER! There is no issue too small or insignificant if it is placing a tax on you or your family! All of what we do is confidential in nature. We do not share with anyone to include the military command unless we believe that an issue is going to cause personal injury to either the client or others. We are dedicated to relieving anguish, pain, suffering and anxiety by being "up front," honest, and working closely with you. When you call be sure to provide us with the best possible information so we can better understand your issue. What types of issues do we work? Pretty much anything that you call us about we will work to resolve.
TRICARE Insurance Counseling Communication Employment Red Cross Notification Military Retirement
Financial Issues Emergency Grants Eviction Service Members Relief Act Family Advocacy Military Pay & Benefits
DEERS and ID Information & Support Legal Support VA Benefits Employer Support - Guard/Reserve Education Outreach
AND A WHOLE LOT MORE! No military Service Member or Family will be turned away from a FAC regardless of branch or service affiliation. Our services are not limited to Guard and Reserve, we service all branches of military service from all eras of conflict. We do not duplicate the jobs of the County Veterans Service Officers, we work together. Our networking provides us with not just one aspect of services but with the entire array of what is provided by many agencies. â€œThe more we get the spouses and families involved, the healthier the Army becomes.â€?
~ SMA Julius W. Gates
YOUR LOCAL RESOURCES FOR HELP! BEMIDJI FAC – Tabitha Steinmetz 651-282-4031 or Cellular 218-368-2532 firstname.lastname@example.org
BROOKLYN PK FAC – Jonell Wilson 651-282-4055 or Cellular 612-382-4181 email@example.com
CAMP RIPLEY FAC – Tami Klucas
TOLL FREE FAC NUMBER…
888-234-1274 Call us at this number and the cost is, well, really reasonable… As a matter of fact, IT’S FREE!
Baxter the FACster has more news 4 U!
320-616-3117/3119 or Cellular 320-412-6068 firstname.lastname@example.org
DETROIT LAKES FAC – Mark Sjostrom 651-268-8282 or Cellular 612-281-0548 email@example.com
DULUTH FAC – Nadine Wells 651-268-4053 or Cellular 218-310-6546 firstname.lastname@example.org
MANKATO FAC – Patrick Corrow 651-268-8413 or Cellular 507-382-8252 email@example.com
MARSHALL FAC – Jeff Gay 651-268-8475 or Cellular 651-280-8894 firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THIS ISSUE: TAMP & TRS Budgeting (Holiday’s Draining) Winter outing tips! Safety & survival… IMPORTANT TRICARE NOTICE And lots more!!!!!!!!!!
ROCHESTER FAC – Vern Truax / Pat Corrow 651-268-8587 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
ROSEMOUNT FAC – Vern Truax / Christina Rost 651-282-4748/4049 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
ANG – DULUTH WING – Jennifer Kuhlman 218-788-7833 or Cellular 218-349-5575 email@example.com
ANG – MINNEAPOLIS WING – Jill Lawrence 612-713-2367 or Cellular 763-438-6005 jill.lawrence@ ang.af.mil
USAFR – 194TH AIR WING – MINNEAPOLIS 612-713-1516 / 1517 family.support@.af.mil
STRONG BONDS Strong Bonds - Marriage Retreat When: April 12-14, 2013 Where: Metro Area About: This unit-based, chaplain-led program strengthens the Army family through relationship education and skills training. This retreat is designed to strengthen relationships, inspire hope and rekindle marriages.
Operation Welcome Home When: April 26-28, 2013 Where: Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, Stewartville About: Faith-based weekend to provide encouragement, hope and inspiration to veterans and their spouses.
For more information about Strong Bonds events contact: SFC Hickory Smith at 651-282-4287 or email SFC smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.btyr.org/strong-bonds-marriage-retreats REGIONAL YELLOW RIBBON SUMMITS
SERVICING ALL BRANCHES! ACTIVE DUTY, GUARD, RESERVE & RETIRED “It is extremely important to keep troops everywhere aware of how important their families are, and to remind them that folks up the ladder care about them and their families.” ~ SMA George W. Dunaway
What is a Yellow Ribbon Summit? Essentially YR Summits are meant to bring together the YR core or steering committee members to discuss how things are working correctly or not working at all. It is a networking event and a sharing of ideas.
Feb. 2 - Rochester, Registration closed Feb. 23 - Bloomington, Registration closes Feb 9 Mar 9 - St Cloud, Registration closes Feb. 23 Mar 23 - Marshall, Registration closes Mar 9 Mar 30 - Duluth, Registration closes Mar 16 Apr 6 - Mankato, Registration closes Mar 23 Apr 21 - Moorhead, Registration closes Apr 20
YOUTH EVENTS/CAMPS It's that time of year to start thinking about summer fun in the sun and getting your kids to camp. Operation Purple Camp is back this summer! You can find more details on the flyer and register for camp today at www.militaryfamily.org. There are spots for 100 youth, and the spots fill up quickly. The National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple camps offer a free week of fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed. Visit www.MilitaryFamily.org for registration information or additional locations and dates. WHERE: WHEN:
Catholic Youth Camp; McGregor, MN JUNE 30 - JULY 5, 2013
You may also contact Mrs. Laura Groeneweg, Lead Child and Youth Program Coordinator, at 651.268.8695 or by e-mail to email@example.com
can find your nearest VA medical facility and much more at www.va.gov TRICARE (TRIWEST) 866-TRI-WEST (866-874-9378) HEALTH: www.triwest.com DENTAL: www.tricaredentalprogram.com Military One Source www.militaryonesource.com or 800-342-9647 Nat’l Assn. for Child Care Resource & Referral www.naccrra.org or 703-341-4100 Our Military Kids www.ourmilitarykids.org or 866-691-6654 Your Military Education http://mymilitaryeducation.org MyPay (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx 877-ARNGPAY (877-276-4729) Your “tools” don’t have to be National or State they can also be local such as your County Veterans Service Officer, Emergency Services, Law Enforcement, Red Cross and others whose mission it is to help.
REVISITING YOUR PERSONAL TOOLBOX Do you have a personal “Toolbox”? Do you know what a personal “Tool Box” is? Well…. Lemme tell ya! Many things comprise a toolbox and those tools are there to help you “fix” things or “build” things. Tools do not have to be made of metal they can also be made of information, information that you can refer to in the event of a problem. For example, the phone number of your local FAC is an extremely valuable “tool” which you can use as you wish to help fix a problem, build personal empowerment or “hammer out” a new budget… The right tool in the right hand can make order out of chaos. Your toolbox may be a notebook with handwritten entries, a typewritten page in a binder, a file folder or a file in your computer holding web links and contact information for a number of categories. Below are a few “tools” you can use to begin your toolbox.
The most important number for you to remember is your local FAC’s number. Military Family Assistance Centers 888-234-1274 (when prompted choose your nearest FAC) www.btyr.org/dcsstaff MN Department of Veterans Affairs www.mdva.state.mn.us or you can locate your local CVSO at www.macvso.org/cvso.html or you
These are just a few but it is a start, you can continue to add more as you find or get them. Remember, as you need information and you do not have the link or phone number call your local FAC, we are here to help! Support does not end once the troops are home so keep your “toolbox” current all of the time! Here are a few more links for your toolbox pertaining to job searching, employment and employment rights. Job hunting is a full time job in itself so make sure that you have the tools to make it easier. If you have any questions just give your local Military Family Assistance Center a call! Positively Minnesota – DEED www.positivelyminnesota.com Heroes to Hired https://h2h.jobs/ H2H explores careers based on Military skills providing Reserve, other Military and Spouses with job search, education search, resume help, and career planning. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Employment Links www.btyr.org/employment-search-programs Employment Support of the Guard and Reserve www.esgr.mil Hiring Our Heroes (USA Chamber of Commerce) www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/
ASK BAXTER THE FACster! There’s no question too tough! (or, let me get back to you on that!)
Q: “What is DEERS and why is it important to me?” A: “That’s a very good question! Below is a concise list of frequently asked questions about DEERS.” 1. What does DEERS stand for and why is it important? DEERS is an acronym for Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System DEERS is what drives your eligibility for benefits for you and your family. If a Service Member or their dependent is NOT enrolled in DEERS they WILL NOT be eligible for TRICARE or other benefits and cannot be issued an ID card. 2. Where do I go to get a dependents ID? Call your nearest DEERS/ID station and make an appointment. Appointments must be made to ensure that your trip is not wasted o ID Card operators are generally additional duty assignments, be sure that the operator will be available when you’re there o DEERS/RAPIDS machines sometimes are down due to connection failure or other technical reasons. If you call ahead you can check to be sure the machine is functioning. 3. What do I need when I arrive at the DEERS/ID station? For an ID card for your dependents who already are enrolled in DEERS: Two (2) forms of official identification (i.e. State Driver’s License with picture, passport, current or expired dependents ID; as well as another form such as college ID, State issued ID, etc. o Copy of Service Members orders For and ID card if you dependent is not yet enrolled in DEERS: o Same as above plus: Marriage Certificate (if Spouse) Birth Certificate Social Security Card 4. How old must a child be to receive a dependents ID card? A child must be at least ten (10) years of age However, if the child does not reside with the Service Member (i.e. divorced, child out of wedlock, primary caregiver is not a parent) they may receive a card at any age to include infant. 5. What if the family resides at another address than that of the Service Member or moves during the deployment? Accurate and up to date information in DEERS is the responsibility of the Service Member,
DEERS information has a substantial impact on the benefits the family member/dependent receives. o If a family moves and the physical address is different than the address in DEERS TRICARE benefits may change from Prime or Prime Remote to Standard with is an 80/20% split. It is important to make sure any changes are in contact information be reported to your unit or FAC as timely as possible.
HOLIDAY SPENDING GIVIN’ YOU THE BLUES? Preparing Your Family Budget Written by Consumer Credit Counseling Service
If your family is floundering financially, it may be time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and make up a family financial plan. Consumer Credit Counseling Service suggests keeping the following tips in mind when developing your family budget: 1. Your budget should be tailored to your needs, values and priorities, with special consideration given to personal goals. 2. Be realistic when establishing spending categories and quarterly expenses (e.g., taxes, car insurance, holiday purchases, clothing, etc.). 3. Let your budget determine your discretionary income (money left over after living expenses) before you decide to pursue additional installment debt. 4. Credit obligations should not exceed 15 % of your take-home pay. 5. Saving 5 % or more of your take-home earnings is a necessary element of any budget. Remember . . . the unexpected can and usually does happen. 6. Involve all members of the family when determining and prioritizing goals, and when deciding the amount of income to be allotted for each goal. 7. Keep your records simple. 8. Remember, you are the only one who can maintain your budget. Buying without careful thought and planning can and will destroy your spending and savings plan. 9. Don’t panic if your expenses exceed your income. It may be necessary to revise your budget by reducing spending as much as needed. If your expenses are less than your income, have fun allocating funds for those future goals such as the purchase of a home, a car or a much-needed vacation. 10. Nonprofit counseling services such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service provide free budget guidance to help you calculate, implement and stick to your budget. There are many places you can get help with personal or family budgeting guidance. You can start with your FAC!
ANOTHER POSSIBLE MONEY SAVING NOTE: Schools can no longer use the income of a soldier who is deployed to figure out expense for kids meals at school. If you could please pass this along, have your deployed families talk with their schools to see if they qualify for reduced meal rates. Some will qualify for reduced or free meals while the soldier is away.
"Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately, and it gives you a lift. The hangover comes the day after." ~ Dr. Joyce Brothers
IT’S TAX TIME! OK, maybe it’s not quite tax time yet but it’s time to begin thinking about it… There are changes in the tax laws that you need to be aware of. Be sure to contact your tax preparer concerning any changes. If you do your own tax preparation you may consider using the below numbers to get the right answer! You may also go on-line for answers, the websites are in the table below Making that call to get the right answers may just make all the difference in the world for you!
PLAN AHEAD FOR COLLEGE! Please forward to anyone that you may know who has a military background and has a student who will be attending to college next year. As of today there are only 7 scholarship applications and they really want to be able to give out many more than last year. We all know how every dollar helps when it comes to college, sure beats college loans! Go to www.militaryscholar.org/ to apply. All scholarships must to be turned in by close of business on Feb 22, 2013 in order to be accepted. Point of contact for these scholarships is Ms. Lori Looney, Store Director of the Grand Forks Commissary. (701) 747-3083 ex. 313
WINTER TRAVEL NOTES …from Baxter the FACster!
Baby it’s cold outside!!!!!!! Here’re a few hints that will help you arrive safely and may just save your life!
Call the people at your destination and inform them of the time you are leaving, the route you are to travel and the estimated time of arrival
MINNESOTA REVENUE Income Tax – 800-652-9094 Automated – 800-657-3676 Withholding – 800-657-3594 Collections – 800-657-3909 www.taxes.state.mn.us
Check the road conditions by calling MN DOT or log on to their website at http://511mn.org or call 5-1-1 from your cellular phone. See below for instructions on how to use the “511” system.
There are tax services providing military members and families with reduced cost or FREE preparation. There are also several types of software that make it easy to do it yourself, but, if you have anything unique with your taxes you may want to have them done professionally to ensure that you get everything that you are due. Another source you can tap is Military One Source (www.militaryonesource.com or 800-342-9647).
Be sure your car is winterized and travelworthy. o Check the antifreeze coolant level and strength o Check the fluids (oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid and washer fluid)
If you will be traveling in unknown territory, or on mountainous or country roads, it's important that you start out with a full tank of gas, and refill when you get to 1/2 tank.
Keep a set of flares in the car so that if you need to attract attention, you can light the flares a safe distance from the car and any brush.
Keep a flashlight within easy reach in your car. If you should go off the road, and you are hurt and can't leave the car, you can try to signal for help with the flashlight.
If you cannot move your car and you do not know how far you would have to walk for help, don't leave the car.
Bring your cellular phone and in-car charger. If you do not have a cellular you may borrow someone’s discarded but serviceable phone as you may call 911 regardless the whether the phone is currently under contract or not, as long
IRS Q&A – 800-829-1040 Forms – 800-829-3676 TeleTax – 800-829-4477 TTY – 800-829-4059 www.irs.gov
IMPORTANT: Make sure your tax preparer is familiar with the nuances involved with military deductions. For information concerning who is providing TAX services for military Families please contact your local FAC! “The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.” ~ Ronald Reagan
It’s ‘bout that time of the season! Now is a great time to begin plan for your 2013 garden!
as it has once been active. Be sure to keep the battery charged at all times.
Be sure to remain with your vehicle! Do not wander off as you may get lost or disoriented.
If you are stalled and run the engine for warmth be aware of carbon monoxide emitted from the exhaust. Be sure to remove any snow which may be blocking the exhaust pipe at the rear of the car. Run your engine intermittently to get the chill out, this way you will save gasoline as well as minimize carbon monoxide in the passenger compartment.
Include a WINTER SAFETY KIT that can be comprised of the following, but not limited to:
First aid kit and essential personal medications Flashlight and extra batteries (reverse the batteries to avoid accidental switching and burnout, and replace batteries yearly) Canned food and can opener Bottled water (at least one gallon of water per person per day) Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and a hat. Blankets and or sleeping bags Three-pound metal coffee can w/candle stubs and matches which can be used to melt snow for additional drinking water Metal or plastic cup Red bandanna and a plastic whistle to alert rescuers to your location Pencil and paper Two large plastic garbage bags, safety pins (bags are for insulation for feet, safety pins keep the bags together) Snack foods for energy, such as candy bars (Military MRE’s are good too!) Jumper cables and towing chain Sharp knife Shovel Simple tool kit essentials Length of rope (in the event you do venture from your vehicle you can tie the rope around each other to make it easier to stay together if wind prevents visibility) Compass and/or GPS
Don’t forget to have your home checked out too! To prevent injury or death you should have your furnace checked annually to ensure that there are no leaks in your heat exchanger. Carbon Monoxide Kills! It’s also advisable to have a carbon monoxide detector, which can be found at your local hardware store, in your home. A furnace inspection and cleaning can also increase the efficiency of your furnace.
VALENTINES FOR YOUR VALENTINE Valentine’s Day has long been a special day. No, its not a holiday but a very special day which is for a display of your affection for your significant other. Valentine’s Day is also a day which many of us guys can find ourselves in a “difficult situation” if we do not remember it! The date is the 14th of February and there are many options for you to make this day a very special one for the both of you. First, you need just the right card which is as closely representative of your real feelings as possible. Secondly, a gift may be given but not too extravagant. Flowers for your sweetheart is always a hit, regardless of their gender, yes, guys like flowers too but go to the extreme of trying to hide it. Pair these up with a romantic dinner and night out and you’ve nailed it! Valentine’s Day is also a day which may be used to recognize and affirm your friendship with others. With that said, you have to remember to read the card so it’s for the right reason stating your true intentions (friendship vs. “more”) otherwise it can be very awkward! Forget it just once and, well, you know what I mean! This is where the rubber meets the road boys & girls, second only to forgetting birthdays & anniversaries! I’m sorry but no amount of “Resiliency Training” will help you out here! I use my smart phone and MS Outlook to remind me a week or so ahead of the event and I seldom go wrong! Whew! “I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.” ~ Author Unknown
WHO’S YOUR BENEFICIARY?! Your Service Member’s packet contains many crucially important forms. Do you know how often or if he reviews those forms which impact his family? All too often the Service Member completes these forms as he or she enlists but fail to review them seriously and make changes as appropriate. One such form is the DD form 93, “Record of Emergency Data”. Essentially, this form provides information of immediate family members so in the event of illness, injury or death the Army knows who they are to contact and who should NOT be contacted. It also
provides information as to where any unpaid pay or allowances or allotments are to be made and in what percentages. The DD93 also addresses the death gratuity. Ie: the Soldier designates the recipient(s) of the $100,000 death gratuity should he/she die in an active duty status. The intention of the death gratuity, which is paid by the Department of Defense within about 72 hours of the death, is to offset any immediate monetary hardship to those affected by the Soldier's death; typically spouse and dependents or parents. Another form is the SGLV form 8286 which is the “Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Election and Certificate”. This is their life insurance policy. Again, the Service Member makes his/her elections for beneficiary(ies) when they enlist. This is to be reviewed by the Service Member at least annually where, as personal situations change, they may update or change their beneficiary(ies).
former significant other who was listed on the form. The beneficiary has no obligation to give that money to the family and therefore the family receives nothing to sustain the life plan for the Soldier's dependents (housing, health, education, retirement). These documents are for official use only and the information cannot be shared outside of the military. If you wish to make a change to your beneficiary elections please see your Unit Personnel NCO or you may contact your nearest FAC. “So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.” ~ A.J.Materi
FAC Facts 4 U “FAC Facts” is a collaborative effort in order to provide important, up to the moment information for Families & Service Members. This information is compiled by the Marshall FAC for publication. You may contact the Marshall FAC at 651-268-8475, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or: Military Family Assistance Center 500 Timmerman Drive Marshall, MN 56258
These two documents are extremely important and copies should be maintained by the Service Member AND Family Member(s) personally in a safe place.
Your local FAC: Keeping the chain of information together for you!
There have been many situations where lack of review and revision of these forms has caused serious issues. For example: CASE 1: Service Member fell in love and was married at which time all of the appropriate paperwork was done to ensure that he/she was to be paid as “With Dependents” instead of single and the spouse was enrolled in DEERS so he/she would receive benefits due them as a military spouse. However, the SM decided to provide his/her SGLI to parent(s) instead of spouse. This was either an oversight of the SM to revise their SGLI elections or they thought their parent(s) would better manage that money in sustaining the widow/widower. In the meantime he/she passed away. The SGLI was paid to the parent(s) but they had since gone through a particularly nasty divorce and neither had much, if any, contact with the spouse. The SGLI was split 50/50 between the parents leaving the widow/widower & children with nothing to assist in burial costs and to sustain going forward. CASE 2: Service Member was “in love” when he/she enlisted and made the selection for beneficiary that person. Sometime thereafter their love faded and went their separate ways. In the meantime the SM was married and had children. He/she was killed in an accident and when the SGLI insurance was to be paid out it was found that he/she had never revised the SGLI elections and the $400,000.00 was awarded to the
Don’t worry, there’s help for you from Military One Source (MOS). 1) You can contact MOS for tax assistance. You can call them 24/7! 2) MOS also has help for you if you have reached your “tax overload cranial saturation point”! Just give them a call and they can get you the “help” you need!
IMPORTANT TRICARE INFORMATION! As of February 15th 2013 the “TRICARE Walk-In Center” in Bloomington will be closing. There are no plans at this time to re-open the center. If you have any TRICARE related questions please contact your local FAC or call TRICARE’s toll-free number 1-888-TRIWEST (874-9378).
TRICARE RESERVE SELECT TRICARE RESERVE SELECT (TRS) Lets walk through the enrollment process step by step… 1. Log into the DMDC Reserve Component Purchased TRICARE Application (https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/reservetricare) You need a Department of Defense (DoD) Common Access Card (CAC), DFAS (MyPay) Account PIN, or DoD Self-Service Logon (DS Logon), choose “RC Member” and follow the prompts (if using your CAC card you will need a CAC reader, if you do not have one stop in at your local FAC or armory and enroll on their computer) 2. Complete the Reserve Component Health Coverage Request Form (DD Form 2896-1) Check that all dependents (if applicable) are listed (if not, changes/updates must be made in DEERS) Choose that you are NOT eligible as a government employee Choose the starting date you wish Select the payment type you wish (Credit/Debit card, monthly billing, automatic withdrawal) o If you wish credit/debit card or automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account you will have to include a completed EFT form which is available at: http://www.triwest.com/en/provider/edieraeft/forms/eft-form/eftform.pdf 3. Print the completed form and sign it (in two places if using credit/debit card) and Mail or fax the form along with the first month's premium payment to your regional contractor by the deadline Out-of-Pocket Costs TRICARE Reserve Select premium rates are established annually on an calendar year basis. You are required to pay the monthly premiums if you decide to enroll in TRICARE Reserve Select. The 2010 monthly premiums are:
TRS Member-Only coverage: $54.35 per month. TRS Member-and-Family coverage: $192.89 per month.
For more information you may also contact your local FAC and they can walk you through the process.
NEW CHANGES FOR TRICARE DENTAL! Greetings from MetLife, Just a note to say hello and keep the communication channels open. As you are well aware, the TDP contract started with MetLife May 1, 2012. We are well into the program and things appear to be running very smoothly. Our team has been in the field supporting various Yellow Ribbon events, briefings, benefit fairs etc; I wanted to take some time to help get the word out about MetLife and the benefits available under the TDP for National Guard / Reserve members, Family Members of the National Guard / Reserve and Active Duty Family Members. Here are a few tools and important information that will continue to help you throughout the transition and into the future. Details include:
Online: www.metlife.com/tricare Telephone numbers: CONUS: 1-855-MET-TDP1 (1-855-638-8371), OCONUS : 1-855-MET-TDP2 (1-855-6388372), or: TDD/TYY 1-855-MET-TDP3 (1-855-638-8373) Facebook: www.facebook.com/metlifetdp Members may check to see if their current (and other local) dentists are part of MetLife's Preferred Dentist Provider (PDP) network. Visit www.metlife.com/tricare For eligible beneficiaries who would like to enroll in the TDP, they may visit www.tricare.mil/bwe , complete a paper enrollment, or contact MetLife via phone. For web however, beneficiaries will need to obtain a DS logon which may be obtained from their local RAPIDS site. As always, please let me know if you have any questions. Tracy Pearsall
“Quality of life can multiply combat effectiveness. Enhancing the quality of life for the soldier- our ultimate weapon- and his family, allows him to focus his attention on training and combat readiness. Effective quality of life changes can only happen when soldiers and families inform the chain of command about what things work best and when they work best. Taking care of the family is also a method of increasing and improving our readiness, morale, and our ability to fight and win. Readiness is the best way to truly take care of soldiers.“ ~ SMA Richard A. Kidd
DEPLOYMENT? Do you have a deployment in your future? You, your family and your employer must be prepared for it. If you or your Service Member is deploying you need to “educate” yourself about what to expect, what your benefits are, who to call for help, your TRICARE insurance, child care assistance, finance, employer and more! Whether you are the service Member or the Family you need to attend as many readiness events as you can to learn about resources and who to call when in a stressful position. Prior to deployments the Service Members undergo classes and training in preparation for the deployment. Much of this is the same training that is offered to the Family at the Family Preparation Academies (FPA). Your Service Member may tell you that you don’t have to attend the FRA but it is to your best interest to attend regardless. It is also important for those who have been through deployments to attend. Information is refreshed and there will most likely be new information that you have not been provided yet. Generally these are held approximately 60 days prior to deployment. If you miss a FPA or FRA, or you need more information your local Military Family Assistance Centers have all of the information you need, and more! The FAC’s also will do one on one classes for those who deploy late and for families of Active Duty members. Family Readiness Academy (FRA) is for Families in preparation of their Service Members returning from deployment. These are generally held approximately 60 days prior to the actual return date. Upon returning home from a deployment Service Members and Families are urged to attend the 30/60/90 Day Reintegration events that are held at or about the 30 day and 60 mark, the 90 day event is generally for the Service Members only. Your Family Readiness Group (FRG) is available to help disseminate real-time information about the deployment and to help support the families with events and Families-helping-Families. If you wish to be part of a FRG as an officer or a volunteer for your FRG you need to attend the Family Readiness Planning Conference (FRPC).
STATEWIDE FAMILY READINESS SUPPORT TEAM Carmen Brunsvold 84TH Troop Command FRSA Montevideo 651-268-8388
Lillian “Lil” Forseth 34th CAB FRSA St Paul 651-282-4519
Lynda.Schlukebier 34th Division FRSA Rosemount 651-282-4231
Madelyn Lewis 347TH RSG FRSA Roseville TBA
Jan Fournier Deployment Cycle Spt. State FRSA Coordinator Cottage Grove 651-282-4208
Carolyn Ashworth BCT FRSA Bloomington 651-282-4137
Christy House 1/94th AR FRSA Duluth 651-268-8242
FRSA “Family Readiness Support Assistant”
Your FAC’s and FRSA’s work as a team tp better administer care for our Service Member, Families and Communities. The principal role of the FRSA is to support the Commander to assist with execution of the Command’s Family Readiness responsibilities whereas the FAC does not report to any Command and is a conduit for resources and support directly to our Service Members and Families. “Spouses become seasoned advocates of family readiness- without involvement there is no commitment. Quality of life for most of us is peace of mind and a feeling that we are growing as people and as soldiers.“ ~ SMA Gene C. McKinney
IN CLOSING I wish to say that I have missed our little chat sessions, well, my chat and your read… I hope that the FAC Facts are informative as well as entertaining. If you have any suggestions for what you wish to know or to make it a better newsletter please let me know. I do this for you! Please e-mail or call me anytime and I’ll share it with “Baxter the FACster” and together we will find the right answer for you. email@example.com or call me at 651-268-8475.
Kid Stuff Koloring, Gamez and FUN
Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February. According to History.com, when the holiday was first implemented in the 1800s, it was named "Washington's Birthday" and was celebrated on Feb. 22 to commemorate first President George Washington's birth date.
2. According to the National Archives, Congress declared Washington's Birthday a federal holiday in 1879, making him the first American citizen to have such a holiday. 3. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved a number of federal holidays to Mondays -- including Washington's Birthday -- so now the holiday is never celebrated on his actual birthday. 4. The famous story about Washington chopping down the cherry tree is fictional. The made-up tale, in which a virtuous, young Washington supposedly said, "I cannot tell a lie, I did cut it with my hatchet" was included in Mason "Parson" Weems' 1800 book, "The Life of Washington." According to the Register Guard, Weems got a 19th century bestseller out of it -- and the story lives on. 5. Every year since 1896, the Senate has observed Washington's Birthday by selecting one of its members to read his Farewell Address. Parties are alternated for the delivery of the 7,641-word statement, which takes nearly 45 minutes. Senator Jeanne Shaheen has been appointed to read it on Feb. 27. 6. There has never been an official name change to the Washington's Birthday holiday, but according to USA.gov, the holiday is now commonly referred to as Presidents Day. In some states, the day jointly honors the birthday of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12. 7. In addition to Washington and Lincoln, two other presidents have February birthdays. Ronald Reagan was born on Feb. 6, 1911, and William Henry Harrison was born on Feb. 9, 1773. 8. While Presidents Day is an official national holiday, each state is allowed to decide how to celebrate it and what to call it, according to Scholastic. Every state has some mention of Washington, but some forgo acknowledging Lincoln's birthday. In Alabama, the state celebrates Washington and Jefferson Day, named for Thomas Jefferson. And in Massachusetts, Washington Day is celebrated in February, but a separate Presidents Day holiday honors the presidents who came from New England. 9. Alexandria, Va., is the home of the "The Largest Parade Celebrating Washington's Birthday in the USA." Since 1923, the town has hosted an annual George Washington Birthday Parade that features bands, floats, wagons, horses and historic reenactments. There is also free admission to many of the town's historic sites. 10. Presidents Day has become a day to celebrate the accomplishments of all presidents. PBS Kids has a list of little-known secrets about the first 43 presidents. Included: Ulysses S. Grant once got a speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast and Millard Fillmore was the first president to have a bathtub installed in the White House. And he was president No. 13.
Color “Punxsutawney Phil”
Groundhog Day is celebrated every year on February 2nd. The official groundhog lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and His name is Punxsutawney Phil. According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow (the day is bright and sunny), there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow (the day is cloudy), there will be an early spring On February 2, Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow at Gobbler's Knob - in front of thousands of followers from all over the world - to predict the weather for the rest of season. The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. It stemmed from a combination of religious beliefs and facts associated with hibernating animals. They brought with them the legend of “Candlemas Day”.
If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, Winter, have another flight; If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go Winter, and come not again.