Page 1



Program collects unwanted prescription medications



11 OG holds outdoor commander’s call

Youth of the Year honored at 2013 Family Fest Rodeo



On top of being the world’s greatest air, space and cyberspace power, the sequester has added to the Air Force’s laundry list of responsibilities the challenge of evaluating every penny spent on every program. No ideas are off the table in the search for ways to limit the impending fiscal impact. The latest Air Force-wide movement to be financially savvy is the Every Dollar Counts campaign, constructed under the leadership of Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer, to help lessen the financial impact caused by sequestration. Many programs and initiatives are in place to help balance the Andrews budget, and one example of smart financial management is the recycling center here, which takes all the recyclable waste on base and turns it into a revenue stream. “Our goal is to get all the solid waste into the disposal center,” said Aaron Sprouse, 11th CES environmental associate. “We take the recycled material on the base and sell it, then use that money to go back into the recycling and disposal programs, so essentially we’re funding ourselves.” Turning refuse into revenue is no easy task as the recycling center processes tons of material for resale each day. “We normally get about three to four tons of recycling material a day,” said Wayne Carter, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron recycling technician. Carter


Telly Midgette of Clean Cut Shredding, left, helps Morningside resident Helen Nichols-Richardson sort her discards.

The Town of Morningside hosted a clean-up day April 27 to help residents do their spring cleaning. The town’s beautification committee arranged for a document shredding truck, a bulk trash collector and a truck collecting resale donations for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America to be on site in the parking lot in front of the town’s municipal center, so that residents could drop off their unwanted goods. “We had one resident come in with used office furniture to put in the bulk trash collection, but it was in such good condition we convinced them to donate it to the Multiple Sclerosis Association instead,” said Morningside Mayor Karen Rooker. Beautification Committee member Tonya Neal said she hopes to make this an annual event. “We had a lot of paper and old furniture: this and that,” said Morningside resident Helen Nichols-Richardson of the pick-up truck full of unwanted goods she and her husband brought to the town hall. “Even with all of it, it was just lastminute things. I hope they do it again.”

Team Andrews takes daughters, sons to work BY JASON STANLEY

The Air Force Declassification Office at Joint Base Andrews hosted “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” April 25 at the AFDO on JBA. Air Force civilian dependents Sydney Stanley and Erica Hunter were treated as civilian new hires for the day. Their day started with taking the Oath of Office, administered by AFDO Director Dennis Day. Like all new appointees, they swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The girls also signed mock “non-disclosure” agreements, a contract between the girls and the federal government through which they agreed not to disclose any “secrets.” Then the real work could begin. Sydney’s father, Jason Stanley, AFDO

see WORK, page 5

Cleaning up Morningside


see MONEY, page 3


FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013 | VOL. 2 NO. 17


Yelognisse Kougblenou, a Prince George’s Community College student and volunteer, applies a coat of paint on a porch column.

Prince George’s County celebrates 25 years BY CHRIS BASHAM STAFF WRITER

For the 25th year in a row, Christmas in April Prince George’s County has united volunteers, skilled tradesmen and homeowners to make crucial home repairs for low-income, elderly and disabled county residents. This year, 83 homeowners across the county were joined by 3,500 volunteers on April 27 for the annual Christmas in April work day. The work makes homes safe and comfortable, so that families can stay in their homes.

Three local Airmen selected for IPA program BY CHRIS BASHAM STAFF WRITER

Rick Hodgdon of Upper Marlboro has volunteered with Christmas in April for years, and serves on the nonprofit’s executive board. “I’ve been just about everything. What I like the best is just doing the work, as a carpenter and builder, but duty calls so I was a House Captain for a few years and have been an Area Coordinator. Since I have a construction background I am good at inspecting houses (to see what work needs to be done and can be completed

Thirty-seven people have been selected to participate in the Interservice Physician Assistant training program held at Army Medical Department Center and School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Three of those individuals are stationed right here at Malcolm Grow Medical Center and Outpatient Surgery. Staff Sgt. Shannon Long of the Aerospace and Operational Physiology Training Flight; Tech Sgt. Jennifer Saner, non-commissioned officer in charge for the 779th Surgical Operations Squadron and Sr. Airman Cortnee Simmers, who has worked in the Aeromedical Staging

see CHRISTMAS, page 7

see TRAINING, page 5

Prince George’s officer to be honored at ‘Fallen Heroes Day’ BY DANIEL J. GROSS


Officers close to Adrian Morris said he aspired to one day become the chief of Prince George’s County’s police department. The 23-year-old, 4-foot-11, two-year department member “would force people to notice him” beyond his short stature and “make up for it in other ways,” his friends and fellow officers said. Morris was killed Aug. 20, 2012, after crashing his police cruiser while pursuing two auto theft suspects in Beltsville. He became the department’s 27th officer killed in the line of duty and will be remembered and honored during this year’s statewide Fallen Heroes Day today in Timonium. The 28th annual event will be held at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens and brings together law enforcement and public safety members from across the state to hear state officials deliver words of remembrance to honor those lost throughout the previous year, according to event officials. “He always laughed and smiled,” said Of-

During a funeral in Mitchellville, Prince George’s County police officers carry the casket of fallen officer Adrian Morris, 23, who became the county’s 27th officer to die in the line of duty. He fatally crashed his police cruiser Aug. 20, 2012, while pursuing two auto theft suspects in Beltsville.

ficer First Class Michael Owens, 24, adding that Morris was one of the first people he met when he entered the police academy. “He would tell me, ‘One day, I’m going to be your supervisor.” Originally from Jamaica, Morris moved to Laurel when he was 9. Prior to joining PGPD’s police academy, Morris was an Ex-

plorer in the department’s Police Explorers program, a program designed to garner interest in law enforcement careers among youth. Cpl. Kenneth Hibbert, 31, was Morris’ direct adviser in the program before he went to the academy and said Morris helped facilitate the explorers program after graduating.

“When you lose somebody that’s close to you, there’s always going to be the thought of, ‘Man, I wish my little brother was here,’” Hibbert said. “I’m always going to deal with that, but I know he’s always going to be looking over me.” Police Chief Mark Magaw said he was unaware Morris aspired to fill his shoes one day but said the notion doesn’t surprise him. “He decided when he was about 15 that he wanted to be a police officer. At the age of 21 he was in the academy,” said Magaw, who noted not a day has gone by without him thinking of Morris. “Knowing he wanted to rise through the ranks and possibly be a police chief speaks to his vision of what he wanted to do with his life.” Magaw said Morris’ death has spurred a handful of internal safety initiatives after investigators found that Morris was not wearing a seat belt when he lost control of his cruiser, crashed into a ditch and was ejected. In January, the department placed

see HERO, page 5


Andrews Gazette


Commentary Go outside!

Around Town May 3

Peter Humphrey and Oasis Band 7 p.m. 10440 O’Donnell Place, St. Charles, Md. Shop the Farmers Market and enjoy live reggae music on the lake. For information visit http://www.stcharlesmd. com/summer-concert-series.

May 3

We Fought the Big One 10 p.m. Marx Cafe, 3203 Mount Pleasant St. NW, Washington, D.C. DJs spin obscure post-punk, synth-rock and shoegaze music. For information visit http://www.marxcafemtp. com/.

May 3 and 4

Big River 8 p.m. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway, PO Box 293, Greenbelt, Md. Huckleberry Finn helps his friend Jim escape to freedom in this live adaptation of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.” For information visit http://greenbeltartscenter. org/.

May 4 and 5

Silver Spring Fine Art Festival 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, Md. See and shop fine art from across the nation at an annual, outdoor event. For information visit


Andrews Gazette is published by Comprint Military Publications, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, Md., a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Air Force or any branch of the United States military. The appearance of advertising in these publications, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force or the products and services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, martial status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non merit factor of the purchases, user or patron.

Maxine Minar, president John Rives, publisher

Chris Basham, editor Deirdre Parry, page design Bobby Jones, photographer


Friday, May 3, 2013


I was a bookish kid from the time I could read. Looking back, I think my parents and grandparents were genuinely concerned by my lack of interest in biking around the neighborhood, like my sister. Weekends, for me, were a challenge: I had to be sure my parents didn’t notice I was still in the basement or my bedroom, reading. “Go outside, dear,” my grandmother used to say. I am pretty sure that bringing a book with me was kind of skirting the whole spirit of her instruction, but I would, if forced, dutifully head out to the yard to pick

flowers, look at insects, listen to traffic and read. When my sons were small I made a point to walk with them, take them to the park, volunteer to count migrating amphibians and find other opportunities to be out in the fresh air. I figured the best way to raise boys was to keep them muddy all afternoon and read with them at night, when they were worn out enough to curl up on the couch with me and listen and share ideas. We often had a toad or a turtle visit us for the weekend, and we’d set out bird seed so we could watch the cats watching birds just out of their reach. My sons are grown and my job keeps me inside much of the time,

but I love the fresh breezes flowing through the open door and windows of my apartment, I sit out on my balcony whenever I can, and I’ve taken to scouring the Internet for opportunities to do something outside. I don’t usually bring a book with me, but I almost always have a notebook and a camera, “just in case.” Our area is full of great opportunities: local, regional and national parks; historic battlefields; music festivals; farmers markets; art shows and ethnic festivals. With the perfect Washington, D.C. spring weather, now is the time to get out there and soak up the sun (even if you do it through a sensible layer of sunscreen). Go outside, dear. It’s lovely.

other benefits. Veterans who served in recent conflicts are eligible for 5 years of free healthcare from VA. More than 55 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans use VA health care.

eliminated in April by the Defense Department. Instead, military members who directly affect combat operations without being present will be recognized through distinguishing devices affixed to existing awards. The award criteria will be developed in coordination with the services and the Joint Staff. Objections had been raised over the medal’s order of precedence. It was to be below the Distinguished Flying Cross and above the Bronze Star, placing it above the Purple Heart -awarded to those wounded or killed in action.


VA expedites oldest claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs is expediting compensation claims decisions for veterans who have waited one year or longer. VA claims raters will make provisional decisions on the oldest claims in inventory, allowing veterans to begin collecting compensation benefits more quickly. VA will continue to prioritize claims for homeless veterans and those claiming financial hardship, the terminally ill, former prisoners of war and Medal of Honor recipients. Claims for wounded warriors separating from the military for medical reasons are handled separately and on a priority basis. Wounded warriors receive VA compensation benefits in an average of 61 days following separation from service. As the backlog of oldest claims is cleared and more incoming claims are processed through VA’s new, paperless processing system, the average time to complete claims will improve. While compensation claims are pending, eligible veterans are able to receive VA healthcare and

Wheelchair Games set

More than 500 veterans are expected to participate in the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games July 13-18 in Tampa, Fla. The games, representing the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world, are presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The games are open to all U.S. military veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, neurological conditions, amputations or other mobility impairments. Competitions in 18 events include swimming, basketball, table tennis, archery and wheelchair slalom. Athletes compete against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age.

Warfare Medal eliminated

The Distinguished Warfare Medal -- introduced in February -- was

The Retiree Activities Office is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit the office in Building 1604 at California and Colorado Avenues or call us at 301 981-2726. Our e-mail address is Call the office before your visit to ensure a volunteer is on duty. The RAO has a website at, click on “Retirees” for a wealth of information on retiree subjects, including past copies of “Retiree Activities Corner.”


Andrews Gazette

Friday, May 3, 2013


Program collects unwanted prescription medications Renetta Cowan of the ADAPT drug and alcohol treatment program run through Malcolm Grow Medical Center and Outpatient Surgery’s Behavioral Health flight, left, watches as Christina Stoddard of Upper Marlboro removes labels from prescription medication containers before adding them to a collection bin during a Drug Take-Back Day held April 27 outside the Joint Base Andrews Base Exchange. “We come out every year to support the effort to keep prescription medications off the streets and out of the water supply, and to provide information on substance abuse and treatment,” said Cowan.


JBA Sailors meet leaders at Sea-Air-Space Expo Derrick Simpson moves flats of flowers as part of the annual Liberty Park Housing Spring Clean-up held April 20. Liberty Park Housing gave registered residents of onbase housing three bags of mulch, a flat of flowering plants and some topsoil to start off the spring planting season. “My whole staff shows up and works on it, said Liberty Park Housing Community Manager Mary Jette, who estimated the annual giveaway has a budget of approximately $20,000.

MONEY, from page 1 and several other workers are responsible for moving the recyclable material to the recycling center. “We currently recycle about 50 to 55 percent of the solid waste on base, but our goal is to get to 60 to 70 percent,” said Mark Wilburn, 11th CES recycling technician. The recycling center plays an important role here because people always have garbage to throw away, said Carter. Recycling pickups are done biweekly in government buildings and housing recycling is completed by a private contractor. However, housing residents can take their recyclables to the recycling center between Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the Pearl Harbor gate on the east side of base. “I can’t stand it when I see people throwing away recyclable material because it’s like a double whammy; we pay for that waste to be disposed of and then we can’t sell it, which means we lose money that could go back into our environmental programs,” said Sprouse. The recycling center is just one example of how the Air Force conserves much needed revenue. Every Dollar Counts promotes saving and returning budget dollars so they can be better used for priorities that benefit the whole service. Savings generated through the Every Dollar Counts Campaign will be used to fund higher readiness priorities, such as squeezing in extra flying hours and repairing more aircraft. The “Airmen Powered by Innovation” website will run from May 1 to June 1, where Airmen can submit their ideas for saving money.


The Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Expo, held April 8 - 11, exposed Sailors to leadership. It was an opportunity to sit in the same room with Chief of Naval Operations Admiral J. W. Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike D. Stevens and witness the kind of leadership that may only come once in a career. I wanted my Sailors to understand and look at their careers with pride and honor, and to energize them to follow leadership and lead by example. Cmdr. Bruce Osborne, Officer in Charge of Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Washington, and Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Snowden, Assistant Officer in Charge, encouraged me to assemble a team for the expo. Leaders of the world’s most powerful fighting forces spoke at the Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, Md., with the theme “Maritime Crossroads: Strategies for Action.” CNO Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert spoke of sea service strategies including advanced training to war fighters through international, military-to-military fleet efforts like the Rim of the Pacific Exercise known as RIMPAC and Navy and Marine Corps amphibious assault exercise Bold Alligator. He spoke about the strategic importance of protecting polar routes in the Arctic ice regions, and the integration of our more advanced fleet additions: P-8 Poseidon, Joint High Speed vessels, and Maritime Landing Platforms. Amd. Greenert also touched on fiscal concerns, including his global force allocations plans and the impact of sequestration to the fleet. His priorities involve preparing FY14’s fleet deployments, planning for global force management and restoring critical support to vital programs. He was especially proud to mention the newly commissioned ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), named after the county of Arlington, Va. The ship honors the 184 victims who died when American Airline Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. USS Arlington is rec-

ognized as the eighth San Antonio-class ship and is designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessel ever to be put to sea. Greenert closed with a call to all hands on deck to sustain global security and national interests, maintain a formidable and robust curriculum to train our war fighters and remain steadfast in our charge to deter aggression. More than 200 vendors displayed products and services focused on quality of life issues for the war fighter and family, reduction of resource waste, improved technology in air-sea-land power and visions of the future for the war fighters of tomorrow. Our Sailors met many retired Chiefs, Senior Chiefs and Master Chiefs, each ready to help. Listening to Force Master Chief Nancy Hollingsworth, Sgt. Major Micheal P. Barrett of the Marine Corps., and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt speak of real-life issues made me realize that our enlisted leaders are trying everything they can to help our enlisted war fighters and that our voices are heard. Our Sailors attended all three days of the expo, absorbing everything from advanced war fighter technology to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs. “I had an unbelievable experience at the Sea-Air-Space Expo,” Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Elton McLaughlin said. “It reminded me of the military version of the North American International Auto Show.” Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Amethyst Taala visited the radio controlled helicopter exhibit, which included a radio-controlled helicopter surveillance tool called the “Octocopter,” designed to maintain stealthy surveillance. Attached to the “Octocopter” was a camera used for aerial videography. Taala’s only regret about this exhibit is that she has not started her pilot’s license to fly it. AT2 Taala said, “This year’s compelling exposition was

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a “Breath Taking Ride” that I would recommend for any fellow Shipmates, if given the opportunity. I would do it all over again. The experience and information I learned will be definitely shared.” Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class DiAnna Putman’s favorite exhibit was the Culinary Specialist booth. “The CS’s really know how to cook! I watched them prepare Chicken Marsala and they demonstrated how they make noodles from scratch,” Putman said. She also expressed how wonderful it was to sit in on the enlisted leader discussion, “The Rudder Check.” “All the leaders are committed to our success. If there was one thing I took away from hearing all of them speak, it was from Force Master Chief Nancy Hollingsworth when she said to communicate often and focus on what you own,” said Putman. Logistics Specialist 1st Class Monica White said, “The biggest gain I took from this experience was the outreach organizations that were there to benefit Sailors, Marines and their families. I was able to gather a lot of great information to pass onto the Ombudsman to help improve the ways he can help communicate with families about military life.” White and Putman were invited to the Secretary of the Navy’s luncheon, and sat next to Rear Adm. Eric Young, Deputy Chief of Naval Reserve, an experience White called a “new level of growth in my Navy career.” We witnessed innovation and creative thinking on a wide spectrum of topics. We heard the voice of our leadership and shook hands with history makers. We made new Shipmates from the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy but most importantly we walked away with a greater sense of Honor, Courage and Commitment.


Andrews Gazette

Ask the Lawyer

Can I take back my guilty plea? BY MATHEW B. TULLY

Q. I had no idea that by pleading guilty to an offense I would end up losing all of my health care benefits. Is there any way I can take back my plea? A. Many service members who were found guilty of a Uniform Code of Military Justice offense often feel sideswiped when they learn of the consequences of their conviction, especially when it results in a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge. Among these consequences is the loss of military financial support, public and private sector employment rights, and housing and medical benefits. Military courts refer to these negative impacts as the “collateral consequences of a court-martial conviction.” Sometimes service members are not aware of these consequences, particularly when they are addressed in a plea agreement and their legal counsel failed to properly brief them. Other times the service member might misunderstand explanations of these consequences provided by his or her lawyer or a judge. There is also the possibility that the prosecution and defense attorneys who negotiated the pretrial agreement were not on the same page. In any event, the U.S. Court of Military Appeals in U.S. v. Tomas S. Bedania (1982) said that in cases where a service member challenges the legitimacy of a guilty plea because of his or her reliance on the collateral consequences of a court-martial conviction, he or she should prevail when those consequences are major and there is a certain type of misunderstanding. A misunderstanding must be based on unclear language in the pretrial agreement, on comments made by the trial judge during the preliminary inquiry, or on the trial judge’s failure to correct any apparent confusion. For example, U.S. v. Luis A. Santos (1977) involved a Navy airman apprentice who pleaded guilty to desertion and unauthorized absence. He was sentenced to total forfeitures, 10 months of confinement to hard labor, a reduction to E-1, and a bad conduct discharge. However, under his pretrial agreement, only nine months of confinement to hard labor were

approved by the convening authority, who also suspended the service member’s discharge for the duration of the confinement period and one year after that. At the end of the probationary period, the discharge sentence would be thrown out. However, after the airman apprentice dodged a punitive discharge, the government moved to administratively discharge him under other than an honorable discharge for misconduct due to prolonged absence. The airman apprentice filed an appeal, claiming the government breached the terms of the pretrial agreement. He said he only pleaded guilty to the charges so he could “go back to duty and prove myself ” and to “serve my country honorably.” He claimed that by agreeing to suspend the punitive discharge the convening authority implicitly assured him he would be granted the opportunity to rehabilitate himself during the probation period. Meanwhile, the government argued that the service member only bargained for release “from the stigma of a punitive discharge” and administrative actions were a completely different matter. After reviewing all the evidence, the Court of Military Appeals said “there was an honest and substantial misunderstanding as to the practical and legal effect of the pretrial agreement.” It set aside the findings and sentence and returned the case to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy. Service members charged with any offense should consult with a military law attorney, who, depending on the circumstances, can negotiate a pretrial agreement and ensure the service member is fully aware of the terms outlined in that document. Former service members who have been awarded any discharge less then honorable should also consult with a military law attorney to inquire about an upgrade in their discharge from the Board of Corrections or Discharge Review Board. Mathew B. Tully is an Iraq War veteran and founding partner of the law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC. E-mail questions to The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.


For more news from other bases around the Washington, D.C. area,


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Friday, May 3, 2013


Andrews Gazette

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mentor shares story, gives fond farewell to JBA BY STAFF SGT. AMBER J. RUSSELL 11TH WING PUBLIC AFFAIRS


From left, Senior Airman Cortnee Simmers, Staff Sgt. Shannon Long and Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Saner were recently selected to participate in an Air Force-wide Physician’s Assistant training program held at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.

TRAINING, from page 1 Facility at Malcolm Grow for three years learned of their selection to the program April 12. Originally intended only for enlisted members, IPAP is now open to enlisted, officers and Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets. This year, 52 individuals applied for the program in a process that included a 2-minute video interview on professionalism, Physical Training standards and dealing with patients who are unsure if they are comfortable accepting medical care from a Physician’s Assistant instead of a medical doctor. The applicants also spent six months “shadowing” established PAs and met other prerequisites for the course, including taking the SATs. “We’re each just happy to be one (of the selectees),” said Simmers. Simmers and Long will start the year-and-a-half-long classroom portion of the IPAP at AMEDD in December; Saner will enter the program in April 2014. After they each complete that first phase of their education, the PAs in training will be sent for a year-long clinical rotation at one of several sites, followed by two years of family practice under supervision by a medical doctor before choosing a specialty. “We graduate with a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska,” said Saner. “I had planned to go there for medical school, originally. I just took a 15-year detour to get there.” After completing what Saner describes as a “fast and furious” 101 semester hours, each successful PA will be commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant to practice as a PA in the Air Force. Each branch of the military has its own group of selectees for the IPAP; all of them train together regardless of military branch. “Last year I applied for the Army program. This is the first year I applied for the Air Force,” said Long. “I’m glad I’m staying Air Force.” For Long, the Air Force is not just a career, but a family tradition. Her brother

was an Air Force Air Battle Manager when Long was considering joining the military, and her father was an Air Force pilot in Vietnam. “I had always planned on doing something medical, so I took lots of science courses,” Long said. When she married and became a mother while still in college, she decided to get a degree in sociology “as the quickest route” to graduation. Wanting to offer her own children the opportunities she experienced as a military dependent, she entered the Air Force after graduation. Long credits a former flight commander, Lt. Col. David Carey, with encouraging her to pursue the PA career path. “He was my mentor throughout the process,” said Long, who hopes to specialize in orthopedics and flight medicine. Simmers first learned of IPAP before she joined the military, when a family friend’s father went through the program. “That was a goal coming in,” said Simmers, whose undergraduate degree is in Biological Sciences. She hopes to pursue a career in emergent care, because she enjoys a fast-paced work environment. Saner entered the Air Force at age 17. Since she likes “gross and disgusting” things, she said, she hopes to focus on dermatology or general surgery once her training is complete. “But you go in with one idea and you might learn that you love family health,” said Simmers. Saner agreed, saying, “You don’t have the experience (to decide where you want to spend your career) until you’re in the actual clinicals.” Saner encourages those interested in applying for IPAP to be persistent. “Don’t give up on the first try. It took me three years to get accepted,” said Saner. Simmers said that the 65 percent acceptance rate for those who have completed all the IPAP’s prerequisites make it a worthwhile endeavor, especially if you can “find a mentor and cling to them.” For information about Air Force medical fields and opportunities, visit https://

JBA Buzz

As the Montego Bay, Jamaica native walked into the congested coffee shop on base, Senior Master Sgt. Tamar Dennis flashed a smile that warmed the atmosphere. Radiant and humble, she took a seat for a Women’s History Month interview on her U. S. Air Force career, March 22. Dennis revealed her most challenging and exciting moments of her time here at Andrews. Additionally, she detailed her strengths, weaknesses and how she chooses to define herself. She also offered advice for women in the Air Force and disclosed what’s next in her career. A display of a simple act of humility proved to be testament of her character. Before the interview, Dennis initiated a brief heart-felt prayer of gratitude for blessings she has received and for being able to bless others in her diverse Air Force career. Dennis entered the Air Force in July 1994 after migrating to the United States. She began her career as a Security Forces member and later performed duties as a Career Assistance Advisor. She arrived at Andrews as Tech. Sgt. Dennis. From June 2007 to January 2010, Dennis served the Air Force District of Washington Joint Base Andrew’s as 316th Security Forces Squadron superintendent of training and then became superintendent of logistics readiness. Dennis has led and supported several deployments in support of Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. She admitted her long-standing career in security forces greatly shaped her character and challenged her to grow even more as leader. “I grew up in this Air Force as a Security Forces defender,” she said. “Starting out, I was by the book. I was very hard and inflexible; I didn’t know how to balance care with structure. In my growth and maturation, I saw where I was able to still be effective as a leader and extend compassion. When I stepped into my own as a leader is when I was able to find that balance through God’s grace.” Playing by the book and showing compassion would be the necessary qualities of her next undertaking. In the capacity of 11th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor, from January 2010 to around October 2012, Dennis was able to shine by illuminating what she deemed her greatest strength, people. “I really do think I have a heart for people,” she said. “I tend to see the best in people. It can be a weakness because I want to save everyone at times. We all make mistakes but we get where we need to be at our own time.” Dennis’ passion for people showed as she excelled as a CAA. She earned Senior NCO of the year in 2011 helping Airmen from all walks of life. “This was an amazing experience in my career,” she exclaimed. “Every Airman came through my office; reminding me so much it’s not all about me. I was able to touch the lives of first-term Airmen and help them transition from a training to an operational mindset, and hear the big voice of the middle tier. It was a fulfilling, priceless experience.” No matter what capacity she works, Dennis takes her charges as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer with the utmost sincerity. “We [SNCO’s] are so charged to guide our Airmen, and help them get the experience


Senior Master Sgt. Tamar S. Dennis, 11th Security Forces Squadron leader, shares her story with Team Andrews shortly before moving on to Osan, Air Base, Republic of Korea. The soon-to-be Chief will lead a squadron of more than 450 personnel there.

and training they need. We will be held accountable to do the right thing,” said Dennis. “Being a member of the Air Force is a 24/7365 day commitment. We have a responsibility to show excellence in all we do. Even if it is something as simple as saying hello to a fellow Airman; we must remember to show the same respect from those who wear one stripe to a general.” While she wears her uniform with precision to standards and then some, her position is not what defines her as a person, she says. “I truly do believe that when or if I define myself, I’ll know I have lost focus of my purpose and why I am here,” she said. “When you define yourself you can place yourself in a box. I think the true purpose is to allow yourself to be limitless and allow God’s love to shape you.” Gender and race are irrelevant factors in her mindset, she said. “I can’t change the fact that I am a female; an African-American female,” she said. “I don’t let those attributes define me. I am here to mentor Airmen, regardless of their genetic make-up. Let being a decent person be placed in the forefront. I would be lying if I said gender defined me.” No one gave the 18-year soon-to-be Chief a by; her success was pure hard work and determination. “Do not allow your scope and view to be as narrow as gender, race or even the problems you’re facing in the moment,” she said. “If you know who you are and you know your personal purpose, regardless of the mountains you have to climb knowing these two things should get you through anything.” Joint Base Andrews is saying farewell to an awesome mentor come spring of 2013. Dennis will move on to lead a squadron of more than 450 personnel. “I look forward to getting to Korea,” she said. “I will be the chief of 51st Security Forces Squadron. They are depending on me to come in and lead. In this time it is my purpose to go there and excel. I just want to say thank you to everyone here that has touched my life and allowed me to touch theirs. This season of my life is an amazing growth spurt for me. I am eternally thankful and proud of our Force as we go into a new chapter of the military as our Junior Airmen begin to take the helm. I’m proud of us.”

How do you observe Cinco de Mayo? “This year, I’m deejaying a Cinco de Mayo costume event.”

“Although my Hispanic heritage is Uruguayan and Dominican, I choose to recognize Cinco de Mayo by having a barbeque and spending quality time with my family.”

Airman 1st Class Alexander Maritz, 779th Medical Support Squadron outpatient records technician

Airman 1st Class Jacob Fonseca, 779th Medical Operation Squadron laboratory technician

“I just go out with a bunch of my friends to dinner and some margaritas.”

Airman 1st Class John Shelton, 779th Medical Operations Squadron medical affirmative claims clerk

“I get together with my family and friends and enjoy a barbeque.”

Staff Sgt. Vida McGill, 779th Aerospace Medicine Squadron preventative health assessment technician

WORK, from page 1 information security specialist, planned the day’s events and work day. The new reviewers got a taste of what it is like to be an information security reviewer and declassifier using a customized declassification guide to declassify simulated classified material. The children stamped the mock information “secret” or “declassified” and even shredded some of it, depending upon the results of their research. The day’s work culminated in a pizza lunch and staff meeting in which the two girls were awarded certificates for a job well done by the AFDO director.

HERO, from page 1 stickers that say “Arrive Alive” above glove compartments of every marked and unmarked police cruiser to serve as a subtle reminder to drive safely. A two-hour driver safety class started in January is conducted every Tuesday to illustrate the importance of seat belt use, avoiding speeding and limiting distractions, Magaw said. “I was 26 when I was on this police department. The mindset was that nothing was going to kill me. I understand that mindset, but [being safe is] not for you, it’s for your wife, your children, your parents. It’s for us as a department. You have to buckle your seat belt,” Magaw said. “If

Sydney and Erica also received copies of The Roswell Report: Case Closed, signed by author Col. James McAndrew with the inscription “The truth is out there.” “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day” is held on the fourth Thursday of April every year. The day was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1993 as “Take Our Daughters to Work Day” but was always inclusive of boys. In 2003 the day was expanded to officially include boys. The annual event is educational for the children; schools are provided with literature and are encouraged to promote the program to include excusing children absent from their schools on that day so they can go to work with their parents. anything good has come from Adrian’s actions, it is that the entire department is working on trying to be safer in everything that we do.” Owens said he still keeps in close contact with Morris’ mother and younger brother, both of Laurel. “The reality is that there is still a mother without a son and a little brother without a big brother. I can’t fill that gap. I can’t fill that void but can just be there and let his family know he didn’t die in vain,” said Owens. “He died protecting people and doing what he loves best.” This story originally appeared in the May 1 edition of the Prince George’s Gazette.


Andrews Gazette


Friday, May 3, 2013

Talking Baseball

Who’s hot, who’s not? BY LT. COL. LANCE RODGERS

After the first four weeks of the major league baseball season, certain teams and individuals are out to great starts, while others, not so much. This information is current through Saturday, April 27.

American League East


11th Operations Group Airmen participate in a parachute resistance relay race during an outdoor 11th Operations Group commander’s call at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on April 23. The commander’s call was held in order to present the group with their quarter and annual awards as well as afford the group a venue to raise money for the Air Force Assistance Fund and maintain camaraderie and morale within the unit.

The Boston Red Sox have the best record in the majors with 17 wins and seven losses, and have won seven of their last 10 games, including five in a row. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (5’8”, 165 lbs) is their leading hitter, with a .330 batting average. First baseman Mike Napoli leads the majors in RBIs with 27, and pitcher Clay Buchholz is 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA. The Baltimore Orioles are just two games behind the Red Sox and have won eight of their last 10. Center fielder Adam Jones is their leading hitter with a .350 average while first baseman Chris Davis is hitting .346 with 8 home runs and 25 RBIs. If he can continue at this pace, he will complete the season with 54 home runs and 169 RBIs. Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays are in the cellar in the AL East with nine wins and 16 losses. Their leading hitter, Melky Cabrera, is hitting only .250.

American League Central

Airman 1st Class Lutelu Maui, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard operations scheduler, serves a volleyball.

Refusing to give up, ladies from the 11th Operations Group participate in an all-female tug-of-war competition.

Chief Master Sgt. Angela Burns, U.S. Air Force Band singing sergeant, participates in a leg of a tricycle race.

Members of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and Air Force Arlington Chaplaincy participate in a pickup football game.






11 CES




















11 LRS





11 SFG (1)





779 MDG





1st AS





11 SFG (2)





844 Comm (1)















844 Comm (2)










The Kansas City Royals lead this division with a 12 and eight record. First baseman Alex Gordon is hitting .345 and on pace to collect 243 hits. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is hitting .338. The second-place Detroit Tigers are 12 and 10. Right fielder Torii Hunter is leading the majors in hitting with a .380 average. With 35 hits in 22 games, Hunter is on pace to collect 257 for the season. Only Ichiro Suzuki in 2004 had more with 262. Third baseman Miguel Cabrera is hitting .370 with 23 RBIs, and pitcher Anibal Sanchez has a 1.34 ERA and 41 strikeouts in five games for the Tigers. The Cleveland Indians are in last place in the division with eight wins and 12 losses. Catcher Carlos Santana is hitting an impressive .345, but has played in only 16 games.

American League West

The Texas Rangers continue where they left off last season, leading the AL West with a 16 and eight record. They’ve won seven of their last 10 games and are led by designated hitter Lance Berkman, who is batting .333 with 15 RBIs. Right fielder Nelson Cruz is hitting .322 with five homers and 22 RBIs. Righthanded pitcher Yu Darvish has four wins and one loss with a 1.65 ERA and 49 strikeouts. Joe Nathan has been their ace closer with eight saves and a 2.00 ERA. The Houston Astros, who moved to the American League this year, have the second-worst record in baseball at 7-17. Only the Miami Marlins are worse at 5-19. Second baseman Jose Altuve, who is listed at 5’5” and 175 lbs, is the Astros’ only newsworthy player so far, batting .340 after the first 24 games.

National League East

The Atlanta Braves lead their division with a 15-8 record, though they were even more

Lt. Col. Lance Rodgers

dominant before losing seven of the last 10 games. Third baseman Chris Johnson is tied with Torii Hunter with a .380 batting average to lead the majors. Left fielder Justin Upton has belted 12 home runs to lead the majors in 23 games, and is hitting .307. The Washington Nationals (13-11) trail the Braves by 2.5 games in the NL East. Last year’s rookie of the year, Bryce Harper, is second in the majors in home runs with nine and is hitting .360. Pitcher Jordan Zimmerman has four wins and one loss and an ERA of 2.0. Already mentioned, the Miami Marlins, with only five wins and 19 losses, have the worst record in baseball. Not much more to say.

National League Central

The St Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are battling for the lead in their division. The Cardinals had a half-game lead going into Sunday’s game against the Pirates, but had lost the first two games of a threegame series. The Pirates have won eight of their last 10, led by left fielder Starling Marte, who is hitting .323 with 32 hits in the 24 games he’s played. For the Cardinals, right fielder Carlos Beltran has clubbed six home runs and is hitting a respectable .289. Catcher Yadier Molina leads the team in hitting with a .292 average. Unless things change drastically, die-hard Chicago Cubs fans look like they’ll suffer through another season as the Cubbies have nine wins and 14 losses in their first 23 games. First baseman Anthony Rizzo has hit eight home runs, but is batting an abysmal .211.

National League West

The Arizona Diamondbacks are a game back of the Colorado Rockies for the lead in the division with a 14-10 record. However, they’ve taken two of the last three from the Rockies and finish the four-game series on Sunday. Diamondback center fielder Gerardo Parra leads the team in hitting with a .320 average. The Rockies are 15-9 led by catcher Wilin Rosario, who is hitting .333 with six homers and 16 RBIs. Right fielder Michael Cuddyer has also contributed offensively, batting .325 with five homers and 17 RBIs. Finally, the San Diego Padres are bringing up the rear in the NL West with an 8-14 record, but have won three in a row. Five months to go in the regular season, so plenty of time to turn things around.

For more news from other bases around the Washington, D.C. area,



Andrews Gazette

Friday, May 3, 2013

CHRISTMAS, from page 1 in a short amount of time, using a volunteer labor force),” said Hodgdon. “If there’s a problem house and the House Captain is not sure what can be done, I go to take a look at it.” Since the program started in 1989, 74,700 Christmas in April Prince George’s County volunteers have worked together to repair 2,253 homes, donating an estimated $38.6 million in work, performed using supplies donated by local and national corporate sponsors and individuals. Much of the work is done in a coordinated, county-wide rush on the fourth Saturday in April, by crews united by the determination to make a difference in their neighbors’ lives and the community atmosphere of an old-fashioned barn raising. Homeowners can apply to be considered for each year’s Nov. 1 application deadline. Often, neighbors, family members, elected officials or church leadership contact Christmas in April on a homeowner’s behalf. Once it is determined that the resident owns their home and there is no police activity associated with the property, volunteer inspectors visit to see what the needs are. Almost 200 homeowners applied to have work completed as part of this year’s effort. In February, House Captains re-inspect the property to see what they can reasonably accomplish in one day’s hard work. They then put in an official request for supplies, skilled tradesmen and volunteers. Skilled tradespeople are always welcome to volunteer, but churches, military squadrons, sororities and fraternities and businesses often lend a hand even if their backgrounds are not in construction or home repair. Supplies donated by national and local businesses and by individuals who have spare supplies from a home improvement project, as well as materials purchased by Christmas in April Prince George’s County, collect in a donated warehouse in Upper Marlboro, where they are sorted and inventoried by volunteers


R. C. Jones of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department repairs the dining room railing.

from Joint Base Andrews and then distributed to House Captains the week before the big day. Some work is started before the official event day, if it is too big a job to be completed in one day or if the work is too important to wait. “Last year there was a man in his 80s---in his attic you could see the constellations through the holes in hthe roof. We got him a roofer. That really made a big difference in that gentleman’s house. We did that before the event,” said Hodgdon. “Some things just can’t wait.” Projects range from the dramatic to the mundane--for some elderly and disabled residents, having volunteers come to change light bulbs, repair toilets or install a smoke detector can make a great difference in daily quality of life. “That’s why I stay involved with it. There’s no politicking; it’s just people helping each other, and the generosity of contractors,” said Hodgdon. “It’s keeping people from having to go to an institution.” Though many volunteers come with just the willingness to help, the projects are led by experienced carpenters, electricians, roofers, brick layers, tree surgeons and other skilled tradesmen, including a crew from the plumbing shop oat Joint Base Andrews. “For what we do and who we help, it’s an amazing thing, and

Junior Lowman, home owner, right, attaches a tow chain to a tree stump to remove it from his yard.

they really need it,” said Christmas in April Prince George’s County Executive Director Mary Kucharski, who has run the organization from it’s Clinton, Md. offices for 23 years. “We’re here to help them stay in their home comfortably and safer. They often have to choose between food, medicines and home repairs, and home repair is very low on the priority list.” Joint Base Andrews Area Coordinator Master Sgt. Matt Cagle said that each year crews from JBA work on several houses. “Last year we worked on about six to eight houses, this year there are more than that,” said Cagle. “There are needs that are in the community that a lot of people don’t even know about.” Often, homeowners don’t realize the program exists until carloads of workers arrive in their neighborhood. “We’ll do two or three houses

Prince George’s County Firefighters and Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire/EMS Department members work together to repair the gate opening of a chair lift. The volunteers also cut grass, removed weeds, installed a smoke detector, mulched, painted and made repairs inside and outside the house and cleaned the yard.

on the same block. People see what we did, and apply for the next year,” said Cagle. “We always get a lot of support from people at Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base AnacostiaBolling and the Pentagon, and this year is no different,” Kucharski said. Though JBA volunteers often come from the civil engineering side of the house, Cagle said that the willingness to work is what counts. “You don’t have to be Mike

Rowe (of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs). We use what we’ve got. It’s a community project for great self-efficacy,” said Cagle, who said that squadrons often donate money to purchase landscaping and other supplies if their jobs do not allow them to work directly on home repairs. To volunteer, donate funds or building supplies, or to be considered for the 2014 Christmas in April program, contact Executive Director Mary Kucharski at or 301-868-0937.



Andrews Gazette

Friday, May 3, 2013

Youth of the Year honored at 2013 Family Fest Rodeo BY STAFF SGT. AMBER RUSSELL 11TH WING PUBLIC AFFAIRS


Brandon Shields, JBA Youth Program member, wins the Youth of the Year award April 20 at Joint Base Andrews, Md., for demonstrating leadership and service in the community and adhering to high moral standards. Shields was honored during the 2013 Family Fest Rodeo.

One young Team Andrews member was recognized as the installation’s Youth of the Year during a ceremony at the Family Fest Rodeo here April 20. Col. William M. Knight, 11th Wing/ Joint Base Andrews commander, presented Andrews youth Brandon Shields the award for demonstrating leadership and service in the community and adhering to high moral standards. “Congratulations Brandon,” said Knight. “I am so proud of you; thank you for all you do.” Shields, a five-year veteran of the youth programs here, played a key role in contributing toward many successful events, said Anne Young, Youth Programs teen director. This year alone he has volunteered for 177 hours. The high school senior has been involved with organizing and distributing donations collected for the program’s annual holiday food drive. He created the

Religious Services Prayer Room in Chapel 1 Annex Daily Prayer Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Prayer Service Friday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Kiddush/Sabbath dinner Friday, 6 p.m. All are welcome. To RSVP and for location contact: Rabbi, Capt. Schechter at 240-671-2270 or You can find a complete listing of Yom Kippur services in the National Capital Region through


Sunday Services Chapel 2, Traditional Service 9 a.m. Base Theater, Contemporary Service 10 a.m. Gospel Service 11:30 a.m.

retired Marine. His family moved across the United States and overseas four times during his life and endured six deployments throughout the years. “It can be hard when you have to leave friends, co-workers and people you meet along the way, but I look at the fact that I will also meet new people,” said Shields. “It’s a blessing to be able to support both of my parents.” Shield’s aim is to achieve his goal of graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in graphic design. Being selected as the base Youth of the Year means Shields will compete at the state level at the Naval Academy May 11. Each state winner may have the opportunity to compete regionally. This year six military youth will have the opportunity to compete at the national level. “I feel very blessed to have won youth of the year at Joint Base Andrews,” said Shields. “It’s like all my hard work and dedication paid off.”


on base Islamic

vision for the Keystone National Project focusing on the importance of education among teens. He developed, carried out and emceed the New Year’s Fashion Show and clothing donation drive, which collected more than 500 articles of clothing donated to a teen shelter in the D.C. area. He even set up classes to teach youth center and community members how to use the video chat feature allowing people to see their deployed loved ones. Additionally, he played a critical role in developing the Walk, Run, Roll for wounded warriors: a 5k event to raise awareness, support and monetary funds donated to The Yellow Ribbon Fund. “I feel passionately about supporting military families any way I can,” said Shields. Showing our support for injured service members and their families is absolutely necessary for what they have endured for us.” Shields grew up with a life of service. His mother is currently a master sergeant in the Air Force and his father is a

Tuesday Family Night at Base Theater Family meal 5 p.m. Christian Education and AWANA Kid’s Program 6 p.m.

Roman Catholic

Reconciliation by appointment, call 301-981-2111 Daily and Saturday Mass have been temporarily suspended. Chapel 1, 1345 W. Perimeter Road. Mass Sunday, 8:30 a.m. Chapel 2, 3715 Fetchet Ave. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) classes Monday, 6 p.m. For information, pastoral counseling and religious accommodation of all faith traditions call 301-981-2111 or visit the chapel office at 1345 W Perimeter Road.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

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