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Latino leaders demand representation in Prince George’s County schools



Band member wins local Emmy


Reckless riders rue motorcycle safety BY AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JOSHUA R. M. DEWBERRY 11TH WING PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Summer is here and some top concerns for base residents and motorcycle riders this season include busy streets and vehicle safety. To help Andrews personnel take proactive safety measures, Joint Base Andrews Motorcycle Safety Day is slated to take place on Friday, June 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the motorcycle training pad, next to the base theater. During this event, Team Andrews members can learn about motorcycle safety by listening to fellow riders for testimonials, safety briefings on riding techniques and motorcycle laws from law enforcement professionals.

“The whole point of having a safety day is to create awareness for motorcycle safety, the personal protective gear that can save lives and the potential dangers of motorcycles,” said Jamison Kesselring, 89th Airlift Wing occupational safety and health technician. “There have been 11 motorcycle-related fatalities Air Force-wide since January and that is 11 too many.” Additionally, event attendees can meet local dealers and riding groups and enjoy skills challenges and demos. There will also be a bike contest, food, games, prizes and giveaways. For more information, contact the Andrews Safety Office at 240-612-6380 for any questions regarding motorcycle safety.

Upper Marlboro community shaken up after sexual assault of seven-year-old girl BY ERIC GOLDWEIN


Upper Marlboro area residents say they are being more cautious and protective of their children after a seven-year-old girl was sexually assaulted Saturday. Prince George’s County police say a seven-year-old girl was abducted at gunpoint around 3 p.m. Saturday and sexually assaulted in Marlton, near the Woods of Marlton apartment complex on Heathermore Boulevard. According to police reports, the girl was riding alone on her scooter when she was taken into the woods and assaulted by an older white male, who has yet to be identified. The girl was sent to the hospital and has since been released, according to police. James Woods and his wife, Cindy, have lived in their Upper Marlboro home for 25 years and said the community is shaken up following reports of the assault. “I don’t know that anybody’s safe anymore,” said James, a teacher at Frederick Douglass High School in Upper Marlboro. The incident hit home for the couple, whose daughter and three grandchildren live near the apartment complex where the assault occurred. “You hear about the news in other places, but it’s never been

this close to home as far as I can remember,” Cindy Woods said. After learning about the incident, the couple said they reminded their grandchildren – aged 11, 14 and 16 – to be wary of their surroundings and avoid walking alone. “I told them, ‘if you’re going somewhere, make sure your older brother is with you. If you’re going somewhere, you got to stay together,’” Cindy Woods said. Kathy Wesley, a Cheltenham resident and teacher at Fort Foote Elementary School in Fort Washington, said her 15-yearold daughter swims at a pool several blocks away from where the assault occurred and she will no longer allow her daughter to walk home from practice. “At this point as parents, we have to be extra vigilant,” Wesley said. Officer First Class Nicole Hubbard, a county police spokeswoman, said the department increased patrol around the area. Yolanda Douglas, an employee of The Woods of Marlton, said the apartment complex would only discuss the matter with police. Police continue to investigate the crime and search for the suspect. This story originally appeared in the June 26 edition of The Prince George’s Gazette.

Know your status: Heart to Hand, Inc. tests for HIV

FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013 | VOL. 2 NO. 24



Paul Closson, 744th Communications Squadron pitcher, delivers a pitch during the second game. More photos on page 7.

Wounded Warriors adapt, overcome at Andrews sports camp BY STAFF SGT. TOREY GRIFFITH 11TH WING PUBLIC AFFAIRS


Staff Sgt. Alexander Tonic, 32nd Intelligence Squadron network intelligence analyst from Fort Meade, draws back a compound bow at the archery range on June 26 at Joint Base Andrews, Md. Tonic is a participant in an Air Force Wounded Warriors Adaptive Sports Camp, a program designed to help Air Force warriors get back in the game of life through physical activity.

More than 30 Air Force Wounded Warriors gathered at on June 26 the West Fitness Center to kick off a two-day adaptive sports camp designed to help them overcome their challenges and enjoy a physically active lifestyle. This was the first Air Force Wounded Warriors Adaptive Sports Camp held especially for the patients at Andrews and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., where Airmen are healing and learning to adapt to the new realities of their lives. “These heroes have had their lives turned upside down as a result of combat or other in-

see WARRIORS, page 7

A Kurd (from Kurdistan, Iraq) reflects on Freedom BY ZAMAWANG ALMEMAR


Zamawang Almemar stands next to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, once her biggest fear, at Fort Carson, Colo.

He kissed my forehead and said, “I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again, but I have to go and fight for our freedom.” At that moment I realized the true meaning of the word “freedom,” the reason for all the bloodshed, and why I might never see my brother again. The year was 1991; the Kurdish uprising was taking place. Every Kurd from Kurdistan, northern Iraq, was fighting for their freedom against a regime that did not think twice about slaughtering its own people, causing mass genocide. Under Saddam Hussein’s regime, enlisting in the military was not

a voluntary act; it was mandatory, and those who refused were hanged. During his rule, hundreds of thousands of Kurdish people were murdered, tortured and chemically bombed. Tired of his regime, the Kurds took to the mountains, the only friends they knew, to stand up and fight for their independence. Before the Kurdish uprising, while our cities were being bombed by Saddam, my family and I sought refuge for days under a tree on the side of the road leading to the eastern border, along with thousands of other Kurds who were fleeing their homes. As I lay there on the ground, cold and barely holding on to life, with only a wet tarp

separating me from the soaked grass, one thing kept me alive: Hope. Hope that someday Saddam would be gone and we would be free. Hope that my brother would come back and we would live like a “normal” family with no fear. In 1996 the regime had announced Saddam’s “leave or die” decree for those Kurds working with their American counterparts. Upon his return from war, my brother started working with an American humanitarian organization that later helped us escape the tyranny of the regime. Arriving in Guam in 1997, there was only one place to relo-

see FREEDOM, page 3


Andrews Gazette



My mom thinks I’m cute

Around Town June 28

WaCaHaSe featuring Steve Cavanaugh 10440 O’Donnell Place, St. Charles, Md. 7 p.m. Hear a local jam band on the lake and shop from the farmers market. For information visit www.stcharlesmd. com.

June 28

Trinidadian breakfast and folklore Crown Bakery, 409 Georgia Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 11 a.m. Try traditional Trinidadian breakfast foods as part of Caribbean Cuisine and Restaurant Week and hear the folklore of the island while you eat. For information visit

June 29

Battle in the Saddle Great Meadow Polo Club, The Plains, Va. 7 p.m. Army and Navy Polo teams battle it out to raise funds for the Caisson Platoon’s Equine Assisted Therapy Project for Wounded Warriors. Bring a tailgate picnic (but no pets). For information visit www.greatmeadowpoloclub. com/schedule/Events/.

June 29

Maryland Caribbean Fest Brandywine Lions Sports Ground, 11585 Cherrytree Crossing, Brandywine, Md. noon Enjoy Caribbean food, music, art, games, crafts and vendors. For information email


I knew I wanted kids, before I had them, but to be honest I am not sure how I knew. As much as I adore my own sons, and maybe two of their friends, I have never been a big fan of children as a demographic. They’re noisy. They’re chaotic. They’re dirty. They smell. They can’t hold a conversation. They think they know more than they actually know. Bah. Becoming a mother was a great idea, and I am glad I did it, but looking back I am not sure what gave me the confidence to make that happen. My sons, though, are cool. From the time they were young they had interesting personalities. And since the time they could string a few sentences together, many of those sentences have been worth hearing. I don’t think it’s just because I’m their mother. People comment all the time about how witty and wellinformed and engaged and intelligent my sons are. I love it. I even love it when they tell me how handsome the boys are...if they are young


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. John Rives, publisher

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


enough to say that without having to say, “No cougar! No cougar! I’m just telling you!” So, trust me. They’re great. I know it, other people know it, you’d know it if you met them. But that doesn’t mean they always know it. As a mom, I’m not always sure what to do about that. The instinct, of course, is to tell them. If they were friends, colleagues or acquaintances, it would be simple. See someone doing something great, you tell them they’re doing something great. Done. Boom. Happiness ensues. I do this all the time. I am the woman who shoves past you in the crowd and pauses just long enough to compliment your fabulous shoes; the customer who sends a handwritten note to tell an employer that someone on the staff did a terrific job. I’m all about giving credit where credit is due. But as a mother, I face the age-old problem. “My MOM thinks I’m handsome. Well, that’s just great.” Yes, since I gave birth to the four horsemen of awesome, I pretty much have to keep my mouth shut about

it most of the time. Having your mom tell you how smart you are just seems to make kids want to crawl into a hole and play video games. One of my sons has been avoiding college. I tell him he should go, and he nods his head and brushes me off. I can tell the whole conversation makes him uncomfortable, so usually I just let it go. I worry, though, that he’s wasting an opportunity to focus now on something that will make his future a lot easier for him. Last week, a woman he respects told him he should go to college. “Carol said I’m smart,” he said. Carol is right. And Carol is not saying anything I haven’t been saying to this young man since forever ago. But I am so glad she said it. Sometimes—maybe most of the time—young people can hear a lot better when someone other than their mother is the one speaking. So, it just brings me back to it: when I see something good, I will praise it. You just never know whose mom is standing in the background, saying, “See? I TOLD you you were terrific.”

tural information on more than 200 countries. Business and technology professionals can take advantage of Safari, an e-reference resource with more than 13,000 titles. For more information about Air Force libraries and programs, call the library at Andrews (301-9816454) or at Bolling (202-767-5578).

lion project covers 2.35 acres -- the length of two football fields -- and is more than twice the size of the nextlargest columbarium at Arlington.


Libraries can help

Maxine Minar, president

Friday, June 28, 2013

Need assistance setting up a budget, learning a new language or doing your homework? Online Air Force library staff work to meet customers’ needs in an evolving, digital world. The libraries also offer MyiLibrary, One Click and Over The Universal Class program offers self-improvement and personal development for authorized Air Force library customers. Register for more than 540 online classes in 30 different subject areas. To enroll, contact your local library for th e access code to create an account. If you’re doing a project on an unfamiliar country, you’ll find everything you need with detailed cul-

Arlington adds columbarium

Six veterans, whose service era spanned the Civil War to Vietnam, were the first to be inurned in the ninth and last columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery. Their unclaimed, cremated remains were recovered by the Missing in America Project. Part of the cemetery’s threepart expansion program, Columbarium Court 9 allows for 20,296 niches for cremation urns. The $12.9 mil-

Credit card fees hit exchanges

Use of bank-issued debit and credit cards at exchange stores last year cost the military community more than $62 million in fees. Shoppers can help reduce costs and strengthen their exchange benefit using the Military Star Card. Unlike bank cards, the Military Star Card is administered by the exchange and revenue generated is shared with military communities through contributions to quality-of-life programs. The Military Star Card also benefits the cardholder through gas savings dur-

see RETIREE, page 10


Andrews Gazette

Friday, June 28, 2013

Latino leaders demand representation in Prince George’s County schools BY ERIC GOLDWEIN


Latino officials in Prince George’s County want to see changes in school system leadership, saying the Latino community is underrepresented, with only two percent of the system’s 9,000 teachers. “We shouldn’t be an afterthought,” said Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-Dist. 21) of College Park, pointing out that nearly 23 percent of county students are Latino, but there is only one Latino principal in the school system — José A. Taboada of Cesar Chavez Elementary School. According to data from the 2010 Census, 15.2 percent of the county is of Hispanic or Latino origin. “If the numbers were not there to justify it, then fine. But the numbers are there,” Peña-Melnyk said. “When you look at the population of the students, you need more representation and the point is to reflect the community. It’s not only speaking the language, it’s knowing the culture.” County officials spoke in both English and Spanish to express their concerns during a news conference Friday in Langley Park, at the headquarters of Casa of Maryland — a nonprofit supporting low-income Latinos and their families. State Sen. Victor R. Ramirez (D-Dist. 47) of Cheverly recommended that the Board of Education create a task force to address the lack of Latino leadership in the system. He also called for increasing support for Spanish-speaking parents with parent liaisons and professional interpreters. “There’s an opportunity to look into the

FREEDOM, from page 1 cate the many Kurds facing the atrocities of the regime: Andersen Air Force Base, home of the 36th Wing. That was my first up close and personal introduction to the American uniform. The Airmen smiled at me, and while the only English phrase I knew was “Thank you!” I knew that someday I would have many more interactions with the uniform. I began to understand what it is that makes the United States of America one of the most powerful nations in the world. It is not the millions of people who coexist despite their cultural differences; it is the strength of the American military, and the resilience of the American Soldier. Enlisting voluntarily in the military, the American Soldier stands ready to sacrifice his life in the name of freedom. As someone who knows the meaning of that term all too well, I know that is no small price to pay. The strength of the American military became especially evident to me while volunteering at Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colo., where we first touched down onto American soil after leaving Guam and received a warm welcome from the Soldiers. Today, walking around the corridors of the Pentagon, one of the most powerful institutions, I am overwhelmed

Del. Josephine Peña-Melnyck (D-Dist. 21) of College Park speaks at a press conference at the Casa of Maryland headquarters in Langley Park.

bigger issue: Why is there such a disconnect with what’s going on in our schools and what’s going in our communities?” Ramirez said. No official strategy to increase representation was presented at the new conference. Jaime Contreras, capital area director of Employees International Union Local 32BJ in Washington, D.C., spoke about the challenges children coming from Spanishspeaking households face. Contreras, who has two children in the school system, said the language barrier prevents parents

with the strength of the American military. There is an unbreakable bond between all the branches of the military, which extends to building relationships with war-torn countries such as Iraq. Having mastered the English language, there is still only one phrase that comes to mind that captures my sense of gratitude towards the military for saving my country and for saving its people from the most violent criminal: “Thank You!” As we celebrate Independence Day with friends and family, let us not forget the Soldiers in and out of uniform, serving at home or overseas. Let us also celebrate the lives of those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice, while protecting their country and freeing another. No matter what corner of the globe we come from, we are all fighting for the same cause: Freedom. If each of us takes on a responsibility and plays the role of a counter-terrorist, I’m certain that in time we can win this war against terrorism and allow more countries to get a taste of freedom. Editor’s note: Zamawang Almemar is a contractor supporting the office of Air Force Civil Engineering Technology Branch at JBA. Almemar has written for Soldiers Magazine, the Fort Carson Mountaineer and the official home page of the U.S. Army.

from getting involved in their children’s education. Parents who want to participate in field trips or help in the classroom fail to do so because the county does not provide translators, Contreras said. “It’s one of those specific things that the county executives and the county leaders can address now in order to start rectifying some of these problems,” Contreras said. The conference was called after Rushern L. Baker’s III (D) appointed three nonLatino members to the school board and the County Council also appointed one non-Latino member, leaving the 14-person

staff without a Latino representative. “It’d be nice if we actually have a chance to have somebody who can understand the growing culture of the region,” said County Councilman Will Campos (D-Dist. 2) of Hyattsville. Baker’s spokesman Scott Peterson said Baker is confident that the school system’s CEO and Board of Education “will take a close look at this issue and develop new ways to reach out to the Latino and other immigrant communities, to work together to better address the unique concerns they face each and every day in providing the best education possible for their children.” Baker defended the hires in an interview on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, saying he picked the best three candidates from the 160 applicants. “The first priority, always, in any situation, is finding the best people that can help move Prince George’s County forward, because I owe that to all the children of Prince George’s County,” he said. “Black, white, Latino, anyone who walks through our school system.” Baker said the county needs to broaden its outreach into the Latino community. “We’ve got to do a better job of that because the richness of Prince George’s County is our diversity and so that should be reflected in the government.” School system spokesman Max Pugh had no comment as of publication. This story originally appeared in the June 25 edition of The Prince George’s Gazette.

Charge dropped against man who allegedly threatened to blow up Lanham workplace BY AMBER LARKINS


A wording error led to a charge being dropped against a Crofton man accused of threatening to blow up his Lanham office last year. Neil Prescott, 29, had been charged with one misdemeanor count of misuse of a telephone to make repeated calls with the intent to annoy, abuse, torment, harass or embarrass another. Prescott allegedly made repeated calls during which he called himself the “Joker” and threatened to blow up everyone at his former workplace, postage machine supplier Pitney Bowes in Lanham. Prince George’s County District Court Judge Patrice E. Lewis dropped the charge Tuesday, stating the charging document was defective because the count said “or” instead of “and.” The

wording would mean the prosecution only had to prove one part of the charge true and if one part was not able to be proved, they could try each of the others. “You don’t get to pick several intents,” Lewis said. “The state cannot go forward and only provide partial truth.” The threats allegedly occurred just days after a mass shooting at the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo. The suspect in that attack also identified himself as the Joker, a villain in the Batman comic book series, and killed 12 people. When Prescott was arrested, approximately 20 legally obtained firearms and 400 rounds of ammunition were seized from his Crofton home by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to a news release from

see LANHAM, page 8

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


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Andrews Gazette

Friday, June 28, 2013

AFCU HOSTS COMMUNITY DAY Andrews Federal Credit Union sponsored its annual Community Day June 21 on base. Children and parents were treated to games, prizes, demonstrations and live music. Joint Base Andrews squadrons set up booths to sell unit items and food for donations to support their booster clubs.


Children play inside a moon bounce.

Justin Ellis, 8, displays his game face and an M-4 Carbine rifle, alongside Sgt. Pierre Audiffred, 11th Security Forces Group Emergency Services Team assistant NCO in charge.

Air Force patrons give donations to a Presidential Airlift Group member for food and refreshments.

Staff Sgt. Pierre Audiffred, 11th Security Forces Group Emergency Services Team assistant NCO in charge, left, and Staff Sgt. Kyle Martin, Phoenix Raven, right, demonstrate the use of a ballistics shield.

Proud Protocol Service


11th Logistic Readiness Squadron Protocol Services vehicle operators Senior Airman Steven Wirth and Airman 1st Class Gerald Romo exchange insight on guidelines for transporting distinguished visitors outside of Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley’s farewell ceremony held on June 21 at Joint Base Andrews’ Hangar Three. The National Capital Region averages 1,500 distinguished visitor requests annually. BY AMBER RUSSELL



Senior Airman Steven Wirth, 11th Logistic Readiness Squadron Protocol Service vehicle operator, has served his country with the 11th LRS nearing four years. His personal drive to excel in the Air Force garnered him a position providing world-class support for distinguished members of the Air Force, the U.S. government and dignitaries from all over the world. Formerly known as the Executive Driver Service, Protocol Service is now operating on the east side of base with the 11th LRS. Even though the seven-member crew is donning a new name and pushing more cost-efficient vehicles, the high-level mission remains unchanged. “We are responsible for the safe and timely transportation of one to four star generals anywhere throughout the National Capital Region,” said Wirth. “We often go to the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and Arlington National Cemetery for full-honors funerals.” Additionally, the members support the assistant vice chief of staff, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, senior executive staff and civilian counterparts. The accelerated schedule of events does not stop one Airman from taking a detour down memory lane. “My first DV run for protocol was for General Welsh,” he said. “It was an incredible moment because he coined me and shortly after he became Chief Staff of the Air Force.” Wirth’s rare experience can be attrib-

uted to his desire to be the best Airman he can be. Adhering to dress and appearance guidelines as well as following customs and courtesies at all times, have granted Wirth and members of the select Protocol Service with their unique position. “We are fortunate to drive individuals with more stars than we have stripes,” said Airman 1st Class Gerald Romo, 11th LRS vehicle operator. “You have to be at the top of your game at all times, and keep a level head in the process.” These Airmen have a unique opportunity to get to know General Officers on a personal level while providing world-class support at the presidential base. “It’s not every day an Airman my rank gets to pick the brains of officers responsible for making Air Force-wide decisions, including leaders of MAJCOM, Air Education and Training, Air Mobility Command,” said Romo. The Airmen said their interaction leads to a juncture where it’s okay to voice their perspective to leadership. “There are times when the officers want to know where you’re from, what you do, how do you like your base, and they often ask your opinion on what you think of today’s Air Force,” said Wirth. The NCR averages 1,500 requests annually from Air Force District of Washington, said Staff Sgt. Calvin Collosi, 11th LRS protocol dispatcher. Whether they’re supporting a four star conference, the Congressional Delegation of Oklahoma, Navy warfighter talks, or even the Foreign Air Chiefs, this select group of Airmen make a global impact.


Andrews Gazette

Friday, June 28, 2013

Band member wins local Emmy

Caption This


From left to right, Master Sgt. Jim DeVaughn, of The U.S. Air Force Band, James Bigwood, audio supervisor at Maryland Public Television and Gordon Master, freelance audio engineer, formerly with MPT, attend the local Emmy Awards ceremony.


A member of The United States Air Force Band was part of a team presented with an Emmy® award at the National Capital/ Chesapeake Bay chapter of the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences gala on June 15 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel. Master Sgt. Jim DeVaughn, audio engineer with The U.S. Air Force Band, worked with Maryland Public Television audio engineers James Bigwood, Gordon Masters and David Wainwright to produce the audio for a Veteran’s Day concert titled “America’s Veterans - A Musical Tribute.” This special broadcast that originally aired on Nov. 11, 2012 honored those who have served in all branches of the military by featuring musical performances and short vignettes highlighting members who currently serve. “American Idol” Season 2 winner Rueben Studdard performed as well as world-renowned tenor, Anthony Kearns, the original founding member of The Irish Tenors. The band’s Studio Orchestra and the Singing Sergeants rounded out the program.

“I’m humbled that our efforts were considered worthy of an Emmy, and I think it’s a great testament to the caliber of all the engineers, military and civilian, who were all involved as a team to get the mix on the air,” DeVaughn said. “I hope to continue on to new projects that will instill patriotism and inspire hope through our shared language of music.” DeVaughn has been with the band since 2001, and attended Virginia Tech, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. Just prior to joining the Air Force, he served as the technical director for the Virginia Tech music department and worked as a freelance audio engineer for various collegiate choral groups. “I’m thankful and feel blessed for the opportunity to do what I love while serving my country,” DeVaughn said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to honor our veterans through music, for their service, and for their sacrifices.” The U.S. Air Force Band has partnered over the last several years with Maryland

see EMMY, page 10

Send your silly captions for this week’s photo to The funniest ones will be used in a future edition of The Andrews Gazette.

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Andrews Gazette

Friday, June 28, 2013

Know your status: Heart to Hand, Inc. tests for HIV BY CHRIS BASHAM STAFF WRITER

Dedra Spears-Johnson knows she’s probably fighting a losing battle, but she’s not about to give up. The executive director of Largo, Md.-based 501(3)c nonprofit Heart to Hand, Inc. has a firm commitment to helping members of underserved populations in Prince George’s County get the information they need about their own health status, and the support and care that will maintain their health even in the face of a positive HIV diagnosis. “We saw an epidemic skyrocketing, especially for women of color in Prince George’s County,” Spears-Johnson said of her efforts in 1998, with H2H cofounder Sally Joseph, to launch a grassroots organization to help people learn their HIV status and get the help they need. H2H offers free, confidential testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases at their clinic in Largo and at sites throughout Prince George’s County. Through their Community Outreach Program, H2H staff and volunteers provide HIV testing, health education, information and materials at health fairs, schools, “hot spots” in the community with particularly high disease rates and in churches. “The churches are opening up,” said Spears-Johnson. “Sometimes we will test the pastor in the pulpit during the service, before we offer to test the rest of the congregation.” Rapid-results testing can inform people of their HIV status within 15-20 minutes, often without even a “finger stick” blood test. If person receives a positive HIV finding from that rapid test, a confirmatory serum test yields results in little more than a week. In the meantime, Heart to Hand offers post-testing counseling to help individuals understand and cope with their new diagnosis, and education to help those who have a negative test result maintain that HIV-free status. Learning about an HIV-positive test result can be an overwhelming experience. “People go into shock mode. They don’t tell anyone. Or, the one person they tell tells everybody they know, and they have to hide (their HIV status) again. Even in 2013 it’s still a problem,” said Spears-


Executive Director Dedra Spears-Johnson cofounded Largo, Md.-based nonprofit Heart to Hand, Inc. in 1990 to help members of underserved populations in Prince George’s County learn their HIV status and get the support and care they need to stay healthy.

Johnson. “We want to help people cope and get themselves stable.” Part of that effort includes helping people start on a medical regimen they’ll need to maintain for the rest of their lives. Anti-retroviral drugs for HIV-positive patients can be extremely expensive, sometimes costing uninsured patients between $2,300 and $5,000 per month. Those life-saving medications are crucial, though to help keep HIV-positive individuals healthy for the long term. Sometimes, people with a positive HIV status are lulled into ignoring their health because they don’t feel ill. Taking medications every day for a disease you don’t notice except on a blood test can seem like a low priority, especially for people who may be dealing with other issues like homelessness, lack of family support or low income. H2H helps patients stay in control of their infection through steady access to care, and encourages those who have fallen out of touch with their health care providers to get back in the system and take their HIV-positive status seriously. Sometimes, that can be as simple as linking a newly diagnosed person with someone

who has known their HIV-positive status for some time, to remind the new person to take their medication and go to doctor’s appointments. “We become their extended family,” Spears-Johnson said, providing a safe place to talk about difficult issues, help navigating the social services system, support without judgment and up-to-date information on treatment options. “A lot of young people are still figuring out who they are, when they are diagnosed. Other, older people have been HIVpositive for 25 years or more and now are also dealing with the age-related disorders that come from being older, on top of their HIV status,” said Spears-Johnson. Heart to Hand works with individuals, “but it’s a public health issue,” said Spears-Johnson. “Right now, we’re really losing the battle.” That’s especially true for our area. Maryland has the highest per capita rate of HIV infection of any state. Prince George’s County is second only to Baltimore for the state’s highest rate of HIV infection per 100,000 residents. SpearsJohnson said that Washington, D.C. also has high rates of HIV infection, but has “much more aggressive” services offering care for people living with HIV and AIDS, especially services for transgendered individuals. Spears-Johnson blames a “suburban attitude” for the lack of funding and readily available care in Prince George’s County. Heart to Hand, with an annual grant- and foundation-funded budget of approximately $313,000, is one of only four Ryan White Program-funded organizations in the county, providing case management services for approximately 160 county residents, outreach programs at more than 50 public events each year, condom giveaways and small support and discussion groups for gay men living with HIV and AIDS. Some services are incomebased, for people with incomes up to 300 percent of poverty, but H2H provides HIV testing for everyone. “People have different ideas and misperceptions and denial of their risk,” said Spears-Johnson. “Most (HIV infections) in Maryland are transmitted by heterosexual sex, but people still point fingers at someone else. We want to say

it’s only gay sex. We want to say we’re not impacted, but we are.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 15-20 percent of people already infected with HIV are unaware of their HIV-positive status. That means they don’t get the care they need to stay healthy, and they don’t know to warn their sex partners. Spears-Johnson is working to encourage universal, “opt out” HIV testing, in line with CDC recommendations. That would mean that everyone would be given an HIV test at an annual physical, unless they specifically ask their health care provider to skip that test. Making HIV testing universal removes the need to ask for the test, whether a patient is uncomfortable exposing themselves to potential stigma or just really has no idea they need the test. For some, especially people in relationships where they believe both partners are monogamous, ignorance or denial can keep people from getting tested for STDs until their symptoms are undeniable. “We had a woman who did not realize her husband was HIV-positive until he died, and now she has HIV,” said SpearsJohnson, who said that women, especially, tend to not want to face those tough questions out of a traditional desire to be polite or to do whatever it takes to keep a romantic partner. “It’s not even about sex. It’s about selfesteem and goals for young people. It’s about us being broken as a people,” said Spears-Johnson. “You’re risking your life to be touched? There’s a reason for that.” Getting tested is a way for people to love themselves just as much as they love their partners, even if they find talking about risk factors, sexual activity, drug use and other issues hard to do. “It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. You just need to know your status,” said Spears-Johnson. “You need to stay healthy.” To find an HIV testing site near you, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site at and enter your zip code.

Nutritional Medicine Letter to the editor Caribbean forum Flight has a dual mission at JBA I received calls about the dates and locations for the 1st Annual Business Networking Forum, “Banking on Returning Nationals: A Solid Investment” and the back pack drive. Can you inform your readers that the forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 at the Central Bank Auditorium, Eric Williams Plaza, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.


Working as a diet therapy technician in the Nutritional Medicine Flight at Malcolm Grow Medical Clinic and Surgery Center is a job with dual missions, but they both contribute to helping service members stay healthy. Sr. Airman Angela Thoma started college unsure what she wanted to do with her life. “The military was always in the back of my mind because of my family background. I went in ‘open general,’ so this job chose me,” said Thoma, a diet therapy technician at Joint Base Andrews for the past five and a half years. At military installations with a full hospital, diet therapy technicians prepare and serve food for hospital employees and patients receiving inpatient care. Since Malcolm Grow eliminated its inpatient wards, diet therapy technicians focus on providing nutrition education classes for active duty military, retirees and family members. The 30-member team has been cut to just 10 staff members, working under dietitian Marilou Castro. The classes cover weight management, nutritional needs during pregnancy, the causes and remedies of high cholesterol and dietary contributions to diabetes management. Most classes are offered on Mondays and Fridays at Malcolm Grow, for people with a doctor’s referral or a PT failure. Weight management classes do not require a doctor’s recommendation. Pregnancy nutrition classes are offered Wednesdays in the Family Readiness Center. The classes include information gathered from the Nutrition Care Manual, a resource for dietitians. “Nurses have nurse technicians. We’re that, for dietitians,” explained Thoma of her role. The course material can be overwhelming, especially for people who are facing a new diagnosis and unsure how to change their eating habits. Some patients request commissary tours to learn how to read food labels, how to shop for healthy foods and how to prepare them. “Being able to apply the knowledge to your lifestyle is frustrating,” said Thoma. “Some healthier foods may take a little more time to prepare. It’s not always go-

The event is free. The back pack drive will be held in Prince George’s County July 2013. Details will follow.

Many thanks, Arlene Graham President Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, Inc.

JBA Buzz What are your plans for the summer?

Sr. Airman Angela Thoma displays a cart used to serve meals to patients coming through the Aeromedical Staging Facility at Malcolm Grow Medical Clinic and Surgery Center.

ing to be convenient; especially with bigger families, it can be hard to find the time. In America we’re so used to ‘Go! Go! Go!’ and fast food. Most American food is very processed.” Of course, even unhealthy food can serve as medicine, some of the time. The second mission for MGMC&SC’s Nutritional Medicine Flight seems, at first glance, to fly in the face of all Thoma’s healthy recommendations. “We make pizza, steak, or fried chicken. We serve vegetables on the side, macaroni and cheese, and real sweet tea we make from scratch,” said Thoma. “We get a lot of Southerners, and they really love it. It has real flavor to it.” Three times each week, Thoma and her coworkers join Red Cross volunteers to serve unadulterated comfort food to wounded warriors spending the night at the Aeromedical Staging Facility. It’s their first dinner and breakfast in the States, and it had better be delicious, no matter what time the dinner bell rings. “Our hours are flexible, with when the flights come in. Sometimes they land at three in the morning. You never can tell. None of us mind, because of what it is,” Thoma said. “It’s the most rewarding part of our job, seeing those smiles.”

“My plans are to spend time with my family, fix up things at my new home and then go on vacation.”

“I’ll probably end up traveling around Maryland, Virginia and see some sights in D.C.”


Airman 1st Class Eleuterio Flores, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical power production apprentice

Tech. Sgt. Jody Lucas, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron facility maintenance team NCO in charge

Thomas Ford, Freedom Hall Dining Facility supervisor

“I sing in two different bands which cover southern Maryland to Annapolis. And we’re booked for the summer. So if you get a chance, come out to see us. The bands are Shiftwork and Overdrive.”

Senior Airman Janica Person, 811th Security Forces Squadron entry controller

“I have quite a bit going on. I’m going to retrain into another career field, possibly go to Airman Leadership School, take my physical fitness test and then take leave to see my family in South Carolina, Virginia and Florida.”


Andrews Gazette

Friday, June 28, 2013

744TH CS COMMUNICATES DECISIVE WIN OVER NCSMS 744th Communications Squadron faced Naval Communications Security Material Systems in a doubleheader Intramural Softball game June 25. The 744 CS won both games against NCSMS, 16 to 3 and 17 to 1.


Cody Works, 744th Communications Squadron third baseman, grinds out a base hit during the second inning.

Cyrus Herman, 744th Communications Squadron coach, gives Michael Moore, 744 CS pitcher, a celebratory handshake on his way to first base.

Talking Baseball

WARRIORS, from page 1

Baltimore slugger

BY LT. COL. LANCE RODGERS Chris Davis is having the kind of year the Baltimore Orioles knew he was capable of when they traded for him in 2011. After the first 75 games through June 23, the 6?3?, 230-pound first baseman leads the team in most offensive categories with 27 home runs, a .336 batting average, 70 runs batted in, 33 walks, a .719 slugging percentage and a .413 on base percentage. This is his sixth year in the majors; his personal bests in previous seasons include a .285 batting average in 2008 and 33 home runs and 85 RBIs in 2012. He?s well on his way to shattering all his own records if he can continue with his hot bat for the rest of the season. He is on pace to hit 57 homers, 149 RBIs, and a .336 batting average. Davis was drafted by the Yankees in 2004 out of high school and then again by Angels in 2005, but did not sign with either team. He played two years at Navarro Junior College, and signed when the Rangers drafted him in the 5th round in 2006. In 2008, he made his major league debut with the Rangers. Though he bounced back and forth between the minors and majors for the first few years, he had some success at the major league level. He was named Rangers Rookie of the Year and was selected as a ?Futures Game? player that same year, a game played during All Star

week among up-and-coming stars. Finally, in 2012, he spent the entire season in the majors with the Orioles. On May 6, 2012, Davis became the winning pitcher (yes, I said pitcher) for Baltimore in a 17-inning game against the Boston Red Sox. Davis had started the game as the designated hitter, but moved to the mound in the 16th inning after the Orioles had used up all their regular pitchers. Davis struck out two batters and didn?t allow a run in his two innings pitched. This season, he has been named the American League player of the week twice, and in April, took player of the month honors. Currently leading the majors in home runs, number two in RBIs, and number six in average, I am fairly confident that Chris Davis will make his All Star debut in July. He is currently second in votes behind only Miguel Cabrera, who leads the majors in average and RBIs and is second in home runs. To make sure a local hero makes the team, now is the time to vote. To vote online, go to all_star/y2013/ballot.jsp. Lt Col Rodgers is the 779th Medical Group Administrator. He was drafted as a utility infielder by the Chicago White Sox organization in 1985, but cut when Jose Mota signed.

juries and health issues they have encountered,” said Tony Jasso, Air Force Wounded Warrior adaptive sports program manager. “As part of the Air Force’s Wounded Warrior Program, this sports camp is intended to introduce adaptive sports during the earliest stages of recovery for our service members.” Sports like wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, archery, swimming, air rifle/pistol shooting and track and field help keep them active, something Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas Travis, Surgeon General of the Air Force, says is essential to wellness. “These activities are a way to get you back into the game, to improve your quality of life and help you get on with your recovery,” Travis told the wounded warriors during the opening ceremony. “Your attitude and self-confidence has more to do with your well-being than you may think.” Travis went on to stress the importance of the Wounded Warrior program as the Airmen make the sometimes complicated transition back to work in the Air Force or into civilian life. “Caring for Airmen is what we do; It’s the reason we’re here,” he said. “Health should be a part of everybody’s mission.” The Air Force Wounded Warrior program helps with more than the physical aspect of adjustment, and the assistance



A contractor uses an excavator to dig a service road inside a median on June 25 on Pennsylvania Avenue. The project will replace two bridges which carry Pennsylvania Avenue motorists over Woodyard Road near Joint Base Andrews, north of Upper Marlboro, and bring significant improvements to nearby sections of Woodyard Road.



Wounded Warriors learn to play wheelchair basketball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Training Camp at the West Fitness Center on June 26 at Joint Base Andrews, Md.

doesn’t stop after the warrior’s enlistment ends. The program works handin-hand with the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program and Airman & Family Readiness Centers to ensure Airmen receive professional support and care from the point of injury, through separation or retirement, for life. Advocates from the program work with Airmen to ensure they receive face-to-face, personalized services when possible and even provide professional services such as transition assistance, employment assistance, moving assistance, financial counseling, information and referral and emergency financial assistance. For more information on the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, visit http://


Andrews Gazette

Ask the Lawyer Can the military come after me for violating a state law? BY MATHEW B. TULLY

Most service members know that the “law of the land” in the military is different than that in the civilian realm. Generally, civilians are not prosecuted for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In contrast, under certain circumstances the government may prosecute a service member for violating a civilian law established by a state and not specifically addressed by the UCMJ. What the government charges for the violation of a state or law will depend on where the crime happened and the severity of the offense. An Article 134 offense can be triggered by engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to good order and discipline or conduct that is service-discrediting. A third Article 134 clause addresses non-capital crimes and offenses established under state law and turned into federal law under the Assimilative Crimes Act. The ACA usually comes into play when a service member on a base or other area under exclusive or concurrent federal jurisdiction commits an offense prohibited by state law. Because of jurisdictional concerns, state prosecutors cannot go after the service member in these situations. However, the ACA allows the military to adopt a state law so it can prosecute the service member. Examples of crimes established by state law that can be adopted into federal law include counterfeiting and frauds against the government not covered by Article 132, according the Manual for Courts-Martial. The ACA only allows this federal adoption of state laws when the offense is criminal in nature, as opposed to a noncriminal offense such as a traffic ticket. The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals made this distinction in U.S. v. Nathaniel L. Brooks (2006). The Army private in this case was convicted at special court-martial of, among other things, violations of Virginia law assimilated into federal law under the ACA, such as reckless driving


on a highway or roadway, failure to stop at sign, driving with a suspended license. The private had led police on a chase on Fort Eustis, portions of which are under exclusive federal jurisdiction and shared jurisdiction with the state. In several instances, the court found the private was improperly charged with an Article 134 offense. Depending on the circumstances, service members could also face a charge of dereliction of duty in violation of Article 92 for committing an offense established by state law. In U.S. v. Christopher J. Martin (2013), the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction of an Airman who was found guilty of, among other things, dereliction of duty by consuming alcoholic beverages under the age of 21 years old in violation of Nevada state law. The Airman filed an appeal, claiming “nothing established a military duty to obey state law governing the minimum drinking age.” Not long before this case, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals noted, the military’s highest court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, in U.S. v. Joseph A. Hayes (2012) found that merely proving that there is a state law prohibiting certain conduct (e.g. underage drinking) does not establish “an independent military duty” to obey that law. In contrast, the Airman in Martin said he believed there was a military duty to obey the state law against underage drinking. Consequently, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the lower court’s findings and sentence. Service members should immediately contact a military law attorney if they are accused of committing a crime that violates a state law or any UCMJ article. 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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

As Baker preps to name schools CEO, transparency concerns abound BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU THE PRINCE GEORGE’S GAZETTE

The names of three finalists to lead Prince George’s County Public Schools are in the hands of County Executive Rushern Baker III (D), but the list is being kept confidential, raising concerns about the transparency of the process. Baker spokesman Scott Peterson confirmed Monday that the search panel had given the names of three finalists to Baker, and that Baker would announce the school system’s next chief executive officer — previously referred to as the schools superintendent — by the end of the week. Peterson said the names of the finalists would not be revealed due to confidentiality issues and concerns regarding their current employers. “That’s a legal right we have,” Peterson said. “The opinion from our law office after checking with the state attorney general’s office is we don’t have to give out that information.” The secrecy stands in stark contrast to the previous school superintendent search, halted by the passage of House Bill 1107, during which the three finalists gave presentations and took questions from the audience during a public forum. HB 1107, however, transferred the power to select the next school leader from the school board and turned the

LANHAM, from page 3 the Prince George’s County state’s attorney’s office. Maryland Criminal Law Section 3-804 says a person may not use a telephone to make repeated calls with the intent to annoy, abuse, torment, harass or embarrass another. William C. Brennan Jr., Prescott’s defense attorney, included in his argument to dismiss the charges that the charge document was defective, and that Prescott

process over to a three-member panel. The county executive will select the leader from the three finalists chosen by the panel. Education activist David Cahn said the move demonstrates Baker’s “obvious disdain for the public.” “It’s a gimmick,” Cahn said of the search process. “The whole thing is a put-up job.” Cahn said the move highlights that the CEO will solely report to Baker and not the public. “He’s not answerable to the community; he’s answerable to Baker,” Cahn said. Although the names haven’t been released, speculation first reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel indicated that Gregory Thornton, Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent and a former Montgomery County deputy superintendent, was being considered for the position. Thornton, 58, neither confirmed nor denied the rumors when asked last month, according to the Journal Sentinel. Last week, the school board confirmed interim Superintendent Alvin Crawley’s contract through to Aug. 30. It was originally set to expire July 1. This story originally appeared in the June 25 edition of The Prince George’s Gazette.

had a concussion and was joking when he made the threats to his coworker. John Erzen, communications director for the state’s attorney’s office, said that because of the wording, the defense could argue that they didn’t know where the state was going with the charges. The state’s attorney’s office has not decided yet whether it will attempt to refile the case, Erzen said. This story originally appeared in the June 26 edition of The Prince George’s Gazette.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Andrews Gazette



Andrews Gazette

Friday, June 28, 2013



Approximately 54 Air Force JROTC cadets from C. D. Hylton High School, Woodbridge, Va.; Arlington Academy, Arlington, Va. and Chantilly Academy, Chantilly, Va. were given an orientation on military life and Air Force career opportunities. The cadets were sponsored by members from various Air Force squadrons on Joint Base Andrews during a week-long Summer Leadership School program. The cadets toured several facilities on Andrews including Base Operations, 11th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 11th Security Forces Squadron’s Emergency Service Team, Air National Guard Readiness Center and Billeting


Every service member faces the likelihood of a deployment during their military career. The stress of being in an intense and possibly hostile work environment for an extended period of time, along with being away from family and friends, is a lot to ask of someone. This is where the Andrews Outdoor Recreation Center comes into play. Outdoor rec offers a plethora of adventurous activities to get involved in for Team Andrews members with its new RecOn program. “RecOn is an Air Force initiative designed to address the challenges of deployed Airmen returning to their home base,” said Alison Mabins, Outdoor Recreation Center Director. “The objective is to replace combat adrenaline with safe, organized and adventurous activities. It also provides a recreational outlet as a stress reliever for active duty members, their families and reservists, no matter the branch.” Service members don’t have to be deployed to take advantage of RecOn; all men and women in uniform could potentially deploy, therefore qualify. This family-focused event is similar to one aimed at getting single service members out of the dorms and into the wild. “Like RecOn, the Single Airmen and Sailors program goals are to provide 11th Force Support Squadron resources that foster a strong culture, mission and sense of community for service members,” said Mabins. “In this case, the key audience is active duty or air reserve component officer or enlisted members without a spouse.” According to the outdoor rec, the more popular activities offered include: sky diving, white water rafting, rock climbing, scuba diving, ski, snow boarding and zip lining. “My first trip was going sky diving last weekend,” said Jordan Murphy, Outdoor Recreation Specialist. “(The RecOn Program) is awesome! The experiences and prices we provide make the activities worthwhile, and this place gave me that opportunity.” RecOn also allows eligible customers the opportunity to enjoy activities at either zero cost at all, or at a 50 percent discount. Outdoor rec has designed programs for everyone to enjoy from fishing trips to zip lining. An upcoming available event is white water rafting from July 26-28. All interested service members must sign up by July 12. For more information, visit the Outdoor Recreation page at, or call 301-981-4109/5663.


An Air Force JROTC cadet stops traffic June 25 as a cadre of his fellow cadets marches past the West Fitness Center.

RETIREE, from page 2 ing the year and 10 percent savings on food purchases at exchange restaurants. Two-thirds of earnings generated at exchange activities are paid to morale, welfare and recreation programs; the rest is invested in improvements to the shopping experience. The Military Star Card is accepted at all Army and Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Exchange activities, as well as the Exchange Online store at 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 301981-2726. Our e-mail address is Call the office before your visit to ensure a volunteer is on duty. The RAO has a website at; Under “Helpful Links” click on “Retirees Activity Office” for information on retiree subjects, including past copies of “Retiree Corner.”

Thomas Ford, Freedom Hall Dining facility supervisor, serves Air Force JROTC cadets during the lunch hour June 25.

EMMY, from page 5

Airman 1st Class Nesha Humes, center, 11th Wing Public Affairs still photographer, prepares to brief the cadets on her job description in front of the Freedom Hall Dining Facility June 25.

Religious Services

Public Television to create a Veteran’s Day concert for broadcast by MPT. This wildly successful venture has resulted in performances that have reached almost the entire PBS viewing community. The Emmy® Awards judges viewed 774 entries from 93 categories of production and television crafts. The competition was open to any television station, company, production house or independent producer in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

on base Islamic

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 www.

Horseback Riding • Swimming Games & Crafts $200 WEEKLY LUNCH INCLUDED! Monday-Friday Ages: 6 & Up

Sibling Discounts Available



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

•PONY RIDES • FACE PAINTING • POPCORN Your place or our farm! - We rent out our moon bounce for the day, whatever the occasion. - FREE HALF-SHEET BIRTHDAY CAKE with picture & text!

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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ELDORADO RIDING STABLE 240-412-9866 • 240-346-8436


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Friday, June 28, 2013

Andrews Gazette




Andrews Gazette

Friday, June 28, 2013

Andrews 062813  
Andrews 062813  

Andrews, DCMilitary