Page 1



CNO Says: ‘No Plan’ to Change Retirement



Smithsonian concerts to coincide with Cherry Blossom Festival


Town of Morningside divided over youth sports program BY CHRIS BASHAM STAFF WRITER

The monthly meeting of the council of the Town of Morningside showed signs of conflict in the small town March 19, over a subject most people would see as an easy win for the town: Youth flag football. Darnell Franklin of Capitol Heights, coach of the Morningside Monarchs adult flag football team which has been practicing out of Douglas Patterson Park for the past three seasons in preparation for the team’s participation in the Mid-Atlantic Flag Football League play, and team manager Jabari Whitlow of Morningside, came to the Town of Morningside’s monthly meeting to request a donation of $3,085 from the town to pay for uniforms and league fees. In return, they offered to start a free youth flag football, cheerleading and dance program for late elementary and middle school students. “I think it is a positive way to go. I really do,” said council member Todd Mullins. Vice Mayor James O. Ealey said that although he is in favor of youth programs, he did not want to fund the Monarchs unless they were run under the auspices of the Town of Morningside’s Recreation Committee, which also plans the town’s an-

nual Independence Day parade and Breakfast with Santa and occasional community movie nights. “I don’t have a problem with programs to support our youth. The more the better. But it should come through the Recreation Committee we already have formed. I could not go along with a second organization coming along, separate from the Recreation Committee,” Ealey said. Recreation Committee President Susan Mullins, wife of Town of Morningside Council Member Todd Mullins, said that the recreation council is not currently prepared to run a youth football program. Asked by Ealey if that was due to a lack of funds from the Town, she said, “Yes, there is a funding issue. But I can’t decide whether or not the Recreation Committee will work with Mr. Franklin or not without discussing that with the Recreation Committee.” In a contentious vote, with Council Member Sheila Scott absent and new Council Member Lori Williams ineligible to vote on unfinished business at her first council session, Mayor Kenneth “Chrys” Wade and Council Member Mullins voted to fund the flag football team, with Vice Mayor Ealey objecting

see SPORTS, page 7

Andrews’ bagger celebrates milestone birthday BY ALEX COLLINS




Robert Dwight Jenkins, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, celebrated his 98th birthday March 13, with an intimate gathering of friends and coworkers at the Joint Base Andrews Commissary conference room. Jenkins, a part-time Commissary bagger, was honored by Chief Master Sgt. William Sanders, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews command chief, who thanked him for his past military service and gave Jenkins a commemorative coin and congratulatory letter for his 30

years of dedicated work at the Commissary on behalf of Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander. Theresa Guice, administrative assistant to the head abgger, was among Jenkins’ other well wishers. “It’s been a pleasure to work with Mister Jenkins,” said Guice. “We are glad to recognize his milestone and he’s been a faithful, dedicated employee here for several years.” Jenkins celebrated more than three decades of working as a part-time bagger at the commissary in February. “He never misses a day of work,” said Guice. “He’s worked

see BAGGER, page 4

NGB Vice Chief participates in 2014 US Senate Youth Program

FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 | VOL. 3 NO. 11



During the Wizards game against the Brooklyn Nets March 15, Ted Leonsis, majority owner, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment was joined by John Wood, Telos CEO and Chairman to present the funds to Bonnie Carroll, founder and president of TAPS.

Program earn more than $30,000 for TAPS BY KETSIA COLIMON


WASHINGTON, D.C. -Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation and Telos Corporation joined forces this past November for the inaugural Washington Wizards Courage Program. Hats with the word “Courage” written in the Wizards’ wordmark were sold with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Tragedy Assis-

tance Program for Survivors. TAPS is a nonprofit organization that provides ongoing emotional help, hope and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America, regardless of their relationship to the deceased, geography or circumstance of the death. TAPS offers comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs, including peer-based emotional support, case work assistance, regional

seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, and grief and trauma resources. Founded out of tragedy in 1994, TAPS has assisted more than 44,000 grieving military families and their caregivers. Courage hats autographed by Wizards players including Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, Otto Porter, John Wall and Martell Webster were sold at the Verizon Center Team Store resulting in proceeds of $31,571.77.

The heart of JBA Fisher House BY AIMEE FUJIKAWA


Soft hues adorn this immaculate abode, casting a spell of tranquility upon the guests at Fisher House, which serves military families who have traveled away from home to be with a loved one in their time of need. The length of stay is unknown, but the memories and relationships created here will last a lifetime, as they become member of the extended family. Janet Grampp is a former air traffic controller. She is the heart of this house. The former Staff Sgt., who once safely guided

planes, now guides these families to a home away from home. “I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of families going through some pretty tough times,” said Janet Grampp, the Joint Base Andrews Fisher House manager. Grampp joined the Air Force in 1979 at 20 years old, continuing the tradition that started with her grandfather, her father, herself and now her children. As one of five children growing up in the military, they faced the challenges of traveling every two years and living in many different places. They were always the

new kids in school, having to start over. “It shaped who I am as an adult, and gave me the tools to cope with stressful situations,” said Grampp. She was fortunate to have very strong and influential role models in her parents, whom she describes as “hardworking, honest, funny, loving, kind and compassionate.” “My father encouraged us to be strong and independent,” she said. “I credit my parents for giving me the support and strength to choose a path that was a little

see HEART, page 3

Joint Base Andrews inducts seven new Honorary Commanders BY ALETHA FROST



Shawn Toler, second from the right, regional director of Imagine Schools Maryland, receives an honorary commander’s induction certificate from Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing commander, and Mr. Jim Estepp, JBA senior honorary commander, far right, during a ceremony March 7 on Joint Base Andrews, Md. Toler is the honorary commander for the Air National Guard Readiness Center. He is joined by Col. Eric Mann, far left, deputy commander ANGRC.

Joint Base Andrews welcomed seven community and civic leaders into the 2014 Honorary Commanders Program during an induction ceremony luncheon held March 7 at The Club. The Joint Base Andrews Honorary Commander Program encourages an exchange of ideas and experiences, as well as friendships between key leaders of the base’s surrounding communities, JBA commanders and Airmen. In addition it allows base commanders and their units to learn more about local leaders and the local community. “This program positively impacts community and base’s interaction by building and strengthening our relationships with our local neighbors” said Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander.

The diversity of JBA’s six wings, two headquarters and more than 50 tenant organizations impact not only missions and surrounding communities in the National Capital Region, but missions across the entire Department of Defense and around the world. “Each honorary commander will have the opportunity to serve two years in the program,” Knight continued. “One of our goals is to have all honorary commanders visit their respective units and develop a better understanding of the important operations that occur here at JBA every day and most importantly the service members that make them happen.” Honorary Commanders are invited to attend events on base and in the surrounding communities that Airmen from Joint Base Andrews support. In turn, HCCs

may also invite the units their units to participate in events in the local community. During the luncheon, each inductee received a certificate of induction and an Honorary Commander’ s lapel pin. 2014 Joint Base Andrews Honorary Commanders are: - Pamela Rodriguez, financial adviser, First Command - Dr. Jacqueline Brown, director, Prince George’s Community College’s Government and Community Affairs - Tammi Thomas, chief of staff, Bowie State University - Christian Rhodes, education policy adviser, Prince George’s County - Pamela Creekmur, health director, Prince George’s County - Brian Partylo, owner, ChickFil-A, Brandywine, Md. - Shawn Toler, director, Imagine Public Charter Schools, Md.


Andrews Gazette



It is spring. Really.

Around Town March 21 - 23

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Verizon Center, 601 F Street N.W., Washington, D.C. Showtimes vary See animal acts, acrobats, clowns, magicians and all sorts of things, “Built to Amaze,” in this year’s show. For information visit

March 22 - 23

National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Days National Building Museum, 401 F Street N.W., Washington, D.C. Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Make cha-shitsu tea house structures, cherry blossom popcorn trees, wind chimes, wafuku-clothed paper dolls, and spring pinwheels; try on traditional Japanese clothing and see the Capitol Movement dancers, Blues Alley Youth Orchestra jazz musicians, Greenbelt S.I.T.Y Stars jump rope team, Joy of Motion Dance Center’s DanceFusion Jazz Project, and more. For information visit http://

March 22

National ShamrockFest RFK Stadium, 2400 E. Capitol St. NE Washington, DC. 3 p.m. - 11 p.m. Get your Irish on at the largest Saint Patrick’s Day party and street festival in the D.C. area featuring dozens of live bands. 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, March 21, 2014


As I look out the window by my desk, the latest snow heaps are melting slowly into standing puddles of mud. I hesitate to check the weather forecast, because, honestly, if we’re getting any more snow this season I don’t think I want to know about it beforehand. I’d rather live in my little bubble of denial for as long as I can. Yesterday was the first day of spring, after a winter that has seemed determined to drag on forever. On an official sort of level, at least, we have turned the corner and summer is on its way. My friends and I are about evenly divided, these days, between people

like me who have started to wear sandals to get the mail or take out the trash, even at the risk of frostbite, and realists: The people who just gut up and put another pot of chili on the stove. I applaud their stalwart determination to not be bothered by another week of cold, windy, unpromising weather. And then I go out for another bag of potting soil, or a stack of gardening books, or an ice cream cone. You can eat ice cream cones this week and they won’t melt all over your hand, no matter how slowly you lick. So, well, we have that going for us, or at least we do if we’re not overly concerned about the next round of physical fitness assessments. And, although my hummingbird feeder

has yet to have a single visitor, I often hear birdsong mixed in with the road noise, basketballs bouncing on the pavement and motorcycles revving in the distance. When human events like the upheaval in Eastern Europe and the as of yet unexplained disappearance of a Malaysian passenger plane seem to pile on to the harsh, unpleasant and wintry feeling of the world, it is good to be reminded that the world keeps turning. Winter comes to an end, sooner or later. The flowers bloom, the skies clear, the days grow longer and, for a while at least, we can all enjoy the beauty of spring. Nothing lasts forever. Not even this winter.Spring has sprung, and soon all things will be made new.

required to be filled at a military pharmacy. Some may be exempt, including those with other prescription drug plans or those living overseas. Nursing home residents may contact Express Scripts for a waiver from the program. Home delivery offers a 90-day supply of medication with no copays for generic drugs and $13 for brand-name drugs. Switching from a retail pharmacy to home delivery can save beneficiaries up to $152 annually for each prescription, officials said. Veterans’ retirement homes preserve independence The Armed Forces Retirement Home’s two campuses in Washington, D.C. and Gulfport, Miss., offer model retirement communities designed for male and female residents to maintain an independent lifestyle. Military retirees from each service branch are eligible to live at the homes if at least one-half of the veteran’s active service was not commissioned service, other than as a warrant officer or limited-duty officer. Applicants must be at least 60 years of age. There are no initiation or registration fees. For complete eli-

gibility requirements and to receive an informational brochure, contact the AFRH Marketing Office at 800422-9988, or write to AFRH, PAO/ Marketing, #1305, 3700 North Capitol Street N,W., Washington, D.C. 20011-8400.


Pharmacy pilot program underway

TRICARE for Life beneficiaries are urged to enroll in TRICARE’s Pharmacy Home Delivery or use a military pharmacy for some prescriptions. The five-year pilot program, mandated by Congress, requires beneficiaries to get certain medications through home delivery or at a military pharmacy for refills of maintenance medications taken for chronic conditions. TRICARE does not pay for these medications from a retail pharmacy. The program does not include medications for acute conditions taken for a limited time, such as antibiotics or pain medications or any generic medications. Beneficiaries are notified if they obtain a medication covered under the program. They have two “courtesy fills” available through a retail pharmacy before they are responsible for the entire cost of their medication. Call Express Scripts at 877-882-3335 to switch to home delivery. New prescriptions may be

Medal shifted

The Defense Department has moved the Kosovo Campaign Medal to the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. The KCM recognizes contributions of U.S. military personnel in support of Operation Joint Guardian since 1999 as part of the NATOled Kosovo Force in the Balkans. 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 rao@andrews. Call the office before your visit to ensure a volunteer is on duty. The RAO has a website at www.andrews.; Under “Helpful Links” click on “Retirees Activity Office” for information on retiree subjects, including past copies of “Retiree Corner.”

Friday, March 21, 2014


Andrews Gazette



Janet Grampp is the Fisher House manager at Joint Base Andrews, Md., serving military families for the past 20 years. She is a third generation Airman and enlisted at the age of 20 where she spent eight years as an Air Force air traffic controller.


From left, 11th Force Support Squadron members Ramune Gelzinyte-Branch, Presidental Inn Lead Guest Service Representative,; Kathy Murphy, JBA Club Catering Manager; Tommy Henderson, The Club General Manager and Richard Eckhart, The Club Operations Manager are the Joint Base Andrews Warriors of the Week. The four were recognized for their outstanding support during the Senior Leader Orientation Conference, which was held recently at the Smart building here. More than 100 general officers attended the event, and the 11th FSS received accolades for their presidential-level service, epitomizing the 11th Wing vision of vigilant and precise Airmen making a global impact.

Joint Base Andrews Exchange rewards students with You Made the Grade program BY RENEE M. CARTER


Military students can turn good grades into rewards with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s You Made the Grade program. From first-graders to high school seniors, pupils who maintain a B average or higher are eligible for the program that recognizes academic excellence. The You Made the Grade program rewards military students with a coupon booklet filled with free offers and discounts. Students with a B average or better can also enter the You Made the Grade semiannual sweepstakes to receive gift cards worth $2,000, $1,500 or $500. “The Joint Base Andrews Exchange is proud to reward military students who make it their mission to do well in school,” said Joint Base Andrews Exchange General Manager Tony Pares.



“Military men and women’s children face unique challenges inside and outside the classroom,” he said, noting reports that most military children will attend nine different schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. “The Joint Base Andrews Exchange recognizes these students’ challenges, and they deserve to be rewarded.” Students, including those who are home schooled, can receive a You Made the Grade coupon booklet by presenting a valid military I.D. and proof of an overall B average at the Joint Base Andrews Exchange’s customer service department. Eligible students can pick up one coupon booklet for each qualifying report card. Entries for the gift card sweepstakes drawing can be submitted twice a year, with drawings typically held in June and December. Students and guardians can visit the Joint Base Andrews Exchange for more information about the You Made the Grade program.

different than my contemporaries.” Her father passed away 28 years ago. Her mother, Rachael Munroe, now 75 years old, lives with Grampp and volunteers at Fisher House almost every day. “Rachel has always had a strong work ethic, raising five children as a working military wife, while moving around the world,” said Grampp. “She kept a clean house, kept us fed, worked at various jobs in the locations where we lived and took us to church on Sundays. She was, and still is a dynamo.” There is no doubt Grampp makes a difference. The traits inherited by her parents make doing her job come as second nature. While most people keep their jobs separate from their personal lives, for her, there is no separation when it comes to the business of caring for others. “Who she is personally is who she is professionally,” said Master Sgt. Chris Sweet, 11th Force Support Squadron Military and Family Support Center non-commissioned officer in charge. Sweet and Grampp met in September 2008 when he and his three children arrived from Germany following his wife, Jessica, who was Medevac’d to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “Janet welcomed us with open arms into the Fisher House family, and in turn, she became a part of our family,” said Sweet. “She has the ability to make you feel like you are the only guest.” The Sweets stayed for three months, along with Chris’s parents, while Jessica received cancer treatment, and then moved out to buy a home of their own for Christmas. She died February 2009. “Our family was shattered and Janet was still right there,” he said. “She brought

over enough food to feed an army and hugs for everyone.” Grampp has been a great influence to many. “She is like a godmother to me and without her even knowing, she became my mentor, my role model, the person I went to bounce ideas off of,” said Sweet. Her family has had its share of tragedy. While caring for her extended families, she has been the primary caregiver for the majority of her life with her family - raising her four children, caring for her in-laws and her parents. “My mother-in-law suffered from Alzheimer’s and my husband and I had her with us for several years,” she said. She took care of her mother during a five-year battle with cancer. Being on the receiving end of care gave her a profound appreciation for the people who helped take care of her mother-in-law in hospice. This journey at the Fisher House and facing so much loss would be very emotionally challenging for any caregiver, and there have been days she cried on her way home from work. But it has also been a gift. “I get more than I give,” she said. Grampp feels blessed to be in the position to help others and it gives her the enthusiasm to do what she does every day. Helping others is gratifying, but the families she helps are what truly inspire her. To maintain a healthy balance, giving and receiving are like the tide’s ebb and flow. “I find humor in my life, and it’s my saving grace,” said Grampp, a self-proclaimed beach bum. “I find that walking on the beach is the best therapy for me.” This year marks Grampp’s 20th anniversary as the heart that makes the Andrews Fisher House a home.


Andrews Gazette

Friday, March 21, 2014

CNO Says: ‘No Plan’ to Change Retirement

Robert Jenkins displays a plaque from the Defense Commissary Agency recognizing his 98th birthday and dedicated 30 years of service to the Joint Base Andrews Commissary.


BAGGER, from page 1 here Tuesday through Friday, from nine to 11 a.m. since 1984. We are his family and we love him like a father and grandfather.” Four members from Jenkins’ church choir sing a gospel song in his honor. Jenkins was born March 13, 1916 in South Carolina. Jenkins’ aunt adopted him when he was two years old and raised him in Lakeland, Fla. After graduating from Washington Park High School, Jenkins worked for various companies including, Greyhound, Hechinger, and Amtrak before working for the government as a file clerk. In 1942, Jenkins was drafted into the Navy and served as a Steward/cook for several Navy admirals, where he later met and befriended Petty Officer 3rd Class Dorie Miller, a noted war hero, who received the Navy Cross for his bravery during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Later in his military career, while stationed in Massachusetts he served as one of the Navy’s first black recruiters. Additionally, he took classes in public speaking and studied journalism at Harvard University. On Oct. 12, 1963, Mr. Jenkins retired as a chief petty officer and moved back to Florida. During his


Robert Jenkins bags groceries for a Commissary patron during his parttime job of 30 years at the Joint Base Andrews Commissary.

retirement, Jenkins did some traveling and consequently decided to move back to the Washington, D.C. area. Jenkins, well known by his coworkers and resident community, is featured in a book entitled, “The Messman Chronicles: African-Americans in the U.S. Navy, 1932-1943.” The book is the first to address the contributions of the thousands of unheralded Sailors of African descent who served as Navy mess attendants, officer’s cooks, and stewards from the early 1930s and won respect in frontline combat when the war began. Jenkins also attends the Guildfield Baptist church in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he was a treasurer for 26 years and he still sings on the men’s choir. During the gathering Jenkins noted some of his hobbies are traveling, eating, and sleeping while letting the TV watch him. When asked about his diet, Jenkins attributes his good health to eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. “And I don’t eat red meat or pork,” said Jenkins. He also attributes good health to his job as a part-time bagger at the Joint Base Andrews Commissary. “I do it because it’s good exercise,”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens speak with Sailors during an all hands call held March 18 aboard Naval Station Mayport. BY CHIEF MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST JULIANNE METZGER CNO PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Chief Master Sgt. William Sanders, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews command chief, congratulates Robert Jenkins for his 30 years of service to the Joint Base Andrews Commissary during his 98th birthday celebration March 13.

said the spry nonagenarian, who still drives to work. Jenkins has lived to reach an age that many only dream of. When asked about the secret to his longevity, he quickly noted, “One of the reasons why I’ve lived so long is because I didn’t have anyone to argue with anyone.”

In a one-on-one interview last week and during a March 18 all hands call in Mayport, Fla. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert asserted that changes to the military retirement system are far from taking effect and that there is no plan in place to change it. Greenert made it clear at the all hands call and in a recent “Conversation with a Shipmate” interview, “If you wear the uniform today, today’s retirement system is your retirement system.” Pushing back on recent retirement articles, Greenert told Sailors in Mayport, “There is no plan today to change retirement.” Greenert said the rumors of retirement changes stem from the Department of Defense recommendations to the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission reviewing military retirement for Congress.

The President established the commission to conduct a review of military compensation and retirement systems. The commission must submit a report of its findings, along with its member’s recommendations, to the president and Congress by May 1, 2014. “Any retirement change that would take place is quite a ways down the road,” said Greenert. When asked about the possibility of a new retirement system, Greenert said “It’s going to be a few years before we get one put together, studied, voted on and implemented.” An overhaul to military retirement is being considered to ensure fiscal sustainability for the Armed Forces as well as ensure quality of life for service members who choose to make the military a career. Greenert said if there are changes, service members will have the option to transition to a new system but will still have the option to stay in the current retirement system under which they signed up.

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Andrews Gazette

Friday, March 21, 2014

Comes a Soldier’s Whisper New book explores World War II through letters home BY CHRIS BASHAM STAFF WRITER

Jenny La Sala did not give much thought to the wartime love letters her parents had saved through the years, until Tom Brokaw took up the cause of preserving the stories of the World War II era in his book, “The Greatest Generation.” La Sala shared some of her father’s letters with Brokaw, who asked to publish several of them in his second book about the war. “I realized for the first time, these were not just ‘Dear Darling,’ and ‘Hello, Sweetheart.’ This was a story and I realized I had to publish these stories and tell it,” La Sala said. She gathered more than 300 of her father’s letters, thinking she would publish them as a family heirloom for her children and grandchildren. The letters span David Clinton Tharp’s first days in boot camp in 1943 through his service as a 101st Airborne paratrooper serving in Europe until 1945, and were written to his sweetheart back home, his future wife, Betty Lou. “The book took on legs and I’m following it,” La Sala said.

After publishing “Comes a Soldier’s Whisper,” she launched a Facebook page to accompany the book, where she shares World War II stories and collects war stories from veterans of other wars and their families. “I hear from veterans from all walks of life. I have more than 10,000 followers. The Facebook page has allowed me to share stories and the comments that I get back are just so heartfelt and so rewarding; you can see that the stories that I post are reaching a lot of people,” La Sala said. What started out as a family project, and turned into a book and Facebook page reaching generations of veterans, has taken a surprising turn back toward home for La Sala, as well. Divorced since 1987, La Sala showed the book to her ex-husband, a Vietnam veteran, who told her he was surprised at how well he could relate to his former father-in-law’s writings from a previous war. “He told me his mother had kept all his letters from Vietnam, and I said, ‘How is it that I don’t know that? We were married 14 years.’ These veterans, regardless of war or generation, they

come back, they don’t talk about it.” La Sala’s book and social media outreach has led her to work on a second collection of wartime letters. Her sequel to Comes a Soldier’s Whisper, including letters sent by service members during the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, is slated to be published in August. “I’m very pleased with the way the manuscript is unfolding. You’re seeing that the wars change, but the Soldiers don’t,” La Sala said. “They have the same hopes, fears, desires, wants and needs. The same things they look forward to when they come back home, if they come back home. I never would have imagined this happening from publishing my dad’s letters.” Many of the veterans and family members contributing to the project speak of the difficult experiences they wrote about during the war--and others they were not able to face until long after combat ceased. For La Sala, these stories of post-traumatic stress disorder are no surprise. “I lived with three important men in my life with

Jenny La Sala came to terms with her father’s experiences in World War II after compiling his wartime letters into a book.

PTSD. My father came home from war with a different personality, even though I was not born until years later. My brother, of course, I knew he did two tours. He came back angry, depressed. Nobody understood. He gave up in 2009. My ex-husband didn’t get help until 20 years after our divorce,” La Sala said. “Sharing these stories is healing my little family. And then I began to realize there is something bigger here. This has the potential to heal other families who are not talking.” “Comes A Soldier’s Whisper” is available at www. comesasoldierswhisper. com. A portion of the pro-

Comes a Soldier’s Whisper tells the story of World War II through the letters of an American Soldier.

ceeds from the book’s sales goes to support Operation First Response, an organi-

zation which serves wounded warriors and their families.

New mortgage rules protect Death notice against risky home loans BY JASON ALDERMAN

Good news for people shopping for a mortgage – and for current homeowners facing foreclosure because they can no longer afford their home loan: New mortgage regulations drafted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently took effect and they provide a slew of new rights and protections for consumers. One of the cornerstones of the new mortgage rules is that lenders now are required to evaluate whether borrowers can afford to repay a mortgage over the long term – that is, after the initial teaser rate has expired. Otherwise, the loan won’t be considered what’s now referred to as a “qualified mortgage.” Qualified mortgages are designed to help protect consumers from the kinds of risky loans that brought the housing market to its knees back in 2008. But obtaining that designation is also important to lenders because it will help protect them from lawsuits by borrowers who later prove unable to pay off their loans. Under the new ability-to-

pay rules, lenders now must assess – and document – multiple components of the borrower’s financial state before offering a mortgage, including the borrower’s income, savings and other assets, debt, employment status and credit history, as well as other anticipated mortgage-related costs. Qualified mortgages must meet the following guidelines: • The term can’t be longer than 30 years. • Interest-only, negative amortization and balloonpayment loans aren’t allowed. • Loans over $100,000 can’t have upfront points and fees that exceed 3 percent of the total loan amount. • If the loan has an adjustable interest rate, the lender must ensure that the borrower qualifies at the fully indexed rate (the highest rate to which it might climb), not just the initial teaser rate. • Generally, borrowers must have a total monthly debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent or less. • Loans that are eligible to be bought, guaranteed or insured by government

agencies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration are considered qualified mortgages until at least 2021, even if they don’t meet all QM requirements. Lenders may still issue mortgages that aren’t qualified, provided they reasonably believe borrowers can repay – and have documentation to back up that assessment. New, tougher regulations also apply to mortgage servicers – the companies responsible for collecting payments and managing customer service for the loan owners. For example, they now must: • Send borrowers clear monthly statements that show how payments are being credited, including a breakdown of payments by principal, interest, fees and escrow. • Fix mistakes and respond to borrower inquiries promptly. • Credit payments on the date received. • Provide early notice to borrowers with adjustablerate mortgages when their rate is about to change. • Contact most borrowers by the time they are 36

days late with their payment. • Inform borrowers who fall behind on mortgage payments of all available alternatives to foreclosure (e.g., payment deferment or loan modification). With limited exceptions, mortgage servicers now cannot: Initiate foreclosures until borrowers are more than 120 days delinquent (allowing time to apply for a loan modification or other alternative); start foreclosure proceedings while also working with a homeowner who has already submitted a complete application for help; or hold a foreclosure sale until all other alternatives have been considered. For more details on the new mortgage rules, visit mortgage. Bottom line: You should never enter into a mortgage (or other loan) you can’t understand or afford. But it’s nice to know that stronger regulations are now in place to help prevent another housing meltdown.

Lt. Col. Virgil L. Scott regretfully announces the death of Master Sgt. Serena Veirimaa. Anyone having claims against or indebtedness to the estate of Master Sgt. Serena Vierimaa, contact Lt. Col. Virgil L. Scott, Summary Court Officer, at 703-681-5597. For more news from other bases around the Washington, D.C. area,



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Andrews Gazette

Smithsonian concerts to coincide with Cherry Blossom Festival

Friday, March 21, 2014

Airmen of Note announces jazz festival appearances BY BY MASTER SGT. ANDY AXELRAD AIRMEN OF NOTE


The Air Force Strings perform a holiday concert at the National Air & Space Museum. The Strings and Max Impact will perform several concerts there during this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival. BY BY CHIEF MASTER SGT. JENN PAGNARD The 2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival continues through Sunday, April 13 with dozens of events throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C. Several concerts by two of the Air Force Band’s ensembles are scheduled during the 25-day celebration for Washingtonians and visitors alike to enjoy. On March 21 and 28, Max Impact, the premier rock band of the U.S. Air Force, will perform 20-minute concerts at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s “America by Air” pavilion. The Air Force Strings will present mini-concerts at this same location on April 4. All of these performances will begin on the hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. No tickets are needed for these free concerts. The Air Force Strings will also perform a concert at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum at 11:30 a.m. April 12. The performance will feature works of

Japanese American composers. The concert will be conducted by Major Michael Willen. According to the National Park Service, the cherry blossoms are scheduled to peak from April 8 to 12--just in time for this concert. This concert is free and no tickets are needed. Willen is looking forward to performing this unique repertoire at such a poignant location. He said, “This festival has been called ‘The Nation’s Greatest Springtime Celebration,’ and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. With this concert, we look forward to emphasizing our nation’s important partnership with Japan at the amazing Hirshhorn Museum.” This is the perfect opportunity to see one of the most beautiful sights in the world--the cherry blossoms in full bloom in our nation’s capital and enjoy some free concerts at two wonderful locations.

NGB Vice Chief participates in 2014 US Senate Youth Program


The Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, interacted with Phillip Ramirez and Avalon Roche March 11 during the 52nd annual United States Senate Youth Program here.

Ramirez and Roche, pictured, are two Department of Defense Education Activity delegates selected to attend the event held March 8-15. The DODEA students were selected from among hundreds of applicants to attend the 52nd annual Washington Week program and each will receive a $5,000 college scholarship.

Health Consumer’s Advisory Council to meet March 27 BY KATHLEEN CANFIELD 779TH MEDICAL SUPPORT SQUADRON

The 779th Medical Group Commander, Col. Thomas Cantilina, will host a Health Consumer’s Advisory Council meeting 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27 in the 4th floor conference room of building 1050, at Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center. This forum is open to the entire military community. Active duty, retirees and family members are welcome to attend,

learn about services and programs and voice concerns or positive feedback. Topics will include ongoing construction of the new Ambulatory Surgery Center and parking garage as well as what to expect over the next year, discuss Pharmacy and TRICARE programs, as well as process improvement initiatives. Your input is vital, and will enable us to make continuous improvements to meet your health care needs. For information call 240-857-8925.

The Airmen of Note is destined for a banner year in 2014 with numerous jazz festival appearances scheduled for the spring and summer months. We got the ball rolling early with a Valentine’s weekend event at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival held in Rockville, Md. The festival invites 12 high school bands from the region including North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, D.C., West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut to compete in both large and small ensemble formats. This was a great opportunity for the Note to perform for young aspiring jazz musicians and industry heavies in our own backyard. On April 2, the band will return to Wyomissing, Pa. to perform at the 24th Annual Berks Jazz Festival. We’ll be showcased in the Reading Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Our 75-minute set starts at 6:45 p.m. We are excited to join forces with world-renowned saxophonist Bob Mintzer to celebrate the “Count Basie Legacy” on April 23. The concert will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building beginning at 6 p.m. It is part of the 10th Annual Big Band Jam in Washington, D.C. In May, the band heads south to perform at the Jacksonville and Atlanta Jazz Festivals, performing on May 23 and May 25, respectively. Additionally, Master Sgt. Tyler Kuebler will be leading a Jazz Educational Workshop in conjunction with the Atlanta Festival on May 24.


The Airmen of Note perform for the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in Rockville, Md.

On our way through the Midwest, we will be performing at the 27th Annual Elkhart Jazz Festival on June 22. Rounding out this trip, the band will swing into the “Windy City” to celebrate Independence Day with back-to-back performances, July 3 and 4, at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Last but not least, we close-out the summer performing at the Detroit Jazz Festival. The band is very much looking forward to getting back on the road again and reconnecting with all our dedicated fans at these great festivals and venues around the country.

Spring Break tips for parent survival BY TERRI FEDONCZAK

It’s March, time for warmer weather and the portent of parental doom—Spring Break. How can such a festive idea evoke so much dread? Because we have all heard the horror stories. I talked with one mom last week who said, “When I think of Spring Break, my mind automatically jumps to Natalee Holloway,” and she’s not alone. I live in an area that is known for Spring Break visitors, as we are near bars and beaches. Every year, at least one teen is hurt or killed by making really poor choices. As parents, what can we do to protect our kids? Here are a couple of simple tips that will help calm the dread: Vote with your money for good choices: My girls are forbidden from going to raunchy Spring Break sites, and I enforce that by not paying for travel expenses to those places. Even though my kids are adults, they are still poor college students lacking funds to sponsor their own festivities. I vote for safer alternatives with my dollars. If my kids want to go to places you see on MTV, they will have to raise the funds themselves. This eliminates most of the arguments right off the bat. I make choices based upon our family value of

helping others; sometimes that means helping others make good choices. By basing my decisions on our family values, I don’t have to fight my kids; I just remain firmly rooted in what’s right for our family. Approve roommates, especially if you pay for the room: Get cell numbers for all the roommates. This may be tricky, but if they want to stay in a room paid for by you, they will comply with your rules. Talk to the roommates to let them know that you care about all of them. Tell them to designate a driver and never leave a friend alone. There are really sketchy people out there who prey upon single girls. Make sure your kids are surrounded by kids who have the same values. This will nip most problems in the bud. If your kids pay for themselves, trust them: You have raised your kids to act according to your family values. Figure out what is important to your family and tell your kids that you expect them to uphold those values when they are away. Remind them that everyone has camera phones, and those pictures will follow them forever. If they drink too much-forbidding it won’t stop it--they need to pick a buddy to watch out for them. I know what college students are like; after all, I was one back when dinosaurs roamed

the Earth. If your kids are still in high school, don’t let them go on a Spring Break trip without a chaperone you trust—period: If you are unsure whether the chaperone seems trustworthy, err on the side of caution. Better a mad kid than a damaged one. When plans are set, release the outcome: Even if you have taken all these precautions, some uncertainty may still remain. Take good care of yourself to quiet the worry that inevitably arises when your kids are outside your sphere of influence. Set up emergency contingencies before your kid leaves you. A quick text once or twice a day will let you know that they are alive and well. There are no guarantees that your child will be perfectly safe on Spring Break or any other time. Some things are out of your hands. But if you have raised your kid to be a good person with self-respect and respect for others, have faith that your years of effort will prevail and that your kid will make good choices. Eventually, we just have to let go and have faith that our love will guide them even when they aren’t with us. Terri Fedonczak is the co-author of “Field Guide to PluggedIn Parenting, Even If You Were Raised by Wolves.”

Security Forces Police Blotter The Security Forces Blotter keeps members of the Joint Base Andrews community informed and aware of the crimes and offenses that occur throughout the base each week. If you have any information that may help the Security Forces solve a crime or prevent a criminal act, please contact BDOC (Base Defense Operations Center) at 301-9812001, CRIME STOP LINE at 301-981-2677 (COPS), or the investigations section at 301981-5656. 8:10 p.m., March 9: Security Forces responded to the Presidential Inn for a larceny. Caller related they went to check on

their laundry and discovered their clothes were missing. Approximately $400 worth of clothing was taken. The 11 SFS Investigation section took over the investigation. 8:55 p.m., March 11: An individual was driving while under the influence of alcohol. Individual consented to submit to a breath test which resulted in a BAC of .18 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. The individual was charged accordingly. 1:03 p.m., March 13: A witness reported he saw suspicious activity at Building #1713/Hangar 5. Witness stated seeing an individual throwing a package

over the flight line fence. Witness also stated another individual was seen receiving the package on the opposite side of the fence. Security Forces responded and made contact with both individuals. Security Forces inspected the package which held an assortment of aircraft parts. Both individuals were briefed on proper procedure for delivering and accepting packages. There were 14 citations issued for distracted driving from March 7 through March 13. All drivers were issued a base driving revocation letter resulting in their driving privileges being suspended for seven days.

Talking Baseball Baseball is back!! BY LUKE SCHATZLE

That’s right baseball fans, winter is over, which means baseball is back!! If you’re anything like me, there are two seasons in your life: Winter and baseball. I’ve been waiting since the last out of the World Series in Boston for the season to start again, so I won’t waste any of your time, either. For the next couple of weeks, I’ll give you a preview of the divisions and my picks for who wins each division, along with the wild card winners. I’ll start with the American League East, since this is the division that holds our current World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Boston made a few changes this year starting with the decision to not offer a contract to Jacoby Ellsbury, who takes his speed and injury-prone body to the Bronx. Along with him, Boston lost Stephen Drew, opting to give Xander Bogaerts his shot as starting shortstop. Ryan Dempster decided to call it a career and Jarrod Saltalamacchia took his talents to Miami. Some key acquisitions include the signing of A.J. Pierzynski to replace Saltalamacchia as well as the signing of the fragile Grady Sizemore just in case Bradley Jr. isn’t ready for the starting gig in center field. The core team is still in place with Big Papi Ortiz, Pedroia, Lackey, Lester, Buchholz, Victorino, and Napoli. All in all, not a splashy off-season for the World Series champions, but probably enough to be a legitimate contender in the A.L. East. My prediction: Another playoff run after winning the division. Moving on to the New York Yankees, as predicted and status quo for not making the playoffs, the Yanks did what they do best: Spend money at an alarming rate on aging veterans in the hopes

they can still perform at a high level. That rarely works and probably won’t work this year either. Some key acquisitions for the Yanks include Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and of course Japanese import Tanaka. The Yanks are counting on healthy returns from Mark Teixeira and their captain, Derek Jeter and are happy to push Rodriquez out the door for the entire 2014 season due to his suspension. They also overspent on a few veteran players to fill voids and bench roles. All in all, a very splashy off-season, but probably not enough to right the ship. My prediction: Another early off-season after a disappointing and expensive 83-win season. After a productive season in 2012 the Baltimore Orioles regressed a bit in 2013. The O’s had a relatively quiet off-season and decided they needed only a few key elements for their team to contend. They signed Nelson Cruz to help out on offense and Ubaldo Jiménez for their pitching staff. They lost a few utility players and signed a few as well with no big names there. The big question for Baltimore going into the season is, when will Manny Machado be healthy again? He is their future and one of the key players who make their team turn. The O’s will get another productive season out of home run champion Chris Davis, and probably another stellar defensive season out of Matt Wieters behind the plate. The question is whether it’ll be enough to compete in the A.L. East. My prediction: A solid, 80-win season, but not enough for a playoff spot. Unless you live in Toronto, you probably didn’t hear anything the Toronto Blue Jays did this winter, because they essentially stayed idle in the hopes their injured players would return healthy

and the vets would return to form. Unfortunately, this won’t be enough to compete in the A.L. East. The Jays are counting on an aging R.A. Dickey to duplicate his one good pitching season that won him a Cy Young award, and hoping that Jose Bautista can stay healthy all year. The only key improvement I can see is the replacement at the catching position, adding Dioner Navarro to replace J.P. Arencibia. This isn’t exactly a “win now” attitude, so, sorry, Jays’ fans, it’s going to be long season. My prediction: A below .500 winning percentage with no shot at a playoff spot. This brings me to the final team in the A.L. East, the Tampa Bay Rays. If they gave out an award for how to squeeze every penny out of every player and build a contender each and every year, Tampa Bay wins it. The fact they can continue to contend year in and year out with no money is a testament to how well that team is managed. I don’t see many changes in that winning formula this year. The off-season for the Rays was pretty much status quo: Let expensive players leave, spend very little, make trades where they can, and compete. This off-season they spend more than usual by agreeing to terms with James Loney at first base and didn’t trade David Price as I expected. The pitching rotation of Moore, Price, Cobb, Archer and Hellickson will get it done and Longoria and a full season of Will Myers will be enough to keep them in games. My prediction: A 90-plus win season and one of the Wild Card spots. Looking at the A.L. East as a whole, not a big change at the top as both Boston and Tampa Bay will reach the playoffs again. I look forward to providing more insight as the season gets ready to start. Luke Schatzle is an avid baseball fan and former player from little league through my younger years.

SPORTS, from page 1 on procedural grounds. Ealey also accused Wade of supporting the flag football team’s plans to start a youth program in the town because of suspected participation in the adult team, which Wade said was not based in fact. “If as the mayor I’m wrong, then I’m wrong, and the motion won’t pass. Since I am the mayor and I’m conducting this meeting, the motion is passed,” Wade said, after asserting that he had no connection with the adult flag football team other than a cordial relationship with Franklin, and that his actions on the motion were not out of line with previous council activity. “The hypocrisy and favoritism shown by this council has gone on long enough,” said Stacie Wade, wife of the mayor. “If Mayor Wade can’t vote on the flag football team on which he does not play, because of a friendship with Mr. Franklin, then Mrs. Mullins should be removed from the Recreation Committee because she is married to Council Member Mullins, and if Mrs. Foster runs for a council seat and wins then she should be taken off of the Recreation Committee, too.” Ealey suggested the motion be reviewed by the town’s attorney to determine whether it was passed legally. Upon review by the town’s attorney, it was found that Wade’s action on the motion was within legal bounds, but that the motion could not pass because too few voting members participated in the vote. “Everybody in town’s for it. What we were told by Council Member Mullins is that the Recreation Committee will have nothing to do with us,” Franklin


Andrews Gazette

Friday, March 21, 2014


Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus released, March 18, 2014, the Department of the Navy’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic events of Sept. 16, 2013, at the Washington Navy Yard. The investigation team, led by Adm. John Richardson, focused on U.S. NAVY GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY MASS COMMUNIthe prior military and CATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS MARTIN L. CAREY employment history of the shooter, Aaron Alex- The Naval District Washington logo is; the events of Sept. modified with the traditional black 16; and post-incident band to honor the 12 victims of the response. The team also Sept. 16th shooting at the Washington assessed how well the Navy Yard building 197. Department of the Navy hensive list of both completed implemented programs and policies designed to safe- and ongoing tasks is available guard people and protect mis- on the Navy FOIA website. The JAGMAN investigation, sion capabilities. Specific details of the shoot- the SECNAV memorandum ing and Alexis’ possible motives accepting the JAGMAN invesare the subject of the ongoing tigation findings and recomcriminal investigation and are mendations and forwarding the JAGMAN investigation to the not part of this investigation. The investigation was con- Secretary of Defense, and the vened under the Manual of the SECNAV memorandum taskJudge Advocate General, and is, ing DoN components, are also therefore, commonly referred to available on the Navy FOIA website. as a “JAGMAN.” “Safeguarding our people reMabus acknowledged acceptance of the JAGMAN investi- mains critical to our national gation. A number of actions to security,” said Mabus. “Through deter insider threats and im- all of the actions taken as a reprove implementation of force sult of the investigation, we protection, physical security, seek to improve our ability to incident response and emergen- protect our people, and reduce cy management policies have the likelihood that events like already been taken. A compre- this will happen again.”



From left, Morningside Chief of Police Amos Damron, Clerk Treasurer Janice B. Diggs, Council Member Lori Williams, Vice Mayor James O. Ealey, Mayor Kenneth “Chrys” Wade and Council Member Todd Mullins discuss raising the fine for speed violations from $60 per infraction to $75 per infraction at the March 18, 2014 Town Meeting held in the Morningside Municipal Building. Although Morningside’s citations are less expensive than those in nearby jurisdictions, the council voted not to raise them because, as Vice Mayor Ealey said, “We don’t need the money, and we shouldn’t raise fees just to be in line with everyone else.”

said. “The youth want to do more than just Breakfast with Santa and movie night. I don’t want to bring up race--it’s 2014 and I don’t want to bring it up. But Morningside is 25 percent white, 75 percent black, and all the women on the Recreation Committee are older, white women. White, black, purple or green, middleaged women can’t teach football. And the 75 percent of black youth in this town are not reading the town newsletter to find out what’s going on.” Whitlow and Franklin said that to participate in football, cheerleading and dance programs, they require that youth also give back to the community by helping elderly neighbors with yard work and street cleaning and other community service. It’s a formula Franklin has seen succeed with youth in the Capitol Heights neighborhoods where he

has coached in the past. “We were willing to give the town of Morningside all the time we have to work with kids. Everybody on the (adult) team, if they don’t have kids, they’re kids themselves, 18, 19 years old. We welcome the community to come out and support the adult team, and they do. But there is apprehension from the Recreation Committee--you want to squash everything that could help with the kids that doesn’t involve you,” Franklin said. “We’ll still go forward with the program,” said Franklin. “We just need to find other sponsors.” The Morningside Monarchs practice at Douglas Patterson Park each Sunday, and welcome new participants, spectators and youth interested in learning more about the upcoming youth organization.

Starting June 1, Airmen deployed to several locations will see significant changes to pay programs. The biggest change includes the discontinuation of imminent danger pay, or IDP, in multiple countries. The DoD-wide announcement impacts Airmen deployed to 15 countries. “The IDP recertification process is an assessment that includes input from combatant commands, the joint staff and the military services,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Naman, Air Force Compensation and Travel Policy Division. “The resulting discontinuation of IDP at a certain location by no means diminishes the hard work and sacrifices our Airmen make at these locations daily.” Locations where IDP designation is discontinued include: - The six land areas and the airspace above Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro - The nine land areas of East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan - The water and air space above the Persian Gulf The IDP changes will not impact deployed members’ combat zone tax exclusion status except for Airmen serving in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Personnel serving in

these locations will no longer be eligible for the CZTE, which includes pay exclusion from gross income and extension of most tax action deadlines. Reductions in IDP will be offset somewhat by increases in Hardship Duty Location Pay (HDP-L). HDP-L monthly rates will increase to $150 in East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Montenegro, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The HDP-L rate for Airmen serving in Bahrain will be established at $50. Members deployed to the impacted locations cannot be grandfathered into the previous pay entitlements. “These adjustments are going to be effective on 1 June 14 so the best way to prepare is to know how your location will be impacted,” said Naman. Airmen deployed in the following locations will see no changes June 1, and will continue to receive IDP: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Greece (Athens only), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Yemen, Mediterranean Sea and Somalia Basin. If Airmen have any questions about their pay, Naman encourages them to visit their local financial services office.


Andrews Gazette

Friday, March 21, 2014


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