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DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

Winter 2012

The Tale of the Curse

by Nancy Lavallee Some say it doesn’t exist. Others speak of it in hushed, ominous tones, afraid to tempt fate by uttering its name. It strikes when we are alone; when we are at our most vulnerable. They call it … the Deployment Curse. I’m willing to bet it’s struck most of us at one time or another during those long months on our own. At first, everything seems to be going so well. You’re starting to settle into the rhythm of deployed life, starting to believe you’ll make it through the next six months without being hit by any major catastrophes. There’s no such thing as a curse, right? Right? And that’s when it will strike—the water heater will fail, the transmission will go out, or you and the kids will be hit with a particularly scary stomach virus that you spend the next six weeks trading back and forth. Even the nonsuperstitious among us must have noticed it; it’s almost inevitable. Our spouses deploy, and within a week or two, we’re walloped by it as if we’re being initiated into some Sisterhood of Deployed Spouses. Yes, I’ve been a victim of the Curse, too. My Winter 2012

husband’s first deployment came when I was five months pregnant with our second child. A couple of weeks after he left, I pulled over to the curb beside a mailbox and jumped out of the car to mail a letter. While the car was still stuck in drive. With my 15-month-old in the backseat. Speaking of curses, I let forth a string of colorful ones, and onlookers were treated to the sight of a pregnant woman running across the O Club parking lot after her car while a toddler laughed happily in the backseat. The car lurched several feet forward into the back of a pickup truck before the truck’s driver managed to jump into my car and throw it into park. It could have been much worse, but there was no major damage to either vehicle. Nevertheless, the Curse had found me. The next year, I was rear-ended while I was stopped at a stop sign. On the same day my husband deployed. While driving a car we had bought only a week before. The next several deployments were free of major disasters, but the deployment gremlins were just lulling me into a false sense of security. Toying with me. Waiting to strike.

See CURSE on page 11



DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

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Outlook for military family programs remains strong by Alice Swan


DCMilitary Family Life John Rives, Publisher Comprint Military Publications 301-921-2800 Maxine Minar, President Circulation of 110,000 printed by offset as a civilian enterprise quarterly magazine for installations within the National Capital Region by Comprint Military Publications, a division of The Gazette. Comprint Military Publications is located at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Telephone 301-921-2800. Editorial content, including graphic art and photographs that support messages, new stories, and feature articles, are prepared in the Marketing Offices of the installations that contribute the information and blogs from Letters and suggestions may be mailed to DCMilitary Family Life Publisher, Comprint Military Publications, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. The printer is a private firm in no way connected with the Department of Defense. Opinions expressed herein are those of the contributors to this Marketing publication, and they are not to be considered an official expression of the Department of Defense. The appearance of advertisements in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Defense of the products or services advertised. Page 4

The election season may be over, but the military community still faces concerns over the looming fiscal cliff and sequestration threats and the future of military family programming. At the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition in October, senior Army leaders reassured AUSA Family Forum attendees of their continued commitment to Family Program resourcing, a commitment shared by leaders of all the services. Army officials noted that the 2013 Army budget includes $1.3 billion for soldier and family life programs, more than double the amount in previous years. While recognizing that supporting families is a key factor in maintaining strong volunteer forces, officials also noted that the Army has to begin working to prioritize and support the programs that are most effective. Much of the resource focus will be on reintegration services for soldiers and families, substance abuse, mental health, and suicide prevention programs. There is also a push to develop a Soldier for Life initiative that will follow a soldier through recruitment, assignment (with improved sponsorship programs), Expiration of Time of Service or retirement with revamped transition services and job placement, according to officials. But, they also noted, as the conflicts of the last 11 years end, some programs may be consolidated or eliminated as their funding sources go away. However, many family program initiatives that have been developed during this same time have come from outside the Department of Defense and may not be as affected by those internal military budget constraints. From resources created by military spouses to support programs developed by Sesame Street, military families will still have many places to turn to for help.

1. Male spouses are finding their collective voice Wayne Perry, Army spouse and cofounder of MANning the Homefront, said that there are more than 98,000 male spouses across the services, and when National Guard and Reserve families are included, the number grows to 186,000. With more women joining the military, he expects the number to continue to grow. “Think of (units) as a kind of fraternity and female spouse groups as a sorority…male spouses need that type of community,” said Perry.

DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

Through MANning the Homefront and, Perry and others are trying to create a Battle Buddy organization for fellow male spouses. “We’re trying to reach male spouses, bringing them together to build resiliency and community,” he said. You can find MANning on Facebook or visit The site features videos from other male spouses, helpful links to resources, job finding tips and a Male Spouse 101 tab.

2. Sittercity child care program Finding child care may be one of the hardest things military families face each time they move. Sittercity provides military families a clearinghouse for finding reliable child care. Sittercity is an online service connecting families with screened and reviewed caregivers, babysitters, nannies, senior care, pet care, housekeepers and even tutors. The Department of Defense currently funds membership in Sittercity for all the military services and has helped more than 78,000 military families to date. Visit for more information.

3. This online resource is designed to provide tools and tips to help military families through all stages of deployment. There are video profiles of real military families sharing how they coped and conquered the physical and psychological effects of combat service. There are also resource links for the war fighter, spouse and children to build family resilience. The Real Warriors Campaign is sponsored by the Department of Defense and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

4. Operation Give a Hug For founder and Army spouse Susan Agustin, it started as a simple way to help her daughter Maddie cope with her dad’s deployment. Back in 2002, Maddie had gotten a Huggee Miss You doll as a gift from her cousins, which had their picture in the face. When Maddie’s dad Capt. Gene Agustin deployed, Susan Agustin had the idea of putting dad’s face in the doll. It quickly became Maggie’s source of comfort while dad was gone. Winter 2012

“Since she took it everywhere, other military spouses saw it and would ask how to get one,” Susan Agustin said. “I contacted the woman who made the original and worked with her on creating a military doll.” In 2003, she began distributing the dolls as a home-based business to her local military community, but as the deployments grew, so did the requests from across the services. Agustin created her nonprofit, Operation Give a Hug, in 2004, and in 2008, partnered with the Department of the Army to create a special doll for children of deployed soldiers. The doll features a hangtag with tips and resources for parents. Operation Give a Hug has been able to provide more than 500,000 comfort dolls to military children across the world. Dolls are distributed through the website, Family Readiness Groups, school counselors, major military medical facilities, Operation: Military Kids programs, and family life consultants. 5. A Backpack Journalist This relatively new program for military youth ages 6 to 11 and 12 to 18 was designed to build resilience in children by helping them find their voice. By aiding military youth in developing their creative communication skills, they’ll be better able to communicate their problems and emotions

with parents, teachers and peers. The organization provides classes, workshops, summer camps and exciting events to help members get through all phases of the deployment cycle. Backpack Journalists were even on hand to cover the Army Ten-Miler and the AUSA’s annual meeting—from interviewing racers, veterans and Wounded Warriors to joining in a press conference with Gen. Raymond Odierno. A few of the teen journalists were family members from the Washington, D.C. National Guard. From creating deployment raps to photography to writing hard news stories, Backpack Journalist is opening new doors for older military children to connect and cope with the stress of military life. Also find them on Facebook.

6. Student 2 Student/ Junior Student 2 Student Imagine your high school or middle school student being able to email, text, Facebook chat or actually talk to a fellow military child at a new school before you arrive. Imagine them being able to set up a lunch date for the first day of school; learn about clubs, sports, courses and teachers; and actually be excited about going to a new school. That is the goal of this student-led program developed by the nonprofit Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC).

Military and civilian teens and preteens are trained to lead these peer-based programs at their schools to help ease the trauma of school transition. A list of participating schools—including many Maryland high schools and Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Va.—can be found on the website. Parents and students in the Military District of Washington can find information on the MCEC website about forming programs in their schools.

7. Little CHAMPS Elementary-age military children now have their own support program through Little CHAMPS. This new, public health initiative is designed to encourage coping skills in younger children and raise awareness among their civilian peers, teachers and school leaders about what military children are experiencing. Through the book “The Little CHAMPS: Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel,” as well as songs, videos and training materials, schools can help younger military children feel more understood at school, according to developer and author Debbie Fink. The CHAMPS program has partnered with the USO, The American Red Cross, MCEC and others to share this initiative with the more than 600,000 elementary-aged military children.

8. Sesame Street resources for military families According to Lynn Chwatsky with Sesame Workshop, Sesame Street has been working on projects to support military children since 2005. These programs are designed to not only help toddlers and preschoolers, but also parents and caregivers by providing age-appropriate tools to support and reassure children. Chwatsky noted during the AUSA Family Forum that their programs are effective because the characters resonate with children and speak to families directly, encouraging communication. School-aged military children can also take advantage of the new Electric Company activities online. With the USO, Sesame Workshop has been taking a deployment-themed show to military communities and has introduced two apps—“Feel Electric!” and “Sesame Street for Military Families.” The “Talk, Listen, Connect” series has English and Spanish video programs on deployments, homecomings, change and dealing with grief. These are just a few of the many resources available to military families. Additional programs can be found at sites such as, and

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Winter 2012

DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

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Can You Ever Go Back?


By Siobhan Fuller-McConnell Fifteen months ago, life changed forever for me and for my family. My son, Derek, then 21 years ago, was injured in Afghanistan. At the time of his injury, I was an attorney with a mid-size law firm practicing family law, and I loved it. The cases were difficult, but I felt as if I was helping wonderful people get through the hardest times in their lives. It was fulfilling and rewarding. I was also a single mom of five kids, raising my children alone after their father left the state. My oldest, Michael, had just arrived home after serving four years in the U.S. Navy. My twins, Kellina and Ryan, 16, and my son, Sean, 14, were in high school. We didn't have a lot of money, but we had a small, comfortable home, pets and a good life. I walked away from it all for nine months. My employers were understanding for the first two months, but then I was let go. Derek was still “in the woods,” and I was needed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Page 6

in Bethesda, Md. My children moved in with my sister, who took over for me. Would life ever be the same again? Could I return to my prior life after this ordeal was over? What would be left of my prior life when I did return? Could I go back? What followed over the next few months changed all of us forever. Not only did I find myself out of work in a terrible economy, but we all saw how quick and easy our lives could change. On the plus side, my children became more self-sufficient. They learned to rely on themselves and not look to Mom to solve everything. All three are now employed part time while attending school. Their incomes help with the little, extra expenses. But, as a mom, this is hard to accept, at times. I still want to be Mommy. The medical staff at Walter Reed is top notch, most of the time, and our wounded warriors heal and move on with their lives. It’s a long, hard road, but there is a lot of support

to get them through it. They have nonprofits, federal programs and so much more to help them rebuild and move on. But what about the moms? I am working five part-time jobs at present, and I am still not making ends meet. I write, substitute teach and sell Mary Kay. In addition, I just hung my own shingle to open my own law office and I am taking a mediation class so that I can mediate disputes. We still might lose the house. All this because of one incident, on July 23, 2011, that changed everything forever. While at Walter Reed, we all have access to nonprofits and other organizations and programs that will help us, but when we return home, what is there for us? Where can we go to pick up the pieces? Can we ever really go back? At times, I feel so disconnected. In speaking with other moms who have also gone through this, my plight is not unusual. For months, we devote ourselves to helping our sons heal. We spend all day, every day,

DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

enmeshed in medical procedures, therapy and life-altering decisions. We are surrounded by people who have “been there, done that,” and they understand what we are going through. When we leave the safety of the “Bethesda Bubble,” can we adjust to real life again? There are no more wounded warrior games on the porch of Building 62. There are no more spontaneous gatherings of caregivers to chat, drink, shop, whatever. We are thrown back into the real world without a net. After nine months at Walter Reed, Derek was well enough for me to return home. But I left a piece of me behind. I am not the same person I was before. Part of me has changed for the better, but there is that other part ... the lost part ... the confused part. One day, I know I will have myself back together. Just as others have done, I will pull on my big girl panties and deal, but for now, I am still longing for something that was lost. I am still wanting to go back to life as it was before the boom. Winter 2012

By Nancy Lavallee I remember when I went to my first spouses’ gathering after my husband went back onto active duty. I was a new military spouse, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was lovely; the women were very friendly and welcoming, but I was shocked that the first question I got after introductions were made was, “So, what does your husband do?” I was taken aback. I had a successful law career I had been pursuing for the past decade. I had just left a job as an assistant city solicitor. Why didn’t anyone ask me what I did? My husband tried to explain that it wasn’t meant as an insult. It is natural for strangers to want to find common bonds, and in our diverse world, the military was the one thing we all had in common. I understood, but I worried that I would start to identify myself solely through his job. Would I lose my sense of self? Would I lose the things that made me who I was? More than a decade later, I don’t even think twice about it anymore, and I’ve gotten used to not only answering “the question,” but I find myself asking it, too. The mil-

Identity Crisis

itary is such a huge part of our daily lives. Our spouses’ jobs shape not just where we live, but how we live—how we think of ourselves and our families, whether our spouses are intel officers or medics or maintainers. When you live in a military community, you get used to seeing minivans with “Proud Air Force Wife” tooling around town. You know people wit h email addresses like or LUVMYF16 That kind of pride and support is wonderful, but the thing is, a military spouse is an accomplished person in his or her own right. We have advanced degrees. We cook and paint and write. We run marathons. We volunteer at our churches and our children’s schools. But marrying a member of the military often means putting our own careers and interests on hold, if not sacrificing them altogether. Of course, being a military wife is like being a pastor’s wife or a politician’s wife. His job becomes your job, too. It’s a job that requires not just total commitment from the employee, but from the entire family.

When you live in a military community, you get used to seeing minivans with “Proud Air Force Wife” tooling around town. There are very few jobs like that. I can’t say I’ve ever seen any “I Love My Insurance Adjuster” or “Proud Mortician’s Wife” bumper stickers. Still, I realize there’s no comparison. Being married to an insurance adjuster or a mortician or a lawyer is not the same as being married to an active duty military member. Being a lawyer was my job. The military is a life. The important thing is to keep it from becoming an all-consuming life. Although we all know spouses who still “wear rank,” the military has changed significantly for spouses in the last 50 years. More of us are able to pursue our own goals and interests. Still, being a military spouse is a 24hour job. There is no downtime. At our last base, my husband’s flying

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squadron was filled with newlywed young lieutenants just out of pilot training. Their new wives proudly wore airplane jewelry and squadron T-shirts, and it was wonderful to see them so enthusiastic. I hoped they would remain as proud and enthusiastic, just as I hoped they would maintain their professional licenses or keep running triathlons or teaching yoga or whatever they can to carve out a small corner of military life for themselves. In the end, it’s more of an observation than a complaint. I’m enormously proud of my husband and I have never been anything but proud to support the mission. I don’t regret any of the choices we made as a family. And he’s proud of me, too. He has been nothing but supportive as I studied for a bar exam, worked as lawyer or sang in the church choir. I think that kind of support is one of the greatest gifts a spouse can be given. There may not be a “Proud Attorney’s Husband” bumper sticker on his car, but he has been known to wear a “Real Men Marry Lawyers” T-shirt under his flight suit.

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DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

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Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling MWR Holiday Decorating Contest

Holiday Tree Lighting December 5th at 6p.m.; Post Office parking lot Kick off the holidays with our Annual Tree Lighting event! There will be entertainment, refreshments and special guest appearances for the whole family to enjoy!

New Years Eve Membership Event December 31st, 8p.m. to 2a.m. at Bolling Club Celebrate New Year’s Eve at your Club! Our members can ring in the New Year FREE! There will be three rooms of nonstop entertainment featuring Elvis (Lionel and the New World Band), DJ Scott and others. Party favors and complimentary breakfast will be served at 12:15am included FREE for all members. Club Members are FREE in advance (pick up your tickets at the Club administrative office through December 28th) or $10 at the door. Non-members are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Child care is also available – limited space, so make your reservations early! $10 per child in advance (sign up by December) or $75 at the door. Please call 202-563-8400 for more information.



Get in the holiday spirit and get creative! Spread your holiday cheer at your office space or home and submit a photo of your decorated door/cubicle to win a prize! Please submit one jpg/pdf photo of your decorated space to Include your name, phone #, location and a brief description/inspiration. All submitted photos will be uploaded to the JBAB MWR Facebook page and the photo with the most votes will be the winner! Age Categories: 12 and under & 13 and above Must Submit Entries By: Midnight, Thursday, December 13th Voting will begin on: Midnight on Friday, December 14th to Tuesday, December 18th W i n n e r w i l l b e a n n o u n c e d o n : www.facebook .com/JBAB.MWR on Wednesday, December 19th Prizes: 1 2 a n d u n d e r - $50 dollars Warfighter and Family Readiness Bucks (accepted at all WFR facilities) (2) AMC Movie Tickets (2) $20 Potomac Lanes Bowling Center Coupons 13 and up - $50 Warfighter and Family Readiness Bucks (accepted at all WFR facilities) (2) AMC Movie Tickets (2) $20 Potomac Lanes Bowling Center Coupons All ages are welcome to participate. Only one entry per person. Open to Active Duty Military, DOD, Civilians and Contractors on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. The door/cubicle must be located at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Please call the Marketing Department at 202-767-1371 or

visit our Facebook page ( for more information.

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DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

Winter 2012

NSA Annapolis MWR 15th Annual "Here's To Our Health, Nutrition and Fitness” Fair

Congratulations, Winner!

MWR Annapolis’ 15th Annual "Here's to Our Health, Nutrition and Fitness Fair," will be held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Recreation Services Bldg. #89 at Naval Support Activity Annapolis. The fair promotes the Navy's health and fitness programs and exposes military and civilian employees and their family members to fitness and wellness opportunities available in the local community. Exhibits will include free glucose and blood pressure screenings; vision, and hearing screenings; chiropractic screenings; bone density screenings; body fat analysis; information on dental health, healthy cooking, weight loss programs and alternative wellness such as acupuncture, asthma information, and information on athletic shoes and fitness apparel. There will be healthy snacks and information on various walking / running clubs and fitness programs. Free trial massages will be available! There will be the annual “Marine Corps PullUp Challenge” and a push-up contest with prizes for male and female first place winners. Door prizes will be drawn throughout


the day. Admission is free. The fair is open to all active duty, USNA Midshipmen, retired military, reservists, Coast Guard, National Guard, active and retired DoD civilian employees including USNA faculty and staff and all family members, DoD contractors and NAAA personnel and Naval Academy Alumni Association personnel. If you are interested in being an exhibitor or sponsor or would like more information about the Health Fair, please call Donna Ruokonen, MWR Commercial Sponsorship Coordinator, at 410-293-9206.

Congratulations to Carol Robillard, spouse of CDR David Robillard, professor in the Ocean Engineering Department at the U.S. Naval Academy. Carol’s name was selected from among 161 entries - mostly local - but some from far away as Texas, New York and California. Both Carol and David are looking forward to the weekend package, attending the game and having a small vacation without six children. Look for the “Winner’s Circle” photo online at: /7thAnnual-Army-NavyFootballWeekend Giveaway-ContestPage The annual contest was hosted by Morale, Welfare and Recreation Annapolis and was publicized in the Fall issue of “DCMilitaryLiving,” the Joint Services Leisure Guide in the National Capital area. The contest page was promoted on the USNA MWR website. The winner received a luxury weekend package which included four tickets to the 113th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia), four tickets to the ArmyNavy Alumni pre-game tailgater and an autographed football sponsored by the Naval Academy Athletic Association; weekend fullsize car rental sponsored by Enterprise Renta-Car; and a dinner cruise for four sponsored


by the Spirit of Philadelphia. Prizes were obtained via the Navy’s Commercial Sponsor and Partnership Program. Disclaimer: MWR Annapolis thanks the sponsors of this contest, however neither MWR, the Navy nor any other part of the federal government officially endorses any company, sponsor or their products or services.

Duncan’s Family Campground Camp Close to Washington, DC


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Ideally located just seven miles from Old Town Alexandria, close to many area attractions and businesses like Fort Belvoir, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) and the Potomac Mills shopping center. Reagan National Airport is 12.5 miles away. Countless Amenities.

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Winter 2012


DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

Page 9

NSA South Potomac and NSF Dahlgren MWR Sign up to get a free subscription for NSF Dahlgren Fleet and Family Readiness (FFR) weekly Electronic Newsletter (e-News) at for special events, restaurant menu, sports events, Fleet and Family Support Center class schedules and more! Visit Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) on the web! Our web address is Have you found Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) on Facebook?

Auto Skills Center

Open 4 days a week for service or the doit-yourselfer. The Auto Skills Center is available for all your basic car maintenance. Qualified staff will assist you in doing it right!

Cannonball Lanes Bowling Alley

Open 6 days a week, Cannonball Lanes has 10 lanes of bowling featuring AMF equipment with state-of-the-art Bose sound system, concessions and shoes available. Activities include open bowling, special event nights, leagues, and party rentals.

Game Time Sports Grill

Open 6 days a week, located within Cannonball Lanes! The Dahlgren MWR Department recently changed over the Mean Gene's Burgers food operation located in Cannonball Lanes to the "Game Time Sports Grill". This new food operation provides more options and a larger variety of menu items. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight; open Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

Cannonball Café

Open 6 days a week, the Café is located within Cannonball Lanes! Proudly serving Seattle's Best Coffee. Freshly brewed hot or iced coffee, lattes, cappuccino and espresso are available. Lounge includes Wi-Fi hot spot.

Child Development Center (CDC)

Open 5 days a week, the CDC provides a full-time child development program for children six weeks to five years old. The center is open from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. The CDC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, holds DoD

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certification and participates in the USDA child and adult care food program.

Craftech Hobby Shop

Open 5 days a week, Craftech offers classes in stained glass, ceramics, framing and matting along with many more! Craftech carries craft supplies and will special order parts and supplies for customers. Is your child into art? How about a crafting birthday party? For more information please stop by the Craftech Office.

Dahlgren Aquatics Center

Fall/Winter Pool hours will be starting Labor Day. Open year round for Red Cross CPR & Life Guard Training, swimming lessons, lap swimming, and aqua aerobics classes and special family events monthly. Please call the pool for hours of operation, prices and facility rental at 540-653-8088

Child Development Home Care Program

Training available for Military & DoD spouses who live on base to offer childcare in their own homes and provide the same high standard of care as in the Child and

Youth Programs. This program is highly monitored and is a great convenience for civilians working on the base. If you are interested in becoming a Child Development Home care provider contact Trische Mollner at 540-653-4342 for more information.

Gray’s Landing on the Potomac Restaurant

Hours of Operation – Open 7 days a week Breakfast 6 - 9 a.m. Lunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Dinner 4 - 6 p.m. Weekends and Holidays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Brunch 4 - 6 p.m. – Dinner

Gray's Café

Open Mon - Fri from 6:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and located within Gray’s Landing on the Potomac Restaurant. Gray’s Cafe proudly serves Starbucks Coffee, fresh brewed coffee, lattes, frappuccinos, cappuccinos and espresso, and includes fresh baked pastries, bottled beverages, fruit cups, yogurt parfaits, a selection of wraps and grab-n-go meals, along with other beverages. Lounge with Wi-Fi hot spot and television.

DCMilitary Family Life - Advertising Supplement

Dahlgren Fitness Center

Open 7 days a week. You can join a variety of group fitness classes, including Cardio Boxing, Spinning, Power Yoga, Strength and Stability and Kettlebells. The Fitness Center offers racquetball throughout the year. Other sports and tournaments are offered, such as softball, soccer, flag football, dodgeball, and basketball. Karate classes are also offered throughout the year every 3 months for children ages 6 through adult. Ballet and jazz classes are offered during the school year.

Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT)

Open 5 days a week – The ITT office offers information, maps and directions to local shopping, restaurants, historical sites and entertainment - Discount tickets to Regal Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon Theaters, Baltimore Aquarium, Myrtle Beach, Disney World, Sea World and more! Ask for information on Military Discounts and the Armed Forces Vacation Club. Also call the ITT Office at 540-653-8785 for more information on MWR facility rentals.

See NSASP on page 13 Winter 2012

C U R S E continued from page 3 Then, during a deployment two years ago, I left the mall to find that my car had been hit in the parking lot. On Christmas Eve. We’ve all gotten the pamphlets from Family Readiness or sat through countless predeployment briefings giving us advice on how to prepare while our spouses are away. Even so, there’s nothing that can prepare you for a deployment like actually going through it, and over the years, we’ve all learned ways to avoid, or at least mitigate, the damage caused by the Deployment Curse. Many spouses get so handy with a tire jack, drill and set of tools, they could host their own DIY show on cable. I prefer keeping the number of a good handyman on speed dial and making sure my AAA membership is up to date. Not to say that I am completely helpless; I can hook up any DVR with a blindfold on and I do work a mean Phillips-head screwdriver. My own secret talisman to ward off the evil of the Curse is a good up-to-date power of attorney, and my husband never goes away for more than few days at a time without leaving me with one. I keep one on hand like Van Helsing keeps garlic. Most of the area’s military installations will provide this free service to active duty members, retirees and their dependents on a walkin basis. Having a POA almost guarantees that you will never need it. But if you do ever lose your ID in a 20-plus year military career, it will be when your spouse is deployed. I also make sure I have contact information for the unit’s key spouse and first sergeant loaded into my cell phone and not just scribbled on a piece of paper that inevitably manages to work its way out of my wallet and into Winter 2012

the bottom of my purse with the cracker crumbs and loose change. Military spouses are a pretty self-reliant bunch, but there are those times when a household catastrophe or serious family illness means we need to call in reinforcements or to contact our service member. While it isn’t the first sergeant’s job to come change a lightbulb or mow your lawn, the first sergeant, or your branch of service’s equivalent, is your first call in a real crisis. If the shirts don’t have the answer, they can probably point you to someone who does. In the end, there’s not a lot we can do to avoid the pitfalls and minor disasters that come with deployed life except to prepare as much as possible, brace ourselves and hope for the best. It also helps to surround yourself with a group of wise and supportive friends who can help you appreciate that most of the catastrophes that the Curse visits on us are of the “someday we’ll laugh about this” variety. Neighbors, coworkers, other military spouses—good friends like this may not be able to fend off the Curse, but they can help put things into perspective. It also helps if they know how to fix a leaky faucet. Of course, I don’t really believe in curses. Deployment only just feels like one of those horror movies where the heroine has to survive a night in a haunted house. It’s hard; it’s scary. There are dangers lurking in the dark corners. But somehow, we manage to make it through until morning, feeling a little bit wiser and a little bit tougher. But a curse? I don’t think so. Still, it’s probably not a good idea to get in the car with me while my husband is deployed. Just in case.



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USCG Sector NY MWR The winter is upon us and the discounted ski tickets are available for the snow that we hopefully will be receiving this year. While very few of us want to be digging out from the white stuff, the fun-side is always looking for that perfect opportunity for a quick getaway and enjoying the slopes. MWR will be selling discounted tickets to Mountain Creek, known for their famous Triple Play, as well as CamelBack and Shawnee Mountain. Check our website for the prices and the various options as they become available. And visit New York in the winter? For the Capital Region, this is one of the best times to visit even if we get a load of the white stuff. After all, the highways are plowed first, as well as the road to the ferry. You travel in Manhattan in the subways so transportation isn’t an issue. All that leaves is shorter lines at the Broadway Shows, lower prices at the restaurants and far less tourists on the streets. And activities just for you!

What’s happening:

December 31, 2013; Times Square NY: Celebrate the arrival of 2014 with the annual Times Square Ball Drop. Nothing compares with the exhilaration of watching the fete from the streets, plus you can catch music and other performances before and after midnight. With all the revelry, it's best to get to Times Square as early as possible in the day; street closures begin during the mid-afternoon and the choicest spots are usually filled by 3pm or earlier. For more information, visit


N e w Y o r k B o a t S h o w ; Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Don’t miss the boat. Yachts, fishing boats, kayaks—you’ll find them all at the New York Boat Show, a New York City institution for more than a century. Each year, tens of thousands flock to the event to check out the latest in boats and fishing equipment. Visitors can also attend daily seminars with a full slate of top fishing and boating pros. Jewish Film Festival; The Jewish Museum;; This film festival—a collaborative effort between the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center—aims to record, investigate and celebrate the Jewish experience around the world with two weeks of cinematic offerings, including narrative feature-length films, shorts and documentaries. Previous NYJFFs have featured films that went on to great national acclaim, like Nowhere in Africa, Beaufort and Empty Nest W i n t e r A n t i q u e s S h o w ; Park Avenue Armory; Each winter, the most prestigious antiques show in America comes to the Park Avenue Armory. The show features the best selection of pieces from antiquities through art deco. The Page 12


show also serves as a benefit for the East Side House Settlement.


Chinatown; Manhattan, NY; Check out the Lunar New Year celebration happening in Chinatown for stunning visuals, tantalizing treats and impressive performances. This street party features all sorts of vendors, food and festivities for all ages. Walk the main streets of Lower Manhattan—from Little Italy through Chinatown—to get a glimpse of the official Lunar New Year Parade. For more information, visit Westminster Dog Show; Madison Square Garden; Each year, dog fans flock to Madison Square Garden to find out which pooch will be designated Best in Show. Founded in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Crowd and judge favorites include hound dogs, terriers, retrievers, Saint Bernards, bulldogs, dachshunds and the ever-stylish poodle. Come watch these regal canines compete for top-dog honors. New York International Children's Film Festival;; Helping to redefine what a “kids' movie” has to be, the New York International Children’s Film Festival shines a light on some of the most unique, engaging and thought-provoking youth-oriented films made outside the Hollywood system. From obscure animated shorts to full-length, liveaction dramas, the NYICFF covers nearly

every style, age group and cultural background, making it an ideal event for the family.


For the best value in town, stay with the Coast Guard Guest Quarters. There are two units, a two bedroom and a three bedroom former family housing unit complete with a living room, dining room and kitchen. Each unit has its own bath. Reservations are taken as far in advance as you care to make them understanding that full payment is required at

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the time of the reservation and there is a cancellation fee. If the Guest Quarters are full, we refer you to our neighbor, the Navy Lodge. Co-located in the same parking lot, this leisure travel gem is ideal for the couples who do not need the space available that the Guest Quarters offers. Remember, the Coast Guard ITT office is the only ITT office located in New York City. Be sure to check us out at before visiting the city that never sleeps. Winter 2012

NSASP continued from page 10

Liberty Center (Single/ Unaccompanied Sailor Program)

Open 7 days a week, The Liberty program sponsors free or reduced-price events for all active-duty personnel. Contact the Liberty Coordinator at 540-653-7277 for information and scheduled events. ID required for Liberty discounts.


Open 6 days a week with a variety of fiction, non-fiction, periodicals and reference materials, movies for check-out, audio CDs, daily papers and reading lounge with Wi-Fi hot spot and television are available. Computers, copier and a fax machine are available for patron use. Computer classes offered seasonally, story time for the kids every Friday at 10 a.m. and a variety of events offered monthly.

Gear Issue & Equipment Rental / RV & Boat Storage Office

Open 4 days a week. Located within the Auto Skills Center, Gear Issue & Equipment Rental offers a selection of recreation equipment for fishing, camping, picnics, special events, sporting equipment and more.

l New


d ate v o n e


Rentals can be daily, weekly or for the weekend. Call during hours of operation for details and pricing.

The Dahlgren Movie Theater

The NSF Dahlgren Movie Theater has gone digital! Join us at the newly remodeled Dahlgren Movie Theater. We have new seating with drink holders, new carpet, new paint, new curtains and a new digital movie system (capable if showing 3-D movies).

Friday and Saturday evening movies shown year-round, featuring recent movie releases. Concessions are available including food and beverages. A significant savings when compared to commercial movie theaters. Eligible patrons include all with base access. For more information please contact the movie info. line at 540-653-7336. Hours of Operation: Friday: 7 p.m. Showing; Saturday: 7 p.m. Showing Price of Shows $5 Civilian, $4 Active Duty, Retired &

Reserve Mil E7 & above & their family members with ID, $2.50 E1-E6 and below and their family members with ID, $2 Child (6-11), Free - Child (5 and under).

Youth Activity Center

Open 5 days a week from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Before and after school program and summer camp for youth grades K-12. Our staff members supervise a range of activities from recreation to crafts to homework time.


Special Per Diem Rates & Packages TDY Packages Available One Bedroom Suites

1036025 300 ARMY NAVY DRIVE, ARLINGTON VA 1032842

Winter 2012


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Quantico MWR MCCS Quantico Stay in the Know

MCCS Quantico has a lot going on this fall. Stay in the know by signing up to receive our Monthly Trifold at the MCCS website. Or like us on facebook, MCCS.

The Clubs at Quantico

The Clubs at Quantico has a new executive chef, Chef Frank, and is your prime location for a unique lunch experience, delectable dinners and club events. They offer a daily lunch buffet, take-out menu Monday-Friday from 1100-1330, and special dinners Wednesday-Friday 1600-1930. Various events are held throughout the week for our Marines to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow Marines. TCAQ also offers a Conference Center that is the perfect location for your special event. Call 703-784-4264 for more information or visit the dining section on the MCCS website.

Medal of Honor Golf Course

Golf Outings Fall is the perfect time to schedule a golf outing! The Medal of Honor Golf Course includes an 18-hole golf course, practice range, putting green, a beautiful Clubhouse with an expanded Pro-Shop, and Mulligan’s Restaurant. For fees and more information, call 703-784-2424 or visit the recreation section on the MCCS website Automated Tee Time The Medal of Honor Golf Course takes Tee Times via the Automated Call-in System. Patrons should stop by the Pro Shop with their identification and sign up for a pin number. The pin number is required to identify Tee Time priority. There is no charge for a pin number. Automated Tee Time phone number: 703-432-8536.

Barber Physical Activity Center

BPAC houses Physical Fitness, Health Promotion, Athletics and Youth Sports. The facility offers a large variety of recreational opportunities with a 9,600 square foot fitness deck, group exercise room, spin studio, functional fitness room, three racquetball courts and one full-sized basketball court. It also offers a TV and Wi-Fi lounge, smoothie bar, child co-op, locker rooms and separate saunas for men and women. For more information call, 703-432-0590 or visit the Semper Fit section on the MCCS website. Health Promotion The Semper Fit Health Promotion Center is located in the Barber Physical Activity Center, Building 2073, Barnett Avenue, which is staffed by both Navy medical and Marine Corps personnel. They offer many classes and screenings to Active Duty, Retirees, DoD Civilians, Spouses, and Dependents. For more information call, 703-784-3780 or visit the Semper Fit section on the MCCS website.

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Physical Fitness The Quantico Physical Fitness Program is located in the Barber Physical Activity Center, Building 2073, Barnett Avenue. Fitness programs include personal training, group exercise programs, health promotion, fitness lecture series and a variety of specialty programs. The Physical Fitness Program supports the Marine Corps PFT, CFT and weight control requirements. For more information call, 703-432-0593 or visit the Semper Fit section on the MCCS website. Athletics The Marine Corps Base, Quantico Athletics program guarantees to provide a comprehensive range of individual and team sports for both men and women with an emphasis placed on mass participation. It is designed to provide programs that assist Marines in maintaining morale and esprit de corps while keeping mentally alert and physically fit. In addition, to fulfill the leisure time needs of interests of military personnel, their family members and DoD civilians through recreational and competitive activities. For more information call, 703-784-5627 or visit the Semper Fit section on the MCCS website.

Youth Sports

Quantico Co-ed/Inclusive Youth Sports are recreational/instructional leagues. Our first priority is fair and equal play for all youth athletes. All players get equal time on the field and/or court regardless of skill level. Once this is achieved, our next focus is on teach-

Any complaints about the program, coaches, officials, etc. need to be put in writing and taken to the Youth Sports Office at Barber Gym. For more information call, 703784-9756 or visit the Semper Fit section on the MCCS website.

Quantico Auto Hobby Center

Get your car ready for fall trips by stopping by the Quantico Auto Hobby Skills Center Shop to make sure it runs smoothly. The center can assist you with repairs, maintenance, and instruction on automotive needs and also offers Free Holiday PreInspection and Women’s Preventative Auto Maintenance classes. For more information, call 703-784-2729 or visit the recreation section on the MCCS website.

Rec/ITT ing teamwork as well as building and/or improving sports skills. All of our coaches are volunteers. This means that not all teams will be starting their practices on the same day. Historically, we get the majority of our coaches when they register their child. However, to get the entire number of coaches needed, we may have to call parents and try to recruit coaches. Teams without coaches will be dissolved and registration fees will be refunded. If you have questions about the Youth Sports program, please call or e-mail he Youth Sports office: 703.784.5637/9756 or

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Are the kids bored? Want to plan a family excursion? Stop by or call Recreation, Information, Tickets, and Tours located in the Marine Corps Exchange, Building 3500, Russell Road. They have information and brochures about many local and regional attractions. The staff searches out "hot spots" suitable for individual family outings and/or tours of special interest to their customers. Rec/ITT offers discounts to many local attractions: Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Verizon Center. For more information, call 703-432-8850 or visit the recreation section on the MCCS website Winter 2012




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Winter 2012