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Month of the Military Family As the Nation honors Veterans on the 11th day of this month, November has been designated as “Month of the Military Family.” The Army Family Covenant was established to recognize the importance of Family support.





 The commitment and increasing sacrifices that our Families are making every day.  The strength of our Soldiers comes from the strength of their Families. ARE COMMITTED TO ...

 Providing Soldiers and Families a Quality of Life that is commensurate with their service.  Providing our Families a strong, supportive environment where they can thrive.  Building a partnership with Army Families that enhances their strength and resilience. ARE COMMITTED TO

    


BY ...

Standardizing and funding existing Family programs and services Increasing accessibility and quality of health care Improving Soldier and Family housing Ensuring excellence in schools, youth services and child care Expanding education and employment opportunities for Family Members

The geographically-dispersed Military Member (living away from an installation) may discover challenges in finding these support systems. The ASCC is here to connect Military Members and their Family Members with local resources for Family Readiness and Wellness. Visit the ASCC to receive information and materials designed to help Families stay in touch during deployments or training separations, as well as information about Military benefits. 

The information presented in this newsletter is for informational awareness only and does not represent endorsement, sponsorship, recommendation, or promotion of any commercial event(s), commercial names or brands by the editors of this Newsletter, the Department of Defense, US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Coast Guard, National Guard, National Guard or Reserve, and the federal government. Usage of commercial or trade mark names is for identification purposes only.

IN THIS ISSUE: Month of the Military Family ..................1 Coming Events .......................................2 AAFES (X-Exchange)...............................2 New VA Handbook for Veterans .............2 Ornaments Honor Military Children .......3 Military Children Activities! ....................3 Activity Grants for Military Children ........3 Child Care Aware ...................................3 The True Meaning of Veterans Day .........3 Guide to VA Mental Health Services.......4 Returning from the War Zone Guide .......4 Military OneSource Financial Tools........4 The Arlington App Coming Soon! ...........5 Military ID Card Self-Service Portal........5 Webinar: How to Use .............5 eBenefits Simplifies Access to Benefits.6 Military Discounts for Disney Tickets .....6 ARMY STRONG COMMUNITY CENTER CONTACT INFORMATION: Army Strong Community Center 152 E French Broad Street Brevard, NC 28712 DAVID CARR Contract Customer Support Coordinator Office: 828-885-7895 Blackberry: (910) 476-9315 SUSAN BENNETT Contract Customer Support Coordinator Office: 828-884-9482

OFFICE HOURS: Monday—Friday, 8am—5pm NOTE! Closed November 12, 22, and 23 for Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holidays.

Army Strong Community Center (ASCC) is an Army Reserve Family Program


Coming Events AARP Driver Safety Refresher Course THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 9–1 PM HELD AT THE ASCC Sponsored by the Transylvania County AARP District FREE of charge for Veterans and Family Members driver-safety-course-veterans-promotion.html Registration is required. Call (828) 885-7895 to register.

Veterans—Thank you for your service! The AARP Driver Safety Refresher Course is provided FREE OF CHARGE to Veterans and their Family Members throughout November. Re-training is part of the military way, at any age and stage.  Tune up your driving skills and update your knowledge of the rules of the road.  Learn about normal age-related physical changes, and how to adjust your driving to allow for these changes.  Reduce your chance of traffic violations, crashes, and injuries. 

Heart Savers CPR/AED Class at the ASCC THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1-3 PM FREE of charge to Military Members, Veterans and Families Registration is required. Call (828) 884-9482 to register. 


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 3-5 PM BILTMORE BAPTIST CHURCH 35 CLAYTON ROAD, ARDEN, NC 28704 FREE of charge. Registration is required. Contact Celia Szelwach, WOVEN Founder/Director at (828) 242-4423 or

FOR MILITARY SERVICEWOMEN AND WOMEN VETERANS As North Carolina’s new Poet Laureate, Mr. Bathanti plans to work with Veterans to share their stories through poetry — a valuable and generous project.  Sponsored by

The Exchange’s mission has been to support the men and women of the armed forces during military operations, humanitarian missions and other endeavors around the world. The Exchange also maintains services and support to Family Members and troops back home. The Exchange’s partnership with the Army’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs and Air Force Services reflect loyalty and dedication to Military Members beyond cash registers. AAFES lives their motto “We Go Where You Go!” They not only serve troops on installations CONUS and OCONUS, but in Iraq and Afghanistan. Contact: (585) 266-8440, Tina O’Brien, or Amelia Kitch, 

AAFES (X-Exchange)

New VA Handbook for Veterans

The 2012 edition of the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors is now available online. Produced by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the handbook’s chapters cover such topics as VA pensions, home loans, medals and records, special Veterans groups, and other federal benefits. It also has a listing of VA facilities, plus links to helpful websites and a telephone directory. The handbook is available in English or Spanish on the VA website at: 


Holiday Ornaments Honor Military Children Support of Military Families is highlighted at the Governor’s mansion in North Carolina. Once again, Governor Bev Purdue is asking Military Children to send a handmade ornament to her for decoration of the holiday trees in the Governor’s Mansion this December. It is her way of honoring the sacrifices and resiliency of Military Children. Ornaments can be dropped off to your nearest National Guard Family Assistance Office, or to the Brevard ASCC. Contact the ASCC for details. 

Military Children Activities! The NC State University Extension Service leverages “Operation: Military Kids” (OMK) to provide educational activities, camps, and retreats for Military Children all throughout the state. Their motto, “Military Families in Our Own Backyard,” drives the mission to provide activities that give your child an opportunity to connect with other Military Children and experience age-appropriate strategies to build their strength and friendships. Examples include:  Teen Retreat: Military Teens Engaging in Service through Technology (M.T.E.S.T.)  Elementary-age Overnight: Zoo Snooze or Science Camp For calendar and locations visit or 

Activity Grants for Military Children Our Military Kids is an organization with a mission to provide Activity Grants (up to $500 each) for Military Children during a deployment. 

Child Care Aware (formerly NACCRRA) Learn of additional benefits for Child Care reimbursement. Visit or call (800) 424-2246. 

Army Strong and Ready! Nicholas with his Soldier Mom at the ASCC.

The True Meaning of Veterans Day Veterans Day is a celebration to honor America’s Veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Veterans Day arouses three emotions in most Americans: solemnity, because it celebrates the Veterans who have defended our great country; sadness, because so many have lost their lives in the process; and pride, because they have fought so well. Thank you to all Military Members and their Families for their service to our country— past and present.


NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (press 1 for Veterans Suicide Hotline) or go to

Guide to VA Mental Health Services for Veterans & Families H OW Y OU C AN F IND THE M ENTAL H EALTH C ARE Y OU N EED This comprehensive guide (pdf) is available for download at

If you have a mental health emergency (like wanting to hurt yourself or someone else), go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 911. If it is not a VA hospital, you may be able to move to a VA facility depending on your circumstances. If you are feeling suicidal, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 for the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline, or visit and click on Veterans Chat Live with a Counselor. Mental health professionals are available to talk with you 24 hours per day. If you have a mental health problem and have never been seen in a VA hospital or clinic, call VA general information hotline at 1-800-827-1000 or visit VA’s website at You will be able to find the address and phone number of a VA hospital or clinic near you. Some Veterans begin the process of finding mental health care through a Veterans Center. Homeless Veterans can get help finding mental health care at a Veterans drop-in center. If you are already using VA medical services, ask your primary care provider to arrange for you to see a VA mental health provider. 

Returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Military Personnel This comprehensive guide (pdf) is available for download at

The purpose of this guide is to help you shift gears and begin your next phase of life at home with your Family. For those of you who have deployed more than once, you might expect that with each deployment, the emotional cycle will become easier. But things may actually become more difficult. This is especially the case if you have unresolved problems from previous separations and reunions. Each deployment is also different from the last. Reunion can also be a time of considerable stress for both you and your Family. You may find that coming home is, in fact, harder than going to war. In order to get through homecoming as smoothly as possible, you need to know what kinds of issues you might face and make sure you have realistic expectations. THIS GUIDE DISCUSSES:     

What common reactions should you expect following the trauma of war? What experiences are you likely to encounter on the home front? How can you positively cope with the transition? What are signs that you or your war buddies might need some outside assistance? Where can you go for assistance? 

New Financial Calculators and Relocation Tools Available through Military OneSource Military OneSource has launched two new online tools for Military Members and their Families. Login on the Military OneSource website and check out the financial calculators and relocation tools. If you are eligible for the Military OneSource program, you have year-round access to free telephonic financial counseling. Please call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 to speak with a financial counselor. 


Military ID Card Self-Service Portal The Defense Manpower Data Center has launched its Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) Self-Service Portal to allow anyone with the Defense Department’s Common Access Card (CAC) to apply for Family ID or retirement cards and manage them online.

The Arlington App Coming Soon! A new Army smartphone app will provide information about Arlington National Cemetery, VA. Set for release this fall, the software plots nearly 260,000 burial sites and urn niches on photographic maps, and will showcase photos and records of more than 300,000 individuals buried there, according to cemetery officials. A 4G network at the sacred grounds supports the mobile initiative the first for any federal cemetery.

Key Points: INFO IN HAND. Visitors using the app will search by name to pull up details about Military Members interred at the cemetery, such as rank, birth and death dates, branch of service and possibly a headstone photo. In the future, the app might include memorial pages and video. INTERACTIVE MAP. Along with the app, Arlington plans to host a similar interactive map on its website, so web viewers can see burial sites. HALLOWED GROUND. The digital map will mark a visitor’s position in “turn-by-turn directions” to graves and allow users to zoom in and out. The software will also recommend walking tours and note famous memorials and graves, including those of MAJ Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in history; MAJ Walter Reed, a pioneer in Army medicine; and five-star World War II General George Marshall. EVENT ALERTS. The app will also post schedules for wreathlaying ceremonies, commemorations and special events such as those recognizing Medal of Honor recipients and celebrating the annual cherry blossom bloom. APP DOWNLOAD. Once unveiled, the app will be available for download from major online marketplaces and also on Arlington’s website, 

AVAILABLE FEATURES/ACTIONS SPONSOR  Add/Change email address to receive initial or new Email Signature and Email Encryption Certificates  Add Personnel Category Code to the User Principle Name of the Email Signature Certificate  Activate the PIV Authentication Certificate  Download applications  View/Update contact information  It is the Sponsor’s responsibility to review and update all appropriate information as needed before requesting reissuance of ID cards for any Family Member.

FAMILY MEMBER  View/Update contact information  Request application for reissuance of ID card For more details visit rapids/unauthenticated?execution=e1s1 

Webinar: How to Use Find out what for U.S. Military Families can do for you! Nervous about school? Forgotten how to work those algebra problems? Need a biology refresher? SAT coming up this fall? Don’t worry - for U.S. Military Families is there for you! Call in to a live webinar to see just how many resources are available to help you succeed this school year! TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 AT 6:00 P.M. EST INSTRUCTOR: MEG SAUVÉ FROM TUTOR.COM FOR MILITARY FAMILIES Space is limited. To register, visit 


For support 24/7, 365 days a year, contact the Outreach & Support Call Center at 866-345-8248.

eBenefits Simplifies Access to Resources and Benefits Visit

There are many benefits and services provided to Military personnel and their Families. Yet accessing these programs, learning about requirements and effectively using the benefits that you have earned may require a good deal of effort, as well as a bit of patience. To streamline the process, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) have created eBenefits, an online web portal that provides benefit-related resources and tools for Veterans, Service Members and their Families. eBenefits is a one-stop web portal that enables Veterans and Service Members to access personal information and carry out tasks so they can use benefits. Its easy-to-navigate format and topical options offer a more efficient system for managing eligible benefits and accessing services from a single portal. The key to using the site is your ability to prove eligibility, which is determined through your listing in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Once eligibility is verified, you will be able to obtain a DoD SelfService logon, which includes a username and password. Based on the degree that your identity is authenticated online, you will be issued a basic or premium account. The premium account offers greater access to your personal data in VA and DoD systems and allows you to perform more tasks online. If you attempt to register and are informed you have no DEERS record, VA will first need to verify your military service and add you to DEERS. This is most likely for Veterans who served prior to 1982. Individuals should contact a VA Regional Office or call 1-800-827-1000 (option 7) for assistance in being added to DEERS.

Once in the system, your user categoryVeteran, Service Member or Family Memberreveals the resources and services available to you.

VETERANS  Apply for Veterans’ Benefits Online (VONAPP)  Request enrollment in the VA Health Care System (VA form 10-10 EZ)  Check on compensation and pension claims status  Download your military service record (form DD 214)  Search for private and federal employment (Career Center)  Generate letters that verify benefit payments and disability for federal hiring

SERVICE MEMBERS  View Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) elections  Access service member civilian employment information  View DoD TRICARE health insurance  Translate military occupational codes to civilian skills language and positions (VAforVETS)  Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits  Use the eLearning Center for the online VA Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and more

FAMILY MEMBERS  Take online courses designed to help you manage your health  View Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits  Check your VA Post 9/11 GI Bill payment history 

Military Discounts for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Tickets Disney is saluting U.S. military personnel by offering significantly discounted tickets through September 28, 2013. Block out dates apply. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information regarding Military Promotional Tickets, military personnel may contact their participating U.S. military base ticket office, or visit the following links: Walt Disney World Resort: Disneyland: 


Army Strong Newsletter - Nov. 2012  

Connecting Soldiers, Families, and Communities.

Army Strong Newsletter - Nov. 2012  

Connecting Soldiers, Families, and Communities.