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Beacon 2014 Winter Edition Upcoming Events for Surviving Families

•Dine & Dial January 22: Tax issues and filing issues Survivors face. Call will be at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific Dial in Number: 1-626-677-3000 Access code: 7681905

Fallen Heroes Christmas Tree. Survivors from all across the area gathered at the JBLM SOS office on December 4th to place their photo ornaments of their loved ones on the Stock photo courtesyChristmas of Fallen Heroes Tree. Microsoft

Apart from being a time of remembrance for these Families, it was also an opportunity for everyone to spend some time together either making new acquaintances or reconnecting with old ones whilst enjoying good food and Holiday music. More photographs of the decoration social are posted on our Facebook page.

"Among the things you can give and still keep are

your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.” ~Zig Ziglar

The Dine & Dial began at Fort Leonard Wood for the Midwest Survivors in MO/IL/WI/MI area, but the concept has caught on and now people in Europe, Asia, and survivors in Alaska, Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. join in. They have 150 phone lines for these calls. Thank you, Mark Dunlop!!

• Gold Star Wives 69th National Convention 2014, Tacoma WA More Info:

The morning of December 12th came very early for the SOS family, with the arrival of the Snowball Express Day. By 4:00am, bleary eyed parents and excited children were to be found checking in their luggage with American Airlines before heading down to Gate D7 to await their flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Snowball Express~ SeaTac WA

It was not to be the usual boring airport wait for these Families however, as the Puget Sound USO provided hot chocolate and pastries, whilst passing out Beanie Babies to everyone there.

The Port of Seattle brought in their working dogs, as well as their high-powered segway. Outside on the tarmac the fire truck sat with flashing lights and the crew of the truck came in to meet and greet with the Families.

American Airline crew members were also in the spirit of the day, wearing reindeer antlers and Santa hats; it was rumored they also placed small children in the overhead bins during the flight.

The excitement level rose the closer the time came for departure, and this level went through the roof with the arrival of Santa and his elves. After singing Holiday songs with everyone, he then gave presents to all the children before they boarded the Snowball Express.

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Beacon 2014 ● Winter Edition ● WA State Survivor Outreach Services ● (253) 967-7501

The Financial Planning ‘Diet’? I find it interesting that our society is always concentrating on the most popular diets, the healthy and the not so healthy; Atkins, Grapefruit, 10 day, South Beach, etc. Conversations move to health and the decisions we make regarding our health in the search of the perfect waistline, abs, glutes, arms and body. However, it is disturbing how many of us ignore one of our one of our most important health issues—our financial health. We don’t sit around with our friends and lunch mates and discuss the difference between a traditional IRA and Roth IRA. We tread lightly when conversing about budgets with our loved ones. We consider such conversations too complex, dorky and potentially dangerous.

Author: Sandra Neuman Financial Counselor, Survivor Outreach Services Marysville, Washington.

We see (or know we should see) our doctor at least once a year for a checkup. Perhaps we follow our physical health so much more diligently, because we can see it. We notice the extra pounds; understand the correlation of health to longer life. A longer life means we can leave a longer impression on the world we live in. We will have the ability to influence the world around us by just insuring we are there for it. We need to recognize the importance of our financial health and how it affects our daily life in the same way our ‘physical’ health does. A financially healthy person arguably has less stress, better relationships and an amazing ability to not only influences the world around them but around everything they care deeply about such as: local charities, children, organizations, causes and even world needs. Our financial health is a hit and miss issue. We know we should be aware of it. We curse when our checking account is below $100 and we have to transfer funds….again but we don’t dwell on the fact that we budgeted badly. We open our IRA or 401(k) quarterly statement and look at the final numbers. We know that it is good when the gain loss is a positive and upset when it is a negative, not understanding the true power of the time value of money and dollar cost averaging. Why is it that some are more comfortable sharing their true weight and height with a personal trainer but balk at the idea of letting a qualified financial planner know their 2012 income and tax rate? I suggest that much like our annual doctor’s check up, we need to at least have an annual financial check up. Simple finances can be done by yourself, much like taking your own temperature. However, as we grow older and our lives become complex so do our finances. You would not go to just one doctor if you had a complex surgery scheduled, you would seek other professionals. The same is true with financial planning. There are many professionals that can and should be spoken to when we are making major financial plans or changes. An estate attorney has a different skill set then a CPA or Certified Financial Planner. I admit that some in the industry are not use to clients seeking second opinions on financial planning and may balk at the thought of you gathering more professionals but at one time doctors were not use to second opinions either and now it is an accepted and healthy practice in the medical field. As for genuine knowledge about financial planning and your needs; take a wander through the internet or seek out a professional financial planner. A great starting tool is a free kit offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards; The website also provides great information on financial planning basics and processes. Growing our wealth intelligently, carefully and comprehending the power of generosity and charity can fill our lives with a completeness that no stair climber will ever achieve.


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Beacon 2014 ● Winter Edition ● WA State Survivor Outreach Services

(253) 967-7501

Facts about President’s Day and US Presidents Washington’s Birthday was declared a federal Holiday in 1879, making him the first American citizen to have such a holiday. President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February.

Washington’s Powdered Wig President’s Day (also known as Washington’s Birthday) falls on Monday, February 17. On Presidents' Day we remember George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as we focus on the Constitution and freedom of speech. Both of these great men understood the importance of the Constitution and the role that all citizens must play in protecting it and taking responsibility for the government we want. Why not create your very own powdered wig to celebrate.

In addition to Washington and Lincoln, two other presidents have February birthdays. Ronald Reagan was born on Feb. 6, 1911, and William Henry Harrison was born on Feb. 9, 1773. Ulysses S. Grant once got a speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast and Millard Fillmore was the first president to have a bathtub installed in the White House. And he was president No. 13. President Taft kept pet Holstein cows. Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, was born in a hospital in Plains, Ga. on October 1, 1924, the first president born in a hospital.

Dinosaur Word Search What you'll need: Paper painter’s hat Cotton balls, about half a bag White craft glue 4” x 2” black felt Scissors How to make it: 1. Stuff something inside the hat like a hand towel or a few rags, just to give it some shape. 2. Glue cotton balls to the hat, starting at the front and working your way back. Continue until the entire hat is covered. 3. Cut the black felt into 4 long strips. Glue 2 of them to the center of the bill of the hat (over the cotton balls) in an upside down “V” shape. This will be the tail of the bow. 4. Fold the remaining two strips in half and glue the ends together to form the bow ties. 5. Glue the bow over the bow tail. Allow to dry completely. 6. Wear hat backwards so the bow is above the nape of the neck.

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Beacon 2014 ● Winter Edition ● WA State Survivor Outreach Services ● (253) 967-7501

Useful Resources and Tips

Financial Literacy Resources Federal Student Aid ( – U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid’s website that serves as the source for free information, guidance, and tools for federal student assistance. ( – The U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s website dedicated to teaching the basics about financial education. The site offers valuable information on budgeting, credit management, saving and investing, financial planning, financial aid, and loan obligations. Federal Trade Commission ( – The Federal Trade Commission’s website to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices. This site gives examples of key questions to ask when considering a credit counselor and collects complaints about consumer fraud and identity theft. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( – U.S. government website that has articles on how to become a smarter, safer user of financial services that will protect and stretch your earnings. The Bad Credit Hotel ( – U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website that offers the basics to maintaining good credit.

Potential Legal Resources for Survivors JAG resources for children: Legal services can be provided to children on behalf of a Service Member and the PNOK in a limited capacity. The Legal Assistance regulation, AR 27-3 paragraph 2-5 persons eligible to receive legal assistance (8)(a): (8) PNOK (as defined in AR 600-8-1, para 4-1a(20 Oct 94)), executors, personal representatives, administrators, and legally recognized estate representatives for matters relating to the settlement of estates of- (a) Active Army or RC service members who die while in a military duty status. Services are available for a child of a deceased member if the child has an ID card for entitlements; (this would include legal services. A guardian of a child can always come on behalf of the child for benefits, with the child's military ID. ) Note: JAG cannot probate estates and are limited to providing general legal advice on the probate process and giving the client a referral list. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project (MPBP): "MPBP will connect eligible, active-duty Service Members with pro bono attorneys to assist with the resolution of civil legal issues. Referrals are made only by military legal assistance (i.e., JAG) attorneys. If you need a referral from the MPBP, this referral must come from a legal assistance office. Individuals cannot contact the MPBP directly for a referral. If someone needs legal help, they should contact their legal assistance attorney, and he or she will determine whether they should be referred to the MPBP. Many referrals are based on a "needs" test. For example one must be financially need based) eligible for an MPBP referral. The JAG attorney may also consider other financial resources available to determining financial eligibility. For more information: Public Legal Resources

For more information on Potential Legal Resources for Survivors contact WA State Survivor Outreach Services

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Beacon 2014 ● Winter Edition ● WA State Survivor Outreach Services ● (253) 967-7501

Stress Less Tip Corner

WA Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) Joint Base Lewis-McChord ACS Annex 2166 Liggett Ave. & S. 12th St. 253-967-7501 Ryki Carlson Army Reserve SOS Marysville 13613 N 40th Ave. 360-403-2316 Daniel Forsberg or 360-403-2338 Sandra Neuman National Guard SOS Western WA 253-512-1353 Jared Lathrop-Weber Eastern WA 509-734-7052 Shirley Schmunk Joint Base Lewis-McChord Casualty Assistance Office Waller Hall 2140 Liggett Ave. 253-966-5890

JBLM Survivor Outreach Services said goodbye at the end of December to two well known faces, Gene ‘Chip’ Fowler our Support Counsellor and Mara Barthel who held down the front desk. Both are retiring and taking the time to rest and relax. We wish them well in their retirement. Moving into the front desk position will be Cate Agosta, who many of you may already have encountered. She said she looks forward to working with and getting to know all of the Survivors and the rest of the SOS teams.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Retirement Services Office Waller Hall 2140, Liggett Ave. 253-966-5881

SOS Beacon/Winter 2014  
SOS Beacon/Winter 2014  

Information and events for our military survivors and their Families.