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cORPS cONNECTIONS Serving Marines and their Families in the National Capital Region iSSUE 22 • APRIL – JUNE 2013

Count the cherry blossoms and enter to win! See page 3 for details.

Serving Marines and their Families in the National Capital Region iSSUE 22 • APRIL – JUNE 2013

Cover photo by Doriann Geller March 2012


Count! the cherry blossoms and enter to win! See page 3 for details.


DIRECTOR Roger Weger DEPUTY DIRECTOR Susan M. Lindquist MARKETING OFFICER Doriann Geller ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIP TECHNICIAN Vacant GRAPHIC ARTIST/WEBMASTER J. Felix Gonzalez marketing technician Barbara J. Mitchell For advertising Call 703-309-7581 Advertising rates at Corps Connections is published quarterly by Marine Corps Community Services Henderson Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, P. O. Box 4009, Arlington, Virginia 22204-0009. Content is intended for military members in the National Capital Region and beyond. Copyright 2013 by MCCS. All rights reserved. The appearance of advertising and sponsors’ logos does not constitute federal or Marine Corps endorsement. For copies, please phone 703-693-5351.

Find this publication and other MCCS Henderson Hall documents at, where a “flipbook” interface makes reading online easy.

Serving Those who Serve............................................................................................. 4 Marine Corps Community Services enhances Marines’ quality of life and those who support them throughout the National Capital Region and beyond. Pinwheels for Prevention........................................................................................... 5 The MCCS Behavioral Health Branch prepares for April Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, including the planting of a pinwheel “garden.” GI Bill Options: A Few Popular Misconceptions..................................................... 6 Bart MacMillan writes about the sometimes amusing misconceptions people have when using the GI Bill. Myths About Domestic Violence................................................................................. 8 Become aware of some of the myths surrounding domestic violence and how we can help. New Parent Support — Here For You..................................................................... 12 Diane Waters writes an overview of this program for parents of children ages 5 and younger. EFMP Resource Fair..................................................................................................... 13 Learn about this year’s fair. by Debbie Baker Telephone numbers and Hours of Operation........................................................ 15

[QUARTERLY CONTEST] We’ve scattered cherry blossoms (see right) throughout this edition; count them all and e-mail the number to webmasterHH@ by midnight April 30, 2013, to be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card. Winner will be drawn at random from all entries and will be notified by e-mail.

[WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO] Corps Connections brings information on MCCS programs and services to Marines and their family members in the National Capital Region and beyond. Please visit us online at or mobile at APRIL – JUNE 2013 • Corps Connections 3




Doriann Geller Marketing Officer MCCS Henderson Hall

4 Corps Connections • APRIL – JUNE 2013

Serving Those Who Serve

Marine Corps Community Services Henderson Hall reaches Marines and their family members in the National Capital Region and beyond. Structured similarly throughout the Marine Corps, MCCS Henderson Hall comprises Semper Fit, Retail Operations, Marine and Family Programs incorporating Marine Corps Family Team Building, and Support. Together, we provide quality-of-life enhancing goods, services, and programs to service members and their families from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia. Want to know more about MCCS? Find out about what we offer to those whom we serve by visiting for more comprehensive and continually updated information.


[LET US KNOW] We welcome your comments and value your opinion. Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) provides information on our services and an online comment card system. Let us know how we’re doing at

[Resources] Military OneSource stands ready to assist you by e-mail and by phone. View discussion boards and gain answers to your questions through the site’s comprehensive resources for military families. It’s all free to military service member and their families! Log on to or call 1-800-342-9647.

[Upcoming] Mark your calendar for these 2013 events: • Children’s Fair, Saturday, April 13 • Spring Education & Career Fair, Thursday, April 18 • Marine Spouse Appreciation. Friday, May 10

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign

by Molly Ryan, MSW Education & Prevention Specialist Behavioral Health Branch, Marine & Family Programs


he Pinwheels for Prevention campaign was developed in 2008 by Prevent Child Abuse America. This yearly campaign features a blue pinwheel as the symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention nationwide. The pinwheel is a symbol of hope, health, and happiness and was chosen as a way to encourage community participation in the prevention of child abuse. For the third consecutive year, the Family Advocacy Program of Marine & Family Programs at MCCS Henderson Hall is excited to have the Marine Corps community involved with planting a pinwheel garden on the Henderson Hall portion of the joint base. The garden provides Marines and civilian Marines an opportunity to personally plant a pinwheel to take a stand against abuse. It is truly everyone’s duty to protect children in the community from abuse and neglect. We can only achieve this by drawing attention to this important issue and recognizing abuse as unacceptable in our military and civilian community. By planting a pinwheel you are participating in the fight to end child abuse and neglect. With each pinwheel planted, our children are thought of and recognized as an important part of our future. We are reminded that it is our responsibility to protect those who are too young to protect themselves. I encourage you to get involved, to understand the meaning behind the blue pinwheels you see on base, and be proud to be part of a community that fights to end abuse against children.

Quick Facts on Child Abuse in the U.S. from Childhelp*

• A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds • Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.* Marines and civilian Marines are mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities. To report suspected child abuse or neglect please call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD. If you are concerned about a Marine Corps or military family, also call the Family Advocacy Program, Marine & Family Programs, MCCS Henderson Hall, at 703-614-7204. *

• H&S Battalion, HQMC, Henderson Hall Birthday Ball, November 2 APRIL – JUNE 2013 • Corps Connections 5

It’s springtime, the loveliest time of year in Washington D.C., when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the weather tries to be at its best. Spring is also the time of month when we in MCCS Henderson Hall are busiest. We have a full issue, reflecting these and many other events in April and May, especially, that MCCS Henderson Hall holds, starting with the “Pinwheels for Prevention” initiative on page 5. Bart MacMillan, a regular contributor, addresses the sometimes humorous misconceptions about the GI Bill. Read his article beginning on page 6. Ciara Lawton of the Behavioral Health Branch explains myths about Domestic Violence on page 8, and Diane Waters, also of the Behavioral Health Branch, gives an overview of the New Parent Support Program. Lastly, Debbie Baker shares her enthusiasm for the upcoming resource fair. Speaking of fairs, the annual Children’s Fair is April 13, and the Spring Education and Career Fair is April 18 (check them out on pages 13 and 14, respectively.) We are excited about a new way to connect with you: our new mobile website. We designed web content specifically to be viewed on-the-go. See our mobile version at, and please let us know what you think. You can still find out all MCCS has to offer on our website,, follow our Twitter feed, and “Like” us on Facebook. Also check out our publications on, a viewer-friendly site. Enjoy Washington D.C. in spring!

[marine & family PROGRAMs]

GI BILL OPTIONS: A FEW POPULAR MISCONCEPTIONS payouts most of the time (but do not automatically assume this!). The student veteran using Post 9/11 benefits should plan on contact with both the school’s VA official AND financial aid office every semester of enrollment. The VA official certifies enrollment for the VA regional office, which then cuts the checks. One of those checks will be sent to the school’s financial aid office to be applied to the veteran’s student tuition account. The other checks — the Chapter 30 monthly stipend, and the Chapter 33 book and Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) stipends — are usually directly deposited into the veteran’s bank account. I’ve encountered servicemembers who did not realize this, and were subsequently late with payments due, unaware that the payments were supposed to come from

“I heard you could buy a house with your GI Bill.”

a combination of service and a payroll deduction totaling $1200, while Chapter 33 is earned solely by service. How these are paid out when the veteran uses the benefit is explained in MUCH detail on the website. (The details can be a bit confusing and overwhelming!) The Veterans Administration’s recommendation, if both options are available, is that the veteran should select the school, first, then contact that school’s VA official to see how each option works in that school’s context. This is highly sound advice! The Post 9/11 benefit will have, admittedly, the most generous 6 Corps Connections • APRIL – JUNE 2013

them, not the VA; surprisingly, they were also unaware of the increases to their accounts due to the VA deposits! The only payment the VA makes directly to a school is the Post 9/11 tuition payment (and, if applicable, the Yellow Ribbon payment). Some younger separating servicemembers I’ve encountered will not realize, until it is too late, that monthly stipend payments are prorated if school is not in session for the entire month. A specific example is found in the traditional semester schedule of a late August start date and a mid-December end date. The

full payment will be made for the months of September, October and November, while partial payments are made for August and December. I have seen a few veterans living off campus who struggled to make ends meet in those months when the MHA payment was less than 50% of the full monthly amount. The Chapter 33 MHA payment will be about $675 (approximately 50% of the national average BAH rate for E-5+Dependents) if the entire semester’s course load is taken through online courses. Initially, Post 9/11 benefits did NOT include a MHA payment if the entire course load was taken online, but Congress voted in an adjustment to this policy effective October 2010. All GI Bill payout amounts make the assumption that the veteran is attending school at the minimum full time student rate. What constitutes a minimum full time course load may vary greatly from school to school, but the VA may adjust the monthly stipend check appropriately downward under either option if a veteran starts the term with a minimum full time course load, then drops one of those courses at any point in the school’s Drop/Add period. This also, has been a surprise to some unsuspecting student veterans. The option of transferring GI Bill benefits to family dependents became a reality with the Post 9/11 program. This meant that the monthly stipend payments would be routed directly to the spouse’s or child dependent’s account. This led to a humorous misunderstanding on the part of one Marine officer, who noted correctly, that if both GI Bill options were available to the Marine and

the Marine chose the Post 9/11 option, then the $1,200 paid into the MGIB would be refunded. The $1,200 is added to the 36th MHA check, which means that it is sent actually to the person who is using the benefit; in other words, if the child dependent is receiving the MHA payment, the $1200 would be sent to the child. The Marine officer asked our office how he could get the money back from his son! (Marine & Family Programs will go above and beyond to assist our Marines, veterans and their families; but, we will resist the urge to play referee over internal family money matters!) When I told this officer that it was between him and his son, he sighed, saying

“I suppose you’re right!” The uniform may change, but the parental issues usually do not! One other misconception comes with the Yellow Ribbon benefit on the Post 9/11 option. “Yellow Ribbon” is an agreement between the VA and the school, which can select which degrees and the amount it wishes to participate. Generally, baccalaureate degrees are combined together. Graduate degrees are a different matter. Also, the schools need to renew this agreement on a yearly basis. Your degree may be there NOW, but do not assume it will be there for the next academic year, or that “Yellow Ribbon” will cover all remaining tuition.



The information to sort through for servicemembers wanting to use GI Bill benefits remains daunting. The Post 9/11 option enables much individuality in using it to each servicemember’s needs, yet it is easy to overlook a crucial detail or consequence under unique circumstances. The VA’s advice remains sound: contact the school VA official (or your education office) before activating your GI Bill benefits! Bart MacMillan is the Education and Career Specialist Personal & Professional Readiness Branch, Marine & Family Programs MCCS Henderson Hall.

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young Lance Corporal Marine sat in my office recently and announced, “I heard you could buy a house with your GI Bill.” Curious as this misunderstanding may be, it points to the fact that when the Post 9/11 GI Bill option became available in 2009, servicemembers and veterans had much more information to consider in making the best use of their GI Bill benefits. This article addresses some of the misunderstandings often encountered regarding the two GI Bill options available to fulltime active duty servicemembers: the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB, known as Chapter 30) and the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). The GI Bill website — www.gibill. — is loaded with much valuable information. Chapter 30 is earned with

by Bart MacMillan


here are often many myths surrounding domestic violence and its effects on both the offender and the victim. For example, many feel that domestic violence is something that only affects certain races or genders, but, in actuality, domestic violence does not discriminate across lines of race, culture, nationality or gender (Mills, L. G, 2000). Below you will find a set of myths and facts based on the book It Shouldn’t Hurt to Go Home, that may help someone have a better understanding of domestic violence. Myth #1 “Domestic Violence does not affect many people.”

According to It Shouldn’t Hurt to Go Home, domestic violence is the most common — but least reported — crime in the United States, often because victims may feel too embarrassed or ashamed to get help. Myth #2 “Domestic Violence is only physical abuse.”

Physical violence is only one dynamic of domestic violence. Other forms of domestic violence include emotional, sexual, economic, and psychological abuse. At times, the offender may use control, manipulation, and even power to intimidate their spouse or intimate partner. Myth #3 “Domestic Abuse is just a momentary loss of temper.”

Domestic abuse is actually the opposite of momentary loss of temper. Offenders often make a conscious decision to abuse and control their partner through fear; this is often a part of the domestic violence cycle of abuse. Myth #4 “The victim can always walk away from the relationship.”

Victims often believe that they don’t have any place to go where they will be safe. The offender usually knows where the victims’ families and friends live and will often threaten to “find” them if they left. This often makes it even harder for the victim to leave. In order for a victim to leave successfully they will have to have a secure plan, money, and a strong support network.

by Ciara Lawton MSCC, NCC, HS-BCP

inhibitions and increase the severity of the domestic related problem. How We Can Help

The Family Advocacy Program offers Victim Advocacy services 24/7 for Marines and their family members in the National Capital Area. Victim Advocates can assist with information about reporting options, developing safety plans, and providing court and medical accompaniment. Victim Advocates are available to answer questions about identifying unhealthy patterns of domestic violence and sexual assault. They also guide victims to appropriate services in both the military and civilian community. Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the Victim Advocacy HOTLINE 703-693-6611. Hotline advocates can provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals, and support. Assistance is available in English and Spanish. For more information about domestic violence, reporting options and potential warning signs for emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, contact an advocate during normal business hours at 703-614-7204. For emergency calls after business hours please contact the HOTLINE 703-693-6611. If you or someone you know is interested in having a Women’s Support and Empowerment group at a specified location in the National Capital Region, we can find a time and place that best accommodates your needs. The group offers education on healthy relationships and support for women who have experienced emotional and/or physical violence in their relationships. To register or for more information on this group, call 703-6147204.

8 Corps Connections • APRIL – JUNE 2013

Ciara Lawton is a Victim Advocate Family Advocacy Program, Behavioral Health Branch Marine & Family Programs, MCCS Henderson Hall

at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

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Myth #5 “Drinking and drug abuse cause domestic violence.”

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Myths about Domestic Violence


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[marine & family PROGRAMs]

The Children, Youth & Teen Program presents

New Parent Support — Here for You!


he New Parent Support Program (NPSP) is a prevention program offered by the Behavioral Health Branch of MCCS Henderson Hall The professionals who work for the program are called Home Visitors. Home visitors work with families in a one on one setting to enhance parenting skills & provide support. They help parents deal with stress, isolation, deployment issues and basic everyday demands of parenthood. The NPSP also offers Marines and their spouses with young children, up to 5 years of age, opportunities to get connected and experience a sense of the Marine Corps community through classes and play groups. Currently, NPSP offers a weekly


play group aboard Indian Head Naval Base, Maryland. The Little Patriots Play Group is held each Wednesday, 10 – 11 AM, during the school year at the USO on Strauss Ave. The “Lil Chesty’s” Play Group meets every other Tuesday, 10 to 11:30 AM, at the MCCS Post 5 Classroom Building, #20, 2nd Deck, at Marine Barracks Washington. The play groups offer children opportunities to learn age-appropriate activities designed to improve their social, cognitive, and motor skills. Parents can also learn new activities and practice positive interaction with their children. Parents with children up to age 5 years in

6th Annual

n ’ e s r F d a l i i r h C

by Diane Waters

all branches of the military are welcome to attend. Be sure to visit our website at www., Marine and Family Programs, New Parent Support Program for a current listing of our classes and play groups. You may also give us a call at 703-614-7204 Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM until 4:30 PM to schedule an appointment with a Home Visitor or register for classes.

To Celebrate Month of the Military Child

Saturday, April 13 • 10 AM – 2 PM Cpl Terry L. Smith Gymnasium Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

Favorite animal costumes welcome!

Diane Waters is a Home Visitor Behavioral Health Branch Marine & Family Programs MCCS Henderson Hall


Parade of “Animals” Long Bridge Nature Center Animal-Themed Moon Bounces Carnival Games • Face Painting Toddler Climbing Area Giveaways • Cotton Candy Family Friendly Lunch Menu available for sale (cash only)

P l a s y ' y G ro u p t s e h lC for children 5 years old and younger and their parents

Join us for play time, storytime, and activities!

10 – 11:30 AM

Sponsored by

April 9, 23 • May 7, 21 • June 4, 18 • July 2, 16, 30 • August 13, 27 hosted by New Parent Support Program

Snacks provided by:

10 Corps Connections • APRIL – JUNE 2013

MCCS Post 5 Classroom Building #20 • 2nd Deck 703-693-7206

Marine Barracks Washington

Scan the QR code for more information • 703-693-5666 APRIL – JUNE 2013 • Corps Connections 11

[marine & family PROGRAMs] Prepare for your future and meet with local, national, and international educators and employers looking to connect with you!

EFMP Resource Fair


on’t miss the 3rd Annual Joint Services Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Resource Fair on Saturday, April 6, from 10 AM to 2 PM, at the Joint Base Andrews Youth Center, 4700 Yuma Road, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, 20762. This event, a collaborative endeavor by the Joint Services EFMP of the National Capital Region, which includes the MCCS Henderson Hall EFMP, will provide military and Department of Defense (DoD) families with exceptional family members an opportunity to learn all about community and military resources and services that may enhance their lives and those of their family members. Exhibitors from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia will have displays throughout the day. In

support of this year’s theme, “Family and Caregiver Wellness,” chair massages will be available. A light lunch will be provided, and attendees can attend breakout sessions held afterward. The session entitled “Safety Issues for People with Exceptional Needs” will be given by Army LTC Scott Campbell, president of the board of directors of the Autism Society of Northern Virginia and a member of the Virginia Autism Public Safety Workshop. Other breakout sessions include “How to Handle Compassion Fatigue for Caregivers” and “TRICAREECHO Supports & Resources.” The deadline for registration was March 19, 2013. Last year’s EFMP Resource Fair, held at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, featured over 40 exhibitors and included a presentation by Isabel Hodge of the Office of Community Support for Military

by Debbie Baker Families with Special Needs. This was followed by a discussion and Q&A with a panel that included Ms. Hodge along with parents, service members, medical providers, and advocates. We hope that this year’s event will be an even greater success, with more participants, exhibitors, and informative sessions. The Resource Fair is open to all DoD identification card holders and their guests. For more information. please see the event website at efmp.html.

Debbie Baker is the Training, Education and Outreach Specialist Exceptional Family Member Program Marine & Family Programs MCCS Henderson Hall

s2 p r i n g

E ducation & c arEEr F air Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

0 1 3 thursday, april 18

10 aM – 1 pM

Cpl Terry L. Smith Gymnasium

Sponsored by


Résumé assistance and review during the event.

Joint Services

Exceptional Family Member Program


Saturday, April 6, 10 AM – 2 PM Youth Center 4700 Yuma Road Joint Base Andrews, Maryland 20762

For more information: 703- 693-5353 or 12 Corps Connections • APRIL – JUNE 2013

Information and Resources for Family and Caregiver Wellness Free Workshops • Free Chair Massage Scan the QR code for more information

APRIL – JUNE 2013 • Corps Connections 13


Marine Spouse Appreciation Hosted by H&S Battalion, HQMC, Henderson Hall

Rolling Out The Red Carpet for Marine Corps Spouses

Friday, May 10 • 6 – 9 PM National Museum of the Marine Corps

Administrative Offices Bldg. 29, Rm. 305 703-979-8420 ext. 323 Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Guest Speaker Bonnie Amos

Barber Shop Bldg. 31 “The Shoppes” 703-271-8177 Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM Saturday 9:30 AM – 3 PM Sunday 11 AM – 3 PM

Please join us for hors d’oeuvres fun, music, and tours of the museum Open to spouses of Marines stationed in the National Capital Area

National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy. Triangle, VA 22134

For more information 703-693-4840

Marine Corps Family Team Building Bldg. 29, 1F 703-693-4840 Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

The Vineyard Wine & Spirits Bldg. 31 “The Shoppes” 703-979-8420 ext. 105 Monday – Friday 10 AM – 7 PM Saturday 9 AM – 7 PM Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM

Gear Issue Bldg. 27 Smith Gym 703-693-4731 Monday – Friday 9 AM – 4 PM

Military Clothing Sales Bldg. 26, 3F 703-979-8420 ext. 104 Monday – Friday 10 AM – 7 PM Saturday 9 AM – 7 PM Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM Semper Fit Administration Bldg. 29, Rm. 305 703-693-1591 Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Zembiec Pool Bldg. 11 703-693-7351 Check online for seasonal hours

24 hours a day • 365 days a year

Victim Advocacy


703-693-6611 Se habla español

Single Marine Program 703-614-4947

Java Café Bldg. 26, 1F 571-463-1962 Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 3 PM Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM Sunday 10 AM – 3 PM

Sponsored by

Scan the QR code for more information

No federal or Marine Corps endorsement implied


Lifelong Learning Center Bldg. 29 Rm. 205 703-614-9104 Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM Marine and Family Programs Bldg. 12 703-614-7200 Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM Marine Club Bldg. 21 703-614-2125 Monday – Friday Lunch 11 AM – 2 PM Wednesday – Thursday Bar ’til 8 PM Friday Bar ’til 11 PM, DJ at 7 PM

Registration opens April 1, 2013, online through Transportation from Henderson Hall is available. Reservations for the bus are required during registration.

14 Corps Connections • APRIL – JUNE 2013

Smith Gym Bldg. 27 703-614-7214 Monday – Friday 4 AM – 9 PM Saturday 7:30 AM – 6 PM Sunday 9:30 AM – 6 PM

Marine Mart at Eighth & I 202-433-2848 Monday – Friday 7 AM – 6 PM Saturday and Sunday 11 AM – 4:30 PM

Information, Tickets and Tours Bldg. 31 “The Shoppes” 571-483-1963 Wednesday – Friday 11 AM – 6 PM Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM

Cocktail Attire (optional)

Marine Corps Exchange Bldg. 26 703-979-8420 Monday – Friday 10 AM – 7 PM Saturday 9 AM – 7 PM Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM

Career Resource Management Center Bldg. 29, Rm. 100 703-614-6828 Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4 PM

Health Promotions Bldg. 27 Smith Gym 703-614-5959 Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 5 PM

Museum store open 6 – 7 PM

MCCS Henderson Hall

APRIL – JUNE 2013 • Corps Connections 15

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Corps Connections April – June 2013  

Quarterly magazine for Marines, other service members, retirees, DOD civilians, and families in the National Capital Region and beyond.