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Drill sergeant shows ďŹ ghting spirit, focus on what it means to serve while earning SAMC medallion SEE pAGe 3

Fort Lee

SERVING THE COMMUNITY OF FORT LEE, VIRGINIA, SINCE 1941

April 11, 2019 | Vol. 79, No. 15

MOMC Moment Community shows love for youngest members during annual Spring Fling carnival

SEE PAgE 8

EFMP LEGO PLAYTIME PROMOTES GROWTH Army Community Service event for exceptional family members spurs social skills, creativity and a sense of accomplishment

EVENT HONORS FALLEN HEROES Fort Lee invites Team Lee members, general public to May 11 Run for the Fallen tribute

TIPS PROMOTE SMOOTH MOVES Planning, proactivity imperative during peak season for military moves, says Army G4

KENNER OFFERS EYE CARE Health team highlights services available at Eagle Clinic, steps for getting appointments

SEE pAGe 9

SEE pAGe 4

SEE pAGe 5

SEE pAGe 10


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cOmmeNtAry | hoNoRiNg SERViCE

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SACRiFiCE

WWI service banner spirit lives on as National Gold Star Spouses’ Day

Amy perry

Production/News Assistant Editor

An important observance took place Friday that some in the Army Family may not have been aware of or gave little consideration to amid busy home and work schedules. Gold Star Spouses’ Day is celebrated annually on April 5. It is an opportunity for this nation to express appreciation to those who served alongside their loved one and proudly persevered when the service member died or was killed in the line of duty. The history of this observance is traced back to 1917 – the early days of America’s involvement in the Great War. Capt. Robert L. Queisser, Fifth Ohio Infantry, created a window-hung service banner that symbolized his pride in the family’s two sons serving on the front lines. The idea spread across the country like wildfire, and with the passage of the Selective Service Act that

symbolized a loved one deployed to a combat area. Additional stars were added to the banner for each family member similarly serving. If the spouse or parents learned their loved one had perished in battle, the blue star representing that individual was replaced with a gold one. This simple service banner practice spawned the usage of “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” titles during discussions or recognition ceremonies related to those with a service member currently among the military ranks or who had lost their loved one while that individual was serving, respectively. The tradition continued through World War II, encouraged by the creation of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., in 1928. An official day of recognition, designated as Gold Star Mother’s Day, was enacted by Congress in 1936 and set for the last Sunday in September. Another organization – Gold Star Wives – began operating before the end of World War II and boasted First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who joined the group as a founding member after her husband died in 1945. Their first official meeting was held April 5, 1945, which Contributed Photo stuck as the newly designated annual date for Gold Star would see 2.8 million Americans drafted during World War I, many Spouses Day. The event actually was titled Gold Star Wives families were soon sewing their own banners. Day until December 2010 when the unisex version was A blue star on a white background lined with a red border SEE Gold STAr SpouSeS’ dAy, page 13

‘My vehicle thinks I’m an idiot,’ spouse says after SUV purchase Contributing Writer

“Your fuel level is low. Would you like to navigate to the nearest gas station?” an unfamiliar male voice called out. I glanced at the other seats in my new sport utility vehicle, but I was entirely alone.

Then I saw the words displayed across my vehicle’s digital screen. My car was indeed talking to me. More specifically, it was passively aggressively telling me what to do. It was the first time it had asked me a direct question since I bought it back in January. It further confirmed a suspicion I had been developing

Fort Lee

Commanding General ................... Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg Garrison Commander ....................... Col. Hollie J. Martin Public Affairs Officer ............................. Stephen J. Baker Command Information/Managing Editor ...Patrick Buffett Senior Writer/Special Assignments .......... T. Anthony Bell Production/News Assistant Editor .................. Amy Perry Production Assistant............................... Ray Kozakewicz To reach the Traveller Staff, call (804) 734-7147.

over the last few months … this vehicle was manufactured to believe it is smarter than I am. On the positive side, ever since we made the $400 trade-in of our 2005 minivan with 240,000 miles on her, I had been driving around in the veritable lap of luxury. My new SUV proved itself as cleaner, faster, cooler

The Fort Lee Traveller is an authorized publication for members of the DOD, printed by Gatehouse Media Virginia Holdings, Inc., a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Government, under exclusive written contract with U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee, Virginia. Contents of the Fort Lee Traveller are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government or the Department of the Army. The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee Public Affairs Office. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the U.S. Army or Gatehouse Media Virginia Holdings, Inc. Everything advertised in this publication will be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher will refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation has been corrected.

ON tHe cOVer

lisa Smith molinari

and generally better than my previous vehicle in every way. However, it’s “newness” and chatty, sometimes condescending disposition awoke feelings of nostalgia. When I drove my old minivan, I was the superior one. Aside from the rats nest of wiring and road-dirt-crusted parts beneath SEE SmArT CAr-iSmA, page 13

Patrick Buffett

Kenya Ferrar works her way up the rock wall in the Fort Lee Youth Center during the Month of the Military Child Spring Fling Friday. The indoor celebration also included limbo and tug-ofwar challenges, inflatable bounce houses and a slide, arts and crafts areas, prize tables and much more. It was the second large-scale MOMC event organized by Child and Youth Services here. See more photos, Page 8.


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Soldier endures struggle to earn Sgt. Audie Murphy medallion T. Anthony Bell

Senior Writer/Special Projects

Staff Sgt. Shalanda Banks was brimming with confidence following her battalion-level board appearance necessary for admission into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. The brigade event was all that was left for the Victor Company, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion, drill sergeant. Banks’ performance on the main stage, however, could be likened to the sound of an industrial-grade vacuum cleaner meeting with a piece of fabric, she said. “I ‘sucked,’” Banks laughingly recalled. The 35-year-old’s act of underachievement nearly a year ago was countered with an intense drive for redemption leading to a second board appearance and subsequent 3inclusion into an organization boasting a mere 2 percent of all noncommissioned officers. Her toil and resilience was recognized Friday during an SAMC Induction Ceremony at the PWD Auditorium. The 14-year-Soldier expressed a sense of accomplishment and relief following the occasion. “It was hard leaving my kids and having to endure so much for this board,” she said. “I wanted to quit … but then I remembered, it’s not in my character to quit. That’s not who I am. My daddy always told me that when I start something to always finish.” Banks is the only Fort Lee SAMC inductee for fiscal 2019, a fact that did not resonate with her until the heart of the ceremony. “I didn’t hit me until the medallion was actually placed around my neck,” she said the wife of a Soldier and mother of three. “I understood then it was momentous for my career and the brigade because now I can mentor someone else to do what I did.” Among those in attendance were Command Sgt. Michael Perry III, CASCOM CSM, and CSM Jerome Smalls, commandant, Logistics Noncommissioned Officer Academy, as well as fellow SAMC members, family, friends

Photos by T. Anthony Bell

(ABOVE) Staff Sgt. Shalanda Banks, Victor Company, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion, was inducted into the Fort Lee Sgt. Audie Murphy Club April 5 at the Petroleum and Water Department auditorium. (BELOW) First Sgt. Calandra Moss, Sgt. Audie Murphy Club inductee Staff Sgt. Shalanda Banks, and SAMC president Sgt. 1st Class Jacinta Moore, pose for photographs after Banks was presented with her SAMC induction certificate during the SAMC Induction Ceremony.

and cadre. During the ceremony, Banks was introduced by her mentor and fellow SAMC member, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Williams, who Banks said provided her with both clarity and insight on failure and perseverance. “He told me his story and history about failing and the fact that everyone he knew had some difficulty,’’ recalled Banks. “He also

said, ‘I didn’t want it bad enough.’ I thought I did. When I thought about it, though, I understood – I think I did it because the first sergeant nominated me, not because I wanted to do it for myself.” Banks said her attitude changed when she took the advice of Williams to learn more about Audie Murphy and the multitude of difficulties he faced during combat and

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his post-Army life. Banks said she found parallels in his story, substance and meaning in her own, and a more robust desire to own the experience the second time around. “I embraced it,” she said. First Sgt. Carlandra Moss, the guest speaker, fellow SAMC member and Banks’ former first sergeant, brought out that fact and more during her address. She said Moss has overcome the obstacles of divorce, a break in service in which she lost one rank, the military-family life dynamic and more on her way to earning the SAMC medallion. “The takeaway from her story is she has never accepted defeat,” said Moss, who now wears the diamond for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, CASCOM. “Oh, she has failed – failed several times -- but she has always picked herself up.” Banks said her fight comes from character cultivated from upbringing, experience and faith in the Almighty. “The journey is never, ever easy,” said the Florida native. “It’s always very hard; long days, long nights, it physically wears you down. Mentally, I know I’m tough, I can endure, and I stand on that every day. God keeps me grounded and strengthens me every day. I say my prayers every day and asks Him to keep me for the next day. That’s exactly what he does.” In addition to her SAMC membership, Banks earned an Army Commendation Medal, which was presented by Moss. Her next endeavor is preparation for sergeant first class promotion and NCO of the Year boards. Those seeking membership in the exclusive SAMC are nominated and required to demonstrate leadership, professionalism and overall general military knowledge, the latter gauged during a series board appearances. The failure rate is roughly 50 percent, said Sgt. 1st Class Jacinta D. Moore, Fort Lee SAMC president. Sgt. Audie Murphy was one of the Army’s most decorated Soldiers. The former enlisted infantryman earned several medals including the Medal of Honor during World War II. He is also known as a movie star, singer and for his work with veterans after his career. Murphy died on Memorial Day, 1971. He was 45 years old.


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Holocaust Survivor to Speak at Lee Observance

The Fort Lee community is invited to recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day with an observance April 18, 11:30 a.m., in the Lee Theater. Admission is free and open to the public. Jay Ipson, 83, a Holocaust survivor and co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, will be the featured speaker. The event also will include a special slide presentation. For further details, contact 1st Sgt. Julia J. Etheridge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, ALU Support Battalion, at 804-765-8131.

Leisure Travel Relocates to Bloom Building

File Photo

Gold Star Families take part in the survivors’ first lap during Fort Lee’s eighth annual Run for the Fallen at Williams Stadium last year. More than 6,600 participated and ran or walked more than 15,000 miles in honor of fallen military members. This year’s Run for the Fallen observance is set for May 11, 8:30 a.m. at Williams Stadium.

Annual Run for the Fallen set for May 11 Ray Kozakewicz Production Assistant

Registration is underway for Fort Lee’s ninth annual Run for the Fallen, set for May 11, 8:30 a.m., at Williams Stadium. Participation is free and open to the public. Run for the Fallen is part of a national, nonprofit initiative that started in 2007 when a group of civilians decided to run from Fort Irwin, Calif., to Arlington National Cemetery. Last year, the Fort Lee observance drew more than 6,500 participants paying tribute to fallen military members by running and walking over 15,000 miles. “We would like each participant to run or walk a mile for a service member who lost his or her life,” said Angela Bellamy, Survivor Outreach Service support coordinator for Army Community Service. “Our goal is to educate everyone on the importance of honoring and remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country. We also want to let survivors know we honor them for the sacrifice their families have made by losing their loved ones – and we will never forget. “We want people to understand they can

walk the 1-mile or 5-mile course, and this is not a competitive event,” she continued. “This also is a time for our survivors to come out and show the banners and photos of their loved ones, and let the participants see the faces of these heroes and know their names. The guest speaker will be Army Capt. John T. Rhoten, who was honored as the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Military Mentor of the Year in 2018. He was recognized for mentoring children who lost loved ones while serving in the military. Founded in 1994, TAPS is a family of military survivors who have joined together to find strength and hope in the aftermath of the death of a loved one in service, or in support, of the military mission. He began volunteering with TAPS in 2011 when he was selected to participate in the Active Duty Green to Gold Program. In an email to Bellamy, he said, “I have run in multiple marathons while carrying 12 guys who I had served with or had come to know through their Gold Star parents. My goal is not to achieve a specific time but to try and have my back seen by as many people as possible while I run, so they may see the fallen

SEE Run for the fallen, page 13

Family and MWR Leisure Travel Services has moved to the Bloom Building (former DMV facility), building 3400, Battle Drive. The hours of operation are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. A reopening celebration is set for April 17, 11 a.m. -1 p.m. The event will include cake, punch and door prizes. The LTS facilitates fun and entertaining activities for individuals and families by offering information and often discounted tickets for amusement parks, local and national attractions, vacation packages, cruises, hotel stays and more. For additional information, call 804-765-3789.

Essay Contest Features $2,000 Scholarship Prizes

Ten military students in sixth - 12th grades have a chance to win a $2,000 scholarship through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Rewards of Caring Essay Contest, cosponsored by Unilever. To enter, students with a 2.5 or higher grade-point average should submit an essay in English of 500 words or less explaining their involvement in volunteer service projects and why their community is important to them. Entries must be mailed with a postmark no later than May 2. The essays should be sent to AAFES Rewards of Caring Scholarship 2019 Spring Contest, P.O. Box 7778, Melville, NY 11775-7778. For an entry form and other details, visit www.operationintouch.com.

VWM Schedules 100 Years of Baseball Program

The Virginia War Memorial will commemorate America’s favorite pastime with a special program titled, “Play Ball! 100 Years of Baseball in Virginia,” April 16, 6:30 p.m., at 621 South Belvidere St., Richmond. Admission is free and open to all. Al Barnes, Virginia National Guard Command historian and author, will discuss his new book, “Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball in the Great War.” Joining Barnes will be Todd “Parney” Parnell, COO and vice president of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. For additional details, call 804-786-2060.

Registration Underway for Women Veterans Summit

Registration is open for a Women Veterans Summit set for May 16 -17 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. The free event will focus on issues and opportunities that face the more than 100,000 women military veterans living in Virginia. To register, visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.

Easter Sunrise Service Set for April 21

Chaplain (Maj.) Nathan Witham, Army Logistics University chaplain, will be the featured speaker at Fort Lee’s Easter Sunrise Service April 21, 7-8 a.m., at Williams Stadium. The worship event is open to the public and all religious denominations are invited. The theme of the service will be “He Lives.” Music will be provided by a 392nd Army Band brass quintet and the Fort Lee Chapel Choirs. After the service, guests are invited to a continental breakfast at the event site. The alternate inclement weather location for the service is the Lee Theater, Mahone Avenue.


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Army G-4 offers tips for peak moving season WASHINGTON – Up to 60,000 household goods shipments for Soldiers, civilians and family members are expected to be moved this summer, and U.S. Army Logistics, HQDA G-4, is recommending thorough planning and proactivity to help make relocations less stressful. The peak season for Permanent Changes of Station begins May 15 and runs through Aug 31, with the busiest weeks occurring through July 4. Soldiers, civilians and families should steer clear of moving around the holidays and during the last weeks of May and June, if possible. Avoiding this timeframe will help prevent late pick-ups and changes to deliveries. Advanced planning and preparation are key to a successful move. Upon receipt of orders, Soldiers should immediately create an account or login to the Defense Personal Property System, www.move.mil; upload orders and complete all shipment applications. The site also is the place where users can view customer satisfaction scores for moving companies. The next step is to contact or visit the transportation office (Fort Lee’s is located in Room 119 at the Soldier Support Center) to ensure all preparatory steps were successful. Customers who do this quickly will have a better chance of scheduling pre-inspections and pack-up dates that are most convenient for them. Appointments are set on a firstcome, first-served basis and during the peak season, there may be limited availability of packing and shipping dates. On the day of the move, Soldiers, civilians and families should do the following: • Refrain from scheduling other activities, as the packing and moving process can take the entire day. Make it your priority. • Monitor how packers and movers are performing. If you have a question, call the transportation office. The Army is working to improve the HHG movement process by increasing the number of quality assurance inspections. • Save the contact information for the

Contributed Photo

Peak season for Permanent Change of Station moves begins May 15 and runs through Aug. 31, with the busiest weeks occurring through July 4. Soldiers, civilians and families should avoid moving around the holidays and during the last weeks of May and June, if possible. Avoiding this timeframe will decrease occurrences of late pickups and changes to deliveries.

moving company and quality assurance inspectors. • Obtain a copy of the inventory and make sure to identify and annotate high-value items. Additional information and detailed tips can be found in the “It’s Your Move” guide accessible to www.move.mil users. A 24/7 U.S. Transportation Command toll free hotline will be operational and published in May for Soldier and family HHG problem resolution. Storage of HHG Soldiers are authorized short term storage for 90 days when a shipment arrives at its delivery destination. Short term storage provides enough time to secure a new home. If necessary, a Soldier can request an additional 90 days through the transportation office. Long-term storage is authorized for overseas tours, retirement or separations, and training courses that are longer than 20 weeks. In some cases, single Soldiers and dual military couples can use long-term

storage during a deployment. In those rare instances when household goods are not picked up or delivered on the agreed upon dates, the service member can file an inconvenience claim with the moving company for out-of-pocket expense supported by paid receipts. Soldiers can contact their transportation office for additional information if this situation occurs. Other Entitlements If conducting a first PCS move, moving to or from a foreign country, or making a final retirement or separation move, Soldiers must schedule a counseling appointment with the transportation office to review entitlements. Every moving process begins with orders, which identify what is authorized based on rank, dependent status, the type of tour, as well as any restrictions on what’s allowed to be shipped to the next duty station. Rank, dependent status and sometimes location determine a Soldier’s weight allowance for the shipment and the individual is responsible for staying within

that limitation. If the shipment weight is close to their allowance, the Soldier can request a reweigh-at-destination with the transportation office. Professional books, papers, and equipment – also known as pro-gear – is defined by the Joint Travel Regulations as items needed for the performance of official duties. The maximum weight authorization for pro gear, regardless of rank, is 2,000 pounds. Spouses may request an additional weight allowance of up to 500 pounds if the pro gear is required for employment or community service. Pro gear does not include homeschooling supplies. A spouse’s pro gear request must be submitted to the transportation office for approval before the scheduled pick up. On moving day, individuals should separate all pro gear from HHG, as it must be weighed separately and annotated on the inventory sheets. ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Moves, Military Only Soldiers must obtain PCS orders before they are authorized to conduct a PPM or DITY move. Counseling and approval from the transportation office also is required. If OKed, Soldiers will have the option of moving HHG with a POV, rental truck or hiring a commercial moving company, but all methods require full and empty vehicle weight tickets. Upon move completion, a Soldier must submit receipts, weight tickets and contracts. All paperwork must be dated after the published date of their orders, or they will not be reimbursed. Additionally, taxes and insurance are non-reimbursable for equipment rental contracts and receipts. As an incentive, the Soldier receives 95 percent of the maximum amount that the government would pay to have the HHG moved. If it costs less for Soldiers to move personal property themselves, they will keep the difference. This incentive is based on the weight that a Soldier transports, not to exceed their authorized weight allowance. The PPM or DITY estimator tool found

SEE smooth moves, page 15


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Americas Military | Spotlight

Spc. James M. Whitfield Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Army Logistics University Support Battalion Military occupational specialty: 88M – motor transport operator Age: 21 Hometown: Louisville, Ky. Time in service: two years Overseas tour: South Korea. Describe yourself: “I have a caring, funny and happy personality. On the downside, I tend not to smile a lot, and I can be a procrastinator.” Pastimes: “I like playing video games, I go to the gym and I like drawing digitally using an IPad and Apple pencil.” Worst fear: “My worst fear is leaving this Earth and leaving the people I love behind.” Favorite book: “It’s titled ‘Beastly’ (written by Alex Flinn). I like this book because it’s kind of like a romantic thing. It tells the story about this boy – a ‘pretty boy’ – who has a bet to ask out an ugly girl. The ugly girl turns out to be a witch and in turn, turns the boy ugly. If he doesn’t find love with anybody in one year, he will remain ugly. If he does, he turns back to normal.” Favorite quote: “There’s one quote I like and it’s from the Bible. It says ‘Faith without works is dead (paraphrased from James 2:17).’” What you believe in: “I believe in good things – if you bless someone, then God will bless you; if you curse someone, then God will curse you.” One person you most admire: “My mom. She’s always been there for me. Whether I made bad or good decisions, she’s always treated me the same.” Something no one would guess about you: “That, normally, I’m a quiet person. I do talk a lot more once I get to know you.” The celebrity or historical figure you would like to meet: “Barrack Obama – I would ask him what made him decide to run for president.” If you could go anywhere and do anything right now, where and what would that be? “I would go to Jamaica to sightsee, listen to

Patrick Buffett

Commander pledges SHARP support T. Anthony Bell

the music, drink and try the food with my girlfriend or wife.” When you have been most satisfied: “When I graduated basic training and noticed I had a near ‘six pack.’ I was 202 pounds before I joined and now I’m 180. All through middle and high school, I dealt with a weight problem, so when I finished basic training and accomplished the weight loss, it made me happy.” Your ideal life: “Being married, having kids, having a job and making sure I do what I have to do to provide for them.” If you won the lottery … “The first thing I would do is buy a Dodge Challenger – blue with all the bells and whistles. Then, I would make sure my family – my mom’s and dad’s side – is straight. I would invest the rest.” One life-changing event: “When I graduated high school. In middle school, during the parent-teacher conferences, they told my mom I would receive a certificate (rather than a graduation diploma because of Whitfield’s supposed special needs status). I knew I could do better, and when I graduated with a diploma, I knew I did something they said I couldn’t. I did that for my mom. I wanted to show her I could do more.” Talk about your upbringing: “I lived in Louisville for the first eight years of my life. SEE whitfield, page 15

Col. Hollie J. Martin, Fort Lee garrison commander, signs a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month “Sustain, Support, Defend Pledge” in her headquarters conference room April 4. Looking on are Command Sgt. Maj. Vittorio F. DeSouza, garrison CSM, and Lauren P. Barboza, garrison sexual assault and response coordinator. The opening portion of the display document reads, “As a proud member of the United States Army and the Fort Lee U.S. Army Garrison, I pledge to be a force behind the fight to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault from our community.” Copies of the signed declaration will be displayed in post dining facilities and command buildings around post. A slew of awareness, motivational and teambuilding events are planned for Fort Lee’s SAAPM observance. They include the Army Logistics University Color Me Teal Walk set for April 15, 6:30 a.m., starting in the ALU quad. A Garrison SHARP/BOSS Bowling activity will take place April 23 at TenStrike (see details in calendar, Page 14).


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Holy Week schedule of services at Fort Lee A variety of worship services and events will take place at Fort Lee this month, culminating with the Easter holiday on April 21. All activities are open to the public. For further details on any of the listings, contact the Religious Support Office at 804-734-6494 or visit www.facebook.com/ FortLeeReligiousActivities. April 14 (Palm Sunday) • Sunday Mass (Catholic), 9 a.m., Memorial Chapel, corner of Battle Drive and Sisisky Avenue • Regular Protestant worship schedule at all chapels. April 17 (Special Performance) • Living Last Supper, 6:30 p.m., Memorial Chapel; featuring a Protestant Men of the Chapel cast, this is a dramatization of Jesus’ final meal with his disciples April 18 (Holy Thursday) • Holy Thursday Mass (Catholic), 5 p.m., Memorial Chapel

April 19 (Good Friday) • Catholic Good Friday Service, 3 p.m., Memorial Chapel April 20 (Holy Saturday) • Easter Vigil Mass (Catholic), 8 p.m., Memorial Chapel April 21 (Easter Sunday) • Easter Sunrise Service (all denominations welcome), 7 a.m., Williams Stadium; followed by a continental breakfast on site and regularly scheduled services at all chapels. • Sunday Mass (Catholic), 9 a.m., Memorial Chapel For the early morning Sunday services, off-post visitors should use the Lee Avenue or Sisisky Avenue gates to access post, as the Mahone Avenue ACP doesn’t open until 9 a.m. and all others are closed on weekends and holidays. As a reminder, all visitors 18 years of age and older must present a valid government- or state-issued picture ID to security personnel at the gates to get approval for installation access.

Contributed Photo

Marines capture Mess Night moment

Unit leaders and staff of the Fort Lee Marine Corps Detachment pose on the front steps of the Lee Club March 28 during Mess Night, one of their service’s oldest traditions. It is an opportunity to show pride in wearing the USMC uniform and enhance unit camaraderie. The formal dinner included plenty of pomp and circumstance as well as fun and entertaining moments. There are rules of the mess (standards of etiquette) that can result in a fine of “drinking from the grog” if violated. “Truly it is a great time filled with skits, jokes and speeches,” commented Marine 1st Sgt. E.N. Estremera, “but more importantly, it keeps us connected with the customs and traditions of the Marine Corps.”

Contributed Photo

Drill sergeants teach ROTC cadets Two Victor Company, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion drill sergeants, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Butler and Staff Sgt. Shalanda Banks, conduct a class with Virginia State University Cadets during their weekly lab at the school March 27. Banks and Butler gave presentations as well as conducted a hands-on learning activity with the Military Science I and II cadets including the proper assembly and wear of the Army Service Uniform.


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MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD

SPRING’S

FLING

Kids binge on fun during Youth Services event

F

ort Lee Child and Youth Services’ second large-scale event recognizing the Month of the Military Child was held Friday at the Youth Center. The indoor celebration included limbo and tug-of-war challenges, inflatable bounce houses and a slide, arts and crafts areas, prize tables and much more. Earlier in the week, garrison leaders and community member guests joined CYS staff and youngsters for the MOMC Kickoff Parade. On a smaller scale, the Child Development Centers orchestrated creative drive-in movie events where kids souped-up cardboard box vehicles with hand-drawn artwork and then watched movies with snacks and drinks. MOMC acknowledges the Army Family’s youngest members who face frequent separation from parents due to deployments or training, and often struggle with the hardships of multiple military moves including the loss of friends and acclimating to new schools.

(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT) Aalia Eiegoi and Emma Eagaba create layers of color in small bottles at the sand art table. ● Pfc. Ederson Dos Santos plays with youth participants at the bubble station. ● Airman 1st Class Brittany Bowling from the 345th Training Squadron controls the chaotic kid traffic coming down the inflatable slide. ● Mike Klee from Black Ties Entertainment playfully demonstrates the balloon bow and arrow he created for an excited youth participant.

Photos by Patrick Buffett


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Playtime

S E R I O U S

Legos building session offers outlet

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handful of special needs children, their parents and siblings gathered for the Exceptional Family Member Program’s Lego-Mania event April 3 at the Army Community Service facility. The loosely structured playtime allowed participants to create structures, objects and figures using the popular interlocking plastic building blocks. Although there were periods of laughter and lightheartedness, participants were overwhelmingly thoughtful and engaged in exploring their individual creativities.

Photos by T. Anthony Bell

(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) Jacob Figueroa gently positions a light fixture attached to a Lego skyscraper. ● Marissa and Sgt. 1st Class Peter Lugo observe the structures their children helped to build. ● A child searches through Lego pieces. ● Ethan Tiblow seems to catch an idea. ● Youngsters play among hundreds of pieces. EFMP has plans to offer Lego-Mania events more often during the summer months. For further information, call 804-734-6393.


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See what services offered at KAHC Optometry Lesley Atkinson

KAHC Public Affairs Officer

The Eagle Eye Clinic is just one of many services Kenner provides to TRICARE Prime beneficiaries in the Fort Lee community. Maj. Jasmin Filpo, KAHC optometry chief, said the clinic offers access to a large number of community members. “Eye exams are available for all active duty service members,” said Filpo. “We are currently seeing active duty family members who are age 4 years and older. Exams are available for TRICARE Prime Retirees and their family members and TRICARE for Life-Prime Plus members.” A variety of services are available for anyone receiving primary care at Kenner, and they include: comprehensive vision examinations, refractive surgery evaluations, military eyewear, diabetic eye exams and acute care. Patients do not need referrals for exams. Patients can schedule their appointment on Tricare Online, use the

Lesley Atkinson, KAHC PAO

Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Furness from Charlie Company, 16th Ordnance Battalion, gets fitted for his new glasses with help from Kenner Army Health Clinic optometry technician Donna Buras during a recent appointment. The optical center window located in Eagle Eye Clinic is where beneficiaries go to order glasses and get fitting and repair assistance. Those eligible for exams and eyewear fitting at the clinic include TRICARE Prime retirees and their enrolled family members.

appointment line or at the optometry clinic. Kenner because they can receive a full“Our patients benefit by coming to scope evaluation,” said Filpo. “They can be

treated for ocular trauma and eye concerns such as glaucoma, keratoconus, dry eyes, conjunctivitis and diabetic eye disease with the latest technology in a patient-centered clinic.” When coming for an eye appointment, please bring: ID card (to include ID cards for children 10 years or older), third party insurance compliance card (DD 2569) if applicable, current eye glasses, contact lenses and complete list of medications (to include over-the-counter). During the exam, the eye doctor or optometry technician will ask about medical and vision history. Eye exams usually take about an hour and one’s eyes will usually be dilated to provide a thorough eye health examination. This can result in blurred near vision and light sensitivity for the remainder of the day. Disposable sunglasses will be provided. Contact lens exams are not a TRICARE covered benefit; however, all KAHC optometrists are trained and licensed to complete contact lens exams. Due to doctor’s discretion, the clinic has limited

SEE KAHC optometry, next page


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kahc optometry, continued from previous page

initial fitting for first time contact lens candidates. Contact lens services are not offered at the Troop Medical Clinic 2. “If you currently wear lenses, have a copy of the most recent prescription, and/or at least one set of lenses in the original packaging – the provider may be able to provide this additional exam,” said Filpo. “Please bring this information to your exam and discuss contact lens options with eye care provider during the routine eye exam.” Active duty patients and retired service members with a current glasses prescription (less than one year old) may walk-in to order military glasses from the optical center. Retirees can receive one pair of standard issue glasses per year. Required military eyewear is ordered at the optical center located within the optometry clinics. Family members may take glasses and contact lens prescriptions to any civilian retail optical to purchase their glasses and materials. Contact lens materials are only covered under select conditions. “We understand the unique occupational edemands of our patients and strive to provide

exceptional care,” said Filpo. “One example of this is direct mailing of glasses to one’s doorstep- making it easier to get military eyewear faster.” Walk-in services are available for military physicals (with the exception of physical health assessments), glasses ordering, pickup, and adjustment, MEDPROS updates and driver’s license screening. Hours of operation in the optometry clinic are Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. - 4p.m. To make an appointment, please contact the Kenner Army Health Clinic Appointment Line at 1-866-LEE-KAHC (533-5242) during the hours of 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. After duty hours, beneficiaries should call the Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE and choose option 1 to make an appointment. The Nurse Advice Line is always available. For general optometry information or to schedule an appointment during duty hours, please call 804-734-9253. To cancel an appointment, Kenner requests beneficiaries cancel at least 24 hours prior to their appointment by going to TRICARE online or calling the Appointment Line.

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Neighbor communities seek volunteer support Team Lee members who want to help neighboring communities in an unofficial, off-duty capacity can volunteer at any of the following events: • Petersburg Half Marathon and 5K set for April 20 at Union Station, 106 River St., Petersburg. Support staff will be asked to report at 5:30 a.m. and should be released by 10:30 a.m. Those interested can call Jason Miller at 305582-9680. • Chesterfield County 400th Anniversary Commemoration of Falling Creek Ironworks scheduled for May 4 at 6407 Jefferson Davis Highway, Chesterfield. Set up starts at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided. Those interested can contact Bryan Truzzie at 804-7514946 or truzzieb@chesterfield.gov. • Chesterfield Live! Music Festival takes place May 25 from 3-9 p.m. at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds, 10300 Courthouse Road. Individuals

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can sign up for shifts ranging from 2-to3.5 hours. Those interested can contact Iris Woodson at 804-748-6264 or iris@ chesterfieldchamber.com. As a reminder, service members are prohibited from wearing their military uniform or using government resources (i.e. transportation) while performing certain types of volunteer activities in the local community, such as fundraising for nonprofit groups, commercial sales activity that would give the appearance of Army (or the respective service branch’s) endorsement, security or parking duties, menial labor and more. If uncertain, ask your chain of command. Military leaders needing additional guidance can contact their public affairs office. CASCOM entities should call Dani Johnson at 804-7657191 and all others can call Susan Garling at 804-734-6893. – Staff Reports


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Allies to join Army Futures Command Joe Lacdan

Army News Service

FORT MEADE, Md. -- U.S. military allies have been embedded into the Army’s eight cross-functional teams to strengthen the force against potential adversaries, Army leaders told lawmakers April 2. Lt. Gen. James Richardson said representatives of these allied nations will also be stationed with Army Futures Command, headquartered in Austin, Texas. The general, who serves as the command’s deputy commander, did not specify which countries but said both officers and non-commissioned officers have already joined some cross-functional teams. Allied cooperation will be crucial for future success on the battlefield, Richardson said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “Interoperability is huge for our Army,” he said. “We fight as a coalition and we fight as joint partners and it’s been one of (AFC Commander Gen. John Murray’s) top priorities to ensure that we’re interoperable, not only across the joint force, but our coalition forces.” Joint exercises such as Balikatan and Cobra Gold help foster good relations between partner nations. Balikatan is an annual mili-

Sgt. Alvin Reeves

U.S. and Thai soldiers conduct urban operations training in Phitsanulok, Thailand, Feb. 13, 2019, during Cobra Gold, an annual multinational exercise in Thailand. Lt. Gen. James Richardson, deputy commander of Army Futures Command, said allied cooperation will be crucial for future success on the battlefield during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing April 2, 2019.

tary exercise between U.S. and Philippine forces. In February the Army participated in the annual Cobra Gold exercise, a joint-combined venture that includes Thailand, Singapore and Japan. Additionally, Randall Schriver, assistant

defense secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Wednesday that the U.S. would like to strengthen relations and enhance military ties with Vietnam.

“(Interoperability) is one of the three tenets of both the National Defense Strategy and our Army strategy,” said Lt. Gen. James Pasquarette, Army G-8, emphasizing the importance of allies and partners. “So we have a robust exercise program in both Europe and (the Indo-Pacific) our two focus theaters that help us deepen those bonds,” he added. “We believe it’s making a big difference and we believe in the future. It’s our way of countering the two threats we’ve been talking about here today, Russia and China.” The Army created the newly-formed Futures Command to streamline the acquisition process and to lead the Army’s modernization efforts. In addition to placing partner nation representatives within the command, the Army hopes to reach small businesses and innovators. Last fall, the service stood up the Army Applications Laboratory in Austin, which focuses on helping deliver innovative technologies from small businesses and young developers. “(They’re) bringing technologies that we otherwise would not have seen,” Richardson said. With Army representatives stationed within “incubator” hubs in Austin, the Army plans to encourage contributions to its modernization efforts from small businesses, said AFC leaders.


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gold star spouses’ day,

ydeemed more inclusive and codified into slaw in 2012. - By improving benefits, notifications and assistance given to families, the Gold Star morganizations would make things better for rthe unfortunate constituents who would ewalk similar paths of tragedy in the future. One of the early members of the legacy .wives’ club, Myrtle Tesesco, would often sshare stories of surviving spouses banding atogether, according to the Gold Star Wives website. - “As it was told, ‘I watched her kids at nnight so she could work, and she watched -my kids during the day so I could work,’” -the website account reads. “She added, e‘You know we didn’t get much money back dthen. I had to go to his parents for it, and they distributed it to me.’ - “Myrtle once recounted how she was -notified of her husband’s incident,” the story scontinued. “‘A boy rode up on a bicycle and .handed me a telegram. It said my husband ewas missing in action. He was piloting a n

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run for the fallen,

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plane over the Pacific. I never heard another word. A year later, I received another telegram by the same boy on the bicycle. It said the Department of War regrets to inform you that your husband’s status has been updated from Missing in Action to MIA- Presumed dead.’ Unfortunately, they never found Myrtle’s husband, and she received no more updates on his status. She never received a folded flag and (was given) minimal widows’ benefits.” Without a doubt, receiving a sterile telegram that read “your loved one’s dead” and knowing that couple’s children would grow up without a father had to be devastating. Beyond that, the idea there were few benefits and no one to help guide those left behind is especially heartbreaking. Efforts from Gold Star mothers and wives have led to a variety of changes, including the creation of Survivor Outreach Services, which is part of the Army Community Service organization. SOS – created in 2008 – exists within the

Army Casualty Continuum of Care and is available from the moment a family member is notified of their service member’s death until they feel they no longer need the agency’s support. Many remain active participants of the groups for years. The organization provides support coordinators and financial counselors. Angela Bellamy, a support coordinator at Fort Lee where SOS serves about 200 spouses, said the program is there for families from the very beginning. “We see spouses come full circle with their grief,” she said. “It is humbling to watch how resilient these individuals can be after so much loss. We truly owe them a debt for their sacrifice.” Community members who would like to read more about the SOS offerings here or follow some of the activities they organize throughout the year can follow the group at www.facebook.com/Survivor-OutreachServices-Fort-Lee-VA.

-smart car-isma, continued from page 2 s -the hood and undercarriage – the realm of the bright side of my condition, and less Chuck, Dave or insert other mechanic’s upon the dark side, and to consider what I name here – I controlled everything in that enjoyed, rather than what I wanted.” vehicle. I didn’t complain that the van’s carpets Having put most of the 240,000 miles on were tainted with many years’ worth of her myself, I knew exactly how to manually spilled juice boxes and kids’ upchuck, I just adjust the sound system (with its handy- spritzed them with Febreeze and carried dandy tape deck), the heat and AC, the seat on. I didn’t gripe when the roof sprouted a positions, doors, headlights and wipers. leak, I just covered it with duct tape. I didn’t There was no digital display, no voice demand a new car when the door handle fell recognition feature, no navigation system, off, I just got in on the other side. no Bluetooth capability, no heated steering Through ingenuity and self-reliance, wheel, no keyless start and no camera I became the master of my minivan’s system. domain. The lady of the manor. The queen She was not hands-free, but rather, totally of the castle. hands-on. But now I drive a German-engineered During those meager minivan years, I vehicle with complicated digital systems was a modern-day Robinson Crusoe. My that did not exist when my old minivan was minivan was my primitive island, and I was manufactured back in 2005. My new car forced to make due. Like Crusoe, “I had senses my confusion and takes control, as if nothing to covet, for I had all I was now I’m a complete idiot. capable of enjoying; I was lord of the whole It recognizes my voice, detects my phone, manor … I learned to look more upon knows everyone in my contact list, turns on

my audible book to the page where I left off, adjusts my seat to pre-set specifications, warns me the gas is too low, and offers to find the nearest station. It controls the cabin climate, heats my steering wheel and seat, and knows exactly when a little defrost is needed to avoid fogging up the windows. It even turns my lights and wipers on when they are needed, and off when they are not. Despite all this newfangled automation, I still look back after parking the car and wonder, “Is it really going to turn the lights out for me? What if it doesn’t and the battery goes dead?” Until I learn to trust machines, I’ll wait out in the cold until the lights blink out, just to make sure. My new car has made it painfully clear I am unqualified to operate its advanced systems. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day soon it snaps, “Don’t touch anything! Let me handle it so you don’t screw stuff up.” Although I don’t want my minivan back, I sometimes yearn for the empowerment I felt when I was master of my domain.

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and not forget their service and sacrifice to our country.” In an online article on the TAPS website, he said, “When I first volunteered to be a military mentor in 2011, I felt I was in a place to help others. However, I realized I needed to connect with these families as well. Working with TAPS as a Good Grief Camp mentor for children has helped me I never imagined. As a service member you try to mask your own emotions and feelings, but working with TAPS has helped me cope with my own grief.” He has deployed four times; twice each to Iraq (2003-2004 and 2009-2010) and to Afghanistan (2006-2007 and 2016-2016). As an infantryman, he served as a rifleman, M240B machine gunner, team leader, squad leader and platoon sergeant. A native of Stafford, he enlisted in October 2002 and subsequently served in the 1st Brigade, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., and later 1st Battalion, 3rd Inf. Reg. (The Old Guard), Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Multi-Disciplinary Studies and attended the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leader Course. He is now a military intelligence officer, 25th Inf. Div., Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The event will include a survivors’ lap led by the Virginia Patriot Guard. Participants may elect to walk or run a 1-mile or 5-mile course. Run pre-registration is available through May 7 at https://lee.armymwr.com/programs/runforthefallen or by calling 804-734-6445 or 734-6446. Check-in on the day of the event begins at 7 a.m. Unregistered individuals also may sign up to participate at that time. For pre-registered runners, packet pick-up is available at the Army Community Service facility on Mahone Avenue, across the street from Burger King, May 7-8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., or at the event. Photographs of fallen military service members for display along the run route may be submitted to angela.m.bellamy2. civ@mail.mil or christine.i.murphy.civ@mail. mil through May 7. The rain date for the observance is May 18, 8:30 a.m., with the same check-in time.


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Pictures with the Easter Bunny | April 13

Fort Lee housing families can have a free picture taken with the Easter Bunny April 13, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., at the Fort Lee Family Housing Welcome Center, 1510 Sisisky Blvd. Each family will receive one photo. The last sign in will be 12:45 p.m. For details, call 804-733-1558.

Mount Pleasant ‘Free Market’ | April 13

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church will hold a “Free Market” April 13, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., at 3110 Greenwood Ave., Colonial Heights. All are welcome. The event is similar to a yard sale, but everything will be free to all. The items available include household goods, clothes, books, toys and more. People are asked to bring bags for their items. For details, call Lynette Pomaville at 571345- 6104.

Toddler Fair | April 13

The Prince George Police Department will hold a Toddler Fair April 13, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., at Scott Park/Prince George Library, 6605 Courts Drive. The event is free. The fair will include a teddy bear parade, story time, car seat inspections, hearing screenings, petting zoo and more. Children should bring their favorite teddy bear for the parade. For details, call 804-733-2650.

School of the Musketeer at Henricus | April 13-14

Henricus Historical Park will host School of the Musketeer, presented by The Kingdom of Lucerne, April 13-14, at 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester. Participants can stay overnight at the recreated Citie of Henricus and spend the weekend learning about military and civilian life among the first colonists of the New World including learning how to fire a matchlock musket. Instructors and other support personnel will provide an interactive environment of 17thcentury culture. The cost is $35. Registration is required. For details, visit www.kingdomoflucerne. com.

on transitioning service members and veterans, will hold a networking event April 25, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., at the Soldier Support L OCAL A CTIVITIES FOR THE F ORT L EE C OMMUNITY Center, B Avenue, building 3400, room 125. This free event also is for military spouses. Color Me Teal Walk | April 15 Signup deadline for Bowling To register, visit www.vachamber.com/hirevetThe Army Logistics University SHARP of- Event | April 19 sapr25. fice will host a Color Me Teal Walk April 15, The signup deadline for a Sexual Assault For details, email r.dare@vachamber.com. 6:30 a.m., at the ALU Quad. Awareness and Prevention Month bowling The event will display support for Sexual event is April 19. The “Strike Out Sexual ARC Sound the Alarm day | Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. It Misconduct” gathering is set for April 23, 1-3 April 27 is open to all ALU staff and families who are p.m., at the TenStrike Bowling and EntertainVolunteers are needed to help install smoke encouraged to wear teal. ment Center, 2403 C Ave. alarms with local American Red Cross and For details, call 804-765-4014 or 765-4226 It is sponsored by the garrison SHARP of- area fire departments in homes in Petersburg fice and Better Opportunities for Single Sol- and four other area cities and counties April 27, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. SOS-EFMP Bowling Event Signup | diers. The cost is $5.75 per person. For further details, email lauren.p.barboza. Preregistration is required. April 15 For details, call Christy Carneal at 804-731The signup deadline is April 15 for a chil- civ@mail.mil or michael.k.edwards21.mil@ 5682 or email christy.carneal@redcross.org. dren’s bowling event set for April 23, 4-6 p.m., mail.mil. at the TenStrike Bowling and Entertainment kenner neon 5k, Health Fair | Center, 2403 C Ave. The hosts are Fort Lee BOSS Easter Extravaganza | April 27 April 20 Survivor Outreach Services and Exceptional Kenner Army Health Clinic will sponsor a The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Family Member Program. Neon 5K Run/Walk and Health Fair April 27, Easter Extravaganza is scheduled for April 20, The free event is in recognition of Month of 8-11 a.m. The event is free and open to all. 11 a.m. 1:30 p.m., on the Lee Club lawn. the Military Child. Pizza will be served to all. Registration for the run/walk begins at 8 The free event includes an Easter egg hunt RSVP to SOS at 804-734-6445 or 734-6446 for children up to 12 years old, the Easter Bun- a.m., and the start time is 9 a.m. Participants and to EFMP at 734-7965 or 734-6393. ny and more. Families should arrive by noon will travel mostly through the trails in the Petersburg National Battlefield Park. All chilto participate in the hunt. Boots-to-Business Workshop | dren 10 and under will receive a certificate of For more information, call 804-765-7651. April 15-16 completion. The booths at the health fair will A free self-employment training workshop Exchange Easter Egg Hunt | be located near the KAHC circle drive main will be offered April 15-16, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., April 20 entrance. There also will be a blood drive in the Soldier Support Center, building 3400, A free Easter Egg Hunt will be held April hosted by the Armed Services Blood Program room 124. 20, 1 p.m., at the Main Exchange. from Fort Bragg, N.C. The training is sponsored by the U.S. Small There also will be games, giveaways and reLeashed pets will be allowed. Participants Business Administration and facilitated by freshments at the event. Activities are geared from off post should use the Lee or Sisisky AvOld Dominion University Center for Entertoward preteen and younger children. enue gates when coming to Fort Lee, as Maprise Innovation. Registration is requested. For details, call 804-861-5970. hone Avenue Gate does not open until 9 a.m., For details, call 804-734-6212 or email and the other ACPs are closed on weekends. army.lee.sfltap@mail.mil. Lee Club Easter Brunch | April 21 In the event of inclement weather, updates on The Lee Club will host its annual Easter the status of the event will be posted to www. Signup for 23rd QM Bde. Brunch April 21, 1 p.m. Reservations are facebook.com/kenner.ftlee. SHARP Track Meet | April 17 required by April 17, but sooner is better beThe 23rd Quartermaster Brigade 3rd annual cause seats fill up fast. Rescheduled Canvas, Corks SHARP Relay Track Meet is scheduled for The cost is $26.95 per adult; $13.95 per Event | April 27 April 27, beginning 8 a.m., at Williams Sta- child, ages 3-10; and free for kids 2 and under. The 2nd Canvas and Cork painting workdium. The signup deadline is April 17 by visit- The brunch will feature chicken Shenandoah, shop has been rescheduled to April 27, 4-7 ing the brigade Facebook page. carved ham, steamed pork buns, stuffed floun- p.m., in the TenStrike Bowling and EntertainThe events include the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400 der, custom Belgium waffles, an omelet sta- ment Center, 2403 C Ave. and 4x800 relays as well as an individual Hosted by the Picture Perfect Frame Shop, tion, gourmet desserts and more. 1-mile run and 100-meter dash. Medals and For further details, call 804-734-7547 or the workshop includes wine tastings, light ribbons will be awarded to winners and run- 734-7541. hors d’oeuvres and guidance from trained artners up, respectively. ists. Registration is required by April 22. The For details, call 804-586-9324 or email ‘Hire Vets now’ Event | April 25 cost is $35 per person. camilla.f.lewis.civ@mail.mil. Hire Vets Now, a Virginia initiative focused For details, call 804-734-6137.

for more installation and outside the gate events and activities, visit our online calendar at www.fortleetraveller.com/calendar


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SMOOTH MOVES, continued from page 13

on www.move.mil, under the helpful links section, can provide an estimate of the maximum amount the government would pay to have a member’s HHG moved. The Final Step Once any move is complete, Soldiers should use the online customer satisfaction survey to rate the moving company. The survey results keep the moving companies accountable, and it helps everyone in the moving process – the Army, personal property offices, moving companies, and U.S. Transportation Command. A problem can’t be fixed without knowing about it, and the best source of ideas to improve the

process is the customer Soldiers unable to access the online survey can contact the U.S. Transportation Command Help Desk at 1-800-462-2176 (select option 5, then option 1. The Army G-4 is fully committed to improving customer satisfaction by sharing proactive tips that empower Soldiers and their families with information needed to influence a successful PCS moving experience. – Army G-4

grandmother in Louisville because my mom was in (nursing) school. After my mom became a registered nurse, we moved to Atlanta.” Why you joined the Army: “I went to college for two semesters because I wanted a criminal justice degree. I decided to look into becoming a military policeman to get the experience. My GT score wasn’t high enough so I chose 88M.” Did the Army fulfill your initial expectations? “Not really. Before I joined, I watched YouTube videos about basic training. I prepared myself based on those videos. Once WHiTFiELd, I started basic training, it was nothing like continued from page 6 the videos … For the first three weeks, I was I have one older sister, one younger sister planning to go AWOL. I didn’t think I could and a younger brother. We lived with my do it. Things gradually changed, though. In

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my platoon, we started to support each other, realized the sum was greater than the parts and became like a family. That made graduating a lot easier.” What it means to the wear the uniform: “It’s serving a higher purpose and giving back to your family and your country.” Best thing about the Army: “Being able to travel.” Worse thing about the Army: “Going to the field.” Future plans: “Personally, my plans are to start a family. Professionally, I want to become a sergeant, do the best I can after that, then retire.” – Compiled by T. Anthony Bell, Senior Writer/Special Projects


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Profile for The Progress-Index

Fort Lee Traveller | April 11, 2019  

Fort Lee Traveller | April 11, 2019