DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2017 — The Defense Department has rescinded its 2016 policy allowing military service academy and ROTC athletes to be recruited directly into professional sports, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White announced yesterday.

"Our military academies exist to develop future officers who enhance the readiness and the lethality of our military services," White said in a written statement. "Graduates enjoy the extraordinary benefit of a military academy education at taxpayer expense."

By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News, Defense Media Activity May 2, 2017

WASHINGTON -- Heads of military centers and programs targeting post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury in service members and their families reported progress Friday in the timely recognition and treatment of these and related health conditions.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel subcommittee on Defense Department clinical research and program assessment for PTSD and TBI were Navy Capt. (Dr.) Mike Colston, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and Air Force Col. (Dr.) Steven Pflanz, deputy director of psychological health for the Air Force.

WASHINGTON — Nearly 800 Veterans of age 55 and older will join volunteers and rehabilitative professionals from across the country for the 31st National Veterans Golden Age Games, scheduled May 7-11 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

This annual competition organized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and supported by national sponsor Veterans Canteen Service, is the only national multi-event sports and recreational senior competition aimed at improving the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities as a senior adaptive rehabilitation program.

By Kat Bailey, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs April 27, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Female Airmen now have up to 12 months after having a baby to request separation from the service under the Air Force's new Diversity and Inclusion initiative.

This policy change, effective April 26, 2017, gives female Airmen more time to better understand and assess how they can balance a military career and family needs, ensuring they have the opportunity to contribute to mission success.

By Staff Sgt. Michael Hughes, 180th Fighter Wing Ohio National Guard April 28, 2017

SWANTON, Ohio - The men and women who serve in America's armed forces have often been called heroes for their courageous acts and warrior ethos.

These men and women in uniform know that our nation's biggest heroes can come in the smallest sizes and make the biggest sacrifices -- our military children.

Happy Military Appreciation Month! All military personnel face tough challenges when readjusting to civilian life upon retirement, which, for the average officer, happens at age 47. Recognizing their brave sacrifices, especially those of our fallen heroes this coming Memorial Day, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2016’s Best & Worst States for Military Retirees (https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-for-military-retirees/3915/).

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ARLINGTON, Va., May 30, 2016 — It is peaceful at Arlington National Cemetery [ http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/?source=GovDelivery ] with impeccably cared-for grounds and row after row of headstones seeming to march down to the Potomac.

It is a shrine that Americans visit each day to see and touch and be moved -- by the precise steps of the sentry at the Tomb of the Unknowns or the sight of a horse-drawn caisson taking another fallen service member to rest.

By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ORLANDO, Fla., May 12, 2016  For medically retired Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ronnie Jeffrey Jimenez, competing in the hand cycle H4 disability category time trial and criterium cycling competition was more about finishing than medaling at the 2016 Invictus Games this week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World here.

More than 500 wounded, ill and injured service members from 14 nations are competing in 10 sporting events, cheered on by family members, friends and other spectators.

By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ORLANDO, Fla., May 11, 2016  Medically retired Army Sgt. Monica Mo Southall defended her title by earning gold medals in the womens shot put and discus at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World during the 2016 Invictus Games here.

I was defending my title, and they knew that. So they were coming for me, but I pulled it off again, so Im happy, she said.

By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ORLANDO, Fla., May 12, 2016  USA Team captain medically retired Army Capt. Will Reynolds earned multiple medals during the 2016 Invictus Games held this week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World here.

Throughout the week, more than 500 wounded, ill and injured service members from 14 nations have been competing in 10 sporting events as thousands of family members, friends and spectators cheered them on.

Carter Announces 2016s Top Military Installations
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May. 10 2016  Defense Secretary Ash Carter today announced the 2016 recipients of the Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence:

This years award recipients are:

Army Nurse Takes Pride in Representing Team USA at Invictus Games
By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ORLANDO, Fla., Ma. 10, 2016  Fierce competitor Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger will participate in track and field, swimming and rowing at the 2016 Invictus Games being held this week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World here.

During the 2014 Invictus Games, Elmlingers first foray into the competition, she earned gold medals in the 100-meter and 400-meter wheelchair races, the shot put, and in the cycling time trial; silver medals in discus during track and field, the cycling road race, and the 50-meter backstroke in swimming. She took fourth place in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle in swimming.

Prince Harry, Former President Bush Stress Importance of Healing Invisible Wounds
By Shannon Collins 
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ORLANDO, Fla., May 10, 2016  Great Britains Prince Harry, former President George W. Bush, and service members from each of their nations led a discussion at the 2016 Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds presented May 8 by the George W. Bush Institute here.

Former First Lady Laura Bush said she and the Bush Institute leadership were grateful the symposium was addressing an issue that affects so many veterans, as well as their family members, many of whom become their caregivers.

Invictus Games Competition Kicks Off in Orlando
By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charlotte Oliver Defense Media Activity

ORLANDO, Fla., May 9, 2016  Under sunny, clear-blue skies, more than 500 wounded, ill and injured athletes from 14 nations gathered for the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Invictus Games here yesterday.

The Invictus Games are an international Paralympic-style, multisport event created by Great Britains Prince Harry in 2014 after he saw the Warrior Games in the United States. He wanted to demonstrate the power of sports to inspire recovery, support service members rehabilitation and to demonstrate that there is life beyond their disability. 

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., May 4, 2015 - A nonprofit organization geared toward helping military families -- especially expectant mothers whose spouses are often away fulfilling their duties  got a boost from the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a special event here yesterday.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks to military mothers during an Operation Shower baby shower in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., May 3, 2015. The nonprofit organization provides baby showers to military mothers-to-be. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr." 

By Terri Moon Cronk 
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2014 - Military families using fitness centers and respite day care through the Armed Services YMCA will be able to continue their memberships until March of next year, a morale, welfare and recreation program official said yesterday.

MRW program analyst Chris Wright said the Military Outreach Initiative, a five-year contract between the Defense Department and the Armed Services YMCA, was set to expire recently, but it has been extended to March 17, 2015.

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2014 - A senior Pentagon leader highlighted the rights and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families in her keynote remarks at the American Military Partner Association's inaugural National Gala Dinner here yesterday.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams described the Defense Department's efforts in maintaining the readiness and resilience of its military, which she said is "bolstered by the strength of its families."

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2014 - To recognize military spouses' selfless service and sacrifice, First Lady Michelle Obama invited a group of military wives and family members to the annual Mother's Day Tea at the White House today.

Joined by Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and as part of their Joining Forces initiative, Obama and Biden thanked the spouses and families for their service to the nation.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2014 - President Barack Obama has proclaimed May 9, 2014 as Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

The Presidential statement reads:

Our military spouses embody ideals we cherish: strength, loyalty, and commitment. They stand beside those who stand behind our flag, giving their all and making tremendous sacrifices. They shoulder the burdens of countless moves and stressful deployments, and they uphold their end of the bargain. On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we celebrate the force behind the force and show these homefront heroes the full support of a grateful Nation.

My Administration is working to fulfill our sacred obligation to our veterans, service members, their spouses, and their families. We are helping military families avoid foreclosure and predatory lending, and we are investing in their education. We are easing burdens by supporting childcare and assisting with career training. And because our men and women in uniform and their spouses are partners not only in love, but also in law, we are doing everything we can to ensure all married couples receive the benefits they deserve -- regardless of their sexual orientation.

Through the Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are expanding employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, and their spouses while advocating for new legislation to bolster professional development services. And they are forging stronger connections between military and civilian families and engaging us all in the push to give military families the opportunities, resources, and support they have earned -- not only today, but every day. To learn more and get involved, visit www.JoiningForces.gov.

As service members board planes for deployments to foreign lands, they need to know their country will be there for their loved ones. As mothers and fathers take on the work of two, they need to know their neighbors will lend a hand. And if called to make the ultimate sacrifice, troops must know their Nation will honor their memory and care for their family. After everything military spouses have done for America, for one another, for our wounded warriors and the families of the fallen, we must stand beside them. We must make good on our debt of gratitude. May each of us serve our military spouses and their families as well as they serve us.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 9, 2014, as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2014 - The USO and the nonprofit organization Full Circle Home teamed up May 2 to assemble Mother's Day care packages for military moms and other sustainers on the homefront.

The service project, hosted by Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, was held at the vice presidential residence, where Dr. Biden joined USO volunteers and staff members, congressional spouses and others to assemble the packages.

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by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas" - Summer is just around the corner and it won't be long before the kids get bored. Head them off at the pass with adventures and activities hosted by your local library.

Air Force libraries have launched the summer reading program, "Have Book - Will Travel!" and are planning a host of activities for children, teens and adults designed to encourage the love of reading. Program participants can also win prizes for reaching their reading goals, said Margie Buchanan, Air Force Personnel Center libraries branch chief.

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I am looking for volunteers, over 18 years old, to complete surveys on their experiences with being the spouse of a National Guard or Reserve service member who deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn.

As a participant in this survey, you would be asked to recall some experiences related to your life while the service member was deployed and answer a few questions about them. You can also participate if your spouse is currently deployed.

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By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 22, 2013 - Students, teachers and parents of the Defense Department's schools can be confident that despite the department's upcoming civilian furloughs, the school year will start on time, the Department of Defense Education Activity's director said today.

DODEA operates schools overseas and at some U.S. locations for the children of military families.

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By Terri Moon CronkAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2013 - During the busy season of military transfers, adjusting to new communities and registering children for school, more than 2,000 museums across the nation will open their doors, free of charge, to service members and their families as a break from the summer challenges, a Defense Department official said today.

>From Memorial Day, May 27, through Labor Day, Sept. 2, all active duty service members, National Guardsmen and reservists and their families can take advantage of this cultural and educational opportunity in all 50 states.

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American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., May 21, 2013 - A "DOD Live" blog post compiled by Ian Phillips of Defense Media Activity social media operations here provides a wide range of resources for people affected directly or indirectly by the deadly tornado that struck Moore, Okla., yesterday.

Links in the blog post include information or help related to:

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From a National Guard Bureau News Release

ARLINGTON, Va., May 21, 2013 - Nearly 250 members of the Oklahoma National Guard are assisting with victim search and security today in Moore, Okla., where a monster tornado left at least 51 dead, including 20 children, authorities said.

The twister hit yesterday about 3:15 p.m. CDT, when children were still in two elementary schools in the Oklahoma City suburb.

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Good morning, My name is Carolyn Clark,

and I am a research specialist at the VA Medical Center in Memphis, TN.  We are currently recruiting spouses for our Spouse Deployed program which is funded by the Department of Defense and the Memphis VAMC.   We are trying to spread the word about our program and were wondering if you might be able to post our information or forward it on to any spouses you think might benefit from our study.  It's a year-long research study for military spouses or significant others from any military branch across the country.  The service member must currently be deployed for the spouse to participate. The purpose is to evaluate the benefits of a Telephone Support Group and Education Sessions designed to help with deployment concerns.  Spouses will be randomly assigned to one of the two groups.

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 IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 330-13
May 14, 2013

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, was recently accounted for and will be buried along with the 12 other servicemen who were lost in the same crash.

Marine Corps Pfc. Daniel A. Benedett of Seattle, Wash., will be buried May 15, at Arlington National Cemetery, along with Air Force 2nd Lt. Richard Vandegeer of Cleveland, Ohio; Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bernard Gause Jr., of Birmingham, Ala.; Hospitalman Ronald J. Manning of Steubenville, Ohio; Marine Corps servicemen Lance Cpl. Gregory S. Copenhaver of Lewistown, Pa.; Lance Cpl. Andres Garcia of Carlsbad, N.M.; Pfc. Lynn Blessing of Lancaster, Pa.; Pfc. Walter Boyd of Portsmouth, Va.; Pfc. James J. Jacques of La Junta, Colo.; Pfc. James R. Maxwell of Memphis, Tenn.; Pfc. Richard W. Rivernburgh of Schenectady, N.Y.; Pfc. Antonio R. Sandoval of San Antonio, Texas; and Pfc. Kelton R. Turner of St. Louis, Mo.

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by Courtesy story

5/10/2013 - WASHINGTON -- Alicia Hinds Ward, wife of Tech. Sgt. Edwinston Ward, 113th Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Md., is the winner of the 2013 Military Spouse of the Year.

Representing the National Guard, Hinds Ward was chosen among six finalists, each one representing a branch of the U.S. armed forces. She was chosen as MSOY for her outstanding support helping military families with relocation and employment services, as well as her support of special needs resources and helping to build camaraderie among deployed members and their families.

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May 13, 2013

As summer approaches many service members and their families gear up for permanent change of station moves, and retirees head north after spending the winter in warmer climes. An important part of any move for TRICARE beneficiaries is updating their DEERS information to make sure their health care follows them to their new address.

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2013 - First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, hosted 170 military mothers and their children at the White House today for a formal Mother's Day tea. The event was part of the Joining Forces campaign, which provides support and opportunities for military families. It brought military moms, their mothers and kids from around the country to the White HOuse, Obama said.

The guest list also included Lilibet Hagel, wife of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel; Patty Shinseki, wife of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki;the first lady'smother, Marian Robinson; and the military spouses of the year from each of the services, the National Guard and the Coast Guard. In addition, Britain's Prince Harry also made a surprise visit.

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American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2013 - President Barack Obama has issued a proclamation declaring May 10 as Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

Here is the text of the president's proclamation:

As long as there have been courageous men and women willing to protect our Union and our ideals, there have been extraordinary spouses at their side -- patriots in their own right who serve and sacrifice in ways many cannot fathom. They are moms and dads who take up the work of two during deployments, shuffling their careers and packing up their lives whenever our nation calls. They are dedicated employees at our businesses, committed volunteers in our communities, and essential caretakers for our wounded warriors. America's military spouses are at the core of our Armed Forces, and on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we celebrate their contributions to keeping our country safe.

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TRICARE Management Activity

FALLS CHURCH, Va., May 8, 2013 - TRICARE West Region Prime enrollees referred for specialty care from April 1 up to May 18 do not need authorization before seeking care.

The authorization requirement has been temporarily waived due to delays by UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans in processing referrals.

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By Terri Moon CronkAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 - When Fort Carson, Colo., reduced its identification card waiting time from 45 minutes to five minutes, it was a mile marker in the Defense Department's goal to cut the waiting process, a DOD official said.

Carson won a DOD award for its numerous successes in the ID card program, known as RAPIDS, short for Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System, said Mary Dixon, director of the Defense Manpower Data Center.

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By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2013 - Libraries across the Defense Department will begin offering the fourth annual Summer Reading Program to students on their installations to promote reading fun, a Navy General Library official said.

Nilya Carrato, program assistant for the Navy General Library Program, highlighted DOD's Summer Reading Program during an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.

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By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2013 - Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, told a gathering of military wives today that the deployment of her son Beau to Iraq in 2008 made her realize the sacrifices military families repeatedly endure, a hardship she said most Americans will never know.

"I will never forget being at the deployment [ceremony] just trying to keep it together," Biden said in remarks to the 35th Annual Joint Armed Forces Officers' Wives' Luncheon in Arlington, Va. "My children were there, and I wanted to stay strong."

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2013 - The Defense Department is committed to helping military spouses find jobs and offers resources for education, training and networking, the department's spouse employment and career opportunities program manager said.

With Military Spouse Appreciation Day coming up May 10, Meg O'Grady told American Forces Press Service, she wants spouses to know what the program offers.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 286-13
April 30, 2013

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that a Navy pilot, missing from the Vietnam War, has been accounted for and will be buried with full military honors along with his crew.

Navy Lt. Dennis W. Peterson of Huntington Park, Calif., was the pilot of a SH-3A helicopter that crashed in Ha Nam Province, North Vietnam.  Peterson was accounted for on March 30, 2012.  Also, aboard the aircraft was Ensign Donald P. Frye of Los Angeles, Calif.; Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technicians William B. Jackson of Stockdale, Texas; and Donald P. McGrane of Waverly, Iowa.  The crew will be buried, as a group, on May 2 at Arlington National Cemetery.

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wants veterans to know about their benefits, from job and education opportunities to home loans and programs for those who are disabled, a VA official said yesterday.

Veterans caught in today's high rate of unemployment likely can find a job in one of the more than 200 high-demand careers that have been identified by the Department of Labor, said Curtis Coy, VA's deputy under secretary for economic opportunity. Those occupations are listed on the VA's Web site.

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that it will collaborate with the "100,000 Homes" campaign and its 117 participating communities to help find permanent housing for 10,000 vulnerable and chronically homeless veterans this year.

"President [Barack] Obama and I are personally committed to ending homelessness among veterans," Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in a VA news release. "Those who have served this nation as veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope."

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by Staff Sgt. Lorenzo Parnell
ANG Special Staff Public Affairs

5/23/2012 - 5/21/12 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md -- Brig. Gen. Brian Neal, the commander of the Air National Guard Readiness Center here, presented Col. Michael Ogle, the director of logistics for the ANG at the ANGRC, with the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal from the state of Texas Tuesday at the ANGRC for his for exceptionally outstanding performance of duty while he was assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Ogle was awarded the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal for his meritorious service as the commander of the 149th Maintenance Group from Sept. 5, 1999 to March 11, 2011 where his leadership and initiative increased the readiness and effectiveness of his unit while achieving substantial accomplishments for his organization.

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By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2012 - Service members and their families will have free entry into more than 1,600 of the nation's museums this summer through a joint venture between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families.

It is the third year for the summer admission-fee waivers, which representatives from the endowment and the military support organization announced yesterday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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PEACHTREE CORNERS, Georgia - May 23, 2012 - Ashworth College (http://www.ashworthcollege.edu), a leading online school, announced that military spouse Rhonda McMullen is the recipient of a 2012 ACCESS Scholarship. She is currently pursuing an online Bachelor's Degree program in Early Childhood Education.

With the family currently stationed in Landstuhl, Germany, this full-time mother of twin toddlers, full-time student, and full-time employee eventually plans to build a career in child and youth psychology.

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Military Heroes And Families To Saddle Up For Horses4Heroes Operation Free Ride - Sunday May 27, 2012

Horses4Heroes, one of the most successful equestrian support groups for the military is riding into Nashville, Sunday, May 27, from noon to 5:30 pm with a special Operation Free Ride open house for military heroes and their families. The event is being held at   A Cowboy Town in White's Creek. Owner Denise Reynolds, herself a member of the National Guard and home from a recent deployment, knows a thing or two about sacrifice and service!  "This is a great opportunity for our local military families to come out and enjoy not only a day with horses, but a fun-filled day of horseback riding, pony rides, panning for gold, canoeing, fishing, country western music and BBQ. Having been in the military I know family is important and this event goes a long way in helping the families come together," she states.  The event is free and open to anyone with Military ID.

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By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2012 - Exciting changes are underway for military spouses that could affect families who serve for generations to come.

It used to be, in the not-so-distant past, that a decision to marry into the military was a decision to not have a career of your own. Even if a spouse could juggle the demands of military home life plus a paid position, who would hire her (95 percent are female, according to Defense Department figures) knowing she would be gone in a couple of years due to a forced military relocation? And how would she even get to the point of applying for a job if she had to renew her professional license ? nurse, teacher, realtor, therapist, just to name a few with such requirements -- in every new state?

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By Cheryl Pellerin and Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.  
American Forces Press Service

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., May 21, 2012 - The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have joined in a unique effort to combine their health records in what will become the world's largest electronic system by 2017, the secretaries of both departments announced here today.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki briefed reporters after a tour of the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, the nation's first fully integrated DOD-VA medical facility treating service members, veterans, military retirees and dependents.

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The sixteen National Guard state units listed below also allow you to sign up to receive emails about issues relevant to that state unit. Topics range from unit newsletters and general unit updates to job vacancy announcements. You may sign up for one topic or many.

The links below will allow you to view each state's offerings and select areas of interest so you can receive emails from the states you choose about topics you care about.

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 - The Pentagon Channel has teamed up with the annual GI Film Festival to produce a movie night for its viewers in a two-hour block of feature and short films each week, Scott Howe, the channel's operations manager, announced.

The first feature film on "The GI Film Festival on the Pentagon Channel" will be "Flag of My Father," with William Devane and Tom Schneider, at 8 p.m. EDT tomorrow.

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By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2012 - President Barack Obama paid tribute today to a man who died defending his fellow soldiers 42 years and six days ago, and who the commander-in-chief said represents a generation's honorable and undervalued service.

During a White House ceremony, the president awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry, recognizing Army Spc. Leslie H. Sabo Jr., a rifleman with the 101st Airborne Division who was killed in eastern Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Sabo's widow, Rose Mary Sabo-Brown, accepted the award. His brother, George Sabo, also attended the ceremony.

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By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2012 - Military spouses need only the focused attention of employers to improve hiring for the benefit of both sides, a military family advocate who works for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said today.

"This is all about finding those spouses and helping those spouses find you," Laura Dempsey, an Army wife and director of the Chamber's spouse employment programs, told dozens of business representatives who gathered here for two days of meetings as part of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership.

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