Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD

Date: November 15, 2012
Time: 1500 Hours Pacific
Topic: Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD

The November 15, 2012, Episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with Dr. Christal Presley, Ph.D., the author of Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD. Christal Presley, PhD, is the founder of United Children of Veterans (www.unitedchildrenofveterans.com), a website that provides resources about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children of war veterans. She obtained her PhD in education in 2009, and is an instructional mentor teacher in Atlanta Public Schools. 
Publisher’s Weekly said of Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD, “A soldier's return home from war is often just the beginning of another, more internalized battle. In her memoir, Presley recounts 30 days of interviews with her Vietnam veteran father—conversations in which she attempts to understand her father, his PTSD, and her own lifetime of vicarious traumas. Each day is given a chapter, and each chapter concludes with a "Journal" entry that revisits Presley's tumultuous childhood memories. What emerges from this format is a harrowing portrait of the past's ability to haunt the present; Presley's descriptions of the troubled child she was blend all too easily into the confused and searching adult she becomes. In some cases, she is compelled to go to a Veterans Affairs hospital and even to Vietnam. The book's division into 30 days feels increasingly forced and fragmented with the passing of each chapter. Such a story is, by its very nature, fractured, and by the end of the book Presley's father is no less tormented than he was at Day One. Yet Presley has found stability in her father's story, and her willingness to share it—and her own revelations—will be appreciated by readers who deal with any form of wartime PTSD.”

‘Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day: Healing Through the Humanities’ offers new take on Nov. 11 holiday

INDIANAPOLIS) Oct. 23, 2012 – Art and military action each have been catalysts for transformational change, but usually at opposite ends of the human experience. This year, they will come together for “Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day: Healing Through the Humanities,” a free event sponsored by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library on Nov. 11, 2012, at the Indiana War Memorial.

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and supported by veterans groups throughout Indiana, “Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day” combines lectures, performances, sculpture, readings, painting and interactivity in an exploration of how artistic expression can help veterans and military personnel communicate their experiences to others.
The event, taking place on the final day of the citywide Spirit and Place Festival, is a natural fit for the Vonnegut Library, says its executive director, Julia Whitehead.

“Kurt Vonnegut was huddled captive in a former meat locker when the bombs fell that leveled Dresden, Germany, in World War II. He was forced to pull out dead men and women and children and pets, and he was a 22-year-old kid. It’s why he wrote Slaughterhouse-Five,” Whitehead says.

Nov. 11 would also be Vonnegut’s 90th birthday.

“Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day” will feature:

·       Dr. Jonathan Shay, who holds a B.A. from Harvard and an M.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After joining the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs outpatient clinic in Boston, he says his work there “utterly redirected his life.” He shifted from neuropathology to the study of post-traumatic stress disorder.
·       Mark Vonnegut – yes, Kurt Vonnegut’s son – who has written “vividly and personally,” NPR Books said, about surviving bipolar disorder and “returning to a reality that’s been snapped” in the memoir Just like Someone Without Mental Illness, Only More So. His first, The Eden Express, A Memoir of Schizophrenia, has been called an “artistic account of spiraling into psychosis and the social tumult of the 1960s.” This pediatrician and fascinating speaker earned degrees at Swarthmore and Harvard.

·       Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR’s (National Public Radio) Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the country. He is known for his probing questions to the famous and powerful and for his passion for the stories of the less famous, including soldiers. He covered the war in Afghanistan, the hunt for Al Qaeda suspects in Pakistan and the war in Iraq. He is the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi. Inskeep grew up in Carmel, Ind., and graduated from Morehead State University in Kentucky.

·       Renee Klish, former Army art curator and former director/curator of the Chaplain Museum for the U.S. Army. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Among other works, she has written Documenting Military History Through Artists’ Eyes and in Their Own Words.

·       Ehren Tool, a Marine veteran of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He began studying drawing at the University of California, Berkeley, when he left the Corps in 1994. Now a ceramicist, he throws cups from clay and them imprints them with military scenes that range from insignia to shockingly violent. “If some of these scenes were on a 6’x6’ painting,” he says, “they’d be too much.” As he has at other artist-in-residence appearances, he will give the cups away as he creates them while in Indianapolis as a way to provoke conversations about war.

·       Christiane C. O’Hara, Ph.D., of the ArtReach Foundation, who has watched her oldest son deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq with the U.S. Army. She says expressive art is an enormously effective means of helping people cope with trauma because it allows them to express anger, loss, pain and resentment – to work through emotions and discover hope. She is a Red Cross consulting psychologist to the Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, Ga., serves on the Georgia Paving the Way Home for Veterans steering committee and is a USO Georgia volunteer. She earned her degrees at the University of Georgia, the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Emory University Center for Rehabilitation.

·       Tom Hubbard, painter, photographer, ceramicist, from Semper Fidelis: How I Met My Father. Hubbard’s dad was killed in Vietnam when the artist was just 2; what followed, he says was 30 years of not talking about it, thinking about it or, most importantly, feeling it. This exhibit represents his journey to come to know his father.

·       Jason Poudrier, an educator, poet and Oregon native now living in Oklahoma.  In 2003 he was deployed to Iraq, wounded in action, and awarded the Purple Heart. After an honorable discharge in 2005, he completed a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and went on to complete his MEd in education.  Poudrier’s poems have appeared in New Mexico Poetry Review, the Connecticut Review and Sugar Mule.  His recently published book of poems is entitled Red Fields – Poems from Iraq.

The agenda for the day:
12:30 – 1:50 p.m. Auditorium
·       Video message from Tom Steinbeck, John Steinbeck’s son
·       Kurt Vonnegut’s War Experience and Slaughterhouse-Five – Mark Vonnegut
·       Keynote – Dr. Jonathan Shay
·       Breakout Sessions Preview
2 – 3:30 Breakout Sessions (concurrent)
Session 1:
·       Hands-on Art Experience, Christiane O’Hara, ArtReach, moderator
Session 2:
·       In Conversation (smaller group sessions) with:
- Mark Vonnegut
- Dr. Jonathan Shay, interviewed by Steve Inskeep
Session 3:
·       Jason Poudrier, poet, and Dr. Elizabeth Weber, poet and essayist, University of Indianapolis
·       Writing Workshop – The Writers’ Center of Indiana, Barbara Shoup, executive director
Session 4:
·       Ehren Tool and Tom Hubbard, visual artists
·       Rene Klish, former director/curator of the Chaplain Museum for the U.S. Army
Session 5:
·       Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change – viewing and discussion of the Sesame Street special presented by WFYI
3:40 - 4:30 Auditorium
·       Performance, “The Tiger’s Whisker” - Doug Berky, mask and mime artist
·       Panel Discussion
·       A Message from Andy Jacobs

Visit VonnegutLibrary.org to keep up with this event on Facebook. The event is free and open to the public, but you can secure a spot in the auditorium by registering through VonnegutLibrary.org or SpiritandPlace.org.

About the Vonnegut Library:
The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library is a public-benefit, nonprofit organization championing the literary, artistic and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist and Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut. The library seeks to engage people, especially young people, in the written word – including their own. In the historic Emelie Building in downtown Indianapolis (340 N. Senate Ave.), thanks to the support of Katz & Korin, PC, the library is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. except Wednesdays and major holidays. Admission is free, donations appreciated. vonnegutlibrary.org.

About the Spirit & Place Festival
The Spirit & Place Festival promotes civic engagement, respect for diversity, and public imagination through 40 events each year during November. Spirit & Place is a collaborative community project managed by The Polis Center, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Major financial contributors include Lilly Endowment Inc.; the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, BohlsenPR; The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of CICF; IUPUI; IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; University of Indianapolis, and more than 200 other community partners and donors. For more information, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit www.spiritandplace.org. The 2012 festival takes place November 2-11.

Contact Cindy Dashnaw, cdashnaw@bohlsengroup.com, 317.432.2456

A Day in the Life: Buccaneers in Alaska

by Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/17/2012 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska  -- The 428th Fighter Squadron from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, has settled into their temporary home in Alaska.

The 428th FS "Buccaneers" are stationed at MHAFB as part of a unique, long-term partnership with the Republic of Singapore Air Force. The U.S.-flagged 428th FS is dedicated solely to the training of Singaporean F-15SG aircrews and operations of their country's newest fighter platform. The combined effort on this program helps ensure a strong U.S.-Singapore relationship.

The Buccaneers are currently participating in RED FLAG-Alaska 13-1, and the rigorous flight schedule has kept them extremely busy.

"I usually wake up around 3 a.m. and am at work by 4 a.m.," said Republic of Singapore ME1 Wee Tiong Lim, flight line crew member. "Our shifts are between 8-10 hours a day and the flying schedule for that day determines when we prepare the aircrafts for launch."

Once the jets are in the air, ground personnel head into the hangar and wait to recover the aircraft upon return.

"While we are waiting for the jets to return we ensure the flight line is prepped for their return," said Lim. "This is also the time to ensure any orders for equipment and parts are placed."

The extreme cold and unpredictable weather proves a nuisance to the Buccaneer maintainers but accomplishing the mission is priority number one.

"This is my first time in Alaska and I am really enjoying the exercise," said Lim. "We spend a lot of time out on the flight line in the nasty weather but we always get the job done."

Hard work from ground crew members, despite the elements, has made quite an impression on many aircrew personnel.

"The professionalism and hard work from members of our ground crew is much appreciated," said Republic of Singapore 1st Lt. Raymond Teo, 428th FS pilot. "Regardless of the temperature outside or snow or rain, our aircraft are prepared to fly every day because of their efforts."

ACC commander to be featured speaker for 552nd Air Control Wing heritage event

by Darren D. Heusel
Tinker Public Affairs

10/22/2012 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. Mike Hostage, is set to speak at the 552nd's Heritage Celebration dinner Oct. 27.

General Hostage, the former 552nd Air Control wing commander who served from 2002 to 2004, says he is looking forward to returning to Oklahoma to share in the wing's heritage celebration.

Since its inception more than 50 years ago, the men and women of the 552nd ACW participated in every major operation the United States has conducted, from Vietnam to the current overseas contingency operations, allowing the unit to earn the nickname "America's Wing."

General Hostage's most memorable moments from that long history were sending 19 jets and all their crews off to war at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, then seeing them all come home many months later in "a spectacular mass arrival."

The general says it's important to understand the wing's heritage and history to help determine how to best move forward and meet future challenges.

"As professional Airmen, we should study our past challenges and the examples of leaders who helped overcome those challenges through innovation and courage to help chart our own course," he said. "From the Air Force Sustainment Center and its critical maintenance and supply-chain management to the associate units such as the 3rd Combat Communications Group and the 552nd Air Control Wing who manage the battle space and command, control and communications elements, everyone on Team Tinker helps ensure combat capability for the Air Force and our joint forces."

Today, the Airmen and families who serve at Tinker "provide critical support to our warfighters every day," General Hostage said.

The dinner, which includes a 6 p.m. social and after-dinner dancing starting at 9 p.m., concludes a three-day celebration at Tinker.

Tours of the E-3 "Sentry" Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS, Block 40/45 upgrades for members of the 552nd ACW, the 513th Air Control Group and their spouses kicks off the celebration Oct. 25. The Block 40/45 modification was a
$2.9 billion initiative to upgrade the computer system, ground systems and infrastructure on the AWACS.

On Oct. 26, members of the Airborne Early Warning Association will be hosting their semi-annual luncheon at the Tinker Club, followed by a discussion panel at the Base Theater and an "old meets new" icebreaker at the club.

On the morning of Oct. 27, wing leaders will participate in an AWACS park dedication on Sooner Road south of S.E. 29th Street across the street from the Vance Gate. The base also will host a 5K run/walk in Del City, followed by dinner that evening.

The idea to host a wing heritage celebration stemmed from discussions held last year to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the E-3. Belinda Journey, 552nd ACW protocol chief, says the purpose of the events is to educate as well as celebrate.

"A lot of people in the wing don't understand what goes on in the next squadron over," she said. "If nothing else, we want our wing members and community leaders to gain a better understanding of our overall mission and the men and women who perform that mission day in and day out."

Army, DOD Must Adjust to Budget, Force Structure Changes

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2012 – The Army will continue to customize its mission objectives based on budget and force structure changes, a senior defense official said here yesterday during the 2012 Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.

Todd Harvey, director of force development for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said a defense strategy drafted in January to meet severe spending cuts over the next decade reflected DOD’s analysis of the preceding decade.

“We saw a transformation of a number of operations and activities that we had been engaged in over the past 10 years, [leading] us to believe we could begin shifting our focus to broader vistas,” he said.

In addition to drawing down operations in Iraq, DOD steadily fostered the Afghan security lead transition as the fracturing of al-Qaida’s central control and leadership of terrorist operations persisted, Harvey said.
Although the potential to examine future challenges emerged, Harvey said, the partial list of what was to come was “daunting.”

“The variety, complexity and types of challenges we expected to face were remaining at least constant, and in some cases, even increasing,” he said.

Harvey cited upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East and the “volatile” standoff with Iran, in which economic sanctions created an increasingly unpredictable situation, as examples. He also explained that a “shrouded leadership transition” in North Korea created its own dynamic of potential unpredictability, while al-Qaida local franchises mushroomed throughout the world.

Harvey also noted China’s increasing devotion to economic and military resources as the nation continued determining how it will interact among its closest neighbors and with the United States.

This changing geopolitical landscape and the rise of asymmetric capabilities such as weapons of mass destruction and cyber issues are not entirely new, but their concurrence has potential to create particularly volatile situations for the United States, he said. Meanwhile, he added, Middle Eastern and North African upheavals continue to provide opportunities for local radicals to establish a foothold.

“As government-controlled stockpiles of sensitive technologies and capabilities began to decline, those systems become available to radicals and other disruptive forces,” Harvey said.

With such potentially pendulous swings and a high degree of unpredictability, the Army and the Defense Department must adjust their strategies to best prime for future missions, Harvey added.

But what to cut isn’t always cut and dried, officials discovered in determining how to absorb the spending cuts, Harvey said. “There really wasn’t anything that we had been doing that we felt secure enough to risk at adequate levels … to throw something overboard,” he explained. Even in the realm of humanitarian assistance, he added, a senior leader might struggle with the decision to cut such a mission, opting instead to preserve the option to react to earthquakes, floods and other disasters.

Harvey noted that Pentagon officials have discovered no “free lunch” in functional missions or regional engagement.

“The force needs to be agile, versatile and ready to perform a range of missions,” he said.

These demands pose unique challenges for each of the services, Harvey added, particularly the Army, in light of force structure constraints.

“The challenges are as broad as they’ve ever been,” he said, adding that the Army will continue to seek the right balance among investments in force structure, readiness and modernization.

“We’re trying to stretch a shrinking force across as least as much mission as we’ve had to date,” he said.

Through Airmen's Eyes: Ultimate wingman helps save friend's life

by Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

10/23/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

An Airman here who noticed the suicidal signs of a friend reported the problem and helped save his friend's life.

Airman 1st Class Albert Chang, 375th Comptroller Squadron, not only got his friend and fellow service member the help he needed, but also served as a wingman to actively be involved with his friend's life when he started noticing his friend's unusual behavior.

"We first met in the courtyard back in the dorms," said Chang. "We became good friends within the first year of knowing one another."

When they met, that Airman was always known to be the comedian of the group.

"He was always making the most absurd, obnoxious jokes," Chang said. "It always caught you off-guard, and always made you laugh."

In May 2012, the Airman was notified that he would face an administrative discharge because of the Date of Service rollback.

"When he first broke the news to me, he was pretty nonchalant about it," Chang said. "He seemed as though he was alright with it. He was talking about how he had jobs back home and how everything would be fine, but he had a lot on his plate."

Chang helped him prepare for his move out of the Air Force as much as possible, as well as being there for him as a friend.

"One night I was helping him clean, it was just the two of us, and he just broke down and started crying," Chang said. "I'd never seen him like that.

"He was always smiling and making jokes. I didn't know what else to do, I just hugged him," he continued. "That calmed him down a little bit."

Showing the distraught Airman that someone cared enabled him to open up and allowed Chang to see what was really on his mind.

"He told me that his parents actually kicked him out of their house; he joined the Air Force because of it," he said. "He kept reiterating how disappointed his parents were going to be. That's when I first noticed that this was actually a big deal to him."

After seeing what his friend was going through, Chang decided to dedicate more of his time for his well-being.

"The more time I spent with him, the more I noticed," he said. "He would crack a joke every once in a while, but I definitely noticed a change in his demeanor. He became quieter, and when he did talk it was very under-spoken.

"A couple of days had passed; we were hanging out in a friend's room," Chang continued. "I'm not sure if anyone else heard it, but he said 'God, I just want it to end. I just want it all to end.'

"I've never encountered anything like this before, so realistically I didn't know the signs," he said.

Feeling that his friend's condition was getting worse, Chang decided to take his efforts even further.

"During his last week, he didn't have to go into work, so when I went on my break I would take him out to lunch and just talk with him. As small as that seems, I feel that it helped," he said. "The more time I spent with him, the more I tried to prepare myself, but I didn't know what to do. I could just talk to him, but I felt that that was inappropriate with his separation right around the corner."

The closer the separation date came, the more and more signs followed. Chang realized he couldn't just stand by much longer.

Two days before his friend was supposed to leave, Chang went to the Airman's dorm and found all of his things outside his room. Throughout the day, the unstable Airman had been giving his stuff away.

"At this point it had become blatantly obvious that I had to do something," he said. "I have been through suicide awareness training and these were the signs that we needed to look out for. It was just crazy that it was happening in real life.

"He said he just didn't care anymore," Chang continued. "The trigger for me was when he said he couldn't sleep anymore, because he stayed up thinking about how he just wanted everything to end. We went out to the courtyard with two other friends; I asked them to keep an eye on him for a second."

Chang then left to call his first sergeant after he overcame the fear of what his actions could do.

"I was a bit worried to be honest, because of the negative stigma of calling the authorities on a friend," he said. "I'm sure that's a big barrier in a lot people have, so I was a bit hesitant at first."

Approximately five minutes after the call, the Airman's first sergeant and security forces arrived to take care of him.

"That was the last I saw of him for two days," he said. "I don't know why, but I felt bad. I felt guilty that he had to be watched because of me.

"I was walking out of the Shoppette when I saw him walk in with his supervisor," he added. "The very second I saw his face, I thought he was going to be mad, but when he saw me he got this big smile on his face. Then he came up to me and gave me a really tight hug. I'll never forget what he said to me. He said, 'Thank you. I was in a really dark place in my life.' I didn't know what to say to that."

Chang and his friend still keep in contact even though he is no longer in the military.

"I don't feel like I did anything special," he said. "I feel like if I was the guy exhibiting suicidal tendencies, someone would help me. I was just helping a friend.

"It doesn't take much to help someone out," Chang added. "Even the smallest action could save a life, but you will never know unless you try."

Officials improve process for transitioning to civilian life

Officials improve process for transitioning to civilian life

By David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON (10/23/12) - Officials from the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments participated in a panel discussion here Oct. 19 on efforts to prepare service members for the transition to civilian life.
Danny Pummill, director of VA/DOD liaison for Veterans Affairs, and Susan S.

Kelly, director of DOD's Transition to Veterans Program Office, explained the new Transition Assistance Program during the 10th annual Military Reporters and Editors Conference.

"This isn't your death-by-PowerPoint TAP from the 1990s," Pummill said, referring to a side-intensive one-day seminar for transitioning service members in days gone by. "[The new TAP] is well planned and thought out.

"[TAP] is an adult, interactive learning environment similar to college, with small-group [discussions], as well as one-on-one-counseling," he said. "It used to be we had a classroom of upwards of 350 people. Now, our max is 50, and spouses are encouraged to attend."

A number of pilot studies were conducted over the past year, Kelly said, including with the National Guard and reserves.

"We found that the needs of singles separating from a first tour were different than, say, a career soldier with a family getting ready to retire,"

she said. "We also found that each of the services have different cultures and 'personalities.' For example, Soldiers and Marines respond to [information] differently than a roomful of airmen."

The new TAP will feature pre-separation classes ranging from health care, life insurance and disability to higher education, vocational training and home loans, Kelly said, and other parts of the VOWS Act will be implemented in phases through 2014.

By the end of 2013, Transition Goals-Plans-Success, known as GPS, will replace TAP, Kelly said. She explained that GPS is a classroom and one-on-one session with service members and their spouses to formulate a plan, including a detailed budget.

The plan could be vocational training or college, she explained, in which case the service member would meet with a representative from that institution and begin the paperwork process. Service members wanting to start a business would meet with a representative from the Small Business Administration to go over the feasibility of their business plan and funding resources.

For those wanting to enter the private or government sector workforce, she said, career planners would assist with resume writing and job searches, and meetings could be arranged with subject-matter experts in the targeted occupational fields. Service members also would have a "Plan B" in place in case something didn't work out.

Other aspects of the plan include meetings with counselors to focus on the social and psychological factors, which Kelly said are just as important to transitioning service members because they are used to living in a structured environment and need to be better prepared to be on their own.

Kelly said special efforts are being made to reach out to Guard and reserve service members to ensure they are getting all the assistance they need. For those living far from military installations, she said, transition teams would be sent out, and some training that otherwise would take place in a classroom could be done in a "virtual classroom" setting.

By the end of 2014, service members will prepare for transitioning "across their military life cycle," Kelly said. In other words, training programs with timetables will be formally instituted as soon as a service member enters the military. "In addition to being 'military ready,' they will now be 'career ready,'" she added.

The transition effort established by the VOW Act is a joint effort of the Defense Labor, VA, and Education departments, along with the Small Business Administration, the Office of Personnel Management and the White House Domestic Policy Council.

"If someone told me six government agencies would come up with a plan, I wouldn't have believed it would work," said Pummill, who served in the Army for 34 years. "I've been meeting with them for a year now, and we're working things through.

"It's a model for how government agencies can get together and share manpower and resources and do the right thing, in this case for service member, and this is best plan possible to take care of our service members," he added.

AUSA: Gen. David Rodriguez foresees ‘stronger partnership’ at aligning forces

By David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON (10/23/12) - The National Guard and Reserve, along with First Army will "form an even stronger partnership" at regionally aligning their forces and participating in an integrated training environment, the leader of U.S. Forces Command said Monday.

Gen. David. M. Rodriguez provided his views on the way ahead for the Guard and Reserve during the Association of the U.S. Army's "MG Robert G. Moorhead Guard/Reserve Breakfast.

"Regional alignment" refers to Army active and reserve-component units and Soldiers focusing on military-to-military partnerships in a specific world region, and includes receiving cultural and language training and familiarity with that area's people and Soldiers and enhanced joint/combined military interoperability.

"We're looking to provide regionally aligned forces earlier in the ARFORGEN (Army Forces Generation) cycle, to allow commanders to plan and execute both decisive action training and focus on mission-specific tasks required to be most effective in that region," he said. ARFORGEN is a three-cycle model:
reset, train/ready and available for any mission – its intent is to restore balance to the force and make deployments more predictable.

"The Guard and Reserve have a long history of successful engagements abroad,"

Rodriguez said, referring to past and current regional alignment efforts.

"Those relationships were built on state partnerships and other exercises and training and are as strong as they can be in in the Guard and Reserve. We'll continue to take advantage of those relationships to further influence stability around the world."

Integrated training environment refers to the Army's efforts at preparing units and developing leaders for emerging technologies through real and virtual training exercises.

Rodriguez listed a number of reserve-component units that operated "superbly"  in recent exercises, some in preparation for combat in Afghanistan.

"Exercises such as these serve as a foundation as we move forward and implement the secretary of the Army's total force policy," he said. "While (integrated training) has been a commonplace way to operate in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will continue to refine the integration of the components in training as much as we have for preparing for combat in the past."

He said the Army's citizen-Soldiers continue to train and deploy worldwide, citing the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade from the South Carolina Guard, deployed on a NATO mission in the Balkans, and augmented by other Guard and Reserve units across the U.S.

Speaking of his own command, Rodriguez said "FORSCOM provides a rapid-reaction capability for all the homeland defense emergencies; able to execute critical missions at home, such as crisis response, disaster relief, drug interdiction and many other missions. That responsiveness is due in large part to level of readiness we've achieved over last 11 years."

Citing "a period of constrained fiscal limitations," he added: "No matter what happens in the (upcoming) budget wars, the Army will fulfill its commitment to the American people and we'll continue to do that as we make critical decisions as we balance readiness against risk. And, we will always maintain our role as the dominant land power in the world."

Rodriguez also saluted the men and women of the Guard and Reserve, including Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Ahern, of the Illinois Guard who received a Silver Star and Staff Sgt. Phillip Elliott, a Reservist in the 377th Military Intelligence Battalion, in Orlando, Fla., who earned a Bronze Star, both for actions in Afghanistan.
"These citizen-Soldiers represent Army values and are among the hundreds of Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers who received awards for valor in combat" over the past 11 years, he said

Thousands of National Guard members run the 28th Army Ten-Miler, focus on building resilience

By Army National Guard Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. (10/23/12) - Several thousand members of the National Guard were among the approximately 30,000 registered military and civilian participants for the 28th running of the Army Ten-Miler here Sunday.

The race is the Army's premiere running event, and is the third largest in the world and attracts several competitors, such as Army Sgt. 1st Class Tera Vandenheuvel, more than once.

"This was my third Army Ten-Miler," said Vandenheuvel, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Solder and Family Support Division at the Army National Guard headquarters. "I do it every single year [because] it's a great cause and I love to be out here and run."

This year, as in every year, National Guard personnel set up what they call a HOOAH! tent – a place for competitors to gather after the race and support one another. This year, the theme of that tent was about resiliency.

"This year's theme is 'Shoulder to shoulder: We stand for life,'" she said.

"This year we've experienced one of the highest suicide rates among our Soldiers, and we recognized that being resilient is part of suicide prevention. A resilient Soldier is a ready Soldier, and a ready Soldier will make less risky behavioral decisions."

Vandenheuvel is a resilient Soldier herself, and uses running as the mechanism to maintain that attitude.

"Running has always been a big thing for me," she said, "just to stay resilient. [Running is] always a challenge – there's always great rewards, there's great challenges – and it's a personal victory and I love that it's about competing within yourself and meeting your own goals, more so than racing the person next to you."

Vandenheuvel said it was just as equally important for the public to be aware of the issue of suicide and how resilience can help build a stronger force as it was for the military to understand.

"We need to bring awareness, not only to the rising suicide rates, but also to the health of our force," she said. "We always focus on our Soldiers being mentally and physically strong, but sometimes they just are not," however, being resilient is not only knowing when you need to ask for help, but providing help as well.

"It's really important that we get out here and show that it's okay – we're all here for each other," she said.

Senior leaders of the National Guard recognized the need for awareness too and how the HOOAH! tent can provide that, but also that it is a tool for camaraderie between the services and the public.

"It's a great way for the Army camaraderie to come together," said Army Gen.

Frank Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau. "We have a number of states that participated today, and we have the National Guard HOOAH! Tent here so ... we have a place to gather up and get a chance to talk about the accomplishments of our Guard here today, and also talk [to the public] about what we do as the Guard with our active and Reserve counterparts."

And those accomplishments show the strength of the National Guard as a member of the total force, said Grass.

"We have the strongest National Guard we've ever had in our 375-year history, and we are going to remain strong," he said.

Typhoon threat sends birds to the hangars

by Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
36th Wing Public Affairs

10/23/2012 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- With the potential of winds hitting near 50 knots over the weekend, the decision was made to secure all fighter-sized aircraft in hardened structures on the flightline here, Oct. 5.

"The winds got close to our magic number of 50 knots, which is the wind speed where we are required to secure most of our fighter aircraft in hangars on Andersen," said Capt. Christopher Smith, 36th Maintenance Squadron operations officer. "Weather can change, and if it did change for the worst during the weekend, we were prepared and had everything squared away."

In the event that winds are predicted to reach typhoon strength, which is 64 knots sustained, the 36th MXS drafts plans for several possible courses of action.

"If there is a possibility that the wing commander will make the decision to evacuate the aircraft, we first start by prioritizing the flyable aircraft," said Captain Smith. "After we establish how to go about the evacuation, we then build a plan to protect the aircraft not capable of evacuation."

To ensure the mission can continue, the wing also disperses the rest of its mission critical equipment in the hangar, such as aerospace ground equipment, crash recovery cranes, spare engines, and even ambulances.

"For typhoons, we have plans to disperse and place mission critical equipment around the aircraft so that if something happens to one of the hangars, we still have redundant capability," said Captain Smith.

On the other hand, if the decision is made that an evacuation is not necessary but there are impending high winds, as it was the weekend of Oct. 5, the units are required to place as many of the smaller aircraft in the hangars as possible to protect them from winds and flying debris.

Andersen units make sure that everyone is assisted and that all aircraft are accounted for. From aircraft units that are deployed to Andersen, to transient aircraft transporting cargo or parking for the night, different base units and agencies provide accommodation, manpower and equipment as needed.

With an abundance of transient aircraft that fly without maintenance units, passing through the Andersen's flightline on a daily basis, the 36th MXS transient alert's main task is to assist crews and move aircraft that are here for a short period of time.

"If the aircraft is just passing through and is down for maintenance, we move the aircraft and make sure it gets where it is supposed to be," said Glen Walker, 36th MXS transient alert manager.

Along with Transient Alert, the deployed-in F-22 Raptor crew chiefs were busy with moving all the F-22s in the hangars on the Oct. 5 hangar movement. The crew chiefs were making sure that the aircraft were protected in the event of strong winds hitting the island.

"We were instructed to hangar the aircraft because strong winds were expected that weekend," said Staff Sgt. James Fleming, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-22 crew chief. "It was not a difficult task to accomplish since we planned on how to move and situate the aircraft in the hangars beforehand. With help from the members of the Global Hawk detachment, who repositioned their aircraft to make room for ours, we were able to execute seamlessly."

The 36th Wing has hosted large-scale exercises and has provided shelter to many aircraft that have come to or through Andersen. Through the aircraft movement on Oct. 5, Andersen tested its capability in securing aircraft during detrimental weather, ultimately providing the wing a better idea of how many aircraft they can support and how long it will take to safely secure all aircraft in a hardened shelter.

"We have proven that we can accomplish monumental tasks in the short time allotted and that we are capable of securing much more of our assets than we thought possible," said Captain Smith. "From the Global Hawk detachment, deployed aircraft maintenance units and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE preparing and providing hangar space to our own 36th Wing units, such as the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron helping with our hangar doors, the success of this aircraft movement and the success of those in the future are products of a base-wide effort."

Declassified document shows 'real' flying saucer

by Airman 1st Class R. Alex Durbin
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

10/23/2012 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) -- The grainy film showed a round ship floating out of a hangar. Its silver, aluminum exterior glinted in the sun as it hovered a few feet off the ground. As it glided over a pool of water, it kicked debris into the air and the glass canopies of the two cockpits were showered with grass and gravel as the saucer flew forward.

It may seem like a scene out of a classic Hollywood blockbuster, but the footage is documentation of testing held by the U.S. government on an experimental aircraft. This prototype, and fascinating piece of American history, sits on display at the National U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and another resides at U.S. Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Va., where plans are underway for its restoration.

With its round design standing at nearly five feet tall and 18 feet wide, the Avro Canada VZ-9AV Avrocar looks like something out of a 1950s science-fiction film. While it may look like something a martian would fly, the Avrocar is anything but science fiction.

Newly declassified documents concerning the Avrocar project were released Oct. 8, when they were published by the U.S. National Archives. Information about the aircraft has been available for years, but the documents now include diagrams that clearly demonstrate the scope of the project.

"The Avrocar was a good start, and the first step on a long road to discovering technology we use today," said Jeff Underwood, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force historian. "Although the project was never implemented, it serves a successful teaching tool."

The Avrocar was the result of a Canadian effort to develop a supersonic fighter-bomber, capable of vertical takeoff and landing, in the early 1950s. The Idea of what was to become the Avrocar was originally envisioned by British Aircraft designer, Jack Carver Meadows Frost.

A.V. Roe, a Canadian aircraft manufacturing company, along with Frost, based its design concept for the Avrocar on using the exhaust from turbojet engines to drive a circular rotor to produce thrust. By directing this thrust downward, it was believed the turbo-rotor could create a cushion of air under the aircraft, allowing it to float a few feet off the ground, as well as accelerate to high speeds at higher altitudes.

The Canadian government provided initial funding for the prototype, but dropped the project when it became too expensive. Avro offered the project to the U.S. government, and the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force took over testing in 1955. Although the project primarily remained in Canada, it was owned and controlled by the U.S. government.

While testing was a combined effort, both services were interested in the project for different reasons. The Army was interested in a durable and adaptable, all-terrain transport and reconnaissance aircraft. The Army Intended the Avrocar to replace their light observation craft and helicopters.

The Air Force was interested in the Avrocar's vertical take-off and landing capabilities, which could potentially hover below enemy radar and accelerate to supersonic speed.

Research data originally indicated that a circular design may have satisfied both service's requirements. A.V. Roe built two, small test models to prove the concept.

"Engineers predicted the Avrocar would be able to reach heights of nearly 10,000 feet," said Marc Sammis, U.S. Army Transportation Museum curator. "Unfortunately, it was soon discovered that the aircraft wouldn't be able to perform as well as predicted."

Tests with scale models at Wright-Patterson AFB indicated the cushion of air under the Avrocar would become unstable when the aircraft passed roughly three feet off the ground. It was determined the aircraft was not incapable of reaching supersonic speeds, nor would the circular shape of the craft allow the Avrocar to have stealth capabilities. Although the aircraft did not meet the expectations of the Air Force, testing was continued to examine if a suitable model could be developed to fit the Army's needs.

The first prototype was sent to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. Wind-tunnel tests proved the aircraft had insufficient control for high speed flight and was aerodynamically unstable. Although engineers attempted to perfect the design, the project was marred with problems.

"Once engineers would fix a problem, another would arise because of the modification," said Sammis.

The second Avrocar prototype underwent flight tests. Project engineers discovered once the craft rose beyond three feet above the ground, it displayed uncontrollable pitch and roll motions. The lack of computer technology and design flaws required pilots to control each engine separately, making it very difficult even for two pilots to properly control.

In December 1961, project leaders discovered the Avrocar could not reach a maximum speed higher than 35 mph. This, along with the crafts other shortcomings, led them to cancel testing permanently.

"This project was far ahead of its time," said Underwood. " It was a perfect concept, but the technology of the time wasn't advanced enough."

Although the testing was deemed a failure by the engineers and pilots who spearheaded the experimentation, the implications of the Avrocar's technology had far reaching results.

"Just because the tests weren't successful, doesn't mean it was a failure," said Underwood. "This experiment started engineers down a path to more innovative concepts based on what was learned."

Technology used by many aircraft, like the AV-8B Harrier II, V-22 Osprey and the F-22 Raptor, can trace its history back to the Avrocar.

Concepts gleaned from the Avrocar testing are still being implemented today with the development of the U.S. Marine's variant of the F-35 Lightning II. The F-35B will offer the capability to land vertically, making it the first aircraft in history to combine both stealth and vertical landing capabilities.

"Aircraft with capabilities to take-off and land vertically have their roots in this experiment," said Sammis. "These capabilities come from a long line of experimentation which started with the Avrocar."

Public Affairs chief receives honorary black belt

by Airman 1st Class Tom Brading
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

10/23/2012 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Rose Alexander, 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs chief of external operations, received an honorary USA Taekwondo black belt from Grand Master Ray Smith, 8th degree Taekwondo Black Belt, at the Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C. Oct. 22.

According to Smith, Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, it teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing the human spirit and life through training the body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics.

In the past, the only members of the community recognized as an honorary black belt in South Carolina were the 114th and 115th state governors, Jim Hodges and Mark Sanford.

"Rose works to bring community and civic leaders together so we can understand the challenges faced at JB Charleston," said Smith, a previous Charleston honorary commander and current member of the Charleston advisory council. "She coordinates all the events that bring us together to support the active, retired, disabled and the fallen American service members."

"This was a complete surprise to me," said Alexander. "I am humbled and truly honored to have received this recognition."

However, an honorary fourth degree black belt isn't given without a qualification. Prior to receiving her black belt, Alexander was challenged to break a wooden board by using only the palm of her hand.

Surrounded by family and co-workers, Alexander proved she was not only ready for the challenge by annihilating the board, but deserving of wearing the honorary black belt.

According to Smith, Alexander received an Honorary Black Belt from USA Taekwondo as a way to recognize her passion to God, Country and Community. It's those three components that have bridged the JB Charleston community with the local community for years.

"Rose has spent her life improving the lives of others both directly and indirectly," said Smith. "Rose is a person of great character and has shown the qualities of vision, integrity, courage, understanding and the power of communication. She has never been one to "toot" her own horn. Instead, she always looks for ways to let others see the sunshine."

In addition to her ongoing dedication to the local community, Alexander and her family have been dedicated to the world of Taekwondo for many years.

Her son, Charles Alexander, Jr., is a nationally recognized Taekwondo black belt and her grandson, Alex Cheatham, although legally blind, has overcome every obstacle and has excelled in Taekwondo.

"I have always believed that with a strong enough will, the belief in yourself and faith in God, you can accomplish what sometimes seems to be the impossible. Taekwondo was the catalyst that helped my son gain self-confidence to overcome his disabilities and excel in school as well as in Taekwondo. And it is doing the same for Alex as he builds his self-confidence," said Alexander.

"She is a remarkable lady," said Smith. "When she retires, she will leave JB Charleston and our community better off than what it was when she came. Her impact on all of us has been great. I am a better man because of knowing and working with Rosetta Alexander."

50th Anniversary of ICBMs celebration brings large crowd

by Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

10/18/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, MONT. -- On Oct. 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy addressed the United States on "unmistakable evidence" of ballistic missile launch sites and nuclear-capable jet bombers placed in Cuba by the Soviet Union. This address was the first time more than 100 million Americans became aware of what is known today as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

During his address, Kennedy announced a strict quarantine of military equipment being shipped to Cuba that would remain in place until all weapons were dismantled and withdrawn from the country. He also assured the nation that any nuclear missile launched from Cuba would be seen as an attack on the U.S. by Russia and full retaliation against the Soviet Union would be necessary.

During and preceding the president's announcement, the nation's military was active, quickly preparing for probable nuclear war against Russia. Although most of the men working on the project were unaware of their role in what would later make history, the installation of the first Minuteman ICBM was started in the early morning hours of Oct. 21, 1962.

Only a short five days later, that same missile, placed in Malmstrom Air Force Base's A-06 Launch Facility, became the first Minuteman ICBM put on strategic alert status - ready and able to be launched. The placement of this missile was referred to by Kennedy as his "Ace in the Hole."

The placement of the nation's "Ace in the Hole" was followed shortly with the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Only two days following the achievement of its operational status, the Soviet government sent a message from Moscow promising to dismantle the offensive weapons and return them to the Soviet Union.

Malmstrom commemorated the placement of the nation's first ICBM on alert status during a three-day 50th Anniversary celebration, which included tours of the base, dinners and socials with key speakers and a ceremony at A-06.

"Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Minuteman is a significant emotional event for most of us," said Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, 20th Air Force commander. "... Remembering where we came from and the history that has allowed us to evolve to where we are today is significant in that our nuclear deterrent was still relevant but in a different strategic context."

The highlight of the celebration was a ceremony held Oct. 13 at A-06 to recognize a weapon system that has provided the U.S. with a strategic upper hand as well as those who have operated, maintained and secured the system over the past 50 years.

"An event like today does not happen without a lot of people doing a lot of work," said Col. H.B. Brual, 341st Missile Wing commander, recognizing the nine counties throughout Montana that house the missile complex, as well as the land owners where A-06 resides.

"I'd like to thank all of the Airmen, over the last 50 years, who have operated, maintained and secured this awesome weapon system," Brual said. "Many of you in this crowd today established a legacy for which our Airmen today hope to follow. You established precision, dedication and focus to such an important mission."

Brual was followed by retired Col. Charles Simpson, who was a young lieutenant working as a missile maintenance officer during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He shared his experiences while the nation was on the brink of a nuclear war in 1962.

"We were in peacetime one day and almost at war just a few days later," he said. "Many of us who were active duty then talk about it being the scariest time of our lives. It was a tough time for us, but I'm happy to be here to commemorate it."

While the purpose of the event was to mark an historic event, Maj. Gen. Everett Thomas, Air Force Global Strike Command vice commander, spoke of what makes the Minuteman missiles essential to the nation's security today.

"We've had a weapon system to give us the three attributes we think that's needed for stability," he said. "It's lethal, it's responsive and it's credible. Those things give us stabilization with our allies and our friends around the world, and it gives our adversaries pause. It's the culture of this business that will keep us as the 'deter and assure' MAJCOM."

Gen. Robert Kehler, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, closed the remarks by the official party, mentioning the fact that without support from surrounding communities, the mission of the 341st MW wouldn't be possible.

"We talk about the national security the wing provides, but you (the communities) have been providing an environment for national security for well over 50 years," the general said. "You represent the support of the American people."

Along with the community he stressed the importance of the Airmen who are responsible for the success of the mission.

"It's never about the hardware, it's about the people," he said.

The three-day anniversary celebration concluded with an Association of Air Force Missileers banquet Oct. 13, where Kehler was the keynote speaker.

"Strategic deterrence and assurance remain relevant concepts today," he said. "... Deterrence is still about influencing an actor's decisions. It is still about a solid policy foundation. It is still about credibility in our deterrent."

USO and Partners Invite Americans to Grant a Wish for Our Heroes Veterans Day 2012

Americans can support the men and women of our nation’s armed forces who have exemplified service, sacrifice and strength for our country at uso.org/grant-a-wish

Arlington, VA. (Oct 23, 2012) – The USO and partners will recognize Veterans Day with Grant a Wish for Our Heroes, an initiative that will give Americans opportunities to thank those who serve in the Armed Forces by granting wishes for our troops and their families by supporting them in a variety of ways. Through Grant a Wish for Our Heroes, Americans can take part in supporting the unique programs and services most requested by our troops and families by supporting the USO and its many partners at uso.org/grant-a-wish. 
 “Grant a Wish for Our Heroes is a call to action for anyone who wants to take a moment and give back to our troops and military families in the ways they’ve told us helps the most.  USO offers concrete ways, big and small, to show our troops that Americans appreciate their service and sacrifice,” said Sloan Gibson, president and CEO of the USO. ‘We value our partners’ commitment to help USO grant these wishes, delivering what’s needed to our men and women in uniform at home and abroad on Veterans Day and every day.”

For years, troops and families have been telling the USO what programs and services they need the most through a comprehensive annual survey, “Tell USO,” and the USO has responded.  Our programs help ease the stress of deployment for both troops and their loved ones.  Others provide the comprehensive support our servicemen and women need when they return home.  And many help our wounded, ill and injured troops as they recover and re-enter their new lives as veterans. 

This Veterans Day, the USO asks Americans to help support these USO programs and initiatives that our troops have requested most:
           Holiday Boxes for Deployed Troops- Many deployed troops spend holidays away from their families. The USO helps bring a touch of home to troops with boxes containing decorations games, snacks, movies and themed items. All designed to bring holiday cheer those serving in the most remote corners of the world.
           Connecting Troops to Families Back Home- Missing the birth of your child may seem hard to imagine, but it’s a reality for many of our troops overseas. The USO has made it possible for some of our military dads to witness the birth of their child, via Skype. This November, we'll also be helping those dads send some special items home to their newborn and mom- so they can be a part of those first precious weeks of their child's life.
           Support Child Heroes- Help the USO provide the book “Little CHAMPS” (Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel) to military families in order to ease their challenges and fears of deployment, relocation and injury of a loved one. Author Debbie Fink provides a book that tells the story of five child heroes and their military lifestyles and raises awareness of military connected challenges.
           Education, Employment and Community Reintegration for our Wounded Warriors- USO Warrior and Family Care provides Hire Heroes USA/USO Workshops and Careers Opportunity Days for wounded, ill and injured service men and women, their spouses and caregivers. The workshops focus on resume writing, mock interviews, professional work practices and translating prior military experience into a civilian career. Career Opportunity Days are in collaboration with Hire Heroes USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and offer our healing heroes, spouses and caregivers a non-traditional career fair where employers connect on a personal level based on interest and background. Employers conduct mock interviews and provide feedback, providing an additional level of support for transitioning troops to meet with employers offering jobs.
           USO Warrior & Family Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda- On November 7th, the USO will break ground on its second 20,000 square-foot building that will support our healing heroes and their families battling invisible wounds like traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress. The first center at Fort Belvoir is scheduled to open in 2013 and will support our healing heroes recovering from physical wounds. The two centers will include movie theaters, classrooms, sports lounges, business centers, healing gardens and more.
Corporations, media partners and a variety of community organizations have signed on to the USO’s “Grant a Wish for Our Heroes” this Veterans Day include:
           American Airlines: American Airlines is proud to be the official airline of the USO, Honoring those who serve, Veterans Day 2012.  aa.com/military
           American Crew:  American Crew has teamed up with the USO to honor our troops with the 2012 Military Limited Edition product line.  americancrew.com/militaryedition/
           AOL:  The USO will be featured as the Cause of the Day this Veterans Day on aol.com and will take over AOL’s mail sign-in page for one day in November.
           Bass Pro Shops:  Stop by a Bass Pro Shop and check out how Reelin’ It In For the Troops is supporting Operation USO Care Package. basspro.com/
           Cheerios:  For every code entered from specially marked Cheerios®, Honey Nut Cheerios® or MultiGrain Cheerios® at Walmart, General Mill’s will donate $1.00 to the USO (up to $50,000). Additionally, consumers can send messages of support to troops and their families through the digital USO Thanks from Everywhere platform. cheerios.com/uso
           CVS:  CVS/pharmacy will once again hold a USO donation campaign as part of its flu shot program during the week of Veterans Day. cvs.com
           ESPN:  This Veterans Day, ESPN partners with the USO to help lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families.  Using its broad portfolio of multimedia assets, ESPN is driving awareness and action from November 4-11 by inviting its viewers and consumers to give a gift to our heroes through USO Wishbook – an alternative giving catalog benefiting troops and their families.  You can visit uso.org/espn beginning Nov 4th to select a gift and learn more.
           Lockheed Martin:  Lockheed Martin will donate $1 to the USO for every new “Like” of their facebook page, up to $25,000. facebook.com/lockheedmartin
           My Coke Rewards: Let our troops know they are not forgotten.  Donate your My Coke Rewards points to the USO and help support America’s troops and their families.  mycokerewards.com
           NFL:  The NFL will support the USO with its annual Salute to Service campaign during the month of November through a fundraiser during games in Weeks 9 - 11 of the season.  Fans can also help support this campaign through an online auction at nfl.com/salute starting November 1, 2012.
           Old Navy:  Old Navy salutes military families this Veterans Day and is proud to partner with the USO on “Operation Donation”. To support our troops and their families, we are collecting donations in all U.S. Old Navy stores between 11/8 and 11/12. (this language was approved and provided by Old Navy) oldnavy.com
           Wells Fargo:  From November 1st through December 13th, Wells Fargo customers will have the opportunity to make a donation of up to $249.99 when using their Wells Fargo card at their local ATM’s. US states except Arkansas, Missouri, and the District of Columbia. wellsfargo.com
To learn more about Grant a Wish for Our Heroes, visit uso.org/grant-a-wish which highlights our USO corporate partners, USO best-in-class program partners and our USO locations and events that are granting wishes this Veterans Day.

About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. All of our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.  In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, The Coca-Cola Company, jcpenney, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation and TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381).  To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.