Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 1/30/14

Orders to Nowhere...

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for 1/30/14

Good news story of the day

Thousands on hand for inspiring Wounded Warriors game  (The New York Post)  Take notice, take a stand and take heart.

Military transition

Corps help Wounded Warriors transition back into work  (US Army Corps of Engineers)  Wounded Warriors from the Operation Warfighter Program employ job internships to ease their transition from military service to civilian life.

June officer RIF board to offer voluntary separation pay  (Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs)  The Air Force will convene an officer reduction in force board June 16 to evaluate eligible officers for retention, Air Force Personnel Center officials said Jan. 27.

Army, veterans groups focus on reintegration for Soldiers  (KTSM.com)  As the Army draws down in Afghanistan and reduces its overall force strength, Army leaders and veterans groups remain focused on ensuring Soldiers…

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Out with the Old And in With the New–Spirit Of Sharing 2014!

It’s 2014 and we, here at Spirit Of Sharing, couldn’t be happier. We are ready to take on the new year with fundraising challenges and even expanding our ability to help those active duty military families in need throughout the year. But we cannot do this alone. We need help! Volunteers are always welcome, as well as, donors, fundraisers, brainstormers and anyone else that has innovative ideas of ways SOS can broaden their scope and reach out to more military families in need within Southern California. SOS plans to make this year the most community involved year ever to date. The war in Afghanistan is winding down and our troops are coming home, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten those who are currently serving abroad. We also cannot forget those who’ve paid the ultimate price either with life or limb. Our duty to their families and the duty we all share to the men and women of the US military cannot end just because the holiday giving season is over. We must come together and not only remember those brave men and women who serve, but give back a little of our time, energy, gratitude, and monetary assistance when our service members and their families are in the most need.

SOS provides need based assistance to those active duty military families in the Southern California region whose needs, are financial, due to military related stressors, such as deployments, or some unforeseen circumstance (i.e. death and/or sickness). We focus a great deal of our attention on those families with children who have a parent, or parents deployed, or about to deploy. Children are often the ones who suffer the most because they cannot make any of the decisions, but will endure the stresses related to deployment and often do not have the words to express themselves. SOS aims to assist those active duty military families in Southern California between the southern most point of the San Diego area to Camp Lemoore in the San Gabriel Valley with children who fit this criteria during the holiday season and throughout the year, in special need based circumstances. This does not mean we wish to exclude any military members in our local community without children who are in need, however, our emphasis on military families with children represents our desire to help those most in need who cannot help themselves.

 

Holiday 2013 –Spirit Of Sharing

This year at Spirit Of Sharing (SOS) we assisted over 50 active duty military members and their families in Southern California. SOS volunteers shopped, wrapped, and collected over 2000 plush Toys from Pet Smart (at participating stores) and lots of other toys from participating Toy Drives around southern California including LA and San Diego County. Our amazing volunteers dedicated weekends away from their own families, extra hours in the wee hours of the evening, and even some very early morning shifts to meet the needs of our deserving active duty military families. We would do it all over again to see the huge and happy smiles on 130 children and their 92 doting parents. For our families, we also provided enough commissary cards for a Thanksgiving & Christmas meal, as well as enough groceries for the month of December. We went all out this year hoping to spoil each and every one of our military families who have been through so much and continue to sacrifice their lives for our country.

SOS assisted only those families based in Southern California, but our families were from all over the country. We helped families from Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and native Californians, as well as second generation Marines. Our military families come from all branches:  Army, Navy, Marine Corps, both active duty and active reserve. Spirit Of Sharing is located near Camp Pendleton, but we also assisted families as far South as Chula Vista and March Air Force Base in Riverside. In the past we have also assisted military families located as far north as Lemoore and Edwards Air Force Base.

We are so proud of our volunteers and our amazing military families!

 

SOS hopes to grow and assist even more families throughout the year, as well as, provide annual holiday assistance to active duty military families who are in the most need during Thanksgiving and Christmas. We cannot thank everyone enough from our community donors, toy drive coordinators, gift-wrapping elves and Santa’s tireless shoppers. We want to pay a special Thanks to our members of the community who, as groups, or individuals adopted one or more military families through SOS. This helped us take a record 50 active duty families which is up from the 38 families we assisted last year. This year several of our military families had service members who were deployed or preparing to deploy abroad. That is a normal burden for any military family to endure but can be extraordinary during the holiday season and no one feels it more than the children who have such trouble understanding why their parent is not with them during this special time. We were happy to help the spouses, here at home holding down the fort, to ease the financial burden of the holidays and provide some much needed joy and magic of the holiday season to those well-deserving kids who were missing their loved one(s).

SOS works towards growing and expanding our reach in the community so that we can continue to help those military families who face a financial burden during the holiday, or who may face a financial need, or an unexpected hardship at some point throughout the year. SOS aims to assist our local Southern California based active duty military families and will strive to make the 2014 season even better than 2013.

Defense Dept. asks for plan to close all U.S. commissaries, report says

WTKR.com

Norfolk, Va. – The Defense Commissary Agency has been asked by Defense Department officials to develop a plan to close all U.S. commissaries.

The plan would close about three-fourths of all commissaries, according to a new report in the Military Times.

The request was reportedly made at a meeting to plan for the fiscal 2015 DoD budget request that is due out on February.

The agency  receives nearly $1.4 billion in annual taxpayer subsidies and has reduced its annual funding by $700 million over the last 20 years, according to Director Joseph Jeu.

That DeCA has been asked to prepare such a draft plan does not mean commissaries would close anytime soon. Even if such a plan was included in the defense budget request for fiscal 2015 — almost a year away — it would have to be approved by Congress, where many lawmakers would oppose it.

 

The Military…

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SOS Helping Southern California Active Duty Military Families!