Wilmington University Honors Those that Serve

Wilmington University has invited us to join in honoring our nation’s Heroes!

On March 26, 2014 from 11:00am-1:00pm, Wilmington University will host a Spring Military/Veteran Appreciation Day at the Pratt Student Center (New Castle Campus, 320 N. DuPont Hwy, New Castle DE 19720).

The event is designed to recognize and honor our Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. It will include attendance by Government Officials/Representatives, Senior Leadership from Wilmington University, our Military/Veteran Student Organization, and Vendors from the community. Activities will be available including a massage table, acupuncture table and a special “Rifle Spinning” demonstration performed by the ROTC Drill Team from William Penn High School! A light lunch, cake, and prizes will also be provided for attendees.


  • 1100 – Event Begins: Sign in, networking/vendor tables/activities
  • 1200 – Remarks/Recognition: Jim Webb, Military Affairs Coordinator
  • 1210 – Rifle Spinning Demo: William Penn ROTC
  • 1220 – Continue networking/vendor tables/activities
  • 1300 – Event Ends

Supporting military vendors include: DAFB Airman & Family Readiness Center, Employer Support for Guard & Reserve (ESGR), MyHealtheVet, United Service Organizations Inc. (USO), Vet Center: Wilmington,  Military One Source, DE Army National Guard, and the DE Air National Guard.

Posted in Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, ESGR, Events, Family, News, ROTC, Soldiers, USO, Veterans | Tagged , , , , ,

Do Not Cut Soldier Pay and Benefits

The former Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Gordon Sullivan, wrote the following letter to the Washington Post last month.

I read with dismay the December 26 article, “For Military, Benefits and Reform are Challenge”, which demonizes our troops as unworthy of the benefits they receive while ignoring the challenges, sacrifices and hardships military personnel and their families face while providing the nation’s defense as volunteers. Military personnel costs, described as “burgeoning” and making up nearly half the Pentagon’s budget, are in fact approximately 30 percent of the budget as they have been for the past 30 years. The growth in those costs that “must be tamed” is in fact a ten-year catch up effort enacted by Congress to close a pay gap that had grown to 14 percent. Parity has been achieved and that growth will level off. Pay and benefits must be competitive because almost three of four recruitment-age Americans cannot qualify for military service, and those left have other career options. If military pay and benefits are the same as those of civilians, there is little incentive to join an organization with the inherent risks of military life. One of the world’s richest nations can afford a military compensation and benefits package that matches the dangers and hardships its defense personnel must endure.

Gordon R. Sullivan, Arlington

Posted in News

Army and National Guard debate capabilities

The head of the National Guard Bureau and the top soldier in the Army shared different views on the capabilities of the National Guard during remarks to reporters last week in Washington, D.C.
Gen. Frank J. Grass, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Gen. Ray T. Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff, spoke two days apart during luncheons at the National Press Club. The set-up highlighted their contrasting views on the Guard’s role as defense officials move to restructure forces after a decade of war and with tight budget constraints.

Serving as a backdrop to their comments, the Army wants to cut the Army Guard to 315,000 soldiers, while also removing all combat helicopters and other aircraft from its arsenal. The Guard wants to maintain an end-strength of 345,000 and has pushed back against the aviation plan.

National Guard supporters argue that the Guard can provide combat troops at a fraction of the cost of the active-component Army. Gen. Odierno has stated that the active component has a higher state of readiness because of a greater amount of training. “They’re trained and ready to do things at a higher level because they spend every day focused on that,” he said. “Our National Guard, who’s done an incredible job in the last 10 years, trains 39 days a year.” That difference is why, he said, the two components aren’t interchangeable. He argued that their capabilities should be seen as complementary.

Speaking two days later at the same podium, Gen. Grass said he’s hard-pressed to find a member of the Guard who trains only 39 days a year. He emphasized that diligence in training is essential to success, particularly with reliance on rapidly changing technology. “And between drills, preparing for drills, professional development, course work, and more, National Guard members are putting in the necessary time needed to maintain their capabilities. The concept of the Guard and Reserve training just 39 days a year”, he said, “doesn’t exist anymore”

Posted in News

No Return to Iraq?

The U.S. Army General who led U.S. forces through some of the most deadly years of the Iraq war says he opposes sending U.S. combat troops in response to the recent gains in that country by Islamic militants. General Ray Odierno, the current Army Chief of Staff, said Tuesday he is disappointed by the Iraqi government’s loss of control in key cities in the restive western province of Anbar. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, he said the proper U.S. approach now is to remain engaged diplomatically to help Iraqi government leaders get their political system back on track. Odierno said that despite Iraq’s recent setbacks, it still has the potential to become a strong U.S. partner, though that hopeful prospect now appears “a bit shaky.”

Posted in News

Delaware Army National Guard’s 287th Army Band Holiday Concert

Holiday Concert Flyer

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Rest in Peace, MG George K. Hastings

MG Vavala sent this out on the Delaware National Guard news list and we are printing it in its entirety.

MG Vavala sent this out the the Delaware National Guard community so I am sharing it in its entirety- Kat Lehman

To my Delaware National Guard family,

It is with a great deal of sorrow that I join all members of the Delaware National Guard in expressing our condolences and sincere sympathy on the passing of one of our beloved leaders, an architect of our modern Delaware National Guard, a mentor, advisor, colleague, friend, and former Adjutant General, MG (Ret) George K. Hastings.

He lived his life dedicated to our organization and to the principles on which our National Guard was founded. He will be remembered for his institutional knowledge and modernization of our force structure.

MG Hastings was a patriotic American Soldier and leader who served his country, state, and community willingly and without reservation. His death is a loss to all of us in the Delaware National Guard, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Rose Ann, his daughters Joanna and Jaime, and the rest of his family.

Francis D. Vavala
Major General
The Adjutant General, Delaware

Funeral services are as follows:

Visitation: Friday, November 1, 12-2 p.m.
Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home
700 West Street
Laurel, DE
(302) 875-3637

Funeral service: Friday, November 1, 2 p.m.
Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home

Odd Fellows Cemetery
West Street
Laurel, DE

You may send condolences to Mrs. Hastings at 32616 Hastings Drive, Laurel,
DE 19956.


Posted in News | Tagged

Delaware World War II Memorial Dedication

Please plan to attend a special dedication ceremony of Delaware’s World War II memorial on November 9th, twelve o’clock noon at Legislative Hall, Dover DE.

If you are a WWII veteran and would like to attend, please RSVP at (302) 739-2792 for special seating.

If you know someone who is a WWII veteran, please pass this information on to them.

Posted in Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, Events, Family, Free, News, Veterans | Tagged , , , ,

Delaware Veterans Stand Down

Delaware 2013 Veterans Stand Down will be held Friday, 4 October 2013 from 9:00am-3:00pm at the Walter L Fox Post # 2, American Legion Post, 835 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.

Veterans’ Stand Down is an event to showcase community & VA services for ALL veterans.  This includes housing, medical, dental, flu shots, behavioral health, VA eligibility & benefits, haircuts, legal service, hot lunch & warm clothing. Transportation provided at key pick up locations.

For more information contact Liz Byers-Jiron: (302) 349-4898 or lbjnavcret@hotmail.com.

Posted in Events, Free, Veterans, VFW | Tagged ,

New Family Program Updates

The Association of the U.S. Army Director of Family Programs recently distributed an update on their family activities.

Here are a few items that you might find helpful:

1.       Blue Star Families 2013 Lifestyle Survey on what military families say is most important to them: http://bluestarfam.s3.amazonaws.com/42/6b/b/1583/OnePager2013.pdf

2.      Upcoming locations of Hiring our Heroes Job Fairs: http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events  Note: there are three pages that run all the way through March of 2014 so don’t forget to scroll through all of them

3.      Military Family Research Institute provided the newest information on what research is showing us about military children:  See http://blog.militaryfamily.org/2013/06/26/how-are-military-families-doing-what-researchers-are-discovering/

4.      AUSA is launching a Spouse membership initiative.   It is scheduled for a soft launch in late September/ early October! How will it work?

a.      Spouses will click on to a spouse membership link that will take them to a page explaining the new membership category

b.      Spouses will be asked if their spouse is currently an AUSA member

i.      If “yes”, spouse will type in their spouses email for verification and then will be taken to a page that allows them to join at the $14.oo rate (sans magazine)

ii.      If “no” spouses will be able to join at the rate equivalent to their husbands rank or DA civilian position

c.       FIRST 100 spouses to receive FREE Ann Hand AUSA membership pin (see photo)

5.   The AUSA Family Programs Directorate represented the association in the following meetings since the last Update (Links to the events have been included:

a.      OSD-Military Family Research Institute Launch of “How to Help Military & Veteran Families” materials: (FREE for download: https://www.mfri.purdue.edu/publications/how-to-help.aspx )

b.      “Celebration of Our Military Kids’ Star Power” http://www.ourmilitarykids.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Star-Power-Press-Release-2013.pdf

c.       Military Family Readiness Council (NMFA is a sitting council member- their report here: http://www.militaryfamily.org/feature-articles/military-family-readiness.html )

d.      Presented at AWAG in Germany: http://www.awagonline.org/Seminar-Speakers.html

e.      Blue Star Families Lifestyle Survey launch

f.       Exhibited at TAPS National Military Survivor Seminarhttp://www.taps.org/

g.      United through Reading Senior Spouse Roundtable: http://www.unitedthroughreading.org/

h.     Military Families Research Institute Symposium: https://www.mfri.purdue.edu/newsroom/view-news.aspx?newsitemid=95

i.      National Child Traumatic Stress Network Advisory Council Meeting (I represent not only AUSA but I am the military family rep) http://www.nctsn.org/

Posted in Events, Family, Legislature, Membership, News, Programs, Soldiers | Tagged , ,

Delaware National Guard Golf Tournament

Save the date! September 16th is the Delaware National Guard Golf Tournament. This event will be held at the Deerfield Golf Club and has a shotgun start at 9:00 AM. The event is open to all current and retired Delaware Army and Air National Guard members, their families or friends of the Delaware National Guard. For more details check out the attached flyer.


Posted in Army National Guard, Events, Family, News, Soldiers | Tagged , , , ,