Businesses Affirm Support of Reserve Component Employees

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Defense Department (DoD) agency, announced that representatives from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Coca-Cola Refreshments, McDonald’s Corp., Safeway Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have signed or will sign statements of support for their National Guard and reserve employees in honor of Veterans Day. The statement of support is a pledge that demonstrates an employer’s commitment to uphold their legal responsibilities as a military employer, to value the characteristics and skills service members contribute to the workforce, and to identify opportunities to support Guardsmen, reservists, veterans and their families. Since Sept. 11, 2001, almost half of the more than two million Americans who have gone to war have been Guardsmen and reservists. As recently as Hurricane Sandy, men and women of the National Guard and reserve components were called from their civilian lives to work alongside first responders and participate in search and rescue missions. The support of America’s employers has provided these citizen warriors with stability, predictability and peace of mind. Find details at: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=118523

Biden, Odierno announce Teacher Education program for Military Kids

On Oct. 3, 2012 more than 100 colleges and universities signed on to a joint initiative to prepare educators for the unique needs of their military-connected students, Dr. Jill Biden announced.  Dr. Biden, wife of the Vice President, is a ‘military mom’ has heard from many other military spouses who worry about the academic needs of their children. Many military children are forced to move and change schools 6 to 10 times before they graduate.

Biden said. “Through each transition, they are faced with leaving their friends and adjusting to new schools and new surroundings, all of which can affect a student’s opportunity to achieve academic success,” she said. “As a teacher, this issue is particularly close to my heart.”

Dr. Biden was joined by Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, who said he understands the challenges faced by military families — he moved his wife and children 24 times during his 36-year military career, causing his son and daughter to change schools during each year of high school.

The initiative, called “Operation Educate the Educators,” will help ensure positive experiences for military children, 80 percent of whom attend public schools, Gen. Odierno said. He added that “the social piece is perhaps the most important” to a child frequently changing schools.   The initiative is co-sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Military Child Education Coalition.

As part of the initiative, participating colleges and universities implement guiding principles in their preparation programs and partner with schools that serve Kindergarten through Grade 12 students to ensure future educators have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of military-connected students.

Wilmington & Western Railroad event for Veterans

The Wilmington & Western Railroad is conducting their annual salute to local veterans, many of whom were aided by the local railroads to move military men and women across the Nation during the various conflicts in our history.

As in previous years, they will have a brief ceremony with a few speakers offering their personal reflections and comments.  This year’s keynote speaker will be New Castle County Councilman Timothy Sheldon.  The Delaware Military Academy will provide a color guard and a bugler.  Also, the Delaware Militia Fife & Drum Corps, and members of 509th Infantry Battalion will be in attendance.

This year’s ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 11th; beginning promptly at 11:30 AM, and concluding by 12:15 PM. The first steam powered train of the day will depart from Greenbank Station at 12:30 PM. All those in military uniform will ride the train at no cost.  The Baldwin Locomotive #58 (aka “Our Veterans Locomotive”) will be pulling our riders that day.

All veterans and members of military service organizations in the community are invited so that the Wilmington & Western can express their gratitude and appreciation.

Delaware Military Heritage Day 2012

ImageThe parade grounds at Fort DuPont (Delaware City) will come alive on Saturday, October 20 for Delaware Military Heritage Day.  All are welcomed to view and participate in the many activities scheduled for that day, between 10am and 4pm.  Visitors will be able to walk through reenactment displays and encampments from many time periods, see vintage military vehicles, experience military maneuvers and the firing of artillery.  Many community groups, historical organizations, local authors and  veterans groups will also be present on this special day.  Fort DuPont operated as an active Army post from 1863 to 1945.

Army and Air Force Exchange to Salute Those ‘Still Serving’

As part of its annual “Still Serving” weekend, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) will salute former Soldiers and Airmen by offering unique specials and events at Exchanges worldwide, 5-11 October.  Army and Air Force retirees will receive a flyer featuring exclusive savings on a wide variety of products, including deals at the food court.  Additionally, local Exchanges will honor the service of retirees with “Still Serving” celebrations to include fashion shows, door prizes, health clinics and much more.  Additionally, AAFEES online store , http://www.shopmyexchange.com , will offer 10 percent off any order of $100 or more to shoppers who sign up for the “Online Savings Club E-newsletter,” which offers online savings and exclusive discounts.  You may sign up for this E-newsletter at: http://bit.ly/RwhsEU.  To learn more about activities planned for the weekend of 5 October, contact information for all Army and Air Force Exchanges can be found online at http://www.shopmyexchange.com through the “Store Locator” link.

Veterans Skills to Jobs Act enacted

AUSA is part of a coalition of organizations that are committed to supporting legislation for veterans, service members, and their families.  They share credit for the “Veterans Skills to Jobs Act”, a law that will address the high veterans unemployment rate of 23.3%.  The Act streamlines the process for veterans to utilize the skills they acquired in the military.  Previously, veterans had to enroll in redundant civilian training to qualify for many technical positions.  Now, their military training will be more readily accepted and ‘certify’ them in a number of job categories.

Army and the NFL partner on traumatic brain injury (TBI)

The Army and the National Football League (TBI) are working together to improve awareness of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and increase research into its causes, prevention and treatment.  The top leaders of both organizations, Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, met at the U.S. Military Academy 30 August to discuss the issue and sign a letter of agreement to continue sharing resources to combat TBI.  Mental and physical toughness, discipline, team over self and stressing the importance of resilience are fundamental to the cultures of both the NFL and the Army.  However, these traits can sometimes prevent them from seeking help following concussions.  NFL players and Soldiers are now coordinating strategies and using special types of tests to determine if a concussion has occurred.  Gen. Odierno and Commissioner Godell would like a cultural shift to where there is no reluctance of football players and Soldiers to ask for help after receiving concussions.  Learn more about this effort at: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=117721