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April 2011 º www.army.

mil/soldiers
Soldiers
The Offcial U.S. Army Magazine
Month of the
Military child
[OntheCover]

Aedan Turner, 4, plays with his dad, Maj.
DennisTurner.Dennisisanurseanesthetist
at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in
Germany.(PhotobyTawnyCampbell)
[ComingNextMonth]

May2011-Armymedicine
Sgt.JoeCampbellspendsqualitytimewithhisdaughtersCeilidha(left)andRhynlionhislastdayofR&RinDecember2010.(PhotobyTawnyCampbell)
April 2011 º vOLUME 66, NO. 4
Soldiers
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Sgt. William Cox, an occupational
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Features
Army News
Faces of Strength
Army Family Covenant
Quality of life for Families is an integral factor in
the Army's ability to deploy.
Back to 'Sesame Street'
The popular TV show has new materials that
focus on helping grieving children.
Exceptional Family Member Program
Program provides comprehensive community
support for Families with special needs.
Commitment to children
The Army increases construction of child care and
youth service centers.
Kids' letters
Letters from children serve as morale boosters for
their deployed Family members.
Army Kids reporters
A(rv-all||aled voulr oecore T\ jou(ra||sls lo(
a day.
New generation of musicians
The Fife and Drum Corps interacts with youth,
sharing music and camaraderie.
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Soldiers - April 2010 3

IN 1986, then Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger established April
as the “Month of the Military Child,” to honor military children and youth
for their strength, character and sacrices.
Soldiers magazine has dedicated this issue to the sons and daughters of
the nation’s servicemembers. is month’s content highlights programs that
support military kids, from child and youth support services to free online
tutoring. ere is also a special section featuring letters from kids of all ages
to their deployed parents, and a story about how Sesame Street is helping
military children cope with loss.
Now, more than ever, military children face unique challenges. ey
often must bear greater responsibilities than their non-military peers while
one or both of their parents are deployed. On behalf of everyone at Soldiers
magazine, I salute all the boys and girls and young men and women who
meet the demands placed on them with courage and grace. We hope you
enjoy this month’s issue of Soldiers.
Sincerely,
Carrie McLeroy
Editor in chief
Soldiers magazine
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
DEFENSE MEDIA ACTIVITY-ARMY
2511 JEFFERSON DAVIS HIGHWAY, BOX 31
ARLINGTON, VA 22202-3900
April 1, 2011
4 www.army.mil/soldiers
I
N an era of persistent conict, our
Army Families are called upon to
endure many hardships and are no
less critical to mission success than our
Soldiers. Repeated deployments and ex-
tended separations place a severe strain
on our Families, which in turn aects
combat readiness, as well as enlistment
and retention eorts.
Lieutenant Gen. Rick Lynch, the
commanding general of Installation
Management Command and assistant
chief of sta for Installation Manage-
ment, summed it up succinctly when
he said: “Our Army is not going to
break because of our Soldiers…but it
might break because of the stress we’re
placing on their Families.”
rough research such as the Fam-
ily and Morale, Welfare and Recreation
Command’s semi-annual Survey of
Army Families, we know that quality of
life for Families is an integral part of a
Soldier’s decision to reenlist. By 2007,
when the Army Family Covenant was
unveiled, it was clear that quality of life
was also integral to the Army’s ability
to deploy.
A Soldier in a ghting position
needs to be facing forward, concentrat-
ing on the mission, not distracted by
Family concerns. e Covenant ensures
that Soldiers can nd the resources
they need, when they need them, and
that they have the tools to remain self-
reliant. When Families are self-reliant
and have access to appropriate support
systems, our Soldiers are better able to
concentrate on their missions.
Lieutenant Gen. Jack Stultz Jr.,
Army Reserve chief and commanding
general, U.S. Army Reserve Command,
said, “To be successful as a military
we need four things: a Soldier, that
Soldier’s Family, the Soldier’s employer,
ByMaj.Gen.ReubenD.Jones
Army Family Covenant:
Enabling Army Families to reach their full potential
Soldiers - April 2011 5
and a supportive community.”
I couldn’t agree with him more and
the Army Family Covenant covers all
four.
“Never before in the history of our
Army have we asked so much of our
Families,” said Gen. George W. Casey
Jr., chief of sta of the Army. “ey are
serving side-by-side with our Soldiers,
enduring their hardships, providing the
unconditional love and support that
truly make our Army strong.”
e Covenant is built upon ve
core commitments from Army leader-
ship to:
D Standardize and fund Family pro-
grams and services.
DIncrease accessibility and quality of
health care.
D Improve Soldier and Family hous-
ing.
D Ensure excellence in child, youth
and school services.
DExpand education and employment
opportunities for Family members.
Now in its fourth year, the AFC
commitment is enduring. Support
has extended all the way to the White
House. “e readiness of our armed
forces depends on the readiness of our
military Families,” First Lady Michelle
Obama said.
To ensure that readiness, the Army
has doubled its investment in core
Family support programs, and Casey
has pledged continued support to this
investment, saying: “e Army Fam-
ily Covenant is one of the programs
that we will continue to put the right
amount of funding into so that Family
Programs can provide for all Soldiers
and their Families.”
e Army Family Covenant is
enabling us to reach that potential.
While the Army has made sig-
nicant and measurable progress in
improving Family programs, health
care, housing, child and youth services,
recreation, education and employment
opportunities, there is still work to be
done to build an environment where
Army Families can prosper and realize
their full potential.
Looking ahead, the covenant will
continue the Army’s dedication to
sustain and partner with Soldiers and
their Families in order to build an en-
vironment where they can prosper and
realize their potential—all essential in
sustaining an all-volunteer force. Y
Maj.Gen.ReubenD.Jonesisthecom-
mandinggeneralofFamilyandMorale,
WelfareandRecreationCommand.
“Never before in the history of our Army have we asked so
much of our Families. ey are serving side-by-side with our
Soldiers, enduring their hardships, providing the unconditional
love and support that truly make our Army strong.”
—Gen. George W. Casey Jr.
Maj.Gen.ReubenD.Jones,commandinggeneralofFamilyandMorale,WelfareandRecreationCommand,
talksaboutFamilyastheArmy’smostvaluableasset.(PhotobyRobMcIlvaine)
A look at the numbers, next page.
6 www.army.mil/soldiers
S
IGNIFICANT accomplish-
ments in improving Soldier and
Family readiness and well-being
over the past four years include:
DClosed chronic Army Community
Service stang gaps by creating 477
new ACS positions.
DAdded 1,079 Family Readiness
Support Assistants in deployable ac-
tive, Guard and Reserve battalions to
provide administrative and logistical
support to deployed and rear detach-
ment commanders.
DEstablished more than 2,000 virtual
Family Readiness Groups, which oer
all of the functionality of traditional
FRGs in an ad hoc, online setting
to meet the needs of geographically
dispersed Families.
DIncreased military Family life
consultants from 112 in Fiscal Year 05
to 620 by FY10, to provide problem-
solving and nonmedical consulting
through condential “walk around”
services.
DExpanded Survivor Outreach Ser-
vices to provide 24/7 support to sur-
vivors of fallen Soldiers, wherever they
live, with experts trained in benets,
nances and grief counseling.
DEstablished Soldier and family
assistance centers at installations with
warrior transition units to provide
safe havens where wounded warriors,
DOD civilians and their Families can
gather for mutual support and cama-
raderie to aid physical, spiritual and
mental healing.
DExpanded hours of respite care
for Families with exceptional Family
members from 10 to 16 hours per
month.
DProvided child care discounts
and 16 hours of free respite care per
month to Families of deployed Sol-
diers, Family readiness group/Family
readiness support assistant personnel,
exceptional Family members, wound-
ed warrior Families, and survivor
Families.
DDecreased Family stress, increased
Family stability, and reduced costly
out-of-pocket home placements for
child care by providing more than 2
million hours of free respite child care
to Soldiers and Families.
DConducted 2,600 chaplain-led
“Strong Bonds,” retreats to provide
single and married Soldier and Family
relationship skills and education train-
ing for 160,000 participants, increasing
Soldier and Family resiliency, marital
satisfaction and reducing domestic
violence.
DCreated six community-based pri-
mary care clinics located near 11 Army
installations (opening in FY 2011),
which will include behavioral health
care providers and some laboratory and
pharmacy services.
DIncreased the number of behavioral
health providers by almost 40 percent.
DAdded 22 additional primary care
manager teams to increase medical
treatment facility capacity.
DIncreased the number of Web-en-
abled appointments by 13 percent and
the number of registered TRICARE
online beneciaries by more than 10
percent, improving access to care by
giving Soldiers and Families the ability
to schedule their own appointments.
DExpanded and synchronized school-
based behavioral health programs.
DExtended operating hours of gar-
rison child development centers and
Family child care homes to accom-
modate a high operations tempo, to
include evenings, weekends and even
24/7 if needed.
DReduced the waiting lists for child
e Army Family Covenant:
A look at the numbers:
Soldiers - April 2011 7
care spaces through aggressive construc-
tion of 80 child care centers in 2008 and
2009 (with 17 more to follow by 2014).
DProvided 24/7 online tutoring services
at tutor.com, ensuring military students
can always access academic assistance,
even when parents are absent.
DPlaced 140 school liaison ocers to
help local school districts understand the
challenges faced by military students,
and successfully signed memoranda of
understanding with 373 school districts
to minimize academic disruptions for
transferring military students.
DPartnered with outside agencies on
many initiatives, such as the DOD
Interstate Compact on Educational
Opportunity for Military Children, to
remove barriers to educational success
imposed on children of military Families
through frequent moves and deployment
of their parents.
DAutomated and enhanced hous-
ing services by oering the Automated
Housing Referral Network, and Army
Housing OneStop.
DModernized more than 19,700 bar-
racks spaces through updates, renova-
tions and new construction, greatly
increasing space and quality of life for
single Soldiers.
DCompleted the privatization of
Family housing at all 44 planned
installations, providing Soldiers and
their Families with 23,000 quality new
homes, 18,000 renovated homes, and a
host of improved amenities to include
community centers, pools and splash
parks.
DIncreased support to warrior-in-tran-
sition Families by providing child care
during medical appointments, reduc-
ing child care fees and eliminating fees
for children of wounded warriors who
participate in instructional classes and
individual sports sponsored by Child,
Youth & School Services.
DExpanded the Army Spouse Em-
ployment Partnership between the
Army and Fortune 100/500 compa-
nies and military agencies. Since the
program’s inception in 2003, ASEP
has assisted more than 65,000 military
spouses in nding employment.
DBuilt a “digital culture” in FMWR
libraries, empowering Soldiers and
Families with 24/7 online access to
library resources via Army Knowledge
Online, Army OneSource, and Military
OneSource portals.
DUpdated tness equipment at
FMWR facilities through a $20 mil-
lion, centrally funded enterprise buy,
ensuring Soldiers receive world-class
service directly contributing to mission
physical tness requirements.
DStrengthened the Army OneSource
Internet portal to provide outreach to
geographically dispersed Soldiers and
Families of all components, wherever
they reside, through the entire deploy-
ment cycle.
DConstructed or renovated 18 Army
lodging facilities (1,315 rooms) to
meet Army Lodging Wellness Program
standards.
DDirectly supported 26,055 deployed
servicemembers (and 58,967 guests)
on rest, recuperation and block leave
at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort,
Shades of Green Resort and the Hale
Koa Hotel.
DExpanded the Better Opportunities
for Single Soldiers program to sup-
port single Soldiers through three core
components: leisure and recreation,
community service and quality of life.
DDeveloped and elded Warrior
Adventure Quest to help Soldiers tran-
sition the “new normal” and reduce
the potential for high-risk behaviors
through high-adventure, high-adrena-
line activities. Y
8 www.army.mil/soldiers
New materials focus on grieving children
StorybyElizabethM.Collins
E
LMO wanted to play ball with
one of his favorite people:
his Uncle Jack. e problem?
Uncle Jack was dead, and no matter
how many times Daddy, Mommy and
Aunt Jill tried to explain that meant
Elmo would never see him again, at
three-and-a-half, Elmo just couldn’t
understand why he wasn’t coming
to their family picnic or that Elmo
couldn’t call him on the phone.
Meanwhile, his slightly older
cousin Jesse—a furry blue Muppet
with pink pigtails—refused to even
talk about her father, getting angry
and eventually confessing that it made
her too sad. At the same time, she
lugged around a “special bag” holding
a memory box full of mementos of her
father.
Presented in “Sesame Street’s”
newest DVD for military Families,
“Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families
Grieve,” the storyline explores how
8 www.army.mil/soldiers
From left: Nathan, Alex and Angel Guereca.
Together with their mom Patty and older
brotherRolando,theboyswerefeatured
on “Sesame Street’s” “Talk, Listen,
Connect: When Families Grieve,”
talking about their experiences
aftertheirdad,Sgt.JoeGuereca,
was killed in combat. (Photo
courtesyofPattyGuereca)
SESAME
STREET
Soldiers - April 2011 9
children often cope with loss, and sug-
gests ways parents and other adults can
help them grieve and remember their
loved ones. It’s also available online at
http://www.sesamestreetfamilycon-
nections.org/grownups/grief/.
“It’s really engaging in a dialog
with children about these times, and
we’re hoping that seeing Elmo and
Jesse going through this will help be a
conversation starter,” explained Lynn
Chwatsky, Sesame Street’s assistant vice
president of outreach initiatives and
partners. “Do we think it’s the end-all,
be-all? Absolutely not, but we do think
it is a conversation starter…and we’ve
heard anecdotal feedback from Families
who have used this.
“ere are children who never,
ever talked about it, and they watched
this and for the rst time, they started
opening up. I was at an event in Chi-
cago…with Elmo. is one child
was sobbing the entire time. And the
grandparent came up to me…in tears
and said ‘is is the rst time he’s cried
since his dad died six months ago.’ And
I thought, ‘Wow, we’re doing some-
thing right here,’ because that’s the
rst start, for this child to be able to
cry…and maybe now some dialog can
happen with the grandparents or with
other grownups in this child’s life, to
get this child sort of on a more positive
trajectory,” Chwatsky continued, not-
ing the storyline is appropriate for all
children who have suered a loss, not
just military children.
Meant for parents and children to
watch together, it follows a popular
series of DVDs featuring Elmo and
friends dealing with deployments
(really an extended absence by Elmo’s
father, who goes o to “help” people—
the military is never mentioned), the
adjustments required by homecomings
and multiple deployments, and the
changes Families undergo when a par-
ent (Rosita’s father) is injured or comes
home dierent due to post-traumatic
stress or a traumatic brain injury.
Created with help from the
Defense Centers of Excellence for
Psychological Health and Traumatic
Brain Injury, the video also features
real Gold Star Families describing their
experiences, Families like Patty Guereca
and her four sons. eir husband and
father, Sgt. Joe Guereca of the 1st
Cavalry Division, was killed Nov. 30,
2004 by an improvised explosive device
in Iraq.
“I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t
scream,” she said of her feelings the
afternoon the casualty notication
ocer came with the news that would
change their lives forever. “All I could
do was cry. And nally the chaplain sat
me down on the couch and I told him,
‘I have three sons and I’m pregnant.
What am I supposed to do now?’”
She was so devastated that she
didn’t know how to tell her children
their father was dead—she just didn’t
have “the heart to really tell them their
dad was not going to come home.
ey knew that everybody was cry-
ing, but they didn’t know why.” Her
Soldiers - April 2011 9
Inascenefrom“SesameStreet’s”latestprojectformilitaryFamilies,aDVDcalled“Talk,Listen,Connect:WhenFamiliesGrieve,”ElmoandhisfatherLouietalk
aboutUncleJack,whorecentlydied.Elmodoesn’tknowwhatthatmeansandcan’tunderstandwhyhecan’tstillseehisfavoriteuncle.(Photocourtesyof“Sesame
Street.”Reprintedwithpermission.“SesameWorkshop”®,“SesameStreet”®,andassociatedcharacters,trademarks,anddesignelementsareownedandlicensed
bySesameWorkshop.©2009SesameWorkshop.AllRightsReserved.)
10 www.army.mil/soldiers
mother nally had to tell them the
day before the funeral, which wasn’t
until that Dec. 15, Guereca explained
in the Public Broadcasting System
special (http://video.pbs.org/pro-
gram/1457370191/) that discussed
the topic on primetime TV.
Hosted by “CBS Evening News”
anchor Katie Couric, who had to
confront her own grief, as well as that
of her six- and two-year-old daughters
when her husband Jay Monahan died
of colon cancer in 1998, the special
highlights Patty and her four boys, the
Family of a Marine who committed
suicide after returning from deploy-
ment, the wife and daughters of a
reghter who died of a heart attack,
the husband and daughters of a mother
claimed by breast cancer, and of course,
Jesse, Elmo and Elmo’s daddy Louie.
Both programs highlight behaviors
parents and other adults should expect,
such as Jesse’s anger and refusal to
discuss her father. Guereca’s children
started to worry about who would take
care of them if something happened to
her too, and she explained that their
grandmother would take care of them,
but when their baby brother Alex was
hospitalized with respiratory syncytial
virus and pneumonia, ve-year-old
twins Nathan and Angel started worry-
ing all over again.
eir teachers did a good job of
keeping them and their older brother
Rolando, who was six at the time,
busy, Guereca said, but she was struck
by how dierently the boys coped.
While Angel internalized everything,
thinking that if he didn’t talk about it,
he wouldn’t cry, Guereca explained,
his twin Nathan is far more open and
emotional. And little Alex, who just
turned six, “feels like he got cheated”
because he never met his father (but he
was ecstatic to meet Elmo).
“ere are some children who
don’t talk about it,” added Chwatsky.
“ey don’t acknowledge it…. ey
are silent about it. Other children may
be angry and they start displaying
that anger in their behavior and their
actions. ere’s a lot of regression in
young children. We may see children
with bed wetting or throwing temper
tantrums, that kind of stu. ere are
children who don’t want to participate
in activities. ere are children who
are embarrassed. ere are children
who don’t want to go to school and tell
people because they’re embarrassed of
what people will think of them or how
people will judge them.
“It really varies per child, and what
we’ve heard and our message to adults
in these children’s lives is you’ve got
to listen to these children, and listen
whether it’s their verbal cues or their
nonverbal cues, but you’ve got to listen
to what’s going on with these kids and
to be able to react to them based on
how they’re acting,” she added. e
Talk, Listen, Connect website includes
resources for parents such as sugges-
tions for dealing with these challenges,
as well as others, like anger at the
deceased parent or a child who believes
he or she is responsible for the parent’s
death.
Most important, according to
Chwatsky, is that adults be honest with
children, and not shy away from using
the word “dead.” ey should never re-
place it with euphemisms such as “lost”
or “passed away.” A child can nd a lost
toy, and a bus passes by, she explained,
leading young children to believe that
the parent might come back.
“Make it concrete and simple for
a child,” she explained. “And, you
know, Elmo, when he was talking to
10 www.army.mil/soldiers
Soldiers - April 2011 11
his dad about seeing Uncle Jack, Elmo
said something like ‘I’ll see him later.’
Elmo’s dad said, ‘You won’t. Uncle
Jack is dead.’ And as hard as it is to be
harsh, being concrete with children is
the best way to go, because if you’re
not honest with children about what is
going on, these children will get more
confused, and will later on struggle
because they didn’t have the truth. And
I think that sort of situation with Elmo
was a perfect example. Kids may hear
one thing: ‘Oh, Uncle Jack is dead,’ but
they may not internalize it or process
it, and it’s our job as the adults in their
lives to help them through that and
help them understand.”
It’s hard for anyone to process a loss
of that magnitude, Guereca cautioned,
explaining that even as an adult, at rst
when the phone rang with an unfamil-
iar number, she would hope it was her
husband, calling to tell her there had
been some kind of horrible mistake. It
took about a month before her little
boys truly understood that their father
was dead and that he wasn’t coming
home. She and her mother just kept
emphasizing that he was buried and
in heaven. Daddy was still looking out
for them, and they could dream about
him, but they could never see him
again.
Adults should also be on the look-
out for ways that they can remember
and honor the fallen parent with their
children. Jesse’s memory box, for
example, is full of the things that make
her feel closest to her father (children
can also make a scrapbook): a photo-
graph, his favorite silly tie, a ticket to a
baseball game, wind-up joke teeth. She
writes poems expressing her feelings—
explaining that writing makes her feel
a lot better—and Elmo draws pictures
and wears a silly hat Uncle Jack gave
him.
In real life, Guereca and her sons
created a special room to honor Joe’s
memory, lled with his medals and
awards, including a Bronze Star; pho-
tographs; his Army books; rucksack;
some wooden helicopters and the ag
that draped his casket.
Soldiers - April 2011 11
Elmoandreal-lifegrievingFamiliesreleaseballoons
withmessagestolovedonesintheprimetimePBS
specialthataccompanied“SesameStreet’s”DVD
“Talk,Listen,Connect:WhenFamiliesGrieve.”Both
programs are full of ideas to help kids remember
fallenparentssuchascreatingamemorybox,writing
poems,drawingpicturesorcreatingaspecialroom.
(Photo by Phillipe Cheng. Reprinted with permis-
sion of “Sesame Street.” “Sesame Workshop”®,
“Sesame Street”®, and associated characters,
trademarks, and design elements are owned and
licensed by Sesame Workshop. © 2009 Sesame
Workshop.AllRightsReserved.)
12 www.army.mil/soldiers
“For us, it’s more of our sanctu-
ary. I go in there when I’m sad or I’m
stressed and just sit there and think
about everything. My boys use it as
their place where they talk to their
dad,” she said, adding in an interview
that she brings her husband owers
every month and is working on a Face-
book page dedicated to his memory.
His sons, friends and battle buddies
will be able to share memories, stories
and photos, and the boys will get to
learn more about their dad.
Couric also told parents on the
PBS special that she asked all of her
husband’s friends and relatives to write
her daughters letters about their father.
She reads them a letter on special oc-
casions, and it’s something they will
always have. At the end of the special,
all of the children, including Elmo and
Jesse, tied letters and drawings to bal-
loons and released them in a ceremony
to symbolize an ongoing connection
to departed loved ones, according to
Chwatsky.
And it’s important to keep that
connection alive, whether it’s been six
months since a loved one’s death or
six years. at pain never goes away,
Guereca said. Families just learn to
adjust to it and cope with it and incor-
porate it in their daily lives.
“Grieving doesn’t come with a
manual,” she said, explaining that
friends and acquaintances shouldn’t
be afraid to reach out and bring up
the topic. “We all do it dierently…
and being there for us, even if it’s just
spending one day with us…that means
a lot. Communication—that’s a big
thing for us, communicating our feel-
ings; and just getting to know us. It’s
not just, ‘Oh it happened,’ and be there
for a year and then six years pass by.
Just because six years pass by does not
mean that the grieving has left us. It’s
still there…. Talk to us still. Hang in
there for us. We’re still going through
a lot. It doesn’t just shut o within a
couple of years or within a couple of
months. It doesn’t go away.” Y
Editor’s note: is is a follow up to a
story about “Sesame Street’s” programs for
military children that ran in the October
2009 issue of Soldiers magazine. e
story can be found at http://www.army.
mil/-news/2009/09/23/27722-can-u-
tell-me-how-to-get-to-sesame-street/.
12
KatieCouric,whohostedaprimetimePublicBroadcastingSystemspecialbasedon“SesameStreet’s”“Talk,
Listen,Connect”projectforgrievingFamilies,poseswithElmoandElmo’scousinJesse.Thedocumentary-like
specialfocusedonrealgrievingFamilies(bothmilitaryandcivilian),andshoweddifferentreactionschildren
mighthavetoaparent’sdeath.Jesse,forexample,reactedtoherfather’sdeathwithsadness,angerand
initiallyarefusaltotalkabouthim.(PhotobyPhillipeCheng.Reprintedwithpermissionof“SesameStreet.”
“SesameWorkshop”®,“SesameStreet”®,andassociatedcharacters,trademarks,anddesignelementsare
ownedandlicensedbySesameWorkshop.©2009SesameWorkshop.AllRightsReserved.)
www.army.mil/soldiers
Sgt.JoeGuerecaofthe1stCavalryDivisiondiedinIraqinNovember2004aftersteppingonanimprovised
explosivedevicewhileonpatrol.Heleftbehindthreeyoungsonsandawifewhowassevenmonthspreg-
nant.(PhotocourtesyofPattyGuereca)
Soldiers - April 2011 13
T
O date, the Sesame Street Ex-
perience for Military Families
has taken Elmo, Rosita, Zoe,
Grover and the Cookie Monster to
more than 90 bases in nine countries
and 27 states, covering more than
50,000 miles and performing about
250 shows for more than 150,000
military Families with the help of the
United Service Organizations.
And according to “Sesame Street’s”
Lynn Chwatsky, the assistant vice
president of outreach initiatives and
partners, everyone is hoping to bring
the tour back late this summer, rst
overseas and then to the States.
“It has been a success greater than
we could ever have imagined. We
have been to more places and touched
more Families than we ever could have
thought,” she said.
e half-hour show, full of music
and dancing that gets young children
out of their seats, cheering and scream-
ing, starts with one simple ques-
tion: “Do you miss your mommy or
daddy?” e response is almost always
a resounding “Yes!” And all of those
musical numbers are designed to give
ByElizabethM.Collins
‘Sesame Street’ comes to military Families
kids things to do when they miss their
deployed parents.
“e message of the show really is
aimed at deployments and the whole
idea is to give kids not only some con-
crete things to do when Mom or Dad
has to go away like writing letters or
telling stories or making music togeth-
er, but also to help Families have those
conversations,” said Lonnie Cooper,
the USO tour manager, who noted that
Elmo is a rock star to ve-year-olds.
“Kids don’t always listen to their
parents, so when you can say, ‘Hey, do
you remember when Elmo said some-
times he misses his mommy or daddy?’
kids understand that,” he continued.
“Kids get the message and that’s really
what we’re trying to do: A, provide
some entertainment and B, to help ease
the whole stress and strain of deploy-
ments.”
Putting on the show requires an
immense amount of work, not unlike
putting on a touring Broadway show,
he added. But the smiles he gets from
the kids make it all worth it—that, and
the hug he gets about once every show.
“I thought it was really great,”
Army wife Hayli Morrison said of last
summer’s Fort Riley, Kan., show. “You
can tell that they really care about the
kids and about showing them a good
time. As a matter of fact, we were there
with a six-year-old friend whose dad
was in the middle of a tour in Iraq and
I remember as we left, she said that this
was ‘the best day ever’ and it was really
sweet that she enjoyed it that much.
“It gave her a little enjoyment, you
know, to kind of forget about her situ-
ation for a little while, and then they
gave handouts to the kids. My son still
plays with his Elmo ashlight, so it’s
really a big hit. He seemed to have a
really good time with his friends.”
For updates, check the Talk, Listen,
Connect website at http://www.
sesameworkshop.org/initiatives/emo-
tion/uso. Y
13
Fromleft:Rosita,Elmo,ZoeandtheCookieMonsterdanceonstageatAndrewsAirForceBase,Md.As
partoftheUSO-sponsoredSesameStreetExperienceforMilitaryFamilies,thecharactershavetraveledto
militaryinstallationsworldwide,supportingmilitarykidsandhelpingthemcopewithparents’deployments.
(PhotobyElizabethM.Collins)
Soldiers - April 2011
14 www.army.mil/soldiers
StorybyRobMcIlvaine
B
ECAUSE Soldiers and their
Families often report to a new
duty assignment before seeking
community services, the Exceptional
Family Member Program is now reach-
ing out to them through unit Family
readiness support assistants.
EFMP is a mandatory enrollment
program that works with other mili-
tary and civilian agencies to provide
comprehensive and coordinated com-
munity support, housing, medical,
educational and personnel services to
Families with special needs.
“FRSAs, part of the commander’s
Family readiness team, provide admin-
istrative support to the commander,
rear detachment commander, and
volunteer Family Readiness Group
leader,” said Sharon Fields, the Family
and Morale, Welfare and Recreation
Command’s EFMP program manager.
“We’re now training them to work with
the EFMP through Army Community
Service.
“e unit is the rst place where
a Soldier reports. If he has concerns
about one of his children, the FRSA
will be readily available to be a guide
for on-base and community resources,”
Fields added.
An exceptional Family member
is a child or adult with any physical,
Army boosts
‘exceptional Family’
resources
14 www.army.mil/soldiers
Soldiers - April 2011 15
EFMPisamandatory-enrollmentprogramthatworkswithothermilitaryand
civilianagenciestoprovidecomprehensive,coordinatedcommunitysupport,
housing,medical,educationalandpersonnelservicestoFamilieswithspecial
needs.
Soldiers - April 2011 15
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16 www.army.mil/soldiers
emotional, developmental or intellec-
tual disorder requiring special treat-
ment, therapy, education, training or
counseling.
All active-duty servicemembers
must register with EFMP as soon as a
Family member is identied as having
special needs. e program, standard
across all services, documents the
services the EFM requires, and consid-
ers those needs during the personnel
assignment process (especially when
approving Family members for accom-
panied travel to overseas locations).
Working closely with the person-
nel and medical commands and the
Department of Defense educational
system overseas, EFMP prevents hard-
ship by ensuring the servicemember
and Family have all the support they
need in the receiving duty station
before they have a permanent change
of station.
Army Families deal with unique
challenges associated with military life,
especially when it comes to relocation,
according to Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch,
commanding general, Installation
Management Command. Not only do
Families have to nd a new place to
call home, they also have to nd new
health care and child care providers,
enroll children in new schools and
activities and build new friends and
support networks. ese challenges are
not easy for any Army Family, but for
Families with special needs, they are
magnied.
“e EFMP is one way we can
keep some of the most important
promises articulated in the Army
Family Covenant: Providing access to
high-quality medical care, educational
opportunities and Family programs
that foster an environment in which
Families can thrive,” Lynch said.
Two factors have been identied
that hinder the eectiveness of the
program: Diculties accessing the
appropriate resources, and a fear that
being identied in the EFMP will
adversely aect a Soldier’s career.
ey are battling the latter through
information campaigns directed at the
Army’s leaders and Soldiers, clearly
stating that the program is designed
to help a Soldier develop a successful
career while still nurturing the develop-
ment and quality of life of his excep-
tional Family member.
“FRSAs have three primary respon-
sibilities when it comes to providing
information about EFMP,” Fields said.
“ey direct a Soldier and Family
member who needs support services
and advocacy assistance to the EFMP
manager, refer Soldiers and Family
members to the military treatment
facility for screening and enrollment,
and network with the installation
EFMP manager and EFMP MTF sta
to assist with information and referrals
of eligible Family members.”
Access to resources is being ad-
dressed through the FRSA training,
and through an increase in the number
of “system navigator” employees in the
IMCOM organization.
IMCOM is adding 44 system
navigators to the existing EFMP sta
at 26 garrisons, both stateside and over-
seas. e system navigators will help
Families connect to the local, state and
federal resources they need.
e 26 garrisons include Fort
Hood, Texas; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort
Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky., and
volunteer Linda Phillips has her face painted by EFMP campers on the frst day of camp in Heidelberg, Germany, Aug.16-20, 2010. (Photo by Dijon Rolle)
D
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Soldiers - April 2011 17
Schoeld Barracks, Hawaii—the ve
installations with the highest number
of EFMP Families.
While the EFMP provides an
invaluable service to Soldiers and their
Families, the Army is constantly seek-
ing innovative ways to enhance support
to Families with special needs.
Soldiers and Families need to
know that they will be able to nd the
services necessary for the health and
well-being of all their Family members
before they depart for a new installa-
tion. According to Lynch, this is both
part of the Army’s promise to Families
in return for the sacrices they make,
and its commitment to Soldiers, whose
strength and readiness are rooted in the
strength of their Families. Y
Rob Mcllvaine worked for FMWRC Public
Affairsatthetimethisarticlewaswritten.
He is now with the Army News Service.
Camper lvy Murray and her Soldier buddy, Spc. Chaz Taylor, play on the rope globe, Aug. 4, 2010,
during Camp Cowabunga. Forty-nine campers from the Exceptional Family Member Program
participated in the annual camp at Fort Sill, Okla. (Photo by Monica Wood)
“Soldiers and their Families don’t care where the information
comes from, they just want the correct information. With FRSAs
at the unit to help as a guide, they can be assured of receiving
pertinent information as soon as they arrive," Fields said.
Soldiers - April 2011 17
A boy works on his papier-mache fsh, Aug. 12, 2010, during a visit to the Heidelberg, Germany, Arts and Cultural Center as part of an Exceptional Family Member
Programsummercamp.Elevenparticipantsspenttheweekdoingartsandcrafts,playingmusic,goingtolocalanimalparks,horsebackriding,andusingKletterwald,
a rope-climbing course. (Photo by Jason L. Austin)
18 www.army.mil/soldiers
A
LTHOUGH there was a mini
boom of construction dur-
ing the 80s, over the past four
scal years the Army’s Child, Youth
and School Services experienced an
unprecedented surge in construction,
resulting in increased access to modern,
aordable child development centers
for Army Families around the world.
“We’ve never done anything of
this magnitude,” said Peggy Hinson,
CYSS director with the Army’s Fam-
ily, Morale, Welfare and Recreation
Command. “is is a direct result of
Army senior leaders’ commitment to
Families.”
Over the past four years, construc-
tion on Army garrisons has been non-
stop. Twenty-two child care facilities
were built in 2007, 72 in 2008 and 56
in 2009, with several more in the plan-
ning stages for FY12 and beyond.
On-post expansion has also includ-
ed the renovation of existing facilities
to maximize spaces, and the introduc-
tion of innovative programs like Youth
Check-In Homes and Neighborhood
Activity Homes to provide spaces and
care for 11- to 15-year-olds outside of
traditional facilities.
“We’ve also constructed a number
of new youth centers, with one in
2007, 18 in 2008 and ve in 2009,”
said Hinson.
“We’ve expanded our facility
designs to include mini child devel-
opment centers. ese facilities can
accommodate 20 children and will
be open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-
a-week,” Hinson added. “ey will
be located at garrisons where there’s a
major medical center and a potential
need for overnight child care for the
children of shift workers, or those
working extended hours in support of
the mission.”
e hiring of CYSS sta, to include
teachers, caregivers, kitchen sta,
custodians and management personnel,
is also at an all-time high to accom-
modate the growing number of Army
StorybyRobMcIlvaineandBillBradner
CYSS expansion
shows Army’s
commitment to kids
Construction zone
Gen.WilliamE.“Kip”Ward,commanderofU.S.Africa
Command,meets(fromleft)JacksonBoyle,22months,
AnthonyRichardsandAriannaWilson,both2,afterthe
Kelley Child Development Center ribbon-cutting cer-
emony,Aug.23,2010,inStuttgart,Germany.Thecenter
providesfulldaycareto86children,from6weeksto
kindergartenage.TheoldCDCnowoffershourlycare
andhalfdaycare.(PhotobySusanHuseman)
Soldiers - April 2011 19
child and youth facilities.
CYSS has consistently proven to be
a contributing factor in encouraging
Soldiers to remain in the military. e
program gives Soldiers peace of mind,
allowing them to concentrate on the
mission because they know their chil-
dren are safe and supervised by trained
and professional sta, and provided
access to quality child developmen-
tal programs. CYSS also works with
schools to mitigate the relocation and
deployment challenges facing Army
Families.
e quality of care and services
does not go unnoticed by Soldiers and
Families. In the most recent Survey
of Army Families, 80 percent or more
of those polled said that Army CYSS
programs at their installations provide
positive growth and development op-
portunities for their children, and allow
parents to better concentrate on their
jobs. Just as importantly, respondents
said the programs play a role in inu-
encing Soldiers’ decisions to remain in
the Army.
It’s not just young Families with
newborns driving these changes. CYSS
is aggressively expanding services
o-post to support geographically
dispersed active-duty, Guard and Re-
serve Families, and is providing more
programs for school-age youth.
O-post expansion for active,
Guard and Reserve Families includes
Military Child Care in Your Neighbor-
hood, a child care program that meets
the mission needs of Army Families
who are geographically dispersed and/
or live beyond a reasonable commuting
distance of a military base. In addition,
Army Child Care in Your Neighbor-
hood, provides similar services near
F
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OngoingconstructionandtransformationatU.S.ArmyGarrisonHumphreys,SouthKorea.
20 www.army.mil/soldiers
installations to accommodate local
population increases.
For school-age youth, including
those of National Guard and Reserve
Families, CYSS has also developed
Army School-Age Programs in Your
Neighborhood and Army Youth Pro-
grams in Your Neighborhood. ese
programs reduce the high costs associ-
ated with child care for geographically
dispersed Families, while at the same
time connecting Families with qual-
ity, nationally accredited care. e fees
are generally comparable to those paid
on-post.
CYSS also partners with a number
of national civilian organizations such
as 4-H, the American Legion, Boys &
Girls Clubs of America, CHARAC-
TER COUNTS!, the Military Child
Education Coalition, the National As-
sociation of Child Care Resource and
Referral Agencies, Operation: Military
Kids, and other organizations in local
communities to deliver quality educa-
tion programs to children of deployed
Soldiers.
On post, the focus on teen support
is growing, in part, thanks to teen
involvement.
“Army teens have played an active
role in helping to design our youth
centers,” said Hinson. “We want to
WorkerscontinueconstructionononeoftwoidenticalChildDevelopmentCentersonBastogneAvenue,acrossfromFortCampbellHighSchool.Oncecomplete,
eachcenterwillcreate195childcareslots.(PhotobyHeatherSouthall)

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Soldiers - April 2011 21
give them what they will use, and based
on their input, we have developed
demonstration kitchens where they
can learn to cook, video gaming areas,
climbing walls and unique art areas,”
said Hinson.
“We even have sound mixing
booths where students can create their
own music. Family members are actu-
ally surprised when they learn of the
quality of our equipment,” said Janet
Taitano, a CYS services specialist who
is part of the furniture, xtures and
equipment set-up team.
“From the time the garrison
requests a new CYSS facility, we have
a series of kicko meetings, known
as a design charrette,” said Richard
Miller, also a CYS services specialist
and member of the FF&E set-up team.
e word charrette refers to any col-
laborative session in which a group of
designers drafts a solution to a design
problem. ey serve as a way of quickly
generating a design, while integrating
the aptitudes and interests of a diverse
group of people.
“is is a coordinated, multi-
faceted approach where the architect;
interior designer; health, re and safety
(personnel); and nancial manage-
ment professionals—in short, everyone
involved with the construction—come
ConstructionworkersarehardatworktomeetexpandingchildcareneedsinKaiserslautern,Germany.Overthepastfouryears,theArmy’sChild,YouthandSchool
Serviceshasexperiencedanunprecedentedsurgeinconstruction.
22 www.army.mil/soldiers
together to develop and present their
plans,” Miller said.
“is is a turn-key operation,
meaning that all the sta and students
have to do is turn the key and walk in.
When we leave, the (facility) is at least
95 percent ready,” he continued.
e Army has come a long way in
a comparatively short amount of time,
and is working to ensure the newly
constructed facilities are aesthetically
pleasing while staying within the
construction and budget parameters
of standard designs.
“We’re very proud of how our
dollars and time are spent by buying
equipment in bulk across the Army,”
said Nancy Dunn, a CYS program
specialist who serves as the contract-
ing ocer’s representative for the
enterprise procurement of FF&E for
CYS facilities. “We do quality control
on all of the products we buy. Our
team follows up after installation and
checks with the students, caregivers
and management to make sure all
products, such as the fabric on chairs,
stand up to heavy use. If not, we do
substitutions across the board.”
CYSS programs and the services
they provide continue to evolve. For
instance, FMWRC is working to
provide child care services at tness
centers.
“When the chief of sta and the
secretary of the Army heard Families
saying, ‘We can’t get child care when
we want to work out,’ tness centers
with child care were added,” said Bob
Roadarmel, CYS specialist and tness
center child care lead.
According to Roadarmel, the
collaboration with tness centers and
CYSS is growing.
“We are extremely proud of these
purpose-built facilities, constructed
from the ground up with Army Fami-
lies in mind,” said Miller. Y
100%
80%
60%
40%
20%
0%
Soldiers Spouses
83%
82%
75%
82%
67%
80%
85%
82%
71%
83%
56%
84%
Sends message
that the Army cares
about its people
Helps minimize lost
duty/work time due
to lack of child care/
youth sponsorship
options
Helps minimize lost
duty/work time due
to lack of child and
youth services
Plays a role in inu-
encing my decision/
my spouse’s decision
to stay in the Army
Allows me/my spouse
to better concentrate
on my/our job(s)
Provides positive
growth and develop-
ment opportunities
for my children
Survey question: To what extent does providing Army CYS programs at your installation have a
positive impact on the following? Above graph shows percent reporting “moderate,” “great” or “very
great” extent. Source: 2005 Leisure Needs Survey, Army FMWRC, as cited in, What We Know About
Army Families, 2007 Update (ICF International)
BillBradnerworksforFMWRCPublicAf-
fairs.RobMcIlvaineworkedforFMWRC
PublicAffairsatthetimethisarticlewas
written,butisnowwiththeArmyNews
Service.
24 www.army.mil/soldiers
ARMY NEWS
S
OME of the funds saved by trim-
ming a target $100 billion from
Department of Defense budgets will
be used to modernize Army capabili-
ties.
e four military services were
directed by Defense Secretary Robert
Gates to achieve $100 billion in ef-
ciencies over the 2012 to 2016 Future
Years Defense Plan. e services would
be allowed to retain and reinvest these
eciency savings in enhancements of
their own high-priority, war-ghting
programs.
Army Vice Chief of Sta Gen. Pe-
ter W. Chiarelli said money the Army
has found through identifying ef-
ciencies is now being used to reinvest
in programs like the M1 Abrams tank,
-PUKPUNLMÄJPLUJPLZTLHUZTVUL`[VTVKLYUPaL
the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and
the Stryker.
“In Stryker, I think we’re moving
with a double-V hull,” Chiarelli said.
“We have been completing some test-
ing and that testing has come out very
satisfactory. We are pleased with it,
and are moving ahead to provide addi-
tional protection for the entire crew of
the Stryker—above what we have right
now with the at-bottom hull—with
some of the add-on armor kits.”
e general said the Army would
be making improvements to both the
Stryker and the Bradley.
e Army found eciencies by
consolidating six Installation Manage-
ment Command regions into four,
for instance. Also, through portfo-
lio reviews, the service determined
it could terminate both the costly
SLAMRAAM surface-to-air missile
program and the Non-Line-of-Sight
Launch System.
In addition to reinvesting in
ground vehicles like the Stryker,
savings are being applied to upgrade
systems like the Patriot missile and the
Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar
system.
“Quite frankly, counter-rocket and
countermortar are the threats that are
aecting our troops downrange today.
So with over a billion dollars in SLAM-
RAAM savings, we were able to reinvest
that in (C-RAM) and also in upgrading
the Patriot,” Chiarelli said. Y
— ARNEWS/C. Todd Lopez
MasterSgt.DavidHuff,aprojectmanageratthe
CenterforTelehealthandTechnologyatJointBase
Lewis-McChord,conductsademonstrationusing
“VirtualIraq.”(PhotobyDavidSperry)
I
N the past six years, games such as
“Virtual Iraq” and a recent version
called “Virtual Afghanistan” have
evolved to help Soldiers returning from
combat with post-traumatic stress
disorders.
e University of Southern Cali-
fornia’s Institute for Creative Technolo-
gies began partnering with the Army
in 2004 to develop virtual-reality treat-
ments for PTSD and motor rehabilita-
=PY[\HSYLHSP[`NHTLZOLSWPUN^P[O7;:+
tion. Dr. Albert Rizzo of ICT worked
with Cornell Medical College, Emory
University and Madigan Army Medical
Center at Fort Lewis, Wash., to develop
the program.
e initial prototype of Virtual Iraq
was constructed by recycling art origi-
nally designed for the Xbox and the
Army-funded combat tactical simula-
tion trainer “Full Spectrum Warrior.”
e game engine, called Unity, is
being used for the most current ver-
sion, Rizzo said.
“You’re wearing a set of goggles
that have visual panels for each eye
and there’s also tracking devices on the
headsets, so as you turn your head and
physically move your body around, the
graphics update within the head moni-
tor display and you get the illusion
of being immersed within the virtual
environments,” he said.
e patient may start o riding
along in a Humvee through the Mojave
Desert with American signs. Most pa-
tients can handle that, Rizzo said; they
get used to the situation. And they begin
to narrate some of their experiences.
Audio stimuli such as the Humvee
motor and bombs exploding can be
heard, Rizzo said, adding “We also use
a smell machine which can pump out
up to eight dierent scents that are
reminiscent of Iraq and Afghanistan—
things like gunpowder, diesel fuel,
burning rubber, rotting garbage, body
odor or Iraqi spices.” Smell is one of
the strongest triggers of memory.
e aim here, he said, is to put
the patients in environments that are
reminiscent of the experience that rst
traumatized them, and then to try to
customize those environments and pace
them so the patients can handle it.
Rizzo said that one study has
shown that 16 of 20 Soldiers who have
completed the treatment no longer
meet the criteria for PTSD. But he also
said that it’s not the software that is
really helping Soldiers.
“e technology doesn’t x any-
body,” Rizzo said. “It’s the therapist
and the therapeutic process of exposure
therapy that works the magic, so to
speak.” Y
— ARNEWS/Rob McIlvaine
Soldiers - April 2011 25
FromArmyNewsServiceandothersources
;
HREE coins honoring the Army—a
$5 gold piece, a silver dollar and a
clad half-dollar—are now available for
purchase from the U.S. Mint.
A portion of the proceeds from the
sale of the coins will go toward con-
struction of the National Museum of
the United States Army at Fort Belvoir,
Va. e museum is expected to open in
=PY[\HSYLHSP[`NHTLZOLSWPUN^P[O7;:+
the ability to accept armor, and then
relinquish armor when it is no longer
needed,” Spoehr said.
e TWV strategy covers Army
tactical wheeled vehicles in four eets:
light, medium, heavy and Mine
Resistant Ambush Protected. e light
TWV eet includes the Humvee and
will include the Joint Light Tactical
Vehicle.
e medium eet includes legacy
2 1/2- and 5-ton trucks, and the heavy
eet includes the Heavy Expanded
Mobility Tactical Truck, the Heavy
;
HE Army’s new Tactical Wheeled
Vehicle Strategy, released in Janu-
ary, is the roadmap for managing and
modernizing the Army’s eet of nearly
300,000 vehicles over the next 30
years.
“It represents a paradigm shift for
the U.S. Army,” said Maj. Gen. omas
Spoehr, director of Army force develop-
ment, of the plan that manages a eet
worth some $70 billion.
In the past, similar strategies have
looked out only ve or 10 years. e
new 30-year outlook, Spoehr said,
reveals a need to cut back in some areas
to meet budget requirements.
“As we looked out 20 or 30 years,
we found some aspects of our strat-
egy were going to be unaordable,”
Spoehr said. “is strategy makes tough
choices today, in order to account for
these realities.”
One of those tough choices is a
reduction in eet size. By 2017, it’s
expected that the TWV eet could
be reduced by as much as 15 percent,
said Lt. Col. Robert Lenz, Army G-8
programs. He said the cost savings from
that reduction, and from other changes
in the strategy, will reduce the per-year
eet procurement budget from what
had been projected at $4.4 billion a
year down to about $2.5 billion a year.
e Army will also focus on vehicle
versatility, Spoehr said.
“We’re going to procure trucks that
are adaptable so they can be used in
many dierent environments and have
=LOPJSLZ[YH[LN`PUJS\KLZÅLL[YLK\J[PVU
Equipment Transporter System and the
Palletized Load System.
Today, a large part of the Army’s
light TWV eet is the Humvee. While
the Army is no longer buying new
Humvees, it is instead looking at recapi-
talizing some and procuring the Joint
Light Tactical Vehicle.
Also part of the TWV strategy are
plans to incorporate about 18,000 to
19,000 MRAP vehicles into the Army
eet, and to transition the currently
joint MRAP program to the Army. Y
— ARNEWS/C. Todd Lopez
(YT`JVTTLTVYH[P]LJVPUZUV^H]HPSHISL
Up to 19,000 more MRAPs, such as these two in Afghanistan, will be added to the Army's feet under the
newTacticalWheeledVehicleStrategy.
2015, in conjunction with the Army’s
240th birthday.
e coins feature artwork that
commemorates the Army at war, the
Army during peacetime and the mod-
ern Army.
e three coins range in price from
just under $20 to $450. Y
— ARNEWS/C. Todd Lopez
Formoreinformation,visittheU.S.Mintwebsite
at:www.usmint.gov/catalog.
26 www.army.mil/soldiers
CCORDING to the National
Association of Child Care
Resource and Referral Agencies,
barely 10 percent of child development
facilities nationwide are accredited.
Within the Department of Defense,
however, 98 percent of
child development pro-
grams are accredited.
“We won’t connect
a military Family with a
program that we know is
not developmentally ap-
propriate and not high
quality,” said Lee Ratli,
acting Community
Based Division chief
at Family and Morale,
Welfare and Recreation
Command.
“Child care is a
quality of life issue,” he
explained. “It’s vital our
Soldiers know their chil-
dren are taken care of,
that they are in a high-
quality environment.”
Army CYSS has
been working for more
than a decade to ensure
Army child care on
installations is fully ac-
credited. In recent years,
the focus has been to
work with the NAC-
CRRA to develop qual-
ity child care options
outside the gates.
More than 14,000
children of active-duty,
National Guard and
Reserve Soldiers are currently enrolled
in Army-sponsored, community-based
programs that meet state licensing and/
or national accreditation requirements.
Building on the success of Army
Child, Youth and School Services, the
DOD plans to launch an initiative this
year to improve the quality and quan-
tity of child care available for reserve-
component personnel and Families
living in areas not directly supported by
a military installation child care system.
e DOD will coordinate with
federal and state agencies—including
DOD to offer child care improvements for
geographically dispersed Soldiers, Families
StorybyBillBradner
A
TheArmyisworkingwithfederal
andstateagenciestoensurethat
SoldierslikeSpc.EllaneMarquez
can fnd quality child care.
Soldiers - April 2011 27
health and human services and Head
Start—to improve the quality and
availability of commercial and commu-
nity-based child care.
is initiative will also enhance
eorts to secure quality, community-
based child care options by working
with state agencies, including health
and human services and Head Start.
e DOD can assist in the develop-
ment of more accredited programs, and
those that meet its standards of care
will be added to the list of approved
providers.
Once the facility or program is
approved, servicemembers and Families
from all services can receive prices
comparable to those on post through
military subsidies to the child care fees.
irteen states have been selected
to participate in the pilot program:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Dela-
ware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Ken-
tucky, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia,
Vermont and Washington. e states
were selected based on a variety of
criteria, ranging from lack of a military
installations to support of deployed
Soldiers (such as Vermont), and the
impact on the existing child care sys-
tem due to high numbers of deployed
Soldiers (North Carolina, Kentucky,
Texas and Washington).
State liaisons will provide techni-
cal and training assistance to those
agencies and providers willing to take
appropriate steps to improve the qual-
ity of care.
“e end goal is to increase the
availability of quality child care no
matter where they live,” Ratli said.
“But this will also help the U.S.
improve quality in early childhood
environments across the nation.” Y

Bill Bradner works for FMWRC Public
Affairs.
Myaa,19months,helpshermom,StaffSgt.MyrandaChaney,asupplysergeantatU.S.ArmyReserve
CommandG-2/6,cleanupafteraCYSSThanksgivingdinner.MyaaisenrolledintheCDCpretoddlerclass.
AlmaCarriker(behindchildren),anafter-schoolprogramassistantwithChild,YouthandSchoolsServices,
joinsagroupofchildreninwelcomingattendeestotheEducatorsAppreciationReception,Sept.11,2010,
atFortMcPherson,Ga.
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28 www.army.mil/soldiers
L
ETTERS from loved ones can serve as morale
boosters for deployed servicemembers. Soldiers
magazine reached out to Army families, asking
them to share letters Soldiers’ children had written to
their deployed parents.
While space limitations preclude us from printing
every letter received, the next several pages showcase a
selection of submissions from kids of all ages across the
country.
On behalf of everyone at Soldiers magazine, thank
you to all the Army kids who serve as sources of support
and encouragement, not only to their deployed parents,
but also to the other Family members who wait for them
to return. Y
“I miss you so much and I hope you
have a gratetime. I wish you cood
be here with me right now. I love
you somuch that is whey I wont you
here.”
—Olivia Raines, age 8
L
etter from
P
hoebe R
ain
es, age 10
28 www.army.mil/soldiers
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Soldiers - April 2011 29
“I have good grades in my classes....
I wish you were here with us now....
We are all counting down the days
until you come home... Love you very
much.”
Soldiers - April 2011 29
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Letter from Julissa Rivas, age 13
letter
Sgt.RonnieRivasandhisdaughter,Julissa.
(PhotobySimplyTakenPortraitsbyStaci,
printedwithpermission)
30 www.army.mil/soldiers 30 www.army.mil/soldiers
Artwork of Nathan & Bryan Rodney, ages 3 & 8
30 www.army.mil/soldiers
StaffSgts.GaryandPeta-GailRod-
ney(parentsofNathanandBryan).
(Photos courtesy of the Rodney
Family)
“Dear Dad, from Nathan and Bryan. I hope you
listen. Be strong. I miss you. I love you. Thaks for
the presents. God bless you.”
—Nathan & Bryan Rodney
Soldiers - April 2011 31
Letter from Christian Campbell, age 14
“...Can’t wait for you to come
home so we can play blackops....
I love you and miss you lots.”
Chief Warrant Offcer 2 Robert Campbell
andhisstepson,ChristianTaylor.
Soldiers - April 2011 31
S
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32 www.army.mil/soldiers
“How is it going? I have new friends.
I love you soooo much!”
“I got your letter and hung it on my wall....
Never be lonely. I love (you) so much, I
can’t explain! Not even by picture!”
Letter from Ceilidha Campbell, age 7
Letter & Artwork of Katie Wheeler, age 9
Sgt. Joe Campbell and daughters Ceilidha
and Rhynli (age 1), before his deployment to
Afghanistan, July 2010.
“How is it going? I have new friends.
I love you soooo much!”
T
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Lt. Col. Randy Wheeler and daughter, Katie. (Photo courtesy of the
WheelerFamily)
Soldiers - April 2011 33
Artwork of Miriam Gygax, age 3 1/2
Capt.LucionP.Gygaxanddaughter,Miriam.Second
daughter,Amira,right.(PhotoscourtesyoftheGygax
Family)
Sgt. 1st Class J.R. Williams with her husband,
Jason and daughter, Reilly. (Photo courtesy of
theWilliamsFamily)
Artwork of Reilly Williams, age 6
Soldiers - April 2011 33
“To J.R.”
34 www.army.mil/soldiers
“I miss you so much... and want
you to come home soon.”
“I got a couple of bruises today and took
some hard falls.... I can’t wait for us to go
back to the states and look at colleges to-
gether. I love you. Be safe.”
Letter from Katelyn Hamilton, age 15
Letter from Riley Wenger Rodgers, age 13
Chief Warrant Offcer 3 Thomas (Tom) Hamilton and his daugh-
ter Katelyn. (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Family)
34 www.army.mil/soldiers
Sgt. Cory Rodgers and his stepson, Riley.
(PhotobyTawnyCampbell)
Soldiers - April 2011 35
“Thank you for my DSiXL.... I can’t
wait til you come back....We miss you
so much daddy.”
Letter from Misha Rivera, age 9
Clockwisefromtopright,Sgt.JoseRivera,daughters,Misha
and Jireh, age 10, and wife, MaryAnn.
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Soldiers - April 2011 35
36 www.army.mil/soldiers
Tutoring for the
L
IVE homework help, part of a
student support program dubbed
Study Strong, is available from
the Army’s Child, Youth & School
Services both in school-age and middle
school/teen facilities and at home. It
can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week at Tutor.com/army.
Tutor.com/army is an interactive,
one-on-one, tutoring service for all
active-duty servicemembers and their
dependants, as well as dependants of
military reservists, National Guard and
DOD civilian personnel when on active
duty in a deployed status. If a parent
returns from deployment and their child
is no longer eligible for the free service,
Families can elect to continue using the
service for a nominal fee.
With Tutor.com/army, educational
assistance is provided free for all ages,
from kindergarten to 12th grade, and
includes support for math, science,
English and social studies. Resume and
career-transition services are also avail-
able for adults.
“is is a free service for military-
connected students,” said Terri Spencer,
Fort Drum, N.Y., school liaison ocer.
“When we found out about it, we im-
mediately started marketing as much
as possible. And when we say it is free,
everyone likes that.”
“Since people have begun using the
service, we have received a lot of posi-
tive feedback,” she added. “e tutors
online are always quick and responsive.
ey are very positive and will help
the students until they understand the
answers.”
To participate in the program,
students rst submit a one-time reg-
istration form to obtain a pass code.
Students then use it to log in from any
computer. When they enter their grade
level and the subject they need help in,
they are connected to the rst available
subject-expert tutor.
Students and tutors work in an
online classroom using controlled
chat and interactive white board tools.
Students may also send computer les,
such as essays, to the tutor for review
and assistance.
StorybyFMWRCPublicAffairs
Free online tutoring at
www.tutor.com/army
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Tutors are certied teachers, college
professors, professional tutors or gradu-
ate students from across the country.
ey all undergo criminal background
and reference checks before being hired
by Tutor.com. ey are prohibited from
asking for any personal information
from the student and from contacting
the student outside the online classroom.
e assistance is provided in a complete-
ly anonymous environment to protect
students’ safety and identity.
“I think overall the program is great,”
Spencer said. “My daughter has used it,
and it is a fun, interactive website. It is
also good for children of Soldiers who
are deploying, (especially when) the one
deploying is the parent who helps their
children with their studies.”
Conner Dooley, a freshman at
Radford High School in Hawaii, said he
“likes Study Strong because it’s easy to
use, it’s helpful and it’s not complicated.
“It’s always available no matter what
time it is,” he continued. “I have only
used it for math, but would not hesitate
to use it for another subject if I needed
to.” Y
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rore-scroo|ed sluderls. Y
Information provided by FMWRC Public
Aairs.
21st century
24/7 online service available for
Soldiers’ kids

IN addition to providing 24/7 online tutoring,
the CYSS Study Strong program supports
students through the following:
Soldiers - April 2011 37
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HE Army’s Family and Morale,
Welfare and Recreation Com-
mand supports a variety of
sports and tness programs for children
aged 3 to 18, involving more than
83,000 youth annually, with some
68,000 participating in team or indi-
vidual sports.
Start Smart Sports, SKIES Un-
limited School of Sports, Triple Play,
Up for the Challenge and Get Fit, Be
Strong!, are just a few of the programs
FMWRC’s Child Youth and School
Services delivers to installations world-
wide. All but Get Fit, Be Strong! are
already in place.
e CYSS Sports and Fitness
program supports military readiness by
reducing the conict between Sol-
diers’ mission requirements and their
parental responsibilities. ey provide
consistent and comprehensive oppor-
tunities for military children to develop
their physical, social, emotional and
cognitive abilities, while maximizing
participation in aordable programs.
e Army’s child and youth sports
and tness framework is divided into
four service areas: team sports, indi-
vidual sports, tness and health, and
outreach.
“We do a great job with team
sports and individual sports,” said
Donna McGrath, CYSS Sports and
StorybyTimHipps
Fitness director. “Fitness and health
and outreach have been our focus
for the last couple of years. I knew
we were moving into this tness and
health realm just because of the trend
in society to try to combat obesity in
children.”
Fitness and health programs are
based on nutrition education/counsel-
ing and health promotion activities.
ese programs are implemented
throughout the CYSS system, to
include child development centers,
Family child care, school-age services,
and middle school and teen programs,
at no cost to participants.
CYSS Sports and Fitness directors
provide outreach to both in-house
programs and private organizations
such as 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs and
local parks and recreation activities.
e outreach helps CYSS capitalize on
existing programs in the communi-
ties surrounding the installations, and
includes training for parents of kids
enrolled in CYSS.
e Army also plans to piggyback
on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s
Move campaign with Get Fit, Be
Strong!
To fulll that goal, CYSS ocials
strive to deliver a holistic program that
not only provides the latest in tness
training, equipment and services, but
also fosters help from the homefront to
make healthy living an enduring part of
everyday life.
“We can start it in our centers—
health, tness and nutrition—but if it’s
not followed through with the com-
munity and the parents, then it will just
continue as a vicious cycle where children
don’t eat properly,” McGrath said. “We
want to start children o by teaching and
emulating a healthy, nutritional lifestyle
in our programs, but we want to help
solidify it with the Family.”
CYSS provides several programs to
help youth deal with stress, develop skills,
instill discipline and attack obesity:
· Start Smart Sports provides training
in sports skills (basketball, baseball, golf
and soccer), small- and gross-motor
development, hand-eye coordination and
sportsmanship for ages 3-7.
· SKIES Unlimited School of Sports
provides opportunities for kids from pre-
school through high school to participate
in entry-level sports and tness activities
that not only contribute to their physical
development, but also to specic interests
not addressed by other CYSS programs.
· Triple Play, a game plan for the mind,
body and soul, is a dynamic wellness
program that demonstrates how eating
right, keeping t and forming positive
relationships result in a healthy lifestyle
for youth.
Youth sports
Army’s Child, Youth and School Services
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8th Army’s Good Neighbor
soccerteamplaysafriendly
game against a host-nation
opponentinSouthKorea.
38 www.army.mil/soldiers
· Up for the Challenge is a year-round
program for executing health, tness
and nutrition activities within CYSS
programs. e curriculum guide is ac-
companied by a resource kit with food
models, pedometers, fat and muscle
models, yoga tapes, etc., to help sup-
port the learning environment.
· Get Fit, Be Strong! is FMWRC's
customized version of the President’s
Challenge, a national
physical activity and t-
ness awards program. Get
Fit, Be Strong! provides
continued opportunities
to keep young people
active through sports and
physical tness activities
at higher levels of physical
development within the
youth programs.
“It is our health and
tness campaign to com-
bat obesity that supports
Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move
campaign,” McGrath said.
“We know that (youth)
oftentimes don’t receive
the nutritional value, ac-
cording to USDA, that is
required for them daily,”
McGrath said.
“And they’re less active
at home because they are
living sedentary lifestyles,”
she continued. Play has
a signicant value in a
child’s life. ey need to
be active. Play helps them
socialize and learn how to be a
member of a team.
“Because it’s not always avail-
able in schools, you see after-school
programs trying to pick up that slack.
We know how valuable our sports and
tness program is, and that’s why it’s a
signicant portion of our framework in
school-age and middle-school and teen
programs.”
According to Health and Human
Services Department and President’s
Challenge ocials, children require 60
minutes of activity a day to burn the
calories they consume.
McGrath hopes these programs will
get the Army’s youth involved in some
type of physical activity and instill
lifelong habits.
“We’re not a competitive sports
organization,” she said. “We’re recre-
ational and intramural. at’s why we
really promote and adhere to our 50
percent playing rule. When you join a
team, we want you to participate. We’re
not interested in running programs
where children sit on the bench. It does
them no good to sit on the bench.” e
50 percent playing rule allows for each
participant to play at least 50 percent
of the game.
“And that’s a constant struggle for
us because we have those folks who
want us to run competitive teams, but
we’re not built that way,” McGrath
added. “We’re not structured that way
because when we start running com-
petitive teams, then we leave children
out. We want to include children in
our program. We don’t want to exclude
children.”
e bottom line, McGrath said, is
about much more than just exercise.
“It’s learning lifelong healthy habits.
It’s not just a one-time deal. at takes
training and education, and that’s what
we need to do with our kids. If we
make it fun, entertaining, (and) excit-
ing, and wow them with our program-
ming, then we’ll be successful."Y
Tim Hipps works for FMWRC Public
Affairs.
TheCYSSSportsandFitnessprogramprovidesopportunitiesformilitarykidstodevelopphysical,social,emotional
andcognitiveabilities.
“It is our health and fitness campaign to
combat obesity that supports Mrs. Obama’s
Let’s Move campaign.”
GetFit,
BeStrong!
Soldiers - April 2011 39
T
HERE’S more than one way
Army journalists convey Sol-
diers’ stories so they resonate
with dierent members of the Army
Family. Former Soldiers Radio and
Television director Jini Ryan and
SRTV producer Chip Filiault reached
out to the children of Soldiers and
Department of Defense civilians to get
answers to questions from a young per-
son’s perspective. e segment, called
Army Kids, aired in Army Newswatch,
the Army’s agship broadcast, and
brought their reports into the homes of
military Families around the world.
Several middle and high school stu-
dents rose to the challenge, and became
Army Kids reporters for a day. Excerpts
from their interviews oer a glimpse
at how the youth reporters related to
their subjects, and the stories that were
developed from their interviews.
OperationPurpleCamp
In the summer of 2008, then-13-
year-old Corey Filiault served as the
rst Army Kids reporter at an Opera-
tion Purple Camp in West Virginia to
see the positive impacts of the program
on children of deployed parents. e
daughter of a Department of Defense
civilian, she was already anchoring her
school announcements when she got
her rst taste of Army broadcasting.
She hopes to be a lawyer or a book edi-
tor some day. e complete video story
can be found at http://www.army.mil/
media/amp/?bctid=745082693001
or http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=XSvGXCjv-Sc.
AK reporter: Do you guys worry about
him when he’s gone?
Audrey Zipperer, 13 (Dad in Army):
Of course.
Abigail Zipperer, 9 (Dad in Army):
Yeah, a lot.
AK reporter: What do you guys worry
about?
Audrey: We just worry that he’ll get
hurt. I mean it happens, things happen
over there, you can’t really stop them.
AK reporter: Your dad, has he ever
gotten hurt or have you guys ever got-
ten really, really worried?
Abigail: He got hit in the nose.
Audrey: Yeah, he got hit in the nose
once ring a gun by accident. It wasn’t
stabilized properly. But when he’s out
on missions, he lost some Soldiers.
And he was the commander of that
troop and it was hard.… Every time
that we heard that someone else in the
troop had gotten hurt or was severely
wounded or anything like that we were
denitely really worried about him.
Army KidS
reporting
CoreyFiliault
SoldiersRadioandTelevision
gave kids whose parents
are affiliated with the Army
a chance to be reporters for
aday.
Soldiers - April 2011 39
40 www.army.mil/soldiers
AK reporter: Is it helpful, now that
you’ve come to Operation Purple
Camp, that you see other people that
are going through the same things that
you are?
Audrey: Yeah.
AK reporter: Do you guys discuss it
at all?
Audrey: We do. We talk. We compare
things. We sympathize with people.
AK reporter: Who is in the Army?
Jeremy Beale, 16: Both my parents,
my mother and my father.
AK reporter: Wow. at must be really
tough.
Jeremy: A little bit. It’s tough knowing
that they can get deployed at any time,
but just having them with you most of
the time through your life, it’s pretty
cool.
AK reporter: Do they get deployed
one at a time usually, or have they both
gotten deployed at the same time?
Jeremy: ere’s been certain instances,
not like them getting deployed to-
gether, but like one will get deployed
and one will go to another Army base
for a short period of time, maybe like
months or weeks.
AK reporter: Is that really hard?
Jeremy: Well, it’s hard for the deploy-
ment. But the other one on base,
usually they don’t send them too far
away, so he can come back and visit,
like maybe once a week. Having my
grandparents with me, it kind of helps
me through it because of the fact that
they’re like second parents to me.
AK reporter: By coming to Purple
Camp, does this help you…express
feelings or worries?
Jeremy: Actually it did. Before Purple
Camp, it’s not that I couldn’t talk to
people, but talking to them about the
military is not like one of our conver-
sations…. When I got here, the rst
thing they had us talk about was how
our parents are doing and like what
branch of the military were they in,
and we just had random conversations
about our parents and what they did
and things like that.
AK reporter: Overall, would you say
that you’d like to join the Army?
Jeremy: I can’t join the Army, because
I have disabilities…which do not allow
me to join the military. I couldn’t, but
if I could, I probably still wouldn’t
because of the fact that I know being
a kid and moving a lot is really hard,
and I don’t know—if I had kids, I don’t
know if I could put them through that.
Collectionforthetroops
Katherine Arata was a 7th grader
when she volunteered to serve as an
Army Kids reporter to talk about the
troop-outreach eorts of the students
at H.H. Poole Middle School in
Virginia. e daughter of an active-
duty Army colonel, Katherine hopes
to become a CNN reporter. e
complete video story can be found
at http://www.army.mil/media/
amp/?bctid=95746712001.
AK reporter: What are you packing
up?
40 www.army.mil/soldiers
Jeremy Beale tries his hand at archery during Operation Purple Camp.
(PhotobyElizabethM.Collins)
Soldiers - April 2011 41
Lauren Smith, 8th grade: Just main
essentials like soap and toothpaste and
toothbrushes and socks and some food.
Jermari Woodson, 8th grade: Variety
of stu…Frisbees, water guns, gum
and also playing cards, and other toilet-
ries—everything that a Soldier might
need over there.
AK reporter: How did you get dona-
tions?
Heather Reilly, 6th grade: Well, we
used Cullen (a fellow student), and he
dressed up as a Soldier Angel with little
wings on and ran through the school.
And we talked about it on our an-
nouncements.
AK reporter: So, how did you get
involved in this?
Cullen Guthrie, 8th grade: Around
here almost every Family has some
military or anything to do with it or
a parent that’s in the military. It’s just
nice to support them.
AK reporter: How do you feel about
what you and your students are do-
ing today?
Stephanie Reilly, 8th-grade geogra-
phy teacher: I’m very proud of them.
ey worked very hard…e SCA
(Student Council Association) sold
candygrams to raise money to buy
some of these items. Some of the items
were donated—some by 6th graders,
some by 7th graders and some by 8th
graders—so the whole school took part
in this. And the SCA took funds from
what we had earned and what we had
gotten from the candygrams and Mrs.
Gaylord and I went out and bought
some more supplies. Everybody likes
to get a package in the mail especially
when it’s lled with goodies, so I’m
really proud of the kids for participat-
ing in this.
AK reporter: Why are you helping out
here today?
Jermari: Well, because, really, my sister
is in the Army and I believe in making
a dierence. And I like to be part of
someone’s life, helping them out, really,
that sort of thing.
AK reporter: If you could say one
thing to the Soldiers receiving this box
what would you say?
Lauren: I would say thank you for
their service because I know it’s hard
for me too having my dad been de-
ployed four times also, so, just thank
you for their service because I know
how much they sacrice for it.
Mrs. Reilly: I would tell them good
luck and we appreciate what they’re
doing. One of the things that I teach
my students as a geography teacher is
there’s a lot of places in the world, but
Corey Filiault served as a guest
reporterforSoldiersRadioandTelevi-
sionatOperationPurpleCamp,where
she interviewed kids like Audrey
Zipperer (on the rope). (Photo by
ElizabethM.Collins)
KatherineArata
Soldiers - April 2011 41
42 www.army.mil/soldiers
this is the best and we need to appreci-
ate what we have and those people that
make it possible for us to keep that.
Armymusicians
Kelleen Lincoln was entering
the 10th grade when she donned the
Army Kids reporter mantle to nd
out what it takes to become a mem-
ber of the U.S. Army Field Band in
Maryland. Kelleen, the daughter of a
DOD civilian, is an avid violin and
viola player, and had a chance to jam
with an Army musician. e link to
the complete video story can be found
at http://www.army.mil/media/
amp/?bctid=611178935001.
AK reporter: So, how long have you
guys been playing your instruments?
Sta Sgt. Lauren Veronie, eupho-
nium player: Well, I’ve been playing
since I was about 12 years old. I picked
the euphonium rst thing out of all the
options of band instruments. My mom
really wanted me to play the ute and
I wanted to do whatever the opposite
of what she wanted me to do was so I
picked something quite a bit bigger. It’s
the euphonium, it’s like a small tuba.
Sta Sgt. Jeanne Wiesman, French
horn player: I started when I was 13,
in 7th grade, and in our school we
had the choice of band or choir. And I
don’t have a singing voice so I looked
at all the instruments and I thought the
French horn was the prettiest and the
shiniest.
AK reporter: Do you enjoy playing
your instruments? Has there ever been
a time when you’ve thought, “Maybe I
should put this down. ere (are) other
things I could be doing right now?”
Wiesman: No, this is a great job
because basically (like) we’re in band
class, all day long. It’s a job where we
get to do what we’re passionate about.
AK reporter: Do your instruments that
you play with this band belong to you,
or are they from the Army, and…you
borrow them?
Veronie: Most of us play on Army-
issued instruments. It’s partly a liability
reason. If we’re on tour and something
happens to an instrument, it gets
smashed or dropped or stolen, the
Army is not liable for an instrument
that does not belong to it.
AK reporter: What about your instru-
ment?
Sta Sgt. Rachel Farber, vocalist and
violinist: It’s from Palermo in 1790,
and as you can see, it’s just beautiful
and the sound is just like, it’s almost
like a viola sound. It’s dark and warm
Katherine Arata, Army Kids reporter,
talkedtostudentsatH.H.PooleMiddle
School in Virginia about their troop
outreachefforts.
KelleenLincoln
42 www.army.mil/soldiers
Soldiers - April 2011 43
and it’s just—, I wonder who played
this before, you know, for the past,
what, 200 years?
AK reporter: Is there any advice that
you would give young musicians pos-
sibly looking to go into military bands?
Veronie: I think one of the rst things
you can do is nd a great teacher on
your instrument. ey will absolutely
guide you and help you be passionate
about it and get the instruction you
need. And you have to work really
hard—it’s not always an easy road.
Farber: Audition for everything you
can, play in anything you can play in
and just keep playing. Music is the
greatest gift in the world, and I’m
grateful every day that I can do it for
my country. Y
StaffSgt.JeanneWeismanandfellowArmyFieldBandSoldierssharedtheirexperienceswithArmyKids
reporterKelleenLincoln.(PhotobyRobertMcIver)
At the time the article was written, Jini
RyanwasthedirectorofSoldiersRadio
and Television. She now works at the
EnvironmentalProtectionAgency.
Soldiers - April 2011 43
Staff Sgt. Lauren Veronie, a euphonium
playerwiththeArmyFieldBand,toldArmy
KidsreporterKellenLincolnthattheroadto
becominganArmymusicianischallenging.
(PhotobyRobertMcIver)
44 www.army.mil/soldiers
T
HE U.S. Army Old Guard
Fife and Drum Corps plays an
active role in telling America’s
story. It’s through its uniqueness that
it is able to pass on a passion for music
and history that its members say in-
spires and teaches the next generation.
As an element of the 3rd U.S. In-
fantry Regiment, “e Old Guard,” the
Army’s oldest active-duty infantry regi-
ment, e Old Guard Fife and Drum
Corps is one of the Army’s four special
bands. Its 69 Soldier-musicians serve
as goodwill ambassadors for the Army,
performing at more than 500 events
each year. From playing for the presi-
dent and honored guests on the South
Lawn of the White House to perfor-
mances in Hometown USA, the Corps
has become a national icon, reaching
millions of spectators annually.
e uniforms the Corps’ Soldiers
wear represent those worn by Gen.
George Washington’s Continental
Army, and their interactions with the
public bring that history to life.
“Playing at elementary schools al-
lows the Fife and Drum Corps a great
opportunity to reach today’s youth,”
explained Sta Sgt. Rebecca Davidson,
fe instrumentalist. “It’s a thrill to not
only see their faces light up when we
start playing but to leave knowing you
truly taught them a piece of American
history. It’s always the question-and-
answer session we do after a show that
gets the kids really excited.”
e Corps’ musicians said the
goal of a performance is to keep the
audience engaged and excited, and
they whole-heartedly embrace that
challenge. Corps members, who play
on handmade rope-tensioned drums,
10-hole wooden fes and single-valve
bugles, maintain bonds with their
young fans long after a performance.
“Over the years, we’ve received
hundreds of pieces of fan mail from
children we’ve played for. We like to
think we ignite their love of history
at an early age,” said Sgt. 1st Class
Matthew Huddleston, U.S. Army Old
Storyandphotosby
StaffSgt.AlexanderBorisov
The Fife and
Drum Corps
Passingthetorchtothenextgenerationofmusicians
Soldiers - April 2011 45
Guard Fife and Drum Corps Drum
Major. “It’s a Corps member favorite to
go through these letters and write them
back. It’s an interaction and experi-
ence you don’t see anywhere else in the
Army.”
With a strong following in the New
England and Midwest regions, ng
and drumming is a vibrant pastime
for today’s youth with hundreds of
corps throughout the country. rough
direct interactions with these civilian
groups, the Old Guard Fife and Drum
Corps is able to do something no other
military band can: truly immerse them-
selves in a genre.
“Growing up with a daughter in
the tradition of ng and drumming
was fantastic. As a father, something
that really touched me was watching
her face when she saw the Old Guard
perform in our hometown,” said David
Arns, a Midwest fe and drum corps
parent. “She looked at them as the rock
stars of the fe and drum world.”
e Corps’ strong outreach pro-
gram is at the heart of Soldier-young
musician relationships. rough dedi-
cated events and appearances such as
the annual Old Guard Juniors’ Work-
shop, the Soldier-to-youth interaction
is further fostered. In 2010, the Corps
hosted its sixth such event.
To commemorate its 50th anniver-
sary, Corps alumni and current mem-
bers volunteered to teach and mentor
workshop participants. e workshop
is a unique event within the Army,
and currently one of only a handful of
events designed specically for the na-
tion’s younger generation.
e Corps’ Education Outreach
coordinator, Sta Sgt. Jay Martin,
explained: “Our goal here in the Corps
is to continue what we’ve done, what
we’re doing and foremost, what we’re
going to do, so we can push further
ahead in our outreach to today’s youth.
When you start such a groundbreaking
event like our Juniors’ Workshop, it’s
up to you to make sure it continues to
grow.”
Held on historic Joint Base Myer-
Henderson Hall, Va., just across the
Staff Sgt. Deanna Hamm, U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps ffe instrumentalist, leads students through music during the 2010 Old Guard Juniors' Workshop.
46 www.army.mil/soldiers
Potomac River from the nation’s
capital, the weekend-long camp brings
together more than 100 young musi-
cians from across the United States.
e days are lled with a wide array of
classes ranging from music composi-
tion, marching basics and even a sneak
peak into the life of other Old Guard
elements. According to the partici-
pants, everyone has a great time.
Soldiers from the Fife and Drum
Corps are there to teach classes and
shuttle students between events
throughout the day. Members take par-
ticipants under their wings and make
sure their weekend runs smoothly.
Soldiers explained that it’s this close
interaction that fosters an environment
where each child wants to learn.
“e Juniors’ Workshop is the
highlight of my year. Obviously you
leave the weekend with a bunch of
musical advice, but the best part is
the experiences and (the) friendships
you form with Old Guard members,”
Patrick McHale, a 2010 Old Guard
Juniors’ Workshop participant, said.
“It’s like having an older sibling you
can really look up to.”
As Soldiers welcomed the par-
ticipants, the Corps building’s halls
bustled with excited chatter about what
the weekend’s activities would hold.
e workshop provides many kids
with the opportunity to meet with old
friends and quickly make new ones.
“Since I became a member of the
Fife and Drum Corps, to experience
the Juniors’ Workshop and to see all of
the kids running around, seeing their
friends and saying hello to our Soldiers,
never gets old. Some of them have
Staff Sgt. Scott Jamison, U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps snare drum instrumentalist, performs
with a student from the 2010 Old Guard Juniors' Workshop.
Soldiers - April 2011 47
been attending the workshop since it
started, and it’s so moving to see their
progress,” said Sta Sgt. Kara Loyal, a
fe instrumentalist. “More importantly,
you soon realize you’ve made lifelong
friends out of the students you teach—
there’s no greater event for everyone to
build camaraderie.”
e capstone of the weekend, and
something that lies within the core
of the fe-and-drum world, was the
jam session. Participants agreed that
was the moment they waited for all
weekend—an opportunity to play with
the Soldiers of the Old Guard Fife
and Drum Corps. ere’s no rhyme or
reason to how it’s pieced together—
the beauty lies in the simplicity and
spontaneity of the session, participants
said. e concept: Musicians gather en
masse, someone starts a song and the
entire collective joins in. e jam ses-
sion showcased the eorts of both the
Soldiers and their students. Brought to-
gether by music and a common thread
of patriotism, the young musicians
joined the ranks of the next generation
to carry on this American legacy.
“As keepers of the ame, we not
only chronicle the legacy of military
music, but we also look to the horizon
to ensure the art form continues,” said
Chief Warrant Ocer 4 Frederick Ell-
wein, U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and
Drum Corps commander. “It’s about
inspiring the future leaders of our
nation through the interaction with
today’s Soldiers.” Y
Staff Sgt. Alexander Borisov is a ffer
and the public affairs noncommissioned
offcer in charge with the U.S. Army Old
GuardFifeandDrumCorps.
Staff Sgt. Deanna Hamm, U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps ffe instrumentalist, conducts children during an exercise at the 2010 Old Guard Juniors' Workshop.
The nation’s strength starts here.
www.army.mil/facesofstrength
Retired Lt. Col. James Graham
When Lt. Col. Rick Graham found an Afghan child in need of
medical care, he knew who to call on for help—his father, retired
Lt. Col. James Graham, a 28-year member of the Army National
Guard. "If anyone was going to know how to help this child, I fgured
it was him.” James Graham and his wife, Roberta, immediately
raised the funds to bring the child, Quadrat, and his father, Hakim,
to the United States for the heart surgery the boy needed. When
Quadrat passed away after his return to Afghanistan, James and
Roberta Graham raised $13,000 to help Hakim build a clinic and
school in his village in Quadrat’s honor and name. The school and
the clinic continue to grow today with James Graham’s assistance.
Consider the benefits you don’t see on
your leave and earnings statement each
month. In addition to regular pay and a
housing allowance, the Army provides
access to health and dental care,
on-post services, tuition assistance
and generous retirement options.
Check with your career counselor about
reenlistment options and stay Army
Strong.
©2011. Paid for by the United States Army. All rights reserved.
SERVICE: IT ADDS UP
THE BOTTOM LINE INCLUDES
MORE THAN A PAYCHECK
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