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Military Family Month, November 2014

"The selflessness of our military families tells a story of unfailing duty and devotion. Through long deployments, difficult separations, and moves across the country and overseas, spouses and partners put their careers on hold and children take on extra responsibilities. With grace and resilience, families endure the absence of loved ones and shoulder the burdens of war. And when battle ends and our service members return home, their families support their transition and recovery."

"As a grateful Nation, we pay tribute to the women and men who have made our military the finest fighting force the world has ever known, and we honor the enduring strength and dedication of their families."

- President Barack Obama, 2014 Presidential Proclamation: Military Family Appreciation Month

For information about Military Family Month, see the following websites:

White House.gov
Defense.gov
Spouse Buzz.com

Holidays, Finances, and the Stress of it All!

Celebrating the holidays should be the most wonderful time of the year…unless you’re feeling stressed! With the additional financial pressures that come with the “season of giving” many military families often feel the stress from being separated from family and friends. Service to county doesn't break for holidays or special occasions, servicemembers are still away on deployment, finances may already be tight, and that doesn't leave a lot of money for gifts. However, servicemembers and their families are some of the most deserving – Thank you for your sacrifice throughout the year!

If you are reaching your holiday breaking point, here are a few ideas to help you lessen holiday financial stress:

Create a Holiday Budget: Creating a holiday budget is a very good way to prevent overspending and lessen the stress through the holidays. Once you have a spending plan, stick to it! Taking time to plan your gifts and organize holiday expenses instead of random and last-minute spending, you will be surprised at how much you can actually achieve while potentially enjoying the process. Taking control of your holiday budget and creating a spending plan can make your holidays go a lot smoother. Explore creative ways to share the joy that is this time of the year, relieving much of the stress during this season and avoid the dread of unexpected January bills.

Beware: Online Holiday Shopping Traps – Phony Shopping Websites It doesn't matter if it's the day after Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve, cyber criminals don't take a holiday. Thieves are in the business of stealing money and, especially during the holiday season, online shoppers can be vulnerable prey.

Military families tend to be a very close knit community of neighbors and friends. If you find yourself or notice another family in need this holiday season, connect them with local resources available for military families such as your local USO or Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. Many military service organizations provide a wide variety of holiday support to servicemembers, and holiday support at local installations can be an option. Contact the family center at your nearest installation and ask about the support provided this year.

James Lander works for Military Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.

Army Reserve Family Programs is here for you throughout the Soldier's Life Cycle.

Life Cycle LogoPutting Family first, then balancing between a civilian job and Army Reserve life is hard work. Let Army Reserve Family Programs (ARFP) help you make that balance easier.

From Soldiers and Families who are new to the military or new to the Army Reserve,to those who are moving forward in civilian life, ARFP is here to support you at every phase of the Soldier's Life Cycle by connecting you to the right resources at the right time!

Get connected by requesting your Life Cycle Kit.

Military OneSource Financial Specialty Consultation

Financial consultants can assist with financial planning; provide financial counseling; help one understand their retirement, 401K, TSP, and investment options; provide information on credit management, budget analysis, loans, home buying, and credit cards; and make referrals to state tax preparers on one's behalf. Besides online and telephonic financial specialty consultations, Military OneSource provides face-to-face financial counseling.

To schedule financial counseling support, eligible participants can call Military OneSource at (800) 342-9647 and ask for an appointment. Financial counseling sessions through Military OneSource are unlimited.

The Journey from "Welcome Home" to Now: Reunion, Reconnecting, Routine

ONLINE COURSE

Funded by US Army Reserve; No Cost to Participants

Register today to take The Journey from “Welcome Home” to Now: Reunion, Reconnecting, Routine™, an online Institute. The Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®), a nonprofit organization addressing the educational needs of children in military Families, presents the training. This online course teaches professionals who support military-connected children and youth the challenges and joys that children face during a time of reintegration following a Family member’s return after an extended absence. Participants will learn strategies to help students adjust during the reunion and during the journey of reconnecting and reestablishing Family routine.

Click here for additional information.

Click here to see a three-minute video overview.

National Native American Heritage Month, November 2014

Native American Heritage"Every year, our Nation pauses to reflect on the profound ways the First Americans have shaped our country's character and culture. The first stewards of our environment, early voices for the values that define our Nation, and models of government to our Founding Fathers -- American Indians and Alaska Natives helped build the very fabric of America. Today, their spirit and many contributions continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our country. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor their legacy, and we recommit to strengthening our nation-to-nation partnerships."

- President Barack Obama, 2014 Presidential Proclamation: National Native American Heritage Month

For information about National Native American Heritage Month, see the following websites:

Native American Heritage Month.gov
BIA.gov

Army Reserve Battle Buddy App for iPhone, Ipad and Android Smartphones

Battle BuddyThe Army Reserve Battle Buddy App has been released for use on iPhones, Ipads and Android Smartphones. This user-friendly app provides tools and information needed to assist in suicide intervention and other crisis situations.

This app is organized into two primary areas, "My Buddies" and "My Resources". MY BUDDIES contains quick links and tips to use if you must act or intervene in a crisis. It provides detailed intervention, awareness and prevention information concerning the Army's suicide prevention program and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program.

MY RESOURCES consists of links and information on programs and services available to Soldiers and their Families. You will find a wealth of information on benefits, entitlements, educational opportunities, financial resources and other information.

Apple Version of the Battle Buddy App for iPhones and iPads
Android Version of the Battle Buddy App