Each year, the popular holiday song reminds us that, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” The holidays are truly a special time for Families to gather together and make lasting and cherished memories, and look forward to a new year. The holidays also give us time to pause and reflect on the many blessings for which we are thankful and the prospect of, “peace on Earth, good will toward men.”
This year, as in recent years past, thousands of Army Reserve Soldiers will spend the holidays serving around the globe in Afghanistan, western Africa, Eastern Europe and other parts of the world. As we cherish the time we spend with our Families here at home, let us also remember those who are unable to do so and honor their commitment, dedication, and sacrifice.
The year ahead presents many challenges, but we will meet and overcome those challenges, just as we have for more than a century. We will continue to support America’s Army and our nation with the skill and professionalism for which we are known. We are thankful for the Soldiers of the Army Reserve, as well as the Civilians, Families and the employers who support them.
May each of you in our Army Reserve Family enjoy a peaceful and blessed holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2015.
Click here to see the Quad-Signed Holiday Letter.
Hanukkah 2014 begins in the evening of Tuesday, December 16 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 24, 2014 The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts. Click here for the history of Hannukah.
A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts. Click here for the history of Christmas.
Kwanzaa 2014 begins on Friday, December 26, 2014 and ends on Thursday, January 1, 2015 The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. Kwanzaa also has seven basic symbols which represent values and concepts reflective of African culture. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31. Click here for the history of Kwanzaa.
Family Foundations is a program developed at Penn State that helps couples make the transition to parenthood in a healthy way. This period, when a couple has their first child, is often quite stressful for new parents. Family Foundations has been shown to have multiple benefits including:
Military Families encounter stressors and challenges that are common to all Families as well as those that are unique to the military lifestyle, including multiple relocations, long duty-related separations, and the challenges related to combat exposure.
Army Reserve members and partners who:
Couples will complete our new interactive, online program for new parents and participate in pre- and post-test surveys/interviews.
Each person will receive $25 for each survey/interview they complete, up to $100 per couple.
If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact: Jamie Irvin at FamFound@psu.edu or 814-867-4809 / 1-877-382-9185.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT: This work is being funded by the National Institutes of Health under a grant to Mark Feinberg, research professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Putting 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.
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.
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 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.