Bernard Curtis Brown II Memorial Space Camp Scholarship


NASA Space Camp (www.spacecamp.com) is a place of learning where kids come together for a journey they will never forget. For many, it is a life-changing event helping them make decisions about their educational and vocational careers. This extraordinary adventure teaches youth about astronauts and space travel…and so much more. They learn leadership, and they develop bonds of friendship that can last a lifetime.
The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) created a Space Camp scholarship program in memory of one of America’s bright young Military Children, Bernard Curtis Brown II. Bernard, the 11-year old son of Chief Petty Officer and Mrs. Bernard Curtis Brown, died tragically on September 11, 2001, when the hijacked airliner on which he was a passenger crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. At the time, Bernard was on his way to California to represent his school at a National Geographic event.
Bernard’s parents agreed to allow the MCEC to honor Bernard’s memory with this scholarship to provide other military-connected children with the opportunity to experience the worlds of science and learning, and share their experiences of service to the nation, as proud members of Military Families.
For more information and to apply for this scholarship: Military Child Education Coalition Attn: Space Camp, 909 Mountain Lion Circle, Harker Heights,


Salute the Troops Night at the Hartford Hawks


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13 | 7 PM UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD, CHASE FAMILY ARENA
All Veterans and Active Duty Personnel will receive complimentary tickets to the game courtesy of the Hartford Hawks Caring Neighbor Program. There will be a special pre-game ceremony for all Military personnel.
Contact the University of Hartford Athletic office for more information at 860-768-HAWK (ext 4295).      


Honor and Remember Four Chaplains Day

  
During WWII on February 3, 1943 in the cold North Atlantic Ocean, the USAT Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine. The Dorchester was carrying approximately 900 US troops en route to Greenland for deployment in the European battlefields. Among its passengers, the Dorchester carried four Army Chaplains of varying faiths – Methodist, Roman Catholic, Jewish and Reformed Church of America. When the Dorchester was hit, the Chaplains helped try to keep the men calm and evacuate in an orderly manner. However, during the evacuation, the supply of lifejackets dwindled. The Four Chaplains each gave up their lifejackets to save the lives of others. Some survivors recounted that they saw the Four Chaplains link arms and say prayers reflective of their different religions and languages. These four men sacrificed their lives to save the lives of many, regardless of faith. Honor and Remember those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice – Reverend George L Fox, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Reverend John P. Washington and Reverend Clark V. Poling.          


Snowcare for Troops


Snowcare for Troops is a program provided by Project Evergreen, a non-profit organization that matches volunteers offering free services to Military Families that have a Family Member currently deployed. The Snowcare for Troops program provides snow removal services. The Greencare for Troops program provides services for Spring/Summer/Fall yard work.
If you are interested in volunteering your time and/or services, or if you are a Military Family in need of services, check out www.projectevergreen.com/scft.


Tax Assistance Services


The United Way of West Central Connecticut announced its upcoming tax assistance program. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will begin on January 29 and run through April 13. The program is available for residents of Bristol, Plainville, Burlington, and Plymouth/Terryville with an annual household income less than $50,000. Appointments must be made in advance and are available for Tuesdays and Saturdays. Please call 211 to schedule your appointment. Other locations and tax assistance services can be found through www.infoline.org search for “tax preparation”. Volunteers will be able to assist Military Members with Tuesday appointments only, as the Tuesday volunteers have received training with the unique features of doing military tax returns.
In addition, Military OneSource and H & R Block have announced their partnership to provide free on-line tax preparation services for Military Members, regardless of branch or component, and activation status. Coast Guard Reservists activated under Title 10, as well as spouses/Family Members enrolled in DEERS are also eligible for this free service. If you are eligible under the Military OneSource program, you can complete, save and file your 2012 Federal and up to three State returns online for free with the H&R Block At Home® Basic tool.


Winter Open House


Sponsored by The Family Therapy Center of Bristol
On Thursday, January 10th, ASCC Customer Support Coordinators (CSCs) opened the doors to the ASCC after-hours to host a Winter Open House for Military Families and Kids sponsored by The Family Therapy Center of Bristol. The evening began with CSC Donna Dognin welcom-ing the guests and giving them a brief tour of the ASCC, and explaining the mission and vision of the ASCC. Mrs. Dognin then turned the program over to Helen Skovran and Kyoung-Hi Dickson of The Family Therapy Center. Ms. Skovran opened her program with a Wish Circle. Every-one in attendance stood in a circle holding hands, and one by one each person expressed a wish or hope they have for the New Year. Everyone then gathered for an arts and crafts project. The atten-dees (children and adults alike) drew a picture of themselves on one side of a plate with the kind of feeling they show everyone and then on the other side of the plate showing a feeling that they hide from people. Everyone then had the opportunity to discuss what those feelings were, and why they might be having them. During the arts and crafts portion, everyone had the opportunity to discuss their concerns—general and individual. The evening’s program concluded with everyone standing in a circle again and saying what they liked about the evening and/or for what they were thankful.


Thank You!


The ASCC Customer Support Coordinators (CSCs) would like to extend a special thank you to the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Bristol for coordinating the Suits for Soldiers Career Clothing Drive. They would also like to thank Bristol City employees, Bank of America, Albertus Magnus College and the entire Bristol Community for their assistance in donating clothing. Thirteen Military Members and Veterans visited the ASCC, where they were able to find clothing to help them in their job search efforts and begin new careers. In addition, so much clothing was received that RSVP was able to share the donations with other Veteran service providers like the Vet Hunters Project and No Vet Left Behind. The CSCs have retained some of the clothing to continue to assist Veterans and Military Members in need throughout the winter months. Thank you again for your generosity!


National Military Family Association is Offering Two New Military Kids Kits


Military Family.org has two new kits “Military Kids” toolkit and “Military Teens” toolkit which can be ordered at no cost. These two kits are geared toward elementary school-age military children 6 to 11 years old. This is the second in a series from the National Military Family Association to give people in military kids’ lives - teachers, school counselors, coaches, community leaders, religious leaders, neighbors, Family friends, or relatives - a way to help them manage stress and affirm the positive aspects of military life.


DeCa Scholarships for Military Children


Applications for the 2013 Scholarships for Military Children Program are now available at commissaries worldwide, and also online at www.commissaries.com and www.militaryscholar.org.
The scholarship program awards at least $1,500 at each commissary. To be eligible to apply for a schol-arship, the student must be a dependent, unmarried child, younger than 21 (or 23, if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university) of a Service Mem-ber on active duty, reservist, guardsman, retiree or survivor of a Military Member who died while on active duty, or survivor of a retiree.
Students with questions about the scholarship program application can call Scholarship Managers at 856-616-9311.


DoD Ending Paper Checks


The Department of Defense (DoD) will no longer issue paper paychecks as of March 1, 2013. On that date, electronic funds transfer for military pay will become mandatory for all Servicemembers, Retirees and DoD civilians. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is encouraging personnel to set up a direct deposit checking or savings account ahead of the March 1 deadline. About 99% of DFAS customers already receive their pay by direct deposit.
For more information, visit the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) website at http://www.dfas.mil


What is Space-A?


Space-A is short for “space available” travel on government owned or contracted aircraft. Under the Space-A program, eligible passengers can fill unused seats on DoD owned or contracted aircraft once all of the duty passengers have been accommodated. With patience and flexibility, you can travel the world very inexpensively.
Success with Space-A travel depends on flexibility and good timing. Since Space-A passengers travel only after all duty passengers and air cargo have been accommodated, there is no guarantee that a flight will have enough seats for every potential cus-tomer. Space-A passengers should be prepared with sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of lodging and alternative transportation should seats not be available.
Remember; “space available” travel is just that space that is available only after all mission require-ments are fulfilled. * ** * There is no guarantee ** * *
The following are eligible for Space A travel:
Members of the Uniformed Services and their Family Members
Foreign exchange Service Members on permanent duty with the DoD
 Retired members of the Uniformed Services and their Family Members
Members of the Reserve Components
Civilian employees of the DoD stationed overseas and their Families
American Red Cross personnel serving overseas with the U.S. Military
DoD Dependent School (DoDDS) teachers and their Family Members
For more information please visit www.takeahop.com


VA Gives Veterans Money to Pay for Elder Care Services at Home

 

Under certain conditions, about 33% of all seniors in this country could qualify for up to $2,019 a month in additional income from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This money can be used to pay just about anyone to provide elder care services at home. As an example, these funds can be used to pay children, other relatives, friends, home care companies, or domestic workers. Adequate documentation and evidence must be provided in order to receive money from VA for these services, particularly the services provided by Family Members or other non-professional providers. The National Care Planning Council furnishes detailed instructions and training to those practitioners who wish to help Veteran households receive this valuable source of revenue to pay for home care.
This little-known source of money for paying long-term care costs is known as Veterans Pension and is avail-able to Veterans who served on active duty during a period of war, or to the single surviving spouses of these Veterans. Pension is also known popularly as the “aid and attendance benefit.” Of approximately 35 million Americans age 65 and older in this country, about 11.5 million are Veterans who served during a period of war or their surviving spouses. This represents about 33% of the senior population.
The Pension benefit has an income and an asset test. Veteran households with income or assets above the test levels will not qualify for the benefit. Fortunately, there are special provisions that allowunder certain circumstances individuals who would normally fail the tests to still qualify. VA typically does not tell potential applicants about the special provisions. A practitioner who understands how to obtain the aid and attendance benefit can help potential applicants receive the benefit even when they have been told by VA that they do not qualify.
Pension income is often used to pay costs of long-term care such as home care, assisted living or nursing home care. That's because the nature of these expenditures allows potential applicants for the aid and attendance benefit to meet the special provisions of the income test.
Over the past months the National Care Planning Council has received requests from Veterans’ Families all over the country who are trying to find help with their loved ones’ long-term care needs. Many of these Veterans households would likely qualify for the aid and attendance benefit mentioned above. As a result of these inquiries, the council wants to train Veterans benefits consultants to help Veterans obtain their benefits and to handle these requests. 
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