This week in mc&fp october 17 2011

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<ol><li> 1. Image description. MC&amp;FP banner image End of image description.Blog post of Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy AssistantSecretary of Defense (Military Community and FamilyPolicy)Image description. Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (MC&amp;FP) End of image description.Military Spouse Employment Program Reaches 96 Partners!On Columbus Day, I had the honor of participating in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership(MSEP) Induction Ceremony. Twenty-four new companies joined the partnership, bringing the total toninety-six partners! The Induction Ceremony recognized the growing community of businesses that arestepping up to offer meaningful and portable employment opportunities to our military spouses.I met with the leaders of our newest partner companies and can say without question that they areexcited about the opportunity to hire military spouses. In fact, each of the 96 partner companies clearlyunderstands the true value our military spouses bring to their companies. In return, the companies areoffering flexible job opportunities that can withstand relocations, deployments, and other aspects ofmilitary life that have made career advancement so difficult for our spouses in the past.Military spouses face a 26% unemployment rate and a 25% wage gap compared to their civiliancounterparts. MSEPs goal is to level the playing field and help our military spouses connect withcompanies that are searching for talented and skilled employees. But the impact of MSEP goes beyondjust reducing the unemployment rate for our military spouses. It also benefits employers by connectingthem to a large and diverse body of exceptionally capable, dedicated, and motivated workers. Inaddition, MSEP also provides an important readiness connection: meaningful career opportunities thatare compatible with the spouses military service make it easier for quality families to remain in themilitary and continue to serve our great nation.MSEP has experienced extraordinary growth since its June launch. In less than four months, MSEP hasprovided employment to more than 5,600 military spouses, and another 56,000 jobs are available on thewebsite. As we look ahead, the DoD is committed to making MSEP even more useful, both for militaryspouses and for businesses. Spouses will soon be able to post resumes and cover letters directly to theMSEP jobs site, and both companies and spouses will be notified when a resume matches a jobannouncement. The site will also pull job announcements from partner job pages and instantly loadthem onto the site, making it a true one-stop-shop for military spouse employment. We need to continueto hear from you your feedback is critical to the programs continued improvement. Please join ourdiscussion to let us know what you think: whats working, and what can we do to improve it further? Page 1 of 11 </li><li> 2. MC&amp;FP Weekly (October 17,2011)10/18/2011In the spirit of Columbus, we at the DoD are forging ahead, making significant strides to help ourmilitary spouses find meaningful employment. I look forward to hearing from you soon.For more information from Military and Community Family policy, like them on Facebook.To read an Army take on the topic, read here and for more information on this milestone, read this newsstory.Page 2 of 11 </li><li> 3. MC&amp;FP Weekly (October 17,2011) 10/18/2011Joining ForcesJoining ForcesStars Join Forces With First LadyA few top entertainment industry stars have joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama to help shinethe light on military families and their service and sacrifice.The entertainment industrys Inter-Guild Joining Forces Task Force today released new public serviceannouncements featuring producer and director Steven Spielberg, movie star Tom Hanks and legendarytalk show host Oprah Winfrey, a White House news release said. The task force developed the PSAs insupport of the Joining Forces campaign, a national initiative launched by the first lady and Dr. JillBiden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to support and honor service members and their families.The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guildof America, Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America West formed the task force toprovide creative and production support for Joining Forces, the release said, and to inform and inspiretheir members about military families.The PSAs tell real stories about Americas military families and call on Americans to give back toensure service members and military families have the support they deserve."The entertainment community answered the Joining Forces call and has done what they do best -- bringto life stories that move us," Obama said in the release. "Through this PSA campaign, Americans willlearn more about the unique challenges and needs of our military families; see their strength, resilienceand service; and find out how they can give back to these extraordinary troops and families who havegiven us so much."The guilds launched the PSA project following the first ladys visit to Los Angeles in June. Shediscussed military families stories and issues and encouraged the guilds to incorporate their experiencesinto film, TV and digital media. The PSAs are a direct outcome of that visit, the release said, adding thatA&amp;E Networks, CBS, Comcast NBC, Disney ABC, FOX and WB have agreed to support the PSAcampaign.The PSAs encourage Americans to get involved in supporting military families by visiting the JoiningForces website. Visitors to the site can send messages of thanks, find opportunities to get involved andshare stories of service, the release said.As a military mom I know just how much it means when people reach out to show their support for ourservice members and their families, Biden said in the release. The first lady and I hope that thiscampaign will inspire more Americans to take action and reach out to military families in their owncommunities around the country.To view the PSAs, visit Spielberg PSA, Hanks PSA and Winfrey PSA, or go to this site.Page 3 of 11 </li><li> 4. MC&amp;FP Weekly (October 17,2011)10/18/2011Weekly TipsMilitary Community and Family Policy Weekly TipsNutrition Tip of the Week - Meats Vegetarian CounterpartsWhile vegetarians do not eat meat, there are a number of substitutes that look and may even taste liketheir non-vegetarian counterparts. However, a benefit of eating the vegetarian substitutes is that they areusually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol. So if you are looking for some meatsubstitutes, try incorporating any of these options into your daily meals. For breakfast, try soy-based sausage patties or links. Rather than hamburgers, try veggie burgers. A variety of kinds are available, made with soy beans, vegetables, and rice. Add vegetarian meat substitutes to soups and stews to boost protein without adding saturated fat or cholesterol. These include tempeh (cultured soybeans with a chewy texture), tofu, or wheat gluten (seitan). For barbecues, try veggie burgers, soy hot dogs, marinated tofu or tempeh, and veggie kabobs. Make bean burgers, lentil burgers, or pita halves with falafel (spicy ground chick pea patties). Some restaurants offer soy options (texturized vegetable protein) as a substitute for meat, and soy cheese as a substitute for regular cheese.Parenting Tip of the Week - Communicating with TeensParents of teenagers who continue to communicate with their teens, even despite conflict and arguments,maintain stronger relationships with them. It might seem like a struggle to continue to talk to your teenwhen it leads to conflicts and disagreements, but most teens report having a close relationship with theirparents identify their parents as being a significant influence on their lives. Maintain an open line ofcommunication, rather than simply trying to avoid disagreements.Lets Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week - Balance caloriesFind out how many calories YOU need for a day as a first step in managing your weight. Go toChooseMyPlate website to find your calorie level. Being physically active also helps you balancecalories.Foods to eat more often:Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or 1 percent milk and dairy products. These foodshave the nutrients you need for health-including potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber. Make themthe basis for meals and snacks:.Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables liketomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals aspart of main or side dishes or as dessert.Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk. They have the same amount of calcium and otherPage 4 of 11 </li><li> 5. MC&amp;FP Weekly (October 17,2011)10/18/2011essential nutrients as whole milk but contain fewer calories and less saturated fat.Make half your grains whole grains. To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for arefined product-such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of whiterice.Foods to eat less often:Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt. They include cakes, cookies, ice cream,candies, sweetened drinks, pizza, and fatty meats like ribs, sausages, bacon, and hot dogs. Use thesefoods as occasional treats, not everyday foods.Compare sodium in foods. Use the nutrition facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods likesoup, bread, and frozen meals. Select canned foods labeled low sodium, reduced sodium, or no saltadded.Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda,energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar, and calories, in American diets.Financial Tip of the Week - Talking with Your Kids about MoneyIn some families, talking about money can be a very uncomfortable conversation. Many parents dontknow how to approach the topic of money, and some avoid it altogether. By starting the discussionearly, you can make it easier to talk about this tough topic later, when your child is making largerpurchases, thinking about getting a job, or beginning financial planning for college.Every Day Steps:Practice Smart Spending: Talk with your children about how you make spending choices based onmore than just affordability. Use language like Were not going to spend our money that waybecause or Its not a good value because, rather than just saying, Its too expensive, whichmay give the impression that you would buy it if you could afford it.Do: Bring your kids with you to the bank. If youre making a deposit in a savings account, talk about theimportance of saving for a rainy day.Create Learning Opportunities: If youre refinancing your mortgage, you have an opportunity discussthe concept of interest and the importance of paying off loan balances quickly. When youre taking out acar loan, talk about how loans allow you to pay for things that you dont have the money for, but youend up paying more in the long run.Honesty as the Best Policy: If you are facing financial difficulty, be honest with your children. Youdont need to worry them with all the details, but it is helpful for them to learn that money isnt magical it doesnt just appear when you need it.Stress Wants vs. Needs: Many kids especially young ones have difficulty differentiating betweenwants and needs. When your child says she needs something, ask if she really needs it, or if she justwants it. Make sure your child understands the difference, and start paying attention to what youresaying and the example youre setting for example, do you really need an expensive cup of coffee toget you through the morning? Page 5 of 11 </li><li> 6. MC&amp;FP Weekly (October 17,2011) 10/18/2011Keep an Open Dialogue: When youre out shopping, talk with your kids about why you make thepurchases you do. Are you influenced by advertising? Pricing? The quality of the product? How do youchoose one product over another? Help your child start thinking carefully about making purchases.Highlight the Positive: Many financially savvy practices, such as buying secondhand, donating oldclothes to a thrift store, and reusing and recycling goods, are also good for the environment. Point outthat not only are you saving money by doing these things, but youre also taking action to help preservethe environment.Military OneSource Tip of the Week - Getting Help for Victims of Domestic AbuseIf you think someone you know is involved in an abusive relationship, there are ways you can offersupport. Show your concern. Let the person know you are ready to listen and provide help. Find out about military reporting options by talking to a victim advocate on your installation. A victim can, except in certain circumstances, talk with a victim advocate and receive medical care without it automatically resulting in an abuse investigation. Let the victim know that she doesnt have to stay in an abusive relationship and that help is available. You can urge her to contact the installations Family Advocacy Program (FAP) and speak with a victim advocate, call the command chaplain, or call the toll-free National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233).Find out more from the Military OneSource article, Domestic Abuse and Where to Find Help, availableat the Military OneSource website.Spouse Tip of the Week - Operating a Home Based Business From Military Family HousingIn accordance with the Military Family Act, Public Law 99-145, DoD Authorization Act, November 8,1985, Section 806, Employment Opportunities for Military Spouses, the Department of Defenseencourages the use of military family housing for certain limited commercial activities. Although thespecific implementing policies and procedures may vary slightly for each Military Service, the followinginformation generally applies. It is important to note that the policies that govern your situation will bethose of your host installation which may vary from your military sponsors branch of Service.Before launching your own business from military family housing, you must seek written permissionfrom your installation commander usually via your installation Housing Authority (HA). HousingAuthority officials will ensure that housing occupants are well aware of requirements that must be metprior to the conduct of any business enterprise from a military housing unit. Worldwide points of contactfor Military Housing Offices are available from the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS website.Common Types of Home Based Businesses Operated in Military Family Housing Units include: direct sales of products limited manufacturing of items minor repairs on small items such as: watches, jewelry and electronics incidental services such as:Page 6 of 11 </li><li> 7. MC&amp;FP Weekly (October 17,2011) 10/18/2011 animal training, grooming, walking tailoring, sewing and dressmaking tax preparation and accounting services child, special needs/respite, and elder care scheduled transportation bookkeepi...</li></ol>