Military Families Blog Archives
March 2008

Welcome to our Military Families Blog.

It will keep you up-to-date with new information added to, and current items of interest to military families, including financial tips to help you deal with the money problems that are unfortunately all-too-common for military members and their families.

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Blog Archives. Some items will remain at the bottom of the blog page for more than a month. That's because they're important enough that we want new readers to find them without having to search through archives.

Bad Voodoo's War

In June 2007, as the American military surge reached its peak, a band of National Guard infantrymen who call themselves "The Bad Voodoo Platoon" was deployed to Iraq.

To capture a vivid, first-person account of the new realities of war in Iraq for FRONTLINE and ITVS, director Deborah Scranton (The War Tapes) created a "virtual embed" with the platoon, supplying cameras to the soldiers so they could record and tell the story of their war. The film intimately tracks the veteran soldiers of "Bad Voodoo" through the daily grind of their perilous mission, dodging deadly IEDs, grappling with the political complexities of dealing with Iraqi security forces, and battling their fatigue and their fears.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008
9 P.M. (check local listings)

Click link below to watch a preview.

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Democratic candidates have no military experience

Personally, I think if a presidential candidate has never served in any military branch, HE/SHE should not be a president. How can HE/SHE be the

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We Can't Afford "Change"!

Think about it.... America ALREADY voted for change Freedom takes vigilance. A little over one year ago: 1) Consumer confidence was high in

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You Ain't Gonna Like Losing!

Today, as we observe the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Iraq and America's continued involvement in securing freedom for an entire nation, Americans are divided over their support of the Administration's policies towards that conflict.

Across the country today, politicians are making speeches about Iraq, anti-war protesters are staging rallies in many cities, pro-troops groups are

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Wear Red, White and Blue on Wed, 3/19

Patriotic Americans are being urged to wear red, white and blue clothing this Wednesday, March 19, 2008, to show support for our troops and their mission on the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Iraq from the terrorist regime of Saddam Hussein.

Anything from scarves and ties to a full blown Uncle Sam suit will do.

When someone compliments you on your patriotic attire, take the opportunity to explain to them why you're wearing the red, white and blue on Wednesday.

The anti-American left will be out in the streets across the country that day protesting and rioting. Most of us will be working, taking care of our families or otherwise focused on improving our lives and our country.

Some of us will be out protecting recruiting centers from the leftists.

One thing we can all do is wear the red, white and blue to show our support for our troops and their mission in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere fighting the war on terror.

Please send this to your blog and e-mail lists ASAP.

God bless our troops and their commander-in-chief, President Bush. They've kept us safe since 9/11.

Let's give them encouragement to carry on.

Show the Colors!

Thanks to Kristinn at for this suggestion.

Click for more info

We Cannot Pull Out
of the Middle East!

If we abandon our base of operations in the Middle East, there WILL be another 9/11 sooner rather than later. None of the rank and file American

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The Real Candidate Behind
Obama's Superficial Appeal

Obama is another case of things not being what they appear to be. In a recent opinion piece in the New York Sun, columnist Kenneth Blackwell, who is

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Increasing Threats Against Military Recruiters

As the anniversary of the Iraq war approaches, anti-war groups are stepping up their threats against military recruiters.

One group has even threatened to "cage military recruiters" like circus animals! Learn more.

Write your representatives and tell them we won't take it any more. Ask them to do the jobs they are being paid to do and enforce the laws to protect all Americans, including military recruiters.

Sound off! Post your commentsabout the growing anti-military trend in the US.

Post your comments about the Berkeley City Council's outrageous anti-military stance and discriminatory support of Code Pink.

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Treason and Cowardice

In my opinion, these terrorist acts of the anti-war gangs are acts of treason and cowardice. What they are practicing is anarchy, pure and simple -

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Anti-Military Activists Increasingly Violent

Wake up, America! The bombing at the Times Square military recruiting office and the protests at the Berkeley, Ca, Marine recruiting office are not isolated incidents.

Attacks against our military personnel on American soil have increased to the point where military officials felt the need to issue a Force Protection Advisory warning American service members to watch their backs, at home!

What the hell is going on here?

Numerous anti-military protests have been announced for this week, on the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq. Protesters have gone far beyond the exercise of free speech, and are attacking troops and their property.

Learn about these threats so you can protect yourself and your family!

Write your Senators and Congressional Representatives to do something about it.

And Sound Off! Post your thoughts about this increasingly violent and vocal minority of misguided Americans.

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Texas Teenager Awarded Silver Star

Army Spc Monica Brown, a 19-year-old medic from Lake Jackson, Texas, has become the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star Medal for Gallantry in combat.

As the medic traveling with a four-vehicle convoy in eastern Afghanistan in April of 2007, she is credited with saving the lives of five wounded soldiers after their Humvee was struck by an IED.

Brown said she really didn't have time to be scared, and was concerned with

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Free Tax Return Assistance is Available

With just more than a month left before the April 15 personal income tax filing deadline, we want to remind you that as a member of the military, you may be eligible to receive free assistance with the preparation and filing of your federal tax return.

The U.S. Armed Forces participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Military-based VITA sites provide free tax advice, tax preparation, return filing and other tax assistance to military members and their families. The volunteers who provide assistance are trained to address military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits.

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Adm Fallon Resigns as CENTCOM

Admiral William J. Fallon
Admiral William J. Fallon, beleaguered Commander of US Central Command, demonstrates his leadership once again.

This time, by resigning and requesting retirement after more than forty years of service to his country, and 5 days shy of his first anniversary as CENTCOM.

Citing the detrimental effect of

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Bronze Star for SFC Michael Loetz, USA

SFC Michael Loetz, US Army, Bronze Star for Valor
Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Loetz was recently awarded a Bronze Star Medal for Valor for saving the life of an Afghan truck driver in 2007.

The story behind the rescue is both harrowing and heartwarming.

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Military Recruiters are Necessary to Our Common Defense

Providing for the common defense and securing the blessings of liberty aren't little governmental after-thoughts, nor do they come cheap.

As the popular t-shirt proclaims: "Freedom was never free."

We, as a people, expend billion of dollars every year on our common defense.

And a small percentage of our finest citizens give their very lives and limbs in the cause of securing the blessings of liberty.

But neither the sacrifices of our military men and women, nor the value of

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Flag Officer Supporting McCain

I know John McCain from my Navy days. While I do not always agree with him on all issues, I feel strongly enough about what is going on in our

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Socialism or Constitutional Freedom??

The American people have to decide what direction they want their country to go. If you vote for the Democrats then you support a life of socialism

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Open Letter to Code Pink from the Berkeley Marine Recruiting Officer

This letter from the Marine officer in charge of the Berkeley Marine Officer Recruiting Office to the members of Code Pink is exactly what one would

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Obama setup

Its surprising that a vast majority do not see the Obama set up by the republican party. It is not suprising that there has been little or no attack

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Spend Less -- 111 Easy Ways to Keep More of Your Money

My Dad always told me that one of the best ways to save money was to "spend less."

Somehow, that never held much appeal for me. But with the wisdom that comes with living life, I can confirm that, once again, "Father Knows Best."

We've compiled here a list of 111 Easy Ways to Keep More of The Money You Make, in several categories. It was supposed to be 101 Ways, but we just couldn't stop there. We're sure you'll think of some more.

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USS New York (LPD-21) Christened in New Orleans

On a "fine Navy, Marine Corps day" in New Orleans, USS New York has already proved its toughness.

At christening ceremonies on March 1, 2008, two swings were required to

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Support the Anti-Berkeley Campaign

Have you heard about and want to support the TV ad that Move America Forward is running this week to tell the anti-military folks in Berkeley, California, that "We're just not gonna take it any more!"?

If you haven't yet seen the ad, you can do so by clicking on the Permalink below this entry - it will take you to a page on our site with the ad displayed.

If you'd like to make a contribution to ensure this ad gets the widest distribution possible, you can contribute online here.

Or you can contribute via PayPal here.

Both links will take you to pages set up by Move America Forward to accept your contributions specifically for this ad campaign.

We need to support our Marines, and we need to let Berkeley and the rest of America know we won't allow any city in America to treat our Armed Forces in this way.

Semper Fi means something! And we need to make sure those folks in Berkeley understand it.

Please post your messages of support about Berkeley's anti-military stance.

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Want to Show Your Gratitude to the Troops,
But Don't Know What to Say?

Here's an idea that will solve that problem for you.

Seattle resident Scott Truitt, whose father and father-in-law both spent decades in the military, started The Gratitude Campaign as a simple idea to

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Not the First Anti-Berkeley Boycott

Seems this is not the first time consumers have boycotted businesses in Berkeley, CA, due to the bone-headed anti-war actions of its City Council (and probably won't be the last).

In October of 2001, The Daily Californian reported:

"Berkeley has seen an economic backlash in the few days since the council approved a resolution calling for a stop to U.S. bombing in Afghanistan, with hundreds of people refusing to spend money in the city."

It went on to say, "A San Francisco man told city officials that he is organizing a boycott of Berkeley. He will soon begin to distribute hundreds of fliers at BART stations, which read, 'Boycott Berkeley - Support Our Troops - Let Berkeley sell their products to the Taliban.'

A software company already reported losing a $60,000 contract because of the council's anti-war resolution, Dean said. Additionally, she said that a number of restaurants have seen their clientele drop."

And some of the same members were on the Berkeley City Council THEN!

It's definitely going to take some heavy economic damage to the City before the City Council understands it has a responsibility to ALL its citizens, not just the anti-war beatniks.

Perhaps the businesses in Berkeley should sue the members of the City Council in their individual capacities for the losses to their business because of the illegal actions of the City Council (interfering with military recruitment is a federal offense).

Write your Congressional representatives and Senators! Ask them to "Strip ALL federal money going to any entity in the City of Berkeley!"

(If you have no idea what this is about, continue scrolling down this blog page.)

Click for more info

Repeal the Bush Tax Cuts?

Think for a minute about what the liberals want to do with their Health Care and other tax-and-spend social restructuring of this country. I

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The Real McCain

Although John McCain sometimes takes unpopular stands, he stands on his principles, and he doesn't back away just because his position is unpopular.

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Can a Good Muslim be a Good American?

Can a good Muslim be a good American? This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his

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Human Trafficking - a woman's vote

And as we skirt immediate human issues, nudge me to Hillary's stand on human trafficking. In her so-called savvy as woman role model, where is her

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Move America Forward takes on
the Berkeley City Council

Move America Forward is taking on the Berkeley City Council. On January 29, 2008, the City Council in Berkeley, California, voted to send a letter to the local Marine Officer Recruiting office, with a copy to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, suggesting that they retreat.

Retreat? The United States Marine Corps? I don't think so!

Actually, the letter called the Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders," and suggested that they close the recruiting office in downtown Berkeley. The City Council encouraged citizens to impede the recruiting activity at the center, and went so far as to grant Code Pink, a foul-mouthed anti-war group, a reserved parking spot directly in front of the recruiting office to facilitate their weekly protests.

The basis for this outrageous action? The Berkeley City Code prohibits

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Before You Go - A Tribute to WWII Vets

Dr. Sam Bierstock, of Del Ray Beach, Florida, and John Melnick, of Pompano Beach and a member of Bierstock's band, "Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Blues Band," have written a song inspired by an old soldier working as a parking lot attendant in an airport parking lot.

The mournful "Before You Go" does more than salute those who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die.

"If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot," says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. "The WW II soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them."

Click below to read the story and listen to the song.

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Is budgeting a dirty word at your house?

Most of us think that we don't overspend (OK, maybe secretly we're afraid that we might), but we don't have a good handle on how much "discretionary spending" we actually do, because we're far too busy to keep track of every penny we spend.

And that's precisely why, before we get to the end of the month, we find we've reached the end of our money!

So, exactly how do we go about figuring out how we can spend less money?

The first step to reducing your spending is to

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Leave Berkeley to Defend Themselves

It is a shame that Berkeley is not on some island in the South Pacific, because then they could be given their independence and left to defend

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Marine Sgt. Jeremy Boutwell
Fights to Return to Iraq

Marine Corps Sgt. Jeremy F. Boutwell, 23, knows a thing or two about honor, courage and commitment.

Marine Sgt. Jeremy BoutwellAn intelligence specialist serving with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Boutwell is getting ready for an upcoming deployment to Iraq. He has spent the past four years recovering from severe injuries he suffered during a March 2004 attack in Iraq's Anbar province, and then fighting for the opportunity to go back.

Click the link below to read his story.

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Berkeley Chamber of Commerce
Makes Weak Appeal

If you haven't been following the firestorm of publicity about the Berkeley City Council's actions to interfere with military recruiting, specifically by interfering with the local Marine Corps recruiting station, you can read the background here.

If you have, you'll be interested in the response the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce sent to San Diego businessman Brian Dennard, who has vowed to start a widespread boycott of Berkeley businesses.

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is asking that people not penalize the businesses of Berkeley. But, because the city derives tax revenue from Berkeley businesses, this is one way to hit the City in the pocketbook, and to get the business owners to exert some influence to demand that their City Council come to its senses.

Federal and state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would strip Berkeley of federal and state funds.

And the Mayor, a retired Army officer, should face loss of his military retired pay for

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Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Weak-Kneed Response

This weak-kneed response was sent to me by the CEO of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce: The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce has heard from individuals

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The Angry White Man

An opinion piece in the Aspen Times Weekly last week caught my eye, and I wanted to contribute it to your discussion. He makes a good point. With

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VetConnect Aids Wounded Warriors

A new program called VetConnect provides a helping hand to wounded service members making the transition back into their communities. The program "is designed to provide wounded warriors with a critical link to

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I will vote for someone
we really need

Although i really dislike Hillary Clinton, do not want to vote for her, but frankly, I have to. She more likes our family - our mother, our sister

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Granny's Gone Bad

CODE PINK -- what a joke. The main reason for the Pinko's to intervene with the military using the anti-war status, is it interferes with their

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"Berserkeley" City Council
Takes Anti-Military Stance

The City Council in Berkeley, California, recently voted to notify the US Marine Corps that its local recruiting office was an "uninvited and unwelcome intruder." It also encourages citizens, particularly the anti-war group Code Pink, to disrupt the recruiting and enlistment process, which is a violation of federal law.

Read the full story and post your comments.

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What Will That Big-Screen TV Cost on Credit?

With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, and all the electronics stores running sales, we thought this a good time to remind you how much you'll pay for that big-screen HDTV if you buy it on credit.

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President Signs Retroactive 3.5% Pay Raise

President Bush has signed the $696 billion defense bill, which makes a 3.5 percent military pay raise retroactive to Jan. 1.

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Single Mom Success Story: Major Lisa Carter

Army Major Lisa Carter:  Why We Serve

From Single Mom Working for the Post Office,
to Army Major Serving in Iraq

Army Maj. Lisa L. Carter, a two-time Iraq veteran, participates in Why We Serve because she wants to share her life's success story with the American public, hoping her story will inspire others.

A few years after graduating from Fulton High School in Atlanta in 1984, Carter found herself a single mother working at a post office in Atlanta while caring for her 2-year-old daughter.

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Gold Star Siblings

New support group Gold Star Siblings joins Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives, who have supported each other for many years when

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equal & a beter choice.

Both Hilary clinton and Obama should be given a fair chance. Even so, Hilary clinton should have the upper hand and people should acknowledge her and

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Military Absentee Voting

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) helps deployed service members and their families who wish to participate in their states' primary elections by absentee ballot. Some service members may not be aware that

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political corn flakes

Folks in politics is just like a bowl of granola: What ain't fruits er nuts is just flakes!

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