Military Families Blog Archives
April 2008

Oregon Offers Full Tuition Waiver for State Universities

The Oregon University System offers full tuition waivers for dependents (children, adopted children, stepchildren, spouses) and un-remarried surviving spouses of U.S. military members who:

  • died on active duty after 9/11/01;
  • died from service-connected injuries or condition sustained after 9/11/01; or
  • are rated 100% disabled by the VA for a service-connected disability sustained after 9/11/01.

The applicant must meet Oregon residency requirements. An eligible child must be 23 years of age or younger at the time the child applies for the waiver.

The waiver applies to

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Will it be here Jan. 2009?

Well the way I see it is Stalin was correct when he said he would bury the US. And the generation at the time, their grandchildren would live under

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Obama Denounces Wright

A day after Jeremiah Wright's grandstanding at the National Press Club, Barack Obama says the man he saw yesterday is not the same man he met 20 years ago, and expresses his condemnation of the divisive comments made by Wright.

Will the controversy hurt Obama's campaign?

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Barack Obama's Mother

As author Amanda Ripley explains in Time, "In most elections, the deceased mother of a candidate in the primaries is not the subject of a magazine profile. But Ann Soetoro was not like most mothers."

In pondering the question "Who is Barack Obama?" one must consider the . . .

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A Soldier's Soldier Retires

Army Command Sergeant Major William J. Gainey, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retires after 33 years of service, praised by his boss as "a soldier's soldier."

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VA Reaches Out to OIF and OEF Veterans

Department of Veterans Affairs logoThe Department of Veterans Affairs will begin contacting nearly 570,000 recent combat veterans May 1 to ensure they know about VA's medical services and other benefits.

"We will reach out and touch every veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom to let them know we are here for them," said Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. James B. Peake, a retired lieutenant general who served as Army surgeon general. "VA is committed to getting these veterans the help they need and deserve."

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Real Change?

Ron Paul. End of story. Unfortunately Americans do not really want change -- they want the same old BS that has been spoon fed to us for years.

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Can Mantras Help PTSD?

ScienceDaily reports that repeating mantras can help control the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, have a calming effect in traffic and even ease the boredom of exercise, according to a study in the latest issue of Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Eighty-three per cent (83%) of veterans and hospital staff . . . .

"Repeating the mantra seemed to stop post-traumatic stress disorder-type dreams that had occurred for 10 to 11 years" said a former veteran . . . .

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Hamas Likes Obama

Hamas has stated it hopes Obama wins the Presidential election in November. Could this, combined with the support of former President Jimmy Carter, be the beginning of the end for Obama? It certainly should be.

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Is Barack Wright?

Do the fiery words of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright reflect the beliefs of Senator (and Presidential hopeful) Barack Obama? If not, why has Obama not been more outspoken against them? And why would he want Wright's message of hate taught to his young children?

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New School Prayer

Here's an interesting commentary on the movement to keep God out of our schools. This is a new school prayer, allegedly written by a 15-year-old Arizona student, since the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer are no longer politically correct in our schools. We think you'll like it . . .

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Freedom Feels Good

By Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, US Army

"Everyday, I live, I breathe, and I think Iraq.

It is my life . . . more so than many of the so called experts who rant and rave about it. I walk these streets, I trudge through this darkness that so much of my life has seemed to become. And I am frustrated. It is hard to battle on the behalf of the ungrateful. . . ."

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Hope Rides Alone

In a voice eloquent beyond his years, Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, US Army, writes about the mission in Iraq, and the good he believes is being accomplished there. He also expresses disappointment in those who criticize our President, our military, and our country, when they don't know what they're talking about because they haven't been there.

Sgt. Jeffers was killed in Ramadi on September 19, 2007, at age 23. We pay tribute to him, and the thousands like him, in the only way we can, by keeping his voice alive and spreading his message.

We hope you'll spread his message, too, so that Hope never has to ride alone. Please click the permalink below to read Sgt. Jeffers' words.

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Tax Day Humor

Here's a timely piece from our inbox:

How to Use Your IRS Rebate Check

"As you know, many of us will get a rebate check to stimulate the economy.

If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs; if we purchase a computer it will go to India; if we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala; if we purchase a good car, it will go to Japan or Germany; if we purchase other stuff it will go to Taiwan, and none of it will help the American economy.

The idea is to keep that money here in America. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it at yard sales, since those are the only businesses still in the U.S.!"

Funny, but sadly too close to the truth.

If you just HAVE to spend that money, there are plenty of small businesses in America, many of them operated by families just like yours (and you should have one, too - we'll talk about that more in our program, coming soon). But the best thing you can do for your family is to use that money to get out of debt, or invest it for your future. Use it to start your Roth IRA (one of the best loopholes in the tax code). Whatever you do, don't fritter it away with nothing to show for it when it's gone.

Got Your Taxes Done?

Here's a simple last-minute reminder that your personal income tax return is due today!

If you're panicked about it, take a deep breath and relax. Although the filing deadline (when your income tax return needs to be postmarked) is midnight tonight, if you just can't get it sorted out by then, you can request an automatic extension of time to file, by printing and mailing Form 4868 instead. That will give you an automatic six-month extension of time in which to file your tax return, until October 15.

But if you file for an extension of time to file, you should be aware of several things:

  • An extension of time to file is NOT an extension of time to pay any taxes due. If you owe taxes that are not paid (or postmarked) by midnight tonight, you will owe interest and possibly penalties when you do file your return and pay them. If you owe additional taxes beyond those automatically withheld from your pay, or beyond the amount of your quarterly estimated tax payments, you should pay as much as you can by the deadline in order to avoid or lessen the amount of interest and penalties owed.
  • You will not receive your economic stimulus payment, if you qualify for one, until you file your tax return. So if you request an extension, don't be looking in your mailbox next month for a check from Uncle Sam.
  • And you obviously won't receive any refund due to you until you file your return. That's giving Uncle Sam free use of your money, so get your return filed as soon as you can, and put that money to work making money for you and your family. An extension till October 15 doesn't mean you should wait till October 14 to start working on your return! Go ahead and get it filed as soon as you can.

You should also be aware of several things you can do to speed up receipt of your refund and/or economic stimulus payment:

  • File your return electronically.
  • File by the deadline.
  • Request direct deposit of your refund and electronic stimulus payment.

For answers to your tax questions, go to

And if you find yourself rushing to finish your return and find a post office that will be open to accept it, you won't be alone. You'll have thousands of friends in the same boat.

To find a list of post office locations and operating hours, go to

Click for more info

Filling a Hero's Uniform

By Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee

I began my morning with my normal routine of making a pot of coffee and turning on FOX news to see the day's issues. This morning President Bush was addressing this nation and remembering the sacrifices and the successes that this nation has experienced for the past five years since the War on Terror began in Iraq.

I remember that day well and knew this would be

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Site of Distinction Award

We were honored this morning to be selected a "Site of Distinction" by Veterans Advantage.

"We would like to honor you for your work honoring United States Servicemen and women and their families. Your efforts to help military families deal with all of the financial burdens are a great service to veterans, our troops and the nation."

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Hillary's Deception is Nothing New

In 1974 (that's 34 years ago!), Hillary Clinton was fired from a position on the House Judiciary Committee investigating the Watergate break-in and seeking impeachment of President Nixon.


"Because she was a liar," according to her supervisor, the now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation. "She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality."

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Thanks for US Troops from an Aussie

My son is in the Australian Army and he is currently on deployment in Iraq. . . .

My son and I just ended a long 'phone conversation and here are some of his comments . . .

"Before I came over here I thought we (the Australian Army) were pretty shit hot..... was I ever wrong!....The Yanks (I hope you don't mind me using that word) are so professional from the top to the bottom that it is almost embarrassing to be in their company, and to call yourself a soldier....

Don't get me wrong, we are good at what we do but the Yanks are

(For the rest of this amazing letter, click on the Permalink below, and scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you will find the headline above. And while you're there, please leave your own message of thanks for our troops.)

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Express Your Thanks to General Petraeus

Sen. Mitch McConnell's site has a thank-you card you can sign to show your support for General Petraeus and all our men and women in uniform. Please take a minute to let the General know how much we appreciate the hard work he and all the men and women in uniform are doing to ensure our safety and that of our families. Thanks.

Click for more info

National Foreclosure Hotline

National Foreclosure Hotline Offers Assistance
to Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), the national non-profit counseling organization that operates 1-888-995-HOPE, to help homeowners remedy their mortgage problems and keep their homes, announces the addition of five more

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Expanded Mortgage Help from FHA

The Bush Administration has just expanded the FHASecure program to help families facing home foreclosure. This will enable FHA to help more families refinance their homes to lower their payments as an alternative to foreclosure, even if they have missed as many as three house payments. To determine whether your family qualifies for this new program, click on the permalink below.

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Hillary's List of Lies

With Hillary's recent whopper about "landing under sniper fire" on her visit to Bosnia and the welcoming ceremony at the airport being cancelled while they all "ran with their heads down," former Clinton advisor Dick Morris feels compelled once again to point out Hillary's history of lies, saying she "simply cannot tell the truth."

Video of her arrival in Bosnia clearly shows Hillary and Chelsea stepping off the plane and stopping to listen to a poem read by a young girl, as part of the "cancelled" welcoming ceremony. For a list of other "misrepresentations" or "mistakes" by Mrs. Clinton, click the permalink just below.

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The Middle East Imperative

By Jimmy L. Cash, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret.

. . . Let me try and put this conflict in proper perspective.

Understand, the current battle we are engaged in is much bigger than just Iraq. What happens in the next year will affect this country and how our kids and grandkids live throughout their lifetime, and beyond.

Radical Islam has been attacking the West since the seventh century. They

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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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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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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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