• 54 Cities Pledge to Address Needs of Military Caregivers0

    More than 20 defense communities have committed to expanding local resources for military caregivers in conjunction with the Hidden Heroes Cities program, one of the initiatives introduced as part of the newly launched Hidden Heroes campaign. San Diego became the first Hidden Heroes City this summer, passing a resolution and forming a steering committee made up of public and private organizations to assess and address the unmet needs of those caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Since then, 53 cities have joined San Diego in pledging to become military caregiver-friendly cities. Some cities are partnering with their county or a neighboring city to create region-wide initiatives …

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  • Nonprofit Builds Lake Trail for Military Families at Naval Station Mayport0

    Starting next month, sailors and their families living at Naval Station Mayport will be able to enjoy the first phase of a community-led project to enhance access to a lake at the center of a housing development at the Jacksonville base. The $1.4 million project is the brainchild of Sharon Ellis, who started True Blue: Navy Families Benefactors in 2012 to improve the quality of life for Navy families. When the project is complete, there will be a mile-long paved walkway circling the lake, a canoe and kayak launch on the dock, and a concrete path and pavilion near a newly built playground on the lake’s west side …

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  • Justice Department to Invest in Expanding Veterans Treatment Courts0

    To expand the nation’s system of veterans treatment courts, the Justice Department last week pledged to award more than $4 million to 13 states and local jurisdictions to develop their own programs. The special courts divert veterans charged with nonviolent criminal offenses to a court-supervised process that emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation by offering support from health care professionals, veteran peer mentors and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There are now 463 such court systems in the nation, reported Military Times. Two-thirds of veterans who go through the system successfully complete their regimens, and 88 percent of courts see a reduction in arrests …

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  • Northwest Florida Touts ADC Honor

    Northwest Florida Touts ADC Honor0

    Officials from Northwest Florida gathered Wednesday to celebrate the designation of the Eglin Air Force Base – Hurlburt community as one of 10 Great American Defense Communities. “Everyone in this room is aware of the importance of our military installations,” Nathan Sparks, executive director of the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, told the hundreds of military, business and community leaders. “We also know that those installations are made up of people with families, and all of you here are working to find ways to serve them …

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  • Army to Test Customized Transition Program at Six Posts

    Army to Test Customized Transition Program at Six Posts0

    Starting next month, the Army will begin testing a new customized transition program for separating personnel at six installations that will provide additional resources for service members that are more likely to have difficulty finding employment. The two-year pilot program will gather input on best practices for the Army’s Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, a mandatory program for all service members leaving active duty that covers resume writing, military skills translation, financial planning and other topics. The six test sites — Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and Army Garrison Bavaria, Germany — will divide soldiers into control and test groups …

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  • Tuition Assistance Could Help Personnel Obtain Licenses, Family Council to Recommend0

    Service members should be able to use their tuition assistance benefit to cover the cost of obtaining professional licenses and technical certifications, members of the DOD Military Family Readiness Council said last week. The department should consider opening up the use of tuition assistance funding for uses beyond accredited education institutions since gaining technical certifications will be one of the primary avenues “our young men and women who are leaving the service are going to find employment in the civilian sector,” Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey said at the Sept. 14 meeting. Not every soldier wants to attend college …

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