Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Salute to Military Kids Day

An event saluting military-dependent kids has an amazing day of free activities and give-aways to include a planetarium, Princess Party with hair and photo opps, video game truck, bouncy houses, tricycle races, arts and crafts,

Name that Tune with $250 to the Melting Pot every hour, games, Cake Mobile, magician, clowns, petting farm, and so much more.

Most of the activities close days before the event due to a maximum number of registrations have been met.  Be sure to sign up today, and tell your military friends to do so as well.

Register Here Promptly

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Military Industrial Sector Internships

Two internship positions are available in the Washington State Department of Commerce working on state-wide military affairs issues.

If you or if you know of anyone in college (undergraduate or Grad) who may be interested, please let them know.  Please, also pass this along to anyone you know who may distribute it more widely.

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Working Capital Loans for Reservists

Small businesses that suffered economic losses when the owner or a key employee was called up to active duty military service may be eligible for low interest loans up to $2 million from U.S. Small Business Administration.

Hundreds of Washingtonians (reservists and National Guardsmen) served military duty in Afghanistan in recent years and many more in Iraq War activities before that. Their employers might have been impacted by the absence.

This loan program (MREIL is the identifier) cannot cover lost income or lost profits, but is available to help a company meet its ordinary and necessary operating expects that could have been met, except for the military duty interruption.

SBA funds cannot be used in lieu of regular commercial debt, to refinance long-term debt or to expand the business, and collateral is required, if available, for loans of more than $50,000. The interest rate is 4 percent and terms can extend up to 30 years.

Funding must be requested within a year of the reservist being discharged from active duty following the call-up. There is more detailed information and an application process at this link. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tacoma AUSA Hosts BG Cho

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Courage Newsletter Jan 2014

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Invite to VAAC in Port Orchard

You are welcome to join the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee at a Town Hall meeting in Port Orchard on January 23rd from 6pm – 8pm.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

SSGT Truskowski 35th Military Citizen of the Year

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber presented the 35th annual John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to Staff Sergeant Jason Truskowski, 62nd AW, McChord Field, JBLM, Wednesday.

Pix: SSgt. Truskowski, 62AW & Amy Tiemeyer, ACU

SSgt. Jason Truskowski has more than nine years’ service in the U.S. Air Force and has been stationed at JBLM for more than three of those years. His current duty is noncommissioned officer in charge of media relations and social media for the 2,300 men and women assigned to McChord Field.

SSgt.Truskowski is an excellent selectee for this award due to his commitment for caring for others, regardless of how many hours he has to work.  He goes above and beyond to volunteer his time both on and off base and sets the example for his peers each and every day.

As a qualified Washington Start First Responder and Wild-Land Fire Fighter, SSgt.Truskowski has responded to more than 35 emergencies and volunteered more than 450 hours at the Bald Hills Fire Department in Yelm. While responding to these 35 emergencies, his direct actions have aided in the successful savings of numerous lives.  In addition, SSgt.Truskowski volunteered numerous hours to the Bald Hills Fire Department for their annual “Hunters Breakfast” event on the 2013 Hunting Season’s Opening Day.

Recognizing Special Olympics participants is important to SSgt.Truskowski, who, for the past three years has helped with the set-up and tear-down as well as security for the Special Olympics Victory Dance, an event that has more than 2,700 participants each year.

SSgt.Truskowski’s “call to duty” extends beyond firefighting and Special Olympics. He recently assisted a local church wherein his actions contributed to the church’s establishment of weekend services to more than 500 residents.

Although SSgt. Truskowski’s own children are home schooled, he has assisted local educational programs. He has taught art projects to toddlers at a Yelm home school group lesson at the Crossroads Community Church and recently helped prepare and serve lunch to over a hundred family members during the Eagle View Christian School Grandparents Day event

As an avid and experienced hiker, SSgt.Truskowski was called upon to plan and lead a Yelm mothers’ group hiking trip for 18 mothers and their children at Mount Rainier.  He organized and led the event, which aimed to strengthen the parent-child bond while highlighting the importance of physical fitness to the younger generation.

SSgt.Truskowski’s volunteering includes JBLM as well.  He played a major role in the Josh Fueston Memorial, a 4-mile relay swim promoting awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.  And he has unloaded more than 50,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies at the McChord Field Shali Center in preparation for response efforts after global natural disasters.

An accredited Instructor for the R.A.D. System basic self-defense course, held on McChord Field, Truskowski is also a Sexual Assault Response & Prevention (SARP) victim advocate for the U.S. Air Force. Being a SARP victim advocate can involve a wide variety of efforts—from outlining options, to following a victim all the way through the court case. A true commitment that follows him even during his relocations, SSgt.Truskowski’s role as a SARP victim advocate is one of continued dedication.  

“SSgt. Jason Truskowski is the Air Force’s perfect example of a wingman, service before self and being there for others. America’s Credit Union is proud to support such a worthy candidate,” said Amy Tiemeyer, America’s Credit Union, (Award Sponsor).

Award Sponsor:
America’s Credit Union has been serving the military here at Joint base Lewis McChord (JBLM) since 1954; ACU has been active in creating a community that is aware of soldiers needs and able to serve our military who give so much for all of us. Amy Tiemeye,r America’s Credit Union’s Military Relations Liaison is a veteran herself and presented the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s 35th John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year award.

About John H. Anderson:
The Chamber created the John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to honor an outstanding military citizen to commemorate the civic contributions by our resident military personnel. John H. Anderson, a veteran, served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid-1950s. An accomplished civic leader, he is also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.

Logistics Over the Shore Ops at Solo Point

As the year get’s started the Puget Sound Chapter of NDTA is busy working on its calendar of events for 2014.  Below is a flyer providing you an opportunity to see a military Logistics Over the Shore operation down at Solo Point on 15 January 2014.

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Silverdale Military Appreciation Day

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Army Restructures Warrior Transition Units

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) was identified as one of 13 community care units that will be stood up at Army installations. JBLM is not named as a Warrior Transition Unit that will be inactivated as a result of this restructuring.

The restructuring Army announced today of its warrior transition units (WTUs) comes as the service prepares for a scheduled withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and a continued decline in the number of combat wounded.

According to Brig. Gen. David Bishop, commander, Warrior Transition Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition, "These changes will improve the care and transition of soldiers through increased standardization, increased cadre to soldier ratios, improved access to resources on installations, and reduced delays in care.  They are not related to budget cuts, sequestration or furloughs."

As part of the restructuring, the Army will inactivate five WTUs and establish more than a dozen community care units (CCUs) across 11 installations by September 30, 2014.  The transition to CCUs will result in the inactivation of nine community-based warrior transition units (CBWTUs), which currently provide outpatient care and services for Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who do not require day-to-day care, allowing soldiers to continue their recovery closer to home.

Warrior transition units are located at major military treatment facilities and provide support to wounded, ill and injured soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management.  Under community care, CBWTU soldiers - those healing at home - will be assigned to CCUs at WTUs located on Army installations.  Soldiers will not have to move or change their care plans.

Thirteen CCUs will stand up at the following Army installations: Fort Carson, Colo.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Forts Hood and Bliss, Texas; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Forts Benning, Stewart, and Gordon, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Fort Belvoir, Va.  Forts Belvoir and Knox will each have two CCUs.  All nine CBWTUs are identified for inactivation:  Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Utah and Virginia.  The Puerto Rico CBWTU will become a community care detachment under the mission command of the Fort Gordon Warrior Transition Battalion.

WTUs slated for inactivation include:  Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.  Each location has fewer than 38 Soldiers assigned to the WTU (as of Dec. 20, 2013).

Every attempt will be made to allow reserve component (RC) cadre to serve out their tours.  Active duty personnel assigned to units set for inactivation or force structure reductions will be reassigned in accordance with current Army Human Resources Command policies.  Civilian employees impacted by the force structure changes will be reassigned based on their skill sets, the needs of the Army and available employment opportunities.

For additional information, please contact Warrior Transition Command public affairs office at 703-325-0470 or email

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Roaring '20s Themed Charity Event

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Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff, Army announced the following assignment:

Brig. Gen. William K. Gayler, deputy commanding general, 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to director, Officer Personnel Management Directorate, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, Ky.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Spirit of WA Flies Again

The USAF Global Strike Command reports the "Spirit of Washing- ton" has risen from the ashes, ready to strike anywhere, anytime, writes Candy Knight, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs.

After three years and nine months in maintenance, the aircraft was restored to full mission-ready status. The "Spirit of Washington" has participated in its first training mission at Whiteman Air Force Base, Dec. 16, after an engine fire in 2010 nearly destroyed the aircraft.

The behind-the-scenes story is an extraordinary tale of cooperation and teamwork between different Air Force organizations, as well as collaboration between the Air Force and Northrop Grumman, the Air Force's B-2 prime contractor.

The "Spirit of Washington" was preparing to fly a mission Feb. 26, 2010 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, when one of its four engines caught fire, resulting in significant damage to the aircraft and the engine bay.

With only 20 B-2s in the Air Force inventory, the need to save and restore the aircraft was paramount; the challenge was finding a way to accomplish the task.

The B-2's technology, combined with the limited number of aircraft, made obtaining replacement parts challenging. A percentage of the parts could be remanufactured, but other parts could only be obtained from Air Force spare parts depots.

"One of the things that was most important to both the Air Force and Northrop was that the jet be returned to us without any flying or weapons delivery limitations. So far, it has been taking care of business perfectly," said Col. Chase McCown, 509th Bomb Wing Maintenance Group commander.

Perhaps the greatest challenge was making the necessary repairs to fly the aircraft from Guam to the Palmdale facility at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. "The goal was to get [aircraft] 0332 to the Palmdale facility before the beginning of FY12, a goal which was accomplished two months ahead of schedule," David G. Mazur, vice president of long-range strike operations for Northrop Grumman said.

Getting the aircraft to Palmdale ahead of schedule saved money, and more importantly, it allowed the Air Force and other organizations to conduct initial tests on not only the engine itself, but also the other components of the aircraft.

Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, the situation presented an opportunity for Airmen to develop best practices and come up with innovative ways for approaching maintenance issues.
One example of a best practice was using dry ice pellets to remove charcoal from the aircraft's skin. The team would spray pelletized dry ice on the aircraft, after which the ice would melt, leaving no additional residue or material for the maintainers to clean up.

For the Airmen in charge of maintaining the "Spirit of Washington," there is nothing more gratifying than watching their aircraft take to the skies once again. Senior Airman Patrick Holter, dedicated crew chief for the “Spirit of Washington” said, “This is my first jet as a dedicated crew chief and knowing that the maintenance my team and I performed on our aircraft directly contributed to safe, effective, on-time sorties is what I love most about my job."