Officials Announce Family Program Expansion

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Beginning Oct. 1, YMCA respite child care will be expanded to licensed child care programs at YMCAs in all states that wish to participate in the program. Currently, the service is offered at select YMCAs in nine states to provide temporary relief or a short break for the parent or guardian who is responsible for caring for a deployed servicemember's child.

The care is provided at no cost for children through age 12 for up to 16 hours of care per month, per child. Eligibility extends to families while their active duty spouse is deployed to a remote location for at least six months, as well as to Title 10 families of deployed Guard and Reserve personnel and those serving at independent duty locations.

For a listing of the participating YMCAs and for a copy of the registration form, visit the Military OneSource Web site.

In other news from Military Community and Family Policy:

-- Five Department of Defense Education Activity students were named National Merit scholarship semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. Scott LaBelle, Brussels American School; Shannon Grammel, Heidelberg High School, now at Fort Campbell High School; Derrick B. Lewis, Ramstein High School; Stella Y. Cho, Seoul American High School; and Emily M. Hoyle, Guam High School, all are high school seniors. They'll have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 National
 Merit scholarships worth more than $35 million that will be offered in the spring. The students are among 16,000 semifinalists selected for the program.

-- The MilitaryHomefront Web site recently added a new resource called "Tools for Families." The new section, under the site's Troops & Families heading, is a central repository for tools and resources designed to make things easier for military families, including two records organizers. The focus for each organizer differs slightly, but they share the same goal of making it easier to organize, track, and update information for members of military families. Officials will add new tools as they
 become available.

-- Residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home here celebrated the 147th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the birthday of the home's founder, Gen. Winfield Scott, and American military servicemembers past and present on Sept. 22. The day featured military tributes, speeches, community tours, a barbecue luncheon and other recreational activities to celebrate the historic day. President Lincoln's Cottage - the original "Soldiers' Home"
 established in 1851 and now a historic landmark that sits on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home ? co-sponsored the event. Lincoln lived there when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation.

-- The Defense Commissary Agency will take its cost-saving benefits on the road and hold on-site sales at the following Guard and Reserve locations: Oct. 1-3 in Kalispell, Mont.; Oct. 2-3 in Hancock, N.Y.; Oct. 2-4 in Charlotte, N.C., and Mobile, Ala.; Oct. 3 in Caribou, Maine, and Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Oct. 3-4 in Peoria, Ill., Redmond, Ore., and Stewart, N.Y.

The host commissary works with Guard and Reserve units that have at least 150 members stationed in an area and selects items to offer to these individuals during the sale. At some sales, patrons may pre-order products, then pick up and pay for them at the sale. Sales where pre-orders are available can be found at In the near future, credit payment may be completed online and the items can be picked up at the sale, officials said.

*Related Sites:*
Military Community and Family Policy  [ ]
Military OneSource  [ ]
Armed Services YMCA  [ ]
Defense Commissary Agency  [ ]