Military & Veterans News
America’s Family Coaches Presents Military Marriage Conference PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Angela Ten Clay   
Monday, 03 October 2011 13:48

DES MOINES, Iowa, October 3, 2011 In the fall of 2010, Iowa faced its largest deployment since World War II, with over 2,800 soldiers deployed. Imagine being separated from your spouse and family for months or years, and then returning after so much time has passed and readjusting. For the men and women in our military in Iowa, these difficulties are a reality.

In response to this large deployment and the return of many of our troops, America’s Family Coaches is hosting a Military Marriage Conference October 7-8 at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel. Military personnel are invited to bring their husband or wife to the event where they will be pampered with a one-night hotel stay, meals, marriage resources, entertainment by a comedian and marriage teaching sessions by Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg.

Internationally known marriage experts Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg and their non-profit organization, America’s Family Coaches, have created a pipeline of resources to strengthen military marriages before, during and after deployment. Through a network of military chaplains in 17 states, the Rosbergs are providing resources offering ongoing hope, encouragement and support to deployed soldiers as well as their families at home.

Over the past few years, generous donors have provided more than 16,000 free resources for military families. The impact of these resources has been so significant that chaplains have specifically identified and requested resources for more people nationally, as sponsorships become available.

Military couples can register for the event and learn more at Major sponsors are still needed to underwrite this event so couples can attend for only $20. To make a donation, visit the website or call 515.334.7482 ext. 7006.


Braley Urges Administration to Protect Military Families Hurt by Foreclosure Crisis PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 03 October 2011 11:08

For months, Braley has fought to keep Iraq, Afghanistan vets from losing their homes


Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) joined a group of lawmakers to urge the Obama administration to take more aggressive action to protect military families who are at risk of losing their homes due to foreclosure.

Military homeowners have faced unique challenges during the recession.  Military families who would otherwise be current on their mortgages are often forced to move because the military requires them to do so.  Due to the housing downturn, military families are often unable to sell their homes quickly at prices that will enable them to pay off their mortgages, and they cannot generate enough rental income to cover mortgage payments until housing prices return to normal values.  Many of these families are also forced to make ends meet with lower housing allowances at their next duty stations, and they often lose the incomes of non-military spouses while they try to find new employment in their new community.

“In service to our country, military families are required to move from place to place, and base to base,” Braley said.  “The recession has left many military families underwater in homes that are no longer worth what they used to be.  Then, when duty calls, these families don’t have the option to wait around for the economy to recover.  They have to move.


“That’s why it’s our duty to help them.  I’m urging the Obama administration to immediately review the scope of these problems and adjust foreclosure prevention programs to address military families’ unique challenges.”

Braley joined six members of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in urging the Obama administration to comprehensively review the problems of military homeowners and develop specific programs to address their needs as quickly as possible.  A copy of their letter is attached.

Today’s action is the latest step Braley has taken to protect military families facing foreclosure.

In May, Braley introduced the Protecting Veterans’ Homes Act to protect veterans from being foreclosed on by banks and give servicemembers returning from deployments time to get their finances in order before facing foreclosure.

On September 8th, the Protecting Veterans’ Homes Act was approved by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee with bipartisan support.

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First Army shapes full spectrum simulation exercise PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Robert Saxon   
Monday, 03 October 2011 08:42
LEAVENWORTH, Kan.-Fingers tap away furiously on computer keyboards while friendly and mock enemy maneuver graphics flash across large screens as National Guardsmen from Kansas participate in a 'first-of-its-kind' exercise designed to test the full range of their combat leadership and Soldier skills.

More than 350 Soldiers from the Kansas Army National Guard's 35th Infantry Division headquarters are participating in a newly developed seven-day simulations exercise labeled an FSX, or Full Spectrum Exercise, at the headquarters building here, September 20-26.

Advisors from First Army, headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., are on hand to ensure the exercise remains focused on preparing the 35th ID for potential CEF (Contingency Expeditionary Force) missions.  Over the past few years, the majority of reserve component training was focused exclusively on preparing the units for deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan for Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.

Exercise director and commander of First Army Division East, Maj. Gen. Kevin R. Wendel says the new FSX allows the command to execute the full range of military operations in a realistic, joint, interagency and coalition environment.  "As the exercise director, my job is to help the division
achieve their training objectives and to influence and shape the exercise by working with the team of senior mentors, trainers and support teams."

First Army oversaw the development of the new simulations training exercise as part of its mission to train and validate reserve component forces prior to an overseas deployment.

Preparations for the FSX began in February 2010 with a series of developmental conferences where representatives from First Army, the Mission Command Training Program (MCTP) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the 35th ID and the National Guard Bureau met to design the scenario, identify personnel requirements and create the simulations facility layout.  More than 1000 Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and contractors are taking part in the exercise.

The new FSX is intended to train military operations across the full spectrum of potential missions from high intensity conflict and counterinsurgency (COIN) to stability operations using a simulations
environment.  "In the last two years we have been in stability operationsand COIN operations in both theaters of Afghanistan and Iraq," says David Ruggere, First Army's lead project officer for the exercise.  "Though our soldiers are really skilled at that, the one skill that a lot of maneuver. Soldiers and staff have gotten away from is major combat operations-a gunfight-what used to be called a Warfighter Exercise (WFX)."

The WFX is a much older offensive and defensive combat simulation which traditionally pitted a corps or division-sized unit against an opposing force (OPFOR) in an intense force-on-force simulated battle.

Exercise control team chief, Mr. James Dumolt, MCTP, says the FSX is the first of its kind in the Army and has expanded simulations beyond the WFX in terms of functionality, "What we have added on to that is what we call PMESII: political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information aspects of the operational environment.

According to Dumolt, the Army is transitioning back to a focus on the combat skills trained during the WFX.  "We've been doing a lot of Mission Rehearsal Exercises (MRX) in the last few years oriented towards Southwest Asia, and really doing a rehearsal to get us ready to go down range to Afghanistan and to Iraq.  We are taking what we learned at the rehearsals, where PMNESII was developed, and add that on to the Warfighter Exercise to create an FSX."

Another "first" for this exercise is the addition of an active component unit as a training audience with the 35th ID in a simulations exercise.  The 555th Engineer Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., is providing unit members to conduct simulated engineer operations in support of the 35th
ID plan.

Lt. Col. Dave Johnson, chief of plans (G-5) for the 35th ID says it's not normal for a National Guard legacy warfighter exercise to have an active component unit participate. "We've broken some new ground in that aspect as well.  We're learning from each other.  They have a really top notch team and they bring a lot to the exercise that we wouldn't have had otherwise."

The Soldiers and leaders associated with the 35th ID exercise see this new full spectrum simulation as a unique challenge and a means of shaping training for future reserve component units.

"This is really the proof of principle test for the Army on the FSX construct as well as the National Guard variant of the FSX.  In the long run, we hope that our lessons learned will help others," says Johnson.  "If we come out of this as a better unit and the Army learns from our actions, and in some cases mistakes, then we've all won and we are all better for it."

Maj. Gen. Wendel echoes those comments and views the new FSX as a critical step forward in First Army's efforts to better prepare reserve component units for a wide variety of future missions and deployments.  "Exercises like these significantly increase readiness and provide opportunities for
leaders at every level to sustain and improve critical warfighting skills."


MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Braley Welcomes Quad Cities Honor Flight to Washington PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 11:19

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) welcomed the 16th Honor Flight from the Quad Cities to the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Honor Flight of the Quad Cities, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2008 to provide an opportunity for Quad Cities-area veterans to visit Washington to see historical sites and memorials at no cost to the veterans.

CORRECTED YouTube video of the event can be viewed here:

CORRECTED 1080p high-definition video can be downloaded here: 

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Honor Flight takes off on Thursday Sept 22nd PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Cathie Rochau   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:29

The 16th Honor Flight of the Quad Cities departs Thursday, September 22nd at 7 a.m. from the Quad City International Airport.  Guardians will arrive for check in at 5:00 a.m., followed by Veteran check-in at 5:30 a.m. Once the guardians & veterans meet each other, they will proceed through the screening checkpoint and receive coffee & donuts on the concourse before boarding begins.

There will be one more for 2011 which will be held on November 3rd.

As always, the public is welcome to attend the return ceremonies at the airport at night.  The usual arrival time for the public is 9:30 – 10:00 pm., with the veterans processing through the exit around 10:15 – 10:30 p.m.

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