Touching Base--Volume 3 Issue 3

June 2010 — Volume 3 Issue 3

“… I've gained an even greater level of respect and gratitude for our troops and their amazing families.”
–First Lady Michelle Obama at the Joint Armed Forces Officers' Wives' Luncheon, Bolling Air Force Base, Jan. 26, 2010

Secretary Arne Duncan Speaks at the First Annual Mom Congress Conference

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the first annual Mom Congress conference in Washington, D.C., on May 3, 2010. Parenting magazine launched the Mom Congress initiative in March 2009 to celebrate and connect mothers who advocate for reform in their local school systems. Military moms representing all branches of the military were among the guests in the audience. The secretary urged parents to work together with teachers, principals, guidance counselors, and other stakeholders as advisors and decision-makers who can choose the best educational options for children. To watch Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speak at the Mom Congress Conference, go to

May Is National Military Appreciation Month

The month of May has been designated as National Military Appreciation Month, with a celebration of the heritage of American freedom on Loyalty Day on May 1, Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 7, Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8, Armed Forces Day on May 15, and Memorial Day on May 31. Each of these days provides opportunities for all of us to learn more about military members and their families, who have given of themselves to support and defend the principles our nation holds dear. To learn more about National Military Appreciation Month, go to

Military Spouse Appreciation Day Was May 7

President Obama signed a proclamation on May 6, 2010, calling upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities on May 7. The celebration of this day began in 1984, when the then President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Friday before Mother’s Day to be designated as Military Spouse Appreciation Day to recognize and honor the contribution and sacrifices of military spouses. More information about the proclamation can be found at the website:

A Mother’s Day Tea Is Held at the White House

First lady Michelle Obama held a Mother’s Day tea at the White House on May 7. Guests gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day and honor all of the extraordinary women present. Mrs. Obama acknowledged Military Spouse Appreciation Day and the spouses and mothers of military members who were present. Mrs. Obama also acknowledged the gratitude of the nation for their service and the inspiration their strength provides. The first lady also promised that Jill Biden, wife of the vice president, and she will continue to do everything to support their efforts. To hear the remarks by the First Lady at the Mother's Day Tea, go to

The First Lady Speaks at the National Military Family Association Summit

Michelle Obama announced May 12, 2010, that President Obama has directed the National Security staff to lead a new 90-day review to develop a coordinated federal government-wide approach to supporting and engaging military families. The announcement was made during an address at the National Military Family Association’s summit, When Parents Deploy: Understanding the Experiences of Military Children and Spouses. Mrs. Obama addressed the state of America’s military families today and outlined a vision for national long-term support for the families with all segments of society working together to turn that vision into a reality. Building on work by and expertise of the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs, the review will involve nearly 20 federal agencies as well as the White House Domestic Policy and National Economic councils and the offices of the Vice President, the first lady, and the wife of the vice president. Mrs. Obama stated, “This government-wide review will bring together the resources of the federal government, identify new opportunities across the public and private sectors, and lay the foundation for a coordinated approach to supporting and engaging military families for years to come.” Additional information can be found at

ED Exhibits at Joint Service Open House

ED employees staffed the exhibit booth at the Joint Service Open House (JSOH) at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on May 14-16. The three-day extravaganza featured the Blue Angels, the Golden Knights, and other exciting aerial and ground attractions. The open house also featured static and aerial displays from every branch of service, whose members came to Joint Base Andrews to show equipment that service members use every day downrange and stateside, showcasing the hard work they put into defending our nation.

Veteran Is an ED Employee

Len Clark is the program manager for the U.S. Department of Education's Veterans Employment Program. Ms. Clark previously served as the Department's coordinator of executive leadership development programs under the Office of Management. She has also worked at the Department of Homeland Security as a customs inspector in Derby Line, VT, and San Francisco, CA. As a veteran, she brings valuable experience to this position, having served several years in the United States Air Force at the Lackland and Kelly Air Force bases. Ms. Clark also served as a USAF recruiter at Travis Air Force Base and with the United States Air Force Reserve.

Executive Order Provides Veterans Jobs at All Agencies

Len Clark, program manager for ED’s Veterans Employment Program, recruits veterans for employment at the U.S. Department of Education in response to the executive order Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, signed by President Obama on Nov. 9, 2009. The order states that the policy of the Obama administration is to enhance recruitment of and promote employment opportunities for veterans within the executive branch, consistent with merit system principles and veterans' preferences prescribed by law. The executive order established the Council on Veterans Employment, tasked with creating a government-wide program to increase hiring of veterans and instituting performance measures to gauge the effectiveness of this Veterans Employment Initiative. Agencies must develop operational plans for promoting employment opportunities for veterans, training programs for disabled veterans, and mandatory instruction on veterans' preference for human resources personnel and hiring managers.

Bill for Interstate Compact Passed in Illinois

House Bill 4674 has passed out of the Illinois State Senate to allow Illinois to enter into the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children. The bill will make it easier for children of military personnel who change schools to transfer school credits and complete course work in order to graduate. “By joining this interstate compact, we are ensuring that our military families do not have to worry about this aspect of their children’s education,” said Illinois Senator Deanna Demuzio. House Bill 4674 went to the governor’s office on May 26 for approval.

Iraq War Veteran Launches Social Networking Site for Military Community

Returning home from Iraq, David Johnson felt out of place. He missed the buddies he made while serving in the Army and wanted a means of communication with them and others who had served. In his desire to connect with other veterans, Johnson designed, a social network designed exclusively for military personnel, veterans, family members, and military supporters. Users connect with each other because they share a strong bond. The network offers a multifaceted social component, a branch-specific forum area, blogging capabilities, a bulletin board to post needs and wants, access to relevant installation information, and access to other pertinent information and resources. Many future upgraded features are planned. To join this new community and connect with other like-minded individuals, go to

Students at the Center Educational Resource Available

Students at the Center, a new educational resource from the Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DoDEA) Educational Partnership, is available now in print and on a CD through Military OneSource at The guide provides information on important policies, procedures, and best practices that are critical to supporting the needs of military families' education. It is also available online at

Contacts:Carrie Jasper, Writer and Editor; Charles Boyer, Special Advisor for Military Families; Cynthia Hearn Dorfman, Advisor; Kathy Facon and Len Clark, Contributors
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Note: This document contains information about and from public and private entities and organizations for the reader’s information. Inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any entity or organization or the products or services offered or views expressed. This publication also contains hyperlinks and URLs created and maintained by outside organizations. They are provided for the reader’s convenience; however, the Department is not responsible for the accuracy of this information.

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Last Modified: 06/17/2010