Kaiserslautern-Saarland Region Chapter Communications Coordinator; DA Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus Steering Committee; Co-Chair, DA Germany Veterans and Military Families Caucus

  • published VMF June 2022 Newsletter in News 2022-05-29 10:56:05 -0400

    VMF June 2022 Newsletter


    June 2022


    Vol. 2, No. 3

    To view in pdf, click here

    "At stake in cases challenging abortion restrictions is a woman’s 'control over her [own] destiny.' Their ability to realize their full potential, the Court recognized, is intimately connected to 'their ability to control their reproductive lives.'" She continued, "Thus, legal challenges to undue restrictions on abortion procedures do not seek to vindicate some generalized notion of privacy; rather, they center on a woman’s autonomy to determine her life’s course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature.”

    — Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2007 Gonzales v. Carhart)

    Editor’s Message —

    Greetings! Following May’s celebration of Press Freedom, we heard about the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade. Now the question is when will we celebrate Freedom for Women and all US citizens regarding their personal health decisions?

    Certain right-wing officials state that a right to abortion “is not deeply rooted in the nation's histories and traditions." Is that reason enough to ban it in 2022? I discovered an interesting fact when researching this topic. Benjamin Franklin included instructions for at-home abortions in a book in the 1700’s. There was no objection to this.

    It is apparent that some justices are out of touch with the real world and do not care what the majority of US citizens think. Look at the numbers (from The Atlantic, May 13, 2022): In 1972, 83 percent of Americans agreed that abortions should be allowed when “a woman’s health [is] seriously endangered by the pregnancy” and 72 percent said the same when the pregnancy is the product of rape. In 2021, those numbers were 87 percent and 84 percent, respectively. At least 70 percent of Americans since 1972 have also favored legal abortion if “there is a strong chance of a serious defect in [the] baby.”

    Hillary Clinton said, "I hope people now are fully aware of what we're up against because the only answer is at the ballot box to elect people who will stand up for every American's rights."

    Voters UNITE! Vote these people out of office. Request your absentee ballots and urge your friends to get theirs! Protect our unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

    Terese Sarno, Editor


    Read more

  • published June Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2022-05-26 10:54:19 -0400

    Take This PTSD Quiz: 

    Here is the first question:

    #1 Thinking about the past week, how often have you had trouble focusing on things like reading, TV shows, or conversations?

    Zero? (Score 0 points) Once? (Score 1 pt.) A few? (Score 2) Several? (Score 3)

    To learn your PTSD risk level, answer the 17 questions here.

  • published June Reccomendations in Postcasts & Social Media 2022-05-23 11:39:26 -0400

    June Reccomendations

    Video: A must-see of Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow blasting a colleague: Here.

    Newsletters: Two of the best: Heather Cox Richardson: Here; Thom Hartmann: Here.

    Blogs: A blog by Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor & professor at UC Berkeley, about “power -- who has it, who doesn’t, and how it’s being used and abused.” Here  

    And for a blog by Robert Hubbell, go here.

    Podcasts: One of the best is Gaslit Nation, by Sarah Kendzior & Andrea Chalupa: Here.


  • published V-E Day in News 2021-05-08 02:17:04 -0400

    V-E Day

    Today V-E and WW II are commemorated around the world as those who served are honored. V-E Day marked the end of most fighting in Europe where tens of millions of service members and civilians lost their lives. President Harry S. Truman, who was born on May 8, 1884, announced the end of the war in Europe on his 61st birthday. About 16 million Americans served in World War II—with 2 million serving in Europe. 11% of our population fought in World War II. 
    Join the Global VMF Caucus Zoom Event Volunteers Honoring Veterans in Washington, D.C. with Helen Belletti, Volunteer Coordinator, today, May 8 at 3:00 p.m. CET. This event is co-sponsored by the DA Germany VMF Caucus and the Global Women’s Caucus.
    RSVP: [email protected]To join the VMF Caucus, go to: http://www.democratsabroad.org/vmf.     

  • published May is National Military Appreciation Month in News 2021-04-30 17:31:03 -0400

    May is National Military Appreciation Month

    May-National Military Appreciation Month

    A month to recognize and show appreciation to the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

    May 1, 2021- Loyalty Day

    A day set aside for American citizens to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States

    and to recognize the heritage of American freedom.  Learn more...

    May 1, 2021 - Silver Star Service Banner Day

    A day set aside to honor our wounded, ill, and dying military personnel by

    participating in flying a Silver Star Banner.  Learn more...

    May 6, 2021 - National Day of Prayer

    The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of

    May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. Learn more...

    How can you pray for the military community? Learn more...

    May 7, 2021 - Military Spouse Appreciation Day

    A day set aside to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of the spouses of

    the U.S. Armed Forces. Learn more...

    ​LINK - Practical insights in caring for a military home front family

    May 8, 2021 — V-E (Victory in Europe) Day

    (Celebrated May 7 in Commonwealth countries)

    A day which marks the anniversary of the Allies' victory in Europe during World War II

    on May 8, 1945. Learn more...

    Volunteers Honoring Veterans in Washington, D.C. 
    with Helen Belletti, Volunteer Coordinator

    May 8, 2021, VE-DAY, at 3:00 p.m. (CET)

    RSVP for the Zoom Webinar: [email protected]

    To join on Zoom, go to: http://us02web.zoom.us/j/4414855431

    Meeting ID: 441 485 5431  (Waiting room. No password needed.)

    To join the VMF Caucus: http://www.democratsabroad.org/vmf

    May 9, 2021 - Mother's Day
    May 13, 2021 - Children of Fallen Patriots Day
    A day to honor the families our Fallen Heroes have left behind – especially their children. 
    It’s a reminder to the community that we have an obligation to support the families of our Fallen Patriots. Learn more...
    May 15, 2021 - Armed Forces Day
    A day set aside to pay tribute to men and women who serve in the United States’
    Armed Forces. Learn more...
    May 31, 2021 - Memorial Day (Decoration Day)
    A day set aside to commemorate all who have died in military service for the United
    States. Typically recognized by parades, visiting memorials and cemeteries. Learn more...
    May 31, 2021 at 1 pm Eastern (7 pm CET
    Virtual Event  Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Washington, DC        

  • published Earth Day/Week 2021 in News 2021-04-16 19:19:32 -0400

    Earth Day/Week 2021


    The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth, which focuses on restoring the world’s ecosystems through natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking. 

    EARTH DAY observed by the U.S. military:

    The U.S. Air Force at Ramstein Air Base will plant 500 trees base-wide in designated places from April 20-22. This free activity is open to service members and their families. Trees will be distributed in the KMCC. parking lot. During Earth Week, the legendary Wild Boar Mud Run will also take place.
    The  U.S. Army “is committed to environmental excellence through stewardship, vigilance, and partnership with the community. Sound environmental practices are part of everything a Soldier does; thus, every day is Earth Day to the Army."
    The U.S. Marines are using Earth Day as a reminder “to reflect on our mission, our environment, and the need to preserve our resources for future generations of Marines, so we can continue to win our Nation’s battles.”

    The U.S.Navy: “Each year, our Sailors and Navy civilians go above and beyond to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship. Not just on Earth Day, but in our daily work year round, we take pride in caring for the ecosystems and communities in which we operate."

    The U.S. Coast Guard: “Earth Day has been a day dedicated to educating everyone on responsible environmental management and supporting ways that make the planet healthier and more sustainable. It’s a chance to think about how our actions impact our environment. Individuals and organizations celebrate Earth Day in a variety of ways. Some people plant trees, clean up trash along highways, set up recycling programs or commit to saving energy.”

    From its beginning, Earth Day was bipartisan. A Democratic senator and a Republican congressman met with members of the media to promote the concept of a national teaching day for environmental issues.They chose April 22 for the event and everyone realized we all share common values. Everyone wants blue skies and clean water. Congress then created the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species.

    Schedule for Earth Week Events        
    April 18-Earth Day Initiative (EDI) and March for Science NYC, are offering a series of online events with speakers and presentations from politicians, artists, and activists such as Elizabeth Warren, Kyra Sedgwick, Rosdely Ciprian, and Marc Yaggi, exploring a variety of environmental issues. Check out the full virtual stage schedule here.

    April 19-at 3:00 p.m. (ET) the virtual march and rally, called “SC1.5NCE NOT SILENCE,” will take place in a 1990s-like virtual reality space created by Future Meets Present and Gather. Through an avatar, you will be able to visit booths, speak to exhibitors and other attendees, and, at 3PM ET, take part in a march and rally organized by March for Science NYC and Fridays for Future (the movement co-founded by Greta Thunberg).                                                                             You can attend by sending an RSVP via the EDI site.    

    April 20-a global youth summit.                                                                                                                                              

    April 21-a global education summit.                                                                                                                                        

    April 21- 8:30 p.m. (ET) join National Geographic for its Earth Day Eve 2021 virtual celebration, with performances by artists such as Angélique KidjoWillie NelsonYo-Yo Ma, and Ziggy Marley, and appearances by a number of environmental activists such as Dr. Jane Goodall. You can join at the NatGeo website or at its YouTube channel — and afterward, continue with the music of Jayda G on the organization’s TikTok channel.

    April 22- Earthday.org’s second annual “Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth” online program, featuring celebrities, politicians, and activists, will be live streamed at noon (ET) at the same time as the global climate summit organized by the Biden administration. To participate, visit Earthday.org on the day of the event.

    April 22 & 23- Leaders Summit on Climate to which President Biden has invited 40 world leaders. A live stream link will be available on the date of the event.

  • Medal of Honor Monday: Navy Corpsman Richard D. DeWert

    April 5, 2021  | By Katie Lange, DoD News
    Know Your Military
    “Of the millions who have served the nation, more than 3,500 men and one woman have received its highest award for valor. Medal of Honor Monday highlights a different service member from this elite group each week.”

  • A Proclamation on National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, 2021


    Enduring with limitless dignity and determination, these former prisoners of war are a powerful reminder that their indomitable spirit could not be broken, even by brutal treatment in contravention of international law and morality.  Despite the terrible suffering inflicted upon them by their captors in harsh prisons and camps in Europe and Asia, American prisoners of war steadfastly demonstrated their devotion to duty, honor, and country.

    On this day and every day, let us honor all who have borne the hardships of captivity in service to our Nation, remember the brave men and women who were held as prisoners in foreign lands during our Nation’s past conflicts, and recognize those at home who anxiously awaited their loved ones’ return.  Their faith in God, love of family, and trust in our Nation are an inspiration to all Americans, and we will always remember their sacrifices. 

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 9, 2021, as National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day.  I call upon all Americans to observe this day by honoring the service and sacrifice of all former prisoners of war as our Nation expresses its eternal gratitude for their sacrifice.  I also call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

                                 JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

  • Military children qualify for a variety of VA benefits

    Every April, the nation celebrates the Month of the Military Child – a time that honors all military children for their dedication and sacrifices. The VA honors military children year-round by providing them earned benefits. Dependents and surviving children of Veterans and service members may qualify for certain benefits, such as life insurance, education services and health care.
    Click the link for more information: https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/86374/military-children-qualify-variety-va-benefits/

  • published April is Month of The Military Child in News 2021-04-05 17:48:08 -0400

  • A Proclamation on Month of the Military Child, 2021

    April marks the Month of the Military Child, when our Nation pays tribute to the resilience and tenacity of our military children; over 2 million active duty, National Guard, Reserve and children of veterans who did not make the choice to serve, but live each day supporting their brave parents.  These young people live out the words of the poet John Milton, “they also serve who only stand and wait.”  We see their service and thank them for it.

    From a young age, children of service members sometimes endure long separations from their parents and shoulder the burdens of service.  They spend holidays and milestones apart from those they love the most, or celebrate with only a short phone call or virtual chat from a faraway parent.  This is something the First Lady and I have witnessed in our own lives, as our grandchildren experienced their father’s deployment to Iraq.

    Military children change schools up to nine times between the start of kindergarten and high school graduation.  With each move, they grapple with difficult goodbyes and the challenge of making new friends.  Although life in a military family can include exploring new places and exposure to other cultures and customs, it can also bring frustration and loneliness.  During the Month of the Military Child, we show our appreciation for the commitment and service of military children in shouldering these challenges, and we recognize the stressors on military children brought about by the unique demands of their parents’ military life.

    The strength of our Armed Forces comes not just from those who wear the uniform, but from their families, who also serve on behalf of our country.  As a Nation, we have many obligations, but we have only one truly sacred obligation:  to properly prepare and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way, and to care for them and their families.  The First Lady and I understand the gravity of this promise personally, and we have made supporting service members, veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors a top priority for my Administration.

    That is why the First Lady has committed to relaunching the Joining Forces initiative, mobilizing all Americans to continue the national commitment to support and engage our military families.  By raising awareness about the unique aspects of military life and working toward solutions to its challenges, my Administration will continue to support military children and will help ensure that they have opportunities to grow and live out their dreams.

    Observing the Month of the Military Child demonstrates our support for military children who make daily sacrifices so their parents can keep our Nation safe.  Military-connected children are strong and resilient, and we must match their strength with a commitment to provide the full support of our communities and our Government.  I encourage all Americans to serve them as well as they serve us.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as the Month of the Military Child.  I call upon the people of the United States to honor military children with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.


  • published U.S. Dept. of Defense Resources in News 2021-04-05 17:26:59 -0400

    U.S. Dept. of Defense Resources

    Resources available to 

  • DOD Announces Policy Updates for Transgender Military Service

    IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 31, 2021

    Today, the Department of Defense published the policy updates for transgender military service. The policy updates restore the Department’s original 2016 policies regarding transgender service.

    The revised policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or an individual’s identification as transgender, provide a means by which to access into the military in one’s self-identified gender provided all appropriate standards are met, provide a path for those in service for medical treatment, gender transition, and recognition in one’s self-identified gender, and seeks to protect the privacy of all Service members and to treat all Service members with dignity and respect.

    The policies will be effective on April 30, 2021, affording the Military Services the necessary time to update service-level policies and provide guidance to Commanders, Service members, medical professionals, and other communities of practice as appropriate. During this period, the Department’s interim guidance of January 29, 2021 remains in effect.

    The DoD Instruction 6130.03: Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction into the Military Services can be found here.

    The DoD Instruction 1300.28: In-Service Transition for Transgender Service Members can be found here.

  • published April is the Month of the Military Child in News 2021-04-01 01:41:39 -0400

    April is the Month of the Military Child

    Month of the Military Child
    An opportunity to recognize military children and youth for their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience.
    April 5, 2021 - Gold Star Wives Day
    A day set aside to recognize the sacrifices of Gold Star wives.
    April 14, 2021 - Air Force Reserve Birthday
    April 23, 2021 - Army Reserve Birthday
    April 30, 2021 - National Military Brats Day
    A day set aside to honor the children of military personnel. Learn more...


  • March 29-Nation to Observe Vietnam War Veterans Day

    On March 29, Americans will come together to commemorate the service and sacrifices made by the nearly 3 million service members who served in Vietnam.

    In 2012, President Barack Obama signed a presidential proclamation, designating March 29 as the annual observance of Vietnam War Veterans Day.

    The signing of the proclamation marked the 50th anniversary of the departure of the last American troops from Vietnam — March 29, 1973. Only  U.S. embassy personnel and support staff remained in South Vietnam until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.



  • published DoD, Nation Celebrate Women’s History Month in News 2021-03-23 03:23:52 -0400

    DoD, Nation Celebrate Women’s History Month

    March is Women's History Month, a commemoration set aside to honor women's contributions in American history, including in the U.S. military.

    On March 16, 1987, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation dedicating March as Women's History Month. "From earliest times, women have helped shape our nation," the proclamation reads. https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/Story/Article/2545824/dod-nation-celebrate-womens-history-month/source/GovDelivery/

  • Statement on the Atlanta Shootings by Democrats Abroad

    On Tuesday, March 16th, 2021, a gunman killed at least eight individuals and injured others in Atlanta in yet another unspeakable tragedy. Most of the individuals lost are from the Asian American community. 

    Sadly, this is yet another example of the current threat facing our community. The rise in anti-Asian American violence and hateful rhetoric contributing to that violence in the United States cannot be ignored. Between March 2020 and February 2021, there have been 3,795 hate incidents reported by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in all 50 states and D.C., according to Stop AAPI Hate

    It is clear the derogatory anti-Asian language used throughout the past year continues to have a real-world impact. While President Biden’s condemnation of the violence against Asian Americans in his prime-time address last week is a good start, more political leaders need to speak out against this type of rhetoric and do more to support Asian American communities. More of us need to step up and speak out in our communities to make it clear that hate has no place here. Racist comments should not be brushed aside or ignored, they must be confronted and condemned. If it was not clear before, it is clear now that AAPI communities around the United States are targets of hate. 

    While this will not solve the racism problem in our country, we must continue to work together to pass common sense gun control legislation. Gun homicide (mass shootings, so-called “everyday” violence, and police-involved shootings) are a universal American threat that only make other social challenges worse.

    Call your Senators to tell them to support handgun laws, including S591 and S763, which expand background checks. 

    Democrats Abroad condemns these acts of violence. We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and our AAPI Democrats Abroad members. We must work together to speak out and stand up against this type of hate. These hate crimes must be taken seriously and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hate against any of us affects us all.

    We extend our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones to last night’s shootings. We stand with you, we hear you, and we will fight with you to combat this wave of hatred and violence.


    In Solidarity,

    Julia Bryan, Democrats Abroad Chair

    Cory Lemke and Emily Lines, Democrats Abroad Asian American & Pacific Islander Caucus Co-Chairs 


  • published THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (ERA) in News 2021-03-20 03:44:28 -0400


    “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex."                

    On March 17, the House of Representatives passed a joint resolution to remove the time limit placed on the Equal Rights Amendment (HJ Res 17) to the Constitution. Now this will move to the Senate. The House also voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark bill that covers everyone.

    From Shari Temple, the DA ERA Task Force Chair:                                                                                                                  

    The ERA Task Force needs your help NOW.  

    Please contact your state’s senators.                                                         

    Post  your story by March 24. Login to Democrats Abroad before you post your story.                                              

    Your stories on why ERA is important to you will be included in hand delivered packets to all Congress members. They could help influence some Senators to vote for SJRes 1. Equal rights must be anchored in our Constitution so they cannot be undone with an executive order. Tell Congress your story – www.democratsabroad.org/era_stories.      

    Please join us in telling Congress why the ERA is important to you.  The DA ERA Task Force will share your story with House and Senate members. Simply go to https://www.democratsabroad.org/era_stories. We want to see a story for your Senators. You can write as few as a couple of sentences or a full dissertation (but in 500 word increments). And you can even include a photo, ideally with a pro-ERA sign. Together, we CAN make a difference.

    Thanks for your help in promoting the Equal Rights Amendment and equality for everyone in US.


  • published March is the Month of the Military Caregiver in News 2021-02-28 03:20:29 -0500

    March is the Month of the Military Caregiver

    Month of the Military Caregiver
    During the Month of the Military Caregiver, Americans recognize and honor military caregivers’ sacrifices and successes. Learn more...
    March 3, 2021 - Navy Reserve Birthday
    March 5, 2021 - Seabee Birthday
    March 13, 2021 - K 9 Veterans Day
    A national effort to make March 13 K9 Veterans Day. March 13, 1942 is the official birthday of the United States K9 Corps, and so it seems only right to annually honor their service on that date. They served to save, and they deserve to be remembered. Learn more...
    March 29, 2021 - Vietnam Veterans Day
    A day set aside to show honor and respect to our Vietnam Veterans. Learn more...


  • Louisiana Voters Abroad-Two Special Primary Elections -2nd and 5th Congressional Districts

    Louisiana—March 20, 2021 Special Primary Elections

    The State of Louisiana will conduct two special primary elections on Tuesday, March 20, 2021, to fill a vacancy for the 2nd and 5th Congressional Districts. Congressional District 2 includes nearly all of the city of New Orleans and stretches west and north to Baton Rouge. Congressional District 5 includes rural northeastern Louisiana and much of central Louisiana, as well as the northern part of Louisiana's Florida parishes in southeast Louisiana, taking in Monroe, Alexandria, Opelousas, Amite and Bogalusa.

    You can check the status of your absentee ballot by contacting your election office directly.

    Louisiana voters abroad need to request a ballot each calendar year you’d like to vote in.

    Delivery Methods

    • Registration: email, fax, postal mail, or online~
    • Ballot Request: email, fax, or postal mail
    • Ballot Return: fax, or postal mail~~

    ~ Online voter registration available only with LA state identification
    ~~ Fax for ballot return available only if voter arranges in advance with local election official


    Election Deadlines for Louisiana Voters Abroad


    Election Day 


    Ballot Request 

    Ballot Return 


    CD 2 and CD 5 Special

    March 20, 2021