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 March 2023 Newsletter in News 2023-02-25 00:11:22 -0500

    VMF March 2023 Newsletter


    March 2023


    VOL. 3, NO. 3

    To view in PDF, click here

    Lowering Costs of Families' Everyday Expenses

    The Inflation Reduction Act is a historic legislative achievement that lowers costs for families, combats the climate crisis, reduces the deficit, and finally makes the largest corporations pay their fair share. For the first time, Medicare is able to negotiate the price of certain high-cost drugs, a month’s supply of insulin for seniors is capped at $35, Medicare beneficiaries pay $0 out of pocket for recommended adult vaccines, and seniors’ out of pocket expenses at the pharmacy will be capped at $2,000 a year. And thanks to the President’s actions, including a historic release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, gas prices are down more than $1.60 from their summer 2022 peak.

    “We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it…That is what we are doing again.”

                                               -President Joe Biden


    President Biden's State of the Union Address


    Editor’s Message —

    Greetings! President Biden’s State of the Union message highlighted the incredible advances that our country has made even under adverse conditions. We are however still battling pressure on curriculum choices including library books. The First Amendment guarantees access to information and ideas in schools. The bans and  legislative action being taken in some states are infringing on those constitutional rights.

    NEA: DeSantis blocking AP African American Studies hurts all students

    DeSantis pushes ban on diversity programs in state colleges

    “Preparing students with more knowledge, not less, is essential for an America that prides itself in having a free marketplace of ideas. This is why it is outrageous to see DeSantis and some other elected officials working to substitute their personal political ideology for well-developed, educator-led curricula. Gov. DeSantis is neither an educator nor a historian…A full and honest curriculum facilitates the core goals of public education: promoting democracy by preparing children for citizenship and cultivating a workforce that can compete in the global marketplace.”

    –Becky Pringle, National Education Association President 


    Roberto Clemente book removed from Florida public schools pending review over discrimination references

    “Of the books removed from Duval County, Florida, more than 30 were by Latino authors and illustrators or centered Latino characters and narratives. Among these were ‘Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa’ by Veronica Chambers and Julie Maren, ‘Sonia Sotomayor (Women Who Broke the Rules Series)’ by Kathleen Krull and Angela Dominguez, and Winter's Clemente book.”

    What can we do? Contact our legislators. Protect our First Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution. 

    Charter schools have long been a problem in our country and they drain the funds that should be used for public schools. Taxpayer money should not fund what are essentially private schools nor should they be used to fund religious schools.

    Urgent: Tell Your Legislators to Stop Funding the Charter School Programs (CSP). Charter school enrollment during 2021-2022 decreased by over 5,000 students yet the charter lobby is requesting up to a half billion dollars yearly. 

    What can we do? Contact our representatives today. It is time to defund the federal Charter School Programs and to support increased funding for our true public schools.

    Let’s “finish the job”!

    Terese Sarno

    Please join our caucus to show your support for the U.S. military!

    Read more

  • published March 2023 Brain Zone Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2023-02-25 00:11:06 -0500

  • VMF Film and Book Recommendations March 2023


     Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima


    Flags of Our Fathers has been called one of the best military movies. Six Marines raised the flag on Iwo Jima in February 1945. (One Marine was misidentified as a Navy Corpsman until 2016.) Within a month, three were killed in combat. The three remaining returned to the US to raise money for the War. Joe Rosenthal, the photographer of the iconic photo, won the Pulitzer Prize and Navy Distinguished Public Service Award. 2006, distributed by Paramount. Available where you buy or rent movies.


    American Midnight

    American Midnight: The Great War, A Violent Peace and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis is a look at America between 1917 and 1921. This was a time of labor and racial conflict, xenophobia, political repression and mistreatment of conscientious objectors. Named as A Best Book of The Year by many publications, this 2022 book is available wherever books are sold. HarperCollins publisher.


  • published VMF March 2023 Poem in Poetry Corner 2023-02-25 00:10:49 -0500

    March 2023 Poem

    Poetry in large letters surrounded by books and a typewriter


    The ethics rules are based on the 14 principles of ethical conduct set out in
    Executive Order 12674, issued on April 12, 1989.…it is a good idea to go back
    to basics and reread those principles.  The FLRA presents them here in doggerel: 

      Ethics Principles Poem

    Public service - public trust (1)
    Honest effort is a must. (5)
    Finances should not interfere
    With any work that you do here. (2)

    Non-public info you obtain
    Should not be used for private gain.(3)
    And if a present should appear
    From someone doing business here

    You must decline to take that perk
    If it will interfere with work. (4)
    You may not bind the Government
    If you don’t have the right consent. (6)

    Don’t use your job for private gain (7)
    With private parties please remain
    Impartial (8) and report with haste
    Corruption, fraud, abuse, or waste.(11)

    Do not use Federal property
    For something not in your PD. (9)
    And outside work can’t interfere
    With major duties you have here. (10)

    Employees must act in good faith
    To pay their taxes, DAEO sayeth (12)
    And never may a Fed forgo
    The principles of EEO. (13)

    And we know we cannot appear
    To violate a law, that’s clear. (14)
    That’s all 14 – obey them all!
    If you are lost, give me a call.


  • published March Recommendations in Postcasts & Social Media 2023-02-25 00:10:41 -0500

    March Recommendations


    Laptop with a Book Top Open and Icons Coming Out of It


    Reflections from the Front: The Experiences of Women Veterans.  Dept. of Veterans Affairs, focuses on the military careers of women who served during WWII, Vietnam and on the home front. 

    Blue Vote Cafe interviews Jarryd Rauch, the new Executive Director of Democrats Abroad. Jarryd shares his goals and tells us about himself.

    DA VMF Caucus, with co-host DA GBC, Podcast with James Smith, Founder and Co-Director of Deported Black Veterans of America, and Deported Veteran Mauricio Hernandez. 


  • published VMF March 2023 Spotlight in Spotlight 2023-02-25 00:10:31 -0500

    VMF March 2023 Spotlight


    Spotlight ETHICS USOGE
    Resources for Federal Employees


    Standards of Ethical Conduct

    As an employee, you cannot use your position with the Government for your own personal gain or for the benefit of others. This includes family, friends, neighbors, and persons or organizations that you are affiliated with.

    When may I reference my title when acting in my personal capacity?

    • When teaching, speaking, or writing, you may refer to your Government title or position as one of several biographical details in order to help identify you. But, it should be given no more prominence than other biographical details.
    • When asked to provide a letter of recommendation (either an employment recommendation or a character reference), you may sign it using your Government title when the recommendation is based upon your personal knowledge of someone you have dealt with in the course of Federal employment or someone whom you are recommending for Federal employment.
    • If you are ordinarily addressed using a general term of address, such as “The Honorable,” or a rank, such as a military or ambassadorial rank, you may use that term of address or rank in connection with a personal activity.

    You may not work on particular Government matters in which you, your spouse or minor child, or certain others have a financial interest.

    Read more

  • published February 2023 Brain Zone Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2023-01-26 02:56:06 -0500

  • VMF Film and Book Recommendations February 2023



    Shot from \

    Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis (Academy Award, Best Actor in a Leading Role), Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. Lincoln struggles with the 13th Amendment, which will forever ban slavery, passing before the end of the Civil War. If the war ends before its passage, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law.

    2012, PG-13. Available where you buy or rent movies.

    Frost/Nixon starring Frank Langella
    Frost/Nixon starring Frank Langella, Michael Sheen and Kevin Bacon. Five Oscar Nominations, 2008, R. 

    Among the 400 million people who watched Nixon board Marine One and leave the White House in 1974, was British journalist David Frost. He decided right then he would interview Nixon. In the final of three interviews, taped in 1977, Nixon utters the now infamous, “When the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.” 


    The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White HouseThe Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House 

    In The Fight of His Life, prize winning journalist and author Chris Whipple had unique access to the President and his staff. Read about the internal power struggles and back-room compromises. Published by Scribner, 2023. 

    Available wherever books are sold.

  • published VMF February 2023 Poem in Poetry Corner 2023-01-26 02:55:42 -0500

    February 2023 Poem

    Poetry in large letters surrounded by books and a typewriter


    by Abraham Lincoln

    Delivered at the dedication of the military cemetery 
    in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863


    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Gettysburg Address

  • published February Recommendations in Postcasts & Social Media 2023-01-26 02:55:33 -0500

    February Recommendations


    Laptop with a Book Top Open and Icons Coming Out of It


    GOT YOUR SIX - Hosted by Tony Nash - This podcast brings together current service members and veteran high performers to share their methods, strategies, and ideas delivered in an informative way and, most importantly, actionable ways that will help you lead yourself and those around you better from the battlefield to the boardroom.  The Tony Nash Podcast


    FOREIGN MEDICAL PROGRAM - This video provides an overview of the VA Foreign Medical Program (FMP) including eligibility, enrollment, appointments, and billing. FMP is a healthcare benefits program for U.S. Veterans who are residing or traveling abroad who have a VA-rated, service-connected disability. Foreign Medical Program

  • published VMF February 2023 Spotlight in Spotlight 2023-01-26 02:55:23 -0500

    VMF February 2023 Spotlight


    Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
    from the National Archives Milestone Documents

    President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, announcing, "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious areas "are, and henceforward shall be free."

    Initially, the Civil War between North and South was fought by the North to prevent the secession of the Southern states and preserve the Union. Even though sectional conflicts over slavery had been a major cause of the war, ending slavery was not a goal of the war.

    That changed on September 22, 1862, when President Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that enslaved people in those states or parts of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be declared free. One hundred days later, with the rebellion unabated, President issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious areas "are, and henceforward shall be free."

    Lincoln’s bold step to change the goals of the war was a military measure and came just a few days after the Union’s victory in the Battle of Antietam. With this Proclamation he hoped to inspire all Black people, and enslaved people in the Confederacy in particular, to support the Union cause and to keep England and France from giving political recognition and military aid to the Confederacy.

    Because it was a military measure, however, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.

    Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it did fundamentally transform the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of Black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 Black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.

    From the first days of the Civil War, enslaved people had acted to secure their own liberty. The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed their insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. As a milestone along the road to slavery's final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom.

    Read more

  • published VMF February 2023 Newsletter in News 2023-01-26 02:51:25 -0500

    VMF February 2023 Newsletter


    February 2023


    VOL. 3, NO. 2

    To view in PDF, click here

    “He (McCarthy) led the Republican Conference in voting against veterans’ health care, voting rights, pandemic relief, gun reform, infrastructure investments, and many other opportunities to address the needs of the American people. Now, as we turn the page to a new Congress, House Republicans are doubling down on their commitment to extremism, proposing an agenda that slashes reproductive freedom, undermines our planet, and strips health care from millions of Americans. As Members of Congress, we take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, including coming together to find common ground where we can. We are resolute in that commitment and are ready to work with Members across the aisle if they can find their way back to the American people.”                        – Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5)


    Please join our caucus to show your support for the U.S. military!

    Editor’s Message —

    Greetings! The recent election of the new Speaker of the House, on the 15th ballot, made it clear how dysfunctional the new slim majority party in the House is. It also gave U.S. Representative Katharine Clark, Democrat, Massachusetts (5th District), the opportunity to highlight how the Democrats have supported the American people and how the other party has refused to support them. When Kevin McCarthy finally had enough votes to be speaker, Clark stated how troubling this was. After all, “no" votes from Republicans included equal pay, child care, paid family leave, the fundamental right to vote for every American, and supporting veteran access to healthcare.

    Watch Clark’s House floor nominating speech for Hakeem Jeffries in which she enumerates how the other party does not support the needs of the American people. 

    “…When small businesses needed to reopen, and the American people wanted vaccines, they said no…When we capped insulin costs for seniors, at $35 a month, they said no. When we lowered health care costs and premiums for working families, they said no. When we defended the civil rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, they said no. When we protected lives from senseless gun violence, especially in the wake of the horrors of Buffalo and Uvalde, they said no. When we stood up for women and reproductive freedom, they said no. When we brought manufacturing back to America, they said no. When we answered the urgent call to protect our planet and invest in clean energy, and create tens of millions of good-paying jobs, they said no…”

    Then watch Hakeem Jeffries’ Alphabet Speech and his historic first speech on the House floor, so that you have no doubt that Democrats are moving forward with a united front to do what is best for the American people.

    What can we do? Immediately request our absentee ballots for all 2023 elections at www.VoteFromAbroad.org and start working to secure victory in all upcoming elections! If you vote in Ohio, recent election law changes shorten the amount of time for the receipt of overseas absentee ballots, so please get involved in overturning this!

    Terese Sarno


    “We believe – that in America our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness – an economic strength, a competitive strength, a cultural strength. Our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness. We are a gorgeous mosaic of people from throughout the world. As John Lewis would sometimes remind us on this floor: we may have come over on different ships, but we're all in the same boat now.”                      –Hakeem Jeffries



    Read more

  • published VMF December 2022 Poem in Poetry Corner 2022-11-27 02:00:08 -0500

    December 2022 Poem

    Poetry in large letters surrounded by books and a typewriter


    The Founders' Rules

    Our founders set rules for this country of ours,
    Rules that had once made us great,
    But the weakness of man made America
    A target for hostility and hate.

    The Constitution is no longer followed;
    It limits the power some need;
    The people in office want to rule, not to serve;
    It's mostly a matter of greed.

    Lying and stealing is how most of them work,
    And it seems they are having a ball;
    We the people were sleeping, not watching, too trusting,
    And now we seem in for a fall.

    But it isn't too late; we should never give up;
    We still have the power to win.
    If we just do our part, we the people have strength;
    We can fix this big mess that we're in.

    If together we stand, and strive hand in hand,
    We can save this land that we love,
    So let's come together and fight for what's right,
    And let's pray for some help from above.

    by Karl Fuchs


  • published December Brain Zone Quiz in Brain Zone Quiz 2022-11-27 01:59:18 -0500

  • VMF Film and Book Recommendations December 2022


    Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 Christmas comedy-drama starring Maureen O’Hara and John Payne. Winner of four Academy Awards. The movie was selected in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

    Another Christmas comedy classic is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Randy Quaid. The Griswolds and Cousin Eddie won our laughter in 1989.



    Cover of Ted Kennedy: A Life by John A Farrell

    John A. Farrell draws from Kennedy’s diary and personal conversations for this biography of one of the United States’ most important political figures. From his childhood to his death, Kennedy’s life is examined. Kennedy worked across the aisle to craft funding for AIDS and HIV research, health care and other important issues. He voted against the confirmation of two Supreme Court Justices who voted with the majority on Dobbs v. Jackson, the 2022 decision that reversed Roe v. Wade. Kennedy: A Life is longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Available wherever books are sold.

  • published December Recommendations in Postcasts & Social Media 2022-11-27 01:58:42 -0500

    December Recommendations


    Laptop with a Book Top Open and Icons Coming Out of It


    Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra Rachel Maddow delves into the Militias, a Media Giant followed by thousands of people, and the Insurrection planned for January 20 ... 1940.


    The NPR Politics Podcast NPR's political reporters explain what is coming out of Washington, telling you what happened and why it matters.

  • published VMF December 2022 Spotlight in Spotlight 2022-11-27 01:58:23 -0500

    VMF December 2022 Spotlight


    Overview of the Legislative Process

    Congress and The Capitol

    About Congress

    What Congress Does

    Two Bodies, One Branch

    Making Laws

    The U.S. House of Representatives

    The U.S. Senate

    Family Resources: Distance Learning & Virtual Visits

    Architect of the Capitol 

    Virtual Field Trips

    Virtual Exhibits

    Read more