Thursday Three is Here!

October 15, 2020

So glad you’re here! In last week’s Thursday Three we mentioned that October is Financial Planning Month and shared some finance-related resources. Did you know that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Learn more about how prevalent intimate partner violence is in the military and veteran community, and how our community experiences and perceives such violence here.
Last Friday, MFAN Executive Director Shannon Razsadin spoke about military housing at the Military Families Caucus Summit. We’ll share more about her remarks in an upcoming post on the MFAN blog. Also, on Friday, National Geographic Lands on Disney+ premiered The Right Stuff – the incredible story of America’s first astronauts (all military test pilots)! We talk about it here.
Election Day is quickly approaching. We cover what you need to know about voting as a military family during a global pandemic here. And if you’re interested in knowing where MFAN stands politically and why, click here.
And did you know that the Army has rolled out two different apps to make your PCS experience (and life on post) better? Okay, the apps aren’t new news, but during today’s AUSA Military Moves Panel, families were encouraged to download Army Digital Garrison (a guide to on-post services) and Army PCS Move (an app to help manage your PCS.) We’ve linked to older stories to summarize the features of each app, but you can find both apps for Apple and Android.

Here’s what we’re hearing about this week:

Photo by Lesley Atkinson, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee Public Affairs

Child care still a critical need

On October 12th, the application window closed for the temporary child care financial assistance program offered by our friends at the National Military Family Association (NMFA). They received thousands of requests (approximately 6,600!) for support from junior enlisted families. Other nonprofits have also stepped in, including the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, in issuing loans and grants for assistance. This story speaks to the continued critical need for assistance with child care and the costs of child care during a global pandemic.
Speaking of child care, a partnership between our friends at the Armed Services YMCA and aims to make it easier for military families to vote. On November 3rd, families can use up to four hours of child care at select off-base child care facilities across the country. For more information about eligibility, locations, and how to make a reservation, click here.
Photo by Senior Airman Perry Aston, 316th Wing Public Affairs

Safety first, but business as usual

After learning that Adm. Charles Ray, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive for COVID-19, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and several other top commanders have begun self-quarantining. We are assured that it is business as usual.
“There is no change to the operational readiness or mission capability of the U.S. Armed Forces,” said the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman. “Senior military leaders are able to remain fully mission-capable and perform their duties from an alternative work location.”
We wish a speedy recovery to Adm. Ray and good health to all.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christian Ayers, Marine Corps Installations East

Long overdue

Gunnery Sgt. Charles Shaw, who died October 29, 1979, is posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal – the nation’s highest civilian award for “outstanding perseverance and courage that inspired social change in the Marine Corps.”
For a quick history lesson, in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order prohibiting racial discrimination in the military. Shortly after, Black Marines trained at Montford Point Camp, separate from their white Marine peers. Shaw enlisted in 1946 and trained at Montford Point, becoming one of their senior drill instructors.
When desegregation took place under President Harry Truman’s executive order, Shaw was the first Black drill instructor at Parris Island. He served in active duty until 1963 and continued to serve with the Marine Reserves until his retirement in 1973.
Learn more about the Marines of Montford Point Camp, Gunnery Sgt. Shaw, and his family’s fight to see him properly recognized here. And you can catch video of the medal presentation here.