Thursday Three Is Here!

October 29, 2020

Another Thursday, and we’re so glad you’re here!
In case you missed it, we celebrated National Day of the Deployed on Monday – a chance to honor those who have deployed or are currently deployed and the families who stand by their side.
And MFAN’s senior director of research and program evaluation, Dr. Shelley Kimball, spoke with HearSay with Cathy Lewis, WHRV FM’s locally-produced, public affairs radio call-in program about MFAN’s research on military families and food insecurity. You can catch the broadcast here.
Kendra Scott, American designer and business mogul, appeared as a guest investor on Shark Tank! In last week’s Thursday Three, we shared that MFAN is partnering with her on November 4th and 5th for a Shop for Good event. If you haven’t yet marked your calendars – do it now! You can shop online or in-store at Kendra Scott and 20% of your purchase will help MFAN combat military family food insecurity in Texas. Simply enter the code GIVEBACK-001A in your cart or at checkout on or mention it at checkout at participating Kendra Scott locations in Texas. For a list of participating stores and to RSVP, click here.
Have you voted yet? The clock is ticking down on your chance to have your vote (and voice) count. Still have questions? Click here.
Also this week, be warned that the goblins and vampires are expected to be out in full force. Or not, depending on where you live and what COVID-related restrictions are in place. Whether there are mobs of children at your door or empty streets, you can still celebrate the day. Dress your pets up. Eat dinner in costume. Be creative. And however you celebrate, be safe!
Don’t forget that clocks change on Sunday for daylight saving time!

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

Photo by Yousef Alfuhigi,

COVID and the troops OCONUS

The effects of COVID continue to be felt by troops overseas.
Tens of thousands of U.S. service members stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany (home to Ramstein Air Base and several other military facilities) have been cautioned to take extra care as increased coronavirus cases cause the area to be designated as high-risk by officials.
As Germany and Europe face a second wave of the pandemic, new travel restrictions are put in place for soldiers in the 7th Army Training Command, affecting not just soldiers stationed in Germany, but also those in Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia who are attached to the 7th ATC. The specific restrictions depend upon local conditions but include some bans on travel on German trains or buses, limitations on local travel and more.
Meanwhile, U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) is working to address the issue of service members being charged leave time for mandatory quarantine, an issue that’s increasingly causing concern as folks hope to plan for holiday leave. A 14-day minimum quarantine is required for all service members, contractors, and their family members arriving in Japan after travel abroad or entering the country for the first time. Because policy can vary from branch to branch, there is no single policy to guide whether leave time is charged for the quarantine. USFJ is hoping to resolve this before the holidays.

Photo by Annie Spratt, 

Free meals for DoDEA students overseas 

DoD School Food authorities have been granted a waiver by USDA to provide students in DoD schools overseas free meals from November 2, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
Students need a DoDEA student ID and a student meal account through AAFES, Navy Exchange, or Marine Corps Community Service.
More than 47,000 qualified students are expected to benefit from these meals that are subsidized by DoDEA and the Department of Agriculture.
Here’s what parents need to know:
  • No action is required on your part to receive the free meals.
  • If you already paid for meals for November 2nd and beyond, your student’s meal program account will be credited for the cost of those meals.
  • If your students are purchasing extra meals or a la carte items, those are not eligible as free purchases.
For more information about free meals for overseas DoDEA students, click here.

Army Photo by Sgt. Garry McFadden

Same rivalry, different location

You don’t even have to like football to care about the Army-Navy Game, where fierce loyalty has been the name of the game for what will be 121 years, come December. And if you’re following this year’s game, you may note a change of scenery. This year, for the first time since World War II, the game will be hosted at a home site – specifically, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Attendance restrictions due to COVID changed the initial location from Philadelphia (Fly Eagles Fly), but even at West Point, there will be restrictions on attendance due to the pandemic. (Although the plan is that the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen will be there.)
This epic battle will take place on December 12th at West Point’s Michie Stadium. And while you won’t likely get to see the game in-person, there’s no one stopping you from putting on your favorite colors, waving your signs, and teasing your other-team-favoring friends, right from home.