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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFERS HELP TO PROTECT FAMILIES OF MILITARY AND RESERVISTS FROM DEPORTATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 21, 2013 (Washington D.C.) The U.S.  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a memo aimed at halting the automatic deportation of “spouses, children and parents of active-duty military members, reservists who may be called up as part of the 'Ready Force.'"  Family members of U.S. troops can now apply for parole, allowing them to stay in the U.S. while Congress continues delaying action on comprehensive immigration reform.

SAN DIEGO TO BE TARGET OF NATIONAL DAYS OF ACTION AGAINST DRONES APRIL 4-7

 

March 17, 2013 (San Diego)--A coalition of local and national organizations will hold four days of action in San Diego to protest the U.S. government’s use of drones, from April 4-7, 2013.  The host group, Drone Diego, has invited participants from across the nation to call attention to the threats from increasing unmanned robotic warfare by the United States.  Drone Diego will host varied events over a half-week-long series of actions.  

HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS SEEKS COMMUNITY HELP BUILDING HOMES FOR TWO DOUBLE AMPUTEE VETERANS IN EL CAJON

 

"We're here for two of our American heroes." -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2013 (El Cajon ) – Army Sergeant Odin Ayala and Marine Corporal Travis Greene each lost both legs serving in combat. But they were all smiles on February 23 at the groundbreakings of their new , specially adapted homes in El Cajon-- thanks to the efforts of the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops. 

“Our motto is rebuilding homes, rebuilding lives,” said Tim McHale with Homes for our Troops.  The group seeks donations as well as volunteers to help build these homes and more.  Local community groups and businesses can also adopt a room, partnering in efforts to help these wounded veterans and others.

PROJECT REFUGE BROUGHT HOPE: NOW PROGRAM SEEKS ANGEL DONOR TO SURVIVE

 

ECM previously profiled the amazing efforts of Project Refuge and its efforts to help new refugees who arrive alone in our region. But now the organization has fallen on hard times and was recently forced to shut down its housing for local refugees, including many torture victims. The nonprofit seeks angel donors to help revive its efforts.  Read the stories of survivors helped, as well as Project Refugee organizers, below.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

By Ariele Johannson

The following story is the journey of “Mr. Horeb Michael,” an East African refugee. His name is withheld for protection from reprisal:

February 25, 2013 (San Diego)--You must cross through 20 countries before you arrive in San Diego, to be detained once again. You have no plan to go to America. Your only goal is to escape. To do this you must leave your life: your family, livelihood, friends, and future.

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

February 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

HEALTH

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

SAN DIEGO CHAPTER OF IPSSA PRESENTS A $7,000 DONATION TO OPERATION HOMEFRONT- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IN SUPPORT OF OUR TROOPS

December 30, 2012 (San Diego)-Michael Anderson, President o f Independent Pool and Spa Service Association ( IPSSA San Diego), recently presented Karla Winter-Schulz, President of Support the Enlisted Project ( S.T.E.P.) with a $7,000.00 charitable contribution. S.T.E.P. is the local branch of Operation Homefront, dedicated to assist servicemen and women and their families in many areas of need.

VETERANS FACE DRIVING CHALLENGES

By Lori Abbott, California News Service

November12, 2012 (San Diego)--Many military veterans are facing challenges behind the wheel. In fact, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for military personnel in their first year after returning home from war. And USAA insurance says service members were involved in at-fault accidents 13 percent more often after deployments.

MORTGAGE-FREE HOMES AVAILABLE TO COMBAT-WOUNDED VETERANS, GOLD STAR SPOUSES

October 15, 2012 (Sacramento) -- The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) learned today that Military Warriors Support Foundation is currently accepting applications online from combat-wounded veterans and unmarried Gold Star Spouses of OIF/OEF for newly-renovated, 100% mortgage-free homes in Bakersfield, Crescent City, Riverbank, Sacramento and Stockton, California.

FROM THE REAL ESTATE TRENCHES: REAL ESTATE RECOVERY SIGNS AND MORE LOCAL REAL ESTATE NEWS

By Charlotte Reed, REALTOR SRES CRS

October 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—This column includes some hopeful signs of a real estate recover, a warning about a loan scam, a new real estate laws taking effect in January 2013, and an update on a revised Homeowner Bill of Rights.

REGION’S COMMUNITY COLLEGES BEMOAN EFFECT OF STATE BUDGET CUTS ON VETERANS’ EDUCATION

October 9, 2012 (San Diego) -- On the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, a floating tribute to America’s past wars, the region’s community college leaders said dwindling budgets are affecting their ability to serve those returning from today’s conflicts and heading back to school.

 

 

 

Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, speaks at Tuesday’s news conference focusing on the needs of student veterans. Behind her are from left, Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District; Justin Dile, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves; Paul McNamara, a Palomar Community College District governing board member; Melinda Nish, superintendent/president of Southwestern College; and Francisco Rodriquez, superintendent/ president of MiraCosta College. 

GOVERNOR SIGNS BLOCK BILLS TO ASSIST TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES

September 24, 2012 (Sacramento)--Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, September 21 signed into law three bills by Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) aimed at assisting military families and returning veterans.

“I’m thrilled that the governor approved my bills – AB 1904, AB 2202 and AB 2462. They will help California repay the tremendous debt we owe our veterans,” Block said.

BILL TO HELP OUT-OF-STATE MILITARY SPOUSES CONTINUE CAREERS HEADS TO GOVERNOR; PART OF WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE

August 30, 2012 (Sacramento)—A bill by Assemblymember Marty Block, AD-78, that requires the California Department of Consumer Affairs to expedite professional licensure for the spouses and domestic partners of active duty military service members, tonight passed the Assembly Floor on a 78-0 vote.

“The spouses and partners of our military families make great sacrifices – relocating frequently and interrupting their own career paths and earning power,” Block said. “Helping spouses re-establish their careers aids our military families financially and has the added benefit of putting talented and licensed individuals to work in our state.”

FRONT AND CENTER: SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS

 
By Rick Rogers
 
July 21, 2012 ( San Diego) -- With numbing regularity the Defense Department rolls out another report on heartbreakingly high rates of troop suicides. 
 
Lately the numbers grow worse just when you think they should turn better. The military counted 154 suicides in the first 155 days of the year.

FRONT AND CENTER: TIME TO GIRLCOTT THE MILITARY

By Rick Rogers, DefenseTracker.com

July 3, 2012 (San Diego)--The scourge of sexual assaults in the military seemingly cannot be stopped.

With the military unable or unwilling to protect our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, it’s time women refuse to join the military and to disband the farcical Uniformed Code of Military Justice – an inadequate and unequal court system more interested in protecting the military than dispensing justice.

Cut off from it fastest growing pool of recruits – women – we’d find out exactly how fast our military leaders could correct this national embarrassment.  

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE LORI SALDAÑA SHARES VIEWS ON JOBS, HEALTHCARE, ENERGY POLICIES, VETERANS AND SENIOR ISSUES, AND THE FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, 52nd Congressional District candidate Lori Saldaña offered in-depth perspectives on top national issues—including the impacts of federal policies being felt in San Diego and East County. 
 
May 21, 2012 (San Diego) – Lori Saldaña knows how to be a tough competitor. A field hockey athlete  in college and outdoor enthusiast who led hikes through San Diego’s backcountry, she became our region’s Sierra Club President and sued to enforce environmental laws.  As an educator, she created successful job training programs. In Sacramento, she chaired  powerful committees and pushed through landmark legislation that she authored--including AB 32, California’s major measure to combat global warming and  SB 1, the million solar roofs initiative.  President Bill Clinton appointed her to co-chair a committee on water quality improvements for 10 U.S.-Mexico border states. Scrappy and determined,  she’s earned her reputation as a fighter with a winning  record.

SPORTSPLEX USA AND SOCCERNATION.COM TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL ARMED SERVICES APPRECIATION INDOOR SOCCER TOURNAMENT ON SATURDAY MAY 19, 2012

 
May 11, 2012 (Santee) --  For the second year, Sportsplex USA has teamed up with SoccerNation to organize a fun and exciting indoor soccer tournament to recognize and honor our active, non-active military friends and family as well as local area veterans.

 

REPS. DAVIS & HUNTER INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO ALLOW ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY TO REFINANCE

 

 April 27, 2012 (Washington D.C.)—Wednesday, U.S. Representatives Susan Davis (D-CA) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced the Fairness for Military Homeowners Act, legislation allowing military 
homeowners to refinance mortgages on a principle residence while serving at a duty station that prevents them from occupying the home.  Currently, active duty military members cannot refinance if the home is not “owner-occupied.”  

 

THE GRANDPARENT SCAM: DON’T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU

 
April 11, 2012 (San Diego) -- You’re a grandparent, and you get a phone call or an e-mail from someone who identifies himself as your grandson. “I’ve been arrested in another country,” he says, “and need money wired quickly to pay my bail. And oh by the way, don’t tell my mom or dad because they’ll only get upset!”

 

FILNER PLEDGES TO OPEN VETERANS’ OFFICE AT CITY HALL, ASSIST SAN DIEGO VETERANS WITH JOBS AND MORE

“The official casualty count of Iraq and Afghanistan is 5,000 plus killed and about 45,000 wounded…You know how many men and women have approached the VA for help for war-related injuries from those two wars? Almost a million," said Congressman Bob Filner. "We need to take care of these kids when they get back here…Veterans are THE issue for Democrats.”

 

By Miriam Raftery and Mia Mykleberg

February 16, 2012 (San Diego) –Thousands of soldiers are returning home to San Diego County as the Iraq war ends and troop draw downs occur in Afghanistan. 

At the California Democratic Party’s newly formed Veterans’ Caucus, Congressman and Mayoral candidate Bob Filner, former Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, laid out detailed plans to welcome home veterans with respect and hands-on help--including establishing a Veterans' Office for San Diego if he is elected Mayor.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: OCTOBER 6, 2011

 

September 30, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories in our region and state, published in other media outlets.  These week's top Roundup headlines include:

 
 
 
 
 
 
LOCAL
  •          Tribe attempts to evict private military contractor: Los Coyotes band in a legal standoff with Blackwater-tied company (San Diego CityBeat)
  •          Ballot effort to repeal fire fee falls short (Sacramento Bee)
  •          San Diego family of 3 needs $63,000 to be self-sufficient (KPBS)
  •         San Diego ATM fees second highest in nation (KPBS)
  •          Tankers for Sunrise Powerlink project upsets residents (10 News)
  •          Palomar Mountain State Park campgrounds close for good (signonsandiego.com)
 
STATE
  •          California breaks from 50 state probe into mortgage lenders[will conduct own probe] (Los Angeles Times)
  •          Education lawsuit would impact future California budgets (Sacramento Bee)
  •          Advocates for disabled to sue over state budget cuts (Sacramento Bee)
  •          FPPC looks at easing candidate reporting requirements (KPBS)  

ATTENTION, MILITARY WIVES: CASTING COMPANY IS RECRUITING IN SAN DIEGO

 
  
 
September 30, 2011 (San Diego) – Doron Ofir Casting, the star-making company behind Jersey Shore, Millionaire Matchmaker, and The A-List officially confirms and announces the search for the most fascinating Military Wives of San Diego! Military Wives will prove once and for all that behind every man stands a great woman, none more so than the man in service to his country.
 
 

FREE HOME CLINIC FOR MILITARY, RESERVISTS & RETIREES SEPT. 10 IN SPRING VALLEY

September 8, 2011 (Spring Valley)--Fleet & Family Support Center in partnership with Housing Opportunities Collaborative, and the San Diego County Library will hold a FREE Home Clinic for active duty military, reservists and retirees. The home clinic will be held on Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the recreation center behind the Spring Valley Library, 836 Kempton Street in Spring Valley.
 
Members of the military and their families face unique financial challenges but also have a variety of financial options available to them.  HUD Approved housing counselors will be on hand to provide members of the military and the general public all possible options in their home ownership situation.

G I JAMS RELEASES COMPILATION CD FROM POPULAR ARTISTS ON WEBSITE GIJAMS.COM.

   

May 27, 2011 (San Diego) -- Just in time for Memorial Day, hit songwriters Denny Randell and Buddy Schippers, creators of GIJams.com, debut their first in a series of compilation recordings featuring top GI Jams musical Artists.

 

They launched their social music network and multi-media project as a way to spotlight and promote the musical talents of active duty veterans and reserve of all branches, ranks, and rates.

  

FAA, MARINES AND LOCAL VINTAGE AVIATORS APPROVE FLYOVERS FOR THE DEDICATION OF WALL OF HONOR

 

 

 

May 18, 2011 (Alpine) -- The FAA, US Marine Corp and local aviators have all approved flyovers to mark the dedication of the Veterans Wall of Honor, planned for May 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Alpine Community Center.

 

The ceremony is called "Mission Honored: Dream Achieved." It marks the dedication of the Wall of Honor, and unveil a tile with the name of Lt. John Flinn, our own Medal of Honor recipient whose name is the first to be placed on the Wall of Honor. Hundreds of other tiles will be mounted in honor of veterans who sacrificed to serve our country.

 

 

BOXER INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP MILITARY FAMILIES


Bipartisan legislation would create flexible spending accounts to help families save on health care and child care expenses

 

February 19, 2011 (Washington, D.C). – At a press conference February 17, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) announced their new legislation that would provide flexible spending accounts for service members. Flexible spending accounts would result in savings for military families by allowing service members to set aside part of their income before taxes to cover out-of-pocket child care and health care expenses such as co-pays, dental care and eye glasses.

 

This benefit is currently available to civilian employees at the Department of Defense, but not to uniformed service members.

MILITARY AND VETERANS: DEC. 3 IS DEADLINE TO SUBMIT RETROACTIVE STOP LOSS SPECIAL PAY CLAIMS

 

November 12, 2010 (San Diego) – Congressman Bob Filner wants to make sure all active duty and veterans who were forced to involuntarily extend their service know that the deadline to submit a claim for retroactive “Stop Loss” pay is approaching.

 

All claims must be submitted by December 3, 2010.

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