[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     January 11, 2008

News Notes

Fort McCoy VITA Center to open in February  [ back to top ]

      The Fort McCoy Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center is planning to offer VITA services to military-affiliated members of the installation community. The services will be offered at the Installation Legal Office, building 1644.

      Personnel eligible to use the services include active-duty military, retirees and authorized family members. Active-duty personnel will have priority, with retirees receiving assistance on a space-available basis.

      Training was scheduled to be completed by the second week of January. VITA service is expected to be available in February. For volunteer information or tax questions, call (608) 388-4117.

      For general information about the program and to make appointments, call (608) 388-2165. Appointments will be accepted beginning Monday, Feb. 4.

Sponsorship training set for Jan. 24, 29 at ACS   [ back to top ]

      Sponsorship training workshops will be held Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 and Tuesday, Jan. 29 at Fort McCoy Army Community Service (ACS) 2111 South 8th Ave.

      The workshops will be held from 3-4 p.m. Jan. 24 and 10:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 29.

      The Total Army Sponsorship Program applies to Soldiers and civilian employees whose assignment within the Department of the Army requires a permanent change of station.

      Each unit or directorate is encouraged to have a pool of trained sponsors available to meet the needs of incoming personnel.

      For more information or to register, contact the ACS Relocation Program manager at (608) 388-2359.


ACS to host workshops about credit scores  [ back to top ]

      The Fort McCoy Army Community Service (ACS) Financial Readiness program is sponsoring three workshops Wednesday, Jan. 30 that will focus on BrightScore -- a new offering of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and 

      The workshops are open to members of the Fort McCoy community.

      The workshops will be offered from 8-9 a.m., noon-1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. at the ACS training room at 2111 South 8th Avenue.

      Personnel attending the workshop will learn how their credit score is determined, how to obtain a free credit report, plus an opportunity to obtain their BrightScore and make corrections to their credit report.

      Supervisory approval must be obtained to use leave or  to adjust work schedules to attend this free training.

      Registration by eligible personnel is requested no later than Wednesday, Jan. 23, by calling Fort McCoy ACS at (608) 388-3505.


State loan programs open to Wisconsin veterans    [ back to top ]

      Veterans who entered military service from the state of Wisconsin may be eligible to participate in three loan programs - home loans, home improvement loans and personal loans.

      The loans are offered through the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA). All loans are underwritten using standard industry practices and procedures. Veterans can have more than one outstanding loan. Certain restrictions may apply.

      For additional information, visit the WDVA Web loan site at http://www.wisvetloans.com or call toll free at (800) WIS-VETS (947-8387).


Vision bill aids vets with lost eyesight  [ back to top ]

    MADISON, Wis. (Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs) -- A bill to give veterans who are visually impaired in one eye greater compensation if they suffer loss of sight in the other eye was signed by President Bush.

   The Dr. James C. Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act changes the law to allow veterans who lost an eye or their eyesight through their military service to receive greater compensation if they subsequently suffer loss of sight in the other eye.

      Dr. Allen, for whom the bill is named, is a 79-year-old retired Madison ophthalmologist and Korean War veteran who treated veterans at the Wm. S. Middleton VA Hospital in Madison for more than two decades, and has remained active in advocating for his fellow veterans, including with Veterans for Peace, a national veterans' advocacy group.


Black History month observance Feb. 14    [ back to top ]

      A Fort McCoy observance for Black History Month will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at McCoy's, building 1571.

      The event is open to members of the Fort McCoy community. A program featuring a guest speaker, Evrod Cassimy, will begin at noon. Cassimy is a WMTV (Madison) NBC 15 reporter and Rhythm and Blues singer.

      For more information, call the Equal Opportunity Office at (608) 388-3246.


Commissary Scholarship program now open   [ back to top ]

      Applications are being accepted for the 2008 Commissary Scholarship program.

      Students are eligible if one of their parents is active duty, Reserve/Guard or retired military personnel or they are the survivor of a deceased servicemember and have a military dependent identification card.

      Applicants must be planning to attend (either beginning or continuing) a college or university on a full-time basis for the 2008-2009 school year. Previous recipients are eligible to apply for another year.

      Fort McCoy had five scholarship recipients for the 2007-2008 school year. Each received a $1,500 scholarship.

      For more information about the program, visit the Web site http://www.militaryscholar.org  or 
http://www.commissaries.com. The deadline to turn in applications to commissaries is Feb. 20.

      Personnel in the Fort McCoy Community can call the Fort McCoy Commissary, building 1537, for more information at (608) 388-3542.


State smoking cessation offers free medications   [ back to top ]

      Wisconsin smokers who want to quit now can get extra help from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) and the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (CTRI).

      Effective Jan. 1, Wisconsin residents who call the Quit Line for coaching can obtain a free two-week starter kit of quit-smoking medications that will be mailed directly to their homes -- either nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.

      Wisconsin DHFS officials said combining the use of the medications with the Quit Line coaching will quadruple the likelihood that smokers can quit. Generally, smokers will need several months of drug therapy/medications to successfully quit.

            Also on Jan. 1, the state introduced a new Web coach service designed to work hand-in-hand with the phone-based Quit Line. Web support includes coaching support and online forums with other people trying to quit. The services are being funded with the increase in the state's cigarette tax by $1 a pack to $1.77 a pack.

      For more information about quit-smoking help, Wisconsin residents can call the Quit Line at (800) QUIT-NOW or (1-800-784-8669) or visit the Web site http://WiQuitLine.org  (http://www.ctri.wisc.edu/quitline2.html). 

      Phone support is available from 7 a.m.-11 a.m. daily. At other times, callers can leave a message for a return call.

      People trying to quit smoking are encouraged to contact their healthcare providers. Prescription drugs, such as Zyban and Chantix, will continue to require a visit to a doctor's office.

(Adapted from the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line Web site.)


Valentine's Day card workshop set  [ back to top ]

      A Fort McCoy Army Community Service (ACS) Family Focus Valentine's Day Card Workshop will be held Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1130 S Street, with parking in the rear.

      Sessions will be offered from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. A minimum of one parent and one child must register to attend the class.

      Class participants can design their own personalized family Valentine's Day cards by using rubber stamp art and stickers. All supplies will be furnished.

      The event will give parents and children a chance to increase their interaction skills while having a good time and accomplishing a goal.

      Registration deadline is by the end of the day Monday, Jan. 28.

      For more information or to register, call ACS at (608) 388-3505.


2007 CFC campaign nets $34,010.24  [ back to top ]

      Members of the Fort McCoy community contributed $34,010.24 to the 2007 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which was held during the month of November.

      This exceeded Fort McCoy's 2006 total of $30,566.55 by $3,443.69, which represented an 11 percent increase.

      Anyone who stills wishes to contribute is advised to deal directly with the organizations. Fort McCoy is part of the Badgerland CFC organization.

      More information about CFC also is available at the CFC Web site at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/.


Army offers payday loan alternatives  [ back to top ]

      The Army offers Soldiers with financial needs an alternative to payday loans under the Commanders Referral program.

      Under the program, Soldiers can fill out applications for an interest-free loan and receive a check the same day with a commander's approval.

      Soldiers are eligible to receive up to $2,000 a year in two loans. The first loan must be repaid before a Soldier can seek a second loan under the program.

      The timeline for repaying the loans is prorated depending on Soldiers' budget and current finances.

      The Army also offers an emergency food program that helps Soldiers buy food when funds are tight.

      For more information, visit the Army Emergency Relief Web site at http://www.aerhq.org (http://www.aerhq.org/News_SectionNotes.asp).


Career milestones can be publicized [ back to top ]

      Soldiers and federal workers who are doing good things at Fort McCoy  can get their accomplishments published in their hometown newspapers.

      Some of the categories that can be recognized are awards,  promotions and length of service.

      Military personnel are encouraged to complete, sign and return Department of Defense (DD) Form 2266 (Hometown News)  to their unit points of contact.      

      Civilian personnel should complete and sign a Fort McCoy Form

319 (Information for Federal Civilian News Release) and forward it to their administrative section.

      For more information about the programs, contact the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office at (608) 388-2769.


Servicemembers to receive pay raise  [ back to top ]

      WASHINGTON, D.C. (American Forces Press Service) -- Military members will receive a 3 percent pay raise effective immediately, as President Bush urges Congress to revise some provisions regarding Iraq contained in the fiscal 2008 National Defense Authorization Act.

      The president authorized the 3 percent pay raise in an executive order.

      The act includes authorization for a 0.5 percent additional pay raise for U.S. troops, but the president has, for now, elected not to sign the defense authorization bill in its present form while Congress is adjourned, a practice known as a "pocket veto."

      "The (Defense) Department will work closely with Congress toward the 3.5 percent pay raise effective Jan. 1, as originally envisioned in the bill," Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said in a statement.

      "Likewise," Carr's statement continued, "we will work to ensure the final bill features no interruption of bonus authorities."


AFRCs offer vacation getaways  [ back to top ]

      The government Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) program offers a variety of vacation destinations for servicemembers and eligible civilians.

      For more information, visit the Web site http://www.armymwr.com/portal/travel/recreationcenters/.


MWR hotline seeking input [ back to top ]

      Authorized personnel now can share their opinions and provide feedback about Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities, programs and events.

      The MWR Customer Hotline is available by phone at (608) 388-6000.

      Personnel also can use the Internet-based customer card system, Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE), to express their opinions 24-hours a day.

      Those wishing to comment about Fort McCoy MWR services are directed to the installation Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) site at http://www.mccoymwr.com and click on the words "Rate MWR."

      The general government site can be found at http://ice.disa.mil.

      For more information about MWR events at Fort McCoy, visit the MWR Web site or call the MWR Events Line at (877) 864-4969.


Healthy shopping makes sense [ back to top ]

      FORT LEE, Va. (Defense Commissary Agency) -- When trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, manage blood pressure, or just make healthy choices, shopping for food can be a real challenge.

      The American Heart Association (AHA) heart-check mark is one reliable symbol that shoppers can look for on foods.

      You may create and print your own shopping list of certified heart-healthy foods on the AHA Web site at 

      For more tips and information on healthy eating or other nutrition topics, visit the Defense Commissary Agency Dietitian Web page at http://www.commissaries.com/healthy_living/dietitian/index.cfm.  


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