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FDA Recalls ‘Exchange Select’ Alcohol Prep Pads, Swabs and Swabsticks

     The Food and Drug Administration issued a recall specific to all lots of alcohol prep pads, swabs and swabsticks manufactured by Triad Group.  

     Merchandised under the “Exchange Select” label at various Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Exchanges as well as Veteran’s Canteens, the products have been recalled due to concerns about “potential contamination of the products with an objectionable organism, namely Bacillus cereus.”

     The FDA said it issued the recall “out of an abundance of caution” as use of contaminated alcohol prep pads, swabs or swabsticks “could lead to life-threatening infections, especially in at-risk populations, including immune suppressed and surgical patients.”   More

Exchange Expands Trigger Lock Policy

     As the Army & Air Force Exchange Service increasingly provides access to firearms and ammunition, the Command has simultaneously broadened and refined safety measures specific to the sale of this merchandise.  

     With 31 firearm counters on military installations throughout the continental United States and seven more expected to open in 2011, the Exchange is expanding the number of weapons it provides a complimentary trigger or cable lock for.  More

Exchange Giveaway is Music to Country Fans’ Ears                  

     The Army & Air Force Exchange Service and Dr. Pepper are starting 2011 on a high note with an exclusive trip to Country Music’s Party of the Year®, the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  

     Military shoppers worldwide can visit their nearest Army or Air Force Exchange from Jan. 14-27 to enter to win the grand prize. Valued at $6,000, the winning Exchange shopper will receive roundtrip airfare for two to Las Vegas, deluxe hotel for three nights along with tickets to the ACMA Awards Show,   More

Commissary Connection        

Coming in February: the Guard/Reserve Sales Schedule

     You asked, we listened! The Defense Commissary Agency is happy to announce the Guard/Reserve Sales Schedule newsletter for customers who have requested e-mail updates on DeCA's Guard/Reserve On-Site Sales program. When you subscribe to this newsletter, you will receive the on-site sales schedule on a monthly basis, along with sale information, points of contact, program updates and more, straight to your inbox... this newsletter will be a one-stop shop for on-site sale details!

     A special feature of this newsletter is that it offers us the ability to send updates to customers if sale information changes; just indicate the state in which you normally..  More

Holly Petraeus Aims to Bolster Families’ Fiscal Knowledge

     Holly Petraeus hopes to hear from service members and their families about their financial issues and pitfalls in the coming months as she leads up efforts to create the Office of Servicemember Affairs.

     The information she gathers will be integrated into the formation of the new office, which aims to strengthen and support military families financially as part of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

     “Under the leadership of Ms. Holly Petraeus, the Office of Servicemember Affairs in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will forge a close collaboration with the Department of Defense..   More 

Health Plan to Remain Free for Troops, Officials Emphasize

     Though Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates seeks modest premium increases for working-age military retirees who use the TRICARE Prime health plan, the benefit will remain free to service members, defense officials emphasized.

     Gates unveiled sweeping cost-cutting initiatives yesterday, including a recommendation to increase TRICARE Prime premiums for working-age retirees in fiscal 2012, the first increase in the plan’s 15-year history.  More

Health Plan Officials Work to Improve Efficiency, Care

     As Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates presses for a modest increase in health plan premiums for working-age military retirees to help offset rising health care costs, the head of the TRICARE Management Activity reported progress already made in improving efficiencies as well as the quality of health care services.

     “We’ve been hearing the secretary talk all year about how concerned he is about health care costs. We are too,” Navy Rear Adm. (Dr.) Christine S. Hunter told American Forces Press Service shortly after Gates announced his plan yesterday to seek a premium increase for working-age military retirees in the fiscal 2012 budget request. More

Soldier Prepares for Recording Contract

     The origin of Army Spc. Brian Stowe’s military career isn’t much different from other soldiers’ stories.

     Stowe, of Elkmont, Ala., joined the Army in June 2008 and attended basic and advanced individual training as a human resources specialist at Fort Jackson, S.C.

     He has deployed twice since his enlistment. He spent seven months in Iraq and now is deployed to Forward Operating Base Shank here with Task Force Knighthawk, assigned to the 10th Mountain Division’s 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.  More

Antarctica Blog Connects Students With Science

     Connecting scientists to elementary and high school students worldwide was one of many accomplishments during last year’s Operation Deep Freeze, the military’s support of National Science Foundation research in Antarctica.

     In 2010, Air Force Lt. Col. Ed “Hertz” Vaughan spent 50 days as commander of McMurdo Detachment 1 and deputy commander of the 13th Air Expeditionary Group, Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica. There, he braved temperatures that often dipped below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit to support the U.S. Antarctic Program, the National Science Foundation’s science mission in Antarctica.  More

‘Hero Miles’ Program Supports Families of Fallen, Wounded

     A popular program that turns donated frequent-flyer miles into free airline tickets for wounded warriors receiving medical care as well as their families will expand this year so families of the fallen and combat wounded can participate in two upcoming events.

     The Fisher House Foundation, which administers the “Hero Miles” program, plans to offer airline tickets so grieving families needing assistance can fly to Washington, D.C., this Memorial Day weekend to participate in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors seminar, foundation President Dave Coker said. More



Study Ties Problems to Post-traumatic Stress

     Service members who suffer mild traumatic brain injuries in combat and then struggle with depression, irritability, alcohol abuse and similar problems after they return home most likely are experiencing post-traumatic stress, rather than brain injury symptoms, according to a new study.

     The study, sponsored by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments and published in this month’s Archives of General Psychiatry, a Journal of the American Medical Association publication, tracked Minnesota National Guard soldiers during the last month of their 16-month deployment to Iraq, then again a year after they returned home.  More      

Navy Program Helps to Strengthen Families

     The Navy’s Project FOCUS, or Families OverComing Under Stress, equips military families with the skills they need to weather the psychological and physical challenges brought about by a decade of war. The program educates and builds coping skills among service members and their families, while also informing communities about the stressors military families and how they can best support them.

     “Families make such sacrifices to support service members and their country,” Kirsten Woodward, family programs division director for the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, said.   More

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