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Veterans Day Tribute at the Goodyear Ballpark

Veterans Day Tribute on November 11 Th at Goodyear Ballpark

Be sure to mark your calendars for this event to start at 2:00 pm.  Goodyear Ballpark is located south of I10 at Estrella Parkway and south of Yuma Rd.  It will be an honor to be among our America’s finest!

veterans day goodyear

Veterans Day Tribute in Goodyear AZ

New Proposal For Military Families PCS and this will help many!

Proposal Would Allow Military Families to Split Their PCS

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Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force

Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force

Military.comOct 07, 2015 | by Amy Bushatz

Newly proposed legislation would allow service members and their families to move to a new duty station at different times while splitting their household goods shipment, giving the service member money for temporary lodging and letting the family receive a with-dependent housing allowance based on their current location, not the service member’s assigned duty station.

Military families often choose to split their moves to avoid disrupting a child’s school schedule or spouse’s job. Currently, service members and their families can do so without special permission stateside, but must ship all their goods at once, pay temporary lodging expenses out of pocket and receive basic allowance for housing (BAH) at the rate for the new duty station. If they are living in base housing, they could also be forced to move out since their service member no longer is stationed at that location. If they want to move to the new duty station ahead of their service member, they may not be able to apply for housing until the date on their military move orders. To split an overseas move, service members must request a deferred move for the family and pay some expenses out of pocket. Approval of the request is not guaranteed.

The Military Family Stability Act, proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, would eliminate those extra costs and require the DoD to change PCS policies to allow families to stay behind or move ahead up to six months before or after their orders’ report dates.

“What we’re trying to do with the Military Family Stability Act is to make that strength of the military even stronger [and] recognize that there are times when the unanticipated change of duty post, the change that comes at just the wrong time for the family, isn’t really that had to work out,” Blunt said at a Tuesday press conference unveiling the bill. “Allowing someone to go earlier, allowing someone to stay back a little longer — this makes a lot of sense, it is long overdue.”

While some of the services currently have programs that cover some parts of the proposal, approval is not guaranteed and none of them fund temporary lodging for the service member. A key part of the proposed law would require the DoD to implement the new rule across all the services and give qualifying families an “expectation of approval,” while still allowing the services to deny a request based on military need.

To qualify families would need to fit at least one of five categories or receive an exception. Spouses enrolled in an education program, families in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), those with children in school, those caring for a sick family member or those whose service member is PCSing as an individual augmentee would all qualify.  

The DoD has already pushed back on the proposal because of potential costs, said a staff member in Blunt’s office who declined to be identified. While the Congressional Budget Office is still working on a cost estimate, the staffer said, the Senator believes the costs will be manageable because not every family will use the program, and most who do won’t use the full six months.

“It’s the senator’s view that the department has made some hasty assumptions about how the legislation will be implemented,” the staffer said. “The bill will likely cost some money, and we’ll need to find an offset.”

Defense Department officials declined to comment on pending legislation. The bill will likely be rolled into the annual National Defense Authorization Act for 2017.

The proposal has the backing of a variety of military support organizations, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Military family support officials said they welcome the change.

“It offers families some flexibility and hopefully it helps send the message to the services that allowing this flexibility is important, especially to retention of service members and their families,” said Kelly Hruska, government relations director for the National Military Family Association.

“Family members can’t always just pick up and move when the military tells them to pick up,” said Karen Golden, a deputy director for government relations at the Military Officers Association of America. “Retaining the best and the brightest means knowing they come with families.”

— Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com

RELATED TOPICS

Family and Spouse PCS Military Pay Legislation Amy Bushatz

Scams that target the Military

Why Scam Artists Love the Military

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Scams

USAA

If you’re in the military or a veteran, be on alert. You may be the focus of scammers determined to separate you and your family from your money.

The best defense? Understand how the scams work. Use the tools that help you protect your personal information. And know the laws that exist to protect you.

Scammers are targeting service members. That is one possible conclusion from a tally of Federal Trade Commission complaints where consumers reported a military connection.

What the Statistics Reveal

The numbers show a continued threat of identity theft and an array of scams along with a disproportionate risk of being targeted by foreclosure relief and debt-management scams. In 2012, there were more than 67,000 such scam and fraud complaints from military families, according to the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.

“A service member has a steady paycheck guaranteed by the U.S. government,” says Carol Kando-Pineda, an FTC lawyer who manages the agency’s outreach to the military. “That’s manna from heaven for scam artists. If they can convince them to part with it, that’s guaranteed money.”

While the FTC says the complaints are not verified by law enforcement, the numbers indicate scammers and thieves may be taking advantage of a young and itinerant population.

“Young service members make easy prey,” says consumer advocate Christopher Elliott, author of the book “Scammed.” “They have a little money and a lot of trust. That makes them vulnerable.”

Holly Petraeus, who heads the Office of Servicemember Affairs for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, notes that because younger service members are often avid Internet users, they have another prime area of exposure. “They are very confident on the Internet,” she says. “It’s where they grew up. It’s where they live. That doesn’t mean they know a scam when they see it.”

Most Common Fraud Complaints

Enlisted service members accounted for 80% of the complaints filed, according to the Consumer Sentinel data, with half of that number coming through the junior enlisted ranks.

Those who identified themselves as being current or former Armyaccounted for 49% of the complaints, followed by Navy (21%), Air Force (19%), Marines (10%) and Coast Guard (2%). (Total equals 101% due to rounding.)

So what category are these complaints falling under? Scams and frauds with the most complaints were identity theft, debt collection, impostor scams, phony prizes and lotteries, mortgage foreclosure relief, phony check scams, and auto-related and work-from-home opportunities.

You can take all the measures in the world to safeguard your money, but if you hand the thief the key to the safe, it won’t matter much.

That’s what happens when you think you’ve received an email that says you won some lottery, sweepstakes or prize contest you never even entered. Some of the emails make over-the-top claims that you’ve won millions. Lest you think no one falls for these: In 2012, it was the fourth most-reported fraud targeting military members.

The typical angle with these scams is that you first have to pay a nominal fee or tax, usually via a money-transfer service, to claim your winnings.

Foreclosure and Debt Relief

Compared with the general population, more military members than civilians were targets of mortgage foreclosure relief scams. It was the sixth-highest source of complaints among military members, but 15th among the general population.

Foreclosure-prevention scams are aimed at those in the worst possible position to be scammed. Crooks claim they can help homeowners halt a foreclosure and ask for a payment upfront to get the job done. “You’re paying people who don’t have the experience that they claim or don’t do the work,” Kando-Pineda says. The result could be the loss of much-needed cash and a higher likelihood of losing the home.

Despite a concerted effort by the military to introduce financial education, Kando-Pineda says there appears to be a continued lack of awareness about special protections intended to shield service members from predatory lenders.

“Service members have very specific protections” from that sort of lending abuse, Kando-Pineda says, in reference to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act. “You would think, if anything, they would have fewer foreclosure complaints than the civilian population.”

According to the law, many protections involve time extensions for those on active duty — protecting them from foreclosure and eviction, and allowing more time to file lawsuits.

The law also caps interest charges on consumer debt incurred prior to military service at 6% — with anything above that forgiven, not deferred. Service members can seek help from their state attorney general’s office, which may have someone familiar with military issues.

Tips to Help Avoid Fraud

Tom Shaw, USAA’s vice president of enterprise financial crimes management, says a series of simple steps will go a long way to help members not fall prey to scammers.

Personal Data

“Take proactive measures to shield personal information,” he says, including enrolling in credit monitoring services like CreditCheck Monitoring® from Experian.See note 1

Some actions you can consider include:

  • Monitoring financial statements and regularly checking credit reports for any questionable activity.

  • Placing an active-duty alert on the credit report, which requires lenders to take extra steps to confirm your identity before extending credit.

  • Protecting your Social Security number and only providing it when absolutely necessary to trusted merchants and lenders.

  • Establishing a durable power of attorney before you deploy. This should enable a trusted family member or friend to manage your financial affairs (choose wisely, as that individual holds immense power over your affairs if you become incapacitated).

Mobile Devices

“Many people often overlook securing their mobile devices,” Shaw says. “I recommend always using a password or PIN to restrict access to your phone when you’re not using it.

“In addition, many mobile devices have a wipe function that can be triggered by multiple password failures. Some devices can also be wiped remotely if stolen or lost.

Computers

“Keep your computer current with anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software,” he says. USAA members can download Trusteer Rapport for free. This software is designed to protect you from malware and account takeover when logging on to usaa.com, as well as other websites, when you are concerned about security.

Social Media

With the number of mobile devices and social networks, you should take advantage of privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online.

“Be careful what and with whom you share on social media. Those who wish to be your friend may not always have your best intentions at heart,” Shaw says.

Cold Calls

Unfortunately, Shaw says, many scammers pretend to represent organizations that are looking to provide financial help to those associated with the military. Double-check any solicitations you receive. Make sure the organization is legitimate before making any donation.

Consider adding credit monitoring and identity theft protections from USAA.

Safeguard Your Money

Identity theft and debt collection scams lead the list of frauds among enlisted service members. What measures can you take to safeguard your money?

Watch Out for These Scams

The Scam: Impostor Scams
The Angle: Con artist, claiming to be someone you know or trust, encourages you to send money or share personal information.

The Scam: No Way to Find a Job
The Angle: An online job ad dangling the idea military members will receive special treatment. Upbeat emails may ask for additional personal information and request payment for a background check.

The Scam: Taken for a Ride
The Angle: Car dealer offers special deals for military members with excessive loan terms and high interest rates; makes false claims about auto warranties.

The Scam: Foreclosure Relief
The Angle: The entity makes false promises to save your home from foreclosure in exchange for money.

RELATED TOPICS

Personal Finances

Contributor

USAA, a diversified financial services organization, is the leading provider of competitively priced financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their eligible families. Rated among the highest among financial services companies for customer advocacy in a Forrester Research survey, USAA provides convenient and accessible financial products to its more than 9 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visitusaa.com

Arizona Ranks 3 of the top 10 Best Cities For Veterans in 2015!

Top Cities for Veterans in 2015

Top Cities for Veterans in 2015

Once military service ends, veterans begin their transition to civilian life. It can be a challenge to find a new place to live and work, and an area that includes support services and health care options for veterans.

NerdWallet crunched the numbers, including data to highlight economic opportunity, to find the nation’s top 10 cities for veterans.

Key takeaways

Vets don’t stray far from military communities. All of the places on our list have at least one military base within the city limits or close by — which indicates many veterans don’t move far from their former base.

Top cities have a higher percentage of veterans than the U.S. average. The cities that ranked high on our list have large veteran populations — as much as 19% of the population. To put this in perspective, about 8.6% of Americans older than 18 are veterans.

Veterans find jobs in the top cities. Veteran unemployment in the top places is lower than the general population.

Welcome to Arizona. Three cities on our list — Goodyear, Sierra Vista and Maricopa — are located in Arizona, with two in the Phoenix metro area. The state is home to several military bases and offers services for veterans, including employment, housing and educational resources.

Top 10 cities for veterans in 2015

1. Beavercreek, Ohio

The close proximity to veterans’ services is a key attraction of Beavercreek, which is just 13 miles from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Miami Valley Military Affairs Association sponsors events and offers support for vets, and about 8 miles away, in Xenia, veterans can get employment help from the OhioMeansJobs Greene County Center. Beavercreek, a suburb of Dayton, is about 15 miles from the Dayton VA Medical Center. Also in Dayton, the Military Veterans Resource Center offers support with employment, housing, food and transportation. Honor Flight Dayton provides free trips to see national memorials in Washington, D.C., for veterans of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as for terminally ill veterans.

2. Madison, Alabama

Madison is minutes from Redstone Arsenal, an Army post. The base provides support and services, including employment guidance, to current and former members of the military. Madison veterans enjoy the highest median income of any city on our top 10 list at $71,425. An Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs office and the Madison County Veterans Service Office are located in nearby Huntsville. Also in Huntsville, the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home provides elderly veterans with housing and medical care. The closest VA medical center is about 90 miles away in Birmingham.

3. Goodyear, Arizona

Goodyear, a suburb of Phoenix, is near several places of interest for veterans, including Luke Air Force Base, Sky Harbor Air National Guard Base, Phoenix Vet Center, Phoenix VA Health Care System and West Valley Vet Center. Up By Their Bootstraps, an organization based in Goodyear, provides opportunities and support to members of the military, veterans and families. Veterans in Goodyear have an unemployment rate of 1.5%, the lowest on our top 10 list. The nearby Glendale Community College provides enrollment and referral services for veterans transitioning from military life to an academic environment. The local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans is also in Glendale.

4. Papillion, Nebraska

Papillion, located outside Omaha, has the lowest rate of veterans living below the poverty line on our top 10 list. The city is less than 10 miles from the Offutt Air Force Base. Papillion is home to VFW Post 9675, which serves Sarpy County. In nearby Omaha, veterans can find the Omaha VA Medical Center and the Douglas County Veterans Services Office. The University of Nebraska Omaha is known for its high graduation rates for military veterans, and it recently was No. 1 in Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 rankings. The Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home is located minutes away in Bellevue and provides services for assisted living, intermediate care, skilled care and Alzheimer’s disease care.

5. Schertz, Texas

Schertz, northeast of San Antonio, is a neighbor of Randolph Air Force Base in Universal City. The base is part of Joint Base San Antonio, which also includes the Army’s Fort Sam Houston and Lackland Air Force Base. Veterans make up about 22% of Schertz’s population. There is a VFW post in Schertz, and the closest VA hospital is Audie L. Murphy Memorial in San Antonio. Guadalupe County Veterans Service offices can help Schertz veterans seeking information about filing for their benefits. Veteran employment specialists are available at the Workforce Solutions Alamo in San Antonio.

6. Sierra Vista, Arizona

In Sierra Vista, veterans make up about 28% of the total population. When it comes to job opportunities, the city leads our top 10 list for two of the most popular industries among veterans: over 21% of jobs are in public administration and 7% of positions are in transportation, warehousing and utilities. A prominent fixture in this southeast Arizona city is Fort Huachuca. The fort is home to the Army Intelligence Center and the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Army Signal Command. There is an Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services office in Sierra Vista, and the Sierra Vista Community Based Outpatient Clinic is located in the city as part of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, based in Tucson.

7. Chesapeake, Virginia

Chesapeake and the surrounding areas of southeastern Virginia are a highly concentrated military area. The city is home to the Naval Support Activity Northwest Annex, which provides support services for 11 commands. A Veterans Benefits Service Field Office recently opened in Chesapeake on the campus of Tidewater Community College to serve the large population of veterans in the area. Other nearby military installations include the Coast Guard’s Fifth District, just 8 miles away in Portsmouth; the Navy’s Norfolk Naval Shipyard; a Naval Medical Center and an office of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. And in Hampton, less than 30 miles from Chesapeake, veterans will find the Hampton VA Medical Center.

8. Maricopa, Arizona

Maricopa is the second city on our list located in the Phoenix metro area. Similar to Goodyear, Maricopa is near Luke Air Force Base, Sky Harbor Air National Guard Base, Phoenix Vet Center, Phoenix VA Health Care System and West Valley Vet Center. Maricopa is 35 miles from the former Williams Air Force Base, which shut down in 1993. The space is now used for businesses, colleges and the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The county of Maricopa offers services for veterans including programs focusing on health care, homelessness, affordable housing, down-payment assistance, home improvement, court- and law-related programs, continuing education and skills training and employment.

9. Vacaville, California

The Northern California city of Vacaville is less than 13 miles from Travis Air Force Base. A branch of Disabled American Veterans is in Vacaville. The Solano County Veterans Services Office in nearby Fairfield offers information and referrals, as well as a Veterans Discount ID Card. There are several veterans halls in the area, including one in Vacaville. These halls are meeting hubs for many veterans groups including the Brotherhood of Vietnam Vets, VFW and American Legion. Vacaville is 45 miles from the Sacramento VA Medical Center in Mather.

10. Lake Stevens, Washington

Lake Stevens in Snohomish County is close to the Naval Station Everett in Everett and an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Marysville. The VA Puget Sound Health Care System serves veterans in the area.  At the Everett Vet Center, run by Veterans Affairs, veterans can find out about Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs services. Eligible Veterans can receive limited emergency assistance from the Veterans’ Assistance Fund by applying through Snohomish County.  In Lake Stevens, more than one-fifth of all jobs are in manufacturing, one of the most popular industries for veterans.

Top cities for veterans in 2015

Rank City Percentage of veterans in the adult population Public administration, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, utilities workforce Veteran unemployment rate in 2013 Median income for veterans Veterans who live below the poverty line Score
1 Beavercreek, Ohio 19.0% 28.8% 3.2% $68,989 1.4% 93.38
2 Madison, Alabama 15.5% 28.6% 4.2% $71,425 2.6% 90.98
3 Goodyear, Arizona 14.6% 28.9% 1.5% $44,372 1.5% 89.68
4 Papillion, Nebraska 15.5% 18.5% 2.0% $65,219 0.0% 88.19
5 Schertz, Texas 21.8% 21.8% 3.8% $61,037 2.4% 86.36
6 Sierra Vista, Arizona 27.6% 28.2% 3.8% $56,675 7.4% 85.82
7 Chesapeake, Virginia 15.2% 23.1% 2.9% $50,956 3.1% 85.60
8 Maricopa, Arizona 14.3% 25.7% 3.1% $49,093 4.2% 85.26
9 Vacaville, California 13.6% 24.9% 5.7% $53,953 3.7% 85.14
10 Lake Stevens, Washington 11.6% 28.9% 4.7% $54,804 2.9% 85.11
11 Tooele, Utah 11.2% 28.7% 1.2% $50,357 3.1% 84.78
12 Marana, Arizona 13.9% 25.3% 2.9% $45,275 3.1% 84.38
13 Juneau, Alaska 10.9% 33.9% 1.0% $49,640 4.8% 84.13
14 Summerville, South Carolina 13.4% 25.4% 2.0% $44,390 3.2% 84.06
15 Suffolk, Virginia 17.0% 27.3% 6.8% $51,488 4.5% 83.97
16 Cottage Grove, Minnesota 11.2% 26.0% 1.5% $50,099 2.5% 82.91
17 Bartlett, Tennessee 12.6% 27.1% 5.1% $48,674 3.5% 82.22
18 O’Fallon, Illinois 21.3% 21.7% 6.7% $67,796 3.9% 81.99
19 Fairwood, Washington 10.0% 31.1% 8.0% $83,984 1.3% 81.42
20 Bellevue, Nebraska 18.5% 24.4% 6.4% $48,452 3.9% 81.16
21 Poway, California 11.5% 18.4% 1.5% $55,502 1.9% 80.78
22 Anchorage, Alaska 13.6% 19.6% 4.6% $49,739 3.1% 80.60
23 Cheyenne, Wyoming 17.8% 25.6% 5.1% $42,921 3.8% 80.58
24 Collierville, Tennessee 9.6% 32.0% 6.5% $68,763 2.8% 80.43
25 Santee, California 12.5% 21.2% 3.2% $50,119 3.3% 80.21
26 Bowie, Maryland 10.6% 24.1% 5.3% $70,000 1.3% 80.12
27 Portage, Indiana 9.7% 28.0% 1.0% $42,986 0.0% 80.03
28 Warner Robins, Georgia 17.8% 32.6% 4.0% $43,987 10.0% 80.01
29 Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 10.4% 17.9% 0.8% $55,243 0.6% 79.72
30 Florence, Kentucky 11.5% 26.6% 0.0% $37,824 2.2% 79.61
31 Bettendorf, Iowa 9.9% 29.4% 1.5% $50,817 5.5% 79.42
32 Smyrna, Tennessee 9.7% 30.1% 0.0% $44,569 3.8% 79.41
33 Virginia Beach, Virginia 19.4% 20.0% 5.7% $50,997 4.3% 79.36
34 Leavenworth, Kansas 22.3% 27.7% 6.0% $44,010 6.3% 79.17
35 Friendswood, Texas 8.2% 26.5% 1.2% $60,445 1.6% 79.11
36 Layton, Utah 12.0% 26.2% 4.0% $49,940 6.1% 79.06
37 Suisun City, California 11.7% 23.7% 5.5% $53,424 4.0% 79.03
38 Maple Valley, Washington 8.5% 27.8% 3.7% $64,161 1.2% 78.88
39 League City, Texas 8.7% 26.4% 2.0% $62,399 2.4% 78.70
40 Hobart, Indiana 10.4% 27.5% 2.0% $41,650 1.2% 78.65
41 Lawton, Oklahoma 18.5% 26.5% 3.6% $41,682 6.9% 78.64
42 Midwest City, Oklahoma 15.5% 26.5% 4.4% $41,135 6.3% 78.32
43 Surprise, Arizona 15.0% 17.3% 2.1% $43,439 2.9% 78.28
44 Rockwall, Texas 9.7% 18.3% 0.0% $52,688 0.3% 78.27
45 Austin, Minnesota 10.3% 32.2% 0.0% $34,860 2.7% 78.16
46 Keller, Texas 10.8% 24.3% 0.9% $75,910 7.4% 78.13
47 Roy, Utah 10.0% 32.2% 2.8% $43,586 4.2% 77.80
48 Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 12.4% 8.2% 0.0% $54,806 1.5% 77.61
49 Huber Heights, Ohio 15.3% 29.9% 8.9% $42,444 6.2% 77.51
50 Benicia, California 8.8% 20.9% 0.0% $61,160 1.7% 77.44

Methodology

To assess a city, we looked at the two key areas of economic opportunity and community.

Economic opportunity is 70% of our overall score and included the following factors, which were weighted equally:
1. Industries that employ more veterans than civilians. We identified the three industries where the percentage of all veterans working in these sectors is at least 2% higher than the percentage of all civilians working in these industries, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These industries include public administration and manufacturing, and a category that combines transportation, warehousing and utilities. Then, we looked at the percentage of residents employed in each of these industries in a city — a higher number was weighted positively.
2. The 2013 unemployment rate for veterans from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
3. The percentage of veterans living below the poverty line, according to the 2013 American Community Survey.
4. The median income for veterans from the 2013 American Community Survey.

Community is 30% of a city’s score. We assessed the community through the percentage of residents in a city who are veterans, according to the 2013 American Community Survey.

Note: A city’s proximity to VA medical facilities wasn’t included in our methodology because the Senate recently approved legislation to expand veterans’ access to treatment outside the VA health care system, according to news reports.

NerdWallet staff writer Anna Helhoski contributed to this article.


Phoenix, Arizona, skyline image via iStock.