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Category: Families


Accident that caused Tacoma soldier’s death in Afghanistan led to sanctions for his commanders

The accident in Afghanistan that took Pfc. Neil Turner’s life not only led to a court-martial for his killer, but also contributed to some negative consequences for officers and senior enlisted soldiers in his unit.

As we reported today, Spc. Francisco Perez last week was sentenced to 15 months in confinement for killing Turner on Jan. 11, 2012 by pointing a loaded shoulder-fired rocket launcher at him and pulling the trigger inside their company headquarters in Afghanistan. The missile tore through Turner’s abdomen, but did not explode.

The Army investigator who looked into the incident laid almost all

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Madigan reaching out to Thurston County military families with new clinic in Olympia

A new Madigan Army Medical Center clinic is opening this week in Olympia to give military families in Thurston County easier access to their health care.

The clinic is intended to serve about 8,000 patients. Madigan opened a similar clinic in Puyallup last year that has enrolled 6,500 patients.

“We’re excited to be able to expand the quality health care our families currently receive at Madigan to these nearby clinics,” said Madigan commander Col. Dallas Homas.

The community clinics take some of the daily traffic out of Madigan’s main hospital at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is typically

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JBLM cavalry couples earn their “marriage spurs” at post-deployment retreat

Ryan and Mallory Corcoran put some serious work into getting ready from his return from Afghanistan this past winter. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord cavalry sergeant talked with his chaplain and made a plan to set reasonable expectations for his homecoming.

It paid off with a low-key and satisfying return, he said, much easier than the whirlwind he and his wife experienced after his 2009-10 mission in Iraq.

“We knew what to expect and planned accordingly,” Ryan, 23, said.

They took a little more time for their relationship on Friday at a “marriage spur ride” with their chaplain, Capt. Rick Pak.

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JBLM civilians fear hard choices at home if plan for Pentagon furloughs unfolds

Tammy Grice of Tacoma says forced furloughs for Defense Department civilian workers will “sink my family’s ship.” Shes a daycare worker at Joint Base Lewis-Mcchord.

Anxiety is rising among the civilian workforce at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that stands to lose up to a fifth of its pay this year to furloughs if Congress fails to prevent forced federal budget cuts this month, a panel of workers told Sen. Patty Murray on Wednesday.

“This is going to destroy my entire family,” said Matt Thompson, 47, of Roy. He’s a Lewis-McChord mechanic supporting a family of five

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Obama signs Sen. Murray’s PTSD reform measure for DOD; House declines proposed expansion of fertility services

At the close of 2012, one of Sen. Patty Murray’s measures to improve care for war veterans passed into law and another died without reaching the president’s desk.

Her broad measure to reform behavioral health services – including suicide prevention programs – became law when President Obama signed the 2013 Defense authorization bill.

A separate proposal to expand fertility services for severely wounded service members failed to pass the House of Representatives. The Senate passed it last month, but House Republicans declined to bring it to a vote citing concerns about the bill’s $500 million cost.

Matt McAlvanaugh, a spokesman

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Senate passes Murray bill to expand VA fertility services for wounded service members

The Senate today passed a bill to provide additional fertility treatments to catastrophically wounded service members and their families, but the measure faces a tight deadline in the House of Representatives.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., campaigned for the bill two months ago in Seattle flanked by paralyzed service members from Spokane and Tacoma. Her bill  compels the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer in vitro fertilization services to severely wounded service members and their spouses.

In a Senate floor speech today, Murray cited the damage buried mines can do a service member’s reproductive organs. In Afghanistan, the Taliban’s

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Senate passes Murray measure to reform Defense suicide prevention programs

The Senate this week passed an amendment that would reshape the Defense Department’s behavioral health and suicide prevention programs, compelling each service to adopt common practices.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., submitted the provision to the $631 billion defense authorization bill. Her amendment mirrors a bill she submitted in June.

“This is a major step forward in Congress really focusing on the issue of mental health of our service members, and it has not been done before,” Murray, the chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said today.

Her proposal seeks to standardize the Defense Department’s varied suicide

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JBLM Stryker brigade told to “get the job done, come home safely” as it leaves for Kandahar

Clare Weeks had her hands full juggling two toddlers Thursday at a Joint Base Lewis-McChord deployment ceremony for her husband’s brigade. She knows she’s in for more of the same over the nine months Capt. Collin Weeks will spend in Afghanistan with the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

“I don’t think it hit me yet,” she said. “It will.”

Weeks joined hundreds of Army families at Lewis-McChord’s main parade ground Thursday to send off about 3,000 troops in the 4th Brigade. Its deployment could be the last major mission for a Lewis-McChord brigade in Afghanistan if NATO follows through on

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