The 2014 Sturgis Rally is Here

sturgisThe 74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is officially next week from Monday, August 4th through Sunday, August 10th. If you haven’t already noticed increased traffic on I-90 yet, you will as Rally goers begin pouring into the Black Hills region.

Last year the rally had an estimated attendance of 467,338. Even if you aren’t going up to Sturgis you will be affected by the Rally. Tourist sites from the Badlands to Devil’s Tower and throughout the Black Hills, as well as restaurants, bars, or anything you think of as entertainment will be packed. HAVE PATIENCE!

The Rally is the experience of a lifetime. Visiting exhibitors can show you anything and everything you’d want or need to dress you up or dress up your bike. Or demo virtually every kind of bike on the market – custom, V-Twin or metric. In addition to the bikes there are concerts and races and bike shows, five blocks of Sturgis’s Main Street bikes-only street vibe, organized rides, and custom legends.

If you are new to the area or have never gone to the Rally, check it out, but be prepared for traffic and a lot of people.

Here are a few tips to survive the Rally:

  • If you are going, have a plan. (Have a designated driver!)
  • There are no open containers allowed in Sturgis
  • Pay attention to the signs that say NO PARKING and the curbs that are painted yellow. If you park by these you will be towed and walking to the impound yard to pay to get your ride back.
  • Look out for motorcycles, not all of them are looking out for you
  • Pay attention to speed limits in all areas
  • Again, HAVE PATIENCE!

If you think this year is crowded, next year is projected to be even more crowded as the 75th anniversary!

Selling Your Home Workshop – 26 Aug

Are you trying to sell your house so you can either move, upgrade to a bigger home, make a lateral move to save money, or downsize? If so, you don’t want to miss this workshop!

The workshop will cover:

  • Home Staging – which improvements pay off?
  • How to sell your home in our current market
  • Pricing your home strategically
  • Information on For Sale by Owner
  • And more…!

SellingYourHomeAug2014_400Join us on Tuesday, August 26th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at the Airman & Family Readiness Center.

Please call 385-4663 to register today.

 

Heart Link Spouse Orientation – 12 September

HeartLink201409_400Want to learn about local resources, meet other spouses, tour a B-1?

Join us and other spouses in learning more about the military and the 28th Medical Group. You get the chance to meet new people, network with others, and get information on available resources. There’s also free lunch and giveaways!

Please RSVP by calling 385-4663.
Child care options are available.

Your hosts for this event are the 28th Medical Group and the Airman & Family Readiness Center.

Relocation Issues: New Contractor for POV Shipments Brings Frustration

povIf you are PCSing and shipping your POV (privately owned vehicle) you may be saying, “Dude, where’s my car?”

U.S. military families are up in arms over the failures of a new Pentagon contractor tasked with shipping their vehicles when they’re re-stationed.

Read the full story on The Daily Beast web site: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/16/american-gis-dude-where-s-my-car.html

Other Sources:

POV shipping program undergoes changes – af.mil (April 18, 2014)

Changes to DOD’s Privately Owned Vehicle shipping program start May 1 - army.mil (April 17, 2014)

Hearts Apart Picnic for Deployed/Remote Tour Families & Key Spouses

This FREE event, put on by your Airman & Family Readiness Center is open to Family members of currently Deployed or Remote Servicemembers and all Ellsworth AFB Key Spouses.

It will be held at Storybook Island in the Birthday House on Saturday, 28 June from 9am to Noon

We will have food, patriotic crafts & supplies to create a personalized welcome home banner, as well as fun for the family.

Contact MSgt Jennifer Plascencia at 385-4663 or jennifer.plascencia@us.af.mil to let us know if you are coming so that we can plan for food and activities.

hearts apart-June14

Tornado in the Black Hills: Are you prepared if it were closer?

Keloland Tornado Image

KELOLAND News

If you ever doubted that tornadoes were possible in the Black Hills area, yesterday’s events hopefully changed your mind. A little after 1 PM yesterday, a tornado and funnel clouds were visible from the Ellsworth AFB over the Black Hills.

Today meteorologists with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Rapid City are surveying the damage from the tornado. Based on early damage reports it is believed that it was a weak tornado that hit the Silver City area without much warning. “This tornado shows how quickly a tornado can develop, especially over the Black Hills,” Susan Sanders with the NWS said. (Source: KOTA).

KOTA Territory News

KOTA Territory News

For the rest of the afternoon, the theme of conversation on the news and social media was that no one realized that tornadoes were possible in the Black Hills area.  In fact, while it is not common in the Black Hills area, they do occur in varying strengths.

According to BlackHillsWeather.com, the only tornado touchdown ever recorded in the Rapid City limits took place on Father’s Day in 1967 near Mt. Rushmore Road.

This is a good time to review whether you, your family, or household are prepared for a tornado emergency. Here are a few suggestions from the American Red Cross Tornado Safety Checklist (Download the full checklist (pdf)).

  • During any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about watches and warnings.
  • Know your community’s warning system. Pennington County maintains 33 sirens to warn of impending danger. These sirens are tested at 12 noon on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. If you hear the siren at any other time, please tune into your radio or local news station for more information.
  • Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

ARC_TornadoIf you are outside, watch for tornado danger signs:

  • Dark, often greenish clouds—a phenomenon caused by hail
  • Wall cloud—an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm
  • Cloud of debris
  • Large hail
  • Funnel cloud—a visible rotating extension of the cloud base
  • Roaring noise
  • If you hear the sirens, take cover immediately

Promotion of Mental Health – National Prevention Week: Day 6

keep_talking_about_mental_healthPrevention, early intervention, and mental health promotion can help assure the health of young children and adolescents, then assist them throughout their life. There are several core concepts behind the science of prevention and promotion:

  • Mental, emotional, and behavioral health refers to the overall psychological well-being of individuals and includes the presence of positive characteristics, such as resiliency.
  • Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders means supporting the healthy development of young people starting at birth.
  • Mental and physical health compliment each other. Young people who grow up in good physical health are likely to also have good mental health, while having good mental health contributes to good physical health.
  • Successful prevention and promotion involves many different groups and is involved throughout a variety of settings including families, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

From childhood through late adulthood, there are certain times when we may need help addressing problems and issues that cause us emotional distress or make us feel overwhelmed despite how healthy we may think we are.

Military life, especially the stress of deployments or mobilizations, can
present challenges to service members and their families that are both unique
and difficult. Some are manageable, some are not. Many times we can successfully deal with them on our own. In some instances matters get worse and one problem can trigger other more serious issues. When you are experiencing these types of difficulties, you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, trained professional to check things out and see what is really happening.

535324_10150798966353437_660913436_9592816_663798851_nSeeking help is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Prevention and early intervention is key. Don’t wait until the issues snowball into a major event that affects your work and home life as well as your relationships.

Services available to the Ellsworth AFB community:
Mental Health Clinic 385-3656 (Active Duty Only)
Base Chaplains 385-1598 (Chaplains offer 100% confidentiality)
Tricare: Family members do not need referral for first 8 visits with a network provider (Find a Network Provider)
Military OneSource non-medical counseling services are available to provide help with short-term issues to those who are eligible. They offer the following service options: Face-to-Face Counseling, Telephonic Counseling, International Calling Options, Online Counseling.
24/7 National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255
Airman & Family Readiness Center


Worried About Your Security Clearance?

The Standard Form 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions, used to ask the applicant to acknowledge mental health care in the past seven years. It does not ask for treatment details if the care involved only marital, family, or grief counseling, not related to violence by the applicant, unless the treatment was court-ordered.

Officials said surveys have shown that troops feel if they answer “yes” to the question, they could jeopardize their security clearances, required for many occupations in the military.

Since April 18, 2008 applicants have not had to acknowledge care under the same conditions, nor if the care was related to service in a military combat zone. The revised wording has been distributed to the services and will be attached to the cover of the questionnaire. The revised question will not show up printed on the forms until the department depletes its pre-printed stock. Read the announcement that appeared on the Official Air Force website.


Learn more by downloading the Fact Sheet on Promotion of Mental Health in the U.S. [pdf].

Other Resources: