Military Family Month
Supporting the Families of Those Who Serve

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November 11, 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 461
Subscribers: 65,452

In This Issue:

Be a Hero...To a Hero

Military Family Month
13th Annual Celebration

HR 3690: Military Family Autism Equality Act

A Lifeline for Military Families

Operation Gratitude

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More Great Wrightslaw Resources

Be a Hero...To a Hero
Military Department of Defense (DOD) Special Education
Health & Special Education Services for Military Children with Autism
DOD: Special Needs Parent Toolkit
DOD Guide: Reaching & Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043



Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

On November 14, 2007, we published an issue of The Special Ed Advocate, an issue different from any we've published in 10 years. We were concerned about our son and about the troops with whom he served.

Since today is Veteran's Day, we wanted to ask for your help.

So many momentous events occurred this year. We've had economic meltdowns in nations around the world and an historic election. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to have moved out of our awareness.

We need to know that nearly a quarter of a million U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait now, the highest number since these wars began. Soldiers are exhausted by frequent long rotations. Suicide rates are skyrocketing. Medical care for wounded veterans is often sub-standard.

Yes, war is hell. Regardless of your beliefs about these wars, we ask you to support the men and women who are serving far from home, and from their families. How can ordinary people like you, like us, support the troops? We've spent more than a year gathering information about creative ways to do just that. To see what we've found, check the Be a Hero to a Hero Page.

We must never forget that "the troops" are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our husbands and wives, our friends and neighbors. They need to know that we are aware of their sacrifices and we are grateful to them.

Perhaps the most important thing we can say is, simply, "Thank you!"

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Military Family Month - 13th Annual Celebration

Sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA, this annual observance provides an opportunity for the nation to recognize the extraordinary contributions and daily sacrifices of the military family.

Military Family Month is a time to demonstrate the nation’s support for and commitment to the families of military personnel. With hundreds of thousands of service members deployed overseas, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan today, this recognition of the sacrifice that military families make every day has never been more important.

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HR 3690: Military Family Autism Equality Act

Retired military families who have children with autism will have their health care benefits protected if bipartisan legislation introduced by Virginia Congressman James P. Moran (D-8) and Florida Congressman Jeff Miller (R) is enacted into law.

"Our soldiers risk their lives on the battlefield in service to their country. It is incumbent upon us to care for them and their families when they return home.

For retired military families with an autistic child, this benefit is a lifeline for their child's future and the family's financial future," Moran said.

A Lifeline for Military Families

Designated as the Military Family Autism Equality Act, HR 3690 will provide retired military families who have children with autism with the same health care benefits as families of active duty service members with children with autism. Department of Defense statistics indicate there are an estimated 8,784 retiree families that will benefit from this legislation.

Serving the Children of Those Who Have Served

Active duty service members who have a child with autism have access to benefits through TRICARE which provides $2,500 a month (a max of $30,000 per year) for Applied Behavioral Analysis, a proven treatment for the symptoms of autism. Unfortunately, the day an active duty military person retires, their dependents lose access to the ABA benefit, according to Moran and Miller. This loss occurs if the retirement is voluntary or is forced at the end of their career obligation.

Military Retirement Shouldn't End Autism Coverage - Letter of Support for this legislation from Congressman Miller and Congressman Moran.

Read A Lifeline for Military Families by Chuck Hagee in the Mount Vernon Gazette.

For more information, go to
Health and Special Education Services for Military Children with Autism

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Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude is an all-volunteer organization that sends care packages to service members deployed overseas. Their goal is to lift the troops' morale and put smiles on their faces - a great way to say "thank you." Sometimes, they save a life.

video iconWatch The Definition of Gratitude as Operation Gratitude delivers the 300,000th care package -- and the keys to a Jeep Liberty to a soldier in Iraq!

The trip to Iraq was made possible by a longtime friend of Operation Gratitude, Major General Mark P. Hertling, Commanding General of Multi-National Forces Iraq-North and the 1st Armored Division.

General Hertling was one of the first commanders to submit rosters of names after he learned that the organization would send individually addressed packages to named U.S. Service Members.

Care package 400,000 will be delivered on December 13th. Find out how you can participate in the 2008 Holiday Drive.

Request a package.

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Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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