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January 28th, 2012

Fellow Flag & General Officers:
 
We just had our first Quarterly Networking Reception of this new year last night, and it was a resounding success. A truly nice blend of active duty, guard & reserve, and retired Flag and General Officers. There was an electricity and special energy in the room, a tremendous spirit of comradery and friendship, and a solid commitment to "Warriors Helping Warriors" as cards and resumes were exchanged, strategies discussed, and future plans made. In short, a tremendous reflection of the good work of TFGON's dedicated Board of Directors and our elected and appointed officers. If you're wondering who they are, go to our website and their names, photos, and official TFGON positions are listed on the right hand side of the home page, and if you click on their name under their photo, that will take you to their biography. Truly a fine group of professional military flag and general officers that are representing you well as we build OUR organization, managed BY flag and general officers and operated BY flag and general officers FOR FLAG & GENERAL OFFICERS.
 
We begin this new year busy, as the following items will detail:
 
1. TFGON Members have a long tradition of high interest in military voting rights, with over 160 of those of us who are retired signed onto a support group formed in 2009 for passage of new legislation to correct many of the systemic and administrative and logistical problems related to military voting, particularly for overseas and deployed troops and their families. Our involvement [remember as a 501.c.19 Official War Veterans organization, we are encouraged by Congress and authorized by the IRS to be fully involved and engaged in any and all efforts related to military, national defense, national security, homeland security, and veterans issues] was in strong support of this new legislation and we were successful in being one of the organizations that was influential in getting the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act [MOVE] passed and signed by the President. Since it's passage in Oct. of 2009, many of the states have also passed new legislation that in effect provides for MOVE Act protection for military voting rights for state and local elections as well.
There was a Military Vote Summit held all day yesterday at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, attended by a broad cross-section of Congressional Staff, veterans organizations, military organizations, defense and veterans officials, and related groups with an interest in military voting rights. And while there was a tremendous amount of information disseminated to the attendees, perhaps the most valuable was a new report, dated 27 JAN 2012, produced by the Pew Charitable Trusts Center for the States Elections Division, entitled "Democracy from Afar", which does a GREAT JOB of outlining the status and progress of military voting systemics in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Exceptionally well written and easy to understand and only 11 pages long, this is probably one of the best documents to give you a current status on where each state stands in their compliance with these new laws and in enacting their own new laws to work in conjunction with the new 2009 federal law. If you want to see how your state is doing, just click on the following URL to see a complete copy of the report:
 
 
Also, feel free to forward copies of that report to any of your friends and colleagues that you know have an interest or involvement in military voting matters. This being an election year, it's important that everyone involved see this information. And "when in doubt" regarding ANYTHING to do with military voting, you can always click on the official DOD website related to military voting rights at DOD's Federal Voting Assistance Program: www.FVAP.gov
 
2. Many of you know that I have spent a good portion of the past decade structuring a Revocable Trust covering my personal estate and establishing several foundations to carry on some of the work I've been involved with over the years. I know you're aware of it because many of you have come to me saying you don't know anything about setting up your own trust, but think you need one and would like to learn, and ask me for my advice. And while I've been able to provide some generic "my own lessons learned" over the past several years, I'm not a lawyer and surely not an estate planning expert, but think I have now found the right law firm to refer you to on these topics, in that they offer regular seminars on the subject of estate planning, the entire focus of their law firm is on estate planning, and after you attend one of their seminars, they offer a free consultation to review your own estate planning situation and circumstances to see what you might need in the way of planning and protection as well as determining a flat fee that they would charge you for their work. What was of particular interest to me is that they have upcoming seminars focused specifically on estate planning for military families, and it seemed to me that might be of particular interest to our TFGON Members---- they're being held at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA on 8 March. Further details and how to RSVP are on the law firm website at www.mikecollins.com then click on the Estate Planning Seminars header at the top of the page to get to the March seminar dates. And if you cannot make it on March 8th, I'd suggest you feel free to attend one of the others listed as they are held throughout Maryland and Virginia----- I've already done that and I found the information to be of high value---- as I said, I've been working on my trust for almost a decade now and have become quite knowledgeable on everything involved, yet I learned of some considerations that I had not yet addressed. I hope this is of value to you. If you take advantage of it, let TFGON know how it works out so we know for future use and future referrals.
 
3. Hiring Our Heroes is a program of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce wherein they are sponsoring a series of 100 Job Fairs for veterans all around the nation this year. www.uschamber.com/veterans As new places and dates are available, they will be available on that website. Reports are the first few of these fairs were very well attended and many of the veterans who were there either were hired or left with interviews and assistance scheduled. This is an exceptional program that TFGON salutes because it is producing real results and real jobs for our nation's veterans. The U.S. Chamber Foundation was funded in part for this program by the Call of Duty Endowment Foundation with a grant of a quarter of a million dollars to "make it happen". More details on Call of Duty Endowment Foundation at www.CallofDutyEndowment.org
 
The upcoming Job Fairs that we're aware of [with new locations being added regularly on the website]:
 
New Orleans, LA - Feb. 2
Atlanta, GA - Feb 9
Fayetteville, NC - Feb 10
Charlotte, NC - Feb. 13
Bakersfield, CA - Feb 16
Richmond, VA - Feb 21
Washington, DC - Feb 23
Tampa Bay, FL - Feb 23
Seattle, WA - Feb 24
 
This brings you up to date from TFGON for the last week of January 2012.
 
With all good wishes,
 
Jim Carey

James J Carey
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Jim Carey


National Chairman
RADMCarey@aol.com

John A. Dubia
Lieutenant General [Ret.]
John A. Dubia


ARMY Board Member &
ARMY Vice Chairman

jdubia@verizon.net

Gordon Nash
Lieutenant General [Ret.]
Jack W. Klimp


Board Member: USMC
klimpj@aol.com

Steve Kunkle
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
James B. Godwin III


Board Member: NAVY
gibgodwin@gmail.com

Robert Wray
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Robert Wray


VCHMN: NAVY
robert.wray@bluestarvets.us

Mark Beesley
Brigadier General [Ret.]
Mark Beesley


Board Member: USAF
magicm@verizon.net

Ted F. Bowlds
Lieutenant General [Ret.]
Ted F. Bowlds


VCHMN: USAF
tbowlds@gmail.com

Norman Sauders
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Norm Saunders


Board Member: USCG
normsaunders@gmail.com

Jeff Hathaway
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Jeff Hathaway


VCHMN: USCG
jhathaway@aol.com

Edward Rodriguez
Major General [Ret.]
Donna Barbisch, USA


Board Member At Large
db@donnabarbisch.com

Kirk Foster
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Kirk Foster, JAGC, US NAVY


Corporate Secretary
kafoster62@gmail.com

Greg Feest
Rear Admiral [Ret.]
Donald P. Loren, USN


Treasurer & Board Member
MLoren4626@aol.com

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