Toledo company helps soldier families: SFC looking for sponsors of flat daddies program

...Flat Daddies [lifesized posters for the families of men serving in the armed forces] were created by Sgt. 1st Class Barbara Claudel of the Maine National Guard to help families stay connected during deployments to Iraq. Seven months ago, SFC Graphics, a Toledo, Ohio, firm, got involved, taking on the job of printing the posters and getting them to families at little or no cost.

"When we heard the story, we said it was a nice fit for what we do every day," said Eric Crockett, national program director for SFC Flat Daddy. "She wanted to keep it in the original intent and free to families."

Orders have topped the 1,500 mark. Now SFC is looking for corporate sponsors to underwrite the $49.50 cost of making and shipping each poster....

Read the entire Indy Star article here and learn about Flat Daddies (lifesize posters) and Daddy Dolls

http://www.sfcgraphics.com/ - Home page

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The Bush administration can't uphold their end of the enlistment bargain, so now people are substituting Flat Daddies for the real thing? These guard soldiers didn't sign up for this kind of bait and switch garbage. They're now going back for multiple tours, losing their jobs and families, and having their lives screwed up because the guv'ment has reneged on the original contract. Shame!

There's no doubt that the guv'ment CAN do it... matter of fact, I'm sure the contract says it can do just about whatever it wants with them: just read the fine print. Still, what I said stands: guard enlistees didn't sign up for this stuff and they ARE losing their jobs and families. And it IS a shame.

Don't misinterpret - I support our military - however it does make me wonder what it is I don't know when they're gearing up/spending money on enlisting.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

With such circumstances, businesses have the option to hold a soldiers' position for as long as they need to be away.

We should be patronizing businesses who make that decision.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Hey

This is all fine and dandy. The original story is about a local company that is going out of their way to help servicemen and servicewomen and their families. We need to salute them for this.

We want to reward that behavior.

I guess that my experience has been limited to the Gulf War, Vietnam War and the short police actions we've seen only over the past thirty years - but going in for 3 tours, some back to back and then extension of those third tours, I don't think we even saw this in WWII.

I'll verify tomorrow - and I can say that I support the troops. These troops ARE experiencing their positions being filled back 'home' due to their unavailability. And after the first tour the employer can do that.

The troops are handling it with valor - but to say that they aren't paying a consequence for this service in their civilian lives (careers/jobs) is not fair to them.

They are paying the price. And it should be acknowledged. And as I said - employers who choose to support our troops under these circumstances and keep their positions for them - should be rewarded. Shop at those businesses!!!!

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Case in point. My brother is currently at Al Asad, Iraq. Prior to enlisting 3 1/2 years ago he was an Electricians apprentice. He still today receives all his union information because the union cannot technically remove him during his enlistment.

Mikey, i know of a few union member who are also in Iraq. Their dues are waived also. They also don't lose any of thier vesting time. Many unions do this, and i think that it is a great thing that they do.

The original story is about a local company that is going out of their way to help servicemen and servicewomen and their families. We need to salute them for this.

Absolutly! This is a great thing that they're doing!

Businesses can make choices to support the military personnel on their payroll. A great case in point is Sears.

The business made a company wide decision to hold employees positions open, continue their benefits AND pay the difference between their military pay and their pay at Sears.

When a reservist is called up, they do this for two years.

When I heard that last year I started shopping at Sears for anything on my list that they carry. Most of my Christmas presents came from Sears and I told them that was why I was choosing to shop there.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I'll tell you how they fire these guys without penalty. They eliminate the job position. It's done all the time. And I still maintain the national guards did not sign up to be away from their jobs and families for the repeated tours and long periods of time they are enduring. Shame on the Feds! Flat Daddies don't do it for anybody.

And I still maintain the national guards did not sign up to be away from their jobs and families for the repeated tours and long periods of time they are enduring.

That may be, but for some people, its just the opposite. Take my son for example, his recruiter told him that he would have a 99% chance of being deployed. You know what he did? he signed up early. Hes 17 and a junior in high school. He will do his basic training this summer, come home, finish his senior year in high school, then do the advanced training the following june and then he will be ready to rock, and he's very excited about serving his country.

Given that the military is all volunteer and the President made the decision to invade Afghanistan and Iraq he is allowed to mobilize the Guard in these actions.

"Our Federal Mission"

"During peacetime each state National Guard answers to the leadership in the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. During national emergencies, however, the President reserves the right to mobilize the National Guard, putting them in federal duty status. While federalized, the units answer to the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating and, ultimately, to the President."

http://www.arng.army.mil/federalmission.aspx

"In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard for participation in federal missions. Examples of federal activations include Guard units deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo for stabilization operations and units deployed to the Middle East and other locations in the war on terrorism. When federalized, Guard units are commanded by the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating."

http://www.arng.army.mil/AboutUs.aspx

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

If the Feds really want a war, then they should reinstitute the draft and let everybody suffer the effects of this crazy conflict. Having the national guardsmen bear the brunt of this conflict is nuts. They are supposed to be CITIZEN/soldiers, not full-time, all-their-life soldiers. It's wrong what we are doing to them and I don't give a crap what their fine-print, legal contract says. Yeah, the government leaves itself a legal out and I don't doubt that what it is doing is legal. That's not the point. The point is that the guard is stretched way beyond what anybody expected and in the process is messing up lives of guys who didn't join to spend their lives fighting a war. The volunteer army and air force is another matter. I have been addressing the Guard in my remarks now and earlier.

As far as Mikey's statement goes, "I think the administration is more apt to know it's rights on this matter especially since the head of the administration served in this matter as well", it's well known that Bush didn't exactly serve in an illustrious capacity. Let's face it: he avoided Viet Nam by knowing the right people and getting the right appointments. He legally avoided the draft by getting into the Air Guard. In my book, he was a draft dodger. In fact, there is controversy about whether he even left the guard legally when he went to work on the campaign. As I recall, his enlistment wasn't completed when he stopped going to his next assignment.

Making the National Guard bear the brunt of our foreign adventures is just wrong.

And I think it's unbelievably sad and even tragic that wives of guardsmen are drumming up support for the Flat Daddy program as a pasteboard substitute for their flesh and blood husbands.

Apparently, this is a response to children sending similar images of themselves to their parents who are stationed overseas.
Ms. Sorenson heard that the children of local guard members made small cutouts of themselves modeled on the children

Apparently, MikeyA thought my take on the toll and morale-erosion of our guardsmen in the service was without merit because they signed a contract. Well, the government has abrogated the contract. The Feds stance is, once you're in, we can keep you as long as we want you and you have no rights because our rights supersede yours. Stop Loss covers everything. This is wrong and morally bankrupt. What gets me is that none of the architects of this policy ever served a day in combat and some of them not a day in service. Their kids don't even serve.

I've been reading this and I feel for Pete's frustration. I think everybody does. The war has not gone well and everybody has had to do more than their share. Sometimes it goes that way. War is truly hell. And it certainly isn't 'fair'.

I think it should make us more grateful to those who are making sacrifices, in some cases, greater than any other generation of soldier in our country's history.

War is hell.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Pete all members of the military including the guard take an oath to "support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic".

It clearly states many things in their contracts that relate to deployments and voluntary and involuntary call-ups.

That is the contract. If you'd like to read mine I still have my copy. I signed mine just as they did and the government has done nothing to reneg on it's part.

The only shame is your ignorance in the matter.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Pete, it's not fine print. It's clearly stated in the main portion. It's not in the fine print at the bottom or on the back. Go to the local recruiters office and ask to see a contract I'm sure they'll show it to you.

"guard enlistees didn't sign up for this stuff and they ARE losing their jobs and families"

Pete the government has taken steps to help military members especially during times of deployment. Every unit HAS to have a family readiness division in order to help those families. Aside from that the VA and other organizations are available to assist them further.

I recommend you look into one such legislation called the Soldier's and Sailors Relief Act (1918,1940) before you make unsubstantiated claims.

Furthermore there is legislation that protects the jobs of reservists during times of enlistment. Furthermore they cannot discriminate against military members during the hiring process.

In Nov/Dec timeframe the Detroit media picked up a story of a reservist who was denied a job at Applebee's because the manager said he could be deployed. When Applebee's corporate found out they fired the manager and offered the man the job because they knew they'd be in violation of the law and open to a discrimination lawsuit.

MikeyA

MikeyA

What I was trying to explain to Pete is that while employers can fill the positions while the military member is deployed it's illegal for the military member to be fired because of the deployment. There is legislation specificially to protect the military member during deployments. If the military member quits because they're getting deployed then the employer does not need to save their job for their return as they normally would.

Case in point. My brother is currently at Al Asad, Iraq. Prior to enlisting 3 1/2 years ago he was an Electricians apprentice. He still today receives all his union information because the union cannot technically remove him during his enlistment.

Now he doesn't pay his dues to them. They have waived them thus far but they don't have to. So technically they COULD only kick him out of the union for not paying his dues. He has no intentions of returning to that line of work so he doesn't care. Because of their willingness to support him he still is a member but if he were paying dues they couldn't kick him out of the union due to his service.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Pete I already discussed job eliminations. Anyone here can be laid off but there is legislation to prevent national guard and reservists from being discriminated against.

"And I still maintain the national guards did not sign up to be away from their jobs and families for the repeated tours and long periods of time they are enduring."

You're right they didn't sign up to be away from families they signed up to serve their country. However the contract doesn't say the manner in which they serve is situational. The contract says that they will be called when their government needs them, however the government needs them. Now you could argue that their long deployments takes away from domestic security or aid for natural disasters but instead you specifically critized the administration for it's use of them and the administration is well within it's rights. I think the administration is more apt to know it's rights on this matter especially since the head of the administration served in this matter as well.

MikeyA

MikeyA

"If the Feds really want a war, then they should reinstitute the draft and let everybody suffer the effects of this crazy conflict."

Pete the draft solves nothing. First, instances of fragging go up during the draft. Who would you rather an officer go on long multiple deployments or serve only half of one until an unhappy draftee shoots him?

Plus our current Vice Prez is criticized for academic deferrments from the draft. Who benefits more from these? The only those who can afford college so mainly the rich.

Besides you accuse the president of joining the Air Guard to avoid Vietnam. Well as you've clearly pointed out earlier that National Guard and Air Guard can be sent to war as well. So if he were avoiding combat that's not the best place to do it.

NOTE: The best place to avoid both the draft and combat are other Service Organizations; mainly Americorps and the Peace corps.

Besides I pointed out in an earlier post that there are few left in who joined without the knowledge that wed be going to war. So the phrase "...guys who didn't join to spend their lives fighting a war." would be wrong.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Pete if you look if you're argueing the merits of deployments on morale then I'd be agreeing with you. I don't like the Army's 1 year there 1 year back. I think the Marine Corps does a better job with morale with 7 months there 7 months back.

But you have argued the government has broken it's side of the contract and I argue they haven't.

As far as stop loss or as it's been called "the back door draft". It was initially used in '02 and '03 but since '04 has only been used sparingly and for only those MOS's where there is a huge lacking. Mostly these MOS's are computer programers and air traffic controllers. And those who do currently get called up under stop loss are not sent on deployment. They are attached to units stateside that has a unit deployed and they put the called up soldier to work to fill the void. I have not heard of recalled soldier or Marine get deployed since '05, and that was a special case.

Coincidentally the morale arguement does not work on many of these stop loss people as most I've encountered received bonuses of over 10k and their full rank at time of detachment. I personally know 3 who were recalled and subsequently reenlisted because the job market was too tough in the civilian world and the military was finally paying well. Plus I only know of 1 who actually lost money due to being recalled but that was a Colonel, who had retired, and was making over 500K selling corporate insurance. He never seemed to be bothered only making Colonel pay again.

MikeyA

MikeyA

A lot of people have lost their jobs during this four-year period. I don't care what the legislation says. Their jobs have been ELIMINATED. You must live in a dreamworld, Mikey. Also, a lot of these guys never dreamed that they'd be spending all this time over there or they never would have joined up.

"That was also when 36 members of the Florida National Guard got letters, while serving in combat in Iraq, informing them that their jobs in a federal drug-interdiction program were abolished.

The Denver magazine report told of a 53-year-old Marine, in the service for 29 years, who deployed for nine months in Kuwait and Iraq in 2002 and 2003.

When he got home, he was fired from his $88,000-a-year job in a firm where he

"there are few left in who joined without the knowledge that wed be going to war." [MikeyA]

I can't right off the bat find any stats on length of service of guardsmen or average age, but I know many of them have been in longer than four years. I used to be in the guard myself and I know a lot of these guys are older than you'd think.

I was, however, able to determine how many US dead are 30 or more years old (this is from all service branches, guard and regulars). The answer is 921 out of 3,583. www.icasualties.org/oif/Details.aspx

That's a pretty amazing number and shows that this is NOT a young man's war. I stand by my claim that many of these guard guys are older folks who never anticipated spending or signed up to spend years of their lives doing this. I could look and also find that the divorce rate of these soldiers has gone through the roof. They're paying a heavy price.

Pete your opinion has thus far lacked facts. I have tried to provide many for you. "A lot of people have lost their jobs during this four-year period. I don't care what the legislation says." where are the instances of this? I haven't met someone who hasn't and I'm active in many veterans groups most notably the American Legion and the Marine Corps League besides others. Without facts it's apparent you are the one who lives in the dreamworld where things supposidly happen but no one knows to who or where.

"Also, a lot of these guys never dreamed that they'd be spending all this time over there or they never would have joined up."

Pete most enlistments run for 4 years active, 6 if the MOS requires more training. Plus 4 years inactive after that. Currently there aren't many getting recalled but those who are have been mainly to do the work stateside of those deployed.

The invasion of Afghanistan was in '01 and '02. The invasion of Iraq was in March '03. Add 4 years to March 03 and that means everyone who enlisted on the day of the Iraq invasion got out last month. Even those who were at basic or boot camp during 9/11 with a 6 yr contract are already out.

Now after 9/11 there was a surge in enlistmens (this is when I came in) none of us were oblivious to the situation. We choose to serve knowing full well of a looming war. So to say the current military members weren't aware of what could happen is a blatant lie.

Besides that any military member can get out prior to the end of their contract either through a bad conduct discharge or administrative separation. Now under these they don't get the honorable discharge that entitles them to VA benefits.

If they have a problem they could get out but even though those that do have problems don't get out because the VA benefits can be huge. So if their not willing to forfeit those rights they have to serve like every other General on down to Private.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Actually you kinda proved my point neighborhood.

These cases don't seem to be those where the military member was fired BECAUSE of their service. Only because their jobs were being done away with anyway, something that could happen to virtually anyone.

And the case of Colorado only emphasises that Pete's initial assertion that the government reneged on it's principles was wrong. In that case it was the government that ultimately gave the Marine the settlement.

Also notable on the case is that during the time of the Marine deployed his family did not need health insurance because they would have been covered under military Tricare, arguably the best all around health insurance available. So again the government nor the administration did not reneg.

MikeyA

MikeyA

You don't need to quote stats call the recruiter. The average enlistment is 4 years. I have only heard of 2 reasons that could hold you longer.

One, you came in under some type of agreement such as going to medical school. However this one is misleading as virtually EVERY service allows you out of the commitment if you repay the $$. This is the same with ROTC. Basically you don't get a free ride if you don't serve a fair plan.

Second, if because the job training for a certain MOS such as rotor wing aircraft takes so long the government requires a longer contract, 6 years, but this is as I said is a MOS requirement. I've heard of people switching to a different job prior to job training and getting the extra time knocked off.

Divorce is increasing throughout the country and not just the armed forces. Currently police officers have a divorce rate of 66 to 70%. These are high numbers yet Police Depts don't deploy.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Reason #3: the President's Stop Loss authority, which extends their terms of service. It's been happening for some time now.

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/D418158D930E7F78882570F4000815CD/$file/0515680.pdf?openelement

www.cdcba.org/pdfs/R2006/05-02-06.pdf

Ok

You're going to quote a resolution by the San Francisco Bar Associations to limit the Presidents Constitutional authority as a way to make your case? It doesn't make you seem like a neutral observer. It makes you seem partisan.

MikeyA

MikeyA

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