Army Community Service has a Newcomer Orientation and Bus Tour from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today for Soldiers, families and civilians new to Fort Benning. The program is free and child care is provided. For more information or child-care reservations, call 706-545-0403.
MCCW to host dinner
The Military Council of Catholic Women will host an Our Lady of Guadalupe Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Saturday following mass at the Follow Me Chapel. Bring your favorite Mexican dish to share potluck style.For more information, send an e-mail to Niki Ryman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patient Education Classes
The Department of Family Medicine offers group visits to all Tricare beneficiaries. The voluntary, interactive sessions are set up to enlist and validate patients as their own caregivers and address concerns.All group visits are held at Martin Army Community Hospital in the Department of Family Medicine's Connelly Conference Room. Future meeting topics include: "Tobacco Cessation," 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Jan. 12; "Herbal Supplements: Helpful and Harmful," 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 16; and "Treatment of Osteoarthritis," 2 to 4 p.m. March 2.Appointments are not required.
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Island Christmas party
The Island Christmas Party at Kings Pond has been rescheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 19. The event features a canoe and kayak regatta, Hawaiian shirt contest and more. Build your own cheeseburger in paradise as part of the fun.The party is free, but reservations are requested. For more information or to RSVP, call 706-545-7978.
Camp courage activitiesfor winter school break
Camp Courage is filling up its calendar with special activities for children during the winter school break.The camp is open 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 to Jan. 10 for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. It will be closed on federal holidays.Camp fees are based on family income. For more information, call 706-545-3605.
Dental clinic closures
All U.S. Army Dental Activity clinics will be closed Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. For dental emergencies on Dec. 24 and 31, report to the emergency room.
WIC program changes
Participants in Fort Benning's Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program can choose from a wider variety of healthy foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole-grain rice, cereal, tortillas, bread, soy, and lactose-free milk and tofu. Parents can select either skim, 1 percent or 2 percent milk for children age 2 or older.WIC also has increased healthy food choices for mothers who choose to breastfeed only. For those receiving WIC services at Fort Benning or local health departments, the new food packages will be phased in through December. Vendors will continue accepting old vouchers as the new vouchers are introduced. The Fort Benning WIC office is in Building 2613 at Soldiers' Plaza. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 706-682-8455 to make an appointment or 800-789-5502 for more information.
General protestant class
A Communicants and Confirmation Class will be taught in The Infantry Center Chapel Annex from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday for 10 weeks beginning Jan. 12. The class is for children ages 10-15, but exceptions will be made for older students on an individual basis.The session is general Protestant and will be taught by Bill Putman, who was the Protestant director of religious education at Fort Benning for 22 years. Subjects include an overview of the Old and New Testaments, highlighting key events and characters in each and the relationship between the two; what Protestants believe; the Creeds, parts of a worship service, what they mean and why they're conducted; the Lord's Prayer; and the commandments.The class is free. Students should bring a Bible and pencil each week. To register, call 706-322-1020.
Faith Middle School plans high school info meeting
Faith Middle School will present a high school informational meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 in the school cafeteria.For more information, call school guidance counselor Delisa Brown or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Convenient care clinic
Martin Army Community Hospital's Convenient Care Clinic is a health care option that provides easy access and more choices.The clinic, open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, has specially trained nurse practitioners who provide a variety of care services, including prescriptions for appropriate medications. It's available to adults and children 2 weeks and older. Appointments are not necessary but sick-call hours (8 to 10 a.m.) are limited to military only.For more information, call 706-544-4810.
ParentShare, a group of military parents with children who have special needs, meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Monday of every month at Sayers Memorial Library.Children are welcome, and a brown bag or potluck lunch is normally planned.For more information, contact Cristina Castillo at 706-409-1224 or e-mail her at SpecNeedsAdvo@aol.com.
Survivor outreach services
Survivor Outreach Services assists family members of fallen Soldiers by offering counseling, benefits assistance, financial advice and education. The SOS Survivor Support Group meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month. The meetings alternate from a formal support group at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Building 2652, to an informal social at a local Fort Benning or Columbus restaurant.For information, call 706-545-7517 or visit www.benningmwr.com/acs-sos.php.
EFMP services available
The Exceptional Family Member Program offers respite care services to qualified families. The family member must meet specific medical and educational criteria.Soldiers and family members may visit Army Community Service's EFMP in Building 2624 at Soldiers' Plaza to pick up resource information, magazines and directories. The program offers an EFMP Parent Exchange at 11 a.m. on the third Thursday of every month in Building 2626. The meeting gives family members an opportunity to share information related to special needs.For more information, call 706-545-5521 or 706-545-2679.
Recovery Support group
Martin Army Community Hospital offers two Alcoholics Anonymous meeting locations on post.On Mondays, AA meetings are held in the basement chapel of MACH. Each Thursday and Saturday, the group meets in the basement of Miller Hall, Building 241, on Baltzell Avenue. All meetings are at 7 p.m.For more information, call 706-545-1138.
CVCC's CAREER ADVANCEMENT ACCOUNT programs
Chattahoochee Valley Community College offers courses for the Military Spouse Program, including diplomas and degrees in management, health care, business, accounting, homeland security, fire science and more. The college also offers two free courses, Preparation for GED and English as a Second Language. For more information, call Clovie Quick at 706-687-3420 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JEWISH Worship service
There is a Jewish Sabbath worship service at 6:30 p.m. every Friday in the Regimental Chapel on Sand Hill.
New parent support group
The Family Advocacy Program's New Parent Support Play Group meets from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of every month.For more information, call 706-545-9358.
Donate books for soldiers
Used paperback books are accepted at Sayers Library on Main Post. The books are given to Soldiers and other personnel who deploy from Lawson Army Airfield.For more information, call LTC(R) Kenneth Sines at 706-323-0570 or e-mail email@example.com.
La table ronde
La Table Ronde meets from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the last Monday of every month in Room 169 at Ridgway Hall, Building 35. The group is open to anyone interested in speaking or learning the French language. For more information, call Cheryl Buttler at 706-545-1841 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
H1N1 Vaccine available to general public
All 16 county health departments in the West Central Health District recently made the H1N1 vaccine available to the general public.For more information, contact a local county health department, visit www.westcentralhealthdistrict.com or call the district's H1N1 Flu Hotline at 706-321-6701.
Toys for tots drop-off point
The Gwendolyn Wilkes Rainbow Center in Columbus is taking donations and distributing Christmas toys through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program.Today is the deadline for parents in need of toys for their children to apply. Toy delivery begins Monday and ends Dec. 23. Donations of new, unwrapped toys and requests may be made through the Gwendolyn Wilkes Rainbow Center office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call 706-320-9010.
Bi-city christmas parade
The annual Bi-City Christmas Parade through Phenix City and Columbus gets started at 10 a.m. Saturday. It features area organizations, businesses, schools, churches, local bands and professional floats.The parade begins in Phenix City at the corner of Dillingham and Broad streets and continues to 13th Street, where it comes into Columbus, turning right on Broadway and continuing to 9th Street.For more information, contact Holli Browder at 706-576-5475 or email@example.com.
Blood drive at vfw post 665
The Red Cross and Columbus Antique Military Organization are having a "4077th MASH Blood Drive" at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 665 on Victory Drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday — complete with Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan, COL Potter and Klinger.For more information, call 706-568-4592.
CSU center to host reading by selena anderson
Columbus State University's Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians hosts a reading by Selena Anderson, the 2009 Marguerite and Lamar Smith Writing Fellow, at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Columbus Public Library, CB&T Room. A reception follows at the Smith-McCullers House, 1519 Stark Ave.The free event is open to the public. For more information, visit www.mccullerscenter.org/news.htm.
German-American Christmas service
Klub Heimatland hosts its annual nondenominational German-American Christmas Service at 6 p.m. Sunday in St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 4026 Macon Road, Columbus. A reception follows immediately afterward in Fellowship Hall.For more information, contact Andrea Kuykendall at 706-888-9098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010 medicare checkup
Parkwood Health Care and the Lee-Russell Council on Aging's State Health Insurance Assistance Program will assist senior citizens with a free 2010 Medicare Checkup from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Phenix City Russell County Library, 1501 17th Ave. Staff will be available to help seniors understand Medicare benefits, determine which Part D plan best fits their needs, enroll in a plan, answer questions about health insurance and receive a free Medicare Protection Toolkit. Open enrollment is through Dec. 31.Attendees should bring a list of their medications and all insurance cards.For more information, contact Daphane Farley, SHIP coordinator, at 800-243-5463, ext. 208.
Living with hope center
The Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation will stage a grand opening for the Living with Hope Center at 10:15 a.m. Friday. The new facility is at 1711 Buena Vista Road, Suite 3 in Columbus.For more information, contact Jeremy Hobbs at 706-580-6239 or email@example.com.
CSU offers new degree to accommodate military
Starting in January, Columbus State University will offer a new 123-credit-hour Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts among its baccalaureate programs, which now spans 43 majors. The program will be available in an online format and provide students with the flexibility to pursue and complete a bachelor's degree at CSU, regardless of geographic location. Students also may take some courses in a traditional classroom setting.Early registration for the spring 2010 semester is under way at http://registration.colstate.edu. For more information, call Jay Kimbrough in the CSU Academic Center for Excellence at 706-562-1751.
Behavioral health seminar
A three-day seminar on behavioral health and traumatic brain injury stemming from deployments will take place Jan. 27-29 at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. The sessions are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily.The Center for Deployment Psychology will present resources and materials to civilian and military providers that offer behavioral health services for troops who have deployed. Deployment-related issues such as suicide risk, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and traumatic brain injury will be discussed.Professional service providers, military personnel and family may participate. A $175 fee covers the seminar, continental breakfast each morning, afternoon snack and Continuing Education Units.For more information or a registration form, e-mail Meg Sturdevant at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rooseveltrehab.org.
MOAA offering loans, grants and scholarships
More than 1,600 students will receive up to $5,500 each in interest-free loans or grants from the Military Officers Association of America's scholarship fund for the 2009-2010 school year.The loans and grants are awarded annually for up to five years of undergraduate study — or until a student graduates. Eligible applicants are students younger than age 24, who are children of former, active-duty, or retired commissioned or warrant officers (including Reserve and Guard); and children of active or retired enlisted military personnel (including Reserve and Guard). Active-duty, retired, Reserve, and National Guard officers and warrant officers of all branches are eligible for MOAA membership.If a child served in the military before completing college, his or her maximum age for eligibility increases by the number of years he or she served, up to five years. Applicants may be high school seniors or full-time college students working toward their first undergraduate degree. For MOAA Educational Assistance applications for the 2010-2011 school year, or for more information about making a contribution to the scholarship fund, visit MOAA's Web site at www.MOAA.org/education or e-mail edassist@MOAA.org.Students may apply online through noon March 1.
Will Graham celebration
The East Alabama-West Georgia Will Graham Celebration is set for March 26-28 at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in Auburn, Ala.Will, a third-generation evangelical, is the grandson of Billy Graham and the oldest son of Franklin Graham.For more information, call Erik Ogren at 704-577-2109 or e-mail email@example.com.
Infantry stories online
BAE Systems has launched a Web site that allows Soldiers to share stories about their experiences with Bradley Fighting Vehicles. It's available at www.BradleyStories.com.
SUBMIT COMMUNITY BRIEFS
Send an e-mail, subject line "community briefs," with event information, your name and a phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.