By Amy Stork, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs

The Ansbach Army Education Center recently held a GI Bill community session to discuss the differences in education benefits that are available to Veterans, service members and their dependents.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), is available to individuals who served at least 90 days of active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001. To be eligible for 100 percent of the benefits, you must have served 36 total months of active duty or you must have been discharged after Sept. 10, 2001 for a service-connected disability after 30 days of continuous active duty service.

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

The deadline for all Sailors who do not have the ability to serve four more years in the Navy to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to dependents is July 11, 2019. 

This deadline was established in a Department of Defense (DoD) policy which the Navy is implementing through NAVADMIN 020/19, released Jan. 24, 2019.

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

The Navy announced the release of Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Blended Retirement System (BRS) mid-career continuation pay (CP) rates for eligible Sailors in NAVADMIN 132/19, June 20.

CP is a one-time mid-career incentive pay in exchange for an agreement to perform four years of additional obligated service.  CP is in addition to any other career field-specific or retention incentives.

By Desiree Chavis, Headquarters Marine Corps

The Marine Corps has announced its new relicensing fee reimbursement program for spouses, authorized by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA allows military branches to reimburse service members for occupational relicensing and recertification expenses incurred by their spouses due to a permanent change of station to a new state.

Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs may reimburse Marines up to $500 toward qualifying relicensing or recertification cost of a spouse due to relocation to another state for PCSs effected on or after 12 December 2017. 

By U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Public Affairs

In conjunction with the U.S. Army's 244th Birthday, the Army announced a new proficiency badge today, called the Expert Soldier Badge.

The ESB is designed to improve lethality, recognize excellence in Solder combat skills and increase individual, unit and overall Army readiness. The ESB is the equivalent of the Expert Infantry Badge and Expert Field Medical Badge but for all other military occupational specialties in the Army. Commanders will soon be able to use the badge to recognize Soldiers who attain excellence in physical fitness and marksmanship and a high standard of expertise in land navigation and performing warfighting tasks. 

By Dave Vergun

Development of a bill of rights for those living in privatized Defense Department housing is underway, and DOD is seeking the input of residents, the assistant defense secretary for sustainment announced in a memo.

In the memo signed yesterday, Robert H. McMahon invited residents of privatized family and unaccompanied housing to take part in an online survey to provide feedback on a draft bill of rights aimed at identifying the basic privatized housing rights of service members and their families.

Amanda Turner

Sometimes, it feels as if there is a race to obtain the trendiest or newest market items in your home. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking leads to the fear of missing out when, in reality, there is no race that will bring you true happiness. Technology and material things are not inherently bad. It is the meaning ascribed to them and the level of attachment that causes problems. If you’re looking to bring joy to your life, here are five objects that you can bring home.

By Joe Lacdan, Army News Service

The Army recently made some of the most significant changes to Family Readiness Groups since their creation following the first Gulf War. 

The groups have been re-named "Soldier and Family Readiness Groups" or SFRGs. 

This designation links Soldier readiness to the Family, and clarifies the role of the SFRG to be more inclusive to Soldiers who are single, are single parents or have non-traditional Families, said Steve Yearwood, program analyst for the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.

By Sean Kimmons, Army News Service

The Army is adding a year to overseas tours for some Soldiers heading to Europe and Japan, as part of an effort to boost readiness and reduce moves.

Under the new policy, which applies to permanent change-of-station orders published after June 14, tours for Soldiers who have no dependents and are not married to other service members will extend from 24 to 36 months. 

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

The summer season is a very busy time for permanent change of station (PCS) moves for Sailors and their families. While uprooting and moving somewhere different can be challenging, the Navy is overhauling the PCS experience to reduce the stress for Sailors and their families. One of these improvements is streamlining the existing travel advance process.

Sailors can make a PCS move without any out-of-pocket expenditures by simply taking advantage of the travel entitlements available to them in advance of their move. “Travel advances are available for Sailors to request before transferring with one purpose -- to alleviate out-of-pocket expenses for Sailors and their families,” said Capt. John Popham, Navy Pay and Personnel Support Center (NPPSC) commanding officer.

By Terri Moon Cronk Defense.gov

Veterans who were exposed to radiation in the military between 1945 and 1992 are eligible to apply for the newly created Atomic Veterans Service Certificate signed by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan.

Application for the certificate is open to retired and former service members, or next of kin in cases of deceased veterans, Defense Department officials said.

Why You Should Update Your Cleaning Products With Greener Options
by Amanda Turner

While a clean environment is a priority for most people, it’s not as common to think about how we’re cleaning up. If you’ve used the same technique and products your entire life, it may be time to take a step back and make sure that you’re using cleaning products that are healthy for yourself and the environment. 

With the substantial amount of news on “best practices” to care for the environment, there’s no reason to stick to our old ways. Here are a few reasons you should be using safe product in your home.

From Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

With the permanent change of station (PCS) season right around the corner, Sailors and families are urged to turn to their Navy Housing Service Centers (HSC) for assistance to select the housing that best suit their needs.

The centers, which are located Navy-wide, provide a range of services and resources to help service members and families make housing choices, process applications and manage waitlists.

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Laura Montgomery
145th Airlift Wing

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 25, 2018 What do you get when you mix a handful of knowledgeable volunteers; some scientific principles, theories and laws; rocket materials; and a group of bright-eyed, young students?

You get the annual STARBASE Camp -- more than 20 4th, 5th, and 6th graders learning exciting science, technology, engineering and math applications that will help them launch a rocket, and hopefully, ideas for their future. The camp was held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport here, June 18-21.

From a Defense Department News Release

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2018 The Defense Departments Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program is launching a new partnership with LinkedIn -- the virtual professional networking platform.

Military spouses will soon have access to a free LinkedIn Premium membership, valid for one year, every time they have a permanent-change-of-station move, including access to more than 12,000 online professional courses through LinkedIn Learning, as well as access to LinkedIns military and veterans resource portal. The membership is also available for the spouse of a service member who is within six months of separation from the military.

The partnership with LinkedIn will offer military spouses a great opportunity to advance their careers during their times of transition, said Eddy Mentzer, associate director of family readiness and well-being in DoDs Office of Military Community and Family Policy. Spouses will be able to access a global network of professionals any time, from any place. They can plan their next career step before they move, as soon as they have orders [for a permanent change of station].

MILITARY STAR Offers Value for Military Community at Disney World’s Shades of Green
June 18, 2018 / Marisa Wolfe

DALLAS – Service members can enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World vacations with the help of the MILITARY STAR® card, which offers an affordable way to stay at Shades of Green resort in Orlando, the Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) tax-free resort on Disney property.

The MILITARY STAR card can also be used to purchase tickets to Disney and Orlando attractions through Shades of Green. Events and weddings at the resort can be paid for with the card as well. And shoppers can grab all the gifts and souvenirs they need right on site—an Army & Air Force Exchange Service Express store at the resort sells affordable Disney souvenirs and more—tax-free. And cardholders enjoy one of the industry’s lowest interest rates.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2018 The Defense Department now offers access to a wide array of newly enhanced and specialized support for military families with special needs.

Officials launched the Exceptional Family Member Program ROC -- for resources, options and consultations -- May 30.

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2017 — The Defense Department has launched a comparison calculator for eligible service members to analyze their estimated retirement benefits under the legacy system and the new Blended Retirement System.

The tool walks members through five screens, allowing users to adjust 12 data fields and compare benefit scenarios under both systems, Air Force Maj. Michael Odle, the Defense Department's assistant director of military compensation policy, explained.

By Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Men can set a healthy example for kids, family and buddies by getting health screenings. Create a plan (based on age, family history, and personal medical history) with the primary care manager (PCM).

Prevention is the best medicine. Men can take charge of their personal health by getting health screenings, eating healthy, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, staying injury free, practicing safe sex, drinking in moderation, and being tobacco free.

By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WEST POINT, N.Y., June 16, 2016 - The 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games began yesterday evening when Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger, with help from comedian Jon Stewart, lit the official torch during the event's opening ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy. 

"Being selected to light the torch is as much an honor and privilege as competing for Team Army," Elmlinger said. "Finishing my Warrior Games career as Team Army captain and lighting the torch at the opening ceremony is by far the most amazing experience. It's humbling to see the support from the Warrior Transition Command throughout my time on Team Army, and I graciously thank them for allowing me to participate as torch bearer in this event."

By Karen Parrish
DoD News, Defense Media Activity 

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2016 - The Defense Department's new retirement system will affect some 2.2 million people who all need to get smart on what it will mean.

Two subject-matter experts from the department's personnel and readiness branch described the issues involved to DoD News: Army Sgt. Maj. Luther Thomas Jr., senior enlisted advisor to the Defense Department's Manpower and Reserve Affairs Division, and Wayne Boswell, DoD's director of financial readiness. 

By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2015 - In the face of recent aggressive and deceptive marketing practices of some compounding pharmacies targeting TRICARE, the Defense Health Agency is taking aggressive action to help TRICARE beneficiaries, DHA's chief of pharmacy operations said in a recent interview.

Dr. George Jones described compounding as a way that some pharmacies prepare medications for patients who need different kinds or strengths of medications than are available in commercially available products.

By C. Todd Lopez
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2014 - An initial Army investigation into the whereabouts of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl following his disappearance in June 2009 did not conclude that he voluntarily left his installation, an Army official, speaking on background, said today.

"My recollection is that it didn't make a conclusive finding on that," the official said. 

From an Arlington National Cemetery News Release

ARLINGTON, Va., June 13, 2014 - A special program will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery on June 15.

"Arlington at 150" is an hour-long live military show featuring musical performances by "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band and a joint chorus composed of singers from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force are on tap, as well as a wreath ceremony and historical vignettes that showcase how military conflicts have shaped the nation and the cemetery.

Wholesale Party Supplies is excited to announce the start of our Military Discount Program.

Wholesale Party Supplies is proud to support all active and inactive members of the United States Military, and their families, by offering a 10% discount on our entire inventory. We're well-aware of the sacrifices made by our soldiers, and we'd like to extend this special deal as our way of saying "Thanks for all that you do."

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2014 - A senior Pentagon official often requests grilled cheese with mustard and pickles, but these chefs will never divulge the individual's identity.

A long time supporter of veterans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture honored D-Day veterans and all service members today at the 19th annual USDA Farmers Market Opening. On hand were the military's top chefs, who keep the secrets of the senior leaders for whom they cook.

by Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

*WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- *Air Force spouses are key to maintaining stability on the home front as Airmen maintain focus on the war front, according to the wife of the Air Force’s top officer.

The key spouse program is an official unit/family program overseen by commanders designed to enhance readiness and establish a sense of unity within the Air Force community. The program was standardized across the Air Force in March 2006 to address the needs of all military families with special emphasis on support to families across the deployment cycle. 

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2014 - First Lady Michelle Obama today announced an initiative to end homelessness among veterans in cities across the country by 2015.

The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is a partnership between the departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs, and it harnesses the power of federal, local and nonprofit resources.

Producers from Lighthearted Entertainment are looking for women in the Southern California area. You will be made over by world-class makeup and hair experts as well as fashion stylists giving you the look of your dreams. When the makeover is complete you will then have the chance to work with a life coach whose goal is to help you accomplish a life goal, dream, or just help you get your groove back!

All expenses related to the makeovers and life coaching will be on us!

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Now casting military women/moms/wives in southern California with amazing personalities for a new gameshow!!

Do you want to be a millionaire?

Do you have bills that need to be paid?

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6/28/2013 - TriCARE Release  

Understanding TRICARE health care options for National Guard and Reserve members can be confusing as it varies based on their duty status. When a member suffers or aggravates an injury, illness or disease while in a qualifying duty status, they may be eligible to receive care at the government's expense.

When activated for more than 30 days, Guard and Reserve members are eligible for TRICARE Prime. If a Guard or Reserve member gets injured or aggravates an existing injury or illness as a direct result of his or her duties during a period of activation less than 30 days, that Guard or Reserve member may be covered under line of duty (LOD) care or notice of eligibility (NOE) care for members of the Coast Guard. Weekend drill, summer training exercises and/or national disaster response are examples of activations for less than 30 days. For care received from a civilian provider, the Military Medical Support Office (MMSO) reviews the LOD/NOE case. For care received at a military hospital or clinic, the facility where care is received reviews the LOD/NOE case.

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By Karen ParrishAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2013 - About 50,000 service members will get refunds averaging $100 -- though some will be far higher --- after an enforcement action involving auto loans that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials announced today.

The bureau is ordering U.S. Bank and one of its nonbank partners, Dealers Financial Services, to return about $6.5 million to service members across the country, CFPB Director Richard Cordray told reporters during a conference call today.

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From a Department of Labor News Release

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2013 - More than 14,000 veterans across the nation will benefit from job training, job placement, housing help and other services, thanks to 121 grants totaling almost $29 million announced today by officials of the Labor Department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service.

The grants were awarded through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, the only federal program that focuses exclusively on employment of homeless veterans.

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We're searching for a fun-loving military family to follow on an all-expenses paid road trip for 4-7 days in August. Ideally, we're looking for a family where one or both parents, or a son or daughter, currently or recently has served in the U.S. military. Our 3-person camera crew would film you and your family on the road and as you experience various destinations throughout the trip.

If you are interested in being considered for this opportunity, please respond to the questions below. We are looking for thoughtful, positive and well-spoken people, so please take your time with the application and answer all questions.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 463-13
June 25, 2013

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that a soldier, missing from the Vietnam War, has been accounted for and will be buried with full military honors along with two of his crew members.

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By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va. 6/24/13) - Service members and veterans transitioning from the military to Veterans Affairs for treatment or between military treatment facilities now have access to greater consistency in psychological health and traumatic brain injury care, a Defense Department official said.

InTransition, a voluntary, confidential program, supports military members and their families undergoing a change of status, relocation, or return to civilian life, said George Lamb, outreach chief for the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

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By Jessica Pellegrini
Armed Services Blood Program

FALLS CHURCH, Va., June 24, 2013 - The Armed Services Blood Program is launching its summer donation drive next week.

"Our summer campaign this year is a service-specific campaign," said Julie Oliveri, ASBP's communications and marketing director. "In this way, we hope to ensure our military family is 'armed' with the blood products needed for those who are ill or injured."

Starting July 1 and ending Sept. 30, the campaign will be deployed at 23 donor centers on Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps installations worldwide.

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Terry Fator captures the hearts and funny bones of America with Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment. The "America's Got Talent" winner brings to life a cast of characters with comedy, singing and unparalleled celebrity impressions. Through comedic banter and amazing vocal impressions of musical superstars spanning generations and genres, Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment is a one-of-a-kind experience, only at The Mirage.

Terry Fator thanks our troops with special offers and an exclusive Military Family Grand Prize Package. You and three members of your family could have the chance to go to Las Vegas courtesy of American Airlines, stay at The Mirage for 2 nights and see Terry perform live in his show, Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment.

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By Carol Casto,
Commander, Navy Installations Command Navy Housing

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- As the Navy's Housing Early Application Tool (HEAT) reaches its first year, Navy Housing is already working on upgrades to be implemented over the next several years.

Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Navy Housing launched HEAT, the online tool for service members and their families to request housing information and begin the military family housing application process, in July 2012.

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By Ensign Amber Lynn Daniel,
Navy Office of Diversity and Inclusion Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy is moving forward to open all positions previously closed to the assignment of women, continuing in the Department of Defense's rescission of 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule.

Navy's implementation plan, submitted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and acknowledged by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, has now been submitted for Congressional notification.

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Request for participants: Male Military Spouses: The Impact of Military Involvement, Gender Roles, and Coping Style on Deployment Related Distress

You are being asked to participate in an online survey format, research study conducted by Sandra Diaz, M.S., a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of La Verne in La Verne, CA, under the supervision of Dr. Rocio Rosales Meza, Ph.D. The purpose of this dissertation study is to investigate male spouse's distress in response to the deployment of their military spouse.

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By Chanel S. Weaver
U.S. Army Public Health Command

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., June 6, 2013 - High grass creates an ideal habitat for hungry ticks, and also provides the potential to cause serious human and animal disease.

Ticks can thrive in long grasses, according to Ellen Stromdahl, an entomologist with the U.S. Army Public Health Command here.

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Brief explanation of study procedures: Participants are needed to complete a survey for doctoral research being done through Capella University in the School of Public Service Leadership.  The study will examine how a military spouse's level of role salience and balance of roles may affect their satisfaction with life. You will be asked to rate the importance of your roles along with your satisfaction with life.

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By Amaani LyleAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2012 - The National Park Service extends free annual park passes far beyond the droves of Pentagon employees who lined up to take advantage of the offer today.

Through its America the Beautiful series, the National Park Service grants complimentary access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, national parks and wildlife refuges to active duty service members and activated Guardsmen and reservists and their families, said Kathy Kupper, National Park Service spokeswoman.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 529-12
June 25, 2012

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Emil T. Wasilewski of Chicago will be buried on June 26 at Arlington National Cemetery.  On Sept. 13, 1944, Wasilewski and eight other crew members were on a B-17G Flying Fortress that crashed near Neustaedt-on-the-Werra, Germany.  Only one of the crewmen is known to have successfully parachuted out of the aircraft before it crashed.  The remaining eight crewmen were buried by German forces in a cemetery in Neustaedt.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 519-12
June 20, 2012

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Capt. Clyde W. Campbell of Longview, Texas, will be buried June 21 at Arlington National Cemetery.  On March 1, 1969, Campbell was a pilot aboard an A-1J Skyraider aircraft that crashed while carrying out a close air-support mission in Houaphan Province, Laos.  American forward air controllers directing the mission in the area reported hearing an explosion that they believed to be Campbell's bombs, but later learned Campbell's aircraft had crashed.  No parachutes were seen in the area.

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David Quinlan
Q13 FOX News reporter

Lakewood Wa - Con artists claiming to be from a military charity group called Freedom United States have been running a scam in Lakewood, playing on people’s emotions to donate money supposedly to honor fallen soldiers. The money goes into their pockets instead.

Lakewood police were trying to track them down Monday, when the con artists were going door to door in Lakewood seeking donations.

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2012 - Some 8,600 homeless veterans will benefit from $15 million in grant money for job training through the U.S. Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said today.

The Labor Department has awarded the money to 64 organizations that help America's veterans, DOL officials said. The grant, officials added, will go to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and similar groups that are familiar with their homeless veteran populations, and have shown they can provide help for them.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 513-12
June 19, 2012

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, were identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Robert I. Wax of Detroit will be buried June 20 at Arlington National Cemetery.  In August 1950, Wax and Battery A, 555th Field Artillery Battalion, were fighting against North Korean forces in a battle known as the "Bloody Gulch," near Pongam-ni, South Korea.  After the battle, on Aug. 11, 1950, Wax was listed as missing in action.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 494-12
June 14, 2012

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix will be buried June 15 at Arlington National Cemetery. There will be a group burial honoring Walling and fellow crew member, Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, N.J., at Arlington National Cemetery, on Aug. 8 -- the 46th anniversary of the crash that took their lives.