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A SOLDIER'S CHRISTMAS WISH
This year, at the holidays
of course, I miss my home,
surrounded by sand dunes,
and Iraqi mosque-domes.
But I willingly came
to guard against fear —
not let terrorist conquer
everything I hold dear.
I know my mom worries
about me over here
away from family,
and good Christmas cheer.
And while I do miss
the fun and the fare,
I know I am fighting
for reasons most share —
For Freedom, for Justice,
for our forefather's plan,
for choices — God-given,
to every man.
For our children to prosper
without boot in their back,
and patriots guiding them,
to stay on the right track!
And for all you protester
in the streets of your city,
looking upon me
with hatred and pity,
I'm fighting for you
to have that skewed right
to act like a fool —
burn our flag in plain sight,
It's not just our training,
but a true state of mind —
to be honest and faithful,
and love all mankind.
I'd gladly lay down
all I can give —
my life and my soul
so that others may live.
And to let every man pray
to the God he sees fit,
tho, I may not agree,
he's entitled to it.
My sons and my daughters
may not know it yet,
but I fight for their future,
and have no regret.
So celebrate Christmas
in your own merry way,
and please send a prayer
we'll come home one day —
When this war is over,
we've finally won,
we've conquered the terrorists —
sent 'em all on the run.
Americas worth it —
all this sacrifice,
and, Mom, don't you worry
'cause I wouldn't think twice.
I'd do it again —
even die in the sand
for Freedom and Liberty,
for we MUST take a stand.
"Merry Christmas—Blessed New Year,"
to all, I now say,
and, "Thank you, dear Jesus —
have a Happy Birthday!"
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
As assistant majority whip and a member of the influential Republican Policy Committee, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., is squarely in House GOP leadership. And as chairman the House Armed Services' Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, whose jurisdiction includes special operations programs, counterterrorism programs, cyberoperations and information operations, his potential influence in the next administration looms large.
Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis could be the 26th Secretary of Defense within hours of President-elect Donald Trump taking office, the result of legislative rules pushed by Republican lawmakers as the congressional session came to close.
If retired Gen. James Mattis is confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump's first secretary of defense, he will take over arguably the largest bureaucracy in the world.
The question is: Who becomes his right-hand man?
Those concerned about maintaining the Pentagon's technological edge will be keeping a close eye on a meeting between President-elect Donald Trump and leaders from the tech sector.
A Democratic member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is calling on the Pentagon to develop a cost-savings plan following allegations that it tried to hide a study that identified $125 billion in waste.
Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website. To learn more about each event, please click the following links:
||2017 Exchange Impact Workshop
|Register today! Early bird rate for industry available only through the end of 2016. Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West, Dallas|
||70th Annual Convention
|Save the Date for the upcoming ALA Annual Convention. Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Norfolk, VA|
A new annual survey of military families shows a majority of active-duty military families — 57 percent of them — said they were unlikely to recommend that their own children join the service. That would be almost unheard of in past decades. Military families tend to remain military families. So why the negative feelings? "It is the cuts in benefits. It's the reductions in forces at the same time as we are increasing our mission," said Kathy Roth-Douquet, president and CEO of Blue Star Families.
The U.S. Senate joined the House of Representatives in approving a 2.1 percent pay raise next year for troops. The upper chamber passed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which included the pay increase, by a vote of 92-7. The bill now heads to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.
Eighteen senators are urging quick action from the lame duck Congress on two dozen stalled VA projects, including a major one in Hampton Roads. Virginia Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined 16 of their colleagues calling for Congress to set aside funding for a list of health care centers, outpatient clinics and research facilities proposed throughout the Veterans Affairs system.
U.S. Department of Defense
Holly Petraeus from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau discussed how service members and their families can help protect their finances. She advises service members to check their credit report annually and ensure it's accurate. As the CFPB's chief Petraeus has three main goals: to provide financial education for military families; monitor complaints made by military families to the CFPB; and work with federal and state agencies to improve consumer protection for military families.
U.S. Department of Defense
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford and Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell led a USO troupe to the region as a way to thank soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Defense Department civilians and contractors. The holidays are a special time of year and one where all would wish to be with their families, but many in Afghanistan cannot. "But I got to tell you, this is your family, too," the chairman said.
"Today, the first American to orbit the Earth, NASA astronaut and Ohio Senator John Glenn, passed away. We mourn this tremendous loss for our nation and the world. As one of NASA's original Mercury 7 astronauts, Glenn's riveting flight aboard Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962, united our nation, launched America to the forefront of the space race, and secured for him a unique place in the annals of history.
Commissary Web Posts
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 7 AM December 8, 2016 and 10 AM, December 15, 2016:
- Passover WW Promotion Package.
- Sun Care Mandatory Seasonal Program.
NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
- 17-08, Selection of Supplier for DeCA Private Label.
- 17-09, Ft Belvoir New Store Set Postponed.
- Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 16-50.
- FY 17 Guard/Reserve CONUS On-Site Sale Schedule, December 9, 2016.
- CRV Values, December 11, 2016.
DeCA and Fisher House Foundation
The 2017 Scholarships for Military Children Program will be open until Feb. 13, 2017. A total of 700 scholarship grants, each for $2,000, will be awarded for school year 2017-18.
There will be at least one recipient selected at every commissary location where qualified applications are received.
Through the generosity of Defense Commissary Agency business partners and others, a total of 9,412 students, all sons or daughters of commissary patrons, have shared $15,326,000 in scholarship grants.
The Fisher House Foundation is honored to be involved with this program.
By Bambi Majumdar
Chicago is a foodie city. It's hard to go wrong with your restaurant choice here. But a recent report released by the city's Office of Inspector General shows that most restaurants and other food establishments may be overdue for a health inspection. And the Windy City is not the only one — a growing number of cities are falling behind in their food safety inspections. In Chicago, more than half of the city's high-risk food establishments have missed their mandatory second inspection.
The Wall Street Journal
Amazon.com Inc. said that it currently does not have plans to open 2,000 grocery stores.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Amazon envisions opening more than 2,000 brick-and-mortar grocery stores under its name, depending on the success of new test locations, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investors and innovators took the stage during day two of BevNET Live Winter 2016, offering an audience of entrepreneurs insight into the decisions big money funders make before deciding on which brands to back.
The day's presentations kicked off with a "State of the Market" address from Kathryn Peters, executive vice president of business development at SPINS, and Brian Reed, principal at IRI
Specialty food retailer Murray's Cheese has opened its 350th store location in Bloomington, Indiana, through a special partnership with the Kroger family of stores.
Established in 1940, New York-based Murray's offers cheese, meat and other specialty food items at store-within-a-store locations inside Kroger and some of its banners, including Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Ralph's and QFC locations in more than 30 states.
While online-only retailers, like Amazon and Fresh Direct, are pushing hard to win Americans over to web-based grocery shopping, a new study shows that conventional supermarkets are doing a better job.
The research is from Brick Meets Click, and compares weekly online orders at 19 multichannel supermarket banners to online-only retailers, and finds that in more than half of the supermarkets, the average e-commerce basket is between $120 and $180. That compares to $105 for FreshDirect and $84 for Amazon Fresh.
Natural Products INSIDER
In an effort to support transparency, FDA is for the first time publishing data on adverse events it receives related to cosmetics and foods, including dietary supplements and conventional foods.
In a Dec. 6 constituent update, FDA announced it would publish on a quarterly basis data that was extracted from the agency's adverse event reporting system. The first adverse event data released by FDA covers the period from 2004 through September 2016 and includes reports submitted by consumers, medical professionals and industry.
Denver Business Journal
Wal-Mart has opened its latest concept in grocery pick-up in Thornton.
The 4,000-square-foot Wal-Mart store is the second one in the country for the mega-retailer and grocery store and it's a new concept of an online grocery order pick-up location, a convenience store that sells hot sandwiches and coffee, as well as a gas station.
Imagine your favorite candy. Say, a box of Nerds or a Kit Kat or a Butterfinger or that 100 Grand Bar (often heard about, but never seen). Now, would it still be your favorite if it had half the sugar?
Nestlé hopes so, because the food and drink company will be cranking out the above candy and confectionary products with 40% less sugar beginning in 2018 (the same year nutrition labels on packaged foods will be required to list total sugars and added sugars).
In 2015, an elite group of individuals planned and executed the first Military Exchange Resale impact workshop in Dallas. This meeting changed and defined the need to integrate our organizations into the customers world. Since that meeting, other services have asked to have a collaborative meeting tailored to the needs and impact of their business and strengthen the relationship between the Industry and resale partners. So once again, we are announcing a Military workshop with the Exchange in Dallas for 2017.
Dates: March 13-16
Location: Omni West, Las Colinas
Theme: Innovate to Activate
Monday Afternoon: Golf tournament, proceeds to go to the scholarship fund and / or Snowball Express
Tuesday-Wednesday – Impact Sessions
The overall conversation with the Exchange team was that the 2015 workshop was great but what can we do to make it more impactful in 2017. The agenda topics will be revised to reflect an innovation session with Industry within the different categories.
Santa Claus is coming to town, and marketers, worried the Grinch might waylay him, are offering deals aplenty to encourage spending. In the weeks leading up to and including the Black Friday shopping weekend, retailers across the board went deeper with discounts than last year, a strategy expected to intensify as the season continues.
On Nov. 22, the National Retail Federation secured an important preliminary injunction against the Labor Department's new overtime regulations. The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas halts implementation and enforcement of the overtime rules nationwide until the court completes consideration of the underlying case brought by NRF, dozens of other business groups and 21 states. The ruling has since been appealed by the Department of Justice but the injunction remains in place while the appeal is under consideration.
By Emma Fitzpatrick
Ah, the holiday season. The lights are aglow on both the Christmas tree and the laptop. This holiday season, U.S. consumers are expected to spend as much as $117 billion shopping online, so it's now up to your business to attract and convert new clientele. By giving shoppers what they want most, you will already be well on your way. The next key to drastically increase your online sales this season? Recover purchases that were placed in the cart but not bought.
Thrifty U.S. consumers carefully picked over Black Friday discounts during the four-day weekend, leaving retailers with less money in their registers and a lukewarm kickoff to the holiday season.
Though the number of shoppers grew over the weekend, the average amount they spent fell 3.5 percent to $289.19, including both online and offline purchases, the National Retail Federation found.
The Labor Department filed notice that it would appeal a court ruling that scrapped the Obama administration's rule that attempted to expand overtime pay for millions of workers.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the administration's new version of the rule last month, stating that only Congress could make such a change and the administration had overstepped its authority.
By Emma Fitzpatrick
When you think of social media during the holiday season, your mind likely jumps to your marketing strategy and the corresponding number of impressions, clicks and sales. For your followers, their goal is much simpler, and dare we say, heartwarming. When asked what they want from brands during the holiday season on social, the largest segment of consumers said holiday cheer, found Sprout Social's research. After all, isn’t that the reason for the season?
Retailers typically have a specific shopper persona they're targeting with everything from branding and marketing to the products they sell and the layout of their stores (or websites and apps). The behaviors, expectations and demographics of consumers in the United States are always shifting; recently they seem to be shifting at a faster rate than ever.
Digital Signage Connection
E-commerce continues to grow at the expense of many physical store sales. However, there is a silver lining: People still love to shop. In fact, more than 92 percent of sales still happen in brick-and-mortar stores, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Yet there is no denying how digital has transformed the way people shop.
The Wall Street Journal
Measurement firm Nielsen and location data company Foursquare are teaming up to help marketers better understand when online advertising drives people into physical stores.
Nielsen already offers tools designed to help marketers understand when consumers buy products in-store after seeing online ads, but the companies say the addition of Foursquare’s location-based data will offer marketers a better understanding of consumer behavior between those two events.
Beleaguered retailer Sears Holdings said that it would explore options for its real estate, continue closing stores and continue cutting certain products after its third-quarter loss ballooned and revenue tumbled.
By Katina Smallwood
It looks like Small Business Saturday is here to stay. The annual shopping holiday that encourages consumers to "shop small" at local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving achieved record numbers this year. Created in 2010 by American Express to help small businesses increase sales during the holidays, this year's event broke all previous records. The cause for the uptick in numbers is multifold, according to spokeswoman Nicole Leinbach Reyhle.
Convenience Store Decisions
COLLOQUY recently conducted a survey of 1,500 Americans nationwide to see how consumer attitudes about how raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour may affect their overall shopping experience. Nearly six out of 10 American consumers say they are justified in expecting better service to accompany a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour. But an even greater number, seven out of 10, doubt they'll get it. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Convenience Store News
Foodservice will take center stage for convenience stores in 2017, predicts King-Casey, a retail consulting and design firm for the C-store industry.
"Innovative c-stores — such as Sheetz and American Natural — have led the way in improving their food and foodservice offerings," said King-Casey principal Tom Cook. "Now the rest of the industry has noticed, with the result that foodservice will be the primary area of focus for C-stores looking to build their brands and bottom lines."
Convenience Store Decisions
Today's shoppers place high value on convenience and seamless shopping experiences, according to "What's in Store 2017," the latest edition of the annual trends publication from the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, and What's in Store Online, a collection of more than 150 downloadable graphs and tables, as well as links to white papers and trends articles.
CSP Daily News
On the heels of opening Amazon Go, a small-format physical location that eliminates checkouts with technology, the online retail giant is denying media reports that it will open as many as 2,000 brick-and-mortar convenience stores or grocery stores. As reported in a McLane/CSP Daily News Flash, "It's absolutely not correct." Amazon spokesperson Pia Arthur said in a statement provided to CSP, "We have no plans to open 2,000 of anything. Not even close. We are still learning."
Convenience Store News
The future looks bright for alternative fuels, but to capitalize on the available opportunities, suppliers and retailers alike need to keep a close eye on market conditions and consumer demands. This was just one of the issues discussed at the third-annual Convenience Store News Alternative Fuels Summit, held Dec. 6-7.
CSP Daily News
Following discussions with merchants and other parties, Visa and MasterCard both announced Dec. 1 that they are extending their deadlines for convenience stores and other gasoline retailers to install Europay, MasterCard and Visa technology to process the new chip-based credit cards and debit cards at the pump. In October 2015, the liability for fraudulent transactions from inside the store shifted from Visa and MasterCard to the retail location. The same liability shift takes place outside at the fuel dispensers Oct. 1, 2017.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Information, Tickets and Travel department is offering Honolulu City Lights tours throughout the month of December. The tours take patrons on a festive ride to see the holiday displays at Honolulu Hale. Tickets can be purchased through any ITT office.
The Huffington Post
The federal government has partially shut down. And National Institutes of Health employees, National Park Service employees, nonessential congressional employees and all federal employees deemed nonessential are furloughed.
At the eleventh hour Sept. 27, the House and Senate unanimously passed the Pay Our Military Act. A bill with bipartisan support is rare these days, but don't be fooled. This was a trick!
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063