The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 69 AFSA NEWS Recognizing FS Children for Their Sacrifices In today’s Foreign Service, employees are frequently separated from their immediate families while on overseas assignments, typically because the State Department deems an over- seas post too dangerous for family members. Separa- tions create hardships for all members of the family, but can be especially difficult for children. In 2006, to acknowledge the sacrifice that children make when their parents serve at an unaccompanied post, the Family Liaison Office created the Children’s Medals and Certificates of Recognition program. Through this program FLO arranges for the pre- sentation of more than 500 medals and personalized certificates, signed by the Secretary of State, to For- eign Service children every year. Children can receive awards from family mem- bers, at school celebrations, from local public officials or at community events. Farouk Khan, who recently completed an unaccompa- nied tour, asked his con- gressman to present the awards to his children at their school in New York (see photo). Says Khan, “A huge thank you to my wife Rosemary for the stability and support she provided to me and our children during my unac- companied tour.” The program is available to all foreign affairs agency employees (Department of State, USAID, Commerce, Agriculture, APHIS and the Broadcasting Board of Gov- ernors) serving permanent change of station or long- term temporary duty assign- ments at posts designated “unaccompanied” or limited accompanied. All eligible Foreign Service, Civil Service and Locally Employed staff employees may submit a nomination. For more information or to nominate a child, go to Email questions to FLOAskUT@ n —Ilene Smith, Unaccompanied Tours Support Officer, Family Liaison Office U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) presents the Unaccompanied Tours certificate and medals to the children of Foreign Service Officer Farouk Khan. Pictured from left to right are Sameer Khan, Rep. Suozzi, Nadia Khan and mom Rosemary Khan. After the Equifax Breach: What You Can Do If there’s any silver lining to take away from the recent Equifax security breach, it’s the increased awareness of credit freezing—an option offered as part of the Equifax response, free of charge. AFSA knows that concern over security breaches like these has been high since the 2015 announcements of two Office of Personnel Manage- ment data breaches.While we’re unable to give specific financial advice, we do want to make sure our members are aware of all the options available to them—especially those available overseas. While credit monitoring has seemingly become a con- sumer standard, the relatively low-cost option of freezing one’s credit when not expect- ing to use it for making large purchases or securing loans has emerged as an alterna- tive. It is an option that gives the consumer greater control over when their credit can be accessed. Credit freezing has been endorsed by Chi Chi Wu, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center, as the most effective mea- sure for protecting against identity theft, provided that it is applied to all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). A decision about whether to freeze one’s credit must take into account personal lifestyle and short-term credit needs, so we encour- age our members to consult respected guidance, such as that offered by the Con- sumer’s Union or Ron Leibe r’s Sept. 28, 2017 “Your Money” column in The NewYork Times . Should you decide that a credit freeze is the best choice for you, it’s as easy as visiting the following sites to ensure the freeze is effective across all credit bureaus: • https://freeze.transunion. com/sf/securityFreeze/land ingPage.jsp • https://www.freeze.equi PersonalIDInfo.jsp • https://www.experian. com/freeze/center.html n FAROUKKHAN