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Army Dad Blog by Tim Blake - Army Male Spouse

Army Dad image Army Dad is a blog by Tim Blake (Army Male Spouse). 

From Army Dad:

"I'm a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children. I am the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel. I do my best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities. I enjoy playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow me on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007."

3722 Views | 138 Likes


Posted in Blog



Blue Star Families Hosting Holiday Luncheon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Spread the word: If you know any Wounded Warrior families, please let them know that on December 16th, Blue Star Families will be hosting a Holiday Luncheon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. There will be food, fesitivities, and fun (plus presents for the kiddos :) 

Where: Walter Reed Medical Center, Wounded Warrior Café, Building 62
When: December 16, 2012 from 11:30-2:30

RSVP by phone (434.205.4435) or email (tross@bluestarfam.org) 
by December 10, 2012. If you are bringing children, please RSVP with their age and gender.

1853 Views | 63 Likes


Posted in Blog



image for Thoughts on Command Pt 1

Thoughts on Command Pt 1

TimFamily.jpgFellow male spouse Tim Blake has a new post on his Army Dad Blog, "Thoughts on Command Pt 1."   Army Dad is a blog by Tim Blake, a stay at home dad (sahd) who raises four beautiful children.  He is the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel and does his best to keep up with the kids and their activities.  In his free time, he enjoys playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project.  You can connect with him on twitter @ArmySpouse007.

TimBlog.jpg

1396 Views | 125 Likes


Posted in Blog



image for 365 Days/180 Degrees

365 Days/180 Degrees

ChangeSign.jpgMarch 25th 2014, the day I sent Dana off on a seven-month deployment, was a low point in my life. I vividly remember the emptiness and sorrow in my heart as I watched her walk down the jetway, away from her family…away from me. I also remember how incredibly difficult it was to maintain composure while giving a TV interview just as Dana walked out of sight, it was all I could do to hold back tears. I struggled to hold myself together long enough to walk back to my car before breaking down in tears. Many of us have been to this dark, empty place before; it's definitely a low point for many military marriages.

1661 Views | 190 Likes


Posted in Bloggers



image for Macho Spouse - The Name

Macho Spouse - The Name

chris-02.jpgAs our organization continues to grow and gains more attention from new people, I've learned that there is some confustion about our name.  In fact, I have been asked multiple times if our name, “Macho Spouse,” represented a sexist, homophobic point of view. My response to those questions is a simple, no.  Actually, the initial response is laughter and surprise with a slight dash of sorrow.  This perception is mostly my fault for not spending enough time explaining the meaning behind our name as we grow, leaving others to define “Macho Spouse” for us.  I chose our name after careful thought, consideration, and research.  I wanted a name that could illustrate our lifestyle while making people smile. I mean, if we can't have a laugh at some of the gender-reversed situations we find ourselves in, then we're taking life too seriously.

Macho Spouse represents a male spouse who has enough self-confidence in his masculinity to cook dinner, clean the house, wash the laundry, and take care of his children while his wife is away in combat.  We don't care what your race, religion, sex, or sexual preference is, if you're a military spouse who lives with honor and commitment to your family, you're a Macho Spouse and are always welcome here.

I appreciate your time and support, please help us by joining our conversation...or buying a shirt!  I hope this helps better explain who we are and what our name symbolizes. Now I must run along and kick something because I just learned my wife is deploying again.



Sincerely,

Chris Pape and the Macho Spouse Team

1617 Views | 142 Likes


Posted in Bloggers



image for Take Your Smoothie & Suck It

Take Your Smoothie & Suck It

SmoothieFlag.jpgSo this post on Stars and Stripes is currently making the rounds on social media and is kicking up quite a bit of dust. Historically I'm a sucker for these types of “opinion pieces” primarily because I love reading the comments, and the follow-up commentary on this post didn't disappoint. However, most people seemed to have missed Mr. Duffy's thinly veiled insult to military family members; as well as, a very lousy marketing and public relations policy.

7062 Views | 3209 Likes | 1 Comments


Posted in Bloggers



image for Active-Duty Dad

Active-Duty Dad

EverettDaughter-220.jpgIf we string Webster Dictionary's definitions of "active," "duty," and "dad" together we get "active dad dutifully taking care of his child(ren).

All too often I find myself watching dads who are disengaged with their children.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that there may be extenuating circumstances that I cannot see.  The Dad may be tired, just come off a long shift of work, not feeling good, or just plain needs a break. I can understand that and I've been there too. By the same token we still need to be active in the rearing of our kids.  Taking the time to be the example of how to interact with the world.  We need to put the cell phones down, stop checking Facebook or emails.  I'll also take into account the physical limitations placed on folks too.  We may not be as flexible in movement as we once were, but we can still try. 

1789 Views | 128 Likes





image for Advice for the New

Advice for the New 'Mr. Mom'

Winegar_2.jpgFor guys, staying at home with the kids can be unchartered territory. I think every stay at home dad approaches his role differently, and he conducts a lot of discovery learning to figure out what works best for him and his family. For this reason, I comprised a list of key points to advise fathers who are stepping into the role of "Mr. Mom." Although every family is different, I have to imagine seasoned stay at home dads will find my list relevant and in the ballpark of what to expect. If someone had given me a list like this nine years ago, it would have been helpful. Feel free to share your experiences and add some points that I didn't include to this discussion:

2037 Views | 112 Likes





image for From Breadwinner to Stay-at-Home Dad

From Breadwinner to Stay-at-Home Dad

brodniakfamily.jpgBy Aaron Brodniak

My journey as a military spouse began shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Within a week my wife was recalled into the U.S. Coast Guard and working as a sea marshal boarding ships and performing inspections. At that time, I was the primary breadwinner of the family and had a job as a regional brewer.

Initially my wife's return to active duty was an easy transition since her first duty station didn't require us to move. That soon changed and less than a year later we were assigned to a duty station that led to me leaving my job.

My first challenges were house hunting and trying to figure out what to do with my time. In my adult life I had served in the Coast Guard and then worked in the private sector; this was my first time not having a job outside the house. Since we were expecting our first child, we decided it made more sense financially for me to stay home and finish up my bachelor's degree before my G.I. Bill expired.

2641 Views | 108 Likes





image for Movers - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Movers - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Winegar_2.jpgIn the 13 years my wife and I have been married, my wife has also been in the Army. We have moved a total of eight times. As I post this topic, we are in the process of moving again. Our next stop will be Fort Knox, Kentucky. We are excited about this new location and have heard many good things about Fort Knox. But, we will certainly miss the friends we have made here at Fort Hood. As with any PCS (Permanent Change of Station), we currently have movers packing all our items. Moving is always interesting when dealing with the movers, and this time is no exception. Before I begin talking about our current PCS, however, I need to tell you all about a few previous moves. I would also love to hear your stories...the good, bad, and ugly.

1979 Views | 93 Likes





image for Children and Technology

Children and Technology

Max Winegar

If I asked a group of people that ranged in age if they would like to play a game of “PIG” or “HORSE” outside (and I had a basketball in my hand), how many would know what I was talking about? You might be surprised that some children might ask, “You want us to make pig or horse noises as we shoot hoops?” Some of you may laugh, but this was an honest question from some of the neighborhood children that come over to play with my kids.

Through my studies in education and working with students in classrooms, technology certainly brings a new perspective to learning. Students not only have the ability to research topics instantly through the use of the internet, but they can also talk to other students in different countries, take virtual field trips to museums that are in other cities, and write or edit papers quickly.

1969 Views | 240 Likes





image for Help for Male Military Spouse Dads at National At-Home Dad Network

Help for Male Military Spouse Dads at National At-Home Dad Network

logo_NAHDN-horiz.gifWe know that many our visitors here at Macho Spouse are dads - some working and some stay-at-home-dads - who are looking for answers to the question "How do I do this?" We are constantly looking for resources to help all male military spouses and we are happy to share a great online resource for dads.

Help is available for male military spouse dads at the National At-Home Dad Network. All dads can learn from this online resource that provides support, education and advocacy for fathers who are the primary caregivers of their children.

1729 Views | 77 Likes





image for Being Dad

Being Dad

EverettDaughter.jpgNever really thought about that word “dad” until I became one; however, I focus more on it now than ever before. I find that the word “dad” means more to me today because my own father wasn't there for me when I was growing up, and he's still not around, not even for his own granddaughter. Yes, the word “dad” means more to me now than ever. My ability to be a good father comes from more than one source, and the fact that I choose not to be like my old man is a great motivator. My dad left by way of divorce when I was just seven. There was no custody battle and he was given every opportunity to see his children. Yet he still chose not to be around.

3194 Views | 198 Likes





image for Carpe Diem!

Carpe Diem!

EverettDaughter-220.jpgCarpe Diem is the Latin term for seize the day.  I've seen on social media, and the news, some folks complaining about the “would've/could've” aspect of their life.  Far too often people talk about things they wish they could have or should have done.  Being married to the military, I find myself slipping into that trap more and more often because my wife's Navy career can keep me from pursuing certain passions.

1895 Views | 81 Likes





image for Living OCONUS

Living OCONUS

Winegar_2.jpgNot too long ago, a Facebook friend and fellow military spouse posted how much she missed living in the U.S. We had a three year overseas assignment several years ago, and so I could relate to this post. I remember missing “home” too. 

Personally, our family had the opportunity to live in Germany for three years.  We visited many wonderful countries and I would not trade that opportunity for anything, but we also missed Texas, our friends and family.  Since we had a house on the economy, many times I would take our daughter to places like “The Kids Zone” (think “Chuck E. Cheese”) and we enrolled her in activities on post, such as ballet and soccer.  One of the biggest opportunities living overseas offered to us was for our daughter to enroll in German Kindergarten at age three.  She had a great time and quickly picked up the language (but even with proactive efforts and good intentions, maintaining those skills in the US is very difficult).

1662 Views | 64 Likes





image for Parents with Disabilities

Parents with Disabilities

PattMSShirt_New.jpgI recently came across an article that really made me stop and think "Could this really happen?" then it became "Oh Wait... They are talking about a Family like mine." 

 

The Article I am talking about is a post from MrDad.com answering a a Veterns question "My husband and I both have disabilities. He is blind and I suffer from a traumatic brain injury I received serving in Iraq. I'm pregnant and we're due in about a month. We were both so excited, but a friend told us that there's a chance we could lose custody of the baby because we both have disabilities. Now, instead of looking forward to becoming parents, we're both in a panic. Is that true? If so, what can we do?"

1634 Views | 96 Likes





image for Smartphone Use By Parents

Smartphone Use By Parents

PattMSShirt_edited.jpgWe know many of us use smartphones for several hours through the day for either work, study or play.  mrdad.com recently had a blog post about a smartphone study. 

 

Many a parent has turned to a smartphone or tablet during a restaurant outing with children. How does this mobile device use affect parent-child interactions?

1564 Views | 140 Likes





image for The Busy Life of an Army Family

The Busy Life of an Army Family

TimBlog.jpgThe last several weeks have been non stop for our family.  There have been trips, sports events, family visits, etc. It seems like there is a never ending stream of things to do and places to be.  I find it hard to imagine a stretch of more than a few days where we have nothing planned. Take this week, for example.  Yesterday, my oldest had a football game, while at the same time our battalion (for which I play) was in the championships of the base racquetball league. Somehow, my wife and I managed to cover down on both, all the while dragging three other kids along for the ride.  Tonight is not much different. The battalion has its Halloween party while my oldest is again at a football event (this time playing in the band). Add to that our martial arts class (which I teach).  I can envision my head hitting the pillow tonight and my eyes closing quickly afterwards.  And this isn't the last of it this week.  Friday night there is a school Fall Festival while one of the kids has to be out of town at a different school event.  At least the price of gas is going down...

For the rest of the story, visit Tim's blog at: http://armyspouseami.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-busy-life-of-army-family.html

 

About the Author:  Tim currently lives in San Angelo, TX and is a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children.  He is the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel who does his best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities.  He enjoys playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow him on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007.

1418 Views | 132 Likes





image for Making It Through A Deployment

Making It Through A Deployment

Winegar_2.jpgIf I were to offer any advice to a military spouse either preparing for or experiencing their first deployment, I would tell them four things.

First, turn off the news! As a spouse, naturally, you worry. The media certainly does not help you out. Occasionally, I would watch the news or see internet headlines that just “grab you” to make you read. But, this really is a balancing act. If you have the news on all day, you will end up making yourself sick!

2025 Views | 90 Likes


Posted in Deployments



image for Military Spouse Scholarships

Military Spouse Scholarships

MSEI Logo.jpgThe Military Spouse Education Initiative (MSEI) has done an incredible job of compiling a list of Spouse Clubs & private organizations who are, or will be, offering scholarships for spouses & kids.  There are over 40 locations that represent over 20 states, please follow the link to learn more.

http://www.milspouseeducation.org/scholarships

Below is the basic list, click on the MSEI link above to find more information on each opportunity.

 

 

2063 Views | 133 Likes


Posted in Education



image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #10

30 Ways of Thanks Day #10

30Still.jpgYesterday we shared a way to "thank" our military family members by helping with their pets, today we ask you to remember the military children.

 

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

1346 Views | 141 Likes


Posted in Get Involved



image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #8

30 Ways of Thanks Day #8

30Still.jpgMilitary kids face some unique challenges, and sometimes a great teacher makes all the difference. Say thanks to the teachers taking care of our military children!

 

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

Posted in Get Involved



image for I Will SAVE America

I Will SAVE America

JoshPicCrop2.jpgDid you know a total of 66% of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight, with a whopping 34% of those being obese.  And did you know that a little over 9 million children in America are overweight or obese?  Can you believe that a total of $1.7 trillion dollars goes toward treating overweight Americans annually?

Let's take a look at what happens to your body when you are overweight/obese.  If you “live” in this category, the door is open for you to have many different types of health problems that include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and certain types of cancer.  All of which lead to a shortened life expectancy and a decreased quality of life.

1436 Views | 128 Likes


Posted in Health



image for How Do I Shop for New Health Insurance Coverage?

How Do I Shop for New Health Insurance Coverage?

OK, here is an important topic USAA wrote about a few months ago and we obtained permission to re-post on Macho Money.  For those of you who are new to the military, you will receive your health insurance from Tricare.  Tricare is offered to all active duty members and their dependents.  Once your active duty spouse retires, your family is eligible for Tricare For Life.  However, if you guys decide to separate from the military before retirement qualifications are met, you aren't eligible for Tricare.  At this point the VA may be an option, but there are specific eligibility requirements so not everyone will qualify...plus the VA doesn't cover dependents.  So, for many of us, the pain of shopping for health insurance is inevitable.

 

Health insurance coverage is available to more Americans than ever under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created a marketplace of plans with a range of costs and benefits.

But before you start shopping around, it's wise to think about your needs and budget to find the best plan for you and your family.

Here's how to weigh your health insurance coverage options:

Posted in Macho Money



image for The Advantages of Being an Active Duty Entrepreneur

The Advantages of Being an Active Duty Entrepreneur

JasonAnderson.jpgThe Assumption:

At the basic level, I think it is safe to say that human beings fundamentally get tremendous satisfaction out of creating something that is uniquely their own. I personally think this spirit is at the core of all human beings. I see this everyday in my own children when they develop their arts and crafts and proudly show my wife and I the bounty of the effort they put in. As we grow older, graduate from high school, college (or both) and enter the work force, we become part of an organization. While jobs vary widely (as does job satisfaction!), an objective person walking into any organization can see that waning passion is not an uncommon theme. I often wonder if that lack of passion is the cumulative result of getting farther away from your own interests and passions over time.

1914 Views | 129 Likes


Posted in Macho Money



image for 2014 Macho Spouse of the Year

2014 Macho Spouse of the Year

MACHOSOYFINAL.jpgThe 2nd Annual Macho Spouse of the Year Award is given to a male military spouse who dedicates himself to the betterment of his family, neighbors, and everyone around him.  The 2014 competition had several very deserving men, but two really grabbed our attention: Chris Corbin and Joey Trotta.

Chris Corbin is an Air Force spouse currently living in Minot...hey why not Minot? Not only is he a dad to two young kids, but he also works at the base thrift store, works with the squadron booster club, and has been voted the new president of the Officer's Spouses Club on base. Oh yeah, he's also training to compete in his first 70.3 Ironman race next month.

Joey Trotta is a Navy spouse currently living in the DC area and he has three children, one of which has leukemia. Raising three children with an active duty spouse is hard enough, but toss in the challenges of leukemia and many guys would shut down, not Joey. Joey made himself into and educator and advocate. He donates so much of his time to childhood cancer awareness either in the children oncology ward at Bethesda Naval Hospital or on the steps of the Washington monument during childhood cancer awareness week.

 

1849 Views | 89 Likes





image for New Military Spouse Book Offers Insight From a Few of Us Male Spouses!

New Military Spouse Book Offers Insight From a Few of Us Male Spouses!

(St. Paul, MN)—Award-winning independent publisher Elva Resa Publishing is pleased to announce the October 2014 release of Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life, a collection of personal stories from more than forty military family writers, including spouses, parents, children, and service members.  (make sure you check out the list of authors guys...a few of us are represented in this group!)

From poignant to practical, tragic to humorous, these candid conversations shed heartfelt insight on many aspects of military life. Some subjects, such as deployment, reunion, combat injury, post-traumatic stress, and frequent moves, specifically reflect the military lifestyle. Writers also explore topics common to both military and civilian families, including marriage, education, parenting, friendship, faith, finances, depression, infertility, and grief, and how military life influences the experience.

1307 Views | 87 Likes


Posted in Male Spouse 101



image for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Including the Children

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Including the Children

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC).  In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles from post-traumatic stress.  In this fifth segment, Dr. Lind discusses the importance of including one's own children in the healing process.  Depending on the symptoms, children can learn valuable life lessons from watching, monitoring, and even participating in PTS rehabilitation.

1648 Views | 91 Likes





image for Quick Hitter - Helping Kids Cope with Deployments

Quick Hitter - Helping Kids Cope with Deployments

In this "Quick Hitter" video on Helping Kids Cope with Deployments, we have a tough question from an anonymous male military spouse that Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) answers.

"What is the best thing to do for a child that won't calm down from missing the parent that is deployed? I tried cuddling him and just being there but didn't really seem to help."

1877 Views | 11 Likes





image for Quick Hitter - Mutual Appreciation

Quick Hitter - Mutual Appreciation

With all the stresses and demands in our daily lives, we sometimes forget about showing appreciation to the ones we love most.  A simple, heart-felt compliment, or "thank you," can go a long way to keeping your marriage healthy and strong.  In this "Quick Hitter" video, Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), talks about the importance of sharing mutual appreciation in any relationship.

1714 Views | 126 Likes





image for Man-to-Man with Patrick Donaldson

Man-to-Man with Patrick Donaldson

Patrick Donaldson Man-to-Man Video2013 Military Spouse of the Year candidate, Patrick Donaldson sits down with Macho Spouse to share his story and offer some relationship advice to young military families.  Patrick is an Australian native who is happily married to an active duty Navy sailor.  Patt's career as a professional chef was cut short due to a back injury, but that hasn't stopped him from spending long hours volunteering for Operation Paws for Homes, the Children's Tumor Foundation, and Macho Spouse.  We think by the end of this video, you will feel the same way about Patt as we do...he's just a cool guy to be around.

3433 Views | 153 Likes





MSEJ - Military Service Employment Journal, November 2012

MSEJ-201211.jpgCheck out the November 2012 Military Service Employment Journal from MSCCN.

Career Advice: Do you look at yourself as a business? If you want a successful business, you first have to have a business plan. The same rules apply to a career plan you should apply to your "Professional Self".

Portable Careers: Tired of Changing Careers? Try just moving it! What is the definition of a portable career? A portable career is a career in which you are not bound to stay in one location. It's a career that allows you the freedom to decide where you want to live, be it a new city, a new state, or a new country! It's a job that goes and grows with you.

As a military spouse, you are not guaranteed to be in the same place for a long time. Duty calls, not just for the service member, but for the entire family. The spouse is the one that needs to be able to hold it all together and keep things running right.

Once you get a job, you dread the day that you have to walk into your boss's office and explain to him that orders have come in for your entire family, because that's the way it is. Your children have to say goodbye to their schools, friends, teachers, and you have to say goodbye to your friends, co-workers, and job. But why say goodbye? Wouldn't it be better to say “Out of the office, will be back in a week”?

2166 Views | 184 Likes


Posted in MSCCN



Virginia Wounded Warrior Program Healthy Families Retreat April 26 thru 28

Healthy Families RetreatHere's an event for your military family that you may want to check out. The Virginia Wounded Warrior Program is inviting military familieas and veteran families to the Healthy Families Retreat this April 26 thru 28. This is a great opportunity for families to learn and play together while gaining skills to help foster resilience.

Posted in News



2013 MOAA Spouse Symposium Recap

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)Lucky number seven. That's what this year's annual MOAA spouse symposium was – though it was a lot more than luck that made the day great. It was the 300 military spouses from across the Pacific Northwest who made the cold trek through Seattle-Tacoma traffic to spend a day at MOAA's 7th Annual Military Spouse Symposium. Here's what we learned, what made us cry, what made us laugh, and who made a special appearance.

1201 Views | 96 Likes


Posted in News



CFPB Changes Stay-at-Home Spouse Rule

The federal government's consumer watchdog has changed a regulation to make it easier for stay-at-home parents and others who don't work to be approved for new credit cards.

Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a regulation change to allow card companies to consider financial support from other people when evaluating a consumer's credit-card application. It changes a 2011 regulation under which banks were allowed to consider only the applicant's income.

The 2011 regulation and its more accommodating new version both grew out of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. Its underlying purpose was to clamp down on students getting cards and racking up debt they couldn't repay, and it required individuals applying for credit to demonstrate an ability to repay what they borrowed.

As originally written, though, the regulation had a side-effect impacting more than students: Its "ability to repay" language meant that anyone who relied on someone else's income -- including stay-at-home parents or spouses who are divorced and don't work -- suddenly had a harder time being approved for credit cards and building credit histories in their own names.

"Stay-at-home spouses or partners who have access to resources that allow them to make payments on a credit card can now get their own cards," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in announcing the rule change.  The agency proposed the change in October 2012, calling it a common-sense move.

Instead of just an individual's income, issuers can now consider broader measures, such as "available income" or "accessible income." Previously an issuer could not consider household income -- which used to be widely used on credit-card applications -- without confirming how much money the applicant has access to in order to pay bills. The changes apply to people 21 and older. 

1271 Views | 77 Likes


Posted in News Headlines



Hiring Our Heroes helps military spouses

DVIDS

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Spouses of service members are often faced with unique challenges like raising children while their partner is deployed and frequent relocation each time the next permanent change of station come around. Focus is placed on the service member's career, leaving the spouse's employment aspirations to be placed on the back burner. Programs like Hiring Our Heroes not only work toward finding meaningful employment for veterans, but for spouses as well.

1182 Views | 57 Likes


Posted in News Headlines



Looking for an alternative to the Stay-at-home dad label

Do Stay-at-home Dads (SAHDs) need a title? Anne-Marie Slaughter, over at The Atlantic, argues that dads who are the family's primary caretakers need a word to describe them that makes "male caregiving attractive to men" and makes it "cool."

From The Atlantic:

We need a new vocabulary to describe men who choose to be at home as caregivers all or part of the time. In my last post I linked to Abigail Rine's description of her "feminist housedude," a term that is catchy but unlikely to spread beyond the hipper spots on the West coast. Mr. Mom is obviously out, as is househusband. Stay-at-home dad is neutral but not exactly enticing.

One alternative is the phrase that a number of men are using, calling themselves "work-at-home" dads. Most of them mean that they are working on income-generating projects out of the home while also taking care of kids, but we use work-at-home mothers and work-at-home fathers for any parents who are not actually going into an office, whether they are working for pay or not? Or we could try to ignore gender altogether and call men or women spending time at home caring for children, aging parents, or any other family member needed care full-time or part-time caregivers, while calling anyone who works for pay, whether from home or an office, a full-time or part-time breadwinner.

Posted in News Headlines



image for PTSD in the Family

PTSD in the Family

The following article on PTSD was written by American Military University faculty member, Craig Gilman.

June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that “PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, but it can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that susceptibility to the disorder may run in families.”

Male spouses should note that statistics indicate their female spouses are more likely to develop PTSD than men. All parents should realize that children are susceptible, as well. Visit the NIMH PTSD site for a comprehensive overview of the causes, symptoms, treatments and tips for living with PTSD. If you suspect a loved one might suffer from PTSD, professional diagnosis and counseling should be strongly pursued.   

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image for Supporting the Military Child During Summer PCS

Supporting the Military Child During Summer PCS

AMUNewA.jpgBy Craig Gilman
Faculty Member at American Military University

Are you on the move?  Summer is a time of transition and change for the military child.  For many service members and their families, summer is the time when permanent changes of duty station (PCS) occur.  While there is often excitement about moving to a new location, there is also a tremendous amount of stress.  This can be especially true for the children of military families who often both suffer the sadness of leaving their old friends, school, jobs and community behind and deal with the anxiety of establishing themselves when arriving at their new home.

1350 Views | 87 Likes


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image for S.A.H.D. Josh Vittetoe (Air Force)

S.A.H.D. Josh Vittetoe (Air Force)

How my wife and I met. A little about our life and how I started my own business!

My name is Josh Vittetoe. I am 27 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife Jennifer Vittetoe who is 24 for almost 7 years. We have two boys who are Jack (6 months) and Tannar (5 years). We are currently stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.

My wife has been in the Air Force for 3 years and is a Senior Airman. She is deploying in a coulpe weeks for the first time.

1807 Views | 84 Likes