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Tag Results for military spouse of the year

Posts: 130 items(s) found

FRG Key Spouse Question

Hey guys, here's a question from fellow male spouse Dave Etter. Anyone have some input?

 
 

Dave Etter to Macho Spouse - Male Military Spouses

OK, gentlemen, different direction on this question: what have your frg/key spouse/ombudsman done to try and get you, the man spouse, to participate? Details and reactions, please....

Posted in Blog

Jeremy Hilton, 2012 Male Military Spouse of the Year, Talks with Veterans United Network

Jeremy Hilton was recently named the 2012 Military Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse Magazine. (www.baseguide.com) It's the first time a male has been honored.

Jeremy is the father of two. He is not only a Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD) while his wife is deployed with the Air Force but he is also caring for a special needs child.

A Navy veteran himself, Jeremy talked about the resources out there for spouses serving at home while their loved one is deployed. He mentioned Macho Spouse (machospouse.com) was particularly helpful.

Posted in Blog

Male Military Spouse Resiliency

The Association of the United States Army has a great article that you should check out.

Resiliency: Male military spouse style features Wayne Perry talking about how male military spouses are finding ways to build resilient communities. Macho Spouse is one such community.

Posted in Blog
image for Male Military Spouses: We Need Your Help!

Male Military Spouses: We Need Your Help!

According to whatever stats you want to view at any particular time, we as male military spouses are still small in number, relative to the total number of military spouses. You don't have to look far to know that the challenges we face are great. Facing the challanges alone is no fun. That's why we need your help, whether you're just starting out, or you're a 15-year-plus male military spouse veteran.

A few months back, I was looking for a ways to help male spouses and I stumbled upon a Macho Spouse video. I called Chris Pape and asked him how I could help. Using what I know as a web developer and IT consultant, I immediately began working with Chris to develop this website as an online community for male military spouses.

Posted in Blog
image for The State of Macho Spouse & Where I

The State of Macho Spouse & Where I've Been

MSOYMECrop.jpgWell, it's been a while since I've contributed any meaningful content to Macho Spouse and I owe everyone an explanation. No, I haven't decided to hang it up and retire, not yet anyway, quite the opposite really.

As some of you already know, last February I was named the Armed Forces Insurance Air Force Spouse of Year, as well as, the AETC (Air Education Training Command) level Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of Year. Being recognized by so many people for the work we've done building a resource for male military spouses was incredibly humbling and an absolute honor. What a great way to start the year!

However, I wasn't prepared for the amount of effort and time each of those distinctions would demand. The time I normally spent creating videos and/or blog posts for Macho Spouse was dedicated to new speaking engagements, interviews, articles for other websites and publications, and even a chance to author a small portion of, Stories Around the Table, Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life.

I had multiple opportunities to speak at many Air Force functions and present Macho Spouse (along with the plight of male military spouses) to the highest levels of civilian and military leadership. Hell, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs coined me! (To my high school counselor who 26 years ago called me a "flake", you were wrong...so suck it.)

Our message is slowly starting to gain traction and people of influence are listening, we just need to continue pushing forward.

Anyway, toss in the fact that my wife deployed in March and I was working a full time job, well, there wasn't much time for anything else.

Posted in Blog

2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium: The Scoop From Macho Spouse

Chris Pape at MOAA Spouse Symposium2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium: The Scoop From Macho Spouse was originaly written for MOAA Spouse Blog: Making it in the MilLife.

When I was asked to participate during this year's MOAA Spouse Symposium, I couldn't refuse. Sure I am insanely busy with work and my travel budget didn't include a 2900 mile trip to Tacoma, but these were the popular kids calling.

I felt like I was in elementary school all over again and the jocks just asked me to play football at recess, no way I would miss this opportunity. (Side note: The jocks did ask me to play football with them in elementary school where I torched Braden Kelly, the most popular kid in school, for an 80 yard touchdown run that day. Great memory.)

Not only would this event be great exposure for Macho Spouse, but it would help give male military spouses some “street cred” while hanging with a great organization at a visible event.

Posted in Blog
image for 2014 Macho Spouse of the Year

2014 Macho Spouse of the Year

The 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.

Posted in Blog
image for Buy American Beer!

Buy American Beer!

AaronB2.jpgAs we approach the 4th of July many of us will celebrate by grilling our favorite foods accompanied by the delicious elixir called beer. As the line-up of beers continues grow and spill into different parts of your local retailer (due to lack of shelf space for craft beer), I encourage you to consider the origins of your beer. Is your beer truly American or is it owned by a foreign company?
Although large brewers (i.e. AB InBev, MillerCoors) continue to brew in the U.S. and do provide jobs domestically, they are no longer American owned companies. This may be old news to many, however, there are still those that associate the larger beer brands with the stars and stripes.

Posted in Blog
image for Drink, Drank, Drunk: Wading Though Military Life

Drink, Drank, Drunk: Wading Though Military Life

There seems to be a common thread running through military sociability: booze. It's the thread that allows you to tie one on just about anytime. It's everywhere. At the Exchange, at the local Class Six…hell, you might even score some free booze from those distributors hosting tasting events throughout the year. Play your cards right, and you could be half in the bag before the sun even goes down.

When I first drive through the gates, there's always the sign telling me how many days it's been since the last alcohol related incident on post. And when that sign 'resets' back to 1, I'm always tempted to check it out: “Uh oh, what did (one of a handful of likely suspects) do now?” Thankfully, I've never triggered it myself. Yet.

Posted in Blog
image for The Importance of Protecting My Family More Than My Golf Balls

The Importance of Protecting My Family More Than My Golf Balls

ChrisDanaGolf.jpg“Don't hit it right. Don't hit it right. Take a deep breath…relax…that's it…listen to the birds cheerfully chirping, sounds of a distant lawnmower, a breeze gently moving leaves around the treetops…nice, smooth swing. No need to kill this ball…just hit it off the tee. AND DON'T HIT IT RIGHT!”

As I stand on the 14th tee box at the L'auberge Casino Resort golf course, I look down at my dirty, dinged-up golf ball and realize I'm griping my old 3-wood way too tight. I had to take a step back, re-focus my brain. How did I get to this moment? Well, I guess I had USAA to thank since they're the ones who helped my wife and I get out of town for a much needed break. But how did I get here, here on the 14th tee box with only one ball left in my bag? Was it my braggadocios attitude on hole two where I thought it would be fun to tee off over the water? (lost one ball) How about the long, beautiful par four, fifth fairway where I pulled two balls into the creek. And then again on hole six, another two into that same damn creek! (Come on L'auberge, why are all the water hazards to the left of these fairways!?) The par four seventh? Yep, another ball in the water, again to the left. And then we had gorgeous hole number nine, a fairway so picturesque it belongs on the cover of Golf Digest, where I surprisingly didn't hit the ball left into the water, I hit them to my right…into the water. (2 balls)

Posted in Blog
image for 5 Tips to a Successful Military Spouse Career Search

5 Tips to a Successful Military Spouse Career Search

You know, I started Macho Spouse because I couldn't find a job in my career field during our last PCS. Most of us military spouses have probably gone through similar depressing job-searches. But after two years of unemployment, here I am, back in the job market and gainfully employed. This time, however, I have a whole new appreciation for what it takes to land that next job. The following is a short list of what I learned during my latest employment drought.

Christopher Hillman - Secretary - Macho Spouse Career Advisement Board

Chris Hillman - SecretaryChristopher.Hillman@yahoo.com

Chris Hillman is the epitome of an amateur Renaissance man and has spent most of his days learning several fields. Since earning his undergraduate degree in Business Administration (American Intercontinental University) and a masters degree in Public Administration (National University), Chris has worked in logistics as a manager and trainer, spent time as a sous chef, was an assistant to the Director of Student Affairs at (Western University of Health Sciences) and worked as a freelance reference writer. He is also the co-founder and former Community Project Leader for Phoenix Rising, a non-profit organization created to help raise the GPAs of students from 1st - 12th grade and lower the drop out rate in L.A. County.

Posted in Career Panel

Glen C. Mixon - Macho Spouse Career Advisement Board

Glen Mixonn2dabluebbq@gmail.com

Glen Mixon is a Texas native who joined the US Army in 1988 as a Light Wheel Vehicle Mechanicwhere he met his future wife Jennifer, who had just enlisted in the US Air Force.  They married in 1990.  After honorably serving our nation for 4 years, Glen went on to attend Clovis Community College where he was awarded multiple scholarships, made the Dean's List and eventually earned a Certificate in Automotive Technology (1994).  All while supporting his active-duty Air Force wife and raising their one, and only, son Zachary. 

Posted in Career Panel
image for Vote for a Male Spouse as the 2016 Military Spouse of the Year

Vote for a Male Spouse as the 2016 Military Spouse of the Year

It's time to vote during the first round of the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year.  Voting is open today, and only today, for each of these deserving military spouses from all branches of service.  We would like to promote as many male military spouses in this competition as possible, but one truly stands out.  Our own Taurus James.  Taurus is a successful entrepreneur, loving Air Force husband, and proud father.  He's also the guy who built this website for us...for free.  We think out of the hundreds of high-quality candidates for this year's award, he stands the tallest.  So please help us promote Taurus through the ranks of this competition and vote now.

Vote for Taurus Here!

Posted in Community
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.

image for How would you feel if your child wanted to enlist in the military?

How would you feel if your child wanted to enlist in the military?

One of my Google alerts had the following article from Lifetime Moms (Lifetime - you know, the channel with all the dramas?...Oh, you don't know?).

Anyway, the post, Military Wife On The Mic: The Biggest Misconception About Military Life, has a video of Army wife and "Lifetime Mom", Angela Caban, at the 2013 Military.com Spouse Summit. In the video, Angela asks several military wives, "How would you feel if your child wanted to enlist in the military?" Since I know that most of you probably won't venture over to the Lifetime website, I decided to bring the question to you.

So, here is the question again for you male military spouses. How would you feel if your child wanted to enlist in the military?

image for Now That I

Now That I'm a SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad)... The Power of Being Present

SAHD - Stay-At-Home-Dad Taurus M. JamesNow that I'm a SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad), I'm taking the time to reflect on my journey by doing a little writing. As a male military spouse of a female active duty US Air Force officer, my approach to this "SAHD Life" is with the same basic question I have for making it through just about all of my experiences - "How do I do this?" I hope my attempts to share my answers to this question help at least one person out there.

Here's a post from my blog about The Power of Being Present in a child's life. This power is shared by moms and dads and it has been very helpful for me to remember this fact, especially when I can't see my efforts as a male military spouse and SAHD amounting to much.

(I like that Newsweek cover and the idea that it is time to rethink what it means to be masculine. However, I don't agree with all points in the original article. At Macho Spouse, here is part of our effort to help people rethink masculinity.) 

Judging from a lot of online discussions that I have read, it appears that there is still a novelty effect when it comes to dads staying home and being the primary caregiver for the kid(s) and taking care of the house. At the same time, I am seeing more Stay-At-Home-Dads (like myself) becoming more of a presence online.

image for SAHD Life: Being a Strong-And-Healthy-Dad

SAHD Life: Being a Strong-And-Healthy-Dad

james-family-220.jpgI get these "google alerts" every day, which are basically just articles and posts from around the web related to certain keywords I want to monitor. "SAHD" and "Stay-At-Home-Dad" are keywords I monitor and I have been getting a great deal of posts.

Much of the stuff that I'm seeing regarding SAHD is still in the "novelty" range, or the "Awww, that's cute" range. I also check out websites that give the spouse's perspective - you know, the women who live with these dudes. These sites are way more interesting to me than the talk about the latest television show depicting SAHDs.

Anyway, I haven't seen much about the health of SAHDs. In all of my monitors and in all of the web surfing I've done on the topic of SAHDs, I have not come across any health-related posts. I found that very interesting.

image for SAHD Life: Doing My Daughter

SAHD Life: Doing My Daughter's Hair for School

doing hair for school

As a male military spouse and Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD), learning to properly care for my daughter's hair has been a challenging and rewarding experience.

Doing my hair is simple. I've been cutting my own hair since my Air Force Academy days. I don't waste time worrying about my hair style anymore, I just shave it all off. I cut as low as my shears will allow me to and then I use my Norelco face shaver to shave the sides and back of my head. My haircuts are free and done in 15 minutes, but I could not imagine being able to perfect doing my daughter's hair in the same amount of time.

The big question for me used to be, "How do I do this?" How do I quickly do my daughter's hair in a way that looks nice and still allows me to get her to school on time?

image for SAHD Life: My First Daddy-Daughter Dance

SAHD Life: My First Daddy-Daughter Dance

Father-Daughter Sweetheart Ball - Picture Booth

The YMCA Adventure Guides Father-Daughter Sweetheart Ball was not on my radar until a good friend of mine told me how he takes his daughters each year. I thought, "Cool! You and your girls are really excited about this thing, huh?" When my wife started getting emails about the event, there was no controlling her excitement. She was even talking about renting a car for the night!

Yeah...

In case you didn't know (like me), a daddy-daughter dance allows dad an opportunity to set an example and standard for how his daughter should be treated on a date. It is also an opportunity for dad to build that special bond with his daughter and make special memories.

Okay, based on the description above, I tossed the whole daddy-daughter dance thing out the window because my daughter and dating don't even go together in a sentence. And I can build that special bond with my daughter at the creek - FISHING!

But I thought about the whole thing (I do a lot of thinking) and with my "try-almost-anything-once" attitude, I went all in.

That's right! I went to my first daddy-daughter dance AND I LOVED IT!

image for 25 Reasons Why an Infant is Like a Deployment

25 Reasons Why an Infant is Like a Deployment

ChrisFields.jpgTom Cruise took a great deal of heat a number of months back for suggesting that wrapping his film Oblivion was like returning from Afghanistan. And oh, did the howling begin in earnest. And while I know that he was trying to suggest that filming an action epic was physically demanding and mentally taxing, you just knew he picked the wrong metaphor to characterize his challenges.

(This is NOT Tom Cruise)


But there are at least one or two Cruise movies that you've enjoyed over the years, so you let it slide just this once, because you know it will never happen again. I ask that same level of charity and indulgence here…

 

image for Being Dad

Being Dad

Never 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.

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.

image for Living OCONUS

Living OCONUS

Not 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. 

image for Marine to SAHD: My 6 Rules for Twins

Marine to SAHD: My 6 Rules for Twins

As I stated in my introduction, I couldn't have been more wrong in my life about being bored. With twins everything is times two, sounds simple right? Not exactly.

I STRONGLY suggest to anyone who has twins to create a simple set of rules and follow them. For example, here are the rules I created for me and my girls:

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?"

image for SAHD Life: Are You a Sad-At-Holidays-Dad with Depression, Anxiety, Loneliness?

SAHD Life: Are You a Sad-At-Holidays-Dad with Depression, Anxiety, Loneliness?

When I was a boy, I loved the holidays. I had great anticipation and excitement during Christmas. I loved being with family and friends during Thanksgiving. Food, football and fellowship are what I looked forward to the most.

But then something happened. I didn't know exactly when, but I was definitely a grown-up at the time when I started dreading the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas became the worst times of the year for me. The things I loved about these holidays and anticipated as a boy, I hated as a man and a father.

image for Three Weeks in a TownePlace Suites by Marriott

Three Weeks in a TownePlace Suites by Marriott

When TownePlace Suites reached out and asked if I would be interested in writing a few blog posts about their hotels, I immediately said “yes.” I always enjoy reviewing products and services I've used and appreciate, plus TownePlace offered a few free nights for my efforts.  Pssst…don't tell them, but that really wasn't necessary.

How many of you have ever stayed in one of their hotels? My first experience with a TownePlace Suite was at the Colorado Springs South location near Peterson Air Force Base.  We were preparing to PCS from Peterson to Little Rock and had run into a slight problem selling our first house.  We sold it way too fast!  I know, I know…a great problem to have, but it was still a problem.  We had no place to stay while Dana waited for her official orders to leave and that was expected to take several weeks.  Since it was the start of “PCS season,” rooms were impossible to get on base, plus I was still working my civilian job and relocating to an on-base location would've been very inconvenient.  When Dana brought up the idea of an extended stay hotel, I admit to being pretty skeptical.  We have a dog.  We are clean freaks.  We like our own space.  We need convenience.  Creature comforts such as clean, soft bedding and strong water pressure are a must.  Moving from our house to basically an efficiency apartment was not my idea of comfort!

It didn't take long for us to find TownePlace Suites through a simple internet search; their south location looked good so we felt we should give them a try. Driving up to the property helped put me more at ease since the building and landscaping looked clean and well-kept, so well-kept in fact that before checking in I asked Dana if she was sure these guys welcomed pets. Not only did they welcome our dog Brutus, they actually appeared happy to see him! I immediately got a taste of the staff's friendly professionalism once they allowed us to inspect our room before booking. I guess since we were staying there for a few weeks they wanted to make sure we would be happy with the accommodations. To my surprise the room was bigger than I expected, the king-sized bed looked very clean and firm, the carpets were in great shape, the bathroom passed my cleanliness inspection ( including a water pressure test in the shower), and the kitchenette was complete with microwave, sink, and refrigerator. I didn't take photos, but the ones on their website are accurate.

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!

Posted in Deployment
image for When Homecoming is Not So Happy

When Homecoming is Not So Happy

Homecoming is great! Your spouse is finally coming home after a military deployment. You are finally going to be together again after spending so much time apart. But it is possible that the homecoming experience might not be so happy.
 
Military deployments present different situations which will affect families differently. The separation of the active duty military member from family can be a tough experience. The homecoming experience can be a tough one, too. But here are a few Tips Everyone Can Use To Welcome A Military Member Home.
Posted in Deployment
image for When She Comes Home

When She Comes Home

The following article was written for us by Ann Rayne, we found it very informative and full of solid advice.

When your loved one is away, it can be hard getting used to taking care of everything at home on your own. However, in some cases, their homecoming can be just as stressful as their absence.

Of course you want to help them enjoy their time off as much as possible, but sometimes, especially if you have little ones that require a lot of attention, there's no avoiding the stress of responsibilities that come with being home. You can get overwhelmed trying to find the balance between making their return home relaxing and incorporating them back into the daily routine. Also, they can get overwhelmed trying to take on their share while transitioning back into home life.

HuffingtonPost.com interviewed Sgt. First Class Kent Phyfe and his family to talk about the stress of homecoming. He said that while coming home is great, his wife doesn't deny that reintegrating him back into family life "is one of the hardest parts about being a military couple." He explained that the spouse at home has to be the mother and the father, taking over all the roles in the house. It can be difficult to release the duties at the drop of a hat to another person. While it's an issue that sounds trivial to those that don't experience it, it is actually quite straining on a couple.

 

Posted in Deployment
image for Do You Know Your American Flag Protocol?

Do You Know Your American Flag Protocol?

Did You Know?

Did you know that American Flag Protocol (or American flag etiquette) is actually part of federal law? It provides general guidelines to answer some common questions about how the American flag should be handled and displayed. Although it is federal law, there are no federal penalties imposed for failures to comply with the law. 

While stationed at Los Angeles AFB, I drove by this motel on the way to work one morning and I noticed that the US flag was flying upside down. People were entering and leaving the building as if nothing was wrong. So, I pulled in and asked one of the workers if everything was okay in the building and I notified him that they were dislaying the flag upside down. He said everything was cool and he fixed the flag immediately, but he didn't understand why I was asking if everything was okay. So I explained to him that a US flag flying or displayed upside down is a distress signal (extreme danger to life or property)

Did you know that a US flag flying or displayed upside down is a distress signal?

Posted in Did You Know
image for Do You Know Your Military Base Firearm Laws?

Do You Know Your Military Base Firearm Laws?

Military Base Firearm Laws can be confusing, especially when you end up living at two different military bases within one year, like I did. I own several guns and the first time I encountered military base firearm laws was during a PCS move when the movers asked me if my guns were registered on the base. My response..."Huh?"

Posted in Did You Know
image for Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

Did You Know?The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) provides military spouses the opportunity and financing to receive the training and education needed for portable careers that will persist during the military lifestyle of multiple relocations.

Posted in Did You Know
image for And the Winner Is...

And the Winner Is...

ScholarshipWinner.jpg(The video is a little blurry due to some military spouse appreciation happening last night, but you'll be able to clearly hear who was selected as this year's winner.)

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the first ever Macho Spouse Scholarship Give-a-Way presented by the Sonoran Desert Institute! This year, every MachoSpouse.com member had a chance to win a free Gunsmithing Scholarship from SDI's School of Firearms Technology. Only one could win, and that's what sucks because several guys have shown a TON of passion and interest in this line of education. If you didn't win (tiny violins playing), don't worry because you may still be eligible for free tuition through the MyCaa grants. We recommend contacting SDI for more information and help with that process. If MyCaa isn't your thing, or your not eligible, SDI offers quite a few eBooks on gunsmithing that you can download for FREE from their website. Here are two of the more popular ones:

http://www.schooloffirearmstechnology.net/workbench

http://www.schooloffirearmstechnology.net/shotgun-shells

Again, these are FREE! Plus, they have a great YouTube channel filled with tutorials and such, AND we will continue to promote different gunsmithing “How To” videos on our site. SDI is trying hard to take care of ALL of us! (applause from the gallery)

Congratulations again to this year's winner and we hope everyone has a great Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

Posted in Education

Military Spouse Education Foundation (MSEF)

Military Spouse Education FoundationThe [[EXLINK_16]] will launch in 2013 to establish a Military Service Grant for spouses who are excluded from the  Department of Defense's MyCAA program.

MSEF is founded on the belief that we are one community supporting one another regarding rank, branch, status, or educational status. After 11 years of war, our Post 9/11 era spouses deserve a program that compliments the challenges of military life rather than creates more obstacles.

Posted in Education
image for 10 Tips to Make a Portable Career as a Civilian Male Military Spouse

10 Tips to Make a Portable Career as a Civilian Male Military Spouse

As a new civilian male military spouse, you will come to a point when you will have to make a decision about your career. One tip on ho How to make a portable caree is: Think "Portable" at all times.

Portable Career: Forethought - Never An Afterthought

The reason I say "think portable" at all times is because you never want your career to be an afterthought. In other words, don't think of your career AFTER a PCS - after you have moved to your spouse's new duty station. Don't think of your career AFTER you decide to leave a position behind. Don't think of your career AFTER you have children.

Thinking about how to make your portable career  should be a 'forethought. You will be much better off if you think of how you can take your career with you "'fore" (before) military life happens.

Planning is key to success in all things, especially your life as a civilian male military spouse. Before things happen and before we take action, we plan. We think about possible outcomes before they come. Even when something unexpected happens, planning allows us to strategize how we will respond ahead of time.

Since a career (long-term) is not a job (short-term), you need to take along look at how you can make your career portable. Again, think "portable" - like a laptop or smartphone. This is important because I want you to see beyond "work from home" opportunities to seeing "work from ANYWHERE" opportunities. Remember that a portable career is one you can take with you wherever you go.

Posted in Employment
image for 5 Portable Careers for Civilian Male Military Spouses

5 Portable Careers for Civilian Male Military Spouses

Making a prtable career requires hard, smart work, but it is possible. There are plenty of guys who have made their careers portable. You can do it, too. Here are 5+ Portable Careers for Civilian Male Military Spouses.

Posted in Employment
image for Planning a Career as a Military Spouse?  Think Portability!

Planning a Career as a Military Spouse? Think Portability!

AMUNewA.jpgArticle by Craig Gilman, Faculty Member at American Military University

Joining the military means a life of training exercises and deployments away from home, not to mention periodic transfers with little choice of duty stations that can be found in countries half a world away. What comes with all that is a career, even if only for a few years, that provides opportunities for personal growth and satisfaction, professional challenge and reward, career development, and leadership opportunities that build a stronger resume.

Becoming a military spouse is a different story. In addition to the unpredictability of the military lifestyle and, often, the additional responsibility of being the de facto head-of-household and primary parental role model during deployments, there is no guarantee of a meaningful career or even temporary job to help pay the bills. Military spouses who want a professional career face high hurdles.

Posted in Employment
image for 30 Ways o Thanks Day #13

30 Ways o Thanks Day #13

30Still.jpgDon't forget the National Guard and Reserves when it comes to thanking a military family for their service!

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks

30 Ways of Thanks

30Still.jpgNovember 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 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.

Posted in Get Involved
image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #11

30 Ways of Thanks Day #11

30Still.jpgHow about an ice cold beer...or soda?  Buying a military family member a drink is another great way to show your support and gratitude!

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #12

30 Ways of Thanks Day #12

30Still.jpg"Every child deserves a toy for Christmas," we agree.  On the 12th way of "saying thanks," Lakesha Cole (2014 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year) reminds us about ToysforTots.org.

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #14

30 Ways of Thanks Day #14

30Still.jpgThe Military Officers Association of America thinks a great way to show appreciation for military families is to help be an advocate on our behalf.  We're a small percentage of the population and we don't have a union or special interest groups looking out for us on Capital Hill. So at times, if you feel military families are being taken advantage of, help us remind our leadership of the promises they've made.

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #15

30 Ways of Thanks Day #15

30Still.jpgHave you ever considered volunteering for an Honor Flight welcome?  It's a great way to say "thanks" and show your support!

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #16

30 Ways of Thanks Day #16

30Still.jpgParticipating in the Coast Guard's Run to Remember is an excellent way to show your support for military families!  For more information, visit CoastGuardFoundation.org.

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #17

30 Ways of Thanks Day #17

30Still.jpgA great way to show your appreciation for military families is to adopt a military family this holiday season.  What?  Adopt a military family? Yes!  Reda Hicks, the Armed Forces Insurance Army Spouse of the Year, explains how operationwearehere.com can help you show your appreciation.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #18

30 Ways of Thanks Day #18

30Still.jpgKate Pennington of Blue Star Families shares another way to show your support for military families during November.  Nominate a special someone in your community who has helped military families during a time of need for the Blue Star Neighbor Award!  Click here for more information.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #19

30 Ways of Thanks Day #19

30Still.jpgA great way to show support for military families is to volunteer your time for organizations that support and serve them. Say thank you by giving back!

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #2

30 Ways of Thanks Day #2

30Still.jpgAnyone can donate flight miles or hotel points to Fisher House, to support injured service members and their families during the recovery process.

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #20

30 Ways of Thanks Day #20

30Still.jpgFamily Readiness Groups (FRGs) are composed of volunteers, often military spouses, who take care of military families at particular installations, and especially during deployments. Community volunteers and local support for FRG activities are always greatly appreciated.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #21

30 Ways of Thanks Day #21

30Still.jpgA group of military spouses wrote Stories Around the Table, a collection of stories about what military family life is like. A portion of sale proceeds benefit Operation Homefront, and organization that helps military families in crisis.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #22

30 Ways of Thanks Day #22

30Still.jpgWe often tell military families "let me know if you ever need anything," but that's a really broad statement. Sometimes families don't know what they need until they're in the middle of a deployment or other assignment, other times they don't ask because they don't want to impose. But you can help! Identify a need, let the family know you are going to help with it. Be specific, and just do it! The milfam will appreciate the help!

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #23

30 Ways of Thanks Day #23

30Still.jpgMilitary spouses are the glue that holds military families together. They manage the homefront while their servicemembers defense ur freedoms. Sometimes, all they need is a little adult conversation and a listening ear.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #24

30 Ways of Thanks Day #24

30Still.jpgIt's usually the "little things" in life that makes us smile.  In this video we learn that sometimes you don't have to make a grand gesture to show your thanks for military families.

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #25

30 Ways of Thanks Day #25

30Still.jpgAFI Army Spouse of the Year, Reda Hicks, propses a toast to all military families! Raise a glass of your favorite beverage (not water because that's bad luck), take a "selfie," and upload it to Twitter and/or Facebook with a message as to why you are thankful for military families.  Tag your message with #gratefulnation so we can collect all your images and share!

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #26

30 Ways of Thanks Day #26

30Still.jpgDon't be a stranger when it comes to helping families during a deployment.  Stop by the house of a deployed soldier and check in on the family who stayed behind, a little bit of friendship goes a long way during this time of year!

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #27

30 Ways of Thanks Day #27

30Still.jpgBlue Star Families makes it easy to thank military families. Operation Appreciate lets you send thank you letters to military spouses, kids, and servicemembers. Operation Honor Corps lets you donate volunteer hours in their honor.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #28

30 Ways of Thanks Day #28

30Still.jpgUSO's can be found worldwide, and are the go-to place for military and their families in transit, or in need of assistance in a new place. You can volunteer at USOs, or donate resources to help them do even more good work.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #29

30 Ways of Thanks Day #29

30Still.jpgMilitary spouses make amazing employees, and entrepreneurs. If you have skills in things like professional development, or how to start a business, consider mentoring a military spouse!

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #3

30 Ways of Thanks Day #3

30Still.jpgWe're a little late to posting this today, but the message is good for the next 24 hours.  Get out and vote!!!

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #30

30 Ways of Thanks Day #30

30Still.jpgA great way to thank military families is to get involved in your community; be a good neighbor! And consider flying the colors to show your support.

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #4

30 Ways of Thanks Day #4

30Still.jpgOne great way for business owners to say "thank you" this November is by offering military families discounts. Most military families live on a modest budget, and especially around the holidays every little bit helps!

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #5

30 Ways of Thanks Day #5

30Still.jpgIt's the little things that make the biggest difference. For military families frequently moving around the country, a friendly greeting from a neighbor looking to connect goes a long way.

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #6

30 Ways of Thanks Day #6

30Still.jpgYou don't have to know a military family to say "thank you!" A note of appreciation for a military family's sacrifice makes an impact whether you're a friend, a stranger, or an anonymous benefactor.

 

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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #7

30 Ways of Thanks Day #7

30Still.jpgYou can make an immediate, direct, positive impact on a military family by helping a military spouse find work in their profession. Say thank you by flexing your network to help a military spouse make a professional connection.

 

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 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 30 Ways of Thanks Day #9

30 Ways of Thanks Day #9

30Still.jpgLet's not forget about the pets when thanking military family members this month.  Dogs on Deployment helps deployed service members find temporary homes for pets while they are away. This is a great volunteer opportunity and another way to say, "thanks!"

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 Get in the Game

Get in the Game

AMUNewA.jpgBy John Aldrich, AVP, Military Relations at American Military University

Movember, the grass roots movement to raise awareness about men's health issues is nearly complete, and for those of you who are growing a mustache to show support for the cause, I salute you. For those who didn't participate or weren't aware of Movember, there is always next November.

Just like the mustaches of the Men of Movember, male military spouses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are stay-at-home dads, some run businesses from home, and others balance careers outside the home and taking care of the family.

Posted in Get Involved
image for What is No Shave Movember?

What is No Shave Movember?

I learned about Movember from John Aldrich, AVP, Military Relations at American Military University via his post Get In The Game

Movember, the grass roots movement to raise awareness about men's health issues is nearly complete, and for those of you who are growing a mustache to show support for the cause, I salute you. For those who didn't participate or weren't aware of Movember, there is always next November.

After checking out what it was about, I started last November 2016 and continued without shaving (or cutting my hair) up until September 2017.

Since then, I have gained a better understanding of the movement and become more intentional about  my health, fitness and wellness.

Posted in Health
image for How To Manage Stress

How To Manage Stress

Stress affects almost everyone. Before you became a new civilian male military spouse, you probably experienced stress. Now, you will probably experience stress in different ways and more frequently.

Sometimes, it can be a good thing because it can energize us to meet new challenges or changes. But if it's not managed, stress can affect your physical and emotional health, your relationships, and your life.

Whether you're a civilian male military spouse or not, below you will find a few tips on how to manage stress.

Posted in Health

What DO Male Military Spouses Do For Fun?

I've been a male military spouse (Air Force) for over 15 years and I'm well aware of the many challenges in this way of life. Many of the challenges are serious in nature and I'm glad to connect with others and help tackle the issues.

However, you gotta have something you do that you really enjoy. That's what I'm trying to find out. As a male military spouse, what do you do for fun?

Keywords: malemilitaryspouse airforce military

Posted in Health
image for The First  Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

The First Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

MMSScholarship.jpgThe School of Firearms Technology (SFT) at Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and Macho Spouse have announced the first ever Male Military Spouse Day dedicated to the male spouses of America's service members. To celebrate the launch of Male Military Spouse Day, SDI is offering a scholarship opportunity for male military spouses. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be a member of the MachoSpouse.com community (registration is FREE and all we ask is your email address). This year's debut Male Military Spouse Day will see one spouse within our community win a full-tuition scholarship for the School of Firearms Technology professional Gunsmithing certificate course. The winner will also receive a complete build of an AR-15 rifle, for a total award value of more than $3,000.

SFT created this course specifically to fit within the MyCAA scholarship. However, you do not have to qualify for MyCAA benefits to be eligible for this scholarship opportunity.  Hear from Terry Fields, a male military spouse on this great opportunity in the video above.

Male Military Spouse Day

The first Male Military Spouse Day will be May 7, 2015 in order to honor the lives and struggles of our under-recognized population.
With nearly 190,000 male military spouses globally (per DoD), our large but scattered group faces significant challenges. Stigma and social disconnection complicate common military spouse issues such as underemployment and family stress, leading to a divorce rate nearly three times higher among military-affiliated couples in which the wife is the service member. (Just released stats show this high % of divorce for male military spouses to be dropping, great news, but we still have a lot of work to do!)

The purpose of Male Military Spouse Day will be to raise the public profile of this group in order to facilitate awareness of male military spouse concerns and the development of solutions to preventable problems such as social isolation and educational access. Here's what Macho Spouse founder, Chris Pape, had to say about being a part of Male Military Spouse Day: “Considering that Macho Spouse is the only legitimate resource available to male military spouses, it is a great feeling to be part of an official "Male Military Spouse Day." In fact, given that this is probably the first official Male Military Spouse Day ever, it's even more exciting! Now, throw in the fact that one or our members will be awarded a life-changing opportunity to receive an SDI Gunsmithing scholarship, and this will be one hell of a day!”

Gunsmithing Scholarship Opportunity

SDI's scholarship opportunity offered in conjunction with the first Male Military Spouse Day is intended to showcase the resources that are available to male spouses who have yet to take advantage of their military-sponsored My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) education entitlement. However, the Gunsmithing scholarship recipient does not need MyCAA eligibility to qualify for the award.
The School of Firearms Technology's Gunsmithing certificate course is an introductory class that teaches the knowledge and skills required to obtain an entry-level position as a gunsmith. All coursework is online and accessible from any location. Hardware for the course is shipped to the student as needed.  Graduates of SFT's Gunsmithing course will receive a certificate to present to employers as evidence of their training in the building, maintenance, customization, and legal sale of different types of firearms. Certificates can be used to obtain valid employment as a gunsmith. Many graduates take the course to get more knowledge on an enjoyable hobby or to get started on their own business. With military connections, they have a ready-made customer base.

Follow-Up Information

Macho Spouse and the Sonoran Desert Institute are initiating Male Military Spouse Day and the 2015 scholarship giveaway as a gesture of recognition and solidarity with male military spouses who struggle with economic or family stress. Readers can learn more about Gunsmith training at the online home of SDI's School of Firearms Technology or register as a member of Macho Spouse before the May 7th announcement of the scholarship winner.

About Sonoran Desert Institute: The School of Firearms Technology began in 1921 (that's even older than the NRA!), under the name of the School of Gunsmithing. Since then, it has transformed into an internationally recognized school offering multiple programs, including one of the only Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degrees in the country, some of the nation's best Gunsmithing Certificate programs, and a diverse armorer's programs. The School of Firearms Technology's elite faculty and staff include celebrated military personnel, nearly 75 years' worth of combined higher education experience, nationally recognized firearms experts and more.

image for 2015

2015 'Thank You' and Year In Review

malemilitaryspouse_2015_YIRIt's the holiday season and to me that means spending time with family and friends while reflecting on the year that was. How many had a good year? How many of you feel as if you've accomplished, overcome, loved and laughed as much as possible? There have been a few bad years in my life where I just wanted the damn thing to finish so I could start fresh with a clean slate, it's a mindset, but we all know that reality doesn't work that way. I usually judge my life in a similar way as to how we judge football coaches, “what have you done for me lately.” My year was a good one, a net-positive. So congratulations, you get “happy Chris,” or at least “less grumpy and sarcastic Chris.”

The tremendous amount of progress within the male military spouse community is one reason why 2015 was a good year. Guys, we're finally starting to get some recognition. People, businesses, and other organizations are starting to approach us and ask for our input, insight, and yes, our business. Marketers are finally recognizing that we are a demographic worth pursuing; just check out this holiday spot from Toys R Us. (I just bought 4 gift cards for my nieces from them because of this commercial.)

In 2015, Macho Spouse was approached by the Sonoran Desert Institute's School of Firearms Technology to hold the first ever “Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day” where SDI donated a full-tuition scholarship to their popular Gunsmithing certificate course. (Male military spouses are a large demographic for them.) USAA asked for our participation to help raise awareness on the importance of life insurance during “Life Insurance Awareness Month.” Yeah, I didn't know that month existed before this opportunity either, but USAA sure knows that we exist! And Marriott really knocked us off our feet when they offered several nights worth of hotel stays in return for a few reviews on their TownePlace Suites properties. TownePlace Suites made it very clear that they are interested in helping military families who are on the road, from PCSing to family vacations, TownePlace Suites wants our business!  And it's not like this is some shabby hotel chain guys, their rooms are usually very spacious, clean, come with fully equiped kitchens, and hot breakfasts.  I was surprised to learn how many were actuallyl located near military installations, which makes them a great temporary housing option, or vacation get-a-way. In full disclosure, I dispersed their generous offering quietly among those guys who have helped keep Macho Spouse up and running over the last few years. We don't make any money here, so when a top-notch organization such as Marriott offers us some swag, I like to spread it out amongst our volunteers first. If you want access to some of this cool stuff, contact me and be prepared to help build our community. But while I'm speaking of TownePlace Suites, you guys should check them out because they're really showing their appreciation and commitment to our military community! That goes for USAA and Sonoran Desert Institute as well, these organizations aren't just talking about supporting male military spouses, they're actually doing it. So let's not forget to return this generosity in 2016.

While I'm patting others on the back, I can't forget the amazing content NextGen Military Spouse, Military.com/SpouseBuzz, and Military Spouse delivered on behalf of male military spouses in 2015. When I started Macho Spouse in late 2011/early 2012, there was nearly nothing…nothing, written for or about us male military spouses. No blogs, no websites, no Facebook pages, no nothing. Now look at us, male spouses are popping up everywhere! (We've probably had absolutely nothing to do with this trend, but I will take full credit.) So despite terrorism, politics, war, and racial unrest, life hasn't been all bad this year. It's been good enough for me to crack a cold one, light a cigar, sit back and reflect on how far we've come and how many goals are still left to accomplish. Don't worry, I won't be consuming and driving while reflecting, Dana and I have already booked our New Year's Eve room at the San Antonio Riverwalk TownePlace Suites. Happy 2015 everyone, have a safe holiday season!

image for Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse

Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse

Jamison Stone and wife 2.pngHello male military spouse community! 

My name is Jamison Stone and I am the spouse of Staff Sergeant Rebecca Bainbridge of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland. Because of her assignment, my wife, and the rest of her company, are on tour and away from their families for over 100 days out of the year.



As you very well know, Military service is hard on families. While I speak more about this topic on my blog, the ongoing struggle is very taxing to both the heart and the mind. Most difficult for me is the sadness and depression of separation during my partner's deployment and training.



Sadly, many Military Families have it far worse off than we do, particularly those with service members actually in harm's way, and especially of course those who make the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. All these women and men who proudly wear the cloth of our nation, and their families, are true heroes.



Female Mil Spouses are very lucky to have a wide network of other military wives to lean on during these difficult times. Sadly, we men, are not as fortunate. Personally, I find it extremely challenging as an Army husband to find a real sense of community. This is particularly emphasized when my wife is away on training or tour.

image for Macho Minute - Make A Difference Male Military Spouse

Macho Minute - Make A Difference Male Military Spouse

Make a difference by using what you know to Help other civilian male military spouses Navigate the Male Military Spouse Role.

Posted in Macho Minute
image for Macho Minute - Make A Video Civilian Male Military Spouse

Macho Minute - Make A Video Civilian Male Military Spouse

Make a video and Help other civilian male military spouses Navigate the Male Military Spouse Role.

Posted in Macho Minute
image for Macho Minute - Male Military Spouse Help Your Spouse Shine

Macho Minute - Male Military Spouse Help Your Spouse Shine

Help your spouse Shine as you Navigate the Male Military Spouse Role.

Posted in Macho Minute
image for Macho Minute - Navigate the Male Military Spouse Role

Macho Minute - Navigate the Male Military Spouse Role

A few people you need in order to successfully Navigate the Male Military Spouse Role.

Posted in Macho Minute
image for Macho Minute - You Are Not Alone!

Macho Minute - You Are Not Alone!

MALE MILITARY SPOUSE YOU ARE NOT ALONE - MACHO MINUTE

A message to Civilian Male Military Spouses to let them know that "You Are Not Alone" in this journey as a male military spouse.

Posted in Macho Minute
image for Military Saves Week Aims to Motivate Male Military Spouses to Better Their Finances

Military Saves Week Aims to Motivate Male Military Spouses to Better Their Finances

Military SavesAs a male military spouse, I know how important it is to stretch every dollar as far as I can for my military family. I'm always looking for tips on how to save money and I really appreciate money saving tips for the Military Family.

Here are some questions to think about:

Do you have an emergency fund? Are you saving enough money for retirement? Do you have a budget? How close are you to financial freedom?

February 26 - March 3, 2018

Military Saves Week is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for servicemembers and their families to assess their own saving status. Typically hundreds of organizations participate in the Week, reaching millions of people.

 

Posted in Macho Money
image for Totally Fake Reader Mailbag Edition

Totally Fake Reader Mailbag Edition

RobSitePic.jpg[These aren't real questions that avid readers have sent in, yearning for my sage advice. I'm just paraphrasing some discussions I've had about money with family, friends, and co-workers]

I just changed jobs. Should I leave my 401(k) with my old employer, or roll it over to my new employer's 401(k) plan?

No.

You shouldn't do either. You should rollover your old 401(k) into an IRA with low-cost mutual funds, like Vanguard. There are 2 main problems with 401(k) accounts in general:

 

Posted in Macho Money
image for Conversations from the Men

Conversations from the Men's Room - What is the Rule of 72?

MensRoomImage.jpgOne of the great resources we have at Macho Spouse is the Men's Room for Military Spouses (sorry ladies, this is a private Facebook page designed for all male military spouses only).  We plan to start sharing some of the more informative/interesting conversations on our website, the thread below is our first "share."  Some of the names have been hidden for privacy purposes, see if you can figure out which names are fake...

 

Jar Jar Blinks: OK, what is this "Rule of 72?"

Yoda: Interest multiplied by time equals 72.

C-3PO: If you're not good at exponential math, it's a quick way to estimate how long your investment will double, given an interest rate. For example: if a CD is earning 3%, then it will double in value in 24 years (72/3=24)

Yoda: To double your investment.

Yoda: ^C-3PO's way is easier to follow. Way easier.

Jar Jar Blinks: So where do these investments live? Seriously, do savings accounts work the same way, assuming you can find one that offers interest?

Yoda: NFCU has a 3% CD right now.

C-3PO: It's all a matter of risk vs. reward/return. The S&P 500, aka TSP C Fund, returned about 30% last year. But it was down 37% in 2008.

Yoda: I was taught to expect a 10% rate of return on index funds back in 06, so my ROTH would double in 7.2 years.

‪Jar Jar Blinks: I guess I have a trust issue... Can I trust the folks at USAA to steer me in the right direction eggs

Jar Jar Blinks: Eggs... Heheheh

Jar Jar Blinks: When asking to set up investments?help

Yoda: Not 100%. Their funds are kind of expensive compared to vanguard and the TSP. But it's better than nothing and their life insurance is fairly priced.

C-3PO: "It depends" USAA only has 2 real index funds, but together they match the entire US stock market. They are not the MOST expensive. Their insurance is pretty well priced, but you're probably find even better at NMAA or the equivalent for other services.

Yoda: If only all branches could use NMAA...

I'm not as conservative as some. Instead if having 6 months of expenses on hand I have 6 months of expenses in a USAA ROTH IRA (no fee for withdrawals of principle with some caveats), and now put everything into ROTH TSP index funds (lowest fees in the world!).

Yoda: I do keep some liquidity (cash or accounts that can very easily be converted to cash), but since we run a surplus each month even after investing, and the military pay is as stable as it gets, I don't keep much in that account (plus I "float" all my expenses other than car insurance, so I don't pay July's expenses until mid-September (if we have to spend more I can transfer assets as needed, has never happened, but just in case), and the "float" on credit earns us rewards and consumer protections).






 Blue Cash Preferred, 6% back at the commissary, 3% back at the gas station and 1% everywhere else (no fee for military).

C-3PO: 

 I haven't dealt with them, but I hope AAFMAA is as good as NMAA.

‪C-3PO: PenFed has pretty good credit cards for military too.

‪Jar Jar Blinks: .... all these damn acronyms....

Yoda: FUBAR right?

C-3PO: (image that can't be shared)

C-3PO: Sorry about being a wiseass

‪Jar Jar Blinks: Better than being a wide ass

Yoda: C-3PO, you've got to take it easy on Jar Jar Blinks, he's a submariner. Just think how many bumps to the head he's suffered.






 But on a serious note, it's pretty cool how many guys in this group have an understanding of personal finance.

C-3PO: If I only had a nickel for every time I hit my head while underway (says the 6'3" Marine)

Mace Windu: Personally, I would put my money in a multitude of investments. Like savings,cd's, 401k, TSP, money market fund and precious metals. Never have all your eggs in one basket.

Admiral Ackbar: ‪Luke, to be excruciatingly technically correct, it's the rule of 69.3. Here's the math behind the answer:
‪http://betterexplained.com/articles/the-rule-of-72/
I like the way they cheat by assuming that for small interest rates, the natural log of the quantity (1 + interest rate) is approximately equal to (interest rate). So it's not much of a stretch of radcon math to assume that 69.3 is about the same as 72.
You can also use the math to figure out when you'll be financially independent:
http://betterexplained.com/?s=rule+of+72

Luke Skywalker: I think NFCU has a special going on that if you open an IRA with $100 they will give you $100. I have 4 IRA's at USAA, IRA at NFCU, TSP and a 403(b) at Fidelity. Saving about $500 a month between all the IRA's.

‪Lando Calrissian: Boy you guys are starting to make me worry about my future. Where do I start when I have no job and only a limited amount that my wife has volunteered to me over the years in some sort of retirement account?

Yoda: ‪Lando, my wife and I each maxed out our Roth IRA's for her first four years of service so we could build up our emergency fund (with the stability of military careers I feel as though the ROTH IRA is a good place to stash an emergency fund that is a very low probiotic of being utilized).






 Now all the money goes into her TSP, but it's our retirement account.

 

**If you are a male military spouse and would like access to this private page, please send a request through Facebook and we'll usher you in as soon as possible.

Posted in Macho Money

Male Military Spouse Demographics

We've recently been talking with Doug Nordman, a fellow Macho Spouse and he has graciously offered to share some of his advice with us all. You see Doug is a very smart man that made some awesome financial choices during his career in the Navy and as a Sailor's spouse. Both Doug and his wife retired as Millionaires. Over the next several months we will be sharing his blog and asking questions to help us all gain a little financial independance. 

Posted in Macho Money
image for Military Spouse Employment Survey

Military Spouse Employment Survey

MOAASheild2.jpgHey guys, have you taken this survey yet?  Stuff like this is important because it may help you find work in the future, as well as, future generations of military spouses!

http://www.moaa.org/milspousesurvey/

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), a non-profit organization that advocates for military personnel and their families, is teaming up with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to launch the Military Spouse Employment Survey.

Military spouses face many challenges to both employment and career advancement as a result of the military lifestyle. This imperative study will look at the employment pattern of all military spouses, especially related to their long-term career trajectories. We encourage all active duty, National Guard, reserve, veteran, and surviving spouses who are 18 years and older to participate by sharing their stories, experiences and lessons learned.

According to the 2010 Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), there are approximately 725,877 spouses of Active Duty service members and approximately 413,295 spouses of Reserve and Guard members. In addition, it is estimated that there are more than 15 million veterans' spouses in the United States and over 5.8 million surviving spouses. By adding their voice, we can build a stronger foundation for military spouses' professional needs, identify any barriers to career development and share their stories with government officials, state, and federal policy makers in order to overcome obstacles and improve the quality of life for our service members and their families.

The Military Spouse Employment Survey will open on September 16, 2013 and remain open for 30 days. This survey icompletely anonymous, for research purposes and therefore completely voluntary. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.   

Posted in Macho Money
image for Nurturing the Money Tree: Creating Income - Part 1

Nurturing the Money Tree: Creating Income - Part 1

DirectionDivaLogo.jpgTo work or not to work that is the question on all of our minds at one time or another in our military careers.

It seems that the subject of employment comes up whenever money is tight, when the kids are all finally in school, or you PCS to a new duty station. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about getting a job outside of our home just so we could have a little wiggle room in the budget.

I even tried it one year to get some extra holiday cash, and frankly it was a disaster. Nothing got done, the kids were disappointed because I wasn't home when they came back from college, and my husband hated the fact that his life had to change, not to mention my home business began to struggle as well. (Yes, he is spoiled but the fact that he is a genius on the grill makes up for it)
For some military spouses working outside the home works for them, but for many of us the constant changes, multiple moves and unpredictability of our lives make employment very difficult unless you are fortunate to have a career that can move with you.

Posted in Macho Money
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.

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for Top 3 Military Base Locators

Top 3 Military Base Locators

Whether you are new to military life as a civilian male military spouse, or you have been in the military life for years, you should know where military installations are located (epecially if your spouse just received orders).

Find Military Bases with these Military Base Locators. Use these Base Locators to Find Military Installations Around The World.

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for A New Civilian Male Military Spouse Encounter with DEERS

A New Civilian Male Military Spouse Encounter with DEERS

As a civilian male military spouse, have you encountered DEERS yet?

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for How To Enroll A Newborn Child In DEERS

How To Enroll A Newborn Child In DEERS

If you haven't encountered DEERS yet as a civilian male military spouse, check out this post. If you are a male military spouse and new dad a with a brand new baby, congrats! Here is some info on How To Enroll A Newborn Child In DEERS.

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for Journey Tip: Be Flexible

Journey Tip: Be Flexible

Be flexible. This journey is like Yoga: flexibility and a willingness to improvise are required to make it through to the end.

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for Journey Tip: Communicate

Journey Tip: Communicate

Communicate like your life together depends on it.

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for What benefits and resources are available to civilian male military spouses?

What benefits and resources are available to civilian male military spouses?

As a civilian male military spouse,do you know the benefits and resources available to you?

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for What is Military BAH?

What is Military BAH?

If you haven't encountered DEERS yet as a civilian male military spouse, check out this post. If you are a male military spouse and new dad a with a brand new baby, congrats! Here is some info on How To Enroll A Newborn Child In DEERS.

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for MachoSpouse Beer Blogger - Aaron Brodniak

MachoSpouse Beer Blogger - Aaron Brodniak

AaronB2.jpgFirst, I would like to thank Macho Spouse's founder Chris Pape for all of his past, current and future hard work and dedication for the male military spouse community. Also, I want to thank Macho Spouse for the opportunity to write about one of my favorite subjects, BEER! In this blog I will write about beer from a consumer perspective, home brewer and craft beer professional.

Who am I?

I am a service-disabled Coast Guard veteran that transitioned to the craft brewing industry and have now been working in the industry for 18 years. I began my brewing career at a craft brewery in downtown Seattle just two weeks after being honorably discharged. During the course of my brewing career I have also worked in Brewpubs where I held the position of Regional Brewer for a chain of brewpubs. Currently, I consult for breweries and also operate a pilot system to teach prospective brewery owners and homebrewers about the differences between home brewing and professional brewing.

I am also a male military spouse, so I have had to juggle work (when I can), home brewing and the challenges that come with military life. During the last ten years I have primarily been at home taking care of my boys (now 7 and 10), earning a bachelors and just recently my master's degree. I have been keeping my feet wet by home brewing and doing some part time brewery consulting. Now, I am re-entering the craft brewing industry and will be an instructor at both a Craft Brewery Start-up Workshop and Craft Cidery Start-up Workshop for Oregon State University this Spring. Of course, immediately after the workshop we will be relocating so the next five months will be busy! Enough about me, let's talk beer!

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for Question: How do I prepare for becoming a male military spouse?

Question: How do I prepare for becoming a male military spouse?

Current civilian male military spouses: Here's your chance to possibly help someone out. Just answer this question by adding a comment below or submitting an article in response to the question.

Posted in Male Spouse 101
image for Man to Man with William McEvoy: Depression

Man to Man with William McEvoy: Depression

This is the first video in a two-part series featuring Air Force spouse William McEvoy.  William and his wife have been married for over three years, but have been a serious couple for about nine.  Get to know William and learn what created his depression as he speaks openly about a difficult career arc and a strong desire to be a contributing partner within his marriage.  Male military spouses and stay-at-home-dads of all ages and experiences may relate to William's story.

image for Man to Man: Bill Keller - Basic Male Military Spouse Advice

Man to Man: Bill Keller - Basic Male Military Spouse Advice

vid_manbill.jpgBill Keller is an Air Force male military spouse married to Major General Suzanne Vautrinot. Between Bill and his spouse, they have over 50 years of military life experience and have lived all over the world. We broke or cardinal rule of never divulging a spouse's rank because Bill has had unique opportunities to meet and communicate with many different types of military families that many of us may never have.

Guys (and gals), this man has real military marriage experience.  Listen to some of his insight and learn what it takes to make a happy, healthy marriage in this crazy lifestyle.  

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.

image for Does anyone have a Military Marriage Map that I can borrow?

Does anyone have a Military Marriage Map that I can borrow?

Military Marriage MapHey! Does anyone have a marriage map that I can borrow? Better yet, does anyone have a military marriage map that I can borrow? (I could sure use a military marriage compass, too, if you have one. But I don't want to press my luck by asking for too much at once. So, I'll wait on the compass.)

I tried "googling" (yeah, that's a word) "marriage map" but Google kept giving me links to "wedding map" instead. Thanks Google, but I don't want to know how to get to Don and Susan's wedding! I want a map that I can use to help my wife and I get to that Happy Marriage Wonderland place that I have been hearing about since we got married!

 

Posted in Marriage
image for How To Avoid Becoming a Military Divorce Statistic

How To Avoid Becoming a Military Divorce Statistic

Hey guys, here's some solid marital advice for military spouses from male spouse Eric Gardner. This blog post goes well with our Macho Spouse video series on communication. Thank you NextGen MilSpouse for bringing Eric to our attention!

Posted in Marriage
image for How to be a Happy Military Husband

How to be a Happy Military Husband

Wait, you're a stay at home dad? How'd you get on base?" said the hairstylist at the exchange when I responded to her question on what I did for the Air Force. This happens a lot when you're a military husband. You'll get salutes from the gate guards, military discounts that only apply to active duty personnel, and maybe if you're really lucky, the start of a chewing out over haircut and shave regulations by a senior enlisted person. Why? Because our wives make up a small part of the force.

Posted in Marriage
image for Today as a Male Military Spouse - Listen and Laugh

Today as a Male Military Spouse - Listen and Laugh

My wife has a bit of a challenge now as she adapts to her new position. I asked her how her day went and she told me. Today as a Male Military Spouse (civilian husband married to a military wife), I learned to Listen and Laugh.

Things I learn as a Civilian Male Military Spouse by Taurus James

Posted in Marriage
image for Today as a Male Military Spouse - Her Support

Today as a Male Military Spouse - Her Support

Learning the support role as a civilian male military spouse (civilian husband married to a military wife) was very, VERY difficult for me. When I look back, I point to my pride and immaturity as major factors in my slow learning and acceptance of the role.

Posted in Marriage
image for Today as a Male Military Spouse - Her Support

Today as a Male Military Spouse - Her Support

It is the end of a tough week for my wife. She had some VIPs and had to deliver a briefing today. After 16 years as a male military spouse, I think I've finally learned how to give her the best support.

Keywords: Today as a Military Spouse - Her Support, male military spouse

Posted in Marriage
image for Top 5 Ways To Enter The Military As A Husband

Top 5 Ways To Enter The Military As A Husband

Fellow male military spouse and general provocateur, Chris Field, shares his "Top 5 Ways to Enter the Military as a Husband." 

Posted in Marriage
image for 5 Tips for New Male Military Spouses to Thrive In not survive Military Life

5 Tips for New Male Military Spouses to Thrive In not survive Military Life

You will see it a hear it a lot..."How to Survive Military Life." Here are 5 tips and some good advice for BOTH male and female military spouses on how to THRIVE In Military life.

Posted in Military
image for How will Sequestration affect your military family?

How will Sequestration affect your military family?

Like many military spouses and families, you may want to know how sequestration will impact your military family in detail, but can't seem to get anything more than, "It's a bad idea." You continue to hear about the billions of dollars to be cut from the DoD budget and how that will negatively impact the readiness of our armed forces in general. Yet, what remains unclear to you is the direct impact sequestration will have on your military family.

For example:

Will sequestration impact the CDC and child care? If so, how?

Posted in Military
image for Live Through The Loss - A Personal Message About Losing My Eyesight

Live Through The Loss - A Personal Message About Losing My Eyesight

Originally, I made this video for the community at Computer Music Academy (CMA), but it is for anyone who has ears to hear what I'm saying. 

Posted in Military
image for How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts

How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts

Whatever your Winter Holiday tradition, now is the time when many cultures have historically livened up the dark days of winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) with celebrations of community, charity, and gift-giving*.  Going into debt, however, should not be a part of your tradition.

How much should you spend on Christmas?

Posted in Money

How the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act helps military spouses

I don't get excited about much, but I am very excited about this. I no longer have to do all the paperwork and go through the hassle of changing my residency every time we PCS (move). Plus, now I get to keep my residency with a tax-free state. BONUS!

Military spouses need to check out the following article. It gives more details about the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA). Also, keep in mind that this makes voting easier for military spouses!

Posted in Moving PCS
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.

Posted in Moving PCS

Chris Pape - Senior Advisor - Macho Spouse Career Advisement Board

Chris Pape - Senior Advisorchris@MachoSpouse.com

Chris Pape, a 1995 graduate from the University of Cincinnati, is a multiple, national award-winning video producer with over 15 years of experience developing educational video productions for public school systems, large corporations, small businesses and state governments.  He is also a civilian male military spouse and has been for over 10 years; in those 10 years Chris has been through three military moves, two deployments, countless TDY's, six job changes, one career change that quickly brought him back to his original career, and a few months of un-employment in between.

Posted in MSCCN

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.

Posted in News

First National Guard Spouse to Win the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Award

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 09, 2013

Alicia Hinds Ward was named the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year ® today in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the military community.

Video of the awards ceremony will be available on Military Spouse mag YouTube channel.

Nominated by her husband, Tech. Sgt. Edwinston Ward, Alicia's accomplishments include serving as the Key Spouse for the 113th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Relocation Assistance contractor, Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Family Panel Representative for the National Guard and the co-founder of the Joint Base Andrews Business and Community Support Group and Spouse Forums. She is the first National Guard spouse to receive this prestigious award. With the reach of the Military Spouse of the Year ® organization behind her, Hinds Ward is planning to advocate for better spouse employment options and special needs resources.

2013 MSOY

Alicia Hinds Ward - 2013 AFI Military Spouse of the Year -1st National Guard spouse to win the award

"We want to create an opportunity for these winners to advocate and engage the military spouse community through Military Spouse's media channels: Military Spouse magazine, militaryspouse.com, and social media," said Kate Meeuf, Brand Director
Posted in News

Jeremy Hilton: U.S. Military’s First Male Spouse of the Year

Military Spouse Magazine honored the dad for his stay-at-home work with disabled daughter.

When Deanie Dempsey, whose husband is the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the stage at the Marine Barracks Washington earlier this month to announce 2012's “Military Spouse of the Year,” she fumbled for her words. There were six nominees—five women and one man—and Dempsey clearly had trouble finding the appropriate gender-neutral pronoun, in order to not blow the identity of the winner. Finally, she gave up. “I have confidence that he will do his fellow spouses proud,” she said. The room collectively gasped.

Posted in News

Key Character Traits for Male Military Spouses

Our recent interview with Everett Lopez revealed some of the difficulties associated with being a man in the predominately female community of military spouses.

 

Posted in News

Macho Spouse at the 2013 Military.com Spouse Summit

Macho Spouse and Chris Pape are mentioned in Alice Swan's article, Tuning in to the Military Spouse Network, in which Alice covers lessons she learned at the 2013 Military.com Spouse Summit (April 11-12, 2013). Here is what Alice wrote:

Build a service out of your unique experience and skill: A great example is Chris Pape, male military spouse and founder of Macho Spouse (http://malemilspouse.com/). Chris was kind enough to talk with me about how he started Macho Spouse.  Living in Columbia, SC, while his spouse is working on an ROTC assignment, Chris said he began to feel pretty isolated. He thought he was the only guy spouse out there looking for information and help. About two years ago, Chris began researching male military spouses on the web but found only two articles about guys manning the home fronts. One of the stories was written by Amy Bushatz who you may remember from my Spouse Summit blog: http://www.dcmilitaryfamlife.com/profiles/blogs/you-are-not-alone.

Chris emailed Amy, who helped introduce him to Wayne Perry, founder of Manning the Home front (http://www.dcmilitaryfamlife.com/profiles/blogs/the-outlook-for-mil...) – it was the Military Spouse network in action.  A video producer for 15 years, Chris had been working in Arkansas for the Department of Education, creating instructional videos before the PCS to Columbia. “I didn't see any information sites out there for guys to help share lessons learned or how to find jobs,” Chris told me, “so I decided to use the skills I'd developed making the educational videos to create learning videos for male military spouses.” Chris's fledgling video series has grown into a full service site for male military spouses to connect, get information on employment, money tips or gain insights through the Male Spouse 101 tutorial.

Facing another PCS soon with his Air Force spouse to San Antonio, Chris is excited about the opportunities the move presents. “I'm building a business I can take with me,” he explained. And while Macho Spouse is his future, Chris feels it can also lead to other opportunities in the present. Chris is confident that the work he's done creating Macho Spouse will lead to video and film production work in Texas.

Posted in News

May Is National Military Appreciation Month

did-you-know-mms.gif

Did you know that May Is Proclaimed National Military Appreciation Month by the President of the United States? Did you know that May 10th is Military Spouse Day? Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal that gives more details on the subject.

National Military Appreciation Month Celebrates 14th Year

LA JOLLA, CA--(Marketwired - May 7, 2013) - National Military Appreciation Month (www.nmam.org) founder Alice Wax informs America that the President of the United States has proclaimed May is National Military Appreciation Month. The recognition was designated by the United States Congress in 1999 and in 2004, as a means for Americans to say "Thank You" to the men and women of the of the U.S. Armed Forces -- all branches of the services, National Guard and Reserves ("Citizen Soldiers"), those who have served throughout our history, and all of their families -- over 90 million Americans still living today and to those sacrificed throughout America's 237 year history. The month-long recognition provides an opportunity for all Americans to express their appreciation for the contributions our armed Forces have made to the building and safeguarding of this nation.

Posted in News
image for Military Spouse Appreciation Day Virtual Career Fair by Veteran Recruiting Services

Military Spouse Appreciation Day Virtual Career Fair by Veteran Recruiting Services

did-you-know-mms.gif

Did you know that there are virtual career fairs held that allow you to meet and interact with recruiters from the comfort of your own home? Check out this press release from Veteran Recruiting Services about an upcoming virtual career fair for military spouses.

PHILADELPHIA, May 7, 2013 -- /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Veteran Recruiting Services, the recognized leader of virtual career fairs for the military community is pleased to host the Military Spouse Appreciation Day Virtual Career Fair in support of the White House Joining Forces Initiative on May 10th.

Military Spouses from all over the world with have an opportunity to meet and interact live with recruiters in the virtual career fair, and from the comfort and convenience of their home or office. Each employer will have a virtual booth that will provide everything the spouse will need to consider when looking at their next career choice.

Thirty of America's leading employers will participate including: 24 Hour Fitness, Aetna, Airgas, Citi, Comerica Bank, Convergys, DaVita, DialAmerica, DISH, Exelon, Graybar, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Lowe's, Military Spouse Employment Partnership, Nordstrom, Penske, Pfizer, Progressive, Sears Holdings Corporation, The Mission Continues, Travelers, TSA, USAA, Union Pacific Railroad, Verizon, Volt, Walgreens, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, and Xerox.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Friday, May 10th

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join us for a great event exclusively for Military Spouses, and be entered to win some great prizes such as;

$50 Visa gift cards every 30 minutes

$200 Coach gift card

iPad

Register Here

Posted in News

Military Spouse Appreciation Month

Hey! It's Military Spouse Appreciation Month this month. (Did you know that?) Check out this story about military members and military spouses getting a night of pampering.

The Tampa Tribune
By LENORA LAKE
Published: May 6, 2013

WESTCHASE - Jennifer Sheppard's husband, a master sergeant in the Air Force, was on his way back from a six-month deployment to Qatar.

So the off of a new hairstyle couldn't have been better, said Sheppard who was among about a dozen military spouses and active duty personnel treated to a night of pampering.

For two hours, hair stylist Simone Williams washed, cut, dried and styled Sheppard's long dark hair at the Hair Cuttery at Westchase Shopping Center. The special evening with food, wine and gift bags was sponsored by the salon with assistance of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle chapter of Tampa Bay.

"It was just great; I haven't had time to get a haircut but I made time today," said Sheppard who has been married to Chris Sheppard for 13 years and has two daughters, 12 and 7. Chris Sheppard has been in the military for 17 years and was expected back May 1, just two days after the free hair styling.

Bubbles, a companion company of the Hair Cuttery, offered a similar evening in Washington, D.C., and the local salon and the Tiffany Circle chapter heard about it and planned it here.

"It a good thing to give back and these people (military members and families) are helping us out," said Sarah Zielinski, manager of the shop.

The event also served as a kickoff for Military Spouse Appreciation Month, said Jill Valenti, who started the Tiffany Circle chapter where members give at least $10,000 to the American Red Cross each year.

Posted in News Headlines

Suzie Schwartz named VP of military spouse programs

AirForceTimes.com

Former top Air Force spouse Suzie Schwartz has a new job.

She will be the vice president of military spouse programs for Victory Media, a media company focused on improving lives of military families and veterans,

Schwartz, who is the wife of retired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, is a former special education teacher who worked to raise awareness about military child mobility issues through the Military Child Education Coalition during her husband's tenure, according to a press release from Victory Media.

 

Posted in News Headlines
image for My Military Life motivates and encourages spouses to follow their dreams

My Military Life motivates and encourages spouses to follow their dreams

We have had the opportunity to hang out with the Founder/Director of My Military Life, Wendy Poling, at three different events this year (Inc 500, NMSN , and USAA's Blogger Conference) and she is pretty damn cool. Wendy has been very generous with her time, knowledge, and experience as we try to build Macho Spouse into something special.

Posted in Resources
image for Veterans Info Site a Resource for US Military Veterans

Veterans Info Site a Resource for US Military Veterans

I did a "soft launch" of the Veterans Info Site website today. The official launch of the website will be in mid-March.

The VeteransInfoSIte.com is intended to provide a single Resource Center for our US Military Veterans and their family members. Specific and current Information related to Benefits, Housing, Employment and Medical Assistance is provided in an accurate and timely manner.

This project is VERY special to me because I am always seeking ways to help those who serve - and have served - their country. As a veteran abd civilian male military spouse, I see the importance of having timely information regarding Veterans benefits and services.

VeteransInfoSIte.com is one way that I can help Veterans get the info they need.

Keywords: Veteran military MilitarySpouse MaleMilitarySpouse TJTechPros Website WebDeveloper
Posted in Resources
image for 2013 Macho Spouse of the Year

2013 Macho Spouse of the Year

The 1st Annual Macho Spouse of the Year title was awarded to Ricky Potts on May 25, 2013.  Ricky's wife is an active Army National Guard, they've been married for over 11 years, and currently live in Georgia.  Ricky will receive a Macho Spouse t-shirt, 6-pack of beer, a cigar, and an awesome Pampered Chef grill set provided by Shelley Huber (look her up on Facebook for all your Pampered Chef needs).

Posted in Videos
image for Man to Man with Jeremy Hilton

Man to Man with Jeremy Hilton

The 2012 Military Spouse of the Year, Jeremy Hilton is an Air Force male military spouse and advocate for military families and dependents impacted by illness or disability. In this Man-to-Man video, Jeremy shares some great advice and life lessons.  Male military spouses of all age ranges and experience will find some useful information in this interview.  (Length: :07:12)

Posted in Videos
image for How To Volunteer Online Helping Kids as a Tutor

How To Volunteer Online Helping Kids as a Tutor

As a new civilian male military spouse, you can volunteer online and make a difference helping kids as an online tutor. 

Posted in Volunteer
image for How To Volunteer Online Helping Others as a Peer Counselor

How To Volunteer Online Helping Others as a Peer Counselor

As a new civilian male military spouse, you can volunteer online and become a Peer Counselor. Get new coaching and management skills make a difference helping others. 

 

Posted in Volunteer
image for How To Volunteer Online, Help Nonprofits  and Build Your Resume

How To Volunteer Online, Help Nonprofits and Build Your Resume

As a new civilian male military spouse, I heard the word Volunteer used a lot . 

Posted in Volunteer
Male Military Spouse 101 - Military Life
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