2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium: The Scoop From Macho Spouse

2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium: The Scoop From Macho Spouse

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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.

MOAA wanted a male spouse's perspective on the difficulties of finding work after a PCS, the use of social media, and the importance of eliminating gaps in one's resume. This gave me an opportunity to share insight on how I've managed to overcome certain career obstacles throughout the years and demonstrate how men tend to process career disappointment differently than women. Kudos to MOAA for acknowledging the gender difference and insisting that men be represented at their symposium.

I could now regurgitate what we talked about during my time on stage and what I heard from others, but I want to go in a slightly different direction if that's OK; mainly because I don't believe I shared any earth-shattering revelations.

Nearly every person in the room was married to the military and experiencing the exact same circumstances that have caused me so much stress, frustration, and career disappointment. But what only a few in the crowd (the handful of other male spouses in attendance) could understand was how I processed those feelings of failure.

However, this was not the venue to go down that emotional rabbit hole because we were there to help inspire others to keep finding ways around whatever career obstacles lay ahead. Which is funny because I don't see myself as wildly successful, in fact, my list of career accomplishments are almost as long as my list of failures.

But MOAA didn't organize this event to showcase successful military spouses, they brought us all together to share what career strategies have worked and which ones haven't. Sure they offered inspiring and informative speeches from corporate CEOs, resume writing classes and reviews, demonstrations on how to give an effective job interview, and ways in which military spouses can best market their skills.

However, what MOAA was really hoping to provide was an opportunity for spouses to connect, network and learn from one another. If this was their ultimate goal, I believe they succeeded beyond expectations.

Nothing has been more valuable to me as a military spouse than simply listening to how other spouses manage to find success and happiness within this lifestyle. There are a million different ways to accomplish finding and maintaining a meaningful career and everybody tackles this challenge differently. In fact, that philosophy of learning from one another while finding your own path is the entire premise behind Macho Spouse.

So what happened during this event is exactly what male spouses needed to happen. We were given an opportunity to have a voice on such an important issue as spouse career development while reminding people that the way each of us finds career success can be as diverse as those within our community.

See also...

image for How To Nitre Blue Gunmetal Without Nitre Salts

How To Nitre Blue Gunmetal Without Nitre Salts

NBlue.jpgIf you are a gun enthusiast who enjoys light gunsmithing projects, you will be interested to know that you can nitre blue gun metal without using salts. To use nitre salts, you have to heat the solution, slowly dip the parts in and hope that they come out looking even. It is definitely a process that requires multiple practice runs before attempting to nitre any actual gun parts. However, there is a much simpler solution if you want to nitre blue your gun metal. Simply do it with heat and without tedious salts.

How Can I Nitre Blue Gun Metal Without Nitre Salts?

The process is easier and quicker than using salts. If you heat the metal evenly for a long enough time period, it oxidizes and changes colors. Do not expect a vibrant royal blue. This process will bring a nice subtle but darker blue color, which creates an attractive and sleek look on a gun. As you heat the metal, you will see the color change. Use a screw to practice first so you can see how easy this is.

What You Will Need

  • Metal screw
  • Propane torch
  • Vice grips
  • Striker
  • Personal protective gear

Steps To Nitre Blue Gun Metal Without Nitre Salts

If you are new to gunsmithing or using a propane torch, it is a good idea to wear protective gear. Wear gloves and goggles. When working with a torch, make sure you do not have baggy clothing or sleeves.

1. Grip The Screw

Place the threaded part of the screw in the vice grips. Tighten it enough that the screw is held in snugly but the threads will not be damaged. When using handheld vice grips, make sure the handles are in good condition to avoid burns.

2. Heat The Screw

Use the striker to ignite the propane torch. Hold it so the tip of the torch's flame touches the screw's head. Move the torch around in circles on the screw's head slowly.

3. Watch For Color Changes

As the screw's temperature changes with prolonged flame exposure, it will start to change color. It will start with a light but dull color change. Heat it evenly around the head for a continuous color. When the head of the screw turns purple, be sure to watch it closely. The next color change will be blue.

That is all it takes to nitre blue gun metal. Perhaps you have an old pistol that looks rough and needs a makeover, or you just like blue gun metal. This is a great project for any gunsmithing enthusiast. Check out SDI's YouTube Channel for additional gunsmithing tips. They also have some gunsmithing programs that qualify for the military spouse MyCAA scholarship program. For more information about gunsmithing as a career for male military spouses, visit SDI's School of Firearms Technology.

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Macho Spouse Has A New Sponsor!

SDI_Logo_2.pngMacho Spouse is excited to announce our new partnership with the Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and their School of Firearms Technology (SFT). Throughout the year, SDI will provide Macho Spouse with content on Gunsmithing, firearms, and different educational opportunities. In fact, we will be introducing a new Macho Spouse Scholarship to their School of Firearms Technology in May!

Why did we chose SDI to be our first educational-based sponsor? Well, because they've demonstrated the ability to meet criteria for academic and consumer right standards from federal and state agencies as well as non-governmental agencies. These standards ensure quality education through sound financial operations, approved programs of study, qualified instructors, and approved recruitment and admissions policies. Click here to learn more about their accreditations.

SDI also has an interest in specifically helping military spouses find work through their programs of study. They participate in the G.I. Bill Program, the Montgomery G.I. Bill Program, REAP, and MyCAA.

These guys are the real deal and we're happy to have their support! Please take a minute to visit their site and learn more about what they have to offer. Who knows, maybe you can start on a new career in Gunsmithing this year!



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