Image: – – Macho Spouse
In March of 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation launched Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.
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.
The Macho Spouse website is an online resource, providing valuable information to military spouses, stay-at-home-dads, advocacy groups, corporate organizations and others. MachoSpouse.com is also an online community - allowing spouses to connect and share experiences. Almost daily, we are adding features to the website to allow those of you who sign up as members different ways to contribute to helping another male military spouse.
It'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!
Macho Spouse is an educational video series and online resource for male military spouses.
Our mission is to help male military spouses connect with one another and assure that we are not alone in this military family lifestyle.
Macho Spouse includes video interviews, information and life experiences from male military spouses, PhD. level military family researchers and counselors, military spouse career experts, and bloggers/authors on military family life.
Macho Spouse also offers community building through online forums and an interactive map that allows members to locate male military spouses all over the world.