Male Military Spouse, Aaron Brodniak, writes about beer.
Well, 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.
So, 2014 was a blur and I'm ready to talk about where we're going in 2015.
Taurus and I are currently working on a slight website re-design and we plan to create more blog posts that will accompany each video, giving a more well rounded delivery of content. We will continue to ask (beg) you guys to contribute where and when you can.
MachoSpouse.com was designed to give you guys an area to share your stories, victories, failures, concerns, and knowledge. Don't be afraid to use it! You can email/message me for direction on how to contribute.
We are also launching other male-specific resources this year, including MachoPros, a male military spouse friendly job board that will be powered by MSCCN and CASY. We hope to filter out some of the jobs you guys may be more interested in so you don't have to weed through hundreds of irrelevant listings.
I am very excited to have the Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and their School of Firearms Technology on board as our first official sponsor. On May 7th we will be awarding the first ever Macho Spouse Scholarship in Gunsmithing, courtesy of SDI's School of Firearms Technology. This scholarship award will coincide with the first ever Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day, also on May 7th.
Guys, there are a lot of firsts here and even if you're not interested in a Gunsmithing scholarship you can't deny this is pretty freaking cool! More information on how you can be part of these festivities to come. SDI is one of many outstanding military family resource organizations we've partnered with over the last few years and we plan to continue growing all of these relationships in 2015. Look for reviews and new blog posts on all of our partner organizations throughout the year.
One final thought, I will talk more on this later, but just wanted to get something off my chest. I find it disheartening when I read articles written by other male spouses, or written by someone else about male spouses, and either the author, and/or interview subject, claim there are no resources for male military spouses. That's bullshit lazy writing and reporting.
Admittedly, we have a lot of work to do with marketing and building our offerings, but all someone has to do is Google "male military spouse" or "military husband" or any combination of "military spouse man/dude/guy" and you will find Macho Spouse dominating the first search page. That is a testament to the hard work Taurus, myself, and many others who have contributed over the last few years. We've busted our butts building a foundation for what can be a great resource, but there is more work to do. We need help, we need more guys, and gals, to stand up and join our party. This project has legs and we're looking for people who want to come along for the ride.
Please help us spread the word, help contribute ideas and content, and offer your opinions on what you think it will take to make us a world-class resource. At the very least, please don't ignore we exist and then complain that you're all alone and nobody cares, because nothing could be further from the truth. We're here for you guys and all of us should be looking forward to a bright, fulfilling future!