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Introduction to Marine to SAHD Blog, laying out where I have been what experiences I have.
My name is Andrew “Fergie” Ferguson; I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2007 and did four years of active duty in Hawaii. In those four years I deployed twice, once to Iraq and Afghanistan. I was injured during those four years on multiple occasions and still am injured and receiving help from the Veterans Affairs.
1730 Views | 89 Likes
Facebook groups are wonderful things that most people probably don't use to their full advantage. With a group, you can control who is in the group and even if the group can be found via search. This makes it perfect for chatting or sharing things that you don't want everyone to see.
1. To Keep In Touch With Friends and Family
Use groups to keep a conversation with your close friends or family. You can freely share things you many not feel comfortably sharing on just your Facebook page and it's great for planning events or large get together. It's also easier to keep up with everything than having to visit everyone's pages
2. Easier Communication With Your Spouse During Deployments
We all know that communication can be limited during deployment. There are pictures and stories you want to share with your spouse, but don't want everyone else to see, so share them in a group. You can limit it to just the two of you as members, then when he/she gets a chance to check in, they can see everything at once.
3. Network At A New Duty Station
The hardest thing to do at a new duty station is make friends and network. Find a Facebook group for your base. Ask questions about the area, learn about classes for fitness or other things that interest you, and even find babysitters.
4. Keep Up With Your Spouse's Unit
A lot of units and FRG's have Facebook groups or pages. This can easily allow you to see what is going on with the unit and any upcoming events that may be of interest to you. These groups are especially helpful if the unit is gone for training or deployed.
5. Garage Sale Pages
Right? Facebook garage sale pages are great! You can easily buy and sell items and even find people for house cleaning or babysitters. Since it's a group, the admins should only allow people in your area to be included.
6. Entertainment Purposes
Groups can be started for anything, including news, current events, or your favorite TV show. If your spouse hates watching OITNB, talk about the episodes in a group with other fans.
7. Foster And Receive Support From Other Military Spouses
Have questions about benefits, PCSing, or military life in general, there's a group for that. If there isn't you can start one! Everything from <a_dropped style="color: #bb133e;" href="http://martinsburgcollege.edu/enroll-now/financial-assistance/" target="_blank">MyCAA for spouses to wounded warrior wives.
8. Helping To Reach New Goals
Looking to grow your business or go back to school? Find a supportive group of like-minded people to answer any questions and help keep you motivated.</p
March 25th 2014, the day I sent Dana off on a seven-month deployment, was a low point in my life. I vividly remember the emptiness and sorrow in my heart as I watched her walk down the jetway, away from her family…away from me. I also remember how incredibly difficult it was to maintain composure while giving a TV interview just as Dana walked out of sight, it was all I could do to hold back tears. I struggled to hold myself together long enough to walk back to my car before breaking down in tears. Many of us have been to this dark, empty place before; it's definitely a low point for many military marriages.
1661 Views | 190 Likes
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.
1653 Views | 138 Likes
Fellow male miltary spouse, Billy McFarland, started a new Facebook page about healthy eating and healthy living for men. According to Billy, he started this while stuck at home during his wife's time in the field, deployments and training. He plans to cover everything from what to eat and how to cook.
A note from Billy:
So why do I care? Many people close to me know that I have lost a lot of weight in the last 3 years. I have more energy than I did at 18 and more importantly, I can keep up with my kids.
1542 Views | 73 Likes | 1 Comments
Carpe 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.
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In Gear was started by Career Minded Military Spouses for Career Minded Military Spouses. We operate on the principle that in every location and in every occupation, Military Spouses will always seek opportunities to help each other find and pursue fulfilling employment.
We seek to build community, expand professional networks, share resources and learn from each other. We expand the impact of existing government programs by addressing the specific needs of spouses whose professional career trajectories are interrupted by frequent moves and deployments. We target professional employment and career progression NOT just job placement.
Article 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.
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Family 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.
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.
2030 Views | 125 Likes
In this "Quick Hitter" video on Helping Kids Cope with Deployments, we have a tough question from an anonymous male military spouse that Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) answers.
"What is the best thing to do for a child that won't calm down from missing the parent that is deployed? I tried cuddling him and just being there but didn't really seem to help."
1877 Views | 11 Likes
With all the stresses and demands in our daily lives, we sometimes forget about showing appreciation to the ones we love most. A simple, heart-felt compliment, or "thank you," can go a long way to keeping your marriage healthy and strong. In this "Quick Hitter" video, Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), talks about the importance of sharing mutual appreciation in any relationship.
1714 Views | 126 Likes
Tim Blake is an Army male military spouse with over 14 years experience as a stay-at-home-dad who has successfully guided his family through multiple deployments. Tim also writes for Military Spouse and his own blog, Army Dad (armyspouseami.blogspot.com). In this video, Tim shares some of what he has learned over the years about surviving a deployment.
1701 Views | 13 Likes
Here's an event for your military family that you may want to check out. The Virginia Wounded Warrior Program is inviting military familieas and veteran families to the Healthy Families Retreat this April 26 thru 28. This is a great opportunity for families to learn and play together while gaining skills to help foster resilience.
The deployments and frequent moves of the military lifestyle can put pressure on any marriage. When the wife is the military member and the husband is a civilian, the strain may be greater.
In fact, research shows that the divorce rate for such couples is more than double the divorce rate for couples where the husband is the service member. This may be because military spouse support tends to be geared toward women. Another reason is that men tend to be less likely than women to ask for help.
If you're a male military spouse, it's important to know how to help keep your marriage strong. You can learn what challenges you're likely to face and prepare yourself for them. You can learn to recognize when you need help and how to use the resources available to you. And you can build a support system of other people you can count on.
3829 Views | 145 Likes
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.
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Our recent interview with Everett Lopez revealed some of the difficulties associated with being a man in the predominately female community of military spouses.
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Here is a commentary you should check out on Military.com. It's from Deanie Dempsey, wife of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
America will need the strength of its military families more than ever in the coming months and years. As we approach the second anniversary of a massive campaign to help veterans find jobs, Hiring our Heroes has been a godsend to those who care about our country's future. But helping military spouses plan careers is equally important to our country and our military in the long run.
More than one million servicemembers will leave the military in the next five years. With this drawdown, and ongoing budget cut discussion, it's fair to say that our military families are in a state of high uncertainty, even for our community. Decisions are currently being made that will not only affect the size and scope of our military, but the health and readiness of those who stay.
The past 10 years have stretched our military families thin. There is no need to recount the effects of multiple deployments and the general stress of war on us all. Many of our families who have lived through the struggles have turned their strife into strength.
The "it takes a village" culture permeates our military community in extensive ways. Military spouses volunteer on and off installations at more than three times the national average. Drive down any street on any installation in the U.S. and you will find families covering child care and moving furniture for neighbors, providing both a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on.