Archive for the 'chris pape' Tag

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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.

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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.

1333 Views | 81 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Spouse

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....

892 Views | 55 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Male Military Spouses: We Need Your Help!

image for 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.

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.

How?

2531 Views | 79 Likes | 36 Dislikes | 0 Comments


MOAA's Making it in the MilLife Blog Features Macho Spouse

image for MOAA

We thank the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) for featuring Macho Spouse in their "Making it in the MilLife" blog.

1817 Views | 67 Likes | 27 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Macho Productions - Award-winning Video Production

Award-winning Video Production from Macho ProductionsOnline video is one of the most powerful and effective ways to communicate.

“Today, online video is a must-have for any organization concerned with brand identification, search engine optimization, and online presence. Placing video on your website is simply a smart business practice.” - Bloomberg Business Week 2010

Not only does Macho Spouse provide the best male military spouse video content in the world, but it is also a full-service video production company.

Macho Spouse founder, Chris Pape, is an Electronic Media graduate from the University of Cincinnati who specializes in marketing and educational productions. He has spent the better part of 15 years building a solid reputation as a talented and creative producer, director, writer, shooter and editor.

Over the years Chris has produced work for many nationally known media outlets including: ESPN, ESPN2, NBC, ABC, CBS, The Weather Channel, Current TV, PBS, and The Outdoor Channel.

Chris's work and creative vision has earned multiple awards, including 7 National Telly Awards (2003-2011), 2 Regional ADDY Awards (2005-2007), 2 State Media Awards (WV 1999-2000), and a 2007 Colorado Academic Production Award.

If you are in the market for high-quality video production services, hire a military spouse!

Video production packages can be tailored to meet most budgets. Contact Macho Productions for more information and to learn how video will help brand your organization and clarify your message.

Posted in Hire a Spouse

Video - Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) - Career Help Part 1

vid_msccn.jpg
This is an oldie, but a goodie video highlighting the impressive work being done at MSCCN (Military Spouse Corporate Career Network) and CASY (Corporate America Supports You).  It's a little long, but we think this is a must-see video for any male military spouse in need of career support. Deb Kloeppel, CEO MSCCN, explains why her organization is male military spouse friendly and offers an opportunity for us guys to create and sit on male spouse specific career advisrory committee at MSCCN.

Interview from: Cory Livingston, Foday Kanu, Jason Bergman, Jeremy Hilton, Chris Pape, and Deb Kloeppel

1179 Views | 1 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Organizations

Macho Spouse - The Name

chris-02.jpgAs our organization continues to grow and gains more attention from new people, I've learned that there is some confustion about our name.  In fact, I have been asked multiple times if our name, “Macho Spouse,” represented a sexist, homophobic point of view. My response to those questions is a simple, no.  Actually, the initial response is laughter and surprise with a slight dash of sorrow.  This perception is mostly my fault for not spending enough time explaining the meaning behind our name as we grow, leaving others to define “Macho Spouse” for us.  I chose our name after careful thought, consideration, and research.  I wanted a name that could illustrate our lifestyle while making people smile. I mean, if we can't have a laugh at some of the gender-reversed situations we find ourselves in, then we're taking life too seriously.

Macho Spouse represents a male spouse who has enough self-confidence in his masculinity to cook dinner, clean the house, wash the laundry, and take care of his children while his wife is away in combat.  We don't care what your race, religion, sex, or sexual preference is, if you're a military spouse who lives with honor and commitment to your family, you're a Macho Spouse and are always welcome here.

I appreciate your time and support, please help us by joining our conversation...or buying a shirt!  I hope this helps better explain who we are and what our name symbolizes. Now I must run along and kick something because I just learned my wife is deploying again.



Sincerely,

Chris Pape and the Macho Spouse Team

1358 Views | 124 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

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)

4186 Views | 99 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

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.

1155 Views | 89 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

TownePlace Suites and Motley Crue - Oh How Times Have Changed

chris pape motley crueWhen Motley Crue's “Final Tour” came through San Antonio, my wife and I felt we just had to go. Their music played such an important role throughout our impressionable years, well, honestly Vince, Tommy, and Nikki had more of an impact on Dana than me. (Sorry Crue, but I've always been more of a Parrot Head!) But I do like several of their songs and have seen them in concert a few times, so a final romp on the wild side sounded appropriate.

We are slightly older now than we were in '88 so a lot has changed. For one, rather than just show up slightly intoxicated and hope to find some cheap seats, we bought our tickets weeks in advance. Good ones to! We also made sure both of us had the following day off from work, no more working with ears still ringing and head pounding. We are now productive adults. Plus, neither of us was planning on passing out in our car after the show, or driving home, so we felt it important to get a room…a nice room…on the River Walk. Twenty-five years ago we would've shacked-up at the cheapest "roach motel" for the night and not worried about location, comfort, or cleanliness.  Oh how times have changed!

Staying at the TownePlace Suites was a pretty easy decision considering they had just given me a couple free nights in their hotels in exchange for some honest reviews, this is one. Before TownePlace Suites contacted me I honestly had no idea they had a location in downtown San Antonio, my wife and I usually stay at the Hyatt or Sheraton. So this would work out perfectly, especially since TownePlace welcomes pets and we wanted to bring our dog, Brutus. Yeah, bringing our doggie to a night of rock and roll craziness with Motley Crue...oh how times have changed!

On the day of the show, we checked in a few hours early and were pleasantly surprised at the attentiveness of the valet, doormen, and front desk personnel. The hotel lobby looked to be recently remodeled with a modern flare and clean lines. I have to admit, I was very impressed. The price of the room fell in line with what most four/five-star rated hotels charge, my only complaint would be the $100 non-refundable pet deposit. That seems a bit steep, especially for a well-trained dog. Our room was just as I expected after walking through the lobby, clean, modern, and comfortable. We had a nice view of their indoor pool and a good-sized refrigerator for our champagne. Ahhh yes, nothing says Motley Crue like a bottle of Domain Chandon! In my last post about TownPlace Suites I mentioned our need for creature comforts, well, this hotel fulfilled all of those needs.

Now in all honesty, I don't have much else to report on the Downtown TownePlace Suites because after Dana and I fed the dog and enjoyed our champaign, we left for the night. The hotel is conveniently located across the street from the Ticket, a sports bar where we started our bar-hop, and then just down the street is the Buckhorn, and then just down the street...I'm sure you get the point. TownePlace downtown San Antonio is in a great location. I can say that at no time did I worry about Brutus or our belongings, I think security and peace of mind are very underrated aspects of staying at any hotel. TownPlace's friendly and professional employees definitely put me at ease.

Now, as for Motley Crue. They were awesome. If you missed them on this final tour, I'm sorry, you missed a great night of 80's style over-indulgence! (big hair, big drinks, big tabs, and big noise!) Just watching Tommy play his drums upside down while hanging from the ceiling directly over my head is an image I'll never forget. (I will post that video shortly) Sorry kids, none of today's performers come close to putting on a better show than the classic hair bands of the 80's.

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Posted in Blog

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.

1166 Views | 82 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

1025 Views | 65 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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

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.

967 Views | 65 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

Fusion TV Interview

FusionLogo.pngA couple months ago, Bradley Blackburn and Joanna Suarez of Fusion TV (a joint cable/satellite TV network between Disney and ABC TV) stopped by the international Macho Spouse headquarters.  We were very impressed with their level of genuine interest in telling not only Macho Spouse's story, but that of male military spouses. The finished product is outstanding, thank you Fusion, Bradley, and Joanna!  The story airs on October 30th in the evening (not sure the time), but if you can't find it on your TV...no worries, the link is below.  Make sure you leave a comment on their website after the story, if they see interest from the public, they may tell more military family stories in the future.

http://fusion.net/video/2626/why-male-military-spouses-need-their-own-support-network/

1029 Views | 107 Likes | 17 Dislikes | 0 Comments


2014 Macho Spouse of the Year

MACHOSOYFINAL.jpgThe 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.

Chris Corbin is an Air Force spouse currently living in Minot...hey why not Minot? Not only is he a dad to two young kids, but he also works at the base thrift store, works with the squadron booster club, and has been voted the new president of the Officer's Spouses Club on base. Oh yeah, he's also training to compete in his first 70.3 Ironman race next month.

Joey Trotta is a Navy spouse currently living in the DC area and he has three children, one of which has leukemia. Raising three children with an active duty spouse is hard enough, but toss in the challenges of leukemia and many guys would shut down, not Joey. Joey made himself into and educator and advocate. He donates so much of his time to childhood cancer awareness either in the children oncology ward at Bethesda Naval Hospital or on the steps of the Washington monument during childhood cancer awareness week.

 

1549 Views | 77 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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!

1355 Views | 110 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

New Military Spouse Book Offers Insight From a Few of Us Male Spouses!

Stories-Around-the-Table-cover-Web-210x244.jpg(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.

The inspiration for the book came from a phone call Elva Resa author and publisher Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito received from a young military spouse who was facing several military life challenges. “We sent her a variety of books and suggested community resources,” says Pavlicin-Fragnito, a former Marine spouse, “but I really wanted to invite that young woman to my kitchen table, to have lunch or coffee or dessert with a handful of other military spouses who understand her life.”

At a spouse summit sponsored by Military.com in April 2013, Pavlicin-Fragnito spent two days gathered around tables, listening to military spouses recount stories and lessons learned from around the world. Many of those spouses regularly write or talk about their experiences on social media, in published books and columns, at workshops, or on the radio. “I wanted to invite them all to have lunch with that young spouse—and with other military families, new and seasoned—to laugh, cry, lend insight, and tell stories,” she says. “A book seemed like a great venue for a gathering of that scope.” The first person at the summit she invited to the literary table was Stars and Stripes columnist Terri Barnes.

1017 Views | 75 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

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.

1144 Views | 39 Likes | 42 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Sandboxx

Wish we would've known about Sandbox during the last deployment. For everyone else who has a spouse deployed, check this out...pretty cool.

http://www.sandboxx.us/
www.sandboxx.us
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Top 5 Ways to Show Appreciation to Military Spouses

MSShirt.jpgA few weeks ago AT&T contacted me about writing a couple blogs on how best to appreciate a military spouse. Now, since Military Spouse Appreciation Day is on May 9th, I thought this was a great gesture by one of America's largest corporations to ask this question specifically of male spouses. Plus, AT&T offered a couple iPad gift baskets in exchange for my thoughts. The deal is that I have to share one of those iPads with you guys. I felt that offer was a no-brainer, so here you go. My top five ways people can acknowledge the sacrifices military spouses make on behalf of their families and nation. Before I begin, I want to make it clear that the following list is how I want to be appreciated; we're all different and I know other guys have different ideas. That's great! If you add your ideas below this story, I will put your name in a hat for a chance to win one of those AT&T iPad gift baskets (the only disclaimer I'm putting on this is that you must have your entry in before midnight on May 4th.)

One more thing, I feel a little self-conscious writing this because I really don't think anyone needs to appreciate me as a spouse. I'm happy and proud to live this lifestyle without any recognition. Tens of millions of people go to work everyday, many in not such great environments and/or circumstances. I do believe military spouses have it more difficult than most, but we're just doing our part to help make this country great.

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New Resource for Male Military Spouses!

DavePhoto.jpgHow many of you guys have had the opportunity to listen to Dave Etter's blog talk radio show?  If not, well, it's a work in progress and that lack of show polish is just the way he wants it.  Dave is retired from the Navy and currently married to an Army medic, he has also volunteered as a Family Readiness Group Leader while stationed at Ft Campbell.  So to say Dave (aka “Old Fart”) is an opinionated straight-shooter who often times fires “from the hip” and checks his facts later would be an accurate statement.  I can joke about him because I know he can take it, hell, many times he insists on it! 

I met Dave for the first time last May at a bar in San Antonio, a perfect setting for the conversation that would launch today's Male Military Spouse Radio Show (MMSRS – don't blame me for another meaningless acronym, Dave picked the title).  As we sat there drinking some ice-cold brews and sharing stories, Dave mentioned that he used to be on the radio in Arizona.  Yes, he has the gift of gab.  I also knew he had a lot of experience helping military families navigate the often confusing path of DoD support groups and processes, so starting a blog talk radio show that combines his skills with knowledge was a no brainer.  I think it was at about the 3rd or 4th beer where we decided this was a good idea.  I believe he still feels the same way since he's been doing his show every Friday (noon CST) since June 2014.  Hell, he even picked up a show sponsor in fellow male military spouse Doug Nordman (author of The Military Guid to Financial Independence and Retirement).  The show quality continues to improve each week even though the Old Fart sometimes goes down never ending wormholes, but it's a remarkable improvement from the first show.  In fact, if you ever want a good laugh, go back and listen to that first show…classic!

Dave is a good man trying to help the best way he can, by bringing us spouses together and sharing knowledge.  He is rough around the edges and so is his show, which makes every Friday afternoon “must hear” radio.  Just a friendly heads-up, as soon as Dave learned that he could cuss on Blog Talk Radio, he started dropping the occasional “F bomb” simply because he could.  Hey, what do you expect from an old Navy fart!? 



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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.

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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.

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Macho Spouse Chris Pape on USMC Life Radio

Semper Feisty with USMC LifeMacho Spouse Founder Chris Pape talks with Kristine and Jackie, of Semper Feisty Radio with USMC Life, about civilian male military spouses, the Macho Spouse project and making life work as a male military spouse. You can listen to Kristine and Jackie interview Chris in the second segment of the Semper Feisty radio show, starting at 25:50.

Chris shares how the Macho Spouse project started as a result of PCS that left him unable to find a job in his career field. He also shares insight into the growing number of civilian male military spouses and the similarities and differences between civilian male military spouses and their female counterparts. Also, you can hear Chris explain why he chose the name "Macho Spouse" for the project.

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Macho Spouse Chris Pape to Represent Male Military Spouses at MOAA Military Spouse Symposium

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)This Friday, Macho Spouse Chris Pape will represent male military spouses at the 7th annual Military Spouse Symposium hosted by our friends at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). Chris will be one of the featured speakers at the event to talk about the support network for male military spouses we have here at Macho Spouse.

Military spouses, service members and veterans are invited to attend the 2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium “Keeping a Career on the Move,”  hosted by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

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Male Military Spouses Create Their Own Support Networks

logo_machospouse-245x150.pngMale military spouses continue to attract more attention from the media.  In this article, Wayne Perry of MANning the Homefront and Chris Pape of Macho Spouse, share why they decided to start organizations specifically designed to help male military spouses and their families.  This was initially published in the Journal Inquirer (Connecticut) by Kristen Tsetsi, who also authored the novel Pretty Much True..., the at-home war story inspired by her husband's 2003 deployment to Iraq.

We may be a little biassed, but we think it's a great read.  Thank you Kristen and the Journal for taking an interest in male military spouses!

You can read the article here.

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Male Military Spouses: Increasingly Common Yet Still Invisible

Chris Pape, the man behind Macho Spouse, is featured in an article on AOL's Homepage for Heroes.

It's unclear exactly why, but the divorce rate among female military personnel is more than twice as high as for their male counterparts, and higher than that of female civilians -- even though for men the divorce rate is lower in the military than outside it.

Chris Pape has been with his wife ever since she just graduated her college ROTC program in 2000, and never felt the need to reach out to other military spouses. "I'm such a fiercely independent person. My wife did her thing, I did my thing. I didn't really embrace the military as a lifestyle."

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