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Archive for the 'family' Tag

Categories: 3 items(s) found

Education

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Military Spouse Education Benefits, Military Spouse and Family Educational Assistance, Schools, Certifications 

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Posted in Education



Man-to-Man Videos

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Man-to-Man videos share life experiences and meaningful military family advice, one male military spouse to another.

We believe there is a life lesson in every one of these videos. It is Macho Spouse's mission to try and record and post as many interviews from male military spouses, military family counselors, and active-duty female military members as possible. If you, or someone you know, has a story or experience to share, please email Macho Spouse to learn how you can get involved.

(Retired, divorced, National Guard and Reserve are always welcome to participate.)

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Videos

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Macho Spouse videos contain interviews from current and former male military spouses, military family and relationship counselors, military spouse career and entrepreneur experts; as well as a variety of other individuals who have an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to be a happy, successful, strong, supportive person in military family life.

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Posted in Videos



Posts: 164 items(s) found

Navy male spouses near San Diego...this is for you!

CALLING ALL MALE SPOUSES! Want to make a difference? Get some free pizza and refreshments? Well Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) wants to hear your voice on what programs and activities would best meet your needs and perspectives.

2305 Views | 117 Likes


Posted in Community

image for The Jones Act and the U.S. Military

The Jones Act and the U.S. Military

Maritime LogoThe Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act, has been protecting seamen and merchant marines, as well as supporting the U.S. Military for decades. It is a law that allows maritime workers to seek compensation from employers, that regulates commerce in U.S. waterways, and that enforces U.S. law on all vessels in the country, foreign or domestic.

Rights for Mariners and Supporting a Strong Military

One of the most important things the Jones Act does is allow merchant marines and seamen to pursue damages from employers. This is important to the maritime industry in the U.S. because it forces employers to maintain safer work environments and to take responsibility when sloppy safety procedures or other factors lead to an injury or death. The right to seek compensation extends to dependent family members of anyone who dies in a maritime job because of negligence.

The Jones Act is also important in supporting the military. The law forces vessels in the U.S., as well as ports, terminals, and other facilities, to follow laws and to maintain productive and safe maritime work environments. When the U.S. goes to war the military can call ships, ports, technology, and infrastructure into action. The Jones Act ensures that these are in good working order in the event the military needs them.

Providing Information and Resources

MaritimeInjuryCenter.com provides up-to-date and researched information about everything related to maritime laws, especially the Jones Act, current events in the maritime industry, personal injury cases, and legal rights and opportunities. These are made available so that maritime workers, merchant marines, and others have the resources they need to exercise their rights. We can help you get the information you need about maritime legal matters and resources to legal experts. For more information contact our head of advocacy, Dan Griffin, at: Dgriffin@maritimeinjurycenter.com, or https://www.maritimeinjurycenter.com/contact/

936 Views | 55 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Marine to SAHD: Milestones

Marine to SAHD: Milestones

AndrewWebPic copy.jpgThis article is a piece of information that has helped me capture milestones for my loved one who is always at work.  I know that it can be difficult so I hope this helps someone down the line.

I know that it has been awhile since I have written anything regarding Twin life but here is why. MILESTONES! The girls are almost one and a half years old now and the milestones have been piling up. From saying their first words to walking and the list continues to grow each day. As a stay at home dad and the love of my life working during the day it is expected that she will miss things in person. This can be depressing for our loved ones but I have found that the smartphone is my best friend when it comes to this. I take pictures and videos constantly so she does not feel like she is missing everything. As male military spouses we have to understand that we are that small percent as our wives are in the military community. We miss out on special time with our wives because they work, and they miss out on milestones and this can be daunting for some. We can use our smartphones for good and show them that we do care and we understand the sacrifices they make. I hope this helps any dad out there having trouble showing their wife that they do love them and understand. This has helped me with my twin girls and my marriage; I just hope it helps someone else out there.

1855 Views | 159 Likes


Posted in Andrew Ferguson

image for Marine to SAHD: My 6 Rules for Twins

Marine to SAHD: My 6 Rules for Twins

AndrewWebPic copy.jpg

As I stated in my introduction, I couldn't have been more wrong in my life about being bored. With twins everything is times two, sounds simple right? Not exactly. I STRONGLY suggest to anyone who has twins to create a simple set of rules and follow them. For example, here are the rules I created for me and my girls:

Rule #1: Do NOT try to feed them at the same time or you will stress out your rotator cuff. I did.

2468 Views | 243 Likes


Posted in Andrew Ferguson

Blue Star Families Hosting Holiday Luncheon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Spread the word: If you know any Wounded Warrior families, please let them know that on December 16th, Blue Star Families will be hosting a Holiday Luncheon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. There will be food, fesitivities, and fun (plus presents for the kiddos :) 

Where: Walter Reed Medical Center, Wounded Warrior Café, Building 62
When: December 16, 2012 from 11:30-2:30

RSVP by phone (434.205.4435) or email (tross@bluestarfam.org) 
by December 10, 2012. If you are bringing children, please RSVP with their age and gender.

2049 Views | 86 Likes


Posted in Blog

image for Faithwalk Music blog by Taurus M. James - Air Force Male Spouse

Faithwalk Music blog by Taurus M. James - Air Force Male Spouse

Faithwalk Music is a blog by Taurus M. James (Air Force Male Spouse).

1942 Views | 91 Likes


Posted in Blog

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....

1806 Views | 211 Likes


Posted in Blog

Meet our FRG Co-leader, Dee!

img-roland-220x130.pngThis week has been filled with long days and short nights. My daughter and I have left the house in the darkness of morning and returned to the darkness of evening. I will admit, I was a bit nervous about my first interactions with the Family Readiness Group (FRG). Last month, I went to the monthly steering committee meeting to discuss the Battalion activities, but there were other male Soldiers present that helped ease me into the setting. This week would be a little different.

The first meeting was our small groups. It consisted of the various Company FRG leaders and Co-Leaders getting together, discussing various events, and sharing ideas. As it currently stands, I'm the only male in a FRG Leader/Co-Leader position. I thought I would be uncomfortable, but that honestly wasn't the case. The ladies made me feel very welcome. Before we got started, there was some small talk and not once did I feel like their conversation was filtered due to the presence of a man.

Continue reading...

Posted in Blog

Military Spouse Videos Wanted

video cameraIf you have a desire to help fellow military families, own a video camera of decent quality, and want to get in on the ground-floor of a growing organization, please contact us. We are always creating new content and have opportunities for those who want to contribute while making a difference.  Male or female spouse doesn't matter, but the content should be "guy friendly," or gender neutral.

The videos we want should be fun and informative.  Don't worry about the quality...we'll help any way we can.

This is currently a non-paid opportunity, but as soon as we figure out how to make some dough, all contributors will be eligible for some sort of compensation.  Unless you want to keep providing stuff for free...

If interested, email or message us to get all the details.

2841 Views | 181 Likes


Posted in Blog

image for Rant #1 from The Old Fart

Rant #1 from The Old Fart

daveblog.jpgWhat is like to be a military male-spouse? I will tell a little bit of my take on it... I am Crazy Dave Etter, also known as Old Fart.  Imagine the surprise of over 200 women in a historically all female attendance annual Army event called "Spouse Appreciation Night" when this 6 foot 300+ guy walks in and makes himself at home...

4202 Views | 143 Likes


Posted in Blog

image for The NMFA Recognizes Macho Spouse

The NMFA Recognizes Macho Spouse

NMFAlogo.jpgCalling All Male Military Spouses!

Large, national organizations are starting to take notice of male military spouses. The National Military Family Association recognized Macho Spouse and male military spouses in their latest eNewsletter.

This is more proof that people find our stories interesting, helpful and worthy of acknowledgment. Pretty cool being mentioned by a prestigious organization such as this.

Thank you Katie and the NMFA! (Click the NMFA logo to see the story.)

Posted in Blog

image for Think the Fiscal Cliff is scary?

Think the Fiscal Cliff is scary?

(The Old Fart speaks his mind and we encourage that at Macho Spouse.  However, The Old Fart's views do not necessarily represent the views of Macho Spouse...but he sure is fun to read.)

daveblog.jpgThink the Fiscal Cliff is scary?
Wait till you do your taxes!!!
You crazy political cry-babies, you stubborn fools who call yourselves the people's choice – are you really that blind?

3223 Views | 115 Likes


Posted in Blog

image for Today as a Male Military Spouse - Her Support

Today as a Male Military Spouse - Her Support

Taurus and Trauna JamesLearning the support role as a male military spouse was very, VERY difficult for me. When I look back, I point to my pride and immaturity as major factors in my slow learning and acceptance of the role.

I changed over time, but time did not change me. I had to continuously choose to "fall back" and develop this as a way of thinking. That's not an easy thing to do when you're an aggressive, no-nonsense dude like me. Faith in Christ is what changed my mind and changed me, allowing me see that love requires that I demonstrate what it is to be my wife's support in a sacrificial manner.

Here is something for Valentine's Day - a re-post of one of my blog entries about demonstrating my love and support for my wife after a difficult week.

2029 Views | 164 Likes


Posted in Blog

image for Drink, Drank, Drunk: Wading Though Military Life

Drink, Drank, Drunk: Wading Though Military Life

Daddy-Ian-Beer.jpgThe author, Chris Field, demonstrating some "top-shelf" parenting while at Epcot's Biergarten.

 

There seems to be a common thread running through military sociability: booze. It's the thread that allows you to tie one on just about anytime. It's everywhere. At the Exchange, at the local Class Six…hell, you might even score some free booze from those distributors hosting tasting events throughout the year. Play your cards right, and you could be half in the bag before the sun even goes down.
When I first drive through the gates, there's always the sign telling me how many days it's been since the last alcohol related incident on post. And when that sign 'resets' back to 1, I'm always tempted to check it out: “Uh oh, what did (one of a handful of likely suspects) do now?” Thankfully, I've never triggered it myself. Yet.

3399 Views | 207 Likes


Posted in Blog

Male Military Spouses: Check out the re-designed MachoSpouse.com

I completed the website re-design and website development for the MachoSpouse.com website and it is now live!

MachoSpouse.com is an online resource and informational hub for male military spouses. It's a positive, pro-active project designed to help guys deal with current military life issuesthrough the use of video, online networking and communication.

Keywords: malemilitaryspouse military website militarylife militaryfamily militaryspousecareer
Posted in Blog

Pres. Obama explains why military should be quarantined longer than civilians

Wow...just, wow. Thoughts?
Military Quarantine Explanation
www.c-span.org
Pres. Obama explains why military should be quarantined longer than civilians

1312 Views | 136 Likes


Posted in Blog

SAHD Life: Are You a Sad-At-Holidays-Dad? - Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness

When I was a boy, I loved the holidays. I had great anticipation and excitement during Christmas. I loved being with family and friends during Thanksgiving. Food, football (Washington Redskins forever!) and fellowship are what I looked forward to the most.

But then something happened. I didn't know exactly when, but I was definitely a grown-up at the time when I started dreading the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas became the worst times of the year for me. The things I loved about these holidays and anticipated as a boy, I hated as a man and a father.

At first, I didn't think anything was wrong. I just thought that I outgrew the hype and hooplah of the holidays. But I was wrong.I was diagnosed with clinical depression. Each year, the holiday season, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, triggered my anxiety, depression and loneliness.

The worst part for me was not recognizing the negative impact all of this was having on my family.I was a "Sad-At-Holidays-Dad" for the first five years of my daughter's life.

Keywords: SAHD, male military spouse, depression, anxiety, loneliness, stress, holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, grief
Posted in Blog

Security in Turkey

Are there any guys (or ladies) currently in Turkey? If so, is security an issue for you and your family?
Kidnapping plot in Turkey raises new questions about U.S. troops' safety
www.airforcetimes.com
A bold yet ultimately unsuccessful kidnapping plot orchestrated by the Islamic State in Turkey raises new questions about the safety of U.S. troops and other American personnel stationed throughout the country.
Posted in Blog

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Thoughts on Command Pt 1

TimFamily.jpgFellow male spouse Tim Blake has a new post on his Army Dad Blog, "Thoughts on Command Pt 1."   Army Dad is a blog by Tim Blake, a stay at home dad (sahd) who raises four beautiful children.  He is the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel and does his best to keep up with the kids and their activities.  In his free time, he enjoys playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project.  You can connect with him on twitter @ArmySpouse007.

TimBlog.jpg

1748 Views | 188 Likes


Posted in Blog

image for Top 5 Ways to Show Appreciation to Military Spouses

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.

3167 Views | 343 Likes


Posted in Blog

Where Does The Male Military Spouse Go For Information, Resources, Help?

MachoSpouse.com, an online resource and informational hub for male military spouses. Macho Spouse is a positive, pro-active project designed to help guys deal with current military life issues  through the use of video, online networking and communication.

The videos contain interviews from current and former male military spouses, military family and relationship counselors, military spouse career and entrepreneur experts; as well as a variety of other individuals who have an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to be a happy, successful, strong, supportive person in military family life.

Keywords: malemilitaryspouse military militarylife militaryfamily militaryspousecareers machospouse resources
Posted in Blog

image for Top 10 Reasons Military Spouses Benefit From Facebook Groups

Top 10 Reasons Military Spouses Benefit From Facebook Groups

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

Posted in Bloggers

image for 365 Days/180 Degrees

365 Days/180 Degrees

ChangeSign.jpgMarch 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.

2003 Views | 234 Likes


Posted in Bloggers

image for Macho Spouse - The Name

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

1883 Views | 172 Likes


Posted in Bloggers

image for New Army Study - Seeking Male Military Spouses

New Army Study - Seeking Male Military Spouses

ArmySpouseLogo.jpgI have focused the last 10 years of my career as a research psychologist on trying to better understand the needs, struggles, and success of military couples and families. I've worked with hundreds of couples, given numerous presentations, published several articles, received multiple research grants … yet it is quite clear to me that in some ways, I have failed in my efforts.

To give some background, I began my first academic position in 2005. Given all that was happening at that time, I wanted to give back in some way to service members and families who give so much of themselves in service of our country. As a civilian, I saw two main ways of being able to actively engage in this. One was to volunteer when I was able. The second way was to find a way to build this commitment to military families into my everyday life.
For me, the second approach – folding my efforts into the very fabric of my life – was the way to make a sustained commitment over time. That is when I set about trying to connect my everyday work as a clinical psychologist and researcher to helping this unbelievably deserving group of people. I took my expertise in research on couples and anxiety, and applied it to researching the experiences of military couples, with the goal of learning how best to help those couples when they struggle.

2742 Views | 378 Likes


Posted in Bloggers

image for Take Your Smoothie & Suck It

Take Your Smoothie & Suck It

SmoothieFlag.jpgSo this post on Stars and Stripes is currently making the rounds on social media and is kicking up quite a bit of dust. Historically I'm a sucker for these types of “opinion pieces” primarily because I love reading the comments, and the follow-up commentary on this post didn't disappoint. However, most people seemed to have missed Mr. Duffy's thinly veiled insult to military family members; as well as, a very lousy marketing and public relations policy.

7555 Views | 3416 Likes | 1 Comments


Posted in Bloggers

image for The Importance of Protecting My Family More Than My Golf Balls

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)

5408 Views | 224 Likes


Posted in Bloggers

image for Three Weeks in a TownePlace Suites by Marriott

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.

2122 Views | 214 Likes


Posted in Bloggers

MilitaryTownAdvisor.com provides Neighborhood, Apartment, School Reviews near Military Bases

Here is a great chance to win some money for the holidays! Simply go to MilitaryTownAdvisor.com and leave a review of your current (and/or past) neighborhoods, schools, apartment complexes. The more reviews you leave, the more often you are entered to win! We all want as much information as we can get about our next move and Military Town Advisor is becoming a great resource for that info!

 
MilitaryTownAdvisor.com - Neighborhood, Apartment, School Reviews near Military Bases
 
militarytownadvisor.com
 
MilitaryTownAdvisor.com is a relocation resource where military families write reviews about their local areas, neighborhoods, apartment complexes and schools in military towns.

2868 Views | 154 Likes


Posted in Business Links

image for Feel Like a Man Volunteer Opportunity

Feel Like a Man Volunteer Opportunity

We know the title sounds a bit sexist, but we just can't help it...because it's true!  We also know this is VERY late in posting, but we really just learned about these projects a couple weeks ago.  If you're looking for a great way to get out of the house and help your community, check out the Home Depot Foundation.  The pictures below are from a recent stop here in San Antonio where they helped rehab an old VFW just north of town.  We look forward to working with them in the future to help spread the word for next year's activities.  Until then, if you're in one of these cities...get off your butt and go help!

http://homedepotfoundation.org/page/cos-projects

MS-HDVolunteer.jpg

1926 Views | 223 Likes | 1 Comments


Posted in Community

image for Real Food for Real Men

Real Food for Real Men

Wings.jpgFellow 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.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Real-Food-for-Real-Men/468272673270622

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. 

1862 Views | 116 Likes | 1 Comments


Posted in Community

image for Advice for the New

Advice for the New 'Mr. Mom'

Winegar_2.jpgFor guys, staying at home with the kids can be unchartered territory. I think every stay at home dad approaches his role differently, and he conducts a lot of discovery learning to figure out what works best for him and his family. For this reason, I comprised a list of key points to advise fathers who are stepping into the role of "Mr. Mom." Although every family is different, I have to imagine seasoned stay at home dads will find my list relevant and in the ballpark of what to expect. If someone had given me a list like this nine years ago, it would have been helpful. Feel free to share your experiences and add some points that I didn't include to this discussion:

2468 Views | 156 Likes



image for From Breadwinner to Stay-at-Home Dad

From Breadwinner to Stay-at-Home Dad

brodniakfamily.jpgBy Aaron Brodniak

My journey as a military spouse began shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Within a week my wife was recalled into the U.S. Coast Guard and working as a sea marshal boarding ships and performing inspections. At that time, I was the primary breadwinner of the family and had a job as a regional brewer.

Initially my wife's return to active duty was an easy transition since her first duty station didn't require us to move. That soon changed and less than a year later we were assigned to a duty station that led to me leaving my job.

My first challenges were house hunting and trying to figure out what to do with my time. In my adult life I had served in the Coast Guard and then worked in the private sector; this was my first time not having a job outside the house. Since we were expecting our first child, we decided it made more sense financially for me to stay home and finish up my bachelor's degree before my G.I. Bill expired.

3043 Views | 167 Likes



image for SAHD Life: Sad-At-Holidays-Dad - Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness

SAHD Life: Sad-At-Holidays-Dad - Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness

Holiday Depression"SAHD Life" is a blog segment by male military spouse and stay-at-home-dad, Taurus James - husband for 15 years, father for 7 years, SAHD for 2 years. In this post, Taurus takes a look back at his personal struggles with anxiety, depression and lonliness during the holidays and encourages others to seek help.

When I was a boy, I loved the holidays. I had great anticipation and excitement during Christmas. I loved being with family and friends during Thanksgiving. Food, football (Washington Redskins forever!) and fellowship are what I looked forward to the most.

But then something happened. I didn't know exactly when, but I was definitely a grown-up at the time when I started dreading the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas became the worst times of the year for me. The things I loved about these holidays and anticipated as a boy, I hated as a man and a father.

4832 Views | 98 Likes



image for Children and Technology

Children and Technology

Max Winegar

If I asked a group of people that ranged in age if they would like to play a game of “PIG” or “HORSE” outside (and I had a basketball in my hand), how many would know what I was talking about? You might be surprised that some children might ask, “You want us to make pig or horse noises as we shoot hoops?” Some of you may laugh, but this was an honest question from some of the neighborhood children that come over to play with my kids.

Through my studies in education and working with students in classrooms, technology certainly brings a new perspective to learning. Students not only have the ability to research topics instantly through the use of the internet, but they can also talk to other students in different countries, take virtual field trips to museums that are in other cities, and write or edit papers quickly.

2341 Views | 364 Likes



image for 25 Reasons Why an Infant is Like a Deployment

25 Reasons Why an Infant is Like a Deployment

ChrisFields.jpgTom Cruise took a great deal of heat a number of months back for suggesting that wrapping his film Oblivion was like returning from Afghanistan. And oh, did the howling begin in earnest. And while I know that he was trying to suggest that filming an action epic was physically demanding and mentally taxing, you just knew he picked the wrong metaphor to characterize his challenges.

(This is NOT Tom Cruise)


But there are at least one or two Cruise movies that you've enjoyed over the years, so you let it slide just this once, because you know it will never happen again. I ask that same level of charity and indulgence here…

 

1944 Views | 103 Likes



image for Carpe Diem!

Carpe Diem!

EverettDaughter-220.jpgCarpe 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.

2286 Views | 108 Likes



image for Get in the Game

Get in the Game

AMUNewA.jpgBy John Aldrich, AVP, Military Relations at American Military University

Movember, the grass roots movement to raise awareness about men's health issues is nearly complete, and for those of you who are growing a mustache to show support for the cause, I salute you. For those who didn't participate or weren't aware of Movember, there is always next November.

Just like the mustaches of the Men of Movember, male military spouses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are stay-at-home dads, some run businesses from home, and others balance careers outside the home and taking care of the family.

1923 Views | 108 Likes



image for How I Had the Best Summer Ever...While My Wife was Deployed

How I Had the Best Summer Ever...While My Wife was Deployed

RobSitePic.jpgSince I've been married, one of the best summers I've had was when my wife was deployed.  Sounds crazy and maybe a little insensitive to my wife...but it's true!

First of all, don't get me wrong -- holding down the home front during the deployment was one of the hardest things I've been through. But without the structure of my wife's workweek I was able to spend the summer exploring the great outdoors with our 2 boys. We went on one camping trip after another, any day of the week. A couple times I didn't even bother unpacking the truck when we got home. I just did some laundry, re-packed the cooler, and after a day or two at home we headed back out to another National Park.

2111 Views | 112 Likes



image for How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts

How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts

RobSitePic.jpgWhatever your Winter Holiday tradition, now is the time when many cultures have historically livened up the dark days of winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) with celebrations of community, charity, and gift-giving*.  Going into debt, however, should not be a part of your tradition.

How much should you spend on Christmas?


I'm big on using percentages when budgeting.  Except for the really, really poor or really, really rich, it makes sense to me that if Martha gets paid 50% more than George, then Martha can spend 50% more than George.  That generally goes for housing, cars, or Christmas presents. In other words, don't try to “keep up with the Joneses,” especially if you get paid less than the Joneses.  That's the idea behind the 60% Budget: keep regular, monthly expenses down to 60% of your gross income, so you can save 10% each towards retirement, long-term savings, and short-term savings; the last 10% is 'fun money' for Starbucks, beer, wine, pizza, McDonald's, toys, etc. Ideally throughout the year you've saved up enough in your short-term savings to pay for Christmas, even after you've paid for oil changes, shoes for the kids, and a trip to the beach over the summer.

 

2175 Views | 140 Likes



image for Living OCONUS

Living OCONUS

Winegar_2.jpgNot too long ago, a Facebook friend and fellow military spouse posted how much she missed living in the U.S. We had a three year overseas assignment several years ago, and so I could relate to this post. I remember missing “home” too. 

Personally, our family had the opportunity to live in Germany for three years.  We visited many wonderful countries and I would not trade that opportunity for anything, but we also missed Texas, our friends and family.  Since we had a house on the economy, many times I would take our daughter to places like “The Kids Zone” (think “Chuck E. Cheese”) and we enrolled her in activities on post, such as ballet and soccer.  One of the biggest opportunities living overseas offered to us was for our daughter to enroll in German Kindergarten at age three.  She had a great time and quickly picked up the language (but even with proactive efforts and good intentions, maintaining those skills in the US is very difficult).

2170 Views | 90 Likes



image for Parents with Disabilities

Parents with Disabilities

PattMSShirt_New.jpgI recently came across an article that really made me stop and think "Could this really happen?" then it became "Oh Wait... They are talking about a Family like mine." 

 

The Article I am talking about is a post from MrDad.com answering a a Veterns question "My husband and I both have disabilities. He is blind and I suffer from a traumatic brain injury I received serving in Iraq. I'm pregnant and we're due in about a month. We were both so excited, but a friend told us that there's a chance we could lose custody of the baby because we both have disabilities. Now, instead of looking forward to becoming parents, we're both in a panic. Is that true? If so, what can we do?"

2032 Views | 169 Likes



image for The Busy Life of an Army Family

The Busy Life of an Army Family

TimBlog.jpgThe last several weeks have been non stop for our family.  There have been trips, sports events, family visits, etc. It seems like there is a never ending stream of things to do and places to be.  I find it hard to imagine a stretch of more than a few days where we have nothing planned. Take this week, for example.  Yesterday, my oldest had a football game, while at the same time our battalion (for which I play) was in the championships of the base racquetball league. Somehow, my wife and I managed to cover down on both, all the while dragging three other kids along for the ride.  Tonight is not much different. The battalion has its Halloween party while my oldest is again at a football event (this time playing in the band). Add to that our martial arts class (which I teach).  I can envision my head hitting the pillow tonight and my eyes closing quickly afterwards.  And this isn't the last of it this week.  Friday night there is a school Fall Festival while one of the kids has to be out of town at a different school event.  At least the price of gas is going down...

For the rest of the story, visit Tim's blog at: http://armyspouseami.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-busy-life-of-army-family.html

 

About the Author:  Tim currently lives in San Angelo, TX and is a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children.  He is the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel who does his best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities.  He enjoys playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow him on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007.

1724 Views | 156 Likes



Find Military Family Deals and Discounts at MilitaryOneClick

Military One ClickWhen you are looking for military family deals and discounts, make sure that you visit the Shopping, Deals & Money page at  MilitaryOneClick. Here at Macho Spouse, we will continue to search for, ask for and highlight male military spouse deals and discounts. We want to help you save money by pointing you to the information that is already available online.

As we pointed out in an earlier post, MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families and the community that supports the military. So, visit the Shopping, Deals & Money page and see how they can help you save money.

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image for Marine Veteran/Male Military Spouse - Scentsy?  Yep!

Marine Veteran/Male Military Spouse - Scentsy? Yep!

AndrewWebPic copy.jpgMarine veteran and male military spouse, Andrew Ferguson, has stepped outside his comfort zone to make a little money.  He is selling Scentsy stuff.  Guys, THIS is the type of creativity, determination, and courage it takes to be a successful business person as a miltiary spouse!  When we asked how this new venture came about, this is what Andrew said:

2494 Views | 153 Likes



image for Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Bond?

Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Bond?

vid_whatisbond.jpgWhat is a “bond?” No, not a secret agent from England, but an investment tool used to grow wealth.  According to the Wall Street Journal, bonds are a form of debt. Bonds are loans, or IOUs, but you serve as the bank.  You loan your money to a company, a city, the government – and they promise to pay you back in full, with regular interest payments.

Pretty understandable, but for greater detail and examples, click on the video and listen to Scott Halliwell from USAA explain.

1638 Views | 151 Likes


Posted in Definitions

image for Making It Through A Deployment

Making It Through A Deployment

Winegar_2.jpgIf I were to offer any advice to a military spouse either preparing for or experiencing their first deployment, I would tell them four things.

First, turn off the news! As a spouse, naturally, you worry. The media certainly does not help you out. Occasionally, I would watch the news or see internet headlines that just “grab you” to make you read. But, this really is a balancing act. If you have the news on all day, you will end up making yourself sick!

2415 Views | 146 Likes


Posted in Deployments

image for When Homecoming is Not So Happy

When Homecoming is Not So Happy

Homecoming is great! Your spouse is finally coming home after a military deployment. You are finally going to be together again after spending so much time apart. But it is possible that the homecoming experience might not be so happy.
 
Military deployments present different situations which will affect families differently. The separation of the active duty military member from family can be a tough experience. The homecoming experience can be a tough one, too. But here are a few Tips Everyone Can Use To Welcome A Military Member Home.
Posted in Deployments

image for Contractor vs Employee

Contractor vs Employee

employee-contractor-300x270.jpgSo, you have a job offer and the employer offers you employment as either an independent contractor or an employee. You figure that since your wife is in the military, you don't need the insurance and your paycheck will be bigger without all that withholding taken out.

Life as a 1099'er

Ready to take that 1099? Not so fast. You might be in for a big shock at the end of the year. Here is a list of some of the hits you'll take.

• All the income taxes for each taxing entity will be due every quarter after your first year in business. A total of 90 percent must be paid by April 15 of the following year or there will be a penalty.

• You will have to pay the entire Social Security tax. That amounts to 15.3 percent on your first $113,700 and 2.9 percent over that amount. Employees get half that amount paid by their employer automatically. However, as a self-employed individual, you may deduct the half that an employer would have contributed.

• Independent contractors are not covered by non-discrimination laws, wage and hour protection, unemployment insurance, or pension and benefit protections that “real” employees receive.

• If you drive or run other equipment for the business that pays you, you won't be covered by the employer's insurance policy. Guess who that leaves?

What Makes an Employee

The basic issue in deciding whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor is the business's control over the work of the person. This sounds like a simple matter, but courts constantly are deluged with arguments about this issue.

If you're told when to come to work; if you don't provide your own equipment or supplies; and if you are paid in set increments such as hours or piecework, you are an employee, period. If they train you, you are an employee. The courts have made clear that just because the employer doesn't decide to use control, doesn't mean you are then an independent contractor. The crux of the matter is whether they have the right to do so. Read the IRS publication about the issue of contractors vs employees.

Making the Right Decision

Before you make any decisions, take some time to investigate and consider which category works best for you and your family. If you are leaning toward becoming an independent contractor, make sure you're prepared to save enough to cover your tax expenses and any additional costs like liability insurance.

Consider incorporating as a LLC to protect yourself and give you additional tax protection. It's a good idea to get the help of a paralegal, lawyer and tax specialist.

If you are considering becoming self-employed, be certain to read the IRS Bulletin Understanding Employment Taxes. This is a simple document that explains what the requirements are in everyday language.

This post was sponsored by the School of Firearms Technology from the Sonoran Desert Institute.

2040 Views | 218 Likes


Posted in Find Work

image for Donating to a Worthy Non-Profit This Holiday Season?  Here is a Worthy Organization.

Donating to a Worthy Non-Profit This Holiday Season? Here is a Worthy Organization.

My mom was looking to make a holiday donation to a trustworthy non-profit organization that supports military families, but she had no idea where to give.  I told her about this medium-sized non-profit doing great work putting military spouses and veterans to work, I believe they've placed about 7,000 veterans and spouses in 2015 (maybe more/less, I don't have access to the up-to-date numbers).

Unfortunately it's a fact that not every non-profit organization spends their money wisely, many pay for bloated salaries, bloated leases, and bloated bonuses before actually helping the military family.  CASY and MSCCN have busted their asses to keep their overhead low while spending most of their money/effort on finding jobs for every one of their applicants.  I believe they spend $.93 of every dollar on their mission...impressive!  But don't take my word for it, watch this video and learn more about these great people doing great things.  Then decide on whether you can trust them with your donation.

1022 Views | 29 Likes


Posted in Find Work

image for Planning a Career as a Military Spouse?  Think Portability!

Planning a Career as a Military Spouse? Think Portability!

AMUNewA.jpgArticle 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.

2447 Views | 248 Likes


Posted in Find Work

image for 2017 Military Family Support Programming Survey

2017 Military Family Support Programming Survey

Here is a great opportunity to voice your concerns...or not. These surveys are very important for future generations of military families!

Survey open October 9th - November 12th

456 Views


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways o Thanks Day #13

30 Ways o Thanks Day #13

30Still.jpgDon't forget the National Guard and Reserves when it comes to thanking a military family for their service!

 

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.

1728 Views | 180 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks

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.

2000 Views | 275 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #10

30 Ways of Thanks Day #10

30Still.jpgYesterday we shared a way to "thank" our military family members by helping with their pets, today we ask you to remember the military children.

 

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.

1628 Views | 176 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #11

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.

1604 Views | 116 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #12

30 Ways of Thanks Day #12

30Still.jpg"Every child deserves a toy for Christmas," we agree.  On the 12th way of "saying thanks," Lakesha Cole (2014 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year) reminds us about ToysforTots.org.

 

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.

1658 Views | 122 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #15

30 Ways of Thanks Day #15

30Still.jpgHave you ever considered volunteering for an Honor Flight welcome?  It's a great way to say "thanks" and 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.

1717 Views | 160 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #16

30 Ways of Thanks Day #16

30Still.jpgParticipating in the Coast Guard's Run to Remember is an excellent way to show your support for military families!  For more information, visit CoastGuardFoundation.org.

 

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.

1690 Views | 250 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #17

30 Ways of Thanks Day #17

30Still.jpgA great way to show your appreciation for military families is to adopt a military family this holiday season.  What?  Adopt a military family? Yes!  Reda Hicks, the Armed Forces Insurance Army Spouse of the Year, explains how operationwearehere.com can help you show your appreciation.

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.

1704 Views | 222 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #18

30 Ways of Thanks Day #18

30Still.jpgKate Pennington of Blue Star Families shares another way to show your support for military families during November.  Nominate a special someone in your community who has helped military families during a time of need for the Blue Star Neighbor Award!  Click here for more information.

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

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #19

30 Ways of Thanks Day #19

30Still.jpgA great way to show support for military families is to volunteer your time for organizations that support and serve them. Say thank you by giving back!

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.

1298 Views | 126 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #2

30 Ways of Thanks Day #2

30Still.jpgAnyone can donate flight miles or hotel points to Fisher House, to support injured service members and their families during the recovery process.

 

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.

1461 Views | 119 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #20

30 Ways of Thanks Day #20

30Still.jpgFamily 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.

Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #21

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

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #22

30 Ways of Thanks Day #22

30Still.jpgWe often tell military families "let me know if you ever need anything," but that's a really broad statement. Sometimes families don't know what they need until they're in the middle of a deployment or other assignment, other times they don't ask because they don't want to impose. But you can help! Identify a need, let the family know you are going to help with it. Be specific, and just do it! The milfam will appreciate the help!

 

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.

1490 Views | 184 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #23

30 Ways of Thanks Day #23

30Still.jpgMilitary spouses are the glue that holds military families together. They manage the homefront while their servicemembers defense ur freedoms. Sometimes, all they need is a little adult conversation and a listening ear.

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.

1297 Views | 124 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #24

30 Ways of Thanks Day #24

30Still.jpgIt's usually the "little things" in life that makes us smile.  In this video we learn that sometimes you don't have to make a grand gesture to show your thanks for military families.

 

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

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #25

30 Ways of Thanks Day #25

30Still.jpgAFI Army Spouse of the Year, Reda Hicks, propses a toast to all military families! Raise a glass of your favorite beverage (not water because that's bad luck), take a "selfie," and upload it to Twitter and/or Facebook with a message as to why you are thankful for military families.  Tag your message with #gratefulnation so we can collect all your images and share!

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

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #26

30 Ways of Thanks Day #26

30Still.jpgDon't be a stranger when it comes to helping families during a deployment.  Stop by the house of a deployed soldier and check in on the family who stayed behind, a little bit of friendship goes a long way during this time of year!

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

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #27

30 Ways of Thanks Day #27

30Still.jpgBlue Star Families makes it easy to thank military families. Operation Appreciate lets you send thank you letters to military spouses, kids, and servicemembers. Operation Honor Corps lets you donate volunteer hours in their honor.

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.

1492 Views | 145 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #28

30 Ways of Thanks Day #28

30Still.jpgUSO's can be found worldwide, and are the go-to place for military and their families in transit, or in need of assistance in a new place. You can volunteer at USOs, or donate resources to help them do even more good work.

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.

1431 Views | 124 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #29

30 Ways of Thanks Day #29

30Still.jpgMilitary spouses make amazing employees, and entrepreneurs. If you have skills in things like professional development, or how to start a business, consider mentoring a military spouse!

 

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.

1801 Views | 275 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #3

30 Ways of Thanks Day #3

30Still.jpgWe're a little late to posting this today, but the message is good for the next 24 hours.  Get out and vote!!!

 

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.

1492 Views | 149 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #30

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.

1442 Views | 112 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #4

30 Ways of Thanks Day #4

30Still.jpgOne great way for business owners to say "thank you" this November is by offering military families discounts. Most military families live on a modest budget, and especially around the holidays every little bit helps!

 

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.

1553 Views | 185 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #5

30 Ways of Thanks Day #5

30Still.jpgIt's the little things that make the biggest difference. For military families frequently moving around the country, a friendly greeting from a neighbor looking to connect goes a long way.

 

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.

1463 Views | 164 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #6

30 Ways of Thanks Day #6

30Still.jpgYou don't have to know a military family to say "thank you!" A note of appreciation for a military family's sacrifice makes an impact whether you're a friend, a stranger, or an anonymous benefactor.

 

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.

1741 Views | 132 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #7

30 Ways of Thanks Day #7

30Still.jpgYou can make an immediate, direct, positive impact on a military family by helping a military spouse find work in their profession. Say thank you by flexing your network to help a military spouse make a professional connection.

 

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.

1595 Views | 178 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #8

30 Ways of Thanks Day #8

30Still.jpgMilitary kids face some unique challenges, and sometimes a great teacher makes all the difference. Say thanks to the teachers taking care of our military children!

 

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

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #9

30 Ways of Thanks Day #9

30Still.jpgLet's not forget about the pets when thanking military family members this month.  Dogs on Deployment helps deployed service members find temporary homes for pets while they are away. This is a great volunteer opportunity and another way to say, "thanks!"

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.

1428 Views | 143 Likes


Posted in Get Involved

image for The First  Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

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.

5223 Views | 877 Likes



image for 2015

2015 'Thank You' and Year In Review

malemilitaryspouse_2015_YIRIt'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!

1527 Views | 92 Likes | 1 Comments



image for Fusion TV Interview

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/

1703 Views | 228 Likes



image for Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse

Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse

Jamison Stone and wife 2.pngHello male military spouse community! 

My name is Jamison Stone and I am the spouse of Staff Sergeant Rebecca Bainbridge of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland. Because of her assignment, my wife, and the rest of her company, are on tour and away from their families for over 100 days out of the year.



As you very well know, Military service is hard on families. While I speak more about this topic on my blog, the ongoing struggle is very taxing to both the heart and the mind. Most difficult for me is the sadness and depression of separation during my partner's deployment and training.



Sadly, many Military Families have it far worse off than we do, particularly those with service members actually in harm's way, and especially of course those who make the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. All these women and men who proudly wear the cloth of our nation, and their families, are true heroes.



Female Mil Spouses are very lucky to have a wide network of other military wives to lean on during these difficult times. Sadly, we men, are not as fortunate. Personally, I find it extremely challenging as an Army husband to find a real sense of community. This is particularly emphasized when my wife is away on training or tour.

2475 Views | 196 Likes



image for Military Officers Association of America

Military Officers Association of America

Military Officers Association of America

Civilian male military spouses should know about [[EXLINK_20]] because it is a pretty influential organization that advocates for military officers and their families. Take a look at this description from MOAA's website:

MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. We are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers and their families at every stage of their careers.

1833 Views | 92 Likes


Posted in Links

Military Spouse JD Network - Legal Professionals improving the lives of military families

MSJDNLink.jpg

The Military Spouse JD Network is an international network of legal professionals improving the lives of military families.  We support military spouses by:

  • Advocating for licensing accommodations, including bar membership without additional examination,
  • Providing education about the challenges facing military families,
  • Encouraging hiring military spouses, and
  • Providing a support network.

2115 Views | 158 Likes


Posted in Links

MilitaryTownAdvisor.com - Neighborhood, Apartment, School Reviews near Military Bases

MTALink.jpg

Are you PCS-ing (relocating) any time soon? Need apartment/housing information? Need school information from other military parents? Need to know about the neighboorhood around your new base?

MilitaryTownAdvisor.com is a PCS relocation resource where military families write reviews about neighborhoods, apartment complexes and schools in military towns near U.S bases. Created by a military spouse for military families.

2830 Views | 76 Likes


Posted in Links

image for How Do I Shop for New Health Insurance Coverage?

How Do I Shop for New Health Insurance Coverage?

OK, here is an important topic USAA wrote about a few months ago and we obtained permission to re-post on Macho Money.  For those of you who are new to the military, you will receive your health insurance from Tricare.  Tricare is offered to all active duty members and their dependents.  Once your active duty spouse retires, your family is eligible for Tricare For Life.  However, if you guys decide to separate from the military before retirement qualifications are met, you aren't eligible for Tricare.  At this point the VA may be an option, but there are specific eligibility requirements so not everyone will qualify...plus the VA doesn't cover dependents.  So, for many of us, the pain of shopping for health insurance is inevitable.

 

Health insurance coverage is available to more Americans than ever under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created a marketplace of plans with a range of costs and benefits.

But before you start shopping around, it's wise to think about your needs and budget to find the best plan for you and your family.

Here's how to weigh your health insurance coverage options:

Posted in Macho Money

image for Inc 500/5000 Conference and Mentor Fair

Inc 500/5000 Conference and Mentor Fair

Guys, I personally attended this event last year in Phoenix and it was the best conference I've ever attended.  Inc. goes out of their way to make you feel welcome and feel as part of their family.  They offer a high-level of support even when the conference is over...hell, especially when the conference is over.  If you have your own business, or are thinking of starting one, I highly recommend you apply for this program.  If you don't get selected, I highly encourage you to go anyway.

Chris

Inc500.jpg

1825 Views | 97 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Military Saves Week Aims to Motivate Male Military Spouses to Better Their Finances

Military Saves Week Aims to Motivate Male Military Spouses to Better Their Finances

Military SavesAs a male military spouse, I know how important it is to stretch every dollar as far as I can for my military family. I'm always looking for tips on how to save money and I really appreciate money saving tips for the Military Family.

Here are some questions to think about:

Do you have an emergency fund? Are you saving enough money for retirement? Do you have a budget? How close are you to financial freedom?

February 26 - March 3, 2018

Military Saves Week is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for servicemembers and their families to assess their own saving status. Typically hundreds of organizations participate in the Week, reaching millions of people.

 

2859 Views | 138 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Money Tool for Male Military Spouses - PowerPay

Money Tool for Male Military Spouses - PowerPay

PowerPay Money ToolVery early in my experience as a male military spouse I encountered the [[EXLINK_4]]. I remember the day my wife brought home a floppy disk with the DOS version of this financial software. (Yeah, that just took me waaaaaay back.) It didn't have any frills, but PowerPay helped us calculate, plan and execute our path to debt elimination.

I know that there are plenty of money management tools out there. PowerPay is worth a look, especially if you need to develop your debt-elimination plan. This money management tool helped my family.

- Taurus

Posted in Macho Money

image for The Advantages of Being an Active Duty Entrepreneur

The Advantages of Being an Active Duty Entrepreneur

JasonAnderson.jpgThe Assumption:

At the basic level, I think it is safe to say that human beings fundamentally get tremendous satisfaction out of creating something that is uniquely their own. I personally think this spirit is at the core of all human beings. I see this everyday in my own children when they develop their arts and crafts and proudly show my wife and I the bounty of the effort they put in. As we grow older, graduate from high school, college (or both) and enter the work force, we become part of an organization. While jobs vary widely (as does job satisfaction!), an objective person walking into any organization can see that waning passion is not an uncommon theme. I often wonder if that lack of passion is the cumulative result of getting farther away from your own interests and passions over time.

2322 Views | 188 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Totally Fake Reader Mailbag Edition

Totally Fake Reader Mailbag Edition

RobSitePic.jpg[These aren't real questions that avid readers have sent in, yearning for my sage advice. I'm just paraphrasing some discussions I've had about money with family, friends, and co-workers]

I just changed jobs. Should I leave my 401(k) with my old employer, or roll it over to my new employer's 401(k) plan?

No.

You shouldn't do either. You should rollover your old 401(k) into an IRA with low-cost mutual funds, like Vanguard. There are 2 main problems with 401(k) accounts in general:

 

1765 Views | 109 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Conversations from the Men

Conversations from the Men's Room - What is the

MensRoomImage.jpgOne of the great resources we have at Macho Spouse is the Men's Room for Military Spouses (sorry ladies, this is a private Facebook page designed for all male military spouses only).  We plan to start sharing some of the more informative/interesting conversations on our website, the thread below is our first "share."  Some of the names have been hidden for privacy purposes, see if you can figure out which names are fake...

 

Jar Jar Blinks: OK, what is this "Rule of 72?"

Yoda: Interest multiplied by time equals 72.

C-3PO: If you're not good at exponential math, it's a quick way to estimate how long your investment will double, given an interest rate. For example: if a CD is earning 3%, then it will double in value in 24 years (72/3=24)

Yoda: To double your investment.

Yoda: ^C-3PO's way is easier to follow. Way easier.

Jar Jar Blinks: So where do these investments live? Seriously, do savings accounts work the same way, assuming you can find one that offers interest?

Yoda: NFCU has a 3% CD right now.

C-3PO: It's all a matter of risk vs. reward/return. The S&P 500, aka TSP C Fund, returned about 30% last year. But it was down 37% in 2008.

Yoda: I was taught to expect a 10% rate of return on index funds back in 06, so my ROTH would double in 7.2 years.

‪Jar Jar Blinks: I guess I have a trust issue... Can I trust the folks at USAA to steer me in the right direction eggs

Jar Jar Blinks: Eggs... Heheheh

Jar Jar Blinks: When asking to set up investments?help

Yoda: Not 100%. Their funds are kind of expensive compared to vanguard and the TSP. But it's better than nothing and their life insurance is fairly priced.

C-3PO: "It depends" USAA only has 2 real index funds, but together they match the entire US stock market. They are not the MOST expensive. Their insurance is pretty well priced, but you're probably find even better at NMAA or the equivalent for other services.

Yoda: If only all branches could use NMAA...

I'm not as conservative as some. Instead if having 6 months of expenses on hand I have 6 months of expenses in a USAA ROTH IRA (no fee for withdrawals of principle with some caveats), and now put everything into ROTH TSP index funds (lowest fees in the world!).

Yoda: I do keep some liquidity (cash or accounts that can very easily be converted to cash), but since we run a surplus each month even after investing, and the military pay is as stable as it gets, I don't keep much in that account (plus I "float" all my expenses other than car insurance, so I don't pay July's expenses until mid-September (if we have to spend more I can transfer assets as needed, has never happened, but just in case), and the "float" on credit earns us rewards and consumer protections).






 Blue Cash Preferred, 6% back at the commissary, 3% back at the gas station and 1% everywhere else (no fee for military).

C-3PO: 

 I haven't dealt with them, but I hope AAFMAA is as good as NMAA.

‪C-3PO: PenFed has pretty good credit cards for military too.

‪Jar Jar Blinks: .... all these damn acronyms....

Yoda: FUBAR right?

C-3PO: (image that can't be shared)

C-3PO: Sorry about being a wiseass

‪Jar Jar Blinks: Better than being a wide ass

Yoda: C-3PO, you've got to take it easy on Jar Jar Blinks, he's a submariner. Just think how many bumps to the head he's suffered.






 But on a serious note, it's pretty cool how many guys in this group have an understanding of personal finance.

C-3PO: If I only had a nickel for every time I hit my head while underway (says the 6'3" Marine)

Mace Windu: Personally, I would put my money in a multitude of investments. Like savings,cd's, 401k, TSP, money market fund and precious metals. Never have all your eggs in one basket.

Admiral Ackbar: ‪Luke, to be excruciatingly technically correct, it's the rule of 69.3. Here's the math behind the answer:
‪http://betterexplained.com/articles/the-rule-of-72/
I like the way they cheat by assuming that for small interest rates, the natural log of the quantity (1 + interest rate) is approximately equal to (interest rate). So it's not much of a stretch of radcon math to assume that 69.3 is about the same as 72.
You can also use the math to figure out when you'll be financially independent:
http://betterexplained.com/?s=rule+of+72

Luke Skywalker: I think NFCU has a special going on that if you open an IRA with $100 they will give you $100. I have 4 IRA's at USAA, IRA at NFCU, TSP and a 403(b) at Fidelity. Saving about $500 a month between all the IRA's.

‪Lando Calrissian: Boy you guys are starting to make me worry about my future. Where do I start when I have no job and only a limited amount that my wife has volunteered to me over the years in some sort of retirement account?

Yoda: ‪Lando, my wife and I each maxed out our Roth IRA's for her first four years of service so we could build up our emergency fund (with the stability of military careers I feel as though the ROTH IRA is a good place to stash an emergency fund that is a very low probiotic of being utilized).






 Now all the money goes into her TSP, but it's our retirement account.

 

**If you are a male military spouse and would like access to this private page, please send a request through Facebook and we'll usher you in as soon as possible.

2005 Views | 190 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: Becoming the Entrepreneurial CEO

Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: Becoming the Entrepreneurial CEO

JasonAnderson.jpgA CEO is that one person who embodies the entirety of the business they represent. They internalize everything about the business and then direct their energy and effort into making good decisions that (hopefully) fall in line with strategies designed to grow the business into profitability.

What makes an Entrepreneurial CEO so special is their humble starting point. While CEOs of existing companies have resources, a staff, and money to operationalize their actions, an Entrepreneurial CEO typically has none of that. You are the resource. You set the framework from which to organize, then layout the business' milestones and timelines in pursue of the desired end state. You also have the challenge of simultaneously balancing present-day tasks with long-range planning and being able to effectively communicate that to the team. And ultimately, you are the one responsible for how well (or not) things turn out. Sound intimidating? It is! But you have some things working in your favor.

1552 Views | 164 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for NO MONEY DOWN DOESN’T MEAN NO MONEY NEEDED

NO MONEY DOWN DOESN’T MEAN NO MONEY NEEDED

MollyPic.jpgBuying a house can often times seem like an impossible dream for the average American. But as military family members, many people believe it's “easy” because, when eligible, we can buy a house with “no money down.” Now when you hear this what do you think? What does “no money down” mean to you? Do you relate it to buying a car where you walk into the first dealership you find, you sign some papers and then drive off in your new car? Well, for most people, this is not the case. Buying a home is a wonderful thing, but if you are going to take on the single largest debt in your life, you may want to prepare yourself, take some time, and do it right.

1128 Views | 132 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Nurturing the Money Tree: Creating Income - Part 1

Nurturing the Money Tree: Creating Income - Part 1

DirectionDivaLogo.jpgTo work or not to work that is the question on all of our minds at one time or another in our military careers.

It seems that the subject of employment comes up whenever money is tight, when the kids are all finally in school, or you PCS to a new duty station. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about getting a job outside of our home just so we could have a little wiggle room in the budget.

I even tried it one year to get some extra holiday cash, and frankly it was a disaster. Nothing got done, the kids were disappointed because I wasn't home when they came back from college, and my husband hated the fact that his life had to change, not to mention my home business began to struggle as well. (Yes, he is spoiled but the fact that he is a genius on the grill makes up for it)
For some military spouses working outside the home works for them, but for many of us the constant changes, multiple moves and unpredictability of our lives make employment very difficult unless you are fortunate to have a career that can move with you.

1795 Views | 202 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Nurturing the Money Tree: Owning a Small Business- Part 2

Nurturing the Money Tree: Owning a Small Business- Part 2

DirectionDivaLogo.jpgIn Part 1 of Nurturing the Money Tree we chatted about creating income by working for someone else. But if you are like me, maybe working for someone else isn't for you, and many military spouses actually choose to own their own businesses.  I know I did.

This option gives them the flexibility and control that they are looking for while building something for their future at the same time.  Being a business owner has some great advantages, but if you don't know what you are getting into and you don't have a plan of action it can quickly take over your life or worse leave you in a financial pickle.

Posted in Macho Money

image for Which is More Risky, Entrepreneurship or Trying to find Defense-Related Employment After Separation?

Which is More Risky, Entrepreneurship or Trying to find Defense-Related Employment After Separation?

JasonAnderson.jpgEarlier this year I attended my Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class ahead of my planned 1 August 2014 retirement.  After completing the week of training with 25 other military members (both officers and enlisted), I was left with some thoughts about the program and life after the military.


TAP class, whose name is now Transition GPS due the passage of the 2011 Vow to Hire Heroes Act, was heavily geared towards providing military members the tools to become Government Service (GS) employees or defense industry professionals.  I certainly understand why.  After all, everyone in the class served in the military their entire career, some spanning over 30 years.  It makes sense that most would want to capitalize on the skills they acquired during their many years of service.

1976 Views | 204 Likes


Posted in Macho Money

image for Before We Invest

Before We Invest

vid_beforeinvest.jpgMacho Money Investing 101 is a video series based on the fundamentals of investing. These videos will discuss many different types of investment accounts, some basic investment philosophies, and offer advice on how to find the right financial planner to fit your needs. Investing is a risk we take to build financial wealth, and even though the level of risk varies from one military family and investment to another, there will always be an opportunity to lose money. Anyone remember 2008? So before we begin investing our hard-earned cash, we really should have our basic life needs covered just in case something goes wrong. In this video, Certified Financial Planners, Scott Halliwell and JJ Montanaro, discuss what anyone's first steps to investing should look like.  Wrestling with the idea of cutting money from your budget to build a savings account?  Below is some great advice from both JJ and Scott on why it's important to have some cash readily available in a savings account.

3354 Views | 134 Likes



image for Macho Money - What Worked For Me with Alan Brown

Macho Money - What Worked For Me with Alan Brown

vid_workAlan.jpgMacho Money "What Worked For Me" videos are a series of short videos that highlight some financial successes people have accomplished.  These quick interviews are not from Certified Financial Planners, bankers, or any other type of sophisticated financial gurus...they are normal, hard-working people who made some smart decisions with their money.  In this video, Alan Brown shares a quick tip on what helped him start a savings plan nearly 20 years ago.  We can only imagine how much he has in savings today!

1650 Views | 94 Likes



image for Macho Money - What Worked For Me with Julie Finlay

Macho Money - What Worked For Me with Julie Finlay

vid_workJulie.jpgMacho Money "What Worked For Me" videos are a series of short videos that highlight some financial successes people have accomplished.  These quick interviews are not from Certified Financial Planners, bankers, or any other type of sophisticated financial gurus...they are normal, hard-working people who made some smart decisions with their money.  In this video, Julie Finlay shares why she is looking at a potential early retirement.  If you've already seen Alan's video, we think you'll start to notice a patern.

1803 Views | 107 Likes



image for Macho Money Definitions - What Is A CD?

Macho Money Definitions - What Is A CD?

vid_whatiscd.jpgIf you hear someone use the letters “CD,” they are abbreviating the term “certificate of deposit.”  And according to Investopedia, a CD is A savings certificate entitling the bearer to receive interest.  A CD bears a maturity date, a specified fixed interest rate and can be issued in any denomination. CDs are generally issued by commercial banks and are insured by the FDIC.  The term of a CD generally ranges from one month to five years.

It can get a bit confusing, but for a more clear explanation with examples, click on the video and listen to Scott Halliwell from USAA.

1759 Views | 112 Likes



image for Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Market Index?

Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Market Index?

vid_whatisindex.jpgWhat is a “market index?"  According the SEC, a market index tracks the performance of a specific "basket" of stocks considered to represent a particular market or sector of the world stock market or the economy.

 

There are indices for almost every conceivable sector of the economy and stock market.

USAA Certified Financial Planner, Scott Halliwell, does a great job in this video of giving a more thorough explanation of a market index with some examples.

2091 Views | 175 Likes



image for Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Mutual Fund?

Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Mutual Fund?

vid_whatismfun.jpgAccording to Investopedia, a mutual fund is an investment vehicle that is made up of a pool of funds collected from many investors for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets. Mutual funds are operated by money managers, who invest the fund's capital and attempt to produce capital gains and income for the fund's investors. If you're still a bit confused, click on the video and watch USAA Certified Financial Planner, Scott Halliwell explain in further detail.

1897 Views | 163 Likes



image for Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Stock?

Macho Money Definitions - What Is A Stock?

vid_whatisstock.jpgWhat is a stock? According to Dictionary.com, a stock is:

1. the outstanding capital of a company or corporation.
2. the shares of a particular company or corporation.
3. the certificate of ownership of such stock; stock certificate.

Click on the video and listen to a couple cool USAA Financial Counselors give a more thorough explanation with examples.

1877 Views | 182 Likes



image for Macho Money Definitions - What Is An Investment Account?

Macho Money Definitions - What Is An Investment Account?

vid_whatisinvacc.jpgAn investment account is defined by the web as an account that allows you to invest in a wide variety of securities including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and fixed income products. InvestorWord.com defines an investment account as an Account held at a financial facility for the purpose of a long term investment for capital preservation, growth or fixed income. Both are correct, but you can get a more thorough explanation in this video that features USAA Certified Financial Planner, J.J. Montanaro.

5663 Views | 106 Likes



image for Macho Money Definitions - What Is An IRA?

Macho Money Definitions - What Is An IRA?

vid_whatisira.jpgWhen talking investments, IRA is the abbreviation for “Individual Retirement Account,” not “Irish Republican Army.” According to About.com, IRAs are basically savings plans with lots of restrictions. The main advantage of an IRA is that you defer paying taxes on the earnings and growth of your savings until you actually withdraw the money. The main disadvantage is the tax law imposes stiff penalties if you withdraw the funds before you turn age 59.5 years old. There are different types of IRAs, each with their own tax implications and eligibility requirements. And here is a little fun fact, IRA's stem from the early 1970s when NBC broadcasted a television special called “The Broken Promise,” which showed Americans the consequences of poorly funded pension plans. In this short video, USAA Certified Financial Planner Scott Halliwell explains IRAs in further detail.

1739 Views | 118 Likes



image for Why Invest

Why Invest

vid_whyinvest.jpgOK, so you've taken the advice from our last video, "Before We Invest," and built-up a cash savings account.  Great.  But now that money is looking pretty good in savings, why risk any of it playing the stock market?  Having something is better than having nothing...right?  When it comes to planning for retirement, not exactly.  In this video, Scott and JJ (Certified Financial Planners with USAA) share some great insight on why it's important to start an investment account, what we should consider before beginning, and why it's not a good idea to simply start throwing money at random stocks.

Macho Money Investing 101 is a video series based on the fundamentals of investing. These videos will discuss many different types of investment accounts, some basic investment philosophies, and offer advice on how to find the right financial planner to fit your needs.

2013 Views | 124 Likes



image for The State of Macho Spouse & Where I

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.

2133 Views | 190 Likes


Posted in Macho Spouse

image for MachoSpouse.com Awarded Site of Distinction Honor

MachoSpouse.com Awarded Site of Distinction Honor

VASoD2.jpgMachoSpouse.com has been added to the Veteran's Advantage “Sites of Distinction” honor roll!

A Site of Distinction is awarded after a special Veteran's Advantage review of excellence in content and design and a focus on the respect, recognition, and rewards of US Veterans, active duty military, and their families. Some of the more recognizable members of this honor roll are the Fisher House, USO, American Red Cross, and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).  It's humbling to be on this list.

1752 Views | 167 Likes


Posted in Macho Spouse

image for 2014 Macho Spouse of the Year

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.

 

2155 Views | 120 Likes



image for Incoming - Helping New Neighbors

Incoming - Helping New Neighbors

PattMSShirt_edited.jpgHow do you help new neighbors that have just PCS'd into your area, when you hate the area you live in? 

Now I'm not saying I hate my current base, I'm saying I really really don't like the Washington DC, Northern Virgina, Maryland area, also known locally as "The DMV."

1718 Views | 169 Likes | 1 Comments



image for How to be a Happy Military Husband

How to be a Happy Military Husband

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.

2390 Views | 206 Likes


Posted in Male Spouse 101

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

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

(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.

1548 Views | 110 Likes


Posted in Male Spouse 101

image for I wish I had a Jack

I wish I had a Jack

JackL.jpgGuys, the APA has determined that men and women share cognitive skills, we are fundamentally the same. The whole notion of guys being better at math and women being better at communication is simply a social construct. I firmly believe that statement, but that doesn't change the social construct.

This same social construct demands that we take care of our families and makes us feel like lesser men when our combat boot wearing women make more than us.

Throw that idea away, after all it's just an idea.  Who makes what, doesn't have to matter. 

1586 Views | 95 Likes


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Macho Spouse - Male Military Spouses on Facebook

Macho Spouse on Facebook

Macho Spouse is an educational video series and online resource for male military spouses. The Macho Spouse mission is to help male military spouses connect with one another and assure that we are not alone in this military family lifestyle.

2778 Views | 81 Likes


Posted in Male Spouse 101

image for Top Five Ways To Enter The Military As A Husband

Top Five Ways To Enter The Military As A Husband

ChrisFields.jpgFellow male military spouse and general provocateur, Chris Field, shares his "Top 5 Ways to Enter the Military as a Husband." 

5) Read. There are any number of "military spouse" books and websites that explain the mechanics and formal structure of the military and military living.  I found that reading as much as I could about the terms, code names and acronyms (i.e., your ability to learn the quasi-language of Militarese) was invaluable in acclimating myself to my new military life. Arm yourself with a basic understanding of such phrases and acronyms as 'PCS' (relocation), 'LES' (her paystub), 'TDY' (a shorter, out-of-town work trip). Just as you would learn a few basic phrases like “Wie geht es Dir?” (How are you?) and “ein Bier, bitte” (A beer, please!) if you were vacationing in Germany, know the basic terminology of your wife's new employer.  I promise you, you will never regret reading too many articles and books on military spouse living.

3112 Views | 121 Likes


Posted in Male Spouse 101

image for New Resource for Male Military Spouses!

New Resource for Male Military Spouses!

How 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! 

1738 Views | 195 Likes | 1 Comments



image for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment

PTSD, is there a cure?  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC).  In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles with PTS symptoms.  In the 4th segment, "Treatment," Dr. Lind shares his philosophy behind what makes PTSD treatments effective and what programs Post Trauma Resources uses to help those suffering from PTSD control their symptoms.  Dr. Lind also offers a long-term prognosis to those families affected by this injury.

2819 Views | 165 Likes



image for Quick Hitter - Active Listening Skills

Quick Hitter - Active Listening Skills

Most of us can usually "hear" what our spouses are saying, but do we actually listen to the words and understand what is being communicated?  Active listening skills are important tools to have for successful, happy relationships.  In this new Macho Spouse "Quick Hitter," Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) defines active listening and then demonstrates how to practice and administer some good techniques.  Below is a Speaker Listener Technique used by many military marriage retreats.

5405 Views | 62 Likes



image for Quick Hitter - Helping Kids Cope with Deployments

Quick Hitter - Helping Kids Cope with Deployments

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."

2135 Views | 34 Likes



image for Quick Hitter - Mutual Appreciation

Quick Hitter - Mutual Appreciation

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.

2040 Views | 204 Likes



image for Video - Importance of Communication Part 2 - What We Talk About

Video - Importance of Communication Part 2 - What We Talk About

The second segment of a multi-part series examining the importance of communication within the military family.

The first video helped define WHY it's important to communicate with our spouses, so this video examines WHAT we should talk about. EVERYTHING!

2229 Views | 73 Likes



image for Video - Importance of Communication Part 3 - Talking Through A Deployment

Video - Importance of Communication Part 3 - Talking Through A Deployment

The third segment of a multi-part series examining the importance of communication within the military family. This video shares some advice on the importance of communicating BEFORE and DURING a deployment. Yes, talking about what you both want to talk about before a deployment begins is one of the most important conversations a military couple can have.

2105 Views | 35 Likes



image for Man to Man with Tim Blake: Re-Integration

Man to Man with Tim Blake: Re-Integration

Tim shares some unique advice on how he and his wife handle re-integration after a deployment.  Tim's well thought out plan and his ability to articulate it, makes this video a Macho Spouse favorite!  (Run Time: 11:28...long, but worth it)

1785 Views | 28 Likes



image for Man to Man with William McEvoy: Depression

Man to Man with William McEvoy: Depression

This is the first video in a two-part series featuring Air Force spouse William McEvoy.  William and his wife have been married for over three years, but have been a serious couple for about nine.  Get to know William and learn what created his depression as he speaks openly about a difficult career arc and a strong desire to be a contributing partner within his marriage.  Male military spouses and stay-at-home-dads of all ages and experiences may relate to William's story.

2888 Views | 132 Likes



image for Man to Man: Tim Blake - Talking About Deployments

Man to Man: Tim Blake - Talking About Deployments

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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.

1960 Views | 36 Likes



image for Man-to-Man with Patrick Donaldson

Man-to-Man with Patrick Donaldson

Patrick Donaldson Man-to-Man Video2013 Military Spouse of the Year candidate, Patrick Donaldson sits down with Macho Spouse to share his story and offer some relationship advice to young military families.  Patrick is an Australian native who is happily married to an active duty Navy sailor.  Patt's career as a professional chef was cut short due to a back injury, but that hasn't stopped him from spending long hours volunteering for Operation Paws for Homes, the Children's Tumor Foundation, and Macho Spouse.  We think by the end of this video, you will feel the same way about Patt as we do...he's just a cool guy to be around.

3718 Views | 183 Likes



image for Check out My Military Life

Check out My Military Life

We have had the opportunity to hang out with the Founder/Director of My Military Life, Wendy Poling, at three different events this year (Inc 500, NMSN , and USAA's Blogger Conference) and she is pretty damn cool. Wendy has been very generous with her time, knowledge, and experience as we try to build Macho Spouse into something special.

2808 Views | 102 Likes


Posted in Military Life

image for How will Sequestration affect your military family?

How will Sequestration affect your military family?

Like many military spouses and families, you may want to know how sequestration will impact your military family in detail, but can't seem to get anything more than, "It's a bad idea." You continue to hear about the billions of dollars to be cut from the DoD budget and how that will negatively impact the readiness of our armed forces in general. Yet, what remains unclear to you is the direct impact sequestration will have on your military family.

For example:

Will sequestration impact the CDC and child care? If so, how?

2206 Views | 93 Likes


Posted in Military Life

image for Military Life: The 7 Top Tips for Surviving The Rollercoaster

Military Life: The 7 Top Tips for Surviving The Rollercoaster

Here is some good advice for BOTH male and female military spouses. I especially like #6...NO drama!

2630 Views | 135 Likes


Posted in Military Life

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When She Comes Home

The following article was written for us by Ann Rayne, we found it very informative and full of solid advice.

When your loved one is away, it can be hard getting used to taking care of everything at home on your own. However, in some cases, their homecoming can be just as stressful as their absence.

Of course you want to help them enjoy their time off as much as possible, but sometimes, especially if you have little ones that require a lot of attention, there's no avoiding the stress of responsibilities that come with being home. You can get overwhelmed trying to find the balance between making their return home relaxing and incorporating them back into the daily routine. Also, they can get overwhelmed trying to take on their share while transitioning back into home life.

HuffingtonPost.com interviewed Sgt. First Class Kent Phyfe and his family to talk about the stress of homecoming. He said that while coming home is great, his wife doesn't deny that reintegrating him back into family life "is one of the hardest parts about being a military couple." He explained that the spouse at home has to be the mother and the father, taking over all the roles in the house. It can be difficult to release the duties at the drop of a hat to another person. While it's an issue that sounds trivial to those that don't experience it, it is actually quite straining on a couple.

 

2463 Views | 200 Likes



MSEJ - Military Service Employment Journal, November 2012

MSEJ-201211.jpgCheck out the November 2012 Military Service Employment Journal from MSCCN.

Career Advice: Do you look at yourself as a business? If you want a successful business, you first have to have a business plan. The same rules apply to a career plan you should apply to your "Professional Self".

Portable Careers: Tired of Changing Careers? Try just moving it! What is the definition of a portable career? A portable career is a career in which you are not bound to stay in one location. It's a career that allows you the freedom to decide where you want to live, be it a new city, a new state, or a new country! It's a job that goes and grows with you.

As a military spouse, you are not guaranteed to be in the same place for a long time. Duty calls, not just for the service member, but for the entire family. The spouse is the one that needs to be able to hold it all together and keep things running right.

Once you get a job, you dread the day that you have to walk into your boss's office and explain to him that orders have come in for your entire family, because that's the way it is. Your children have to say goodbye to their schools, friends, teachers, and you have to say goodbye to your friends, co-workers, and job. But why say goodbye? Wouldn't it be better to say “Out of the office, will be back in a week”?

2564 Views | 234 Likes


Posted in MSCCN

Virginia Wounded Warrior Program Healthy Families Retreat April 26 thru 28

Healthy Families RetreatHere'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.

Posted in News

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.

1443 Views | 126 Likes


Posted in News

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.

2013 MSOY

Alicia Hinds Ward - 2013 AFI Military Spouse of the Year -1st National Guard spouse to win the award

"We want to create an opportunity for these winners to advocate and engage the military spouse community through Military Spouse's media channels: Military Spouse magazine, militaryspouse.com, and social media," said Kate Meeuf, Brand Director

1795 Views | 218 Likes


Posted in News

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.

2000 Views | 229 Likes


Posted in News

Male Military Spouses Cope With Added Challenges, Expert Says

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2011 – Brian Campbell knew some challenges were in store for him after he left his Navy career to follow his military wife across the country.

But what he didn't count on were the additional challenges brought on not by his status as a military spouse, but by his gender.

1717 Views | 144 Likes


Posted in News

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.

1629 Views | 135 Likes


Posted in News

May Is National Military Appreciation Month

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Did you know that May Is Proclaimed National Military Appreciation Month by the President of the United States? Did you know that May 10th is Military Spouse Day? Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal that gives more details on the subject.

National Military Appreciation Month Celebrates 14th Year

LA JOLLA, CA--(Marketwired - May 7, 2013) - National Military Appreciation Month (www.nmam.org) founder Alice Wax informs America that the President of the United States has proclaimed May is National Military Appreciation Month. The recognition was designated by the United States Congress in 1999 and in 2004, as a means for Americans to say "Thank You" to the men and women of the of the U.S. Armed Forces -- all branches of the services, National Guard and Reserves ("Citizen Soldiers"), those who have served throughout our history, and all of their families -- over 90 million Americans still living today and to those sacrificed throughout America's 237 year history. The month-long recognition provides an opportunity for all Americans to express their appreciation for the contributions our armed Forces have made to the building and safeguarding of this nation.

1608 Views | 154 Likes


Posted in News

Next DoD Advisory Panel on Special Needs 13 September in Arlington, VA

Nicholas Sabula has a post on the American Military Families Autism Support (AMFAS) website with great information about the upcoming DoD Advisory Panel on Special Needs.

What: DoD Advisory Panel on Special Needs

When: 13 September, 2012

Where: Arlington, Virginia

2604 Views | 90 Likes


Posted in News

CFPB Changes Stay-at-Home Spouse Rule

The federal government's consumer watchdog has changed a regulation to make it easier for stay-at-home parents and others who don't work to be approved for new credit cards.

Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a regulation change to allow card companies to consider financial support from other people when evaluating a consumer's credit-card application. It changes a 2011 regulation under which banks were allowed to consider only the applicant's income.

The 2011 regulation and its more accommodating new version both grew out of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. Its underlying purpose was to clamp down on students getting cards and racking up debt they couldn't repay, and it required individuals applying for credit to demonstrate an ability to repay what they borrowed.

As originally written, though, the regulation had a side-effect impacting more than students: Its "ability to repay" language meant that anyone who relied on someone else's income -- including stay-at-home parents or spouses who are divorced and don't work -- suddenly had a harder time being approved for credit cards and building credit histories in their own names.

"Stay-at-home spouses or partners who have access to resources that allow them to make payments on a credit card can now get their own cards," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in announcing the rule change.  The agency proposed the change in October 2012, calling it a common-sense move.

Instead of just an individual's income, issuers can now consider broader measures, such as "available income" or "accessible income." Previously an issuer could not consider household income -- which used to be widely used on credit-card applications -- without confirming how much money the applicant has access to in order to pay bills. The changes apply to people 21 and older. 

1551 Views | 110 Likes


Posted in News Headlines

Hiring Our Heroes helps military spouses

DVIDS

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Spouses of service members are often faced with unique challenges like raising children while their partner is deployed and frequent relocation each time the next permanent change of station come around. Focus is placed on the service member's career, leaving the spouse's employment aspirations to be placed on the back burner. Programs like Hiring Our Heroes not only work toward finding meaningful employment for veterans, but for spouses as well.

1395 Views | 78 Likes


Posted in News Headlines

Looking for an alternative to the Stay-at-home dad label

Do Stay-at-home Dads (SAHDs) need a title? Anne-Marie Slaughter, over at The Atlantic, argues that dads who are the family's primary caretakers need a word to describe them that makes "male caregiving attractive to men" and makes it "cool."

From The Atlantic:

We need a new vocabulary to describe men who choose to be at home as caregivers all or part of the time. In my last post I linked to Abigail Rine's description of her "feminist housedude," a term that is catchy but unlikely to spread beyond the hipper spots on the West coast. Mr. Mom is obviously out, as is househusband. Stay-at-home dad is neutral but not exactly enticing.

One alternative is the phrase that a number of men are using, calling themselves "work-at-home" dads. Most of them mean that they are working on income-generating projects out of the home while also taking care of kids, but we use work-at-home mothers and work-at-home fathers for any parents who are not actually going into an office, whether they are working for pay or not? Or we could try to ignore gender altogether and call men or women spending time at home caring for children, aging parents, or any other family member needed care full-time or part-time caregivers, while calling anyone who works for pay, whether from home or an office, a full-time or part-time breadwinner.

Posted in News Headlines

image for Sesame Street and USO Tour - Japan and Korea

Sesame Street and USO Tour - Japan and Korea

SesameUSO.jpgYEAH SESAME STREET!  This tour is still going on for those in Japan and Korea.  Could be a great way to spend an afternoon with your family!

 

The tour which begins at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on May 29 and will visit 42 bases in 8 European and Pacific countries over the next six months.  The organizations hope others will be inspired to learn more and suggest these five simple actions everyone can do to support military families:
 
1.        Volunteer at one of the more than 160 USO locations around the world and discover ways you can take action locally.
2.        Offer to help a military family on the home front who live on or off base.  Whether you see that their lawn needs to be mowed or garbage cans taken in, helping with simple household chores and errands can really relieve some of the stress a family may be feeling.
3.        Teach your child how they can help support military kids in their school by visiting uso.org/get-involved.aspx and or Facebook.com/SesameStreetforMilitaryFamilies.
4.        Lend an ear to listen to a military spouse as sometimes just having someone there to vent to or talk to when you may feel all alone can be the greatest support of all.
5.        Say thank you to a military member and their family for their service, sacrifice and strength.  Our troops and their families make sacrifices so we don't have to and those two simple words say so much.
 
“There is nothing that comes close to the feeling you get when you see the smile on a child's face at our Sesame Street shows.  I knew we had something very special the first time I saw the smiles of our military families, and here we are five years later, celebrating a tour that that has traveled the globe three times over and is about to do it again,” said Sloan Gibson, USO President and CEO.  “The USO is proud to be on Capitol Hill celebrating the tour's fifth birthday and assembling care packages for troops overseas.  There is no better way to commemorate such a momentous occasion than IN our nation's capital and WITH our friends at Sesame Street.” 
 
The longest running tour in USO history, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has taken its message to more than 368,000 troops and military families, and performed 631 shows on 145 military installations in 33 states and 11 countries.  In 2011,Sesame Street and the USO introduced a brand new character named Katie – a military child experiencing the stresses of moving as her parents are transferred to a new duty station.  Last year, Katie and her Sesame Street pals visited 67 military bases and performed 204 shows stateside.
 
 “Sesame Street has so much admiration and respect for our military families, we feel privileged to partner with our friends at the USO and be a part of this special USO Care Package event,” said H. Mel Ming, Sesame Workshop President and CEO.  “This is a great way to show our continued support to our service men and women and to celebrate five years of bringing our resources and the Sesame Street/USO Experience to Military Families to installations around the world.”

Operation USO Care Packages contain vital items troops use every day, from prepaid international phone cards and snacks to travel-size toiletries and comfort items.  Designed as a way for America to say 'thank you' to our troops and their families overseas as well as to unite communities, today's Care Packages included a special gratitude card from Cookie Monster as well as a personal note to troops signed by USO Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., Tim Walz, DFL-Minn., Howard (Buck) McKeon, R-Cali., and Adam Smith, D-Wash.
 
Since 2003, the USO has delivered 2.3 million care packages to bring a touch of home and necessities to active duty military serving all over the world.  USO Care Packages are distributed to troops traveling through the USO's more than 160 locations worldwide as well as to troops serving overseas. 
 
Whether on the frontlines, with their loved ones, in recovery or in remembrance, the USO and Sesame Street are adapting to meet the needs of those who need us most.  Operation USO Care Package and The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families are just two of the ways we can help them navigate life's challenges. To learn more Operation USO Care Package visitwww.uso.org/operation-uso-care-package.aspx.  To learn more about the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families or check for the latest tour info visit www.USO.org/Sesame

2242 Views | 237 Likes


Posted in News Headlines

Suzie Schwartz named VP of military spouse programs

AirForceTimes.com

Former top Air Force spouse Suzie Schwartz has a new job.

She will be the vice president of military spouse programs for Victory Media, a media company focused on improving lives of military families and veterans,

Schwartz, who is the wife of retired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, is a former special education teacher who worked to raise awareness about military child mobility issues through the Military Child Education Coalition during her husband's tenure, according to a press release from Victory Media.

 

1632 Views | 166 Likes


Posted in News Headlines

image for MOAA Legislation

MOAA Legislation

vid_moaalegthumb.jpgThe Military Officers Association of America is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers.  It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.  They are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community, and are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers.  

Learn why male military spouses and their families should pay attention and get involved with what MOAA is doing.  

Interviews with Karen Golden (Deputy Director, MOAA Government Relations) and Monique Rizer (Deputy Director, MOAA Spouse Programs).  Video Credit to MOAA Video Department for providing some b-roll footage.

Posted in Organizations

image for Video - MOAA Spouse

Video - MOAA Spouse

vid_moaaspouthumb.jpg

The Military Officers Association of America is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers.  It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.  They are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community, and are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers.  Learn why male military spouses should pay attention and get involved with what MOAA is doing.

Posted in Organizations

image for Storage Company Reacts to Military Household Good Auction Outrage

Storage Company Reacts to Military Household Good Auction Outrage

Oh boy, hornets nest has been stirred...what a mess! Here's another good story for PCS season.

477 Views


Posted in PCS

image for What is a PCS?

What is a PCS?

As a military spouse, there are many acronyms you will hear and use. PCS is one of thos acronyms. The short answer is that PCS = move. Here's a more detailed answer...

1139 Views | 31 Likes


Posted in PCS

image for A Resource Worth Checking Out

A Resource Worth Checking Out

A resource that is worth checking out is SpouseLink.org.  Their media team describes SpouseLink.org as a "free website linking military spouses together through supportive, informative, and inspiring content."  That sounded interesting enough, so we decided to take their website for a little test-drive.  What we found is a clean, easy-to-navigate site that's full of solid information that includes  posts  ranging   from  spouse  careers  and  financial  advice  to   parenting  and  Military  transitions.  SpouseLink.org is actually a product of AAFMAA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association), a non-profit membership association supporting our military community with insurance, financial planning, and survivor assistance for widows and widowers.  Guys, you will notice that their spouse content is a little "feminine heavy."  No worries, we're teaming up with them to help share some of our stuff from this website.  So they are well aware that male spouses exist!

1577 Views | 98 Likes


Posted in Resources

image for Acronym Hell - Part 1

Acronym Hell - Part 1

A List of Basic Acronyms and Terms for the Rookies - Part 1

Start learning what in the world your wife and her co-workers are talking about today! This is a basic, beginners list of military acronyms (something the military is very fond of creating).

Why Learn?

Let's be honest. You won't make it 6 months without some of this basic communication knowledge.

3331 Views | 270 Likes


Posted in Resources

image for MilitaryOneClick resource for military families

MilitaryOneClick resource for military families

MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families and the community that supports the military.

We maintain hundreds of military and non-military resources in one user-friendly directory were visitors can find links to career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more!

Also find us on Twitter (@military1click) and Facebook.

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Posted in Resources

image for PTSD in the Family

PTSD in the Family

The following article on PTSD was written by American Military University faculty member, Craig Gilman.

June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that “PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, but it can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that susceptibility to the disorder may run in families.”

Male spouses should note that statistics indicate their female spouses are more likely to develop PTSD than men. All parents should realize that children are susceptible, as well. Visit the NIMH PTSD site for a comprehensive overview of the causes, symptoms, treatments and tips for living with PTSD. If you suspect a loved one might suffer from PTSD, professional diagnosis and counseling should be strongly pursued.   

1803 Views | 156 Likes


Posted in Resources

image for Veterans Info Site a Resource for US Military Veterans

Veterans Info Site a Resource for US Military Veterans

I did a "soft launch" of the Veterans Info Site website today. The official launch of the website will be in mid-March.

The VeteransInfoSIte.com is intended to provide a single Resource Center for our US Military Veterans and their family members. Specific and current Information related to Benefits, Housing, Employment and Medical Assistance is provided in an accurate and timely manner.

This project is VERY special to me because I am always seeking ways to help those who serve - and have served - their country. As a veteran abd civilian male military spouse, I see the importance of having timely information regarding Veterans benefits and services.

VeteransInfoSIte.com is one way that I can help Veterans get the info they need.

Keywords: Veteran military MilitarySpouse MaleMilitarySpouse TJTechPros Website WebDeveloper
Posted in Resources

Acronym Hell - Part 2

Acronym HellA List of Basic Acronyms and Terms for the Rookies - Part 2

Start learning what in the world your wife and her co-workers are talking about today! This is a basic, beginners list of military acronyms (something the military is very fond of creating).

Why Learn?

Let's be honest. You won't make it 6 months without some of this basic communication knowledge.

This is the second part of the basic military acronyms and terms list.

2216 Views | 115 Likes


Posted in Resources

image for Supporting the Military Child During Summer PCS

Supporting the Military Child During Summer PCS

AMUNewA.jpgBy Craig Gilman
Faculty Member at American Military University

Are you on the move?  Summer is a time of transition and change for the military child.  For many service members and their families, summer is the time when permanent changes of duty station (PCS) occur.  While there is often excitement about moving to a new location, there is also a tremendous amount of stress.  This can be especially true for the children of military families who often both suffer the sadness of leaving their old friends, school, jobs and community behind and deal with the anxiety of establishing themselves when arriving at their new home.

1614 Views | 109 Likes


Posted in Resources

image for S.A.H.D. Josh Vittetoe (Air Force)

S.A.H.D. Josh Vittetoe (Air Force)

How my wife and I met. A little about our life and how I started my own business!

My name is Josh Vittetoe. I am 27 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife Jennifer Vittetoe who is 24 for almost 7 years. We have two boys who are Jack (6 months) and Tannar (5 years). We are currently stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.

My wife has been in the Air Force for 3 years and is a Senior Airman. She is deploying in a coulpe weeks for the first time.

2228 Views | 184 Likes



image for SAHD Life: Being a Strong-And-Healthy-Dad

SAHD Life: Being a Strong-And-Healthy-Dad

james-family-220.jpgI get these "google alerts" every day, which are basically just articles and posts from around the web related to certain keywords I want to monitor. "SAHD" and "Stay-At-Home-Dad" are keywords I monitor and I have been getting a great deal of posts.

Much of the stuff that I'm seeing regarding SAHD is still in the "novelty" range, or the "Awww, that's cute" range. I also check out websites that give the spouse's perspective - you know, the women who live with these dudes. These sites are way more interesting to me than the talk about the latest television show depicting SAHDs.

Anyway, I haven't seen much about the health of SAHDs. In all of my monitors and in all of the web surfing I've done on the topic of SAHDs, I have not come across any health-related posts. I found that very interesting.

3608 Views | 140 Likes


Posted in Taurus James

image for 2013 Macho Spouse of the Year

2013 Macho Spouse of the Year

The 1st Annual Macho Spouse of the Year title was awarded to Ricky Potts on May 25, 2013.  Ricky's wife is an active Army National Guard, they've been married for over 11 years, and currently live in Georgia.  Ricky will receive a Macho Spouse t-shirt, 6-pack of beer, a cigar, and an awesome Pampered Chef grill set provided by Shelley Huber (look her up on Facebook for all your Pampered Chef needs).

2187 Views | 36 Likes


Posted in Videos

image for Man to Man with Jeremy Hilton

Man to Man with Jeremy Hilton

The 2012 Military Spouse of the Year, Jeremy Hilton is an Air Force male military spouse and advocate for military families and dependents impacted by illness or disability. In this Man-to-Man video, Jeremy shares some great advice and life lessons.  Male military spouses of all age ranges and experience will find some useful information in this interview.  (Length: :07:12)

2612 Views | 37 Likes


Posted in Videos

Male Military Spouse Video Introduction

Posted in Videos