Archive for the 'help' Tag

Categories: 5 items(s) found

Get Involved

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The number of civilian male military spouses is increasing. Female active duty service members have a divorce rate that is nearly three times higher than the national average. It is going to take efforts from many people to help alleviate this issue. There are many ways to help male military spouses and military families reverse the divorce trend.

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Posted in Get Involved

How We Help

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Our efforts are aimed at helping increase America's national security efforts through a global network of male military spouses who enhance the readiness of our female active duty spouses and families. We work to reach, teach and mobilize the nearly 187,000 male military spouses toward this vision.

As a growing organization, Macho Spouse is developing a global male spouse network to advocate against the current divorce trend, while partnering with other organizations to help develop programs and services for male military spouses and military families.

Our approach:

  • Help remedy the problem of isolation by helping male military spouses connect with one another and assure that we are not alone in this military family lifestyle.
  • Help remedy the problem of emasculation by educating and informing male military spouses about their worth in our nation's security efforts.
  • Help male military spouses find their niches by helping them find outlets to pour their passions into and contribute to surrounding communities and re-establish their identities.
  • Help reverse a divorce rate that is nearly three times higher than the national average. Enlisted female soldiers continue to experience the highest rate of divorce - 9.4 percent. In the Army, the female enlisted divorce rate is more than triple that of enlisted males. (Military.com)

 

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Posted in How We Help

In Gear Career

In Gear Career logoIn Gear was started by Career Minded Military Spouses for Career Minded Military Spouses. We operate on the principle that in every location and in every occupation, Military Spouses will always seek opportunities to help each other find and pursue fulfilling employment.

We seek to build community, expand professional networks, share resources and learn from each other. We expand the impact of existing government programs by addressing the specific needs of spouses whose professional career trajectories are interrupted by frequent moves and deployments. We target professional employment and career progression NOT just job placement.

 

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Posted in In Gear Career

Male Spouse Help

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Here are some videos offering help for male military spouses. These videos cover a variety of topics from marriage communication to starting and running a business to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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Share Your Stories

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Currently, there are nearly 187,000 male military spouses around the world. See first-hand perspectives of what life as a male military spouse looks like around the world.

What does a male military spouse look like in your community? Share your own story to help us educate others about male military spouses.

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Posts: 171 items(s) found

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:

1553 Views | 83 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Movers - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Winegar_2.jpgIn the 13 years my wife and I have been married, my wife has also been in the Army. We have moved a total of eight times. As I post this topic, we are in the process of moving again. Our next stop will be Fort Knox, Kentucky. We are excited about this new location and have heard many good things about Fort Knox. But, we will certainly miss the friends we have made here at Fort Hood. As with any PCS (Permanent Change of Station), we currently have movers packing all our items. Moving is always interesting when dealing with the movers, and this time is no exception. Before I begin talking about our current PCS, however, I need to tell you all about a few previous moves. I would also love to hear your stories...the good, bad, and ugly.

1530 Views | 79 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


SAHD Life: Doing My Daughter's Hair for School

doing hair for school

As a male military spouse and Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD), learning to properly care for my daughter's hair has been a challenging and rewarding experience.

Doing my hair is simple. I've been cutting my own hair since my Air Force Academy days. I don't waste time worrying about my hair style anymore, I just shave it all off. I cut as low as my shears will allow me to and then I use my Norelco face shaver to shave the sides and back of my head. My haircuts are free and done in 15 minutes, but I could not imagine being able to perfect doing my daughter's hair in the same amount of time.

The big question for me used to be, "How do I do this?" How do I quickly do my daughter's hair in a way that looks nice and still allows me to get her to school on time?

2592 Views | 123 Likes | 42 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Hiring Our Heroes: Upcoming Hiring Fairs Map and Calendar - Hiring Fairs in Your Area

Hiring Our Heroes - Jobs for Military Spouses, too!

Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 220 hiring fairs in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; more than 10,400 have gotten jobs.

1866 Views | 49 Likes | 39 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

MilitaryVetJobs.com Helping Military Veterans Get Hired

MilitaryVetJobs.com Helping Military Veterans Get Hired

We know that many male military spouses are military veterans who are looking for meaningful employment in this tough job market. That is why we're highlighting MilitaryVetJobs.com, a website designed to help veterans find employment opportunities and get hired.

991 Views | 52 Likes | 23 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

Does anyone have a Military Marriage Map that I can borrow?

Military Marriage MapHey! Does anyone have a marriage map that I can borrow? Better yet, does anyone have a military marriage map that I can borrow? (I could sure use a military marriage compass, too, if you have one. But I don't want to press my luck by asking for too much at once. So, I'll wait on the compass.)

I tried "googling" (yeah, that's a word) "marriage map" but Google kept giving me links to "wedding map" instead. Thanks Google, but I don't want to know how to get to Don and Susan's wedding! I want a map that I can use to help my wife and I get to that Happy Marriage Wonderland place that I have been hearing about since we have been married!

Still don't know what a marriage map is? Don't worry, I think Google is still trying to figure that one out, too.

Seriously, though, I am looking for a military marriage map that my wife and I can use to figure out exactly where we are and navigate to exactly where we want to be in our military marriage. Do you have one?

1362 Views | 85 Likes | 42 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Order Your Macho Spouse T-Shirt

Macho Spouse T-Shirt

New Macho Spouse T-Shirts are now available! Help support our organization by purchasing one of these kick-a## shirts! After expenses, 100% of the revenue goes to support Macho Spouse!

For your convenience, we've started the process of creating our own online store. So please, HELP SUPPORT THE MACHO SPOUSE IN YOUR LIFE!

5723 Views | 150 Likes | 77 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Links

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.

1207 Views | 71 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Spouse

Do You Know Your American Flag Protocol?

Did You Know?

Did you know that American Flag Protocol (or American flag etiquette) is actually part of federal law? It provides general guidelines to answer some common questions about how the American flag should be handled and displayed. Although it is federal law, there are no federal penalties imposed for failures to comply with the law. 

While stationed at Los Angeles AFB, I drove by this motel on the way to work one morning and I noticed that the US flag was flying upside down. People were entering and leaving the building as if nothing was wrong. So, I pulled in and asked one of the workers if everything was okay in the building and I notified him that they were dislaying the flag upside down. He said everything was cool and he fixed the flag immediately, but he didn't understand why I was asking if everything was okay. So I explained to him that a US flag flying or displayed upside down is a distress signal (extreme danger to life or property)

Did you know that a US flag flying or displayed upside down is a distress signal?

2915 Views | 74 Likes | 41 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Make A Difference - Macho Minute

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Make A Difference Male Military Spouse - Macho Minute 

A message to Civilian Male Military Spouses to encourage them to use what they know how to do to help others and make a difference in their communities.

643 Views | 0 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

2 months or 60 days or 1,440 hours or 86,400 minutes or 5,184,000 seconds

img-roland-220x130.png  I'm finally over the two month hump and I honestly feel like I've accomplished something! This is the longest that we've been apart since we've been married and the longest I've ever had our daughter by myself. The house, while not quite up to her standards, doesn't exactly look like a tornado's blown through either. I think she has little fairy helpers or something, because I don't know how she managed to work a full day, do our daughter's hair, wash/fold clothes, and still get a decent amount of rest. I helped out a little, but this experience has really shown me how much I hadn't been doing all these years!

I've come to the conclusion that the ability to communicate using various internet resources could possibly be some sort of enemy ploy to drive me crazy! I didn't realize that internet speeds as slow as they have over there still existed. Most of the time, it's just enough to tease you into thinking that you're going to be able to have a decent video chatting session. Other times, it just cuts out for no reason and you're left wondering if everything is ok. And then, there are the days when you don't hear anything at all, not even a quick message to say “I love you”. Those are the worst. Sometimes I wish things were like when my Dad deployed to Desert Storm and all you really had were letters in the mail, video tapes sent back and forth, and the occasional phone call. That way I wouldn't worry as much if I didn't hear from her for a day or two. Technology creates unreal expectations and can sometimes make you forget that it's still a war zone and communication will never be normal.

Continue reading....

2829 Views | 68 Likes | 39 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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....

781 Views | 54 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


I'm not depressed, I just want to be alone!

img-roland-220x130.pngDuring deployment, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression. According to WebMD, some of the symptoms of depression are:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Now, we also have to understand that there is a difference between simply being sad and depression. There is going to be, in most cases, a period of sadness and change associated with deployment. This is normal. It is not uncommon for people to have some of the symptoms of depression, yet not be suffering from depression.
 

1993 Views | 53 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Jeremy Hilton, 2012 Male Military Spouse of the Year, Talks with Veterans United Network

Jeremy Hilton was recently named the 2012 Military Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse Magazine. (www.baseguide.com) It's the first time a male has been honored.

Jeremy is the father of two. He is not only a Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD) while his wife is deployed with the Air Force but he is also caring for a special needs child.

A Navy veteran himself, Jeremy talked about the resources out there for spouses serving at home while their loved one is deployed. He mentioned Macho Spouse (machospouse.com) was particularly helpful.

Male Military Spouses: We Need Your Help!

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According to whatever stats you want to view at any particular time, we as male military spouses are still small in number, relative to the total number of military spouses. You don't have to look far to know that the challenges we face are great. Facing the challanges alone is no fun. That's why we need your help, whether you're just starting out, or you're a 15-year-plus male military spouse veteran.

A few months back, I was looking for a ways to help male spouses and I stumbled upon a Macho Spouse video. I called Chris Pape and asked him how I could help. Using what I know as a web developer and IT consultant, I immediately began working with Chris to develop this website as an online community for male military spouses.

The Macho Spouse website is an online resource, providing valuable information to military spouses, stay-at-home-dads, advocacy groups, corporate organizations and others. MachoSpouse.com is also an online community - allowing spouses to connect and share experiences. Almost daily, we are adding features to the website to allow those of you who sign up as members different ways to contribute to helping another male military spouse.

How?

2405 Views | 68 Likes | 36 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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...

Military Mr. Mom Video

We may have all helped build a good foundation for male military spouses in 2012, but the work continues in 2013 as we try to expand our reach.
 
 
Military Mr. Mom
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More often, dads are on stay-at-home duty when moms are deployed in the military, reports Hattie Kauffman.

2128 Views | 58 Likes | 23 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

2112 Views | 64 Likes | 22 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Now That I'm a SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad)... The Power of Being Present

SAHD - Stay-At-Home-Dad Taurus M. JamesNow that I'm a SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad), I'm taking the time to reflect on my journey by doing a little writing. As a male military spouse of a female active duty US Air Force officer, my approach to this "SAHD Life" is with the same basic question I have for making it through just about all of my experiences - "How do I do this?" I hope my attempts to share my answers to this question help at least one person out there.

Here's a post from my blog about The Power of Being Present in a child's life. This power is shared by moms and dads and it has been very helpful for me to remember this fact, especially when I can't see my efforts as a male military spouse and SAHD amounting to much.

(I like that Newsweek cover and the idea that it is time to rethink what it means to be masculine. However, I don't agree with all points in the original article. At Macho Spouse, here is part of our effort to help people rethink masculinity.) 

Judging from a lot of online discussions that I have read, it appears that there is still a novelty effect when it comes to dads staying home and being the primary caregiver for the kid(s) and taking care of the house. At the same time, I am seeing more Stay-At-Home-Dads (like myself) becoming more of a presence online.

3240 Views | 77 Likes | 43 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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...

2901 Views | 90 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

2831 Views | 72 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.)

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?

2545 Views | 64 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


5 Simple Steps To Make A Crosshair Square

CrossHair.jpgMany rifle owners find crosshair squares helpful for fine-tuning a scope. While some people can successfully eyeball their targets to set the scope's position correctly, it is not something every person finds easy.

List Of Items Needed
• Heat-resistant gloves
• Vice
• Electric saw
• Dial calipers
• 90-degree shelving bracket
• Small square of Lenan plexiglass
• Straight-edged ruler
• Blow torch
• Utensil for marking

Steps For Making A Crosshair Square
When making a crosshair square, it is important to follow the steps exactly. Precise measurements are key to a useful and accurate crosshair square.

Step 1: Prepare The Plexiglass

Start by setting the dial calipers at 875 thousandths. Put the leading edge on the plexiglass, and drag the calipers straight to create a line across the sheet. The scribed line will be a guide for cutting, which the next step details.

Step 2: Cut And Sand The Plexiglass

Use an electric saw with a fine enough blade to make a precise cut. Using the scribed line as a guide, make a careful cut down the plexiglass. Be sure to leave a little extra material on the side for sanding. If the material is sanded down too much, the crosshair square will be too small to work effectively. Use a sanding tool to sand the sides of the plexiglass until it is smooth.

Step 3: Scribe The Center Line And Align The Plexiglass

Next, set the dial calipers to 437 1/2 thousandths. Placing the leading edge on the plexiglass, scribe a line down the middle. Use the straight-edged ruler to mark the height of the square, which should be exactly halfway up. This is the bending point for the plexiglass. Line up the plexiglass along the back of the shelving bracket in the vice. Make sure they are aligned perfectly before tightening it.

Step 4: Bend The Plexiglass

Before starting this step, put the heat-resistant gloves on. Start the blow torch. Run it back and forth quickly along the plexiglass. Starting with a slight pressure, bend the plexiglass forward as it becomes hotter. Keep running the blow torch back and forth across the spot where the plexiglass should bend, and carefully bend the material forward to match the shelving bracket's shape. Hold it forward to set in shape and cool before using it.

Step 5: Test The Crosshair Square

When the plexiglass is cool, remove the crosshair square. Put it in the bolt action to test it. This product should fit in most centerfire rifles. Line it up with the scope, and adjust the scope as necessary to match the crosshair square's scribed line. Learn more from the above video.

These few simple steps yield a useful tool. For more gunsmithing tips, visit SDI's YouTube channel. Gunsmithing is a great hobby for any male military spouse. Be sure to check out MachoSpouse.com for additional gunsmithing tools, tips and information for male military spouses.

902 Views | 63 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Gunsmithing Tips: Proper Barrel Cleaning

GunClean.jpgCleaning your rifle barrel regularly is as important as changing the oil in your vehicle. Without proper cleaning, the rifle will not perform optimally and can become damaged. Always check twice to ensure the rifle is unloaded before starting.

What You Will Need:

  • Some old toothbrushes and utility brushes

  • Q-tips

  • Cleaning patches

  • Bore brush to match rifle caliber

  • Gun oil

  • Bore cleaner or solvent

  • Rifle barrel cleaning rod and slotted end

  • Bent cleaning brush for rifles lacking easy breech-end access

989 Views | 60 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Macho Spouse Has A New Sponsor!

SDI_Logo_2.pngMacho Spouse is excited to announce our new partnership with the Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and their School of Firearms Technology (SFT). Throughout the year, SDI will provide Macho Spouse with content on Gunsmithing, firearms, and different educational opportunities. In fact, we will be introducing a new Macho Spouse Scholarship to their School of Firearms Technology in May!

Why did we chose SDI to be our first educational-based sponsor? Well, because they've demonstrated the ability to meet criteria for academic and consumer right standards from federal and state agencies as well as non-governmental agencies. These standards ensure quality education through sound financial operations, approved programs of study, qualified instructors, and approved recruitment and admissions policies. Click here to learn more about their accreditations.

SDI also has an interest in specifically helping military spouses find work through their programs of study. They participate in the G.I. Bill Program, the Montgomery G.I. Bill Program, REAP, and MyCAA.

These guys are the real deal and we're happy to have their support! Please take a minute to visit their site and learn more about what they have to offer. Who knows, maybe you can start on a new career in Gunsmithing this year!

892 Views | 45 Likes | 20 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Tips For Male Military Spouses Choosing Online Education

Graduate.jpg(The following is some good information from our friends at the Sonoran Desert Institute.)

Male military spouses find themselves looking to advance their skill set and have a great opportunity with a scholarship from MyCAA. The challenges of course are attending classes on campus when you may end up having to move before the end of a semester.

Many spouses turn to online education which is a great option. While online courses are a good fit. You need to make sure the school has a solid reputation. The key to a great online education is finding the right online education provider. Every man should know what to look for.

779 Views | 33 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Defining Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

vid_ptsd1.jpgPost Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Nicholas Lind, PsyD, 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.  This first video offers a thorough explanation of what causes PTSD and how it may affect our families.

3668 Views | 1 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - How To Help

vid_ptsd3.jpgPost 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.  This video offers advice on how a spouse can start the process of helping a loved-one who may be experiencing post traumatic stress symptoms.

3010 Views | 58 Likes | 26 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Quick Hitter - Helping Kids Cope with Deployments

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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."

1513 Views | 1 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

vid_ptsd2.jpgThe 2nd Macho Spouse PTSD video, Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,  is now live! Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC), discusses typical PTSD symptoms while offering some advice on how best to start an initial conversation with a loved-one who may have PTSD.

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 PTSD symptoms.  This second video discusses typical PTSD symptoms while offering some advice on how best to start an initial conversation with a loved-one who may have PTSD.

1956 Views | 0 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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

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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!

1366 Views | 2 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


A Resource Worth Checking Out

image for 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!

964 Views | 46 Likes | 25 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Veterans Info Site a Resource for US Military Veterans

image for 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

Man-to-Man with William McEvoy/Beating Depression

vid_man-william2.jpgDepression affects quite a few male military spouses and not everyone handles it the same way, some better than others.  In part two of William McEvoy's Man-to-Man interview, William shares how he has been able to successfully manage his own fight with depression.  We're not saying this is the best way to beat all forms of depression.  His strategy worked for him, it may not work for you.  Either way, this interview is a good place to start for those who feel they may need help.

1692 Views | 1 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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

Marine to SAHD: Introduction

Introduction to Marine to SAHD Blog, laying out where I have been what experiences I have.

Andrew Ferguson

Hello All,

My name is Andrew “Fergie” Ferguson; I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2007 and did four years of active duty in Hawaii.  In those four years I deployed twice, once to Iraq and Afghanistan.  I was injured during those four years on multiple occasions and still am injured and receiving help from the Veterans Affairs. 

1331 Views | 66 Likes | 19 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Andrew Ferguson

Help for Male Military Spouse Dads at National At-Home Dad Network

logo_NAHDN-horiz.gifWe know that many our visitors here at Macho Spouse are dads - some working and some stay-at-home-dads - who are looking for answers to the question "How do I do this?" We are constantly looking for resources to help all male military spouses and we are happy to share a great online resource for dads.

Help is available for male military spouse dads at the National At-Home Dad Network. All dads can learn from this online resource that provides support, education and advocacy for fathers who are the primary caregivers of their children.

1296 Views | 59 Likes | 24 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes was launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's network of 1600 state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, our goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day. Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 400 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. More than 14,100 veterans and military spouses have obtained jobs.

Posted in Find Work

In Gear Career

In Gear Career logoIn Gear was started by Career Minded Military Spouses for Career Minded Military Spouses. We operate on the principle that in every location and in every occupation, Military Spouses will always seek opportunities to help each other find and pursue fulfilling employment.

We seek to build community, expand professional networks, share resources and learn from each other. We expand the impact of existing government programs by addressing the specific needs of spouses whose professional career trajectories are interrupted by frequent moves and deployments. We target professional employment and career progression NOT just job placement.

 

Posted in Find Work

Macho Productions - Award-winning Video Production

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Hire a Spouse

TJ Technology Professionals - Website Development and IT Services

image for TJ Technology Professionals - Website Development and IT Services

Taurus James is the owner and Sr. IT Specialist at TJ Technology Professionals, LLC, an Information Technology Services company. Taurus takes pride in being a "Master at your Service", handling everything from website design and development to custom programming to server and database administration.

The MachoSpouse.com website is actually powered by the TOROCMS content management system that Taurus built.

Taurus is also a musician/composer who creates "Moody instruMental Music" for commercial projects and personal enjoyment. Visit TaurusBeats.com to listen to the music Taurus creates and watch how he shares what he knows, globally, through his online video tutorials.

Need help with a website, email server, or other technical project? Hire Taurus!

Need music for your project or your personal enjoyment? Hire Taurus!

Posted in Hire a Spouse

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

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

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

1111 Views | 1 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Organizations

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.

1882 Views | 93 Likes | 38 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Community

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/

114 Views | 0 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Don't Break Our Faith - #KeepYourPromise

MOAASheild2.jpgGuys, this effects you directly.  If you're a little unsure of just exactly what's happening and what this is all about, please visit this cool new page from MOAA (Military Officers Association of America).  They do a great job of laying out the issue, why we should care, and they also make it very simple to help the cause of defending your benefits.  Today's "small cuts" to our retirement COLA will effect every one of your families in the future.  But what's most important is that these cuts represent a breach of contract, a breach of faith, and a broken promise our government made to each and everyone of our families.  Please don't just do nothing, help the cause and join the fight.

http://www.moaa.org/colafight/

1033 Views | 86 Likes | 27 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Advocate

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.

1110 Views | 59 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Andrew Ferguson

Marine to SAHD: Transitions

AndrewWebPic copy.jpgWhere has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I became a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD) and was asking for help and opinions on everything. I have to say “thank you” to everyone who helped me with this big transition. And speaking of transitions, this one is complete...I am now a SAHD and proud of it! I can now rock a puke-stained jacket, diaper bags, and car seats with pink bows on them with no problem. My days of being a Marine are in the past, I will always love the Corps, but now I have a greater love...my girls.

1306 Views | 92 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Andrew Ferguson

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.

1222 Views | 163 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

Hiring Our Heroes: Teaching Employers To Hire Military Veterans And Spouses

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I write about military financial independence, but Im getting a lot of e-mail about navigating the drawdown and starting a bridge career. Im also hearing from Reserve and National Guard servicemembers about balancing their military careers with their civilian employers. Veterans (and military spouses) know that their transition to a civilian career will be like transferring to a duty station in a foreign country. Theyll spend lots of time explaining their military skills and achievements to civilians and translating their military culture into a foreign language.

Then theres the challenge of competing with hundreds of other potential employees who are also reporting for duty at these companies. The drawdown is adding several hundred thousand more veterans to the usual crowd of people who are already leaving the military, and this exodus will continue until at least 2017.

Over the last three years the U.S. Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration have rolled out a number of initiatives. By now youve seen at least a half-dozen programs for translating your military career into a civilian resume, or creating your elevator pitch, or finding your ideal company. Theres plenty of advice on Linkedin about researching your company, tapping into the right networks, and handling interviews. There are many government and non-profit programs to guide you through the transition process, even if the military overlooks a few steps during their transition seminars.

Those programs are helping veterans and spouses figure out what employers want and showing them how to navigate the job search. Wouldnt it be nice if someone taught the employers about you? Wouldnt it be a huge relief to meet hiring managers who already understands who you are and what you can do? Wouldnt it be great to work for a company that actually wants to hire military veterans?

Last week I interviewed a group of people who have started doing just that. Theyve spent months building the programs and the infrastructure, and theyve already educated a number of companies on military veterans & spouses. They held their first hiring conference two weeks ago, and now theyre coming to a base near you.

The interview was arranged by USAAs staff. (Thanks, Jamia & Pete!) I talked with Geoff Grant, their Program Director of Supplier Diversity. (Hes also an Army veteran.) We were joined in the call by Jennifer Giering, the Director of Business and State Engagement at Hiring Our Heroes. We also talked with Bryan Goettel, the Chamber of Commerce Founda

Posted in Blog

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

1259 Views | 118 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

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.

1765 Views | 213 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

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.

6401 Views | 3065 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 1 Comments


Posted in Blog

The Importance of Protecting My Family More Than My Golf Balls

ChrisDanaGolf.jpg“Don't hit it right. Don't hit it right. Take a deep breath…relax…that's it…listen to the birds cheerfully chirping, sounds of a distant lawnmower, a breeze gently moving leaves around the treetops…nice, smooth swing. No need to kill this ball…just hit it off the tee. AND DON'T HIT IT RIGHT!”

As I stand on the 14th tee box at the L'auberge Casino Resort golf course, I look down at my dirty, dinged-up golf ball and realize I'm griping my old 3-wood way too tight. I had to take a step back, re-focus my brain. How did I get to this moment? Well, I guess I had USAA to thank since they're the ones who helped my wife and I get out of town for a much needed break. But how did I get here, here on the 14th tee box with only one ball left in my bag? Was it my braggadocios attitude on hole two where I thought it would be fun to tee off over the water? (lost one ball) How about the long, beautiful par four, fifth fairway where I pulled two balls into the creek. And then again on hole six, another two into that same damn creek! (Come on L'auberge, why are all the water hazards to the left of these fairways!?) The par four seventh? Yep, another ball in the water, again to the left. And then we had gorgeous hole number nine, a fairway so picturesque it belongs on the cover of Golf Digest, where I surprisingly didn't hit the ball left into the water, I hit them to my right…into the water. (2 balls)

3997 Views | 96 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

Three Weeks in a TownePlace Suites by Marriott

When TownePlace Suites reached out and asked if I would be interested in writing a few blog posts about their hotels, I immediately said “yes.” I always enjoy reviewing products and services I've used and appreciate, plus TownePlace offered a few free nights for my efforts.  Pssst…don't tell them, but that really wasn't necessary.

How many of you have ever stayed in one of their hotels? My first experience with a TownePlace Suite was at the Colorado Springs South location near Peterson Air Force Base.  We were preparing to PCS from Peterson to Little Rock and had run into a slight problem selling our first house.  We sold it way too fast!  I know, I know…a great problem to have, but it was still a problem.  We had no place to stay while Dana waited for her official orders to leave and that was expected to take several weeks.  Since it was the start of “PCS season,” rooms were impossible to get on base, plus I was still working my civilian job and relocating to an on-base location would've been very inconvenient.  When Dana brought up the idea of an extended stay hotel, I admit to being pretty skeptical.  We have a dog.  We are clean freaks.  We like our own space.  We need convenience.  Creature comforts such as clean, soft bedding and strong water pressure are a must.  Moving from our house to basically an efficiency apartment was not my idea of comfort!

It didn't take long for us to find TownePlace Suites through a simple internet search; their south location looked good so we felt we should give them a try. Driving up to the property helped put me more at ease since the building and landscaping looked clean and well-kept, so well-kept in fact that before checking in I asked Dana if she was sure these guys welcomed pets. Not only did they welcome our dog Brutus, they actually appeared happy to see him! I immediately got a taste of the staff's friendly professionalism once they allowed us to inspect our room before booking. I guess since we were staying there for a few weeks they wanted to make sure we would be happy with the accommodations. To my surprise the room was bigger than I expected, the king-sized bed looked very clean and firm, the carpets were in great shape, the bathroom passed my cleanliness inspection ( including a water pressure test in the shower), and the kitchenette was complete with microwave, sink, and refrigerator. I didn't take photos, but the ones on their website are accurate.

996 Views | 85 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Blog

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 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.

Posted in Blog

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

1124 Views | 59 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 1 Comments


Posted in Community

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. 

1192 Views | 65 Likes | 28 Dislikes | 1 Comments


Posted in Community

Being Dad

EverettDaughter.jpgNever really thought about that word “dad” until I became one; however, I focus more on it now than ever before. I find that the word “dad” means more to me today because my own father wasn't there for me when I was growing up, and he's still not around, not even for his own granddaughter. Yes, the word “dad” means more to me now than ever. My ability to be a good father comes from more than one source, and the fact that I choose not to be like my old man is a great motivator. My dad left by way of divorce when I was just seven. There was no custody battle and he was given every opportunity to see his children. Yet he still chose not to be around.

2638 Views | 131 Likes | 43 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

1461 Views | 62 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

2118 Views | 58 Likes | 26 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

1125 Views | 48 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

 

1383 Views | 68 Likes | 21 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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?"

1156 Views | 77 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

4009 Views | 68 Likes | 40 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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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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:

1579 Views | 58 Likes | 25 Dislikes | 0 Comments


5 Tips to a Successful Military Spouse Career Search

ChrisCam5.jpgYou know, I started Macho Spouse because I couldn't find a job in my career field during our last PCS. Most of us military spouses have probably gone through similar depressing job-searches. But after two years of unemployment, here I am, back in the job market and gainfully employed. This time, however, I have a whole new appreciation for what it takes to land that next job. The following is a short list of what I learned during my latest employment drought.

The first thing every military spouse needs when planning his or her career is patience. Patience, patience, patience. We must understand that our career trajectories won't be as quick, or logical as our civilian counterparts. And that's OK. As long as we understand where we want to be at the end of our working life, taking a step backwards now and then isn't a big deal as long as it moves us further forward down the line. Remember, our life situations can change rapidly, so we don't have to find that “perfect” job today since we probably won't be able to keep it anyway. Focus on building your resume so that when your spouse does decide to retire, you will have a great resume and lot's of experience to land that “perfect”job.

1288 Views | 61 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

Automotive Careers! Have you thought about it?

PattMSShirt_edited.jpgWe were looking around and found this advice at Mr.Dad.com and thought we would shar with you. It certainly is a career field that is, parden the pun, very mobile.

Let's face it, the best career involving four wheels and an engine block is a race car driver or a big shot engineer. But if you don't have Speed Racer driving skills or a Henry Ford brain, plenty of unique and fun automotive careers are still abound. You just have to know what you're looking for.

1012 Views | 71 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

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.

951 Views | 46 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

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.

460 Views | 0 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

Leveraging LinkedIn to Find Career Opportunities

LinkedInLogo.jpgJob hunters know LinkedIn as the social network that caters primarily to job seekers and recruiters. Users create professional profiles and highlight job experience, internships and educational achievements. Yet there is more to leveraging the power of LinkedIn than merely creating a profile.

Be short and to the point. Make it easy for recruiters and potential employers to scan your background by providing a summary that features keywords. Leave out anecdotes. Instead, focus on highlights and achievements that are of interest to someone looking to hire you for your desired position. If you are at a loss for words and phrases, look at the job descriptions recruiters currently use to advertise available positions. Use some of these same keyword phrases.

764 Views | 96 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

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.

1439 Views | 93 Likes | 12 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

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.

945 Views | 62 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

1049 Views | 78 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

980 Views | 120 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

30 Ways of Thanks Day #11

30Still.jpgHow about an ice cold beer...or soda?  Buying a military family member a drink is another great way to show your support and gratitude!

 

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

927 Views | 64 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

921 Views | 56 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

30 Ways of Thanks Day #14

30Still.jpgThe Military Officers Association of America thinks a great way to show appreciation for military families is to help be an advocate on our behalf.  We're a small percentage of the population and we don't have a union or special interest groups looking out for us on Capital Hill. So at times, if you feel military families are being taken advantage of, help us remind our leadership of the promises they've made.

 

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.

749 Views | 67 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

901 Views | 53 Likes | 29 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

945 Views | 139 Likes | 22 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

860 Views | 99 Likes | 22 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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

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.

693 Views | 67 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

819 Views | 61 Likes | 36 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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

30 Ways of Thanks Day #21

30Still.jpgA group of military spouses wrote Stories Around the Table, a collection of stories about what military family life is like. A portion of sale proceeds benefit Operation Homefront, and organization that helps military families in crisis.

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

Posted in Get Involved

30 Ways of Thanks Day #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.

780 Views | 113 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

701 Views | 73 Likes | 26 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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

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

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

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.

825 Views | 81 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

785 Views | 60 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

1024 Views | 100 Likes | 43 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

882 Views | 68 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

30 Ways of Thanks Day #30

30Still.jpgA great way to thank military families is to get involved in your community; be a good neighbor! And consider flying the colors to show your support.

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

877 Views | 63 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

863 Views | 74 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

773 Views | 63 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

1074 Views | 66 Likes | 27 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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.

789 Views | 51 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

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

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.

770 Views | 66 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

When She Comes Home

HappyCouple.jpgThe 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 actually quite straining on a couple.

 

1468 Views | 75 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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!

685 Views | 0 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 1 Comments


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.

1525 Views | 68 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

2109 Views | 41 Likes | 40 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Links

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.

1176 Views | 67 Likes | 28 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Entrepreneurship 101: The Main Reasons You Need a Business Plan

JasonAnderson.jpgYou have captured your small business idea, now what do you do? If you are like me, once the idea is seeded in your mind, you begin to brainstorm the best way forward. But what is the best way forward. Depending on your own personal experiences, getting your mind caged to help your idea might be one of the most challenging things you do.

I think one of most amazing aspects of starting a business is the pure creation of the endeavor. I think the concept of turning your thought, a series of synapses that fired in your brain, into an existing and tactile entity is one of the best attributes to being human. I personally think this pure creation provides is what provides deep satisfaction and feeds the soul of man and woman. Despite the feelings that great ideas provoke, it is still hard to see the path forward if you don't know how to proceed. This is where the business plan fits in nicely.

1145 Views | 76 Likes | 38 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

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.

849 Views | 116 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

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:

  • Figure out your budget. Your first move should be determining whether you're eligible for a health care subsidy under the ACA, says Bob Lord, product management director of health solutions for USAA. If your income is less than 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify. The subsidies are based on the second-lowest cost silver ACA plan in your area and can be applied toward more or less costly plans. "Understanding what you can afford outside of whatever the ACA is going to provide for you is powerful knowledge," Lord says.

  • Estimate your household health care expenses. If you are young, single and healthy, you likely won't be using services that often, and preventive visits are one of a range of essential health benefits covered under all plan levels. But families with young children can find themselves on a first-name basis with the staff at their pediatrician's office, so they should consider a plan that offers co-pays for office visits.

  • Peruse prescription benefits. If someone in your family is on maintenance prescription drugs, see what they'll cost. Health plans have a formulary — a list of prescription drugs they cover. Lord suggests choosing a plan where the formulary includes any brand-name drugs you use, as they are covered at a higher level.

  • Decide if you'll see Dr. Who. If keeping your current health care provider is important to you, find a plan with your provider in its network. Out-of-network providers are covered at a lower rate, if at all, than those in network. Conversely, if you find a plan that saves you a lot of money but makes your doctor or specialist out of network, weigh the savings versus having to switch providers.

Members with questions about health insurance coverage should contact USAA.

"We can help point them in the right direction if we have policies available or to the appropriate state-regulated or federal exchange," Lord says.

To get started, visit the USAA Health Insurance Marketplace.

(Note: USAA did not pay for this post, we re-posted because it is good information.  If you, or your company/organization, would like to offer more insight on this subject please feel free to contact us.)

500 Views | 0 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

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?

Military Saves Week (25 February- 2 March, 2013) is fast approaching, and we are helping to get the word out to the military community about this effort to motivate service members and their families to better their finances.

1693 Views | 65 Likes | 24 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Military Spouse Employment Survey

MOAASheild2.jpgHey guys, have you taken this survey yet?  Stuff like this is important because it may help you find work in the future, as well as, future generations of military spouses!

http://www.moaa.org/milspousesurvey/

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), a non-profit organization that advocates for military personnel and their families, is teaming up with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to launch the Military Spouse Employment Survey.

Military spouses face many challenges to both employment and career advancement as a result of the military lifestyle. This imperative study will look at the employment pattern of all military spouses, especially related to their long-term career trajectories. We encourage all active duty, National Guard, reserve, veteran, and surviving spouses who are 18 years and older to participate by sharing their stories, experiences and lessons learned.

According to the 2010 Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), there are approximately 725,877 spouses of Active Duty service members and approximately 413,295 spouses of Reserve and Guard members. In addition, it is estimated that there are more than 15 million veterans' spouses in the United States and over 5.8 million surviving spouses. By adding their voice, we can build a stronger foundation for military spouses' professional needs, identify any barriers to career development and share their stories with government officials, state, and federal policy makers in order to overcome obstacles and improve the quality of life for our service members and their families.

The Military Spouse Employment Survey will open on September 16, 2013 and remain open for 30 days. This survey icompletely anonymous, for research purposes and therefore completely voluntary. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.   

985 Views | 51 Likes | 25 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

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

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.

940 Views | 55 Likes | 19 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

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.

1045 Views | 111 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

What Does "No Money Down" Really Cost?

FlagHouse.jpgIs it possible to buy a home with no money down? If you or your spouse qualifies for a VA home loan, the answer is yes. VA home loans are a special benefit available to current and ex-members of the U.S. military only and they can save homebuyers a lot of money. Veterans and active members of the U.S. military are eligible for some of the lowest interest rates on the market but that's not the only way VA Loans save buyers money. VA Loans are also "No Money Down" home loans.

Understanding "No Money Down"

"No money down" means homebuyers don't have to provide a down payment to obtain a VA Loan. Traditional mortgages or home loans require as much as 5% to 20% of the purchase price as a down payment on a home. On a $200,000 home that is between $10,000 and $20,000 that must be provided at the closing. Saving up that much money for a down payment is a huge stumbling block for many would-be buyers. They may have the credit and income qualifications needed to obtain a home loan, but just can't come up with the down payment. Too often they end up not buying their own home or they miss out on the home they really want.

The VA Loan program changes that and makes homeownership more accessible by waiving the down payment requirement. VA Loan mortgage lenders are willing to forego this requirement because VA Loans are backed by the U.S. Government. This minimizes the risk to lenders if a buyer defaults, which is one of the primary reasons down payments are typically required.

1045 Views | 70 Likes | 22 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

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!

1004 Views | 52 Likes | 25 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Air Force Male Military Spouse - What Do You Guys Do For Fun?

Taurus James Fishing Male Military SpouseUS Air ForceMy name is Taurus James and I've been a male military spouse (Air Force) for 15 years. I'm well aware of the many challenges in this way of life. Many of the challenges are serious in nature and I'm glad to connect with others and help tackle the issues.

However, you gotta have something you do that you really enjoy. That's what I'm trying to find out. As a male military spouse, what do you do for fun?

2467 Views | 77 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Spouse

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."

964 Views | 63 Likes | 26 Dislikes | 1 Comments


Air Force Spouse Support at USAFSERVICES.com

Did You Know?US Air ForceDid you know that the USAF Services website has a section devoted to spouses?

The Spouse Support portion of the site is designed to provide Air Force spouses information on resources to help them adapt to Air Force Life. The site also has forums are available to registered users that are designed to allow for peer support to provide real perspectives on life in the Air Force.

4253 Views | 62 Likes | 62 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Beer Shopping Guide - The Beer Blogger

AaronB2.jpgYou're inside the store, so now what? With more stores providing more beers to choose from the task of beer shopping often leads to a paradox of choice for shoppers.

I believe going beer shopping should be a joyous occasion especially with the growing selection due to the surge of craft breweries in the U.S. Even if you are a naysayer that claims “I don't like beer” there is most likely an offering that will pleasantly surprise you.

However, the increased selection has also led to some confusion for consumers. For example, I often get asked how to select “good” beer by friends and even other shoppers.

1028 Views | 73 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Do You Know Your Military Base Firearm Laws?

Did You Know?

Military Base Firearm Laws can be confusing, especially when you end up living at two different military bases within one year like I did. I own several firearms and the first time I encountered military base firearm laws was during the PCS move when the movers asked me if my firearms were registered on the base. My response..."Huh?"

This incident took place when we had to move from the Pentagon to Maxwell AFB for my wife to go to school. I was already a male military spouse for more than 10 years, but I had never thought about or encountered military base firearm laws. An interesting point to note here is that in my entire time as a male military spouse, we have lived on base once. While this may have had something to do with my not encountering the military base firearm laws before this PCS move, it had nothing to do with my ignorance of the laws.

37060 Views | 295 Likes | 46 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

How to be a Happy Military Husband

JackL.jpgWait, 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.

1503 Views | 47 Likes | 24 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

2233 Views | 45 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

MachoSpouse Beer Blogger - Aaron Brodniak

AaronB2.jpgFirst, I would like to thank Macho Spouse's founder Chris Pape for all of his past, current and future hard work and dedication for the male military spouse community. Also, I want to thank Macho Spouse for the opportunity to write about one of my favorite subjects, BEER! In this blog I will write about beer from a consumer perspective, home brewer and craft beer professional.

Who am I?

I am a service-disabled Coast Guard veteran that transitioned to the craft brewing industry and have now been working in the industry for 18 years. I began my brewing career at a craft brewery in downtown Seattle just two weeks after being honorably discharged. During the course of my brewing career I have also worked in Brewpubs where I held the position of Regional Brewer for a chain of brewpubs. Currently, I consult for breweries and also operate a pilot system to teach prospective brewery owners and homebrewers about the differences between home brewing and professional brewing.

I am also a male military spouse, so I have had to juggle work (when I can), home brewing and the challenges that come with military life. During the last ten years I have primarily been at home taking care of my boys (now 7 and 10), earning a bachelors and just recently my master's degree. I have been keeping my feet wet by home brewing and doing some part time brewery consulting. Now, I am re-entering the craft brewing industry and will be an instructor at both a Craft Brewery Start-up Workshop and Craft Cidery Start-up Workshop for Oregon State University this Spring. Of course, immediately after the workshop we will be relocating so the next five months will be busy! Enough about me, let's talk beer!

1239 Views | 98 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Male Military Spouses on Facebook

Male Military Spouses on Facebook

Male Military Spouses a group for men whose wives/girlfriends/fiances are active duty/reserve/retired military. The object of this group is to help us find each other and discover interesting places and things to do near our spouse's current duty station. We are also here to answer questions anyone may have about being in a relationship with someone in the military.

2300 Views | 104 Likes | 29 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

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

Stories-Around-the-Table-cover-Web-210x244.jpg(St. Paul, MN)—Award-winning independent publisher Elva Resa Publishing is pleased to announce the October 2014 release of Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life, a collection of personal stories from more than forty military family writers, including spouses, parents, children, and service members.  (make sure you check out the list of authors guys...a few of us are represented in this group!)

From poignant to practical, tragic to humorous, these candid conversations shed heartfelt insight on many aspects of military life. Some subjects, such as deployment, reunion, combat injury, post-traumatic stress, and frequent moves, specifically reflect the military lifestyle. Writers also explore topics common to both military and civilian families, including marriage, education, parenting, friendship, faith, finances, depression, infertility, and grief, and how military life influences the experience.

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

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

918 Views | 71 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Question: How do I prepare for becoming a male military spouse?

Here's your chance to possibly help someone out. Just answer this question by adding a comment below or submitting an article in response to the question.

1159 Views | 52 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

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.

2205 Views | 73 Likes | 28 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium: The Scoop From Macho Spouse

Chris Pape at MOAA Spouse Symposium2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium: The Scoop From Macho Spouse was originaly written for MOAA Spouse Blog: Making it in the MilLife.

When I was asked to participate during this year's MOAA Spouse Symposium, I couldn't refuse. Sure I am insanely busy with work and my travel budget didn't include a 2900 mile trip to Tacoma, but these were the popular kids calling.

I felt like I was in elementary school all over again and the jocks just asked me to play football at recess, no way I would miss this opportunity. (Side note: The jocks did ask me to play football with them in elementary school where I torched Braden Kelly, the most popular kid in school, for an 80 yard touchdown run that day. Great memory.)

Not only would this event be great exposure for Macho Spouse, but it would help give male military spouses some “street cred” while hanging with a great organization at a visible event.

1069 Views | 39 Likes | 42 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Buy American Beer!

AaronB2.jpgAs we approach the 4th of July many of us will celebrate by grilling our favorite foods accompanied by the delicious elixir called beer. As the line-up of beers continues grow and spill into different parts of your local retailer (due to lack of shelf space for craft beer), I encourage you to consider the origins of your beer. Is your beer truly American or is it owned by a foreign company?
Although large brewers (i.e. AB InBev, MillerCoors) continue to brew in the U.S. and do provide jobs domestically, they are no longer American owned companies. This may be old news to many, however, there are still those that associate the larger beer brands with the stars and stripes.

1158 Views | 115 Likes | 39 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

2301 Views | 92 Likes | 43 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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!

1521 Views | 74 Likes | 38 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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

Military Spouses check out the Inc. Military Entrepreneurs Program

As a military spouse, I am constantly searching for resources and helpful information about employment and entrepreneurship to pass on to other military spouses.

Having to leave behind jobs that I really enjoyed because my wife received relocation orders was never easy. I felt that my idea of a career was lost so I looked into entrepreneurship.

Inc. Military Entrepreneurs is a resource for veterans, service members and military spouses to start, run and grow their own businesses.

Keywords: Military Entrepreneurs entrepreneurship

Military Spouses: Get the Army Spouses Handbook (2003 version)

I know I'm not Army (Go Air Force!), but I'm always looking around on the web for resources to help military spouses, especially new military spouses. This lifestyle can be pretty challenging at times and it is worse when you don't know what questions to ask in order to get the answers you need.

I know that there has to be a more recent version of this Army Spouses Handbook on the web somewhere. But the information in this 2003 version is still useful.

This handbook is designed as a guide to assist spouses, as they become part of the Army team and offers a wealth of information and resources. It's designed to help them learn about the Army and better understand their soldier's mission.

Keywords: military army militaryspouse NCO

Tips for Those Getting Close to Retirement or Separation

Some pretty good tips for those nearing separation or retirement.
10 Tips for the Retiring Spouse
militaryspouse.com
Militaryspouse.com focuses on milspouses, fiancés, and significant others; delivering helpful and entertaining content from writers who understand military families – military spouses themselves.

678 Views | 55 Likes | 23 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

2059 Views | 163 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


What DO Male Military Spouses Do For Fun?

I've been a male military spouse (Air Force) for over 15 years and I'm well aware of the many challenges in this way of life. Many of the challenges are serious in nature and I'm glad to connect with others and help tackle the issues.

However, you gotta have something you do that you really enjoy. That's what I'm trying to find out. As a male military spouse, what do you do for fun?

Keywords: malemilitaryspouse airforce military

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

And the Winner Is...

ScholarshipWinner.jpg(The video is a little blurry due to some military spouse appreciation happening last night, but you'll be able to clearly hear who was selected as this year's winner.)

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the first ever Macho Spouse Scholarship Give-a-Way presented by the Sonoran Desert Institute! This year, every MachoSpouse.com member had a chance to win a free Gunsmithing Scholarship from SDI's School of Firearms Technology. Only one could win, and that's what sucks because several guys have shown a TON of passion and interest in this line of education. If you didn't win (tiny violins playing), don't worry because you may still be eligible for free tuition through the MyCaa grants. We recommend contacting SDI for more information and help with that process. If MyCaa isn't your thing, or your not eligible, SDI offers quite a few eBooks on gunsmithing that you can download for FREE from their website. Here are two of the more popular ones:

http://www.schooloffirearmstechnology.net/workbench

http://www.schooloffirearmstechnology.net/shotgun-shells

Again, these are FREE! Plus, they have a great YouTube channel filled with tutorials and such, AND we will continue to promote different gunsmithing “How To” videos on our site. SDI is trying hard to take care of ALL of us! (applause from the gallery)

Congratulations again to this year's winner and we hope everyone has a great Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

I Will SAVE America

JoshPicCrop2.jpgDid you know a total of 66% of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight, with a whopping 34% of those being obese.  And did you know that a little over 9 million children in America are overweight or obese?  Can you believe that a total of $1.7 trillion dollars goes toward treating overweight Americans annually?

Let's take a look at what happens to your body when you are overweight/obese.  If you “live” in this category, the door is open for you to have many different types of health problems that include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and certain types of cancer.  All of which lead to a shortened life expectancy and a decreased quality of life.

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New Resource for Male Military Spouses!

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

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

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



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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Including the Children

vid_ptsd5.jpgPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 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 from post-traumatic stress.  In this fifth segment, Dr. Lind discusses the importance of including one's own children in the healing process.  Depending on the symptoms, children can learn valuable life lessons from watching, monitoring, and even participating in PTS rehabilitation.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - TreatmentPTSD, 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.

1935 Views | 67 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Quick Hitter - Mutual Appreciation

vid_mutalpprectiate.jpgWith 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.

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Operation Paws for Homes and Male Military Spouse Patrick Donaldson

Fellow male military spouse, Patrick Donaldson, is doing great things for Operation Paws for Homes.

Did you know OPH has currently saved over 2000 dogs? Patt's been working hard this holiday season organizing and sending care packages (K-Packs) to Military Working Dogs...hey, they're veterans too!

If you're a fellow dog-lover and want a unique way to help our service members, we recommend checking out Operation Paws for Homes. Thanks for all your hard work Patt!

https://ophrescue.org/k9

 
 
Operation Paws for Homes is a dog rescue organization that understands dogs everywhere need love and support. In addition to our passion for these four legged creatures, OPH also support our troops and the Military Working Dogs that assist our troops in completing their mission both within our own ...

1848 Views | 70 Likes | 36 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Acronym Hell - Part 1

Acronym HellA 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.

2235 Views | 94 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Army Spouses Handbook 2003

US Army

The Army Spouses Handbook (2003) is designed as a guide to assist spouses, as they become part of the Army team and offers a wealth of information and resources. It's designed to help them learn about the Army and better understand their soldier's mission.

1720 Views | 65 Likes | 27 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Military Phonetic Alphabet

Military Phonetic AlphabetThe Phonetic Alphabet is used by the military as a way to share letters over audio communication without confusion.

Why Learn? So you don't look like a complete moron improvising your own "phonetic alphabet" in front of people who actually know the real thing. (Speaking from personal experience. - Chris)

6535 Views | 136 Likes | 27 Dislikes | 0 Comments


MilitaryOneClick resource for military families

Military One ClickMilitaryOneClick 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.

[[EXLINK_14]]

[[EXLINK_15]]

PTSD in the Family

AMUNewA.jpgThe 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.   

1107 Views | 104 Likes | 29 Dislikes | 0 Comments


US Military Ranks for Officers and Enlisted

Military RanksIf you spend a lot of time on Xbox 360 playing Call of Duty or Halo, you may have a decent handle on the US Military Ranks for Officers and Enlisted for one or maybe two branches of service. However, you can't rely on "gamer cred" to help you remember all of the ranks for all of the US military Service branches.

Here are some rank insignia charts for the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Learn 'em. It's good to know who your wife salutes or who has to salute your wife.

(Oh, and gamers don't look for those high ranks and insignia that you see in Call of Duty. They're not real.)

MSEJ - Military Service Employment Journal, December 2012

MSEJ_201212.jpgCheck out the December 2012 Military Service Employment Journal from MSCCN.

Career Advice: PCS Job Search Tips - An employment search can be very daunting, especially in a new area. Here are four tips that really helped me find a position
after our last PCS.

Ask The Experts: Sometimes there are issues with your
job search. You feel like you are spinning your wheels and not really going anywhere – and you wonder why and how you can change it. Below are some questions we have had asked in the last few months that we felt would be helpful to everyone in their job search. We are here to
help should you need any further information or assistance!

'Tis the season to start your job search? Try filling your stockings with cash by landing that dream job going into the New Year. “What do you want for Christmas this year?” If you are answering this age old question with “Dear Santa, I want a new job!” Give yourself an early
gift, just make a visit to MSCCN and CASY for an early present of no-cost employment readiness, on the job training, direct connect, and one-on-one job placement services.

2000 Views | 121 Likes | 26 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in MSCCN

2013 MOAA Spouse Symposium Recap

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)Lucky number seven. That's what this year's annual MOAA spouse symposium was – though it was a lot more than luck that made the day great. It was the 300 military spouses from across the Pacific Northwest who made the cold trek through Seattle-Tacoma traffic to spend a day at MOAA's 7th Annual Military Spouse Symposium. Here's what we learned, what made us cry, what made us laugh, and who made a special appearance.

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Posted in News

Being a Military Spouse When You're a Guy

The deployments and frequent moves of the military lifestyle can put pressure on any marriage. When the wife is the military member and the husband is a civilian, the strain may be greater.

In fact, research shows that the divorce rate for such couples is more than double the divorce rate for couples where the husband is the service member. This may be because military spouse support tends to be geared toward women. Another reason is that men tend to be less likely than women to ask for help.

If you're a male military spouse, it's important to know how to help keep your marriage strong. You can learn what challenges you're likely to face and prepare yourself for them. You can learn to recognize when you need help and how to use the resources available to you. And you can build a support system of other people you can count on.

3293 Views | 133 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

1213 Views | 121 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


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.

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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.

1032 Views | 95 Likes | 25 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News

Military Spouse Connections Looking for Military Spouse Entrepreneur

For those of you in or near Colorado Springs, Colorado, Military Spouse Connections is looking for a military spouse entrepreneur for their upcoming event.

From Military Spouse Connections:

Attention military spouses in the Colorado Springs area. We love entrepreneurs and are looking for a military spouse entrepreneur to come speak at our event in Colorado Springs on 23 May. If you are a military spouse who has a start-up business that would like to share their business with us and others contact us! You will be able to speak as well as have a table at the event.

If interested send an email to snelson@militaryspouseconnection.org.

Till Next Time…Let's Stay Inspired

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Posted in News

Why Hire a Military Spouse?

If you need some talking points for your next interview, check out CompTIA's blog. There's a post you will find helpful as it effectively answers the question, "Why Hire a Military Spouse?"

1109 Views | 117 Likes | 25 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News

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.

901 Views | 47 Likes | 34 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News Headlines

How to Leave Your Job Gracefully as a Military Spouse

Remember that song, "Take this job and shove it?" Well, that's not probably not what you want to express to your employers when you are about to leave, even if that's what you really feel. Times are tough and there are so many stories about how military spouses are finding it difficult to find work, even with all of the efforts out there for hiring military spouses.

Military.com has a good article on How to Leave Your Job Gracefully as a Military Spouse, aimed at helping you find the right words to leave a job before a PCS without burning any bridges.

From Military.com

Everyone is so focused on spouses getting jobs that they forget an equally important task -- leaving the job you have now.

Finding the right words -- and the tact -- to leave a job before a PCS without burning bridges can be difficult, but with these eight steps, you will be able to leave with good recommendations, not good riddance.

1388 Views | 73 Likes | 43 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News Headlines

Job fair for vets, military spouses is Thursday

ASHEVILLE -The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host Hiring Our Heroes, a hiring fair for veterans and military spouses, on Thursday.

Several employers are expected to participate with jobs available for veterans and military spouses of all ranks and levels of experience. Companies range from America's biggest employers to dozens of small companies from the region.

The fair will be 9 a.m.-noon Thursday at Asheville Army Reserve Center, 224 Louisiana Ave.

Interested job seekers should register for free at hoh.greatjob.net. Walk-in job seekers are allowed (veterans must provide proof of service).

Posted in News Headlines

Military Spouse Appreciation Month

Hey! It's Military Spouse Appreciation Month this month. (Did you know that?) Check out this story about military members and military spouses getting a night of pampering.

The Tampa Tribune
By LENORA LAKE
Published: May 6, 2013

WESTCHASE - Jennifer Sheppard's husband, a master sergeant in the Air Force, was on his way back from a six-month deployment to Qatar.

So the off of a new hairstyle couldn't have been better, said Sheppard who was among about a dozen military spouses and active duty personnel treated to a night of pampering.

For two hours, hair stylist Simone Williams washed, cut, dried and styled Sheppard's long dark hair at the Hair Cuttery at Westchase Shopping Center. The special evening with food, wine and gift bags was sponsored by the salon with assistance of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle chapter of Tampa Bay.

"It was just great; I haven't had time to get a haircut but I made time today," said Sheppard who has been married to Chris Sheppard for 13 years and has two daughters, 12 and 7. Chris Sheppard has been in the military for 17 years and was expected back May 1, just two days after the free hair styling.

Bubbles, a companion company of the Hair Cuttery, offered a similar evening in Washington, D.C., and the local salon and the Tiffany Circle chapter heard about it and planned it here.

"It a good thing to give back and these people (military members and families) are helping us out," said Sarah Zielinski, manager of the shop.

The event also served as a kickoff for Military Spouse Appreciation Month, said Jill Valenti, who started the Tiffany Circle chapter where members give at least $10,000 to the American Red Cross each year.

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Posted in News Headlines

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

1540 Views | 68 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News Headlines

The Importance of Military Spouse Careers

Here is a commentary you should check out on Military.com. It's from Deanie Dempsey, wife of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Military.com

America will need the strength of its military families more than ever in the coming months and years. As we approach the second anniversary of a massive campaign to help veterans find jobs, Hiring our Heroes has been a godsend to those who care about our country's future. But helping military spouses plan careers is equally important to our country and our military in the long run.

More than one million servicemembers will leave the military in the next five years. With this drawdown, and ongoing budget cut discussion, it's fair to say that our military families are in a state of high uncertainty, even for our community. Decisions are currently being made that will not only affect the size and scope of our military, but the health and readiness of those who stay.

The past 10 years have stretched our military families thin. There is no need to recount the effects of multiple deployments and the general stress of war on us all. Many of our families who have lived through the struggles have turned their strife into strength.

The "it takes a village" culture permeates our military community in extensive ways. Military spouses volunteer on and off installations at more than three times the national average. Drive down any street on any installation in the U.S. and you will find families covering child care and moving furniture for neighbors, providing both a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on.

Posted in News Headlines

Tomorrow: Military spouses Hiring Our Heroes Camp Pendleton job fair

WHAT: Hiring Our Heroes – Camp Pendleton

WHEN: Tuesday, May 7, 2013; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Pacific Views Events Center, 202850 San Jacinto Rd., Camp Pendleton, CA 92055

RSVP: Interested job seekers should register for free at hoh.greatjob.net. Walk-in job seekers are allowed.

Tomorrow's “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair at Camp Pendleton isn't for the one in uniform.

This time, military spouses are the focus of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce event.

Posted in News Headlines

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

JoshPic.jpgHow 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.

1399 Views | 63 Likes | 42 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Military Spouse Business Association

Military Spouse Business Association (MSBA)

At Macho Spouse, we know the challenges civilian male military spouses face when it comes to finding gainful employment and dealing with career loss. We encourage civilian male military spouses to consider entrepreneurship as a possible way of making this lifestyle work. We're not naive, we know the difficulties that come with starting a business and successfully running it. We also know that there are great organizations offering help to civilian male military spouses who really want to start and run their own businesses. The [[EXLINK_21]] is one such organization.

Before starting a business, there are many questions to answer. A civilian male military spouse who wants to start a business has a few questions to answer that are military-specific, like:

  • How can I start a business when I move so often?
  • How can I start a business when I live on base?
  • How will my business impact my spouse?

MSBA is a "link that rocks" because they provide answers to these military-specific questions and help civilian male military spouses get closer to their military spouse owned businesses.

Check out some of the info from MSBA:

At MSBA, we've tackled the steepest part of the military spouse owned business learning curve.  We pioneered the military spouse peer-to-peer mentoring and community based solutions to overcoming the unique challenges of military spouse owned businesses.

2433 Views | 62 Likes | 24 Dislikes | 0 Comments