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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!


| In Your Community
image for Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse
Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse

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

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



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



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



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


| In Your Community
image for The First  Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway
The First Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

The School of Firearms Technology (SFT) at Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and Macho Spouse have announced the first ever Male Military Spouse Day dedicated to the male spouses of America's service members.


| In Your Community
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Fusion TV Interview

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

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


| In Your Community
image for Incoming - Helping New Neighbors
Incoming - Helping New Neighbors

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

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


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

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


| Deals and Discounts
image for New Macho Spouse Logo.  Thoughts?
New Macho Spouse Logo. Thoughts?

Hey gang, fellow male military spouse Michael Piatt designed us a new logo. We can envision this on t-shirts, in videos, and easily readable on social media channels.  We happen to love it, but what do you think?  Is it a winner?


| In Your Community