2013 MOAA Spouse Symposium Recap | News

Macho Spouse: machospouse - Civilian Male Military Spouse, Macho Spouse, Male Spouse, Dad, Father
Skip to MenuSkip to NavigationSkip to Main Content

2013 MOAA Spouse Symposium Recap

Like Comment Subscribe
 

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.

Chris PapeWhat we learned
Outside the beltway of Washington DC, the challenge of military life is stark. Several spouses told of being at a cross roads and downright weary with their job options.

“I have three kids and a masters degree, but my husband has deployed three times in the past five years,” shared one Navy spouse. “Paying for childcare isn't cost effective, and even then, when they get sick, I have to stay home. It's tough.”

More than one-third of the spouses in attendance came from troops assigned to Joint Base Lewis McChord. Lesson: Keep getting outside our usual networks to hear the broader perspectives of families across the country.

What made us laugh
Two words: Macho Spouse. The man behind the moniker, Chris Pape, woke up the crowd after lunch with a video from his virtual community www.machospouse.com

As funny as he is, Chris also made his point: There are nearly 100,000 male military spouses within the active duty community, and frankly, they're kind of tired of being lumped in with the ladies.

Who made a special appearance
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) gave our keynote address in the morning. But the real surprise was her story. She is a twin, and one of seven children. Her father was a WWII veteran who earned the Purple Heart, but was sidelined by multiple sclerosis later in life. Senator Murray's mother was able to support the family by taking advantage of a government program that helped her become an accountant. She said her story motivates her work for military families.

“I promise all of you that I will continue to fight for federal programs that help military spouses, that create opportunities for you to succeed, and that ensure that we as a nation are there for you and your family, just like it was there for my own family.”

Senator Murray will receive MOAA's highest award, the Marix award this year, for her work supporting military families. Read the entire list of winners here.

What made us cry
It was a sad farewell from our sponsor TriWest Healthcare Alliance that made some of us tear up. Not only has TriWest been a sponsor of many MOAA events, but the Tacoma Spouse Symposium was their last major sponsoring event on the west coast before their contract ends this month. Scott Celley, VP of External Affairs, closed the day with an old proverb about the value of a great wife (sorry Chris! We'll find one for the men, promise.) Scott concluded with this tribute to military spouses: “ Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

This event is also a labor of love for the team at MOAA, because it brings together military spouses from across the country to learn, share and connect – for the staff as well as the guests. The day is built around professional development, but we find the conversations drifting to the toll of war, the budget crisis, and the challenge of being a military spouse, parent and engaged member of the labor force.

We don't take those challenges lightly. And it's why MOAA is committed to continuing to fight for quality of life benefits for all military families, and particularly supporting military spouses in whatever their career ambitions may be.

Read the next in our series recap of the 2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium.

Keywords: male military spouse, Macho Spouse, Chris Pape, MOAA, Military Spouse Symposium, Military Officers Association of America, employment, career, Joining Forces, White House, First Lady

You may also like

post featured image

Be Careful What You Post

NewsKid.jpgWe found this article written at the Fort Belvoir newspaper and decided to share as we feel this is a very important issue.

Last month's headlines proved that servicemembers are expected to behave on duty, off duty, in uniform and out, and even on social media.

First, there was the Facebook photo of an airman tongue-kissing a Prisoner of War-Missing in Action symbol, reported by the Army Times Feb. 14.

Then, there was the photo of Soldiers acting silly next to a casket, posted by a Wisconsin National Guardsman on an honors detail and the Intagram “selfie” of a Fort Carson, Colo., Soldier hiding in her car to avoid saluting the flag during retreat (reported by the Army Times Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, respectively).

Those servicemembers are facing investigations because their posts violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

post featured image

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

post featured image

Military Spouse Appreciation Day Virtual Career Fair by Veteran Recruiting Services

did-you-know-mms.gif

Did you know that there are virtual career fairs held that allow you to meet and interact with recruiters from the comfort of your own home? Check out this press release from Veteran Recruiting Services about an upcoming virtual career fair for military spouses.

PHILADELPHIA, May 7, 2013 -- /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Veteran Recruiting Services, the recognized leader of virtual career fairs for the military community is pleased to host the Military Spouse Appreciation Day Virtual Career Fair in support of the White House Joining Forces Initiative on May 10th.

Military Spouses from all over the world with have an opportunity to meet and interact live with recruiters in the virtual career fair, and from the comfort and convenience of their home or office. Each employer will have a virtual booth that will provide everything the spouse will need to consider when looking at their next career choice.

Thirty of America's leading employers will participate including: 24 Hour Fitness, Aetna, Airgas, Citi, Comerica Bank, Convergys, DaVita, DialAmerica, DISH, Exelon, Graybar, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Lowe's, Military Spouse Employment Partnership, Nordstrom, Penske, Pfizer, Progressive, Sears Holdings Corporation, The Mission Continues, Travelers, TSA, USAA, Union Pacific Railroad, Verizon, Volt, Walgreens, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, and Xerox.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Friday, May 10th

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join us for a great event exclusively for Military Spouses, and be entered to win some great prizes such as;

$50 Visa gift cards every 30 minutes

$200 Coach gift card

iPad

Register Here


 

Comments


Got something to say? SIGN UP or SIGN IN to join the conversation.