4MCA.com  /  Operation Reach Out: Suicide Prevention App

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  1. Kiona Strickland

    October 20, 2011

    So would it be accurate to say that the real problem in trying to help homeless vets isn’t lack of resources, but the difficulty in finding approaches that don’t leave them feeling powerless? How effective are traditional women’s shelters at helping female veterans?

  2. Amy Miller

    October 21, 2011

    One of the greatest problems is: the lack of veteran shelters for women in general. There is currently a bill that has been presented for homeless women veterans but as of right now the available resources are limited and lacking greatly.

  3. Gabriel Coeli

    October 22, 2011

    Hi, Kiona – what a great article. I wanted to comment on the fifth item in your list. Coming home from deployment and seeing a messy house, dirty dishes in the sink, etc. is actually wonderful, because it lets you know that life didn’t stop for your wife while you were gone. She kept herself busy and happy and moving forward. Helping catch up on the housework – that is, building a home with the person that you love, would be infinitely preferable to patrolling a poppy field or nervously watching the windows of apartment buildings, dark corners of storefronts and narrow, shadowed side alleys as you move down a too-quiet boulevard.

    • Kiona Strickland

      October 22, 2011

      Thanks for that perspective; it’s something that a lot of us waiting at home really drive ourselves crazy about, thinking that everything has to be perfect or you’ll all come home thinking we don’t care what you’re coming home to. It’s helpful to be reminded that we can relax a little and just enjoy the homecoming. My husband told me about someone he knew whose wife always bought a whole new set of towels for the bathroom every time the came home, thinking that she was doing something special to make sure the house was perfect. He finally broke down and told her that he just wanted to come home to the same familiar things he left, including the linens, and that the constantly changing towels were really bothering him.

  4. David Blackman

    October 22, 2011

    If they’re looking for health care savings in the DoD budget, why not create “joint” health care? Do we need three Surgeons General, three massive infrastructures, three training pipelines, etc.? Some of this is already happening. Aren’t there savings to be had – low hanging fruit, if you will?

    • Gabriel Coeli

      October 22, 2011

      David, that’s a great idea. You can’t tell me that Navy Corpsmen and Army medics shouldn’t train at the same school – in fact, it would do everyone good to get together from the different branches of service and trade ideas and experiences. But all of the branches are so territorial that they don’t want to give it up.

  5. Kiona Strickland

    October 22, 2011

    Would co-ed veterans’ shelters work? I can understand separate sleeping areas, but is a whole separate facility for women really a better answer than integrating them into the veteran community with the people they served alongside?

  6. Kiona Strickland

    October 22, 2011

    Aside from the emotional debate inherent in cutting veterans’ benefits, the practical reality is that without access to programs like TriCare Prime, veterans and their families will still need health care, and the burden of those costs will only get shifted to other federal and state programs like Medicaid or passed on to employers in the form of lost hours. It may look like savings on paper, but in actuality it’s just shifting costs to other already-financially-strapped programs at the worst possible time.

  7. Amy Miller

    October 23, 2011

    I am not suggesting a different building… because I agree… I would rather be in an area or facility with both men and women that served. So, Yeah I think Co-ed shelters would be a great idea…. and I can’t comprehend why that is so hard for the Government. Homelessness is a big problem in our country… It’s starting to get cold where I live… I work a lot with veteran organizations to make sure that homeless vets have sleeping bags, food… warm cloths, and it’s hard to see…. It makes me sad.

  8. Leonard Cranz

    October 25, 2011

    Thank for the great article. Love the site. So many good articles here.

  9. AJ Selvey

    October 26, 2011

    Additional resource for Transitioning Military…

    http://www.Veterans.jobs

    Veterans.jobs uses the Military Occupational Classification (MOC) Crosswalk to assist military personnel in transitioning from active duty to employment opportunities in the civilian workforce.

    Best of luck in your search and Thank You for your service!

  10. Amy Miller

    October 26, 2011

    Omg…. Brought me to tears….Great Video….

  11. Jon C Sosa

    October 26, 2011

    Outstanding – I wish I had know about this website before. I could have contributed. Please make sure your Vets know that a resume is only 20% of getting a job. A Marine is already in the top 1% of society in many ways, there is no reason they should not have at least one job waiting for them when they return from duty. Please call on me for any help. JC Sosa

  12. Glen Sutch

    October 27, 2011

    Great start Jason. This is a great tool for vets to serve vets and their families.

    Your words are wise, TAP, TURBO-TAP, Welcome Home Programs, and many more organizations and sites are there to help, but the difficulty for most seems to be making wise use of time, and setting goals early in their military career that will serve to shape their future in and out of service. College, good words. Start in the service. If you’re getting out in the near future, most of us are never more ready for college (except possibly financially: which is an entire blog of its own) than at the time of separation. Even the financial can be overcome with some research and diligence.

    If you’re in now, use your time wisely. If you are transitioning, or out, there are resources to help. Wherever you go, I recommend you start at your County Veterans Services Office. See what state and federal benefits and programs you may have forgotten, or never learned about. That office will likely have all the skinny on resources and services to launch you into your own unlimited future. Another resource might be the Small Business Administration SCORE Program or the VA VetBiz.gov site, if you are of the independent persuasion and want to strike out on your own.

    G

  13. Glen Sutch

    October 27, 2011

    Because many Veterans have access to one or more chapters of the GI Bill, many don’t consider financial aid. This is a sad mistake. There are resources at the school, in communities, through Veterans Service Organizations, and through corporations to help reduce the out of pocket cost of education for deserving students. As a member of the American Legion, I will take only a moment to toot that horn. Station education offices usually get an annual publication called “Need A Lift”. This can be ordered online for a minimal cost, or just use the online version free at http://www.needalift.org. Whether you are a Veteran, Spouse or Child of a Veteran, no matter your branch of service,one would be hard pressed not to find at least one loan, grant, or scholarship that the person would be eligible to apply for. Were you a CB? A Submariner?

    I began my educational journey on active duty, got out and did two years. My situation changed so I went back to the service. I was able to complete my degree through the SNCO Degree Completion Program. Because of using available resources and two complimentary versions of the GI Bill, I retired with no student loans. At the point of my retirement I was working an MS, and paying for it with GI Bill, Tuition Assistance, and other available means. I completed that through the last of my GI Bill, and the tuition reimbursement provided by my new public sector job.

    You can do just as well, or even better with a little preparation.

  14. Don Harkness

    October 29, 2011

    I’m a recruiter, been a job hunter, in prior life a hiring manager, and of course prior to that a Marine. Good organized thinking. I suggest you also look into the Marines for Life program. Google it for website & info. Great program & there should be a unit near you. It also will plug you into compatible programs on it’s main site. I’m in the Houston area and always glad to help Don

  15. Alex Wholey

    October 30, 2011

    Thanks. Excellent tips.

  16. Katelyn

    October 31, 2011

    This is a great article and we agree with you, I am the founder of DINKlife.com (the site for dual income no kids couples) and we have seen a lot of interest from military couples who don’t want kids yet. Glad to see that others feel the same way our military members do.

    • Kiona Strickland

      October 31, 2011

      Thanks for sharing that link; I’ll check that out and then post it over in the “Child-Free Military Couples Group” here also.

  17. Kiona Strickland

    October 31, 2011

    Thanks for posting this! The thing people need to remember is that there is a HUGE difference between an online for-profit school and a traditional school with a physical campus somewhere that happens to offer degree programs online. Lots of established, reputable universities offer online or distance learning programs that carry the university’s full accreditation and offer much better support for students. That’s your best bet for getting the flexibility and portability of an online program from someplace legitimate.

    I think if the VA were going to stop offering reimbursements for certain programs, they need to base it on accreditation, rather than a blanket decision that online programs will no longer be reimbursed.

  18. Abril

    November 2, 2011

    Awesome, I really like your site.

  19. Gabriel Coeli

    November 2, 2011

    I actually had the opportunity to do some online and distance-based education with my school, the Evergreen State College, and it was amazing. It’s the for-profit schools like University of Phoenix that are the bad ones here, because they overcharge the government, give terrible education and market aggressively to service members and veterans.

  20. Kiona Strickland

    November 3, 2011

    You’re right about that; I have a friend who got a University of Phoenix degree and was then stunned by the fact that prospective employers didn’t take it seriously. She herself was a very diligent student and as competent as they come, but the school’s lack of accreditation counted against her. It was really sad. Thanks for the warning for all of us!

  21. Diane Threst

    November 3, 2011

    I really loved this article, very helpful to me and my husband. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Kiona Strickland

    November 3, 2011

    Thanks! I’m glad it did some good. Congratulations and welcome home, respectively!

  23. Kiona Strickland

    November 4, 2011

    Gmail’s chat feature also gives you both voice chat and video chat for free, although the video is a bit less reliable than Skype, especially if your connection isn’t great.

  24. Kiona Strickland

    November 4, 2011

    If anybody would like some help with the financial aid application process, feel free to send me a message; I used to work in university admissions, so I have a decent idea of what’s going on, and I’ll be happy to give you all whatever help I can.

  25. Kiona Strickland

    November 4, 2011

    If anybody would like some help with the financial aid application process, feel free to send me a message; I used to work in university admissions, so I have a decent idea of what’s going on, and I’ll be happy to give you all whatever help I can.

    • kemton

      December 21, 2011

      I’m a medic stationed at the 10th mountain Infantry Division in Ft.Drum and I’m trying to find a cheaper way to get my wife back into college, your help will greatly be appreciated. To give you an idea of our situation, she used to attend bmcc for an associates in social work, but we had moved to New Jersey and got married, so seeing as we’re constantly moving we want to look into online school.

  26. Kenneth Conners

    November 4, 2011

    I absolutely loved this article. At first, the title about Patton, made me smile. But it’s really a wonderful viewpoint. I’ve shared it with several of my friends.
    Thanks,
    Ken

  27. Anthony Valenzuela

    November 7, 2011

    I also think there should be a government program to help the efforts of those trying to quit smoking. More alternatives should be explored, like greennicotine.com, with electronic cigarettes. People just need to curve the habit away from real cigarettes. Get people off high toxic cigarettes to more healthy alternatives with the vapor cigarettes to keep them healthy.

  28. Alice Jacobson

    November 7, 2011

    I disagree with your comment about American Military University. Part of the American Public University System, it is nationally as well as regionally accredited (http://www.apus.edu/accreditation-licensure/), and has a extremely good reputation as an online school. Full disclosure: I just graduated from AMU with a master’s degree in History. AMU offers many other majors, to include national security affairs, intelligence studies, and management, to name a few. They offer degrees at the associates, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. I found my courses very rigorous, and my professors (all PhDs) engaging and demanding (as well as fair and responsive). I chose AMU because I traveled a lot in my job, and could log-in at any time/in any location. Because of my professors’ feedback, I am seriously considering going for my PhD, and feel fully prepared for that challenge because of my education at AMU. Yes, it is expensive; I paid $825 for each 3-credit course (36 total credits were required for my degree). And they accept the GI-Bill – I know because I worked with some active duty personnel who were AMU students. (I retired before the GI Bill was passed and had not signed on for the earlier version of it.) Do a little research about on-line schools before before you lump them altogether as a scam – AMU is NOT.

  29. Darren Ilener

    November 7, 2011

    Thanks, this is solid advice.

  30. Thomas Mason, M.Ed., B.S.

    November 7, 2011

    Distance learning has been around for decades. Members of the military (like myself) have taken advantage of these opportunities through a variety of providers. In the beginning it used to be that you mailed packets back and forth. Now, the online modality is much more interactive. The delivery of content is much more robust. If you want to go back to having deployed military members mailing packets back and forth, you are waaaay behind the times.

    The reason the delivery of distance learning has made such great strides is because of the for-profits. State universities are slow to move and change. For comparison, look at the online offerings of the University of Phoenix and compare them to the state university in the same town (Arizona State University). ASU’s online program is rudimentary and offers only a fraction of their ground programs in the online environment. I’m not referrring to the applied sciences, but their information-based programs as well. For-profits drive innovation. I could not have completed my undergraduate degree without for-profits, since the “good” universities were not there to service me when I needed classes.

    However, online classes aren’t for everyone. If you require face-to-face interaction or are not intrinsically motivated to earn a degree, this isn’t for you. However, if you are a self-starter, have an interest in your program topic, and still want to (or have to) work full-time, you can succeed in online classes. I’m using Chapter 33 to complete my doctorate at Liberty University (private not-for-profit) and understand that I will get out of my program as much as I put into it.

    This is shallow coverage of this topic. Painting the entire for-profit industry with a broad brush is so completely intellectually lazy. The author admits that his online classes through ESU were amazing, yet doesn’t understand that this modality was born and refined in the for-profit environment. Research, young man, research.

  31. Gabriel Coeli

    November 7, 2011

    Thomas, thanks for bringing this to my attention! I dug a little deeper and found that you are indeed correct about American Military University. I’ve updated my post to reflect.

  32. Gabriel Coeli

    November 7, 2011

    Sorry to leave you out, Alice. You too! I appreciate the comments.

  33. lerman

    November 8, 2011

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

  34. Gary Lawston

    November 8, 2011

    Thank you, Kiona. Very good ideas.

  35. Ashley Rose

    November 8, 2011

    This job searching with social media infographic was shared by TheLadders on Twitter and originally posted by Alltop. Happy Hunting!

  36. Kiona Strickland

    November 9, 2011

    Thanks, Gary! I’m interested in hearing what everyone here has planned for the holiday.

  37. P.A. Poling

    November 10, 2011

    Wow! Where did you get this writer. Great theme and expertly communicated. Bravo!!! Pap

  38. Mark Madonna

    November 11, 2011

    A very true and personally touching article. As a Army “brat” I can confirm exactly what you are talking about and caused me to look back and reflect on my childhood growing up. I took great pride knowing that my father was serving this country and helping to protect us all. It always meant so much to me to have him show up and pick me up in uniform so that I could “show off” my dad to all my friends.
    I will always respect and honor those that are serving, have served and have lost their lives serving this great country. Military families have a special bond that needs no explanation but keeps all of us close and dear.

  39. Peter Langon

    November 13, 2011

    Thank you, I enjoyed and utilized this comprehensive list. Great research. Much appreciated!

  40. Jamie Robinson

    November 13, 2011

    A former sales representative is hardly an authority on this topic. Please keep in mind that today’s young professional leaves the academic environment to enter an increasingly virtual workplace. Also, note recent efforts to implement telework programs in the Federal government (an employer of veterans) and virtual conference policies to reduce the cost of meeting with geographically separated conference attendees.

    Why wouldn’t the type of learning environment that works best for the student be a factor in determining the quality of the education; I’d assume it is irrelevant given the argument the author makes. Cost and quality of education are partly driven by the amount the student (or Dept of VA in this case) is willing to pay and, at a minimum, accreditation requirements. So, if accreditation provides the minimum level of quality an accredited higher education institution must provide, how did we come to the conclusion that online education is generally substandard?

    I noticed the staggering number of students who drop out in the first year of online education, but, I’d be interested to know why and also how that compares to the “brick-and-mortar” education institutions. Also, how many more individuals have chosen to pursue higher education as a result of the online learning environment. I’d also be interested to see how many students were able to graduate through online education who did not have the flexibility to pursue higher education in the traditional classroom setting. There’s also the matter of perception that needs to be considered; did these students drop out because they assumed the online learning environment produced degrees with very little effort and learned the contrary while enrolled?

    My point is that the article makes a very bold and misleading statement. I completely agree that substandard education is a concern, but, I am hardly sold on the idea that substandard education is attributed to the online learning environment. I would caution the author to please consider the audience of Military Family, the organization’s influence, and the appropriate level of research that should accompany a position on a topic as important as education.

  41. Gabriel Coeli

    November 14, 2011

    The article is specifically aimed at for-profit universities who offer shoddy degrees that are barely accreditable. Veterans and military personnel deserve the information they need to make good decisions about their educational future, and not be taken in by the promise of a degree that they can get “easily” – meaning in between their busy schedules – which doesn’t give them a good quality education.

    I don’t think that online education is bunk; I’ve done much distance learning myself. There’s a great article at The Chronicle about the rapidly closing gap between brick-and-mortar and online learning: http://chronicle.com/article/Online-vs-Traditional/125115/.

    What I’m concerned about are for-profit schools that don’t provide good educations and that aggressively market toward military folks and veterans.

  42. Wayne H Hayden

    November 14, 2011

    I am a Proud Veteran who served for 5 years in the Army. I have learned about the TOXIC EXPOSURE situation that has been verified by the EPA. The 2 bases I was stationed at were Ft. McClellan, AL. and Ft Ord CA. These 2 bases were heavily contaminated as proved by the EPA. Hundreds of thousands of Veterans have health issues directly related to their service in the Military, and are still being denied adequate care and compensation from the VA. Why do we AMERICANS allow this to happen to those who have served with honor?

    • Larry Stroud

      February 16, 2012

      Wayne, where did you find this information?

  43. Janice Green

    November 16, 2011

    Beautiful! Brought a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat.

  44. Angela Sanders

    November 22, 2011

    Hi Admin,

    I was going through your site (militaryfamily.com) and found lots of interesting articles with lots of information. I would be highly obliged if you allow me to do relevant informative article post in your site. I would like to give you an unique article of around 400 words on any of the topics related to your site. I’ll feel myself very lucky to be your writer and produce informative and sticky content for your site. I am a financial writer and my articles have been published in many reputed social websites. The article will be 100% original, written just for your site and will not be posted elsewhere.

    Please let me know what you think. I shall be waiting for your permission.

    Regards,
    Angela

  45. CatholicDadsHQ.com

    November 22, 2011

    As stress mounts for those contemplating suicide, it is important to have aid at the ready to deescalate the situation to avoid a fatal event. This is a wonderful application, available 24/7 to remind those with severe burdens, “You are not alone. There are people who care and ready to help.”

    Ed. C.L.D.
    San Diego, CA

  46. Military Family

    November 22, 2011

    Thank you for the offer, Angela. Please understand that MilitaryFamily.com only presents articles that are written by military members or close family members who are keenly aware of what military life is all about. Military life is not something you can write about if you’ve never lived it. If you have served, or have close ties to the military, and can provide an impressive sample that would engage our readers, please contact us at info@militaryfamily.com. If, however, you have no direct experience with military life, then we would regrettably have to decline your generous offer.

    Thank you,
    Military Family

  47. Veronica Sullivan

    November 22, 2011

    I found this to be an extremely eye opening article. As someone who has personally had military bumper stickers on their car and knows plenty of other people who do as well, you never stop to think what it may be sayiing to someone who’s looking for a potential victim. Women need to be aware and take precautions to be safe when their military spouses are deployed.

  48. theresasialongo

    November 23, 2011

    happy thanks giving to all and god bless

    • Military Family

      November 28, 2011

      Thank you so much, Theresa! Wonderful sentiment.

  49. attylec

    November 25, 2011

    Since the death of my father (SKI Russell M. Le Compte, USN, KIA-1969, Vietnam), never thought of being connected w/ Navy families since I lived at the other side of the world. Thanks for my acceptance.

  50. Anonymous Mom

    November 28, 2011

    Great article! The comment about boot camp brought back that flood of emotion. It is hard to comprehend when you drop an 18 yr old kid off, you will be picking up a straight standing 18 yr old man or woman at the end. Its an amazing thing to see.

  51. Military Family

    November 28, 2011

    Thanks for the comment, Mom. It truly is an amazing transformation.

  52. Jennifer Bassett

    November 28, 2011

    Anonymous Mom, Thank you for your feedback. The changes that take place are fascinating. It’s eye opening for parents and servicemembers alike. Having been active duty myself, I can recall how quickly I matured as well as the others in my platoon, simply through boot camp alone. Being in the fleet, was a whole other life changing experience as well. I think the parents quoted in this piece really felt that too. I appreciate their time in sharing their memories, fears and advice, with us. It was an honor to work with them all for this article.

  53. Anonymous

    November 28, 2011

    As the spouse of an active duty member (who met my husband after he had been in the service for several years), I often don’t see the parental side of things. While I have tried to imagine what it may be like, there is nothing like hearing it from parents who are living it. This article comes at a great time as I have some friends who are about to deal with this and my niece is considering enlisting after high school. Thank you for giving both the positive and negative side to what one may see after a child joins the military – though it seems the positives far outweigh the negatives.

  54. Shanna

    November 29, 2011

    Great article! Shows the different perspectives of what a parent can go through with a son or daughter in the military. A wonderful resource for anyone whose child decides to serve our country.

  55. Gerry B Claros

    November 29, 2011

    Active Philippine Army member for the rank of captain

  56. Anonymous

    November 29, 2011

    My son has been in the Army since 2005. I sent the Army a boy and I cried to see the man he became. My husband and I have seen him through two deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan), one marriage, one divorce, and a recent remarriage. What got me through the deployments were two websites I found for military moms. I could cry with them, laugh with them, and celebrate my two “Boots Down” days when he returned from deployment with them. They were also the ones who just “got it” — I didn’t have to answer the “why did you let him enlist” or “how could you let him go off to war” questions. Then I didn’t have to lay it all on my son. I wanted his head in the game and not worried about me and his dad. The military has been a wonderful career move for my son, as tough as it has been sometimes for me. Great article!

  57. Nicole

    December 1, 2011

    Just another tip to help people out. I am on my second tour over here and I have seen many things go to waist because there is not a need for a lot of things that are being sent. I would say a general rule of thumb is that if you would not want to use it we probably don’t either. Something we get a lot of is Hotel shampoo and conditioner. I know it is sent with good heart but many times it just gets thrown out because the soldier will use the worst of shampoos from the PX/BX before they will use collected hotel shampoo’s. I would also say check with your military member and find out what they have access to and what they need doing the mission they are doing. I know that we have received a lot of toys in our care packages and with the mission we have we do not interact with the children or the country. The best advice i can give you though is ask questions about what is needed and remember we always love TREATS

  58. Military Family

    December 1, 2011

    Great advice, Nichole. Thank you. And of course, thank you for serving. We all wish you the very best.

  59. OSWALDO SANVITI

    December 1, 2011

    thank you

  60. Cristina

    December 1, 2011

    This is a great article!! I took several suggestions for my boyfriend’s Christmas package. Thank you!!! 😀

  61. johndor

    December 2, 2011

    Thanks for this advice, I am preparing care packages to mail,excellent advice.

  62. Military Family

    December 3, 2011

    You’re very welcome, everyone. Thanks for reading and glad we could help.

  63. Darren Clopeland

    December 4, 2011

    Good post. I specialize in providing VA loans and I also help Vets with the paperwork they need to prove military service. I am happy to provide this service for a group of people who deserve every ounce of respect that we can give them. Thanks.

  64. Michael Pyykola

    December 6, 2011

    This was a very moving and wonderful story. It brought memories flooding back to me of my experirnces. I am thankful for the help the VA Hospital gives to me and my Vet counselor. I am by no means cured of the nightmares but I am able to manage. The loneliness is the hardest. I also am a disabled Vietnam Veteran. I do my best to help my Brothers in Combat of any war whenever I can. There are so many sad stories. Thank you for this contribution.

  65. Debbie Gregory

    December 6, 2011

    Remember that employers can receive tax credits of up to $9,600 for hiring Veterans. College, vocational schools and certificate programs are another option to leverage when the economy improves including tax free living expenses under Post 9/11 GI Bill.

  66. Frank DeJulius

    December 7, 2011

    I’m so moved by this. The memories just came flooding back.

  67. Melanie

    December 7, 2011

    The following statements are inaccurate. “Consider this, a military retiree pays $260 per month for individual TRICARE-Prime coverage. That retiree could be 70 or 80 years old.” A retiree pays $260 per YEAR not monthly. A retiree age 65 and older is on Tricare for Life as long as they have Part A & B Medicare. There is currently no cost for TFL. I agree that everyone shold look at all the options.

  68. Curtis (Curt) Sheldon

    December 7, 2011

    Melanie,

    Thanks for the input. You are absolutely correct. I had in my head the fee for retirees was per month. I should have double checked my facts. And thank you for correcting me on TFL. I thought that TRICARE Prime could be combined with Medicare, but again it appears I was mistaken.

    Thanks for pointing out the errors.

    – Curt

  69. Andrew Heil

    December 8, 2011

    My family could use a new TV, just retired and feeling the economic crunch and lack of employment.

  70. Curtis (Curt) Sheldon

    December 8, 2011

    Based on Melanie’s input, I have updated the article for accuracy. Thanks again Melanie!

    – Curt

  71. Military Family

    December 8, 2011

    Best of luck, Andrew!

  72. valerie pearson

    December 11, 2011

    I am a disabled and have never been able to buy a new tv and that is all that i can do without pain. I have never owned a new TV in my life!

  73. S. Kabit

    December 11, 2011

    Excellent article on job search and resume writing, really appreciate it..thank you. Even if your resume lands in human hands i.e. an H.R Professional, it has to be mistake proof to get you shortlisted and get a interview call! If you don’t take care of gaffes or mistakes in your resume it may lead to rejection of the resume.

  74. Christy

    December 18, 2011

    I would love to be able to have this tv. We still own an old TV and do not have anything as nice as this one. I sure hope this is for us!!!

  75. JOEL EQUINAN PILAPIL

    December 19, 2011

    I was a victim of a typhoon flashflood, all my appliances like tv and computer were damaged. I am on vacation and seeking another job.

  76. Bob griffis

    December 19, 2011

    This would be nice. Had a hard year in Michigan with unemployment and medical issues for my wife.

  77. John Barlowe

    December 23, 2011

    Wonderful advice, Gabe. One of the better, more useful articles I’ve read in a while. Have a great holiday… and keep up the PT!

  78. jayde

    December 28, 2011

    Ok i have a question and hope u can help. my fiance is going into the airforce reserves leaving for basics april 18. what should i expect ive heard so many horror stories do u have any advice? If so please e-mail me. jaydegarcia-swift@hotmail.com

  79. MHA-NYC

    December 29, 2011

    If you or a loved one know a hero in need, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-TALK (Press 1). We are here to help 24/7.

  80. Emma Nelson

    December 31, 2011

    Thank you so much for sharing this! My husband was recently diagnosed with depression and I know how hard this must have been for you!! Thank you for reminding me of some things, and for giving me some others to think about. Hang in there!!

  81. David Blackman

    December 31, 2011

    Mr. Taxpayer’s basis in the fund for tax purposes is the same as the value of the investment, and he has a capital gain of $1. This $1 is reported as long-term capital gains, according to the IRS Publication 550. Can you explain how Mr. Taxpayer would owe between $1 and $3 in federal income tax on $1 in long-term capital gains?

  82. Curtis (Curt) Sheldon

    December 31, 2011

    David,

    Thanks for the question. Mr. Taxpayer purchased 10 shares of stock and received a distribution of $1 per share. So, the total distribution would be $10.

    Mutual funds can distribute earnings in the form of Capital Gains (both long-term and short-term), Dividends or Interest depending on the type of fund. So assuming a marginal tax bracket of between 10% to approximately 30% the total tax would be between $1 and $3.

    Sorry if I caused any confusion

    – Curt

  83. aisha200bc

    January 2, 2012

    Well with due apologies, i must say that i was not at all moved or touched by the story. These are the realities of life. It is indeed very sad that we have to go through such traumatic moments in our life, but that dosen’t mean that one has to lose their sanity. I would consider this as a self inflicted injury. There are millions of people who lost their loved one’s and met such great disasters. Yet they maintained their dignity and justified their existence. To go Nuts is the easiest thing for anyone to do, here i don’t mean that people don’t have emotions and they are robots. Now the Lady who remains under Trauma for the rest of her life and has turned herself into a useless person, but she had a choice.She could have turned her direction towards all those countless people who craving for one simple Hug, one Smile, one Soothing Word,. here i don’t mean, that she should have forgotten her husband, but by accepting The reality she could have turned her vision, and shared her love with her Son and if the Son was not there somebody else. If i was Mr John i would have tried my best to make her understand that there is no point in wasting one’s life by moaning over those who are no more with us…There is no other way we have to submit ourselves to the law of nature. Without Faith there are no chances of survival — Trust me my words might sound bitter, but who ever is reading might recall later what i had to say — Faith is the only and final anchor– even a FAKE FAITH WILL DO…..

  84. sonja

    January 2, 2012

    I am currently 26 weeks along and my unit is sending me to field training this weekend. Isn’t this against regulation?

  85. amy miller

    January 3, 2012

    Hi Sonja, I wrote the article and I am prior service…. There is no way you should be in the field or participating in field training.

  86. george b. encinares

    January 4, 2012

    I want to learn what I have to do to become part of u.s army. Because my father is retired army. Anyone who can help me?

  87. David Blackman

    January 5, 2012

    Thanks – sure enough it says the distribution was per share in the example. Hopefully people will make sure to buy the funds that are taxed at 15% or plan ahead enough to be so rich they can move their money offshore anyway!

  88. Maverick

    January 5, 2012

    In reading the previous comment, while originally determining not to comment, as this I not an active forum, I think it was necessary to deal with the lack of compassion shown, by the commenter. While I agree there are millions of people who go through traumatic events, [in the world, it is estimated that several million men women and children deal with deadly traumatic events each day] we as concerned people cannot help them.
    In Eunice’s case, she was a woman, from the story, that had spent 40+ years with her husband Samuel. It appeared he was her husband, best friend, chief cook and bottle washer.
    In her efforts to become independent, [3 years after his death] and walking to an urgent care, facility was certainly foolish, as a person in their 50’s would certainly not do it; she did and was in trouble. What was John supposed to do, say no and shut the door, which happens and believe me I have seen it happen.
    My father who was a combat veteran of WWII, and I use the words “Combat Veteran” as opposed to arm chair veteran or REMF, as combat veterans of Vietnam refer to them, died suddenly at the age of 70. My mom the day of his funeral had a stroke, which left her completely fine physically, but with a 75% problem with Aphasia.
    We worked with my mom in every way, and did get her into an independent living facility with a four-room apartment, where she could be just that, independent, as she adamantly wanted. She could not however drive. One day she decided to walk to a Variety store about two miles away. Due to her age, she became somewhat confused, and went to a house to ask for help. Do to the aphasia, she could not put the words together properly. In trying to speak, only totally mixed up sentences came out.
    The homeowner, told her to go away, and shut the door in her face. She became panicky and began to walk in a direction away from both her home and the store. A motorist, out of compassion stopped, asked her some questions. It turned out his mother had a problem with aphasia, but much less severe. He took out his cell phone, and called the police. Some hours later, I was at the police station to pick her up. I was and still am, very grateful to that person who took the time to help. Although mom died a few years ago due to complications of her stroke, she was helped on that day. I thank God for the motorists help.
    Eunice in the story survived for three years after her husband’s death, dealing with it. Her family was there to help, but 1000 miles away. While many people, a vast many can cope with a loved one’s death [I have many that people that I deal with weekly in their late 70’s 80’survived 10 years or more after an elderly spouses death] I also know of many that are resigned to begging friends and family for help, because they want to stay independent. Eunice was determined to stay independent, but also wanted to understand her husband’s hurt. Many spouses struggle with that today, when their loves ones come back from combat missions. It is difficult for a healthly 30 something spouse to understand what the issues are, hell the VA is just scratching the surface of the problem. Think of a 66 or so widow in frail health, how does she understand?
    Independence is not begging friends and family for money or devices to stay independent, which is slavery of your soul. Having faith, that god will help also includes recognizing help when you see it. In Eunice’s case, it seems she needed help, God, [by whatever name you call it] put John and Eunice together. She had a loving family willing to help which many people do, however God put into motion a set of circumstances that allowed Eunice to live a fulfilling and comfortable life. She raised her children and gave to them, now they were willing to give back to her [which is rare today]. What she needed was a quirk of circumstances, to renew her faith in her son and family. The happened through John.
    In reading your comment, the only thing I see that I’m grateful for is that I am not a parent of yours, or a person in need of your help, as I am sure you would have let Eunice continue her walk to the doctors in the snow. Many people today, with today’s economic times, die in their apartments, homes, or hospital with no one by their sides, simply because no one is willing to help. I do certainly feel sorrier for you, then I do of Eunice. She recognized John’s conversations as healing moments and her son’s willingness to help as a Christmas gift. You do not.

  89. Courtney Schumacher

    January 11, 2012

    Had he told a superior officer about the racial slurs? Was anyone else taunted? Had he sought help from the local chaplain? Or ANYONE? Was he the only chinese descendant in his unit? Had his sergeant told him to yell Chinese at the other men? The sarge should know that he could be demoted for a mere complaint; the kid doesn’t have to have KILL himself, so the sarge probably wouldn’t. If it was a corporal, they kid could have yelled ANYTHING in Chinese and no one would have known. His doing so many exercises (alone?) make the army sound more like the marines.

  90. Asian man

    January 13, 2012

    @courtney. of the eight charged, 5 were NCO’s and 1 was a 1LT. these NCO’s and CO totally ignored the core values which the US Army builds itself on:
    Loyalty
    Selfless Service
    Duty
    Respect
    Honor
    Integrity
    Personal Courage

  91. Janet

    January 13, 2012

    Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently in today’s infantry…soldier’s are “smoked” all day–made to do repeated exercises by NCOs who are supposed to watch out for our sons and daughters, only to be abusive sadistic individuals. Leaders are aware of these tactics but turn a blind eye to these actions. I extend my condolences to the family. When will the military do something…soldiers turn to alcohol and drugs to cope, only to be discharged under honorable conditions with no future when they are discharged.

  92. Mike

    January 14, 2012

    To say these Marines did this due to combat stress; 1) makes mockery of the training the Marines and all other combat forces receive, and 2) disgraceses the entire US Military, not just the Marines. These Marines acted outside of the boundries they were emplaced to enforce. They are Marines to PROTECT personal freedoms regardless of wether they agree with them or not. They have done they job and their DUTY. These types of actions are why most countries do not nlike the US Military; We say we defend freedoms, then a few knuckleheads act like this (contrary to what we say) and every one gets a bad taste for the US Military,

  93. Cliff Barnes

    January 17, 2012

    It is a disgrace to all serving in the Armed Forces. We as Americans are raised and taught to have respect and dignity. That is one of the reasons we have problems in other countries. We would not do this at home and we should understand and respect the cultures of other nations.

  94. Chris

    January 18, 2012

    Combat pay should be non-taxable.

    Chris
    Owner
    Cel Financial Services

  95. Alex Wall

    January 18, 2012

    Cool idea. And I have to say I’m honored to be the first to put a recipe on your page. With the super bowl coming up, this is one of my favorite party recipes. Takes a little time but fun to make.

    CHEESE CHILE BITES
    What you’ll need to start:
    1 cup All-purpose flour, 1/2 cup Finely grated Cheddar cheese, 1/4 ts Salt, 1 Egg, beaten, 1/2 ts Dry mustard, 1 tb Cold water, 1/2 ts Hot chili powder, 1 tb Sesame seeds, 1 lg Pinch cayenne pepper, 1 tb Poppy seeds, 1/4 c Butter or margarine

    And to make them:
    Oven, 400’F. Sift flour, salt and spices into a bowl. Cut in butter finely until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add grated cheese and mix well. Mix egg with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of egg mixture to cheese mixture and mix to form a fairly stiff dough. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to a 12×6″ rectangle. Trim edges. Cut in half lengthwise and transfer to a baking sheet. Brush each half with remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle 1 half with sesame seeds and the other half with poppy seeds. Cut each half in 10 triangles and separate slightly to prevent sticking. Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes or until light golden and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.

    Enjoy,
    Alex Wall

  96. Curtis (Curt) Sheldon, EA

    January 19, 2012

    Chris,

    As mentioned in the article, Combat pay is not subject to Federal Income Tax. It is excluded from Gross Income. It can however, be used to calculate the EITC, if beneficial to the servicemember.

  97. Kiona Strickland

    January 19, 2012

    Kemton, has she completed her associate’s degree? If not, MyCAA funding will cover up to $4,000 of it ($2,000 per fiscal year). If she’s working on a 4-year degree and already has her associate’s, MyCAA probably won’t help, but you should check out Part 1 of this article for a great list of scholarships and some tips on applying for other financial aid. If you put the work into applying, it’s actually possible to get enough student loans, grants, and scholarships to cover your tuition and fees completely, especially as an undergraduate.

    Online school is a really great idea; it’s usually less expensive, even at traditional schools that also have physical campuses, and it’s portable. The important thing to remember is that not all online programs are created equal; you really want to avoid colleges that are completely online, like the University of Pheonix. Stick with real, established schools that happen to offer online programs.

    Her first step should be deciding when she wants to start school (fall 2012 is probably the soonest she could feasibly start at this point in the year) and then start applying. Good luck!

  98. christinel

    January 19, 2012

    After my friends try this dip, they always request that I bring it to parties and bbqs. It probably falls under the category of “trash food” but the formal name it’s been given is Crack Dip- it’s that addictive.

    1 jar HOT salsa
    1 can beef chili, no beans
    1 8 oz bag of shredded cheese (mexican blend or cheddar)
    1 8 oz package of cream cheese

    Stir it all up and put in the microwave, covered, on high for 3 minutes. Take out, stir. Put back in for another 2 minutes, stir, then serve with scoops corn chips.

    Be careful though, it’s habit-forming! You’ve been warned 🙂

    Christine L

  99. David Blackman

    January 19, 2012

    You gentlemen make a good point that Americans in general and Marines in particular should avoid this sort of behavior. Would you also agree the actions of the Nazi Party were a disgrace to every German everywhere, or the actions of the September 11th terrorists were a disgrace to every Muslim? Do you think the murders committed by the ETA are a disgrace to every Spaniard, or that the mutilation of the bodies of American contractors in Fallujah were a disgrace to every person of the same religious/national/ethnic group as the ones who committed the act? No one seems to think these Marines did the right thing. Do we do the right thing in painting all our Armed Forces members with the same brush?

  100. angela

    January 20, 2012

    i want to know if there is a program for the military familes who have to transfer or our being pushed out of the military and are having trouble selling their house due to the economy? there has to be some help somewhere to save us from foreclosure or even bankrupcy

  101. Kelly

    January 22, 2012

    I have a light, easy appetizer recipe I would love to share.

    Chipolte chicken wontons

    1 cup chipotle salsa (from a jar is just fine)
    2-3 cups of shredded chicken (a store bought rotisserie works perfectly)
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar
    1/4 cup fresh chives
    1pkg wonton wrappers
    Mini muffin pans to shape wonton cups

    Preheat oven to 275. Spray muffin pans with non-stick spray. Press wonton wrappers into muffin pans and bake for @10 min. Keep a close eye on the wrappers, they brown quickly, you want them crispy but not brown.
    Combine all remaining ingredients and fill muffin cups. Bake until they are hot, @15min.

    These r so easy and a huge success. Yum!

  102. Regina Smith

    January 24, 2012

    Guacamole

    • 3 avocados – peeled, pitted, & mashed
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup diced onion
    • 3 T chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

    In a bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve right away. Enjoy!

    -Regina Smith

  103. Liz

    January 26, 2012

    found this EXTREMELY helpful!

  104. Katie

    January 28, 2012

    Chicken

    chicken breasts
    salt & pepper
    cornstarch
    3 eggs beaten
    canola oil

    So clean the chicken and rinse. Cut into cubes. Sprinkle a little s&p. Cover chicken in cornstarch. Then dip each piece of chicken into egg. Fry in oil on both sides in-till light brown. Place into a lightly greased pan.

    Sauce

    3/4 cup sugar
    4 tbs ketchup
    1/2 cup vinegar
    1 tbs soy sauce
    1 tsp garlic salt

    Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the chicken. 325 degrees for 1 hour. Its very important that you turn/mix the chicken every 15 min.

    Rice

    1 cup white rice
    1 1/2 water

    Wash the rice really really well. (water should run clean) Bring water to a boil. Pour in rice. Turn stove on low and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 min (do not open lid!) Turn off stove and cook for an additional 15 min (do not open lid!)

    Fried Rice

    cooked rice
    3 tbs sesame oil
    1 cup peas and carrots
    1 small onion
    2 tsp garlic
    2 eggs beaten
    1/4 cup soy sauce

    Heat oil. Add peas, carrots, onion & garlic. ( I also added baby corn) Cook till soft. Move mixture to one side of the pan. Pour in eggs and scramble. Now add rice and soy sauce. Blend well. ( I would have added ham too but I didn’t have any)

    This was soooo good!

  105. Veronica Sullivan

    January 31, 2012

    Cream Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Pasta

    This is one of my favorite dishes to make and it’s absolutely delicious! Hope you all like it!

    Ingredients Needed:
    • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into thin strips
    • 1 pound shrimp (I usually by frozen)
    • 4 ounces linguine , cooked al dente
    • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 thinly sliced green onion
    • 1 -2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Directions:

    1) Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat.
    2) Defrost Shrimp under running cool to lukewarm water for about 3-5 Minutes. (Or prepare shrimp if you don’t buy it frozen like myself)
    3) In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Then place shrimp in skillet for about 2-3 minutes or until light brown.
    4) Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through.
    5) Boil water and cook linguine until al dente.
    6) Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese and enjoy :)!

    It should take you no longer than 25 minutes and served with bread on the side makes it even better!

  106. Amanda Jones Ness

    February 3, 2012

    Dr. Mark Jones, LMFT mantains a private practice in San Antonio, TX and has been in practice since 1992. He has 2 certified faith based counselors on staff and they are both direct family members of active duty military. Dr. Mark Jones offers discounts to military and you can contact his office @ 210.495.2797 or log on to his website: http://drmarkjones.org/

  107. Deanna Cole

    February 10, 2012

    We used MOTO mail while my husband was deployed with the National Guard. He worked on a base alongside Marines. So its worth checking out if you want to be able to get something quick, tangible, and personal to your deployed loved one. He got his letter within 30 hours of me submitting it. Its another great tool to use when trying to stay connected with your deployed loved ones.

  108. Stephen

    February 16, 2012

    I agree with equal opportunity but let’s face it, how many women do you know that can come close to 20 pull ups and a 18 minute 3 mile? Most of my male marines can’t even get 20 p/u. So I say let’s first make the PFT/PFA equal and if there are women that can get 1st class PFTs and want to leave Intel or any other private sector transferable technical MOS to be a grunt, have at it. The number will be extremely low thus (IMHO) a moot point not worth taxpayer dollars to initiate.

  109. RB

    February 16, 2012

    I absolutely love the mention of PTSD and the assertion of it being a “right” for “all” veterans. I spent 6 months recovering from a major back injury and surgery at Walter Reed, and during my time there I saw a number of soldiers who were there for other injuries, yet after being “coached” they then extended their time and claimed (incorrect) to “suffer” from PTSD. Some are still there (after 2 YEARS?!). The majority of these cases are unfounded and scam the system. Add to it that they will, in all likelihood, make a claim with the VA and then get a greater percentage than I received (with a legitimate physical injury and – now – limitation), they will tax the system for years. That is another issue – the VA/system is not trying to HELP these veterans get better. They just assign a percentage for PTSD and away they go. In reality, they CAN and SHOULD get help to become better – and not have to have a “disability” rating for PTSD.

    Until you’ve been in the system and seen the number of regular soldiers who operate in society and live normal, healthy lives that are “claiming” PTSD, you cannot tell me any differently. And I’ve been in 25 years and deployed 5 times in my career. I even saw a young soldier (a girl not more than 22 or 23 yrs old) who was normal, talked normal, shopped, had fun, went on all kinds of trips to go camping, boating, biking, etc. – yet when she would meet with the therapists and social workers, she “suffered” from PTSD? Give me a break.

  110. Jeri L. Jones

    February 17, 2012

    However, a military member MAY attend rallies as a SPECTATOR.

    4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:
    subparagraph 4.1.1.7.), rallies, conventions (including making speeches in the course thereof), management of campaigns, or debates, either on one’s own behalf or on that of another, without respect to uniform or inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement. Participation includes more than mere attendance as a spectator. (See subparagraph 4.1.1.9.)

    4.1.1. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty may:
    4.1.1.9. Attend partisan and nonpartisan political fundraising activities, meetings, rallies, debates, conventions, or activities as a spectator when not in uniform and when no inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement can reasonably be drawn.

    • David Blackman

      February 20, 2012

      This is a good point, Jeri, and the word I’d draw out for our readers is “spectator”. Whereas a spectator is defined as “a person who watches at a show, game, or other event,” a “participant” is defined as “a person who takes part in something”. The line between these two at something like a political rally is pretty thin.

      Consider: if one were at an event held by the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) and one simply observed, sat on one’s hands, and offered polite applause at the end of a speaker’s remarks, one would be a spectator. If one chanted “four more years”, held a sign reading “Nixon ’72”, or did anything other than simply watch, suddenly one is participating in the rally, which is contrary to regulations.

      I hope readers will recognize the distinction and stay on the right side of regulations.

  111. Gabriel Coeli

    February 18, 2012

    Stephen, you’ve got a point. But the first thing I would point out is that not all infantry Marines score a 300 on the PFT – and anyway, the PFT is not a good metric by which to judge someone’s combat fitness. If a woman can hang on all of the marches, mountain runs, field exercises and evolutions that the 03s are expected to do, she ought to be able to do so.

    I would say that the point is important as a matter of character. As you point out, the number of females who would be physically capable of working in the infantry would be very low – correspondingly, the cost to taxpayers would also be very low. It’s the difference it would make in our organizational values – the values that bind us and guide us. We would be a force where (nearly) everyone who wished to serve their country – who is able to do so, without regard to any other factor – would be allowed to. And that’s an important development that will not only positively affect the military, but society as a whole.

  112. Emma Nelson

    February 24, 2012

    Your listed “benefits” contain some errors and ambiguities which should be clarified.

    Casualty notification will go to the primary next of kin (PNOK) first and secondary next of kin (SNOK) if the PNOK isn’t available. LGBT partners should know that they can’t be PNOK or SNOK of service members as regulations now stand. Only after these notifications have been made will the Marine Corps (or other service) determine who is the PADD. And, incidentally, “anyone” cannot be a PADD. Read MARADMIN 421/05.

    “Anyone” IS allowed to travel if a service member is killed, if they’re willing to fly commercially on their own dime. Not “anyone” can do it on the military’s dime and not “anyone” will receive CACO assistance for said travel. If the military would let dependent children travel, they could be accompanied by a service member’s LBGT partner only if the partner is the child’s legal guardian. I’m curious where in the CACO instruction you found the travel guidelines you mentioned.

    I’m also curious where you found that partners could be reimbursed for “Yellow Ribbon” travel, as the regulations say only parents or spouses of members can attend.

    Although I strongly applaud your efforts to address the issues facing LBGT service members and their partners, I’m afraid you do a disservice when you put out misleading or incorrect information.

  113. David Blackman

    February 24, 2012

    There may be some confusion about dependents traveling. The instruction refers to family members moving away from the duty station after a service members death. For example, if you are stationed at Fort Lewis and you die, your dependents aren’t turfed out onto the mean streets of Tacoma with only a handshake. In that instance, the partner of the LGBT service member would not be eligible for travel unless they had some sort of legal standing (i.e., were the guardians or adoptive parent) with the service member’s dependent children.

    As a former CACO, I don’t envy CACOs in the future as these difficult issues become more commonplace.

    • Gabriel Coeli

      February 25, 2012

      David, you’re absolutely correct. The DoD has given this power to LGB servicemembers to grant that legal standing to their partners or spouses, simply by designating them as a person authorized to travel with dependents.

      You’re right that CACOs presently have an enormous and complicated duty, and it will only become more so as nontraditional families begin to take advantage of their benefits.

  114. Gabriel Coeli

    February 25, 2012

    Hi, Emma! I wanted to respond to your comments. This list of benefits is in sync with the Department of Defense’s official list. LGB spouses/partners can not be designated as PNOKs or SNOKs but can be designated as people to receive casualty notifications if specifically requested. Also, I didn’t write that anyone can be a PADD – I wrote that the Death Gratuity usually goes to the PADD, but a servicemember may request that the Death Gratuity go to someone else. Last, many LGB servicemembers do have children – either natural born from previous heterosexual relationships, or adopted – that are their legal dependents. In this case, an LGB partner/spouse can be designated to travel with those children if something tragic happens.The regulations may not have updated yet to reflect these changes, but the DoD has published the guidelines, and that supersedes ALMARs and MARADMINs.

  115. Emma Nelson

    February 27, 2012

    Next time why don’t you just link to the article that you copied that list from, rather than basically re-write a DoD news release? For everyone else’s edification, here’s the substance of Mr. Coeli’s article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65857

    You insinuated an LBGT partner could be designated the PADD, or else why did you mention it?

    WHERE in the regulations does it say someone who has no legal connection to children can travel with them on government aircraft? Cite me the directive.

    Also, you’re incorrect that the DoD publishing the guidelines supersedes other directives! A press release on the DoD web site is NOT sufficient grounds for commanders to change their policy. If you’re active duty, you should know that!

    You need to be VERY careful – not only do you need to do a better job citing where you get your material, you also shouldn’t be in the business of providing people assurances that aren’t yet codified. If it doesn’t get promulgated as an order or directive, it isn’t regulations. Your saying “The regulations may not have updated yet to reflect these changes, but the DoD has published the guidelines, and that supersedes ALMARs and MARADMINs” lets me know you don’t really understand how the system works.

    As a former administrative officer I DO understand how the system works, and I cannot disagree more with some of the points you’re trying to make.

    Cite while you write, my friend. If you can’t cite where something is written, don’t present it as a fact. That’s just Blogging 101.

    • Gabriel Coeli

      February 27, 2012

      Emma, I neither “copied” any lists, nor re-wrote DoD News Releases. This article is an explanation of benefits – what they are, and how they pertain, if necessary. I didn’t link to the original list because it is available in many places, not just the DoD website, and at any rate, the list you reference isn’t particularly useful, as it merely states what benefits are available and doesn’t explain them. I will accept your criticism that I should link to that, and will e-mail the editor to ask her to update my article to reflect that.

      I am currently serving as an administrator. I feel confident that I know what I’m talking about. I have made no false promises to anyone. I should say that mentioning something does not equal insinuating it. By default, most servicemembers elect to have their Death Gratuity go to their PADD, because the Death Gratuity is intended to help defray funeral or other ceremonial costs. However, per the DoD, they may elect to give the Death Gratuity to someone else. The reason I mention it is that the Death Gratuity, in most circumstances, is intended for the PADD or whomever is financially responsible for services.

      I am merely seeking to explain the benefits that the DoD has reported are available to LGB families. I don’t know what the Air Force’s administrative guidance is on these benefits, nor do I know the Navy’s or Army’s. I do know that ALMARs and MARADMINs can not supersede, contradict or countermand DoD directives, so the fact that one does not exist does not mean that LGB servicemembers don’t rate the benefits that the DoD says they do. If I had an extra dollar for every hour I’ve spent trying to figure out how to handle situations that don’t have guidelines – or don’t have clear guidelines – or don’t have Marine Corps guidance, but have DoD guidance, or have Marine Corps guidance that seemingly doesn’t line up with DoD guidance (the JFTR/PAAN/TAAN quagmires have haunted my nightmares) then I could have retired by now. I do know how the system works, and I know that a lot of times MARADMINs, PAANs, TAANs are reactionary – released in response to a lack of clear guidance, or released in response to a problem.

      In response to your statement that DoD guidelines are not sufficient grounds for commanders to change your policy, this seems to be a reference to the bureaucracy; I don’t deny that the military is very, very slow at these kinds of things. But I also understand the chain of command – if the SecDef says it’s so, it’s so. No matter whether or not the Commandant or the Commander of I MEF or MARFORRES or anyone else has created or implemented policies.

      One thing I can say for sure – I totally understand your concern in “promising” benefits to LGB families who don’t rate them. But they DO rate them. If the branches haven’t determined their specific methodology for awarding them, they will do so soon…or after the first LGB servicemember comes looking for them or Requests Mast up to the CG.

      But the point is here is that I don’t make the rules – DoD does. And they say these are the rules. All I’m doing is explaining them.

      • David Blackman

        February 27, 2012

        If citation problems are an issue for anyone reading your article, have them check out

        http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/NAVADMINS/NAV2012/NAV12028.txt

        It’s a NAVADMIN that seconds your article admirably, AND is MUCH more official than a press release! Do Marine commands get NAVADMINS? I have no idea, but if they do this would be their guidance just as much as a MARADMIN, would it not?

        Keep on truckin’!!

        David

        • Gabriel Coeli

          February 28, 2012

          Hi David. Thanks for that. NAVADMINS don’t, to the best of my knowledge, apply to Marine Corps administration, and I’ve certainly never seen one show up in the AMHS box or on Marines.mil, but it’s helpful to know that at least one of the branches of service has published specific guidelines on implementing these benefits. I appreciate it!

  116. Kristina Wolfe

    February 27, 2012

    This is my first deployment. I’ve always dated Military guys, but they either just came back from deployment or we broke up long before they left. I always told myself that I knew what to expect, that I would be ok because I grew up in an Army family. Boy was I wrong, I’ve never been such a wreck. I love this article, its fantastic, but I think you need to add in the fact that even though you have friends and family to vent to, not having your significant other to come home to and recap your day to is, well…odd.lol

  117. Henk van Setten

    February 29, 2012

    I think this is a good initiative. Any new way to curtail the wave of military suicides should be tried, although of course more traditional ways of treating people for suicidal depression caused by traumatic experiences ought to be intensified as well.
    At the same time I feel it would be unrealistic to expect an app like this to work wonders, for the simple reason that depression itself may prevent people to actually USE such an app at critical moments when it would matter most. I’ve tried to explain this view in a blog post “Anti-Suicide App: Limited Solution” at the StayOnTop[dot]org depression blog.
    I certainly wish you all the success you deserve. A question that just now comes to my mind: does the app include some kind of feedback mechanism that allows you to get an idea of whether users found it really helpful?
    Best regards,
    Henk

  118. Military Family

    March 1, 2012

    Thanks for the comment, Henk.

    Suicide is a complicated mental health problem, and we hope that our new app will be a part of the solution for many people. The app has two pathways; one for people concerned about themselves and one for people concerned about others. Our assumption is that the most likely person to use the app is someone concerned about a friend or relative who is suicidal. We also hope that the app will be recommended by counselors or other professionals working with suicidal individuals. It is unlikely that a depressed person would download the app without strong encouragement to do so. We are able to analyze the use of the app, and we hope that this information will help us make it even better with future updates.

    We also like to mention our many other products and resources which address personal and interpersonal problems in the military, which can be found at http://www.militaryfamily.com and http://www.4MCA.com. People don’t become depressed or suicidal in a vacuum, and we have many products that address the emotional and day-to-day problems of military personnel, from handling money or marital problems, to coping with substance abuse and various psychological problems.

  119. maria82070

    March 1, 2012

    when i hear the mom and dads or family are fighting for u sit makes me so happy but they die as a hero

  120. Nate Johnston

    March 3, 2012

    Thanks for your post. Great article.

    • David Blackman

      March 6, 2012

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it!

  121. paige

    March 21, 2012

    I read this and burst into tears this is me. Im so overwhelmed I can’t accomplish anything im angry all the above I know I have secondary PTSD and have been telling people before I ever heard of it. The first sign was everytime there was a loud noise I panic and would wonder why am I panicking I didn’t get blown up.

  122. Phoena

    March 21, 2012

    Good article. I had similar experiences and stopped getting involved on FRGs altogether. What a waste of time and energy! During my husband’s first deployment the FRG leader outright told me it wasn’t for women without kids and acted offended that I even asked to join. By his second deployment they had to be politically correct and didn’t tell me to get-the-fuck-out but I realized quickly they would do nothing that would include me – it was basically just play dates. After that, I refused to even inquire about the FRGs.

    Sadly, I don’t see them changing anything though. Its terribly difficult to get military folks today involved in anything unless its about the kids and, preferably, free. If they did plan activities for just grown ups, they wouldn’t get enough participation, just an avalanche of complaints about not including kids.

    It’s been agony trying to make friends in military communities; mostly my husband and I just had to get used to not having other friends or couples to socialize with.

  123. Karie Fugett

    March 22, 2012

    I definitely recommend seeing your doctor about your symptoms. It’s best you take care of them as soon as possible. I’m not a doctor, but I know from experience that if you let these things go, they will only get worse.

    Best of luck to you.

  124. Adrienne May

    March 22, 2012

    I love this article. I am constantly telling people to think about all the ramifications of the information you are posting. From status updates on facebook, to checking in at home on foursquare and then checking in when you are not home, to bumper stickers. Theft can be a major problem with bumper stickers on cars that announce someone in your household is deployed as thieves find it to be a less risky target!

    Get a bumper sticker that says you love your soldier, you support your soldier… just don’t announce when they are deployed!

  125. David Blackman

    March 22, 2012

    One might ask question number 4 first – any advisor who isn’t bright enough to answer with a convincing “yes” (I’m thinking of the Lionel Hutz character from “The Simpsons”) won’t need to be asked anything else, except if they validate parking…

  126. Carol Ann Carter

    March 24, 2012

    Are widowed spouses eligable for this program, or any other for us “Oldsters”, to help us a little with our monthly benefit? Thanks for your help! Even though things didn’t quite work out as my husband & I had planned, I am SO THANKFUL for my benefits, ESPECIALLY my Medical Insurance!! I thank God, the Air Force, & my sweet husband Pat
    !! He had a massive Heart Attack while on duty. Had to retire, but stayed his ole silly self until 3 days after his 55th Birthday. Ironically, his 1st attack & heart surgery were the week of his 42nd birthday! Again, thanks for all you do for Military families, & those left behind.

  127. David Blackman

    March 26, 2012

    Carol,

    I don’t think you’ll be able to use this particular program as it stands, as it is for active service members only. If you qualify, the SNAP program is available, and there may be other programs out there to offer assistance.

    My suggestion is to start with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs at https://iris.custhelp.com/ or in the blue pages of the phone book (does anyone besides me even USE the phone book anymore?). If anyone knows a more comprehensive answer to your question, it SHOULD be the VA.

    Thanks and good luck!

    David

  128. rollover ira

    March 28, 2012

    Great plan by the government to encourage savings, but not necessarily cost them a lot of money. Although I would have liked to see them spend a little more, or reduce taxes with that whopping surplus.

    At any rate, now we have the equivalent of the Roth IRA in the US. Even better, the $5k rolls over like unused RRSP contributions. I think I’ll use my tax refund courtesy of RRSP contributions to fund my TFSA.

  129. Amy

    March 30, 2012

    This is a joke right? You can’t be serious. This is so insulting to people who have legitimately had a traumatic incident and *actually* have PTSD.

  130. David Sung

    April 3, 2012

    I live in a gang neighborhood in Los Angeles. How can I stay safe from the 18 Street Gang.

  131. A

    April 6, 2012

    The Bloomberg article referenced,
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-09/for-profit-colleges-scam-military-for-521-million-senate-committee-says.html
    says it all.
    Where I work, there are a fair number of technicians who got trained in the military (for experience they gained there,
    and relevant education, typically from non-profits); if applicants have a degree from one of the for-profits, we’d typically ask, weren’t you bright enough to get this education from your local community college (which also offers online courses)? (A problem, of course, is the decreasing state funding of community colleges, making it often hard to get the courses you want these days.).
    Googling e.g. “american military university scam” gives plenty of discussion forums with ringing endorsements by paid shills, and, sad to say, former students, who probably did try hard, now have to emotionally defend their investment in time and a degree there. (Undoubtedly, even in bad institutions, there are some qualified people, fallen on hard times or augmenting their income, and students who try hard and do not know any better.) But, in their ‘Space Science’ program, requiring ‘college algebra’ (instead of calculus) for their Orbital Mechanics class (or something like that), and having at least 2 ‘Doctors of Chiropractic’ on their advertised faculty, seems not to inspire confidence. —
    One also should note that accreditation is very much a formal process (Do you have a mission statement in place? Are your buildings not about to fall down and kill your students? Did you recently pay your staff?….) and relies much on self-reporting (Yes, our professors are all happy on minimum wage, [after we fired the others]).

  132. Bill Walker Ret Navy

    April 9, 2012

    request contact information for Minority Veterans Program Coordinators (MVPC)

  133. Valary Morrion

    April 10, 2012

    I AM MARRIED TO A VETNAM VET FOR 42 YEARS WHO SUFERS FROM PTSD. WE HAVE BEEN THRU SO MUCH, NOW I THINK I AM SUFFERING FROM PTSD. BECAUSE OF MY HUSBAND. I HAD TO PRACTLEY HAD TO RAISE MY THREE BOY ALONE. MY HUSBAND WAS ON DRUGS MOST OF OUR MARRIAGE, MOOD SWINGS, IT SEEMS THE BOYS ARE SUFFERING ISSUES TOO. I AM ON TOTALLY DISABILITY SO I CANNOT WORK. DEPRESSED AND I AM CONSTANTLY UNDER STRESS. I AM 63 YRS. AND HE IS 65 YRS. I NEED HELP.

  134. Rebecca

    April 11, 2012

    You raise a very good point, David. I have some of the same thoughts in terms of rising veterans benefits – and, like you, I am a beneficiary. I hear the “we were told the government would take care of us if we served” argument quite a lot (and I am addressing individuals with no service-related disabilities, which would be an entirely different situation), but I also see the ballooning cost of what I think is a fairly generous system. Hard choices must be made, and I fear anyone raising legitimate concerns about veterans benefits will be labeled “unpatriotic.”

  135. Dannie Hoffer

    April 25, 2012

    im sorry for all that lose someone that they loved or care for

    and I’m DANNIE RAY HOFFER and i want to be a marine so bad so if anyone can help me out that would be great and my number is 574 249 1139 i live in north judson indiana

  136. Karie

    May 2, 2012

    Valary, please consider seeing a doctor as this can be very difficult to deal with alone. Also, please look through the resources I have listed. You are not alone and there are people out there who want to help. I wish you all the best.

  137. vivian

    May 2, 2012

    I am going through a divorce. He cheated. NO I cannot prove anyhting other than sexual text messages between them. It has evolved into a long distance relatinoship wetween them that has been going on 2 years. She was at one time a solder also. They met in AIT. We have been married 5 years, 3 before he even enlisted. We have children, no we are not fighting over custody he wants to give me primary custody and he is the non custodial parent. We will be living in differant states after this and I want to know if I am entitled to his BAH? I have been a stay at home mom our entire marriage. I have NEVER even looked at another man, honestly I dont even notice other men. but he dose not want to give me any help at all. I live on post so he has stopped putting money in the account for me to use for the kids. It has only been a month since all of this started and is happening all so fast. I wanted to work things out and he does not want to be with me. What am i entitled to or allowed? Is tehre anything I can do or the Army can do to help? I just dont think it is right that I will have 3 kids, no car, no home, and no income while he says that paying child support is enough, and he has the car, has a place to live, and gets to possibly live off post and live this awesome bachelor life while i and his kids struggle. I am a strong woman and know I can make it. But I did not do anything to deserve to be treated this way. Please help me. I am not looking to get him trouble, or make him look bad. I just wan t it to be right and be fair.

  138. Kiona Strickland

    May 9, 2012

    It’s important to remember that this is the first incident of its kind in nearly a decade of war and in probably millions of hours of Skype chats. Yes, when you open a live video connection to a loved one in a war zone, you might see something horrible – but our spouses live with that reality every day. As military spouses, are we really willing to pass up the opportunity to maintain a connection with our deployed spouses and offer them all the support and comfort we can, just because there is a one-in-several-million chance that a bit of their reality might seep into our carefully insulated lives? Or are we mostly capable of being braver than that for the sake of our partners and our marriages? It’s ultimately a personal decision, but it’s not a decision that should be taken away from any of us. We’re adults, well-informed and tougher than most.

  139. Karie Fugett

    May 9, 2012

    I believe social media has created serious security risks, even putting this incident aside. Streaming from war zones live to anywhere in the world doesn’t seem safe as far as OPSEC and their safety is concerned. However, social media has created a great way for people to keep in touch and there is something to be said about the emotions involved and their overall moral. It’s emotions against logic to me, both with very strong cases. With that considered, it would be interesting if the Military would form their own version of these technologies that is more safe and more easily controlled in case security risks do arise. Safe for everyone and the communication is not compromised.

  140. Kiona Strickland

    May 9, 2012

    You’re right; service members’ security is a *huge* concern. I actually had a really interesting conversation about this with my husband last night, because information security is a big part of is job. Honestly, the technology itself isn’t the problem. There are restrictions on the use of things like live chat or IM on government computers, and there are restrictions about where you can use cameras (including webcams) on bases so that something sensitive doesn’t show up. The real issue is simply enforcing rules and guidelines about what should and shouldn’t be said through *any* media. That’s not a technology issue nearly as much as it is a training and discipline issue. Like a lot of things, it’s not about the tools, it’s about the people.

  141. Karie Fugett

    May 9, 2012

    I think when writing this I wasn’t 100% clear on where I was coming from. This incident alone is not reason enough for me to come to the conclusion that social media has become too involved in war. When I said “is it safe as a whole:?” I should have been more clear in the fact that I was referring to OPSEC and other safety concerns besides incidents like this. I was also referring to all social media, and not only Skype. I believe the increase in social media’s use at war has created a new safety risk that we’ve never had to be concerned with in previous wars. I also believe (despite the emotional side of me that knows how horrid it is to not be able to see your love and how horrid it is for them) that the Military should consider regulating it or even creating their own system using these technologies that is more secure and that they have more control over to prevent hackers or other threats. Every day we are having to worry about bank information being stolen, identities being stolen, and all of our personal accounts being hacked into, so why wouldn’t this be looked at and be a concern as well? Reality is that this is war and their safety – everyone’s safety – should come first.

  142. Karie Fugett

    May 9, 2012

    I also know that this debate could go on for ages. And really, I see both sides clearly. I just tend to lean toward old fashioned ways of doing things, especially when it comes to things such as war. I am an old fart stuck in a 26 year old’s body. It’s not an easy life.

  143. Karie Fugett

    May 9, 2012

    I can definitely agree with that. There is a time and a place for everything. I do hope that they take these new ways of communicating seriously because it is definitely not the most secure place to communicate. Th is is a personal issue, and slightly embarrassing, but when my husband was deployed I was always scared for him to say anything about where they were located because I felt like anyone could hack into my computer and read it. I’ve just never trusted the internet to be secure. I’m seriously an old fart.

  144. Kiona Strickland

    May 9, 2012

    That’s not embarrassing at all – it’s responsible! 🙂 The Internet really isn’t secure, which is why both spouses and service members need to be really careful about the information they’re sharing. There were a multitude of little things that my husband couldn’t tell me while he was deployed, and most of them were things I would never have realized the enemy could use. That was a problem back in the days when there was no communication but snail mail, too; everyone just has to realize how important it is to be careful.

  145. Karie Fugett

    May 9, 2012

    Safety first! That’s always a good motto to have in any situation! 🙂

  146. Kiona Strickland

    May 11, 2012

    Congratulations and good luck to your son! 🙂

  147. Kate

    May 15, 2012

    Thank you for sharing these blogs! I am a military spouse new to the blogging world and I really enjoying reading about all spouses adventures.

  148. Joseph Haney

    May 16, 2012

    I am sorry for the losses that have come o the lifesof the marines. My name is joe haney i have been wanting to become a marine sents I was in six grade the reason that I want to become a marine is that my family history has been in teh marines fora long time and I want to keep the military in my familyand the future generation. I want to become a marine sniper or join the special opes

  149. Kate

    May 19, 2012

    I was just joking with a friend who’s husband will be leaving soon about the how when they leave something breaks and someone gets sick and the schedule is crazy busy! We had a good laugh and I said, “we live such a glamorous life!” 🙂

  150. jensadoptionblessings

    May 22, 2012

    “MilitaryFamily.com” is very blessed to have you join them!!! You go, Girl!!!

  151. Rebecca

    May 23, 2012

    I’m so excited that you are writing here and about military life! Andy is taking his oath with the Navy on Tuesday so I’m anxious to learn more about military life across the board 🙂

  152. Jessica Furman

    May 26, 2012

    If you are a military spouse, MyCAA program is an excellent way to aid your career development. Under this program, eligible military spouses can receive financial aid of $4000 to pursue education/training/certification in portable careers. The advantage with having portable careers is that your frequent moving does not disrupt your professional life.

  153. Neel

    June 4, 2012

    Nicely done mate. I am agreed with most of the tips that you have shared…Moving with kids can be really stressful unless you are REALLY organized!!

  154. keith barnes jr

    June 4, 2012

    i am a 26 yr old disabled veteran,i was struck with a rpg witch hit my vehicle throwing my head into the side of the humvee,knocking me unconcious.and now i have been suffering with severe migrane from 07-2012.mykids are comming to live wit me by my mothers house any help would be appriciated,thank you cpl keith barnes jr.

  155. Rebecca

    June 5, 2012

    I loved this post! Thanks Diana 🙂

  156. Christy

    June 8, 2012

    We are getting ready for my husband to deploy and this is a good reminder that we need to keep the kids informed of what is going on. Thanks!

  157. Ron Dilbert

    June 26, 2012

    The FRGs can be very beneficial, with the support of the command, The more that families and service members get involved with the FRG, the stronger and more impactful it can becomes for the families. I have seen them really be a huge benefit for the families.

    Thank you for sharing this information and have a great day!

    Ron Dilbert
    Operation Renewal

  158. AnnieS

    June 27, 2012

    I was USAF active duty for 6 years, and another 12 as a USAF wife, and had never heard of the FRG until…I started watching Army Wives. I’ll bet there are a lot of people out there who know what it is now because of that show. I find that kind of humorous! Love your blogs and the articles you’ve written!

  159. Warren Stevens

    June 29, 2012

    I fully concur with everything Ms. Smith-Strickland says in her article. Disaster Readiness is so important. Every military family should be using record keeping software to ease the burden should a disaster occur. It is inexpensive and organizes all the family’s vital information for quick access. it is extremely valuable if an emergency or disaster occurs while a spouse is deployed.

  160. Rebecca

    July 3, 2012

    I think celebrating the 4th on a military base is probably the most exciting place to do it! One of these days I’m sure I’ll get to try it out although I can see how things probably don’t line up due to orders/deployments, etc.

    We’re just grilling out at home and I bought a $10 pack of firecrackers to light in the backyard. Grace stayed up late last weekend to watch a big fireworks show and she kept saying, “Uh Oh!” and then she said several of them were “cute” LOL

  161. Lynn

    July 10, 2012

    I met my husband while I was also active duty, and I’ve now been an Air Force wife for going on 15 years. One piece of advice I’d give to new military wives: Learn to be self-sufficient.

    Yes, you can probably find someone to help you fix the sink or put up some shelves or replace a light fixture. But if you can learn to do those things yourself, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment. There are some things I choose to outsource (I don’t change my own oil and my stepsons mow my lawn when my husband is gone), but I feel a lot less helpless when I know I can do things on my own.

    ~Lynn

  162. Ronda

    July 10, 2012

    Thanks for the tips. I’m new to this army life and often feel lost as my husband is talking
    about work and the rules. We live off post as well so its a bit lonely at times.

  163. Erica

    July 11, 2012

    My husband was a Marine and is now hoping to reenlist in the Army. We have two children and are expecting a third in November. I’m scared an nervous but also really excited. We are hopeful he will get back in but are trying not to get our hopes too high. He had back surgery last year and it could make getting in a lot harder (or completely impossible). Thank you for sharing this list!

  164. karen

    July 14, 2012

    I am a new wife, got married last year to my hubby(Airforce). Its not bin easy for me cus I av to deal with bin alone by myself for weeks or days due to deployment. I am not familiar with the environment and we live in the base. Its not easy but I guess I just av to adapt with the situation.

  165. Rebecca

    July 17, 2012

    This post made me super excited to live on or near a base one day! I’ve got about 4 more years in my little suburban bungalow before I’m thrust into the real life, so keep posting! I’m eating this stuff up 🙂

  166. Elizabeth

    July 17, 2012

    We lived in San Diego while my husband was in the Navy. He was based at an air station and we lived minutes away. It was nice that he was so close to work. I loved the helicopters and jets that we’d hear, and were always excited for the air show every year. We ended up finding a great apartment so we didn’t have to live on base, and had extra $ from the BAH. It was nice not having to go through the gate every time we wanted to go home. My husband got out of the Navy and while he still works at the air station, we bought a house about an hour North in a community that has a large military presence from a local Marine base. I love the sense of community that the military presence brings, but of course, there are always bad seeds.

  167. windproof umbrella

    July 18, 2012

    umbrella policy you mentioned seems quite good, anything else detailed?

  168. Christy

    July 19, 2012

    It is so hard not to get caught up in the rumors of deployment. Some spouse is always saying that it’s going to be longer or shorter than expected. I’ve learned just to plan for the longest time away and then if he is home any sooner it’s a bonus.

  169. Karen

    July 19, 2012

    Good article! My husband’s first deployment to Afghanistan in 2006/2007 got extended two weeks before homecoming. It was already a brutal deployment with many deaths and the extension was a crushing blow to morale. When they finally came home, they had been deployed for over 16 months. I still shudder when thinking about that deployment.

    I survived by following the three pieces of advice you posted. Perfect words of wisdom!

  170. Tracy

    July 23, 2012

    What an awesome giveaway, good luck everyone!

  171. Carla Jo

    July 25, 2012

    I am an army reserve soldier & my husband is active duty marine corps. And while I am sure active DIY Army is different than reserves, I am so glad to be a marine corps spouse than an Army Reserve spouse. I am much more in the loop than my husband ever has been & there are so many perks to that. I mean we weren’t even given an emergency number or contact when away for training, nor would red cross messages work. And I think the family friendliness of the marine corps depends on the base you are at. In Japan it’s very family friendly, camp lejeune was family friendly, but nothing like Okinawa.

  172. Erine Mackie

    July 25, 2012

    “Bloom where you are planted.”

    I will never forget hearing these words the first time, first as a young Sailor, then as a wife to a Career Marine. My husband was stationed at Camp Pendleton off and on for years, and even in the dark ages of 2003-2005 the Support Services for families of deployed and non deployed Marines and Sailors was phenomenal. The resources to family members are endless.

    For those of you reading this post, especially those who are new to the military lifestyle, understand this: if your spouse wishes to stay in the military for a career, the military will be a fickle mistress. Whether you are a Marine (there are NO soldiers in the Marine Corps, by the way- officer and enlisted alike are MARINES first, but never Soldiers), a Sailor with the “Grey Side” or “Green Side” (shipboard Sailor, or a Sailor assigned to the Marines or a Seabee unit), a member of the Air Force, or someone who serves in the Army or the Coast Guard, these words ring true. Deployments happen, for goodness sake. They aren’t easy on anyone- wives and children especially- but they are necessary and part of the job. Between Field Operations, deployment work-ups, Temporary Assignments for Duty (TAD or TDY) and Duty in general, get used to the idea that your loved one might not be there for something important to you. Maybe he (or she) will be gone for your birthday. Maybe they will miss the funeral of your Beloved Aunt Ethel. Maybe, just maybe, they will miss the birth of your child(ren.) Believe me- I know.

    Your ability to ‘bloom where you are planted’ will determine whether your time in one location will be decent, or whether you will be miserable. Individual commands play a small part, of course, but ultimately it is the decision of the Service Member whether they want the support offered by each command for their family. All Marine units have a FRO (Family Readiness Officer, formerly “Key Wives” program) that reports directly to the Unit CO and has the ear of the base commander through their own “Chain of Command.” Command Indoctrination for the Active Duty Members- regardless of rank, grade, or position- is mandatory. At Command Indoctrination, Family Support programs are discussed in depth. Programs for families in the United States Marine Corps have been in place for at least 30 years.

    All too often, young wives forgo the services available to them, and instead commiserate amongst each other about their lives- how horrible the base is, how horrible the command is, ad nauseum. If the resources are available, which they are, then there is no reason not to use them. If you choose not to use them, then you have no right to complain. Yes, I realize how blunt this sounds, but again- we are responsible for our own happiness. We are responsible for blooming where we are planted.

    We live in a time of ‘instant gratification,’ where Facebook is used (and Operational Security is compromised) daily and instant messaging allows real-time conversation with our loved ones. It is to the point now where many people actually believe it is their right, and not a privilege, to be able to speak with their spouse when they are deployed. “Snail Mail” is more often used for sending cards and care packages than for actual letters. I could not begin to tell you how many dependents have complained to me that “I haven’t heard from my husband in 2 days!” Like all wives who remember the days before email, I have stories of not hearing from my husband for weeks on end- then getting several letters at one time. Phone calls? What phone calls?

    The saying “If the Marines wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one!” isn’t only for Marines- it’s for all branches of service, and with good reason. It takes a strong woman to be married to anyone in the Service- whether a Marine, a Sailor, or someone in the Army. As a wife, it is your spouse’s (the Active Duty Member) responsibility first, followed by the command, to ensure that information you need to know has been passed. It is YOUR responsibility to bloom where you are planted, regardless of the circumstances that you encounter.

  173. Christine Fidance

    July 27, 2012

    My husband is in the military and I really appreciate your blog. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway too!

  174. Andrew safie

    July 27, 2012

    Awesome!

  175. Rhiannon Galvan

    July 30, 2012

    Would love to win a trip for my family…we just never seem to have the money or be able to take time off work Ass my husband is the only one that works! Really need some family time with Jose my hubby! He works all day long and could use a break as well with his three kiddos!

  176. April Shrum

    July 30, 2012

    So Fun! Thanks for putting this together!

  177. steph

    July 31, 2012

    Thanks! Fingers crossed

  178. Leslie Hanes

    July 31, 2012

    We are happy to participate in your giveaway. Discovery Trekking’s award winning sport/backpacking/travel towels contain Silver to kill bacteria, have won awards for innovation, and are used by many troops and their families. Good Luck!

  179. Marcie Heard

    August 1, 2012

    Proud U.S. Navy spouse! We have a 3 year old daughter and baby boy on the way. We are moving just two weeks after baby is born. Sure would be honored and LOVE to win!

  180. Ashley

    August 1, 2012

    What a great giveaway. Thanks so much for the awesome website as well 🙂

  181. Hurshel B Hobbs

    August 3, 2012

    Like the contest

  182. Cathy

    August 7, 2012

    I wish they would have had these great technologies when I was growing up and moving around (not even military). My aunts, uncles, cousins are like strangers. It sounds like you and your family are making every effort to stay connected. That’s so important for your kids’ sake.

    PS: And a big THANK YOU for your service to the military men and women and their families!

  183. Tamyr

    August 7, 2012

    Proud US Navy wife, stationed at the Naval Postgraduate School, will be moving in a few months, this would be great! Thanks for the opportunity!

  184. Jennifer Jo Archdeacon

    August 15, 2012

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  185. Christa Singleton

    August 18, 2012

    Crossing my fingers that I win! My husband and I love taking road trips!

  186. Elizabeth earnhart

    August 20, 2012

    This is such an awesome thing you guys are doing!!!! 😀 thanks for giving back

  187. Elizabeth earnhart

    August 20, 2012

    This is such an awesome thing you guys are doing!!!! 😀 thanks for giving back to the military families out there and helping to enjoy a good family trip. All our military men and women do so much for us. I love how hard of a worker my military man is! They need a break every so offen which doesn’t happen alot for them.

  188. Melody Battaglia

    August 22, 2012

    This is great… Good luck!!

  189. Ellen

    August 23, 2012

    I hope we win!

  190. Kelly

    August 23, 2012

    AWESOME!

  191. Brenda Huhtala

    August 24, 2012

    I have to admit I’m hoping for the grand prize. Maybe my son can come home for the air force for a vist.

  192. Amethyst Albert

    August 29, 2012

    All are great benefits — We have Tricare Standard and we don’t have any complaints!

    I love the MyCAA program — part of my job is helping military spouses apply for the funding and pick out courses that match their interests from several colleges and universities all over the United States.

  193. Mike

    August 30, 2012

    When my son was in Iraq with his brother and sister Marines, it was all about Skype!

  194. ellen

    September 3, 2012

    So much has changed- I am from a military family and am so glad to see more of these programs for active duty!

  195. dan williams

    September 3, 2012

    twitted this today. 03/9

  196. Elke McLeroy

    September 3, 2012

    Loved spending 22 years with my husband in the military. What a great experience. Would not want to miss it.

  197. Kevin Wahr

    September 4, 2012

    Outstanding Website, Thanks!

  198. Shannon Barnes

    September 5, 2012

    Love it!

  199. Stephanie

    September 7, 2012

    This blog misses many important considerations such as:
    House Size: which depends on Family size, for example Io live in a 5 bed. house with 2 1/2 bath. with A/C in Hawaii and $530 toward our electric and free water and a Yard ( green space is uber expensive here) , Off post Our BAH would only provide for 3 beds. 1 1/2 bath, no A/C , our electric would run near $800 and water and sanitation would be expensive! To Rent a house of our sq. Ft. Would be more than our monthly income all by itself !
    Quietness : the article mentions this as a pro of off post but that is going to depend on Location! And you are Rolling the Dice with off post neighborhoods, why? because chances are you just PCS’ed and wherever
    you are is completely foreign ! What seems as a peaceful quite neighborhood during the day with your rental agent may be Mardi GRAS come dark 😉
    Rank : while we would like to pretend it doesn’t matter, After a duty station or ( 16 like us) we all discover housing on post, to be Very radically different depending on rank! We have lived in condemned on-post apartments so bad we have been moved for them to be torn down, folks partying at all hours, with drug deals and crimes you couldn’t believe and moved back to the same post a few rungs up the ladder and be offered gorgeous new housing , wide streets , clean safe parks, that even made my non-military friends and relative jealous. Not only are the houses worlds apart the neighborhood of like ranked families are also , radically different , There are still parties and get togethers , but they are more mellow, ( less yelling, less beer-pong 😉
    Rules : depending on your homeowners or neighborhood association, the rules off post could be even stricter than those found on post, with Fees , and can be very unforgiving to the military, for example a citation for over grown grass off post, where on post lawn care and service is provided for by Lend-lease
    There are many different angles to look at when choosing on or off post for housing your Family, and many of the answers will be unique to each families situation. The Big Thing to Look at is Location, which can be really hard if your looking for information on a post or neighborhood, several states away or over seas. Luckily, we now have FB and can join Groups or Like community pages before we PCS and Ask other spouses already living there all of our Burning questions 🙂

  200. Amy Tolley

    September 7, 2012

    Thanks for this amazing opportunity….I have been in and around the military all my life…my father and my husband were both in the service…..Many blessing…..thanks

  201. tina page

    September 7, 2012

    wow! what a great giveaway!:) thanks!

  202. Micki Aber

    September 13, 2012

    OMG! The military has moved us every time and boy is it worth it! The moving company comes in, boxes up everything (including trash if you forgot to take it out) and unpacks it at the next house! We also collapsed all the moving boxes. They are expensive and we use them for a hundred things over the years, including moving our daughters to college. 🙂 The last time we moved they used 2 of the professional moving trucks! We have TOO much stuff 🙂

  203. Kim Kravitz

    September 13, 2012

    Agreed!! Especially with that last point.

  204. Jennifer

    September 18, 2012

    Incredible giveaway! Thanks for the chance!

  205. dan williams

    September 19, 2012

    twitted this today, 19/9

  206. andersongirls5

    September 25, 2012

    We were there from 2000-2004. We lived first in Heidelberg (loved it) and then in Hanau ( not so much). my husband deployed to Iraq ( with an overnight notice) to a war zone. I had a 2 yr. old and 2 month old. It was at times incredibly stressful. I loved the travel opportunities though…and did not want to leave when it was time to go. Would I do it again….? YES!

  207. Julie Provost

    September 25, 2012

    Most of my friends here are Military wives because of the activities I am involved in. We are meeting more and more civilian people. I like having a mix of the two.

  208. Liz

    September 25, 2012

    My husband and I have been at two bases together. On the AF base in Montana, I was mostly friends with other military wives & girlfriends simply because it’s Montana and there isn’t really anyone else there. Also, there was a strong support network for spouses. Now I am in DC and, for many reasons, my friends are mostly civilians. One reason why most of my friends are civilians is that I went to college in VA and so many of my college friends are here in DC. Another big reason that most of my friends are civilians is the nature of my husband’s job now. He works out of a huge army post, but his job is so secretive and involves a mix of military, civilian, CIA, etc that there is no FRG for us, no squadron spouse’s group, etc. I am lucky that I know a lot of people from college, otherwise this might have been a lonely tour for us!

  209. Carla Jo

    September 26, 2012

    I have been a Marine Corps spouse for over 5 years now (eeeek). At first my friends were a mix between military spouses and civilians (both married and unmarried). This was because I held a full time job and met people outside of the base we were stationed at. But we also had friends from my husbands unit where I became better friends with the wives than my husband was with the other Marines. When I quit this job, most of my “work friends” fell away and therefore most of my friends became military spouses I met through events or my husbands unit.
    Now that we are stationed in Japan, unless you can speak Japanese, your friends are most likely going to be military spouses or military themselves. I do not have any friends here that are not affiliated with the military in some way. I even have a job on base and the people at work are all military spouses. Although in Japan, you meet people and have friends from all branches of services as we are all packed into this little island.

  210. Becky VanGinkel

    September 26, 2012

    Thank you so much for hosting such a fabulous giveaway!! I personally know a few children that really could use a backback and supplies!!

  211. Kelli E.

    September 27, 2012

    Great idea, but what about a giveaway for the Toddler-Kindergarten BOYS? I have 2 toddler -kindergarten age boys… but no girls! Sexist much? Really… super confused as to why the little girls need school supplies but the boys don’t. Just saying…..

  212. 1955nurse

    September 27, 2012

    Thanks for this fabulous giveaway – signed up to subscribe to yr RSS feed to my Google Reader!!!(Holly)

  213. ellen

    September 29, 2012

    Thank you so much you actually have the kids excited about school!

  214. Laurie Emerson

    October 2, 2012

    I am looking forward to reading your articles! 🙂

  215. destin

    October 7, 2012

    Hey I have been bullied and still am I hate it. I am not perfect I also get harrased a lot plz help me! I go to arab I am 12 I feel awful when I go to school I want to be home schooled soooo bad but I can’t everybody hates me at my school

  216. Jillian Alexander

    October 7, 2012

    I started volunteering with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society as a CSA, and now I’m the Chair of Publicity and I assist with Budget for Baby.

  217. Sarah M.

    October 9, 2012

    I really don’t like to move from one place to another again and again.. but I LOVE my husband (Ryan) :))

  218. Erich Jaggard

    October 9, 2012

    I would love to win this!!!!!

  219. charles pulliam

    October 9, 2012

    Thanks for your support

  220. Deirdre

    October 9, 2012

    I have a domicile question. My legal residency is VA an my husband’s is AL…we’re stationed in VA but PCSing to FL. Am I not allowed to retain my domicile as VA? It’s been my home state since before we met and married.

  221. Melissa Whitfill

    October 10, 2012

    Been stressing over my husband about to deploy more so lately because my son is lashing out because he don’t want his dad to be gone…. I am losing hair from stress….. seen u guys have something in this for that it would be grate…. if I don’t win ware can I get some???

  222. Kristi @ Creative Kristi

    October 10, 2012

    Yes. All of it. Except that I am very very rarely with my husband when he’s in uniform,( even though he wears it every day) so I don’t really have to worry about PDA. We don’t live anywhere near a base (he just works at a stand-alone facility) so many times he takes it off immediately after work before we go anywhere. And I don’t know his job title. Or his direct superiors. But that gets changed too much so when they aren’t deployed I don’t pay attention lol

  223. Boo

    October 10, 2012

    I dunno if this is a dumb question but why is PDA in uniform discouraged?

  224. MilitaryFamily.com

    October 10, 2012

    Hey Melissa,

    Sorry to hear about the stress you’re feeling from your husband’s upcoming deployment, we would love to direct you to the item you’re looking for which one was it?

    The MilitaryFamily.com Team

  225. Nikkk

    October 10, 2012

    Great list Diana! & you know I love you, but you forgot one of the military branches in your list. As a Coast Guard wife, we go through all of that, too. In fact, Hubbs has been deployed for 18 months now and I’ve been rocking the heck out of the single mom of 2 role. It OS most certainly not an easy lifestyle, but like you, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. XOXO

  226. Joan Fontaine

    October 10, 2012

    5 years + as a Military Mom and very proud of my son!

  227. ellen

    October 11, 2012

    Long line of military here……… my husband’s Mom was married to a career Marine- she had children every time he came home 🙂 My own Mom was Army I was her reason to get out (back when they didnt allow female military to even be pregnant and serve) my Dad was Navy and I was born at the Naval base. I waited until the military was over. I dont know what is best, so much depends on the individual.

  228. Car Donation Program

    October 12, 2012

    Car donations are one of the most common types of large item charitable donations. Many charity organizations are happy to take your car from you and they will use it to help them service the needs of other people.

  229. Jdberger

    October 14, 2012

    What, exactly is factual about the article above? Its an embarrassing recitation of discredited talking points from organizations who seek to ban all gun ownership in the United States.

  230. Sarah M.

    October 15, 2012

    Hi, again. I remember that a dew month ago we had some issues with our dog Spot, cause he didn’t like the new place. So I decide to share some useful tips from our moving company with you, moving can cause a lot of stress for your pet too.
    Keep an eye on your pet the first few days at your new home. Check to make sure it is eating and drinking water on a regular basis. If not, you might want to have them checked out by your new veterinarian. Sometimes it took about a week to adjust to our new home and your vet will give you the best advices.

  231. Bridget

    October 15, 2012

    Looks like great prizes

  232. Anna

    October 16, 2012

    This would be such a great win! Would love to plan a FRG beauty/pamper day and this would be a fabulous addition towards what we need! awesome prizes!!

  233. Brandy

    October 16, 2012

    I would love this

  234. Tiffany Stringham

    October 16, 2012

    Would love this! Thanks for doing this!

  235. Melissa Champion

    October 16, 2012

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this awesome and amazing prize! My husband is currently on a year long deployment and I would use this to have a spa day at home for myself and my two daughters! They are 11 and 7 and we all miss our military hero like crazy! Sadness has covered us because my husband has missed our birthdays and now will miss every holiday and the stress is really heavy.

  236. Terri Moore

    October 17, 2012

    I love that you are giving back to military families. thank you for a wonderful giveaway.

  237. Victoria Anglin

    October 18, 2012

    Have a home based business or direct Sale one to go to is great also. Workamping in an RV is another option. There are a lot of ways to add to your income. http://reliancepantry.com

  238. Automobile Donation

    October 19, 2012

    The total process of donating your automobile to charitable organization is straightforward: Get in touch with the charitable organization and someone will come and choose up your vehicle, or allow you know where to bring it.

  239. Katherine Overfelt

    October 19, 2012

    I am an army wife to an amazing soldier who I love so much and have 2 amazing little boys. I would love a chance to do something special like this and I love that they are doing this for military families like us. It makes me so grateful

  240. Kristyn Kilcullen

    October 20, 2012

    My hubby and I got married 3 1/2 years ago and out of that time he has been deployed overseas for almost 3 of those years. He finally comes home and reunites with us at the end of this month…My 4 year old daughter and I am so so so EXCITED to have him home finally!!

  241. Tiffany Wheeler

    October 21, 2012

    Pick Me! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  242. yani

    October 22, 2012

    would love to win this…

  243. Brenda J Parks

    October 23, 2012

    I am having A missionary program honoring Military Familys on November 11, 2012. Marcus Foster is deployed and leaves A wife and two childrens home. My church The Red Hill Baptist Church, Union SC would very much like to receive one of the gift to present to Mrs. D. Foster on the 11th. This is a wonderful thing that you are doing. Thanks Again BJP, Miss. Pres.

  244. Sarah M.

    October 23, 2012

    Hello, again 🙂

    I remember when together with Ryan moved from Charlotte NC to Nashville TN with our dog (Richie). We had some troubles with it.. anyway here are some useful tips:
    – Avoid traveling in extreme cold or hot weather.
    – Do not forget the ID. Mark your pet’s cage with your name and address.
    – Put a blanket or cushion on the crate floor.
    – Take your dog for a long walk after the moving day.

    I hope these was helpful too 🙂

  245. Brenda Shields

    October 25, 2012

    I have lost a bunch of weight and some new and exciting beauty products would be awesome and a surprize to my hubby who will soon be retiring.

  246. Kathleen Whisenhunt

    October 28, 2012

    Thank you for this wonderful contest.

  247. ellen

    October 29, 2012

    Thanks so much for the chance- I dont recall the last time I got pampered!

  248. Dakota

    November 1, 2012

    What about for Relationships that are beginning……. I have to leave for basic in a month and we both are hitting it off very well….. Please help.

  249. NoeyL

    November 6, 2012

    We learned early on to only sign a lease with a military clause in it! It has saved us stress and money.

  250. Lindsey

    November 6, 2012

    To buy a home and not to rent.

  251. Semila

    November 8, 2012

    The problem of course exists. But if you look on the other side:
    Someone do not have a husband. And do give birth.
    If we are married to the military be prepared for such

  252. Anna

    November 8, 2012

    wow! This is fabulous!!! would love to win!

  253. Angela Parker

    November 8, 2012

    What a wonderful opportunity!

  254. Ambrielle L Bender

    November 8, 2012

    Oh My this is the most wonderful giveaway I have seen! WOW Thank you all SOOOO much! Good Luck to all!

  255. Ambrielle L Bender

    November 8, 2012

    Wow What an amazing list of prizes, and an even more amazing list of Sponsers! Thank YOU VERY VERY MUCH!

  256. ellen

    November 9, 2012

    Being in the military offers so many skills that people forget to even mention. Your point about leadership can’t be under estimated- and I would even add working as a team member in there!

  257. chevy37s

    November 14, 2012

    i am a newbie to this, my oldest son just shipped out for basic today. kind of a tough day for me

  258. indira

    November 14, 2012

    i really want to win this giveaway, awesome giveaway

  259. onejewel

    November 15, 2012

    This would be so great! Thank-you.

  260. Liz Newsome

    November 15, 2012

    What a blessing this awesome prize would be!

  261. Billie Church

    November 15, 2012

    Hope I win!

  262. Billie Church

    November 15, 2012

    Hope I win!

  263. Adrian

    November 15, 2012

    With this I can be a cooking machine.

  264. serena adkins

    November 15, 2012

    Thank you for the awesome giveaway.

  265. Heather @ It's Twinsanity!

    November 15, 2012

    I completely agree! I’ve said this so many times for the same reasons. We do have 6 children, I homeschool, and my husband was gone for 21 months (back-to-back TDY and deployment.) What I went through was very difficult but there was never a point where my life was in danger. I never had to do the job that my husband had to do. Military families certainly make many, many sacrifices and being a military spouse is not easy, but I firmly believe that our soldiers have the toughest job in the military. Thank you for having the courage to say it!

  266. Melissa-TheHappierHomemaker

    November 16, 2012

    I absolutely love this post-I always think that when I see those stickers too. People seem in awe when they hear that i had a baby while my hubby was deployed and had two other little boys under 5 at the time. But I am in awe of my husband who (now home) is away from home 15 hours a day but still manages to be a part of his children’s daily life, the man who has deployed three whole years of his life, who had been through things I dare not even try to imagine. No, I don’t have the hardest job in the military….

  267. Cathyhaden

    November 19, 2012

    These are some of the wonderful ideas you have shared here about how to involve kids during the moving process. However, I would like to add that besides this you can also plan a welcome event when you arrive at your new home. Creating a reunion by inviting old friends, relatives and kids to the function is also a great idea.

  268. Jennifer

    November 19, 2012

    great giveaway!

  269. Jeff Hankins

    November 19, 2012

    My wife would love this for Christmas.

  270. patti

    November 20, 2012

    Hope I win! 🙂

  271. Lorri

    November 22, 2012

    I couldn’t find the Part 2. It says page not found. I was wondering if there was someone I could get a hold of to see about sending a care package to someone that needs one and isn’t getting/receiving one for what ever reason. I would like to help by sending a care package, but don’t have anyone to send one to. I would be willing to be a pen pal too, if needed. Thanks!!

  272. Patti

    November 23, 2012

    I’m so excited I actually won! I sent my address in and will take pictures once everything gets here. 🙂 ~~Happy Dance~~

  273. Padgett

    November 25, 2012

    I learned this last tax season and does relieve any worry.

  274. Jessica

    November 26, 2012

    I would countdown by trash days or paydays when my husband was deployed.

  275. Kathryn

    November 29, 2012

    We are going through this right now. We are thinking about having another one, but my husband is deploying in a few months. We decided it would be best to wait until he gets back so he can hopefully be here for the pregnancy and birth. I know it probably won’t go as perfectly as we’d like, but that’s the military I guess. Great post!

  276. Judy

    December 1, 2012

    Recent media and federal investigations have brought the issue into the spotlight. Whether you are a student of an online university, or looking to teach for one, the question must be raised, “Is my university a valid one or a scam? The most important thing is accreditation. Ask the university to identify whether they are regionally accredited, and if so, by which accrediting body. Then visit the web site for the regional accrediting body and look up your college/university in their listing of accredited institutions.

  277. Bonita Jordan

    December 3, 2012

    I think this ia a wonderful program. We must support our military and their families..!! God Bless and Keep.. them all…!! Sending up.. my daily prayers, for all..!!

  278. Ambrielle Bender

    December 5, 2012

    A HUGE THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

  279. Angela

    December 6, 2012

    this is awesome!

  280. Tiffany Stringham

    December 6, 2012

    Would love to win this for my husband! He works so hard and is currently considering another deployment to better support our family financially! He really deserves this! Thanks!

  281. Angela Martini

    December 6, 2012

    My husband would love this and he deserves somthing to show him how much his family appreciates him and his service

  282. Karen Medlin

    December 8, 2012

    Thank You to all the Great Sponsors!!

  283. Heather Wilson

    December 10, 2012

    My deployed soldier would love t his!

  284. Heather Wilson

    December 10, 2012

    excellent

  285. Rebecca Chavez

    December 12, 2012

    GREAT CONTEST.

  286. Val

    December 12, 2012

    My husband would love to win this, he loves electronics

  287. Julie Thompson

    December 13, 2012

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway this is very useful when taking care of my mother who is in the final stages of her MS or when I am having one of my really bad days of having seizures so thank you. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  288. Ritz

    December 17, 2012

    Mrs Cindy. Sabe usted de algun programa de terapia para las esposas de soldados retirados.
    cada mes de diciembre siento que vuelvo a vivir el tiempo cuando mi esposo tuvo que ir a Saudi. y ha
    creado en mi un ansiedad inexplicable.

  289. Tom Cronin

    December 21, 2012

    We are the Cronin family and live in Fort Myers, Florida. My wife and I would love to open up our home and spend the Christmas holiday with a military family. We can only imagine how difficult it is to be without your significant other during such a special time of the year. We have three children ages 10,8 and 3 (gbg) who are homeschooled and love playing with other children. We celebrate mass on Christmas eve and then enjoy a Chinese dinner afterwards (kind of a tradition). Christmas morning is presents, big breakfast and then a day of playing with all the new toys. Dinner is generally lasagna sometime late afternoon. Our family is so blessed and would love to share in the spirit of the holiday with others who are apart of protecting our great nation, so please consider joining us for any part of or all of it. Our contact information: 407-234-6921 or motcronin96@yahoo.com. One last thing: we are very aware of the reason for the season and thank God for all his wonderful blessings each and every day. Merry Christmas and we hope to hear from you.

  290. Lara

    December 22, 2012

    Nice post, I’m thankful your husband isn’t in the Coast Guard anymore and you don’t have to be separated this Christmas by duty and you can help “civilian wives” handle being apart during the holidays under circumstance

  291. Joel Koon

    December 27, 2012

    I have three battlebuddies that need ipads. We are currently serving in Kabul, Afghanistan. They had a hard time communicating with their families due to lack of computers. Especially on Christmas, if you could help us that would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank You,
    Joel Koon

  292. The MilitaryFamily.com Team

    December 27, 2012

    Hi Joel,

    We love to see others reaching out to help other service members, especially during the holiday season. We know how hard deployment and communicating with family members can be and see the benefits that electronics such as iPads can serve for our soldiers. If you want to look more into getting iPads for your battlebuddies, make sure to contact iPads for Soldiers directly and see what they can do! You can reach them at: http://www.ipadsforsoldiers.org/contact/

    Happy Holidays!
    The MilitaryFamily.com Team

  293. ellen beck

    December 28, 2012

    Don’t forget the veterans 🙂 So mant great organizations out there and so many folks alone or far from home.

  294. Debra Morrow

    December 30, 2012

    I met a Army Sgt on line mailed a Christmas Gift to him had to go through usff. I just want to be reassured that this is a real procedure I can’t find anything on google for it. The mailing address is 672 Williamsburg Pike ,Madison, Va 22727 it is real the lady’s name it was sent to is Carolyn Rosson

  295. JoAnn F.

    December 31, 2012

    Happy New Year and GLTA!

  296. David Guith

    December 31, 2012

    Great!

  297. Amy

    December 31, 2012

    I would love to give these prizes to my husband!

  298. trudee carreiro

    January 2, 2013

    this is a wonderful giveaway I would use it wisely

  299. Lucy

    January 2, 2013

    LOVE this article!! I’ve been an Army wife for 7.5 years and have endured 4 deployments with my husband and we are child-free. My very first FRG meeting I was asked how many kids I had…when I responded “none”, I was asked how old I was. I responded with “22” and I got an “ooohh” by 2 other wives then they turned around and started talking to someone else. Since then I have only gone to 2 other meetings and they were deployment ones letting me know when my husband was coming home. I don’t even read the e-mails I get from FRG because they are all centered around families with kids. It’s hard enough making friends in the military since everyone moves every few years but add to it that you’re almost 30 and child-free and you don’t like going to “play groups”…..GOOD LUCK! My husband and I just stick to ourselves now!

  300. Kylie

    January 4, 2013

    My husband is in the process of joining the Army and will be shipping out to basic in April. My husband’s family is originally from Germany! Lol. We love the idea of experiencing another country and culture, but we have 2 children (19 months and 4 months). I am a little worried about moving them so far away from family. How can I overcome this fear and what is the likelyhood that he would actually get stationed overseas as his first duty station if he requests it on his Dreamsheet?

    Thanks for any advice!

    Kylie Kelsheimer

  301. Harry Anderson

    January 4, 2013

    Patton is a man that stands as a lost breed. He was not afraid to be offensive, but as he loved his son, he loved his 101st. Monty Montgomery, Dwight David Eisenhower could not dare to hold a candle to General George S. Patton. We are in dire need of just such men to lead our nation toward greatness. Though callous in his speech, he had a very firm and deep religious conviction. He was no mealy-mouthed, casper milquetoast, he was a man’s man, a hero of heroes. I only wish I had more of his tenacity.

  302. BJ Holt

    January 6, 2013

    We are in dire need of more people of General Patton’s caliber.
    I pray one will step forward any day now !!!

  303. jennt

    January 9, 2013

    One thing I can say for sure – I totally understand your concern in “promising” benefits to LGB families who don’t rate them. But they DO rate them. If the branches haven’t determined their specific methodology for awarding them, they will do so soon…or after the first LGB servicemember comes looking for them or Requests Mast up to the CG. http://verchini.com/day-nit

  304. Ronald L. Lahti

    January 9, 2013

    Thank you! It is great to have more incentives to ‘be fit!’

  305. Rachel Summers

    January 9, 2013

    I would love to be able to win this because this is something that I can apply to the entire family for Healthy Living!

  306. Megan Woods

    January 9, 2013

    Awesome!

  307. GENEVA LOVE

    January 9, 2013

    Great prizes for a much needed, healthier living.

  308. Heather Wilson

    January 9, 2013

    I have lost 39 lbs since June and looking to lose another 45 .

  309. CASSAUNDRA STJOHN

    January 9, 2013

    Do you serve Veterans and Military Families? Use this opportunity to reach out and speak to them directly- and show your support for the community!

    Come be a part of CAMO Family Fitness Day, Saturday, January 19, 2013, on the field of iconic Cowboys Stadium. Dr. Mehment Oz, host of the nationally syndicated Emmy award winning “The Dr. Oz Show” will be joining an expanding multi-disciplinary team of experts and organizations participating in the event. Dr. Oz will be joined by Dallas-area health professionals to provide information and support to active duty military, veterans and their families on health issues.

    Part festival and part educational and support program, CAMO Dallas will link Veterans and Military Families with experts, organizations and groups who can help them with health, employment, housing, education, family, emotional and other issues military veterans face. Local sports celebrities also will be in attendance and will participate with attendees in fun sports activities. The day will end with a family-style picnic and evening concert on the field, hosted by music legends and CAMO Honorary Co-founders Vince Gill and Amy Grant.

    “Big things happen when we are willing to dream big dreams. Serving our veterans is a big responsibility and will require us to think outside the box and connect all of the dots between our individual efforts. CAMO Dallas in such a place as Cowboys Stadium is a big dream, and Vince and I are honored to be a part of it,” said Amy Grant.

    In addition to the Saturday event, Challenge America and the F7 Group, a Female Veteran and Women of Military Family focused support organization, will sponsor a LSR Symposium and reception for Female Veterans, Women of Military Families and those who support them, which will be held at The Ballpark in Arlington~Ranger Stadium.
    There are limited slots still available for organizations that serve this group of people to have a table, showcasing their services. If you would like the opportunity to be a part of these events- please contact me directly! Select support Individuals and Organizations will have the opportunity to access VIP passes to meet the entertainers.

    http://www.f7group.com/challengeamerica/

  310. JEWEL

    January 9, 2013

    Thanks for this chance !! Would certainly help me in reaching my goal of running a half marathon this year. Eating healthy is a huge part of that !

  311. Ame Girouard

    January 10, 2013

    A great way to get me motivated!!

  312. Elena

    January 10, 2013

    I would love to win this because I try to eat more healthy and stay fit

  313. Sonya Recker

    January 11, 2013

    Cindy, In most states there are also FRSA’s (Family Readiness Suport Assistants) and FAS’ (Family Assistance Specialist) that are working full time to assist Soldier and their families. Here in the state of GA we have 8 FRSA’s and 10 FAS’ available. We are available to any service member, no matter the Branch of Service. Just thought I would pass this bit of information on to you.

  314. ellen beck

    January 12, 2013

    Thank you so much for this giveawy- all of the sponsors are so generous!

  315. Heather Zellefrow

    January 15, 2013

    I would like to sign up to receive coupons. I live overseas in Italy at Aviano, AB. Thanks!

  316. kymi a

    January 15, 2013

    awesome giveaway thank you!

  317. Sarah Ruth

    January 15, 2013

    I had to say goodbye to you and several of my friends! It’s hard. But I know we’ll be friends for a very long time!

  318. Lisa

    January 17, 2013

    We are Air Force. Started out at Charleston AFB SC, moved to Hickam AFB HI, and we are now at JBER AK. Liked Charleston. Did not love Hickam as I am not a hot weather person. Although, it was definitely an experience I would not trade. There is so much history there. I am loving Alaska. The weather is definitely challenging for 6 months of the year but there is a lot to do.

  319. Dallas texas furniture stores

    January 17, 2013

    Great work! Thanks for sharing great tips.

  320. Crystal

    January 17, 2013

    We lived on Fort Carson for 5 years and loved every minute of it!! Housing is pretty nice,there are plenty of MTFs and Evans Army Hospital provides excellent health care.There is always something going on or something to do for just about every holiday and lots of playgrounds for the kids.
    Let’s not forget about how absolutely beautiful Colorado is,I miss Colorado Springs everyday.I loved the dry summers and the snowy,cold winters,the gorgeous mountains and hiking and abundance of shopping and dining options.The cost of living is also pretty low which I miss terribly since moving to the D.C. area!
    We loved it so much that we call it our home and plan on settling down there someday.

  321. Stevie Luplow

    January 17, 2013

    You don’t have the station I think is one of the best on here…Washington. We have so many stations here, but Washington is one of the most beautiful places with so many extra things to do for fun. We have mild winters and summers, beautiful views, close to the ocean, national parks/forests….it’s just an awesome state. I am so happy that this is the only station after training we’ve had to go to…I truly hope when he gets out (next year if he doesn’t change his mind) he can find a job to stay here.

  322. Nancy Reid

    January 18, 2013

    #SOT ~ thanks for all you do!

  323. Stephanie

    January 19, 2013

    This would be so great for my husband and myself! My husband has been really trying hard to lose weight and get healthy and getting me to be better about my eating habits and working out. Together, we are trying to help each other. Thanks so much for the chance!

  324. Macey

    January 21, 2013

    This inspires me to get fit this year!

  325. ellen beck

    January 23, 2013

    At 3 I dont see it being harsh at all- for children that young him being gone one day one week or 6 weeks can all feel the same. One good thing about modern technology is it makes it so easy for he to see him !

  326. Kim Vellante

    January 23, 2013

    This is a wonderful opportunity to
    transform my old body for a newer
    model. I would love to loose the weight
    while my son is doing his job. 🙂

  327. Susan Marina Brown Lane

    January 24, 2013

    Hi! Would love to get your emails! Have tried to sign up several times and I do not get a confirmation email. (yes, I checked my spam folder) =)

  328. Christine Mayfield

    January 24, 2013

    My hubby joined the AF at 27 and turned 28 a week later. It was really hard on him because he looks young so everyone assumes he is 19/20 when he is about to turn 35. Once they realize his age and that he will not be talked down to they give him the respect he deserves. He also treats his troops and those he works with like grown men and will not baby them.

  329. Martha

    January 27, 2013

    One of our chaplains joined the Army at more or less the last minute that they would have accepted him. We are incredibly blessed to have him with his maturity, his church experience, his pastoral gifts, and especially his wife who is older as well and brings a lot of wisdom to our community.

    My own husband looks at least 10 years older than he is (and especially did as a 2LT–maybe 15 years older then), which brought a lot of hilarity. His soldiers thought he was an idiot, assuming he was prior enlisted and should have known everything already, but it all made sense when they realized he was just out of college.

  330. Martha

    January 27, 2013

    I am way late with this comment, but anyway– your community will be so lucky to have you, if you are still able to be more involved even with your pregnancy (I’m not a stalker! I just started reading your blog.)

    My own resolution is quite deep and spiritual: Keep my photos organized and edited and delete the bad ones so I don’t get swamped! 😉

  331. Amber Turner

    January 28, 2013

    My husband joined at 18 and got out after 8 years in the Air Force. We just went back active. We now have two kids when before we didn’t have children. We are on recruiting duty right now….and it is tough! Like you, we made the decision this time together. Thanks for the insight! We plan on making it a career which is a really hard decision as I want a career as well.

  332. Megan

    January 31, 2013

    I can’t really comment on anywhere else, but I’ve lived in MD my whole life and am raising two babies here and I think it’s pretty freaking great. 🙂

    Also, my dad was stationed in Germany for quite a while (I was older and opted to stay behind) and he raved about it.

    Hope you get what you want!

  333. Shelia

    January 31, 2013

    we live in Portland, OR and can say Ft. Lewis is in a great location! we LOVE the Pacific Northwest. we’re planning to buy a house this year, still near Portland. just in the outskirts. 🙂 sounds like you guys have some exciting possibilities ahead of you!

  334. Patrick Mitchell

    February 1, 2013

    Just a very sick disabled veteran who wants to thank you for helping families.

  335. Jasen Wrubel

    February 4, 2013

    I am nominating my son and his wife because they have been apart for many holidays due to his deployments.

  336. Megan Woods

    February 4, 2013

    Go Air Force!

  337. margaret

    February 4, 2013

    Great post. Having a positive attitude is one of the greatest genetic traits & life lessons I got from my dad. In everything we do there are things to love and unfortunately things that really stink too. But hanging onto the good stuff makes things so much easier, every day brighter and we are so much more pleasant to be around. It’s a daily effort to stay on the upside but what a blessing it is. The past few years have been a real challenge for us but when I look at the way we’ve learned to love the small daily joys in life I believe your pains have been worth it to learn to love the beauty in each day.

  338. Chad

    February 4, 2013

    I would love to win this for my wife. In seventeen years we have never celebrated a Valentines Day together.

  339. julia mccandlish

    February 5, 2013

    great prizes!

  340. MARY LOU PAULSON

    February 5, 2013

    GREAT PRIZES 🙂

  341. beverly thompson

    February 20, 2013

    my daughter has been active duty for ten years. she’s station 3 1/2 hours from me. i am her only source of help and child care. are there any resources that wil help us keep my grandchildren from missing school at her duty station. while she is away for training and they are with me.

  342. Stevie Luplow

    February 20, 2013

    I have to depend on my mom and turn to her during the frustrating times. The military wives out here suck. If we even mention getting an email from our sailor while they are underway, we get talked to and asked to refrain from saying/posting anything so we don’t hurt others’ feelings. They don’t support each other like they should. They stab each other in the backs and are just plain horrible to each other…or at least they always have been that way to me. Out of almost 6 years at this same command, I have had only 3 people I could talk to freely and openly about anything and everything. None of those three people are here anymore and I am literally left with no one around me. Thank goodness for phones and text messaging and facebook messaging and email.

  343. Diana L. Carter, LPC

    February 24, 2013

    Wonderful idea! I’m very glad to know about this!

  344. David Blackman

    November 9, 2011

    I’m glad you found something to take away! If you are ready to take the next step, the website of the Certified Financial Planner Board (http://www.cfp.net/) can help you find a CFP in your area who’d be glad to talk to you. My advice: find one that’s fee-based so you’re paying for their time and expertise and they’re not trying to sell you anything or making a commission off you. Good luck – retirement comes at you quicker than you expect. Thanks for the comments! David

  345. David Blackman

    November 10, 2011

    I’m glad you liked the article, and thanks for the support!

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