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Good Stuff From My Inbox ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: Islamofascists, military families, Military spouses

From Real Warriors:

Share Your Story with the Real Warriors Campaign

The Real Warriors Campaign is looking for new profilees for one of our most important features: video profiles. Our video profiles spotlight stories of real service members who have reached out for support or sought treatment and are continuing to maintain successful military or civilian careers. Sharing these stories of overcoming challenges related to psychological health and invisible wounds encourages others to seek support and lets warriors know that they are not alone. If you would like to share your story with the Real Warriors Campaign, please contact us.

Do you have a success story or tips for overcoming challenges related to combat stress, post traumatic stress, or other invisible wounds? Learning what others are doing to address these concerns creates new opportunities for healing. Post your story to our message boards and connect with others who may be dealing with the same challenges.

24/7 HELP

DCoE Outreach Center
For Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Information and Resources

866-966-1020

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
For Crisis Intervention

1-800-273-TALK (8255) Press “1”

afterdeployment.org
Wellness resources for the military community

Reach out ~ They may be home far from the war but the war can come home with them.

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American Fallen Soldiers Project


The American Fallen Soldiers Project was formed to help provide comfort and healing to the mourning families of our fallen military men and women. With the mission to honor, respect and forever memorialize those who have sacrificed their lives while protecting our freedom, our 501(c)3 non-profit organization makes available to the families, at no cost, an original portrait of their fallen loved one that fully captures their appearance and personality.

Latest Presentation:

American Fallen Soldiers Project honors Lt. Lou Allen

“He was the man I believed in. He was the first man who ever believed in me and he was so convincing that I believed him and began to believe in myself,” she (Lt Allen’s widow, Barbara)  told friends and family, who attended the touching ceremony.

SSG Jason R Arnette’s portrait will be presented Saturday, April 16, 2011

Michelle Arnette Bryant
Proud Mom of a US Soldier

May we never forget…

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ACT! for America

View our TV show online!

An educational outreach of ACT! for America, The ACT! for America Show airs weekly and covers National Security Issues as well as discussing ways YOU can combat the rising tide of Radical Islam.

Last weekend the ACT! for America television show premiered on Family Net (Saturday, 2:30 PM EST) and ALN (Sunday, 4:00 PM EST).

This weekend the program will air at the same time on those networks, and our special guest will be Rep. Allen West-who clearly understands the threat we are facing. Please check your local listings.

If you would like to have a postcard sent to your cable provider encouraging them to carry either Family Net or ALN, please visit http://www.supportfamilytv.com/

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO EITHER FAMILY NET OR ALN, YOU CAN NOW VIEW THE SHOW ONLINE AT YOUR CONVENIENCE.

Please spread the word and encourage your friends and family to check out our new show!

Excellent!

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Can’t Have Too Many Resources ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: military families, Military spouses, Supporting the troops, Veterans, wounded warriors

FYI ~

Directory Links Wounded Warriors, Families to Resources

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2011 – From benefits and compensation to education and training, an online directory is providing wounded warriors, veterans and their families a direct connection to thousands of state, local and national resources.

“There’s so much information on the Web right now, it’s nice to have one place to access all of the content, the services, the information you need,” John R. Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy, told American Forces Press Service. “It really permits the service member and family the ability to get information directly.”

The Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs departments created the National Resource Directory — located at http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov/ — to link wounded warriors, service members, veterans, their families and caregivers to nationwide resources that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration, Campbell explained.

Toward that end, the directory contains information on a broad range of topics, including benefits and compensation, education and training, employment, caregiver support, health, housing, and transportation and travel.

With such a vast amount of information, Campbell said, a considerable effort went into creating user-friendly navigation tools to help people pin down resources quickly, whether it’s local grassroots efforts or national-level initiatives. People can search for a resource or program by subject, state or territory. A recent addition is a state widget that people can customize and embed in home pages, blogs and other sites. Once there, the information is updated automatically.

New programs and resources are added to the directory as quickly as agencies and organizations can roll them out. Experts always are working to ensure they’re hitting on the hot topics for troops and their families, Campbell noted, and as a result, the site is constantly evolving.

Campbell cited veteran homelessness as an example.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness is working with the Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development departments to eliminate homelessness entirely by VA’s goal of 2015.
The directory has devoted an entire section to homelessness, featuring resources that offer everything from emergency housing to employment assistance.

Spouse employment is another area of growth on the directory, Campbell noted, particularly with new programs and resources in the works. The Labor, Commerce and Defense departments and the Small Business Administration, for example, are working with the business community to expand career options for spouses. Officials will ensure new spouse employment resources are added to the directory as they arise, he said.

While officials always are on the lookout for new information to post to the directory, feedback from troops and their families plays an integral role in keeping the site current, Campbell said. The site includes an easy-to-locate section where people can submit resources for consideration or pass on praise for outstanding service.

“We’ll take that resource and, if we find out it’s a good one, we’ll put it up,” he said. Officials verify each resource before posting, he added. A nonprofit organization, for example, must be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau before it can be considered for the directory.

“That’s the idea: to make it easy, make it efficient, make it valuable,” Campbell said.

To further that effort, he said, a mobile version of the directory will launch in the spring for smart phone users.

“The target audience is younger service members and families,” he added. “We’re really excited about that.”

Campbell said he’s received great feedback on the site, and is encouraged by a vast improvement in visitors, which he attributes to word of mouth. In the last quarter of 2010, the site’s unique visitors jumped by 115 percent, he said.

“We’re continuing to get reinforcement that we’re doing the right thing,” he said.

National Resource Directory

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FLOTUS Speaks ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: military families, Military spouses, Veterans, You're Kidding

The Future That Our Military Families Deserve”

Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at a summit hosted by the National Military Family Association and called it the country’s “moral obligation” to recognize the state of military families today. She commended families for their resilience and dedication to service and called for the “vision of a nation that truly supports our military families.”

The First Lady discussed hardships that military spouses endure, including struggling to access benefits and assistance and mental health counseling for the stress of separation. She called for the nation to support and engage military families not only during their time of military service, but at every stage of their lives.

And although I think it would pain most Americans to hear this, we have to be honest.  Too many of our military families still think a lot of Americans don’t fully appreciate what they’re going through, how they sacrifice for us.  As one military mom appealed to me in a letter, she said, “Please don’t let Americans forget or ignore what we live with.”  She said, “We are at war.”

And finally, we know that the needs of our military families are only going to grow.  Our forces and their families face more deployments.  That means more veterans needing care, especially those with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.  It means more caregivers needing support.  It means more survivors who can never be forgotten.

The First Lady explained that the Administration has made military families an important priority by increasing benefits and funds for military housing, childcare, counseling and career development, and also expanding health care for veterans and support for caretakers. She praised the Department of Defense for launching the Military Family Life Project, a study of over 100,000 spouses and service members to assess their quality of life for a better understanding of how families are affected by deployments. She also talked about the Department of Agriculture’s 4-H program, which forged partnerships with the armed services to help military children when their parents are deployed.

The First Lady announced that the President has directed the national security staff to lead a government-wide review to identify new priorities and partnerships to support military families. She explained that the initiative will lay the foundation for a coordinated government approach to supporting and engaging military families.

And it won’t be easy. It’s going to take many years. It’s going to require a great deal of patience, as you all know. But if Americans respond to this challenge; if we mobilize every segment of society; if we work together; if we hold ourselves to the same high standard of excellence that our military families live by every day, then I know we can succeed. I know we can realize our vision of an America that truly supports and engages our military families not just now, but for decades to come.


…if we hold ourselves to the same high standard of excellence that our military families live by every day…”

That would be a good place for you all up there in the WH to start…before you start lecturing us!

“…a coordinated government approach to supporting and engaging military families.”

Oh yeah, that ought to go well…

First Lady Announces Military Family Review

From a White House News Release

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2010 – President Barack Obama has directed the national security staff to lead a 90-day review aimed at developing a federal government wide approach to supporting military families, First Lady Michelle Obama announced here today.

“With just 1 percent of our population — our troops — doing 100 percent of the fighting, our military families are being tested like never before,” the first lady said during an address to the National Military Family Association’s summit.

“This government wide review will bring together the resources of the federal government, identify new opportunities across the public and private sectors, and lay the foundation for a coordinated approach to supporting and engaging military families for years to come,” she said.

The review will build on work conducted by the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs, and it will encompass nearly 20 federal agencies, as well as the White House domestic policy and national economic councils and the offices of the vice president, the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden.

The review is slated to:

— Set strategic military family priorities for the next 10 years and identify key military family concerns and challenges;

— Review a cross-section of public and private programs to identify the most-promising ideas and programs that positively support military families;

— Develop options for departments to integrate military family matters into their strategic and budgetary priorities;

— Examine opportunities for federal policies and programs to stimulate new and support existing state and local efforts that are achieving military family readiness goals and meeting military family priorities;

— Identify opportunities to leverage the skills and experience of military family members in national and community life; and

— Strengthen existing feedback mechanisms for military families to voice their concerns and views on the effectiveness and future direction of relevant federal programs and policies.

And I’m sure this will solve everything – after all, this administration has done so much good for this country the past year ~ And listens so well to it’ citizens. Just ask them, they’ll tell you all about it.  (Of course, you’ll first have to enter into their world of Fantasy and Revisionism.)

The government already “owns” the Military – now they want to own the families.

I just love how the Obamas seem to believe that no one has done anything for anybody before they came on board.

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The National Military Family Association

Get Info

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From the US Army War College:

Military Family Program
Providing Information to Military Families Worldwide

Featuring over 460 links to Information and Assistance Web Sites

Printable Directory of Resources



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In Their Boots ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: military families, Military spouses, Supporting the troops, videos

If you haven’t been over to the website In Their Boots yet, well, grab a cuppa something and click on the link below:

In Their Boots

About the show:

In Their Boots is a documentary series about the impact the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having on people here at home. Every episode features a documentary about how America’s servicemen and women, their families, and our communities have been profoundly changed by our nation’s campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shot on location throughout the country, these stories stress the courage of our participants, and the valor of the people and organizations that help our heroes on their journey.

Journalist and writer, Tina Malave, is this season’s host. After each story Ms. Malave will interview the participants featured in the documentary and lead a discussion that digs deeper into the issues affecting veterans, servicemembers and military families.

Telling these stories and sharing these interviews are only part of the mission of In Their Boots. This website is also a rich resource with links to scores of organizations that support veterans, servicemembers and their families. In addition, it’s a place for interested viewers to find volunteer opportunities in the veteran community. In Their Boots is funded by a generous grant from the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (IADIF) of The California Community Foundation and is produced by Brave New Foundation. Season 2 of In Their Boots will be streamed on this website, and can be seen on Free Speech TV, Link TV, and more than 70 other public access television stations.

About the Filmakers

Season One is here.

Season Two is here.

Those of us who have never been in the Military, nevermind combat, can’t even begin to understand what our Troops or their families have been through, BUT we can pay attention and listen.

When the media is constantly focused on stories about athletes fallen from grace or pretty faces doing bad things, we are missing out on knowing about a segment of our society doing great things.

Our president speaks often of “service”.   Unfortunately, he is rarely speaking of the young men and women in uniform who raise their right hand and take an oath to be in service to their country.

They are members of our communities and sometimes our neighbors.

They have lived through, or died in, a part of the world’s reality that few of us will ever know.

We should at the very least be appreciative that they did.




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The Disconnect #1392718 ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: anti-military, military families, Military spouses, Supporting the troops, Uncategorized

Two stories came to my attention today.  Two stories about our Fallen that show in stunning clarity the disconnect between those who wear civvies and those who love those who wear camis:

Supper With a Hero

(from The Thunder Run)

As an Army wife, you quickly learn that living in on post military housing is always an opportunity to learn.  My 8 year old neighbor and military child Katherine Birdsong was at our house admiring our Christmas Tree with our son John Jr.  I was busy in the kitchen preparing supper when I heard her say, “and tonight we will be eating supper with a hero.”  I smiled as I thought about her Dad, LTC Birdsong with Task Force Lightening, returning today along with the rest of his unit. Then I realized that due to a delay the soldiers would not be home til after midnight. What hero I thought to myself?  I hadn’t heard on the news or paper about any hero’s coming to our post.

So I popped my head in the living room and asked her, “so I hear your eating with a hero tonight. Who is it?”

Katherine stood up with the twinkling of Christmas Tree lights behind her, clasped her hands together and then asked “Ms Murray do you know

SPC Harris?”  Before I could answer she looked down and said in a solemn voice, “he was a soldier with my Dad. But he won’t be coming home tonight. He died in Afghanistan.”   Silence filled the air. Katherine said, “tonight after midnight my Dad comes home and all the other soldiers come home but SPC Harris isn’t.” I could feel the tears began to fill my eyes and the large lump in my throat.

“SPC Harris’s family is coming over to eat supper with our family.” “So you’re having supper with a hero’s family but the hero won’t be there.”  I said thinking she had just made a grammatical error.

Katherine shook her head again firmly and said with all earnest, “He will be there. We may not see him with our eyes  but he  will be there. SPC Harris’ mom, brother and little girl will be eating with us. They are all a part of him so you see he will be there.” Sometimes, I thought to myself we don’t realize the depth of children’s wisdom.

I asked Katherine what her mother was preparing for supper. She smiled and said, “chicken soup.”  I thought this was odd choice to have for supper with company coming. Chicken soup?” I questioned. Katherine’s mom, Lisa Birdsong, is known for her great dishes, but chicken soup?

It seemed ……….well………..so plain.   “Yes, chicken soup.”  Katherine noted the questioning look on my face.

“Ms Murray you know when you are sick and medicine doesn’t make you better, and even your sister letting you play her games doesn’t make you better?  Well when I feel this way my Mom makes chicken soup to make me feel better. Tonight SPC Harris’ family will be really sad when they see my Daddy coming home and all the other soldiers.  So my Mom is making chicken soup to maybe make them feel not so sad.” I smiled at this logic.

Then realizing the time Katherine said good bye to John Jr and me ………….off to eat supper with a hero I thought as I looked out my kitchen window.

Later that night I told my husband about the conversation that had taken place. John reminded me of part of the Soldier’s Creed, “never leave a fallen comrade.”  How sometimes that people think that it means turning around on a PT run to help a soldier catch up or not leaving a soldier on the battlefield.  It is much more than that.  It is never leaving that fallen comrades memory behind either.

Submitted by Ingrid Murray

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The Flag at Half Mast – Letter from AWV Member Marikay Satryano

(from  American Women Veterans’s Notes)

Interesting point for all the female and male Veterans who are attending state schools. I am spending my hard earned benefits attending a community college in NY. Whenever a soldier from the state of NY, either a Native or someone stationed here, is KIA, the Govenor of NY sends a message to all state institutions to lower the flag to half mast for one day. His/her name, hometown, unit and where/when killed is part of the emailed message that is sent to NY institutions. It’s sent to the colleges, the colleges send it to the faculty.
Stop.

I’ve attended my college for one year: the flag has flown at half mast, woefully, many times. I asked, “For whom is it lowered?” and have received the dumb down version of the Governor-to-NY institutions process. “Yes, I understand this. But WHO died?” The response from administrators is “Some soldier,” on a good day, ” I deleted the email,” on another, or usually, “I don’t know.”

When I asked the college community relations director if he could simply post the message from the governor on the school’s website, in a discreet yet honorable place, his response was “It’s not relevant.”

So, it appears that in the USA we now not only have one singular but rather many memorials to The Unknown Soldier.

Sad.

The flag is lowered for a person we know has a name, a family, a hometown but in this information age, his/her name remains “unknown”.

Sad.

The administration kept directing my inquiry to “why don’t you form a Veteran’s group, get petitions, put it out on your own facebook page, etc, etc.” When, with simply a one sentence memo from the president of the college, which receives over 200 veteran’s tuition benefits the identification of our fallen brother and sister would be known.

They would rather make it a “niche” group’s little pet project. It is not simply MY interest as a Veteran to know my brother and sister in arms name. It is everyone who enjoys the benefits of living in our country’s INTEREST.

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When such a small percentage of our citizenry (about 1%) step up to do a job so many won’t or can’t do, seems to me we could at least know the name of the Warrior for whom our flag is at half mast.

These Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors are not just a number on the nightly news.  No.  They have names.  They are also someone’s son, daughter, wife, husband, mother, father, niece, nephew, cousin, grandson, granddaughter and friend.

It’s way past time for us to get to know more about those who wear the uniform of these United States.  This Administration is not Military friendly, no matter how many lunches Mrs. I Won has lunch with Military wives.  The media pants after the anti-war, anti-military idiots when ever they gather to protest but has little time for those of us who love, support and believe in the mission of those in uniform.  Apparently, what we have to say in our pride for our kids, spouses, relatives or friends doesn’t fit their agenda and isn’t worth a minute’s airtime.

Call a Soldier a “baby-killer“?  Front page accolades.

Call a Marine a “murderer“?  Instant interview shown on all news stations over and over again.

Call a Soldier, Marine, Airman, Sailor or Coastie a Hero?   Welcome to the sound of silence.

After 9 years of war, there are those wearing the uniform who still think America doesn’t give a s#@t.  (Thank you, media…)

Our Military has been under attack by the (now professional) anti-war protesters since the Vietnam War.  Now those same folks are in the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court ~ and their acolytes are in the White House.

If your local government is flying the flag at half mast, do you even know why?


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MyCAA ~ FYI

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: Military spouses

I received an email from a representative with Bryant & Stratton College regarding my posts about the MYCAA program for Military spouses, so I thought I would share this:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Lindsey Mikal

Communications Strategy Group

[email protected]
(303) 433-7020 or (937) 408-9321

Bryant & Stratton College Online is Still Offering Scholarships to Military Spouses through its “Salute to Spouses” Program, Despite the Partial Reinstatement of MyCAA

First 100 qualified applicants will receive up to $6,000 for career education

BUFFALO, NY (March 12, 2010) – Bryant & Stratton College Online announced today that it will continue to offer 100 scholarships to military spouses, through its Salute to Spouses program, despite the recent change by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to partially reinstate the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program (MyCAA). The first 100 qualified applicants will receive a Salute to Spouses scholarship, which will provide up to $6,000 toward an online degree program at Bryant & Stratton College, a pioneer in career education since 1854 and the premier provider of online associate’s degrees.

On March 11, 2010, DoD announced that it will resume operations of the MyCAA program for military spouses who currently have existing MyCAA accounts.  The department will pay up to $6,000 in tuition assistance for spouses currently enrolled.  However, DoD is continuing its review of the MyCAA program and no new accounts will be created until that review is complete.  In February, the popular program was suspended after DoD received an unexpected and overwhelming number of enrollments.

“While it is great news that existing accounts will be honored, military spouses not currently enrolled in MyCAA must either put their education on hold, or find other ways of financing it until DoD begins accepting new enrollments,” said Scott Traylor, Bryant & Stratton’s Director of Admissions for Online Education. “Bryant & Stratton College Online remains committed to the Salute to Spouses scholarship program and is proud to provide military spouses access to career education wherever their family is stationed.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 60 percent of the top-twenty fastest growing occupations require at least an associate’s degree.  Portable high-growth, high-demand occupations, such as those in healthcare, are ideal for military spouses because they frequently relocate.  The Salute to Spouses scholarship program is an opportunity for military spouses affected by the suspension of new MyCAA accounts to continue their education while the Department of Defense completes its review.  If the MyCAA program begins accepting new enrollments, the combination of the Salute to Spouses scholarship and MyCAA cannot exceed the cost of tuition.

Bryant & Stratton College Online created the Salute to Spouses scholarship program for military spouses in response to the suspension of the MyCAA program.  Salute to Spouses was launched on Monday, March 8 and will award 100 scholarships up to $600 (for part-time students) or $1,200 (for full-time students) per semester for programs offered by Bryant & Stratton College Online, with a maximum $6,000 scholarship award per recipient.  To qualify, applicants must:

· Be a military spouse with military ID card;

· Have graduated high school prior to the current academic year;

· Submit a written essay;

· Follow all scholarship policies as outlined in the Bryant & Stratton College catalog, such as maintaining a 3.0 GPA with no breaks in enrollment.

More information about the Salute to Spouses scholarship program for military spouses offered by Bryant & Stratton College Online can be found at www.SalutetoSpouses.com.

Bryant & Stratton College Online is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and offers three online bachelor’s degree programs, ten online associate’s degree programs and nine online certificate programs in a variety of fields including business, criminal justice, financial services, healthcare, human resources and information technology.  Information about the programs offered by Bryant & Stratton College Online is available at http://online.bryantstratton.edu.

About Bryant & Stratton College Online

Bryant & Stratton College is one of the nation’s pioneers in career education and is the premier provider of online associate’s degrees.  Bryant & Stratton offers accredited education that upgrades student capabilities and maximizes their marketability.  For over 150 years, Bryant & Stratton College has helped students gain the career skills they need to succeed in the workplace.  Currently, Bryant & Stratton College Online offers three online bachelor’s degree programs, ten online associate’s degree programs and nine online certificate programs in a variety of fields including business, criminal justice, financial services, healthcare, human resources and information technology.  Bryant & Stratton College Online is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.  Bryant & Stratton College also offers flexible scheduling at its 16 campuses located in four states: New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.  For more information about Bryant & Stratton College and its online degrees, visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu.

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I personally know nothing about this college but it’s worth checking out.  They appear to be supportive of the Military and that’s always a good thing.

Read more about Bryant & Stratton here.

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Another MilSpouse on MyCAA ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: Military spouses

I wrote about the Dod’s screwup on MyCAA here.

Please read Brenna Berger’s article on the DoD’s MyCAA and pass on to any milspouse you may know:

Brenna is a freelance writer and the Home Front columnist for the Fayetteville Observer newspaper. A military spouse for over 12 years, she needs two hands to count the number of times her husband has deployed. She is the mother of two amazing kids.

Military Spouses Deserve Chance for a Career

Department of Defense officials recently announced the return – sort of – of the My Career Advancement Account program for military spouses. The program, which was abruptly shut down in February, came back on line March 13 for current participants. However, the program is not accepting new applications at this time. MyCAA offers grants of up to $6,000 for military spouses to obtain the training and education necessary to secure a portable career.

To say that the program was popular is an understatement. Defense officials claim that an “unforeseen spike” in applications – almost 95,000 in six weeks – prompted the shutdown. That the DoD failed to realize just how many spouses would jump at the opportunity to better themselves and their families remains a mystery to me.

Continue…

Amazing isn’t it, how the powers-that-be come out with these slap-themselves-on-the-back benefits for the military or their families but when the rubber hits the road , they fall flat?

But hey, they got their moment of kudos from the press.  What does it matter to them that several hundreds of military-connected folks get screwed and disappointed ~ again.

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April ~ Month of the Military Child

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: military families, Military spouses

Defense.gov:

There are 1.7 million American children and youth under 18 with a parent serving in the military and about 900,000 with one or both parents deployed multiple times.

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. The Month of the Military Child is an opportunity to recognize military children and youth for their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience.

In the weeks ahead, Defense.gov will highlight events marking the Month of the Military Child throughout the military.

New DVD Helps Military Kids Cope

Blog: Military Children Inspire Me

Read more here, here, and here.

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