November is National Caregivers Month

In 2015 officials estimated that over 900,000 Americans were injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those requiring long-term, specialized care may number more than 100,000. This also means that there are thousands of mothers, fathers, siblings and spouses serving as caregivers to their wounded veterans. Add in the number of veterans from previous conflicts, including Vietnam and World War II, who need more assistance as they age and there are a lot of caregivers tending to our veterans.


Tricare Webinar set for Nov. 15

In case you haven’t heard, Tricare is changing.

For the first time, Tricare beneficiaries will participate in an open season, meaning you pick the level of care and the amount of your monthly payment. While an open enrollment is typical for civilian employers, this is a first for the Department of Defense.

For military families who have access to military medical care and an HMO through a spouse’s civilian employer, it is a great time to compare coverage and pick what is truly best for your family and your budget.


How to help military families displaced by Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael slammed into the Gulf Coast last week and destroyed much of Panama City and the surrounding area.

It also ripped through Tyndall Air Force Base. Officials there announced that every structure on base sustained some level of damage, including military family housing.

Families there were evacuated ahead of the storm and many cannot return for now. Many also lost their on-base homes and all their belongings in the storm.

Leaders in military spouse organizations organized a donation system before the storm was even fully over.


Help for veteran caregivers

Finally, we matter.

For decades, wives, siblings, parents and others have shouldered the extremely heavy weight of caring for injured veterans with little to no help from the military or the federal government.

It seems that the Department of Veterans Affairs may finally have heard our pleas.

Last week the VA announced that it would open a research center for military veteran care givers issues.


Is your teen unemployed? They are not alone

My teenage son has spent nearly seven months desperately looking for a job.

As a straight-A student, active Boy Scout and community volunteer he has a resume that is as good as any teen. He is 15, soon to turn 16, but figured that wouldn’t be an issue. Most hourly jobs that require little experience could use able, willing workers. Right?

Turns out, maybe not.

Teenage employment, especially teens who work summer jobs, is declining.


Need time off from work to care for an injured spouse?

The official injured count from Iraq and Afghanistan is 32,226. That number accounts only for injuries sustained on the battlefield. It does account for the thousands more who are suffering from injuries sustained during battle but not considered serious enough to send home from war. Some estimates put that number as high as 900,000 service members.

In turn, that means there are a lot of spouses who are taking time away from their own jobs to shuttle their injured service member to appointments and surgeries.


Military establishes parental leave program for moms and dads

The U.S. military is giving families more time after adding a child to the family, and allowing them to determine the best way to use that time. More importantly, the military is recognizing that every family has different needs.

The Department of Defense recently directed the services to re-align parental leave programs to become more flexible with the needs of individual families.


Military Children need supported by everyone, including the civilian community

Two million children have had a parent deploy since 2001.

Hear me as I speak. Two. Million.

That number is staggering. That is two million children who have watched a parent walk away never knowing if they would see them again.

That is two million children who have stayed up at night worrying about their parent.

That is two million children who have caught a glimpse of the news or hushed words of an explosion, a helicopter crash, a battle and sat anxiously, wondering if their parent was still alive.


Tricare benefits are changing

On Jan. 1, 2018 the three current Tricare regions will combine to form just two regions, meaning military families may face delays in enrollment or be assigned new primary care managers.

Tricare members in the north and south regions will become part of the new Tricare East Region, managed by Humana Military. Members currently west region will remain in the west region, managed by Health Net Federal Services, LLC.


Space between military and civilian work can help recharge military families

“Terminal leave” is the time that a service member is allowed to take off duty at the end of his or her career. It’s typically a combination of regular accrued leave and permissive TDY.

The military grants that time so that retiring personnel can search for jobs or move to a new home. But instead of using terminal leave to settle into a way of life, some couples and families turn it into the adventure of a lifetime.

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