Salute to Spouses Blog

We're excited to be blogging about the latest topics in military life. We want to keep you informed on topics such as current events, education, career advice, etc. Feel free to post comments or questions to any of our entries.
Retirement: When looking ahead means feeling lost

We just passed our second Fourth of July since we arrived here in Florida last year and completed our last PCS as an Army family.


In the next 12 months we’ll mark our second school year here, our second birthdays here, our second Thanksgiving, our second Christmas and New Year’s and Valentine’s Day and Easter and Memorial Day.


The first year in a new place is always a learning experience. There is trepidation, but also excitement and challenge and stimulation, usually in a good way.


Challenging yourself to reach farther each time

By Amy Nielsen

I am currently about half way through my Master’s program. I say half way because at every turn I keep kicking the can down the road and am now looking at including post graduate internships.

I did a thoroughly unscientific poll for advice early on in my first or maybe second term, asking my friends on social media how to A) make the best use of my limited time in the program and B) survive the depth of material I was wading into.

National Guard troops to get tuition money quicker

Joining the Army National Guard? As of Aug. 5 new recruits will not have to serve a full year before using the tuition assistance program.

Currently Guard members must serve one year before receiving assistance with undergraduate degree programs and 10 years for master’s degrees.  Next month new Guard members can use the tuition assistance as soon as they complete the Advanced Individual Training (AIT) course.

To our fellow military spouse, rest in peace

If you have been stationed in Honolulu, you may know the story of Mary, the homeless woman who camped outside of the JIOC building near Pearl Harbor, often protected from the sun by only an umbrella and an American flag.

She yelled at passing cars. She yelled at the building. But mostly she just sat there and waited.

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.

Celebrate veterans, correctly

On Memorial Day my husband was thanked everywhere he went for his service. Yesterday on the Fourth of July he was thanked again, everywhere he went, for his service. Even on Labor Day last year he was lauded and praised.

Are we the only military family that is slightly irritated and perhaps appalled by how little Americans know about their own holidays?

Quizzes, summertime schedules, and post retirement reunification

By Amy Nielsen

My husband and I are on the fence about maybe going on the road with our rv and road-schooling our kids while we both finish our degrees and licensure over the next couple years.

He finally comes to a point where he can retire from government service but still has a couple years left on his degree, while I have another year in this program and then a year of internship hours to complete before I sit for my license.

Need experience for your resume? Work or volunteer with a political campaign

Midterm elections are coming. That means political campaigns need workers, lots of them. And a fast-paced, never-ending push to Election Day could easily fill your resume with praise.

Job-finding sites like and have a plethora of campaign job listings. The best of those positions are paid well. Most, however, are volunteer work or if they are paid, are lower level jobs that require a lot of hours hoofing it around neighborhoods or cold calling voters.

Looking for work? Connect, network and learn from the pros

Summer is the season of goodbyes and new beginnings as many military families PCS. It is also the season of retirement and a glimpse into the unknown.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosts dozens of hiring fairs for military members and their spouses around the country each month. But, the group also holds events for military families preparing to step into the civilian job force and leave the uniform behind.

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.


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