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.
Surviving back handed gifts of the group project

By Amy Nielsen

It’s midterm week and we are starting to get underway with the dreaded group project. There are eight of us this time. Not only is it a group project, it’s an hour-long, live group presentation in guise of a court case. Did I mention there are eight of us on the team?

Sweet baboons on a brick if I make it out of this alive I will have earned my blankity blank Master’s degree.

Competitive hiring in retail? Yes

Since Congress approved a tax cut in January that benefitted businesses, more employees are reaping the benefits in their paychecks.

At last count 15 national companies are giving thousands of employees up to a $1,000 bonus. Those companies include JetBlue, AT&T and American Airlines.  There are dozens more local companies across the country that have done the same.

Other corporations, both national and local, have announced increases to pay and 401K accounts.

On the road again, but this time without military orders - a chance to live the life we love

By Amy Nielsen

We made a huge decision as a family over the last week. We set the date to move into our RV and live on the road full time.

We have been working towards this goal since retirement from the Navy five years ago. We knew it would take a bit to organize ourselves and our stuff into a position where we could begin to think about this for real.

Operation Purple Camp Registration Open

Operation Purple Camp has become a touchstone for many military kids dealing with deployment and injured service member parents.

Unfortunately, each summer as donors dwindle, the camps are held in fewer locations around the nation. The summer of 2018 is no different.

This year just 12 Operation Purple camps will operate in 11 states, down considerably from the program’s early years when local camps clamored to host the program.

Work after retirement - the highs and lows of finding a job for life

I’ve applied for nearly 20 jobs in the past six months since we decided to live in Florida. Some I’ve even applied for twice.

 

I’ve had two interviews, but no offers.

 

My husband recently asked me how I deal with all that rejection. My reply?

 

“Welcome to my life. This is what I’ve been doing for 27 years.”

 

With each PCS, we military spouses reinvent ourselves. We fill new roles, either in the military unit or at our kids’ schools or in community organizations we join. And in our jobs.

 

Money tops worries of military families

A new survey shows military families are worried about money.

No kidding.

The Military Family Advisory Network conducted a recent study that showed the stressors toping military families worry list are financial problems associated with health care, education, child care and frequent moves.

After my husband retired, multiple civilian friends asked us if we missed what they dubbed the “cash flow” from Uncle Sam – housing allowance, access to commissaries, discounts from retailers, deployment pay.

New bill gives employers tax credit for hiring military spouses

Military spouses know employers are getting their money’s worth when they hire a spouse, but now the federal government may actually give employers a tax credit for giving spouses a job.

Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Boozman (R-AR), are expected to introduce the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act of 2018 next week. A key component of the bill would give businesses a tax credit for hiring military spouses, reports Military.com.

The Salmon of Wisdom

By Amy Nielsen

Deep in the highlands of Scotland, in the streambeds and shallow river bottoms, in the chill of early spring, salmon spawn hatch. They begin to grow and learn this place they call home. Living in the rivers and loch of the highlands, feasting on a bounty seen few other places in the world.

Running late but not behind

It was a cold and stormy night. The rain hammered on the RV roof. Slowly it gentled to a lulling pattern pushing her deep into much needed restorative sleep. Upon waking, she stretched, yawned, and heard the distinct toot of a car alarm – bolting upright she realized she had over slept and was late to class. How embarrassing since she got to park the RV overnight a few hundred yards from the classroom.

Nothing like waking up in the parking lot and still being late to class.

Did you receive mysterious extra military pay? Let it be

Beware pay periods bearing gifts.

Occasionally, actually more than a lot, the gurus at the Defense Finance and Accounting Services, the guys who pay military members each month, make a mistake.

And those mistakes can land an extra $20 or even $200 in your paycheck.

What’s the best advice I’ve ever heard as a military spouse? Don’t touch this extra money. Ever. Don’t spend it. Don’t assume it’s yours. Don’t assume it is back pay from something your service member did way back when.

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