The Cipher Brief — What about Military Families? This Election’s Key Stakeholders Need Answers * September 16, 2016
How can the next administration best support our service members and the families who stand behind them? Last Sunday marked 15 years since the tragedies of September 11. That day brought our country to its knees, and today’s service members have been living in its aftermath—at war—for 15 years. Thousands have died. Tens of thousands have been wounded, both physically and mentally due to post- traumatic stress. The Department of Defense (DoD) reports almost 300,000 American troops are deployed in 250 locations around the world.
MilitaryTimes — Troops and their families can expect cuts to pools, libraries and other MWR programs * September 8, 2016
“The problem with leaving all the decisions up to the garrison commanders is that there don’t seem to be good standards on what the basic level of support services should be,” said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association. That organization expects to meet later this month with Army officials to get more information about the guidelines for the cuts, she said.
Modern Healthcare — Advocates look within military community to help curb mental health provider shortage * September 7, 2016
The National Military Family Association in recent months has ramped up its efforts to help military spouses enter the mental health profession with scholarships, mentoring programs and information to support training and licensure. “There's access to providers, then there's access to providers who have the cultural competency about the military community,” said NMFA's executive director Joyce Wessel Raezer. "Who better than military spouses to provide that cultural competency?”
DoDLive — These Kids Just Got a Lesson in What Their Military Parents Do * August 20, 2016
Operation Purple gives military children of deployed or injured service members a chance to go to a weeklong camp for free to relax and play with peers who get their lifestyle. At one of those camps in Maryland this week, 100 kids ages 9 to 12 got to learn from some special guests, too – about 30 soldiers from Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Military Times — Commissary savings compared to outside the gates: Will customers get answers? * August 19, 2016
"We've been saying all along they need to have a better understanding of the savings level before they implement changes [in the commissary pricing structure]," said Eileen Huck, deputy director of government relations for the National Military Family Association. "If this new methodology does that, it's good, but right now there's not enough information about it."
The Huffington Post — Supporting Veterans Shouldn’t Only Happen During Holidays * August 18, 2016
I know that lots of folks give to orgs supporting vets and milfams around Independence Day and Veterans Day, but I think it’s critical that we’re giving back year-round. What have you been doing to support our troops?
Valley News Live — Operation Purple Camp gives military children a break * August 16, 2016
Operation Purple Camp is for kids ages 7 to 15 and allows them to be around kids that have gone through similar things. There are 25 camps across the country and the organization teamed up with Camp Cormorant after realizing they didn't have a camp in this area. "We feel these kids serve too, with their parents moving and all the sacrifices their family makes so we're excited to give these kids a week of fun," said YMCA Camp Cormorant Coordinator, Kim Belgarde. Every branch of the military is represented this week at Camp Cormorant and Operation Purple Camp is sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Emporia Gazette — Sen. Roberts visits Camp Wood * August 9, 2016
Operation Purple is in full effect this week at Camp Wood YMCA, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts stopped by to visit the campers. The program is sponsored by the National Military Family Association and gives kids aged seven to 17 a chance to go to summer camps across the country. Roberts, a Marine veteran himself, attended the camp as a youth and scheduled the visit in support of Operation Purple. “This is very special for youngsters, sons and daughters of people in uniform who are protecting our country,” Roberts said. “This is a neat program … here you learn to get along with others, you learn things that you didn’t think you could do and it’s an experience where you can come together in a team effort.”
BlueRidgeNow — Camp offers fun, support for military kids * July 29, 2016
More than two million children have felt the effects of seeing a parent, or two, deployed with the U.S. military since 9/11, which is where Operation Purple summer camp in Kanuga comes in to play. The week-long camp, known as Operation Purple, is a branch of the National Military Family Association and has been hosted by Camp Bob at Kanuga since 2008 at no cost to the campers or their families.
Fox 23 News — Government wants more data on military members' food stamps * July 21, 2016
Eileen Huck of the National Military Family Association echoed the same concern. "It's really hard to know what to do if you don't know how big the problem is or who is affected by it," Huck said. Farrell recommended the Defense Department start collecting more complete data of all food assistance programs and that it work with the USDA to access its information.
The Huffington Post — Operation Purple Camp: Supporting Veterans, Families, and Kids * July 6, 2016
To combat potential emotional, social, and academic issues, there’s been a massive growth of military family support programs. In 2004, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) founded one such program, Operation Purple® Camp (OPC). Named for the mix of service line colors - Army green, Coast Guard blue, Marine Corps red, and Navy blue - OPC offers children of military families a free week of summer camp. Since its founding in 2004, more than 55,000 military kids have attended the week-long camps across the country. This year alone, more than 2,600 military kids will have the opportunity to go.
Military.com — Push to Ease Licensing for Military Spouses Remains Patchwork by State * July 5, 2016
Despite movement in all 50 states to ease professional licensing regulations for military spouses, rules remain inconsistent and, in most cases, difficult to navigate, military family experts say. "They're not all created equal, and they don't cover every single profession," said Katie Savant a government relations strategist for the National Military Family Association.
Overdrive — Active, retired military eligible for free meal July 4 * July 1, 2016
TA is also encouraging customers to order a meal in support of the National Military Family Association (NMFA), a nonprofit helping military families. Participating Country Pride and Iron Skillet locations will donate $1 to the NMFA for each entree ordered from a select menu from June 28 to Aug. 5.
SpouseBuzz — New Network to Support MilSpouse Mental Health Professionals * June 15, 2016
A new support network from the National Military Family Association and Give An Hour seeks to make professional life a little easier – and a little more impactful – for military spouse mental health professionals. It’s no secret that there’s a mental health provider shortage in the U.S. as a whole, and an even more acute one in the military community, said Ingrid Herrera-Yee, a National Guard spouse, clinical psychologist and founder of Military Spouse Behavioral Health Clinicians (MSBHC). Many military spouses are in the mental health field – and the Defense Department and VA are hurting for mental health providers with a background in the community. But spouses face what Herrera-Yee sees as an unreasonable and unnecessary uphill climb to schooling, licensure and finding work within their own community, where their personal expertise could best be used.
MilitaryTimes — The controversial plan to slash military housing allowance faces opposition * June 5, 2016
“If it isn’t broke, don’t try and fix it,” said Kelly Hruska, government relations director for the National Military Family Association. “The [Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission] looked at this issue last year, and they found the system wasn’t perfect, but it works.”
Military.com — Agency Crafts New Rules to Go After Payday Lenders Who Prey on Troops * June 2, 2016
In a phone interview, Katie Savant, a government relations issues strategist for the National Military Family Association, said that the group was still studying the proposed CFPB rules changes. "We want to make sure that military families have access to credit through responsible lenders" but "we don't want them to get involved with something that could lead them into a cycle of debt," she said.
MarketPlace — Marketplace for Monday, May 30, 2016 * May 30, 2016
On this Memorial Day episode: Military spouse employment, home prices and part of our new podcast "The Uncertain Hour."
CharityNavigator — A Day Dedicated to Our Fallen Soldiers * May 27, 2016
Our fallen soldiers are frequently commemorated by way of parades, local cemetery visits, and family remembrance. Another useful and effective option to honoring our military, is through donating to the many charities who diversely support our troops. 3 and 4-star charities such as the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the National Military Family Association provide scholarships to the surviving spouses of fallen service members. In addition, 4-star charities like Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and Homes for Our Troops provide care for Veterans who are still alive. More than $2.5 billion gets raised annually to the 40,000 plus U.S charities that have military related missions.
New York Times — Veterans Groups Seek a Crackdown on Deceptive Colleges * May 21, 2016
Some of the nation’s largest veterans and military organizations sent letters last week to the Veterans Affairs Department asking it to crack down on colleges that prey on veterans by charging exorbitant fees for degrees that mostly fail to deliver promised skills and jobs. The letters were signed by top officials at the American Legion, the National Military Family Association, the Military Officers Association of America and nearly 20 other groups. They called on the department to improve its oversight of colleges that have engaged in deceptive recruiting and other illicit practices but that continue to receive millions in funding under the G.I. Bill.
MilitaryTimes — 25 military and veterans groups want customers to advise on commissary reform * May 9, 2016
“We don’t believe customer voices are being heard early enough in the process of determining what changes will be made and how they will be made,” said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association, one of the organizations that signed the letter. “DoD has been forthcoming about telling associations what they’re doing and what they’re deciding, but that’s after the fact. “What’s needed now is more transparency on how decisions are made, how metrics are being determined and evaluated, sometimes at a higher level than [the Defense Commissary Agency],” Raezer said.