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Kelly Hruska

NMFA Urges Senate Committee to Hold DoD Accountable

February 15, 2018

Through 17 years of war, repeat deployments, and other challenges, military families have faced their share of sacrifices in the name of freedom and justice for all. We’ve heard stories from military families, like yours, about health care experiences, struggles obtaining child care, and transition difficulties after leaving military service. And yesterday, NMFA shared some of those stories with the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing about military personnel programs and military family readines…

crossroads

No Notes, No Records, No Problem: MFLCs Explained

February 13, 2018

“If something doesn’t change, I’m going to lose my mind.” Sarah Cassidy is married to a Chris, a Marine who travels frequently. “Sometimes he’ll only be home for a few days before he has to pick up and leave for another week or two,” said Sarah. “We never have a chance to get a routine underway like most families would during a deployment. If we do manage to nail something down, it just gets screwed up again when he gets home!” It’s not uncommon for complaints, like Sarah’s, t…

Book with FMLA

Family and Medical Leave Act: What is it and Can Military Families Use It?

February 5, 2018

Twenty-five years ago today, President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the first and only national law allowing millions of Americans to take time off of work without the threat of losing their jobs. The FMLA was designed to help American employees meet today’s demands between work and family life. Eligible employees are able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for a serious health condition, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. It can also be used for ma…

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Tax Season Tips for Military Families

January 30, 2018

Tax season can be a confusing time for everyone, and for military families, even more so. Thankfully, there are plenty of organizations and resources available to help military families with their taxes. As you prepare to begin filing your taxes for the year, it’s important that you have all necessary documentation to complete the process. Examples of these documents include: Your family’s personal information, such as Social Security numbers; W2 form(s) from each employer you worked from over the last year. If your servi…

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5 Types of Insurance Your Military Family Might Need

January 25, 2018

As a military family member, you’re probably familiar with military life insurance, such as the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI). You also most likely depend on the Military Health System and/or TRICARE for your health care needs. However, military families sometimes face unique scenarios specific to military life, such as frequent travel and relocation, and your family may need some of these commonly used insurance products along the way. TRAVEL INSURANCE E…

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Congress is Ending the Shutdown and Turning the Lights Back On….Now What?

January 22, 2018

Congress is set to reopen the government and many military families are breathing a sigh of relief…for now. The short-term funding bill that was passed will only fund the government through February 8. That means Congress has less than three weeks to pass an appropriations bill in order to avoid another government shutdown; essentially “kicking the can down the road”. In the meantime, it’s important to stay vigilant and informed. It’s better to be prepared by asking the question “What if?” than l…

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The Shutdown Happened: Here’s What You Need to Know

January 17, 2018

No deal. The government shutdown is in effect as of midnight January 20. We’ve been here a few times over the past few years, so we have some idea what families should expect – although there are plenty of unknowns. How will your military family be impacted? Here’s what we know: Will my service member get paid? No. BUT if Congress is able to pass a separate bill to continue military pay, service members should receive compensation as usual. They did this in 2013 with the Pay Our Military Act. If Congress doesn’t pass…

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Here’s What You Need to Know About Starting a Business

January 16, 2018

The career life of a military spouse often has a lot of starts and stops. Frequent PCS moves are usually the main culprit of military spouse employment issues, since most jobs require an on-site presence. In an effort to side-step the frustration of job searching every few years, many spouses are moving towards entrepreneurship, which allows them to move their business (and income) with them with each new PCS Many military spouses toy with the idea of owning their own business, but are often hesitant to make the jump due to lack of funding, o…

Today's Army Spouse

New Survey Invites Army Spouses to Speak Up

January 11, 2018

We may soon find out how well the Army is doing in meeting the needs of spouses and families. This month, the RAND Corporation will be conducting a survey to provide an opportunity for spouses of active duty soldiers to voice their concerns about challenges they face and the services they find helpful to overcome those issues. A postcard invitation to complete the survey is being mailed out to a random sampling of Army spouses living in the United States. The RAND survey comes on the heels of the 2017 study, “Today's Soldier: Assessing …

2017 Year in Review

NMFA Year in Review

January 1, 2018

With 2017 in the rear-view mirror, NMFA is busy moving down the road to take 2018 by storm. 2017 was filled with many changes, including TRICARE reform, a new Administration, and international conflicts that have kept over 300,000 troops deployed worldwide. NMFA has worked tirelessly on behalf of service members and their families and will continue with that commitment into 2018 and beyond. For now, let’s take a look back at our Association’s efforts to support military families, like yours, this year. NMFA was founded with the…

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Deployment Cycle of Emotions: No, You’re Not Crazy

December 20, 2017

Every military family will have a different set of challenges when experiencing deployments. Likewise, each member of a military family will have different reactions based on their unique placement in the family. Experts have studied the cycle of emotions military families encounter during deployment and have found certain emotional characteristics can be identified through different phases throughout each deployment. Most researchers agree there are generally three phases: pre-deployment, mid-deployment and post-deployment. However, some org…

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Thinking About Military Marriage Counseling? Consider This

December 14, 2017

Every marriage will have its ups and downs, but military couples tend to face marital challenges that are unique to the military community. Moving every few years, dealing with frequent separations, and raising children when away from extended family all contribute to stresses that most civilian marriages are able to avoid. Because of these unique challenges, it’s important for military couples experiencing relationship issues to address them with professionals who have an understanding of military culture. Many service members are …

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3 Old School Ways to Communicate in the Tech Era

December 13, 2017

The rise of technology over the last two decades has most likely made communicating with your service member during deployments a whole lot easier, and often times, more frequent. The evolution of communication methods have grown from e-mail, to instant messaging, all the way to live video options, such as FaceTime and Skype. However, every deployment is different and not every service member will be able to use all of these options. Everyone’s first deployment will be a trial and error process, but it’s important to remember that…

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Pearl Harbor Through the Eyes of the Military Family

December 7, 2017

Imagine waking one morning to the ground shaking your home on base. Imagine grabbing your children and frantically running to escape the gunfire pelting the ground at your feet. Imagine watching your neighbors, fellow military families, being shot in front of you as they hang their laundry. Imagine your sense of security vanishing instantly. While it might be difficult for you to imagine this scene happening today, it was an unfortunate reality for the military families of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor killed ov…

At a Glance: This Year’s Big Wins for Military Families

December 5, 2017

Military families, we have your back. And today, we are celebrating some major wins, now that the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (FY18 NDAA) has been signed by the President. From health care and education for military children to pay raises and reimbursements that help the entire military family, we have a lot to be thankful for: Pay Raises: For the second year in a row, service members will get a 2.4% pay raise – which is consistent with the Employment Cost Index (ECI), as required by law. The three years prior, the pay raise …

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Meet the Giesecke Family!

November 30, 2017

It’s Military Family Appreciation Month, where we focus on the uniqueness, braveness, and total awesomeness of the military family. In our final week of this awesome month, we’d like to introduce you to the Gieseckes, an Army family currently stationed at Fort Belvoir, in Northern Virginia. Heath, who works with information systems in the Army, and Cynthia are both from Texas, and met when some of their high school friends introduced them at Cynthia’s birthday party. The couple parted ways when she went off to college, but be…

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Pay Attention to These Financial Issues BEFORE Leaving Military Life

November 29, 2017

Separating from the military can be exciting and scary at the same time. For every uncertainty or challenge, there are new adventures and opportunities waiting around the corner. But the financial realities of civilian life have been known to cause “sticker shock” for even the most prepared transitioning military families. Transition horror stories are common, and many of them are true. Yet some of them may have been exaggerated, as urban legends often are. These stories are usually filled with struggle and strife, but they don&rsq…

Meet the Alvarados!

Meet the Alvarados!

November 21, 2017

It’s Military Family Appreciation Month, where we focus on the uniqueness, braveness, and total awesomeness of the military family. This week, we’d like to introduce you to the Alvarados, a Navy family currently assigned to Naval Base Point Loma in sunny San Diego, California. Brian and Matt’s relationship began the way nearly one-third of marriages begin in the tech-era: online. Brian, a successful real estate agent, had just sold one of his best friends a condo. “While I was helping them paint their new home, they …

KellyAnne Conway

Military Spouse Employment: The Conversation Continues

November 17, 2017

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, met with military spouses Thursday to continue the conversation about spouse employment and licensing issues at a luncheon hosted by the Army Officers' Spouses' Club of the Greater Washington Area (AOSCGWA). “Military spouses, like you, are the backbone of our society,” Conway said as she relayed how deeply moved she was to be in the presence of people who have sacrificed so much. As the luncheon’s featured guest speaker, Conway shared details about the ongoing efforts Presi…

Meet the Wilsons

Meet the Wilsons!

November 16, 2017

It’s Military Family Appreciation Month, where we focus on the uniqueness, braveness, and total awesomeness of the military family. We know the military journey can be tough, but you’re not alone. Meet the Wilsons, a Marine Corps family currently stationed near Marine Corps Base (MCB) Quantico, Virginia. Dave and Rachel met 15 years ago when they were both serving in the Quantico Marine Corps Band. They married in 2006 and finally returned to MCB Quantico two years ago. But a lot has transpired since their last tour there. After …

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