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6 Military Life Apps

Military Life? There’s An App for That!

March 28, 2017

There are so many logistical nightmares that accompany this awesome, crazy military life. Whether it’s maintaining a relationship during deployment, moving around over and over again, or trying to navigate parental duties when you’re solo, military families could use some life-hacks that are specific to our challenges and everyday life. Well guess what? There’s an app for that! In fact, there are hundreds of apps out there that can help make our lives easier in thousands of ways. We decided to share six of them with you to he…

Father and Son

American Health Care Act

March 24, 2017

Impact of Medicaid Program Cuts on Military and Veteran Families Our Association has concerns about Medicaid program cuts included in the American Health Care Act and the potential negative impact they may have on military and veteran families who access Medicaid after transitioning from military service or for their special needs family members. Transition from Military Service Nearly 8 in 10 veterans leave military service without a civilian job waiting for them¹. Upon separation from active duty, most veterans and their families imme…

Proposed budget cuts

Proposed Budget Cuts Could Hurt Military Families Bigly

March 22, 2017

When the Administration’s budget proposal was released on March 15, the big news in the military community was the size of the Defense budget. As expected, the President is calling for large increases in military spending—an additional $54 billion. These funds would be used to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps and buy additional warships and fighter planes. Good news, right? Well yes…and no. As military family advocates (and military family members ourselves), we understand how important it is that service memb…

hands in a circle

One Team One Fight: The Rising Trend of the All-Hands Spouse Clubs

March 9, 2017

Did you know that the history of military spouse clubs can be traced all the way back to the revolutionary war? In fact, Martha Washington herself has been largely viewed as the driving force behind what we now know as Officers' Spouse Clubs and Family Service programs. The social gatherings Martha spear-headed gave the war-weary wives a chance to connect with others in the same boat, and helped with the war effort as well. Much like today’s military spouses, they catered their skills toward helping the troops and caring for the ill and …

An Evening With NMFA

March 8, 2017

In an evening filled with camaraderie and esprit de corps, the National Military Family Association hosted a reception on March 7 to celebrate military families. Since 1984, NMFA has recognized individuals and organizations who have dedicated their public service to military members, veterans, and their families with the Support of Military Families Award. Last night, we honored three women who went above and beyond the call of duty to support military families this year. NMFA Board of Governors Vice Chair, Mary Lynn Stevens opened the eve…

Blended Retirement

Blended Retirement System: Should you switch?

March 3, 2017

You may have heard talk of a change to the military’s retirement system that’s left you wondering what in the world it means for your military family? Luckily, you have all of 2017 to make the right retirement choice for your future, because you don’t have to decide whether to stay under the current retirement system or switch to the new system until December 31st, 2018. But if you’re ready to decide, you can switch as early as January 1st, 2018. For service members who entered active service before January 1, 2006, or …

2017 Military Saves Week

How Your Credit Cards Can Pay You Back

February 27, 2017

It’s Military Saves Week and boy do we have some great tips for you! You would probably think we’re crazy if we told you that your creditors will lower your interest rates, waive annual fees or even reimburse you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars if you asked them to. In fact, you’re probably raising an eyebrow right now, thinking that we’re full of it. We can explain. Thanks to the Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA), military families are protected from certain legal and financial burdens that might happen…

Service of Military Family Awardees 2017

NMFA Honors Advocates

February 24, 2017

Do you ever wonder how military family programs and policies get started? Who makes them better over time? And who’s working behind the scenes to make military life better for our nation’s finest and their families? Since 1984, NMFA has celebrated those who have supported military families through their work or leadership, and recognize them with our Support of Military Families Award. These stewards of good work do not seek recognition, and strive valiantly to further the mission of NMFA. We would like to introduce you to this ye…

NMFA Goes to Bat for Military Families on the Hill

February 16, 2017

On February 14th, NMFA’s Executive Director, Joyce Raezer, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing about the Department of Defense (DoD) Single Service Member and Military Family Readiness programs. We’ve heard from military families, like yours, about military health care experiences, the troubles finding reliable and affordable child care, and the ongoing issue of spouse employment. We took those concerns straight to Capitol Hill and spoke on behalf of military families around the globe. Recently, 9,000…

Hiring Freeze

How long will military families feel the chill of the hiring freeze?

February 7, 2017

Military personnel may be exempt from the recent federal hiring freeze issued last month, but that doesn’t mean they're exempt from the overall impact. In fact, recent confusion has service members and their families concerned about an already hot button issue--childcare. Unfortunately, the DoD’s clarification of exemptions to the freeze left more questions than answers, as we recently saw first-hand when two Army installation commanders blamed the hiring freeze on their inability to hire child care workers. Some positions will be…

Kids and a teacher

“Good” Schools Need More Than Just Great Teachers

February 6, 2017

We can all agree that our military-connected children—all children really—need and deserve to attend good schools and receive the best possible education. But one question that isn’t often asked is what exactly is it that makes a school “good”? A recent report by the Lexington Institute analyzed standardized test results in four states that serve a large number of military-connected children. The study suggested that those scores should be used to help measure the quality of education that each school provides. Bu…

Sec Def Mattis

Dear Secretary Mattis,

January 23, 2017

The National Military Family Association would like to congratulate you on becoming our nation’s 26th Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). We realize you have your work cut out for you, so we extend our commitment to helping you keep up with the pulse of our military families. As you know, military life is something unknown to many Americans. Your new role gives you an opportunity to elevate the strengths and the challenges of today’s service members and their families. You will have numerous opportunities to help narrow the military-ci…

scholarships

NMFA Scholarship helps Military Spouse Defy Murphy’s Law

January 11, 2017

Army Spouse Karen Horvath can see the light at the end of the tunnel. She is currently in hot pursuit of her Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and is on track to graduate in May of 2017. We don’t have to tell you that this is no small feat for any military spouse, and the mother of three refused to let anything stand in her way…including Murphy’s Law. Karen and her husband are very dedicated to the idea of not taking out any student loans. The first year of her degree program was funded completely through va…

military discharge

Military Discharge Upgrades: 3 Things DoD Wants You to Know

January 9, 2017

After 15 years of war, it’s very likely you’ve come across someone who was discharged from military service under less-than-honorable conditions, receiving what is commonly known as a “bad paper” discharge. These veterans are typically ineligible for VA healthcare benefits, including access to mental health services. Countless combat veterans have been separated and given a less-than-honorable discharge due to behavior that can be linked to conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In the past, former se…

year in review

A Year in Review: Looking to the Horizon

January 1, 2017

As 2016 winds to a close, NMFA is busy preparing to take 2017 by storm. The New Year will bring a new Congress, and with it a new Commander in Chief. NMFA remains committed to supporting our military families and building on the progress we have made in 2016. On December 8, Congress passed the final version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation guides policies and funding levels within the Department of Defense; impacting military pay, health care, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and more. With the hel…

Wishlist for Administration

An Education “Wish List” for the New Administration

December 21, 2016

As the country prepares to welcome a new President in January, many military families are grappling with questions about what the new Administration will mean for them. Along with questions about pay, benefits, and deployments, military families with kids have another concern – the incoming Administration’s policies on education. With the vast majority of military children attending public schools, and many transitioning frequently to new school districts and states, the quality of public education in the United States is of utmost …

Military Health Care Reform

A Handful of Improvements to Healthcare, Thanks to the NDAA

December 19, 2016

By now you have probably seen the headlines about the massive Military Health System Reform coming our way in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). There are still so many questions about how it will all actually work, but the question we’re sure you might be wondering is, “How will this impact my family’s healthcare?” Let’s start with what we know for sure: TRICARE Standard/Extra Becomes TRICARE Select On the surface, this might seem like one of the biggest changes, but it’s mostly just a n…

"Godspeed, John Glenn"

December 8, 2016

NDAA 8 Things to know

8 Ways the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act Will Affect Your Military Family

December 7, 2016

**The FY17 NDAA has passed the House and the Senate. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.** On December 2, Congress unveiled the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the massive piece of legislation that sets policies and funding levels for the Department of Defense. Tucked in its more than 1,000 pages are changes to pay, parental leave, commissary operations and more – some good, some not so much. How will your military family be affected? Here are eight important things that you need to know:…

Hey, Congress! Don’t Forget about Military Kids this Holiday Season

November 30, 2016

Congress is getting ready to leave town for the holidays, but they are giving a big lump of coal to public schools educating military-connected kids. Leaders in the House and Senate have decided to put off passing Appropriations, or spending bills for Fiscal Year 2017, which started back in October. Instead, they will most likely pass a Continuing Resolution that will extend until the end of March. A Continuing Resolution would be harmful for all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, because it prevents them from entering into…

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