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Deployment Communication 360px

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 …

Meet the Gieseckes 360px

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…

Financial Transition 360px

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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More Than a Scholarship

November 14, 2017

At NMFA, we know that when a military member serves, their entire family does, too. Nobody understands this more than a military spouse. Often facing education and career barriers due to their loved one’s military service, spouses put their own dreams on hold because of deployments, child care dilemmas, and moving to rural or overseas locations every few years. Some have even changed their degree major (or pursue a completely different career path) just so it would mesh with the military lifestyle. Whether you’re a military spouse …

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

58,318 Reasons to Remember Vietnam

November 11, 2017

Over the four days leading up to Veterans Day on November 11, each name etched into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is read aloud, commemorating the 35th anniversary of its inception, and honoring the memory of lives lost. 58,318 names we should never, ever forget. Volunteers from all over the country came to Washington D.C. to honor these brave souls, each reading 30 names in front of the memorial. Veterans who lost members of their unit paid homage to their fallen brethren, and family members read from lists that included their loved one…

Meet the Bocchers

Meet the Bocchers

November 9, 2017

Military Family Appreciation is here, and we’ll be featuring four different military families each week during the month of November. This week, we’re featuring the Bocchers - an Air Force Family currently stationed near Little Rock, Arkansas. Brittany met her husband Adam, an Air Force Special Agent for the Office of Special Investigations, at an airport while she was traveling on business. Brittany, who lived in Texas at the time, kept in touch with Adam through email and telephone calls. “He asked me to travel to Mississi…

TRICARE and Urgent Care 360px

TRICARE “Access Improvements” May Limit Access – Here’s How You Can Help

November 6, 2017

Just when we thought TRICARE reform couldn’t get any more disappointing and confusing…another policy detail will leave military families scratching their heads. This time, the letdown comes with potential changes to urgent care access. Under the current Urgent Care Pilot Program, TRICARE Prime will cover up to two (2) urgent care visits a year without a referral from a primary care provider. The Pilot was a step in the right direction in giving military families access to medical care when they can’t get an appointment at th…

2017 Military Family Appreciation Month 360px

Military Families: We Appreciate You!

November 1, 2017

Saying you support our troops without supporting their families is like watching your favorite football team play with only one player. Tim Tebow may be stellar, but he didn’t win the national championship by himself. Each day, thousands of families around the world watch their loved ones put on a military uniform and head out the door. Thousands more wake up, wishing that were their morning routine, because their loved one is gone—deployed, away at boot camp, training for an upcoming mission, or worse, gone because they’ve…

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5 Things Military Families Should Know After the Equifax Breach

October 31, 2017

The recent Equifax data breach allowed hackers to access the names, birth dates, social security numbers, and other sensitive data of over 140 million American’s this summer. In addition, over 200 thousand credit card numbers were stolen as well. If you’re not sure your personal information was compromised in the breach, military consumer advocates advise you that you go here to find out if you’ve been impacted. You should also get your free credit report from all three credit bureaus to make sure there are no accounts or cha…

TRICARE Prime Select 360px

New TRICARE Enrollment Requirements May Lock You In With No Escape Hatch

October 19, 2017

Military families want more choice when it comes to their healthcare needs. But what happens when those choices become more limited than they already are? If you haven’t read our previous article on this topic, starting in 2018, TRICARE will have an Annual Open Enrollment Period much like commercial health plans do. If you’re a current TRICARE beneficiary, you won’t need to take any action to remain in your current plan. As of January 1, 2018, TRICARE Prime families will be automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime while TRICAR…

Every Sacrifice Counts…Until Someone Says THIS

October 18, 2017

“He knew what he signed up for.” By now, you’ve likely seen these words all over the internet. President Trump has been quoted as telling a newly widowed spouse "He knew what he signed up for, but when it happens, it hurts anyway." The President denies saying those words about the service member, who was killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month. So let’s put that aside and focus on this: Most military families have had that phrase said to them more times than they care to count. Sometimes it’s in response…

Searching For a New Normal

October 17, 2017

For some, transition from military service back to the civilian world is complicated and difficult. But the one thing all service members and their families have in common is that they’ll all leave the military at some point. How do some families transition seamlessly, while others struggle? With a military spouse unemployment rate of 23%, military members are leaving the service with an already shaky financial foundation, and losing their pay and other allowance benefits can increase that financial instability. Roles and responsibilitie…

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For Better or Worse: Two Branches Change Respite Childcare Programs for Special Needs Families

October 12, 2017

Thousands of special needs families are dealing with recent changes to Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Respite Childcare policies. Each Service sets their own standards and eligibility criteria for the Respite program, but the Army and Air Force recently changed their criteria. EFMP Respite was originally established to help special needs families deal with increased deployment tempo related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program was designed to give non-deployed parents of special needs children time to take care of themsel…

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New VA Change Aims to Ease Transition Finance Worries

October 4, 2017

Transitioning out of the military can be a complicated process. Navigating veteran’s benefits can be even more complex. When it comes to filing a disability compensation claim for service-connected disabilities with Veterans Affairs (VA), military families feel the financial heat when forced to wait for their service member’s disability rating. Many have voiced their concerns about the anxiety the lengthy wait times for compensation have on an already stressful stage of their lives. Thankfully, there’s been a recent update in…

Civilian at MTF

New Name, New Costs. New TRICARE?

September 29, 2017

It’s happening. Everyone stay calm. On September 29, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the most detailed information to date on major changes for TRICARE users taking effect in 2018. These changes are supposed to simplify TRICARE, but may take some getting used to—especially for current TRICARE Standard users who go to civilian providers off base. The good news for TRICARE Prime families who use Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) and clinics is that not much will change for you. TRICARE Standard users, DoD’s newly r…

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