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Military Teens 360px

Military Teens: Navigating the Choppy Waters of Change

September 5, 2017

Being a teenager is tough business. Being the parent of a teenager is tough, too. Add military life into the mix and suddenly, the trek through adolescence can feel more like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. NMFA spoke to several military families who told us about their challenges and triumphs in raising military teens. Fitting in To any teenager, parents are typically the last people they believe will understand ’what it’s like’ to be in their shoes. Adolescence is usually when they begin to work on becoming independent fr…

TRICARE for college kids

Tricare for College Kids 101

August 31, 2017

Fall semester is in full swing and college students are filing into lecture halls and dorm rooms around the country. Whether your military kid is college-bound for the first time, or taking time off while staying at home, you’ll want to make sure that their health care survives their transition into independence. As long as the military sponsor remains eligible for TRICARE, your child will remain eligible for TRICARE Prime or Standard (soon to be TRICARE Select) until their 21st birthday; whether they attend school or not. They may al…

Houston Hurricane 2017

There’s No Such Thing as Being “Over” Prepared

August 29, 2017

Thousands of East Texans, including military families, are still being rescued, and thousands more have evacuated in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall over the weekend. The news and social media photos of residents and first-responders wading in waist-deep waters are only a glimpse into what disaster looks like when it hits. These images serve as a reminder that one can never be too prepared for disaster to hit. This is especially true now that Irma, a category 5 hurricane, is hot on Harvey’s tail. “One of my biggest r…

PCS Expenses

PCS Expenses: How DLA Stacks Up

August 24, 2017

Will Dislocation Allowance (DLA) cover your entire Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move? It’s not likely. That’s because DLA is only intended to partially reimburse relocation expenses associated with moving your military household from one duty station to another. DLA amounts vary based on your service member’s pay grade and dependent status. For example, an E-6 would be entitled to $2399.34 if they’re traveling with dependents, or $1633.58 without dependents. While there are a host of other entitlements available t…

President Trump

Winning the War Means More Sacrifices for Military Families

August 22, 2017

The longest war in American history will get even longer. “The American people are weary of war without victory. Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan,” President Trump said Monday evening in front of more than 2,000 service members at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. President Trump outlined his military strategy for America’s 16 year-long conflict in Afghanistan, stating that additional troops would deploy in the near future. He stopped short of announcing how many troops this would affect, or how l…

Licensure Careers

4 Careers You May Need a License For

August 22, 2017

“About 90,000 military spouses require a license to work in their career field,” according to Marcus Beauregard, Director of the Defense State Liaison Office. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission’s Economic Liberty Task Force hosted a roundtable to look at different ways to make it easier for military spouses to hold and maintain occupational licenses across state lines. And recently, the White House has taken an interest in military spouse employment issues, focusing on license and certification portability, as well. …

Child Care Fees

Are You Paying Too Much For Child Care? This Might Help.

August 15, 2017

Has your family ever used child care fee assistance? What was your experience? How much of your family’s budget is eaten up by child care costs? It’s no secret that affordable child care can be hard to come by, depending on where your military family is stationed. Child care can be one of the largest expenses in your family’s budget, and many military spouses have been forced to delay their education or career to avoid financial hardship brought on by the inability to afford their education expenses and child care costs at …

Bye-Bye Beachwear, Hello Backpacks: Back to School Season is Upon Us!

August 10, 2017

The weather’s still warm and the pools are still open, but kids across the nation are groaning in unison at the “Back to School Sale” ads in the stores and on TV. We’re betting a few parents are groaning along with them, too! The hustle and bustle of back to school season can be daunting, especially if you’ve recently moved to a new area. Military kids face education challenges that many of their civilian counterparts don’t experience, so to help make a smooth transition from poolside to classroom, we’…

5 Ways to Volunteer You Never Knew About

August 8, 2017

Did you know members of the military community volunteer at a higher rate than the general U.S. population? Three times higher, in fact. According to Blue Star Families 2016 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, 73% of respondents reported volunteering within the last year. At some point, you’ve most likely volunteered at a unit family day, a squadron holiday party, or were part of a food train when your neighbor had their baby. Maybe you’ve used your marketing education to help promote a base initiative, or used those killer networkin…

Ivanka Trump White House Meeting 360px

NMFA Meets with Ivanka Trump to Focus on Military Spouse Employment Challenges

August 3, 2017

The White House is talking about military spouse employment—an extremely important issues near and dear to our hearts. And we were there to hear the conversation. White House Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump invited military spouses, including NMFA staff, scholarship recipients, and Volunteers, plus representatives from other organizations to join her and White House staff, including KellyAnne Conway, on August 2 for a roundtable discussion about military spouse employment. Ivanka and others, like Small Business Administrator (SBA) Linda McM…

Yellow Ribbon Program

Unraveling the Yellow Ribbon Program: Post 9/11 GI BILL Changes

August 3, 2017

In a tremendous showing of bipartisan support by the House and Senate, changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill have passed in both chambers and is on its way to the President’s desk for signature. This new legislation boasts over two dozen changes to education benefits that will impact service members, veterans, and their families; including: Expanding transferability to allocate unused education benefits upon the death of the sponsor or dependent; Changes to Basic Allowance for Housing for active, Guard and Reserve members; Restoration of…

More than a spouse

Calling All Determined, Passionate, Driven Military Spouses!

August 1, 2017

When a military member serves, their entire family serves, too. The military’s mission and needs always come first, and no one understands that better than a military spouse. Deployments, multiple PCS moves, and the constant cycle of having to put education and career goals on hold make it hard for a military spouse to find an identity outside of their spouse’s service. Do you feel overlooked, under-represented or stretched way too thin? Do the demands of military life make you feel like you’ll never succeed? Are you tired …

map and pin

The Final PCS: 5 Locations Military Families Should Consider

July 27, 2017

Being a military family means facing challenges along the way. And moving is one of them. Occasionally, the opportunity to pick your next duty station may be an option, but usually, your family’s move is based on the needs of the military. Whether your service member has two years, 10 years, or 20+ years left, you may want to start planning your final PCS. And guess what? THIS time, where your family moves will be entirely up to you and your spouse. Each family’s unique needs and goals will impact your post-military plans, so wh…

heart puzzle in two

Will Your Marriage Become a Casualty of Transition?

July 24, 2017

“Our marriage survived 20 years of military life-only to fall apart less than a year after he retired,” Karen, an Army spouse, shared. “I’m still trying to figure out where it all went wrong.” Before separating from the military, every service member is required to attend a transition readiness seminar designed to prepare military members for civilian life. This week-long course includes employment workshops, benefits briefings, and presentations on navigating the VA. This course should address every aspect o…

New TRICARE Change Could Force You to Stay with PRIME

July 18, 2017

“My Primary Care Manager (PCM) fought with me for two years, insisting I didn’t need the thyroid medication I had previously been prescribed” Army spouse Kristen, explained. Later, after being injured in a riding accident, Kristen faced more challenges with her PCM. “The ER brushed me off, my PCM insisted it was nothing and refused to refer me for an MRI.” But after six weeks with no progress, Kristen decided to switch to TRICARE Standard (soon to be rebranded as TRICARE Select.) “I called TRICARE at 9:00 a…

Military Family Travel Fees 360px

Military Family Vacation? Don’t Get Nickel-and-Dimed

July 13, 2017

When planning a vacation at bargain-basement prices, most people budget for three key expenses—lodging, food, and airfare—since they usually make up the bulk of money spent. But sometimes, it’s the smaller expenses that can turn a $700 vacation into a $1700 vacation before it’s over! If your family is looking to get away this summer, here are a few things you may want to keep on your radar to keep vacation costs in check. Hidden Airline Fees Trip insurance (a vacation planning staple for military families), taxes, and…

Navy HYT

Navy Changes to "Up or Out" Give Hope to Military Families

July 5, 2017

How many of your friends have been ‘forced out’ of the military before they were ready? Did they want to stay in, but couldn’t for some reason? How did it affect their family or their marriage? Unfortunately, it impacts military families more than we think. Chances are, you’ve seen plenty of these men and women work so hard, only to get passed over for promotion time and again. Even stellar service members with impeccable service records are told to either move up in rank or get out of the military, regardless of their …

Military Divorce - Custody

Military Child Custody: Should Parents Have to Choose Between Spouse or Child?

June 27, 2017

Divorce is hard for any family. When children are involved, it can quickly move from unfortunate to heartbreaking, especially when figuring out custody arrangements. With no standard laws addressing the challenges of military life, like constant relocations, military families often struggle more with child custody than their civilian peers. Each state is different with how they govern family law. Because there are no federal laws related to custody issues, family courts were using a military member’s service against them when determining…

Unemployment Insurance

Do Military Spouses Qualify for Unemployment Benefits After a PCS?

June 22, 2017

You’ve packed your boxes, said your good-byes, and tendered your resignation. You may already be searching for a new job at your next destination, but also might be worried about the financial strain that lies ahead if you don’t find one right away. Before you worry too much, check and see if you live in one of the 46 states that offer unemployment insurance (UI) to eligible military spouses. While UI won’t match your previous earnings as an employee, it can provide some financial stability while you continue your job search …

Summer Family Fun

Kick-Start Your Summer with These Military Family Activities

June 19, 2017

With the school year coming to a close and PCS season in full swing, many military families are looking for cost effective ways to usher in those summer days. There are so many activities available to the military community. We hope you had a chance to register your military kid for Operation Purple Camp or your family for a retreat. But there are many weeks to fill before the start of the new school year—so here are some ideas to kick-start the summer fun! Family Camping Trip Military installations around the country have campground fa…

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