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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…

Hiring our heroes

5 Things You Need to Know about Military Spouse Employment Problems

June 15, 2017

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation unveiled their survey results on Military Spouses in the Workplace at the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Military Spouse Employment Summit in Washington DC on June 14. The HOH initiative, launched in 2011, was designed to connect military families to meaningful employment opportunities. The program has helped more than 30,000 transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses find employment through job fairs and hiring events. And the 2017 employment survey was commissioned to understand the impact s…

PTSD Affects Military Spouses

Military Spouses: Are You Experiencing PTSD Symptoms?

June 13, 2017

Four months after a 15 month deployment, Jenny began having vivid nightmares about leading her soldiers into enemy territory. In her dreams, Jenny witnessed every member of her squad get “picked off, one by one”, she recalled. “I would wake up almost every night in a cold sweat, clutching my chest where my weapon was supposed to be. I kept thinking ‘why didn’t I shoot back? Why didn’t I save them?’ That’s right around the time I’d wake all the way up and realize: I didn’t save them bec…

MilSpouseFest Mirror

Bringing “More Than a Spouse” to MilSpouse Fest 2017

June 9, 2017

If you follow NMFA, you know how we feel about military spouses—they’re the ones who hold it down on the homefront so our military can do its work. But spouses do so much more than that. They ARE so much more than that… which is the inspiration for our award winning #MoreThanASpouse campaign designed to encourage military spouses to set goals, network, and build a community of like-minded spouses. For the last two years, MilitaryOneClick has taken its’ interactive military spouse event on the road to military communiti…

Childcare is more than a readiness issue

Child Care is More Than a Readiness Issue

June 6, 2017

It’s no secret that military families experience the same child care issues as their civilian counter-parts--the lack of quality or affordable child care is a problem across the United States. But for military families, the absence of quality, affordable child care can quickly go from an inconvenience to a matter of national security. Family readiness is essential to our military’s mission readiness. The military family’s ability to maintain a stable home front is imperative for our troops to keep their eyes on the mission. F…

PTSD Awareness

Is PTSD Affecting YOUR Family?

June 1, 2017

Throughout history, it’s been called soldier’s heart, shell shock, war neurosis, and the ‘thousand-yard-stare.’ Today, it is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While names and descriptions for this condition have changed over the years, one undisputed fact exists among them all: PTSD has long been a consequence of war. PTSD is widely considered a normal stress response to abnormal events. Even though most people have stress reactions following a trauma, their emotions and behavior will typically get better …

4 Things to Know BEFORE Becoming a Military Caregiver

May 30, 2017

The role of caregiver is an important one, but rarely one that is anticipated or prepared for. Yet, many unsuspecting spouses, parents, family members, and friends have found themselves assuming this role without warning to care for a wounded, ill, or injured service member. We know that behind every wounded service member is a wounded family who bears their own battle scars. These caregivers need support too. If you find yourself in the caregiver role, there will be many responsibilities you may not be familiar with, or resources you may not…

TRICARE Dental Changes

TRICARE Dental: Frustrations Continue With New Network Changes

May 25, 2017

We asked you to tell us your thoughts about the new United Concordia TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) contract. And we heard you loud and clear: you’re not happy. With TRICARE, contract changes are a fact of life and there is always some level of discontent with those changes. We have been vigorously working on this issue for your military family. So what’s the real problem here? There are two parties responsible for the quality of the TRICARE Dental Program benefit. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is responsible for procurement and …

Increased Health Care Fees 360px

Military Families Will Pay More Money for Healthcare…Again.

May 24, 2017

It’s no surprise that more than a decade of war has led the military to sacrifice readiness levels, including those requirements that would modernize our force. But how will the Department of Defense (DoD) fix the problem? The DoD wants military families and retirees to pay more money for healthcare. That’s right. It’s not enough that our service members have provided the manpower for more than a decade of conflict—some serving multiple combat tours, sustaining life-altering injuries, even dying in uniform. Now, the Do…

2018 Proposed Budget 360px

DoD: Military Members Will Pay for Their Own Readiness

May 24, 2017

On May 23, the Trump Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2018, which will begin on October 1. The budget includes proposed funding levels for every government agency, including the Department of Defense (DoD), and reflects the policies and priorities of the new Administration. As expected, the budget proposal includes significant increases for the DoD—a total of $639 billion, which is $54 billion more than was requested for this year. The increased spending reflects widespread concern that 15 years of war and a sustained h…

TRICARE Mental Health

NMFA Continues to Monitor Mental Health Networks During TRICARE Contract Transition

May 18, 2017

Many thanks to military families for alerting us to concerns about TRICARE’s mental health provider network. As many of you know, TRICARE’s managed care support contracts will transition on January 1, 2018. Health Net will administer the West Region while Humana will manage the East Region (a combination of the current TRICARE North and South Regions.) Military families in the East Region contacted our Association with concerns about mental health providers leaving the TRICARE network due to reduced reimbursement rates. We take…

boots and a suitcase

PCSing Overseas? New DoD Screening Process Hits Select Installations

May 17, 2017

Going Overseas? Families moving overseas for military orders will soon have another screening process to add to their list of things to do. The new process is called the Family Member Travel Screening (FMTS), and is currently being piloted at select installations in the United States and overseas. It’s designed to determine whether a military family’s needs are being met at current and future duty stations. So what’s different about the FMTS? The paperwork. In the past, when a service member with dependents received orders o…

We Are All Advocates: NMFA Executive Director Shares Tips for Making a Difference

May 16, 2017

“Know your rights as a military spouse and family, and as an American citizen,” National Military Family Association Executive Director Joyce Raezer told a room full of military spouses and supporters May 12 in Washington, D.C. Raezer spoke on the “Advocacy 101” panel of Homefront Rising’s 2017 conference, along with Ashley Broadway Mack (American Military Partners Association), and Megan Poane (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes). The panel aimed to teach military spouses how to make a differe…

Interstate Compact Roadblocks

How To PCS-Proof Your Mil-Kid’s Education

May 9, 2017

Moving can be an exciting adventure to a new land, but there are bound to be some worries of what may lie ahead—especially for military kids, who move an average of 9 times before they graduate from high school. Being prepared beforehand can help keep some of those worries at bay, especially when it concerns your child’s education. Military Interstate Compact “The Compact” is an agreement between all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, designed to smooth the transition for military-connected kids as they move bet…

Military Spouse 101 Classes

Military Spouse 101 Classes: Do They Really Help?

May 5, 2017

Becoming a military spouse can be full of happiness, frustration, anxiety, excitement, and host of other mixed emotions. It’s becoming more common for new spouses to look for information and resources about military life through internet search engines or social media. While these may be great methods for researching and connecting virtually with others who have walked the milspouse path, there’s just one missing element to this formula: face-to-face connection! There’s just nothing quite like learning from people living the s…

FAFSA Impact 360px

Heads Up on Student Loan Snag

May 2, 2017

If you haven’t filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, you better start soon, or you may find yourself ineligible to receive additional funding through state or institutional grants. Applying for financial aid can be a confusing process, and it’s about to get even more confusing. Without warning, the IRS removed its Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) from the FAFSA website on March 3, citing a data breach that may have affected up to 100,000 tax-payers. The DRT was designed …

group of girls

Supporting Beyond Month of the Military Child

April 28, 2017

America’s military, and the families who stand behind them, has changed. When NMFA began its journey in supporting military families, the majority of draftees were single. Today, almost 50% of service members are married, with nearly two million children in tow. As the nation’s military evolved, military families began experiencing unprecedented levels of stress. To help them cope, we created Operation Purple Camps (OPC), which focuses on bringing military children together to summer camps around the country for a free week of fun…

TRICARE Dental Program Changes

Changes Coming to the TRICARE Dental Program

April 10, 2017

Changes are coming for military families covered by the TRICARE Dental Program. United Concordia will begin administering the TRICARE Dental Program as of May 1, 2017 for dependents of active duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members. Retirees and their families are not affected by this change and will still be covered under a separate TRICARE dental program. What’s changing with the dental plan? Certain coverages are expanding under United Concordia, including the annual maximum benefit, which will increase from $1,300 to $1,…

Air Force Family

Military Families Brace for What’s Next In Syria

April 7, 2017

It has been less than 24 hours since President Trump ordered an airstrike on a Syrian airbase, and military families are watching intently. According to news sources, almost 100 innocent Syrian civilians—including children and even babies—died from the effects of the recent chemical weapons attack and many others continue to suffer. In his press conference, President Trump called on all civilized nations “to end the bloodshed in Syria and end terrorism of all kinds and of all types.” The Syrian government reportedly ha…

National Guard + Reserve Family Support

National Guard and Reserve Families: We Know You Need Support, Too

April 5, 2017

The National Guard and Reserve troops make up approximately 40-50% of the military forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Army projects an increase in the use of Reserve Soldiers in 2017 to meet operational needs. But unlike active duty, Reserve and Guard families often do not live anywhere near a major military installation, and with that distance, the vital link of support for those military families is missing—especially during a deployment. According to Robyn Mroszczyk, a Family Program specialist at the National Guard Bu…

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

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