Category Archives: Our website

Get the Facts on the 2013 Government Shutdown

do-not-disturb-congress

Our Association has been tirelessly demanding Congress does its job. As part of our #EndSequestration campaign, we stormed Capitol Hill and took your concerns to the ears of our Nation’s lawmakers.

At 12:00am on October 1, 2013, those very same lawmakers shut it down.

No deal. The government shut down.

What does this mean for you and your military family?

Our Association is bringing all the facts to you on our website. While information is always changing, and new information is coming to the surface, we are working around the clock to make sure your questions, comments, Facebook messages, and tweets are answered!

If you want to know how the government shutdown will affect you, and get the most up-to-date information, visit our government shutdown page or join in the conversation on our Facebook page.

Meet the Association Tweeters!

Meet the Association Tweeters! At the National Military Family Association, we believe in engaging with military families. That’s why we’re on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These platforms are an avenue for us to listen to what military families have to say, provide you with important resources and alert you to news that could affect your military family. While we use a general twitter account (@military_family – please follow us if you aren’t already), we thought it would be nice to introduce you to some of the faces that make up our Association and encourage you to connect with them too!

Below are a few women you should “meet”—send them a tweet, introduce yourself and let the relationship building begin!

Joyce Raezer@NMFAJoyce – As our Executive Director, Joyce leads our Association. Passionate about being an advocate for military families, she’s always “on the ground” connecting with families to understand their needs and concerns. She focuses on posting news and events that are relevant to military families as well as noting our work as an advocate on their behalf.

Spoken like a true leader, Joyce’s quote to live by? “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”

christina@NMFAChristina – As Volunteer Services Director, Christina is immersed in working with people who want to help others.  She tweets about activities and events we participate in but her main focus is demonstrating how wonderful our Volunteers are and why it’s something you should consider doing.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Amanda headshot@NMFA_Amanda – A proud Army spouse with two young boys, Amanda is our Content Manager for MyMilitaryLife and uses her twitter account to build relationships with other spouses and share information that can help them and their families.

As a spouse who’s had to move several times in the past few years, she stands by the quote “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Katie@NMFAKatie - As the Government Relations Manager, Katie tweets about our Association’s advocacy work. Tweets include Congressional hearings of importance to military families and retweets of the work of the Government Relations Director and Deputies. She’s a USMC spouse stationed at Twentynine Palms, CA.

Katie doesn’t have a favorite quote but enjoys reading leadership philosophies from working moms and looks for work-life balance tidbits.

eileen@NMFA _Eileen – As a Navy spouse with two children, Eilieen shares information that could potentially affect her family, or other military families.  She serves in the Government Relations department and acts as an advocate for ALL military families.

Spoken like a true advocate, Eileen’s quote of choice? “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Are you following us on Twitter? If not, now’s the time! Connect with us, share your stories, concerns and let us know how we can better serve you!

Let me introduce myselfPosted by Michelle Joyner, Communications Director

Working for Military Families: So much more than a paycheck – it’s our passion!

National Military Family Association is hiringIf you are passionate about the military and particularly military families, then we have a job for you! The National Military Family Association has three positions open in our Alexandria, VA office. We’re looking for savvy and creative professionals who understand the military lifestyle and support our mission to improve the quality of life of military families.

Check out these positions:

Youth Initiatives Deputy Director
This is a full-time, grant-funded position. The individual will work closely with the Director of Youth Initiatives on the development, implementation, and evaluation of our popular Operation Purple® summer camps, Operation Purple Family Retreats, and specialty programs (e.g. serving wounded, ill and injured.). The deputy director will coordinate with the Director and other staff to advance the advocacy and education goals of our Association.

Online Engagement Manager
The military family community is online, which is why we need a sharp individual to fill the position of Online Engagement Manager. The person in this position will work to increase user activity, boost online presence, and build constituent relationships by managing our blog and electronic publications. In addition, the person filling this position will support the Communications Deputy Director, Online Engagement in managing and creating website content and applying design. Candidates must have excellent writing skills and experience using web tools. This is a full-time position.

Marketing Communications Manager
We need an innovative social media expert to manage communications with our fast growing community on Facebook and Twitter. Ideal candidates will also have some experience with other social media channels to include those devoted to fundraising. Additionally, the MarCom Manager will act as the Association copy editor and maintain our writing style guide; strong writing skills are a must. This position also supports traditional communications activities such as media outreach and the design and production of Association print and marketing materials.

Learn more about the National Military Family Association here. If any of these positions interest you, resumes will be accepted through Monday, May 27. Apply now, don’t wait!

Pat TravisPosted by Patricia Travis, Human Resources Director at the National Military Family Association

Join our Digital Hunt and Win 4 Roundtrip Tickets on Southwest Airlines!

For the rollout of the 10 completed Life Paths in our MyMilitaryLife mobile app, we are kicking off a digital scavenger hunt via social media and two winners will each receive FOUR roundtrip tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines!

Starting today, May 20, we’ll post clues on Facebook at noon ET to help you find keywords hidden in the MyMilitaryLife app. Follow the clues, track the keywords daily, and submit ALL FOUR answers on our website by midnight Sunday, May 26. If you don’t win the first scavenger hunt, follow along on Twitter starting May 28 for a second chance to win! Questions? Leave us a comment below.

Now, share the image below with your friends and let the hunt begin! To get started, visit our website at www.militaryfamily.org/hunt You must be a military spouse or partner  and a registered user of MyMilitaryLife to win.

National Military Family Assoc. digital scavenger hunt

MyMilitaryLife app for military families – updates and a new look!

MyMilitaryLife app for military families - updates and a new look!Have you seen the new updates to MyMilitaryLife? We now offer four new Life Paths—Raising Kids, Having a Baby, Moving, and Reintegration. Remember to answer the new questions that pop up when you visit these Life Paths and be sure to regularly update your profile information in order to have customized content available to you and your family. The more you fill out your profile, the better MyMilitaryLife can tailor information to your life.

In addition to four new Life Paths, we’ve also been working on a new look for the App! The new design features a swipe action and larger images to make it easier to navigate and discover the answers you’ve been looking for. Just swipe your finger right to left to progress to the next Life Path. Once in a Life Path look to the top left of the screen for easy access to the menu that includes your profile, favorites, alerts, help, and a shortcut to other Life Paths.

To get the latest look and additional Life Paths be sure to update your MyMilitaryLife App today. Android users will see the app updates automatically, but iPhone users must manually update the MyMilitaryLife App.

If you loved the old design, don’t worry – in the upper right hand corner of the App is an option to go back to the previous look. Personally, I love the new look and how user friendly it is to swipe from one Life Path to the next.

If you haven’t downloaded MyMilitaryLife, do so today to receive personalized to-do lists to help you navigate the many adventures of military life. MyMilitaryLife is available for free on Android, iPhone, and an online portal at www.MyMilitaryLife.org.

What do you love most about the new upgrade?

simmoneBy Simmone Quesnell, Content Specialist for MyMilitaryLife at the National Military Family Association

Operation Purple camp for military kids: apply now!

Ten years ago, the National Military Family Association heard the same thing over and over from military parents: “How can we help our kids deal with deployment?” Our answer? A free, week-long camp experience for military kids to get to know each other, share common bonds, and have a blast!

Operation Purple® camp offers military kids a time to get away and be kids in a stress-free environment. Campers ride horses, climb towers, plummet down water slides – all in a “purple” environment. The very name of the game is to bring kids of all ranks and services, including reserve and guard components, together to enjoy a very special week of camp. This experience is unmatched by any other programs currently serving military kids.

These days, what we’re hearing from military parents is: “Thank you for Operation Purple camp!” Thousands of military children have experienced the joy of camp, and this year we are focusing on getting the word out to families who have never had the opportunity to share in the fun. If your child has attended Operation Purple in the past, tell a friend and encourage them to apply! The application is available beginning today.

Check out the video below for a little peek into an Operation Purple camp.

Has your child attended an Operation Purple camp in the past 10 years? If so, tell us the best part of their experience!

dustinPosted by Dustin Weiss, Youth Initiatives Deputy Director at the National Military Family Association

A look at our work with Presidential administrations: military families and the men in office

Military families and the men in officeIt’s a strange notion, but new things make us think about the old. There’s nothing wrong with looking back! It gives you a stronger perspective for the events of the present, and helps shape where you’re headed in the future. While the inaugural celebrations are wrapping up we thought it would be fun to look back at what the Association has been up to during the eight Presidential administrations that have occurred since we started.

Read more of what the Association has accomplished during each of the eight Presidencies we’ve been around for: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Sr., Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

Politics aside, we have spent the past 43 years working to better the lives of military families. Although world and national issues continue to affect our community, we will continue to push forward and pursue innovative ways to provide support.

What would you like to see us accomplish in the next four years?

maranathaPosted by Maranatha Bivens, Communications Editor at the National Military Family Association

Looking back at 2012

National Military Family Association: A look back at 2012Where does a year go? It’s amazing to see the months fly by, filled with memorable occasions like weddings, road trips, big moves, and deployments. 2012 was a year of change, new ideas, and growth for the military community, and for us as well! Here’s how we spent our year.

Sometimes it seems like if something can go wrong, it will. Or when it rains, it pours. Whichever idiom you want to apply, 2012 brought a few unexpected lemons for us to make into lemonade. From the close call of a government shutdown in April, threats to commissary benefits, and the fiscal cliff negotiations in December, we were proud to be  the place military families turned to understand the impact of these actions and find out what could be done in response. It’s nice to know that no matter what comes our way, our community always makes it to the other side of the issue infinitely stronger.

With almost everyone and their grandma (literally) having a smart phone or social media account, these days it seems like we are more connected than ever. Military families are no different, and this year we created a few new ways to provide resources and support via the most-used platforms. Although we are all part of the same community, each military family faces its own challenges going through the many different stages and phases of life. Whether a family is preparing to move, expecting a baby, or anticipating a deployment, our new app, MyMilitaryLife, brings our subject matter expertise and important resources when and where it’s most needed. We’ve had nearly 4,000 downloads from the iTunes and GooglePlay stores, and with six more life paths being added in 2013, we look forward to growing our presence on this new mobile platform.

We are committed to providing spouses and families with the resources and programs needed to make military life a bit easier. We awarded $448,000 in scholarship funds to military spouses beginning or continuing their education through our Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship Program. Our Operation Purple® program had another great season, sending 1,581 military kids to camp across the country. With so many service members returning from deployment, creating a network of support during this period of change and adjustment was more important than ever. We held six Family Retreats and four Healing Adventures for families with a wounded or returning service member who needed to ease into the reintegration process after a deployment.

It went by fast, but 2012 was a productive and fulfilling year. We’re excited to see where 2013 takes us—stay tuned for a companion post on the Association’s goals for the year.

Your turn: what would you like to see us focus on this year?

maranathaPosted by Maranatha Bivens, Communications Editor at the National Military Family Association

So you love a service member: partners, parents & significant others

So you love a service member: partners, parents & significant othersSo, you love a service member. They could be your son or daughter, your boyfriend, or long term partner, but there are likely a number of things you’ve yet to understand about the military lifestyle.  As an “outsider” on the inside, it can be difficult to feel connected to the military community, especially when your service member is deployed or away on duty.

Modern military families take on many different shapes and forms, and it’s important for you to know the basic information and resources available to your unique situation.  Getting everything down can be confusing, even for those that grew up in the military, let alone for parents or boyfriends trying to nail down the logistics. Whether you think an FRG* is the toy robot your nephew wants for Christmas, or you just want to know how to keep in touch with your service member while they’re deployed, the new Partners, Parents, and Significant Others section of our website has you covered. Find information particular to those new to the military lifestyle or just approaching the military from a new perspective. Acronyms, benefits, and information for caregivers—we’ve put it all in one place!

As a non-ID card holder, you are likely not near a military installation, and there are many things that you might not have access to.  Your service member is always your best information resource, but they might not always be available to help with questions and concerns as they arise. Create your own military community by staying in the know through your service member’s leadership, and becoming part of local groups and organizations that provide support and resources. With our nation at war for more than a decade, it is an especially difficult time to have a loved one in the military, but having the right resources and information can help provide some stability in the most unstable of times.

*an FRG isn’t a toy robot—it’s a Family Readiness Group.

Experienced military families: what’s something you’ve learned that you would pass on to a non-ID card holder as they learn more about the military?

maranathaPosted by Maranatha Bivens, Communications Editor
at the National Military Family Association