Happy Wednesday Ya’ll! Tomorrow is the 4th of July, one of my very favorite holidays. I love being so patriotic, wearing our Old Navy T-shirts and going to the parade. And of course, you can’t forget the fireworks. I hope you all have a blessed day tomorrow.
In light of being so patriotic I wanted to share with you an amazing opportunity I had thanks to Circle of Moms. I was able to have a conversation with Dr. Jill Biden, Col. Archie Bates (White House Fellow in the First Lady’s Office), and the new Executive Director of Joining Forces, Colonel Richard Morales. It was an exciting opportunity that was focused on us MilSpouse Bloggers. I felt a new sense of direction and empowerment after the phone call. We really need to be the voice that gets that information out there. Something Dr. Biden said to us really stuck with me.
“You take a challenging situation and rise to the occasion. You lean on each other and help each other out. You, as bloggers, have expanded what it means to be a military community. You create a valuable resource.”
I don’t think I’ve ever taken what I’ve done that seriously before. There have been a couple posts that I’ve done that I know have really had an impact on people because they’ve told me. I really want to take that mantle of responsibility and run with it. That’s one of the reasons I got involved with volunteering when we moved to this area, and why I try to include a lot of informational posts on my blog. Make sure to check out my Military Resources page, where I’ve also included the links to my Military Support Series that is still on-going.
- Highlights the workforce potential of veterans and military spouses;
- Expands employment and career development opportunities for veterans and military spouses; and
- Helps employers create military family-friendly workplaces
- Supports the academic achievement of military children by helping schools become more responsive to the unique needs of military children and families; and
- Promotes and supports higher education institutions and programs that expand education opportunities, eases transferability for military-connected students, and expands job training opportunities for military spouses and veterans.
- Calls attention to the critical issues facing veterans and military families; and
- Expands access to wellness programs, and resources for military spouses and families.
This past year there really has been a focus and push on employment, and one I think everyone has seen in the media and in the military spouse circles on social media. I personally have done some volunteering with Blue Star Families and Hiring Our Heroes on this particular subject (make sure to check out my Support Series post on Blue Star Families). There has also been some advances made in the area of education, thanks to Joining Forces partners Military Child Education Coalition. This is where I think bloggers can really come in and play a part. Being so close to DC I think affords me opportunities to learn about things other military families might not know about. This month I will have an opportunity to attend MCEC National Conference and I’m really hoping to learn more about what is being done in the area of Education. I am happy to say that as of right now 46 states have passed Military Interstate Compact Act, which will allow children to not miss a beat when it comes time for that dreaded middle of the school year PCS. For example, if your child meets the requirements to enter Kindergarten in one state and you move, mid-year, to a state in which they don’t meet the requirements your child can step right into Kindergarten without a problem. There is a whole website dedicated to MIC3, so please, if you have school-aged children read up on this! The goal for the rest of the year and beyond is make sure all states have signed this compact.
A large focus for Joining Forces for the remainder of the year is going to be Mental Health. This is a growing concern, and frankly should have been at the forefront a lot sooner then it has. Although Mr. Air Force and I are in agreement that true change probably will not be achieved for another generation of soldiers. We didn’t get to where we are overnight, so it will take more than that to change. As this generation of soldiers, airmen and marines gets older we hope that they will set the new standard and help to alter the military culture to one of support and assistance and not one of shame. In our conversation this week Dr. Biden said that they were getting ready for a briefing and update focusing on mental health and the direction they were going to take. We were also made aware of mental health summits that will be occurring between July and September at each of the 152 VA medical facilities. The information garnered through these summits will help Joining Forces formulate a plan to determine further direction for their program.
All in all I was quite pleased with the time we spent during our phone-call. It felt real and honest, and in the face of pressing questions they didn’t avoid them, or do the whole answering without really answering thing. I look forward to the rest of this year and seeing how this pans out.
Its time for my favoritist time of the week – Sunday Social with Ashly and Neely. Seriously I love it. I sort of feel like I’m just endlessly repeating myself…but its true…i love it..now I’ll stop…nope just kidding 😉
Ashley, and several others, are having a silent auction for to benefit the Turner Family. If you don’t know what I’m talking about please check out the link. Matt, the husband and father, was killed in a Car Accident two weeks ago. He was a news anchor Little Rock. I have been moved by the blogging of Julee and the outpouring of love being shown for such a sweet family.
My mom is in town this week so I’m super excited for that. I haven’t seen her since January. We are making our way to West Virginia to visit my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and Grandfather – who is celebrating his 84th birthday! I haven’t seen them since Ami was about 6 months old. So, lots of fun things going on around here. Please check out some posts that I love right now!
1. What do you value most in life?
My family and My God. Without these things I would be even more of a mess than I already am. My life isn’t as tough as a lot of people’s I know, but gosh darnit if it isn’t a tough road to hoe every once in awhile. Having my family (friends include in that) and my faith are really what get me through.
2. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?
Gosh that’s a tough question. For me, in this moment, I feel like SKYPE is way up there on the list. It has saved my children and more specifically my son. Being able to see my husband is really valuable. He’s not gone on regular deployments, its a lot more unorganized and hectic than that, and the constant change is really hard. So SKYPE is a lifesaver.
3. What do you think is the secret to a good life?
Honestly it really is as simple, in my head, as laughing and having fun. There are so many things I think that goes into a good life – loving people that surround you, that lift you up, can be honest with you and so many other things.
4. What would you most like to be remembered for when you’re gone?
I hope that people will remember me as being someone that is always willing to listen to them and be helpful and encouraging. I hope that I’m remembered as being a good military spouse, wife and mother.
5. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
My college degree. I was the first one in my family, on one side and partially on the other, to get my college degree. I was eextremely proud.
6. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Gosh, I don ‘t know! I really love Sandra Bullock. If Sandra Bullock from “While You Were Sleeping,” which is one of my favorite movies, could play me that would be awesome!
Thanks for jumping on the carnival ride with me! Please, go check out all the other amazing blogs, or link up yourself. I find at least one new amazing blog to read everyweek. There are so many to link through that I just can’t get through the whole list every week, because inevitably one blog catches my eye and I totally obsess.