Military Support Series – Military Spouse JD Network #MilitaryMonday #MilitarySupportSeries

Welcome to another Military Support Series post and Military Monday!!  I love being able to share some of these great resources with you all.  Hopefully these are things you might not normally have heard of and this is helping someone out there.  Please make sure to click the “military resources” tab up top and spread the word.  If you’re stopping by for the first time please let me know so I can return the favor; and as always my mailbox is always, always open if you have any questions.

What is Military Spouse J.D. Network?

The Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN) was formed in Summer 2011 by two military spouses frustrated with the challenges of maintaining a legal career that seemed incompatible with the military lifestyle. They formed MSJDN to advocate for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination, as well as network with other military spouses with JDs. Since 2011, the membership of MSJDN has swelled to over 750 members and supporters.  In February 2012, with the support of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA House of Delegates adopted a resolution supporting changes in state licensing rules for military spouses with law degrees. MSJDN supports such a rule change in each jurisdiction.

Their Communications Director, Lori Volkman, happens to be a great bloggy friend of mine.  We both share a heart for advocating for military families.  She is pretty much totally awesome and I was lucky enough to spend some time with her in D.C.  I know that she’s been working her rear off as a mom, a Naval Reserve spouse, and a Deputy Prosecutor in the State of Washington.  She is how I came to hear about the J.D. Network and all they do.  Jobs and Education, as it relates to the Military Spouse is such a huge topic of conversation these days, especially with Joining Forces making it a priority.  Making it easier for spouses to maintain any credentials they need when moving between states would do a lot to ease the amount of stress that just comes with the territory as a military spouse.  MSJDN is doing its part to accomplish this.
Because of the tireless work of the Spouses at MSJDN, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina and Texas have passed resolutions for admission of military spouse attorneys without examination.  States considering these changes include: California, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Maryland.  The purpose of this resolution is to aid military spouse in attorneys in a seamless transition when they are forced to move to a new state because of military orders.  *make sure to visit the MSJDN website to read more about what they are doing and about the resolution itself.*
How can you get involved?
If you are a military spouse with a law degree I definitely 100% encourage you to join the Military Spouse JD Network.  It will provide you a network of fellow spouses experiencing the same things you are, and you can help make a difference for spouses in your career field.  If you simply want to help, or find out more, and get involved, please visit their membership page.
 That’s me and Lori, hanging out at the Pentagon
I miss that girl!
Check them out on social media:
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Military Support Series: Military One Click

Hi all!!  Well the week is underway and I’m getting excited because its almost vacation time for me!  You’ll still be getting some good posts, perhaps some guest posts and maybe a giveaway or two.  But today I am happy to pick up the Military Support Series again.  You can see the other groups I’ve highlighted in the “Military Resources” tab up top.  All of my resources will be getting an overhaul soon and I’m so excited to share everything with you.  Thanks for stopping by and spread the word about some of these great resources.

Today’s spotlight is MilitaryOneClick.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with MilitaryOneClick’s founder, Jennifer Pilcher, and I’m proud to call her my friend. Jennifer was one of the first awarded for the Women Veterans Entrepreneurs Business Pitch Competition.

What is MilitaryOneClick:

MilitaryOneClick is a premier virtual resource for military families.  Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more!  The site is free and does not require users to register or login.

~ MilitaryOneClick  
What does MilitaryOneClick do?        
You can find just about anything you might be searching for on there.  Say you’re getting ready to PCS, just stop by MilitaryOneClick and find their relocation page.  From there you are one-click away from all the information you might need, from temporary lodging, buying or selling your home and military-friendly rental sites.
One of my favorite sections is the Education and Scholarship sections.  You can find links to military schools of learning, leadership programs like the Civil Air Patrol and the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, as well as resources for scholarships for any member of a military-connected family.
MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families. Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more! The site is free and does not require users to register or login. – See more at:
MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families. Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more! The site is free and does not require users to register or login. – See more at:
MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families. Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more! The site is free and does not require users to register or login. – See more at:

MilitaryOneClick is a wonderful resource for someone living the military life.  I think it is perfectly set-up for a newbie.  Entering into this life can be really overwhelming, and if you have no prior experience, aren’t near any installations or have no friends with military experience the task can seem daunting for sure.  All you’d have to come across is MilitaryOneSource and it would make the experience get off on the right foot.

Thanks MilitaryOneClick!!  Make sure to check out there site and follow them on their social media platforms!


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What’s next for Joining Forces – a phone call with the Second Lady

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.

Joining Forces

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.

Signing Hiring Our Heroes Legislation

So if you’re not familiar with Joining Forces (check out the White House page for it) there are three sections of Military life that it focuses on: Employment, Education and Wellness

  • 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.

Mr. Air Force and I at a Joining Forces/Educate the Educators Event

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.

What steps would you like Joining Forces to take in each of the three categories? Its Hump Day!

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Military Support Series – The Yellow Ribbon Fund

Im so happy to be bringing you the fourth installment of my Military Support Series. I had the pleasure of learning about the Yellow Ribbon Fund at a hiring fair I went to, and then at a Caregivers Fair I attended at Walter Reed. It is amazing organizations and the ladies that I met are even more amazing, caregivers themselves, I was pleased beyond belief to shake their hands. I felt like I had heard of Yellow Ribbon Fund before but there are several organizations and programs that included something about the Yellow Ribbons in their name or in their description. That being the case I felt like it was important to talk specifically about the Yellow Ribbon Fund in the hopes that it would help someone that is looking for help.

What does Yellow Ribbon Fund do?

In simple terms, Yellow Ribbon Fund fills the gap between the support and services the Military can provide for injured service members, and the support that the members and their families need.  YRF works in the DC area providing assistance to those at Walter Reed and Belvoir Community Hospital. In many cases, even when the Service Member returns home, YRF continues to provide support.

Specifically, there are so many things that YRF does for these families it absolutely astounds me.  How they have been able to pull together so many resources is absolutely incredible.  When you receive the call that your service member is injured having the contact information for The Yellow Ribbon fund needs to be at the top of your list.  They provide  hotel rooms, rental cars and taxis to family members.   As the healing process continues, free furnished apartments are provided to families that want to remain close to their recovering service member.  For the spouses, parents and significant others it can be an overwhelming situation. Many times these people become the caregiver for their servicemember, leaving their jobs, and lives to focus on their injured service member.  The first girl that I spoke to shared part of her story with me (and having met and known personally other caregivers) I can attest to the fact that it can be a difficult time.  Sometimes thats the understatement of the world.  YRF has pioneered a Caregiving Support program and from what I’ve leared aboutt the personal affect its had on people, I know that I would want it in my life if I needed it.  As recovery continues on Mentors for service members are provided, Volunteer Ambassadors that are all over the country are connected with service members that relocate back home, and volunteer lawyers provide pro bono assistance to those that may need it.

All of this is serious work that is provide in extreme times, to meet the basic needs of all those involved.  Yellow Ribbon Fund is more than that.   Hundreds of activities occur every year to provide fun and relaxation, which is such a huge part of the healing process.  Retreats for  caregivers, activies like golfing and hunting for the service members.  This time of assistance can be a crucial part of the healing process for all those involved.

If you need help and what to know more about the Yellow Ribbon Fund please don’t hesitate to contact them.  Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find their address, email and phone number.

If you are looking for ways to get involved and help injured service members, here’s some ways to help:

How to help

First, make a donation.  I’m extremely happy to say that since the beginning 81 cents of every dollar spent has gone directly to help an injured service member and their family.  Visit the above link to donate through PayPal.  You can also donate your time and volunteer, simply by filling out the volunteer sheet through the website.  There are also plenty of fundraising opportunities, so please contact them to set something up.

Upcoming events are occurig in the DC area as well.  One of the coolest things that I just iscovered today was Branch shirts designed by an injured service member, that you can purchase.  This month is The Air Force  Yay!!  There are 28 Days left to reach their 500 shirt goal.  I’m purchasing mine, so make sure you get over there and grab one for your favorite Air Froce member or yourself.

Thanks for stopping by the blog and I hope that this post has helped you in some way.  If you have any other quetions please don’t hesitate to email me!

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Military Support Series – “Our Military Kids”

Jumping back into the swing of things, I am so very happy to bring to you the third installment in my Military Support Series.  In light of April being the Month of the Military Child, I thought what better organization to highlight first this month then Our Military Kids.

Our Military Kids Logo

Our Military Kids, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to provide support and recognition to military children. This may include children ages 3 years through the 12th grade of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members, along with children of Wounded and Fallen Warriors from all branches of service. The grants to children pay for fees associated with athletic, fine arts, and tutoring programs. Our Military Kids’ grants keep military children engaged in activities of their choosing, helping to relieve the stress of separation from a parent by providing a positive distraction, minimizing emotional destabilization, building self esteem, and enabling academic achievement.
 Our Military Kids provides tangible support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel through grants for sports, fine arts and tutoring that nurture and sustain the children during the time a parent is away in service to our country.
Last month I had the amazing opportunity to sit down and have lunch with Linda Davidson, co-founder of OMK.  It was truly amazing to hear the story in person, to talk about the direction and how the direction has grown and changed over the years.  To talk about the future and what other things this wonderful organization can accomplish.  Starting as a group of people who sought to serve the children of Guard and Reservists in the State of Virginia only, then growing nationwide, and not stopping until OMK began helping the children of Wounded Warriors as well.

me and Linda Davidson
Linda, and the amazing staff, Board of Directors and volunteers have worked tirelessly to provide grants of up to $500 to cover six months of extra-curricular activities for a child of a deployed service member, who is deployed for 120 days or is one of two missions overseas totaling 180 days in a one-year period and there are at least 30 days remaining, and the child will start the activity before they return home.  The grants are to support athletic activities, fine arts and also tutoring.  Most of us that are military-connected know what its like to have a loved one gone, even if its only for a two week training or field mission.  Regardless of the length of time, when it involves children its difficult.  Two weeks, two months or a year, to them its all hard.   I have personally experienced so many different types of separations and they have all been hard on my children, especially when they are too young to really understand anything.  We haven’t been lucky enough to be a recipient (because I didn’t know about OMK!!!  Crazy!!), but I know that it would have been such a blessing.  One day maybe OMK can expand to include Guard and Reservists families that are in unique situations like prolonged TDYs, Geo-Bachelor, shorter stint missions and more unique situations that I know are out there.
Our Military Kids conducted a survey of recipients (in both the Guard/Reserve and Wounded category) to garner more insight and information into the lives of these families and the effect that it has. 
  • 82% noticed an increase in the stress or anxiety level of their child during the parent’s deployment
  • 97% indicated that participating in an activity benefited their child
  • 100% found the grant application process easy
  • 99% reported that participatin significantly contributed to the overall well-being of the entire family
  • 99% thought the Our Military Kids program should be continued and made available to other families
 My little Military Kid

If they surveyed me I’m sure they would find very similar responses.  My kids are involved in Martial Arts and Awana.  I know that having those things, that pattern, that stability in their lives is incredibly valuable to my children.  The support that they find, that is extremely difficult for those of us not attached to a larger unit and/or on a substantial base is beyond words.

To learn more about Our Military Kids, please visit their website and here are some special links!

Press Release – Business support OMK (if you’re in the VA read this!!!)
Donate to Our Military Kids
Vehicle Donation Program
Our Military Kids Facebook
Our Military Kids Twitter

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