Archive for the 'Spouse & Family' Category

Upcoming MCRMC Public Hearings

Mar 19 2014

townhall_WEBThe Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) still has some public hearings scheduled in the next couple of months. If you want to be heard on issues affecting the military community, find one of the open “Public Hearing” events near you and attend!

The Commissioners will hear testimony from witnesses on matters surrounding the programs that compensate the members of our uniformed services and that therefore support the long-term health of the all-volunteer force. The Commission’s task is to review the military compensation and retirement programs and make recommendations for their modernization to the President and Congress in February of 2015.

MOAA has weighed in on the issue of changes to military pay and retirement benefits, and wants to hear budget recommendations from the MCRMC. Make sure you’re there to represent those who will be affected by proposed budget cuts — all sessions are open to servicemembers, retirees, veterans, military family members, and the interested public.

The next two public MCRMC meetings currently on the schedule:

MCRMC Town Hall Meeting- Carlsbad, California
Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Location:  Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa Conference Center, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, California 92008
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

MCRMC Town Hall Meeting- San Diego, California
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Location: Hilton San Diego, Harbor Island, 1960 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, California 92101

  • 8:00 am to 9:30 am – Senior Local Military Commanders and Senior Enlisted Advisors
  • 9:45 am to 11:15 am – Military Medicine Matters
  • 11:30 am to 1:00 pm – Local Military/Veteran Transition Service Organizations

Visit the MCRMC website for the complete and up to date list of events.

MOAA says the Pentagon’s 2015 budget proposed cuts to military benefits will significantly reduce the purchasing power of military families, and lead to retention & readiness problems. For more information on these cuts, and ways to take action, visit www.moaa.org/budgetbattle.

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Stay Connected During Deployment With Social Media

Mar 12 2014

Published by under Spouse & Family,Technology

familycommunicationOur friends at the Real Warriors Campaign have some advice on using social media to stay connected to loved ones during deployments, transitions and separations – and check out the other resources they offer on how to stay safe using social media during a deployment and even support friends stationed overseas:

Social media provides a means for service members to connect and interact with friends and loved ones daily. With social media, service members can maintain communication with friends and family through transitions and separations. Read this article from Real Warriors to learn how social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Instagram and Pinterest can help facilitate long distance correspondence and allow service members to stay connected regardless of their location.

With “more computing power in our pockets than Apollo had in orbit,” military families are finding ways to communicate that transcend the traditional pen and paper. Deployed parents are able read their children bedtime stories and even leave virtual sticky notes on the family bulletin board. Learn what tools servicemembers and their families find most useful and get helpful tips. MOAA members can login to read this recent feature “During Deployments, Family Time Goes High-Tech.”

 

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Dog Tag Bakery Program

Feb 04 2014

Published by under Spouse & Family,Transition

dogtagbakeryShared via a friend of Message Center, this looks like a great opportunity for a few disabled veterans in the Washington, D.C. area!

Dog Tag Bakery is thrilled to announce that the 2014 program application is now open! Apply now!

Here’s how Dog Tag works: beginning in 2014, the Dog Tag Bakery organization will hire a cohort of ten to twelve veterans with disabilities and their spouses to complete a six month program, encompassing both substantive work experience and a tailor-made curriculum at the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University. During the day, veterans will operate our bakery, currently under construction in the Georgetown neighborhood. In this handicap-accessible space, students will learn skills ranging from baking and sales to small business management and budgeting.

At the same time, the students will undertake a course of study through Georgetown University, which will include entrepreneurial training, leadership development, personal counseling, communications, and more.

The ultimate goal of the program is the empowerment of veteran students to take that next step into civilian life, whether that next step is going back to school, starting a small business, or successfully finding a job at a pre-existing firm.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE:

  • Any veteran or military spouse of any armed conflict (NOTE: Dog Tag welcomes veterans of any “service-connected disability,” regardless of severity). If an applicant is unable to fill out the online, he or she will be able to complete the form in-person or on the phone.
  • This program does NOT require or use any GI Bill benefits.
  • Prior baking/business experience is NOT necessary.

COMPENSATION:

  • Every veteran and military spouse selected will receive a stipend of $2,200 a month, plus healthcare benefits and full tuition.

APPLICATION DATES:

  • The application will be open to veterans and their spouses from February 4, 2014 through April 20, 2014.
  • After the completed application is received, each candidate will be reviewed and notified if they are selected to move forward in the process.
  • Apply today!

QUESTIONS:

 

Dog Tag Bakery logo via the Dog Tag Bakery Facebook page.

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Friday Fun: Marvel’s Latest Military-Only Free Comic Book

Jan 31 2014

ThorComicBookOn the heels of the release of Thor: The Dark World, the Asgardian Thunder God is starring in a new, military-exclusive, free comic book from Marvel Custom Solutions and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.

The 32-page comic features Thor defending New York City from the fearsome Frost Giant, Ymir, in a new adventure by the creative team of writer William Harms and artist Tom Grummett. The free comic also includes an all-new cover by legendary Thor artist Walt Simonson.

Titled “Deep Freeze”, the action-packed story features Thor as he fights to keep the citizens of Manhattan safe from the frozen menace while Jarvis, butler to the Avengers, heroically attempts to lead a mother and her young daughter through the icy battlefield of Stark Tower to safety. Can Thor turn the heat on in the Big Apple or will winter come early this year?

“All of us at Marvel owe a debt of gratitude to our real heroes, the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann. “And while audiences around the world will thrill to the Thunder God’s exploits in Thor: The Dark World, only servicemembers and their families will be able to read this all-new, all-awesome comic book. It’s the least we can do for the men and women who bravely fight for the freedoms we all hold so dear.”

Image via Flickr, courtesy of Army & Air Force Exchange Service PAO.

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G.I. Bill Complaint System

Jan 30 2014

Published by under Spouse & Family,Transition

JoyThe Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Education and Justice, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission announced today the launch of a new online complaint system designed to collect feedback from veterans, servicemembers and their families who are experiencing problems with educational institutions receiving funding from Federal military and veterans educational benefits programs, including benefits programs provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the DoD Military Tuition Assistance Program.

The centralized online reporting system is designed for veterans, servicemembers and eligible dependents to report negative experiences with educational institutions; and gives the federal government the information needed to identify and address unfair, deceptive, and misleading practices and ensure high quality academic and student support services are available for veterans, service members, and their families.

Students can submit a complaint if they believe their school is failing to follow the Principles of Excellence through the centralized online reporting system accessed via the Department of Defense and GI Bill websites.

VA will review the following types of complaints:

  • recruiting/marketing practices
  • accreditation
  • financial issues (e.g. tuition/fee changes)
  • student loans
  • post-graduate job opportunities
  • change in degree plan/requirements
  • quality of education
  • grade policy
  • release of transcripts
  • transfer of credits
  • refund issues
  • other

When feedback is received, agencies will contact the school on behalf of the student and work toward a resolution. Complaints and their resolution will be forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Sentinel Network, accessible by over 650 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for use in enhancing and coordinating law enforcement investigations.

The new online complaint system is one of a range of tools being implemented by the federal government to ensure that service members, veterans and eligible dependents have access to meaningful information about the cost and quality of educational institutions.

Get more information on this new service or register your complaint at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/feedback.asp.

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