Archive for the 'Spouse & Family' Category

The Campaign to Change Direction Launch

Mar 04 2015

Photo by Rene Campos

Photo by Rene Campos

MOAA was honored to participate a summit held here today in Washington, DC, launching ‘The Campaign to Change Direction’, a national initiative aimed at increasing public awareness around topics of mental health, mental illness and wellness. As part of collective effort led by Give an Hour, 50 other campaign partners like MOAA, have pledged their support over the next five years in helping create a new story and way for society to respond to mental health.

Inspired at a White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, ‘Change Direction’, this transformative movement is to help address a growing trend today—that is, one in five Americans are living with a diagnosable mental health condition, and it is expected that more Americans will die by suicide than in car accidents this year. Often friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even family members are suffering emotionally and don’t recognize the symptoms or won’t ask for help. The five signs of suffering icons provide an easy tool for recognizing emotional pain in yourself, in a loved one or in others.

Featured keynote at the summit was First Lady Michelle Obama. She talked about the many military, veterans and their families who return home okay, and those who have returned home with a diagnosed with a mental health condition, she praised them for showing tremendous courage and strength in seeking help and sharing their experiences.

MOAA has pledged to raise awareness of the initiative through our annual Warrior-Family Symposium, leveraging our Military Coalition relations, and through our print and online publications. “The mental well-being of our troops, veterans, and their families has long been a concern and mission for MOAA, and we look forward to helping raise awareness of mental health at such a critical time—a natural extension of our service to nation and our service to the brave, men and women and their families in and out of uniform,” said VADM Norb Ryan, MOAA president. This campaign is an extension of MOAA’s continued service to America and to our brave military, veterans and their families.

Learn more about the National Campaign to Change Direction at

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Important Family Financial Discussions

Jul 15 2014

Published by under Spouse & Family

family_conversations_chart1v2When it comes to important but difficult conversations about finances, many families are struggling with the timing, according to Fidelity Investments®’ latest Intra-Family Generational Finance Study. The study showed that almost two-thirds (64 percent) of parents and their adult children1 are at odds as to when detailed conversations on key financial topics, including retirement  preparedness, eldercare and estate planning, should take place. While parents would prefer to wait until after retirement, their  children want the conversations to take place well before their parents retire or experience health issues.

How wide is the gap? The study, which is unique in that it looks at levels of agreement between parents and their adult children on a range of financial topics, has some interesting findings.

Even if conversations are taking place, how detailed are they?

Despite the confidence expressed by parents about their retirement readiness, research shows that many Americans are underprepared to live comfortably in retirement. Since 93 percent of parents identify “living a comfortable retirement” as the most important motivation to save, discussions with loved ones in advance could serve as a much-needed reality check, or at least a chance to ensure enough money has been set aside and invested to last 20 to 30 years or more in retirement.

Looking for more tools to help with your family finance discussion? Check out MOAA’s Financial Planning Guide! Making smart financial decisions is not always as clear as we would like it to be.  Whether you are buying a home, considering investments, starting college planning for your children, or other life decisions, this publication has the answers you need.  PREMIUM and LIFE Members can even speak with MOAA financial experts for further assistance.

Image courtesy of Fidelity Investments.

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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

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Stay Connected During Deployment With Social Media

Mar 12 2014

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

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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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!



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

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