Archive for the 'Joining Forces' Category

Mother’s Day Tea at The White House

May 10 2015

On Friday, May 9th, two of MOAA’s staff members and military spouses, C.C. Gallagher and Jennifer Goodale embarked on a journey to the White House to attend a Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Mother’s Day tea. Here is a recap of this heartwarming event:

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C.C. Gallagher, Deputy Director Military Spouse & Currently Serving Programs:

I joined the military community as a spouse almost six years ago and joined the ‘mom club’ a year ago with our son, Henry. The invitation to the White House was a special one!

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So many questions ran through my head when RSVP’ing to this event. I learned so much along the way:
Q: Should I bring my wiggly, squirmy, almost walking 1-year-old son?
A: YES! Although he was one of the youngest babies there, we took advantage of all the rooms that were available to the attendees.

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Q: Does the White House have high chairs, changing tables and am I allowed to bring my Stroller into their home?
A: The event took place in the East Wing. There were no high chairs or changing tables available so we improvised.

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The stroller was parked at the coat check as it was not allowed on the dining floor. Henry and I were hanging on to each other for several hours. Thank goodness for dear friends and other military spouses who offered to hold him to give my arms a break. It just goes to show how incredibly supportive our community is to one another.

Q: What do I do if he starts to cry during the event (the event did take place right in the middle of his nap time)?
A: Henry had a meltdown while we were meeting the First Lady, during her speech and during the concert. The White House staff was overly accommodating and directed me to a quiet side room where I could comfort him. In fact, the staff took the baby at one point and pushed me back into the room where Mrs. Obama was expressing her gratitude to our military community so I could listen to her speak.

Through the afternoon, we had the opportunity to embrace the First Lady, Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden, enjoy a solo performance from Ben Folds and meet some pretty amazing military spouses,  service members and mothers from every branch of service.

This was a wonderful experience and I am so glad that I had my son by my side for the entire event.

Jennifer Goodale, Associate Director Member Products & Services:

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In an event devoid of party lines, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden displayed their unending support of military spouses! My daughter, Reagan, and I had the opportunity to interact with military service members and military spouses as we sipped tea and enjoyed a light fare and wandered in and out of the beautiful rooms of the White House!

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The staff whisked the children off to the State Dining room to make Mother’s Day gifts, potpourri, and decorate cupcakes with the White House chefs. The children had one-on-one time with Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden and got to meet Bo and Sunny!

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After a speedy trip through a receiving line, we heard from both ladies who praised military families and pledged to continue their support to improve military spouse employment opportunities.

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The event concluded with a special treat…a performance by Ben Folds!

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We were grateful to represent military spouses at this event and hope the White House continues to honor service and sacrifice by those in uniform and the families who stand beside them.

 Happy Mother’s Day!

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Tech Sector Pledges to Hire 90,000 Vets, Military Spouses

Apr 30 2015

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In 2011, President Obama issued a challenge to private sector employers, urging them to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2013. The private sector fully embraced the challenge, and far surpassed the president’s initial request, hiring over 300,000 veterans and military spouses by 2013.

At an event last to week to mark the fourth anniversary of the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama told the audience, “America’s businesses have continued to race past my husband’s goal, and together, those businesses who answered the president’s call have hired and trained more than 850,000 military veterans and spouses.”

The technology and energy industries are joining the cause.  The first lady announced a pledge by companies like Oracle and Microsoft to hire 90,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. “These are industries full of good, high-paying positions, where our vets can continue to thrive for years and even decades to come.”

The Joining Forces Initiative elevated the employment challenges facing veterans and military spouses to the national stage.  It is imperative that the momentum that has been generated over the past four years continue with added emphasis on military spouse employment.

According to the first lady, veteran unemployment has declined since 2011. Unfortunatelly, military spouses have not fared as well.  A study conducted by MOAA and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF),  confirmed that not only are military spouse unemployment and underemployment rates high, a 38% wage gap exists between military and civilian spouses.

MOAA is hopeful that with private sector support, we can move the needle for military spouse unemployment in the right direction.

 Thinking About Your Next Career? So Are We®! Make plans to attend the MOAA Career Fair on May 12, 2015, in Washington, D.C., and begin your career transition process.

This event is open to all servicemembers, veterans, military spouses and government employees — all ranks all components.

For more information, including the seminar schedule and participating employers, or to preregister please visit moaa.org/careerfair.

 

Learn More:
The Military Spouse Employment Report

How to Work A Career Fair

MOAA Spouse Programs

 

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