Here's a special bonus episode for you! It's an episode of the MilSpouse Coffee House that I was a guest on earlier this month. I talked with Britni and Leslie about what it's been like getting a diagnosis for our son and learning to adjust after. I hope you enjoy and happy holidays!
Dec 31, 2019
Have you heard about the changes to the TSP? In this last episode of season 5, I talk to the president and COO of First Command about all the changes. And we also talk about how military families should be setting themselves up for success for their whole career. Spoiler alert, you can't just rely on the retirement you get from the government! Mark Steffe is the President and Chief Operating Officer of First Command. Mark leads the company on a number of important strategic priorities, including the advancement of the First Command brand and the continuing adaptation to a rapidly evolving digital world. In this position, he is tasked with helping First Command effectively adapt to inevitable changes that come with company growth. Mark started his First Command career as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff of Advisor Operations. During this time, he led company efforts to streamline processes, facilitate collaboration between advisor and corporate leaders, strengthen company-wide communications, improve efficiencies in Advisors’ daily business operations and add value to advisor-client relationships. Next, Mark pivoted to a field leadership role as the Senior Vice President and Director of Advisor Operations for the Midwest Division. In this role, he directed sales growth and market penetration efforts in the Midwest and advanced the company's recruiting priorities and talent management programs. In April 2014, Mark was promoted to Executive Vice President and National Director of Advisor Operations, where he led the company's Field Force, Advisor Operations and Marketing. In this role, Mark pursued efforts to build the First Command brand and grow the company, through collaboration between advisor and the corporate office. He was also named to the company’s Executive Leadership Team and the First Command Board of Directors. Before joining First Command, Mark served in a number of leadership roles with major companies in the financial services industry, including TIAA (formerly TIAA-CREF) and UBS Financial Services (formerly PaineWebber). Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, graduating with high honors. He holds Series 7, 8, 23, 63 and 65 securities registrations, plus Life and Health Insurance licenses. He is a devoted father of three children. Find First Command: FirstCommand.comFacebook.com/FirstCommandIG: @FirstCommandTwitter: @FirstCommand
Dec 24, 2019
Preparing for a deployment can be a hectic time. There are so many things to do and lists to check off. But what about those well meaning friends and family members? Sometimes it feels easier to swallow their blunt comments and hard questions about what your service member will be doing "over there." One military spouse says, you should prepare them for deployment too and explain how they can support you better. Becky Hoy believes that deployment is one of the best things that has ever happened for the growth of her marriage and her own personal development. As an Army spouse whose husband has been deployed or otherwise away from home for roughly half of their seven years of marriage, Becky realized quickly that wishing away the days during deployment could not be an option for her. To share this message with other spouses Becky founded Brave Crate- the deployment countdown box for military spouses. She shares weekly tips and inspiration as a blogger for Brave Blog and and has curated the deployment-positivesupport community for military spouses called Brave Board. Find Becky: www.bravecrates.comwww.facebook.com/bravecratewww.instagram.com/bravecrate This episode is sponsored by American Forces Travel. Take care of your travel needs and give back to your branch of service at the same time.
Dec 17, 2019
One of the biggest sucks of military life lately is PCSing and specifically how military families' things are moved, stored, and delivered by contracted moving companies. One Army veteran and Military Spouse is helping to change the process and try to make it better for everyone. Megan is an army veteran after serving 4 years with a combat deployment, a military spouse of 13 years and mom to 3 wonderful children. She is a professional volunteer who jumps in to help wherever a hand in needed from supporting the FRG, PWOC, her children’s schools, and other organizations. During the last year, Megan has advocated extensively for PCS Reform from working with members of Congress on legislation, briefing the office of the second lady, and working directly with Transcom and moving industry members through the Personal Property Relocation Advisory Panel. In her free time you’ll find her refinishing furniture, and searching the best chocolate in the world! Find Megan: https://www.facebook.com/MilitarySpouseChronicles1/Www.militaryspousechronicles.comWww.instagram.com/militaryspousrchronicles This episode is sponsored by American Forces Travel. Take care of your travel needs and give back to your branch of service at the same time.
Dec 10, 2019
Ask any military family the most difficult part of any deployment or separation, and they're going to say reintegration. The actual time spent a part is not as difficult as trying to bring two (or more) lives back together after a significant amount of time living separately. How do we help this process? One word: communication. Samantha McKenzie graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Master's Degree in Communication Studies. She recently did her Directed Project on Military Reintegration where she decided there was a gap for partners during their communication about reintergration so she developed a booklet for partners to know what to experience during deployment and reintegration in terms of their communication patterns. She has also created a project centered around reintegration called Care Reintegration. Find Samantha: https://www.facebook.com/samantha.maine21IG Personal: samantha.abigale_ IG Project: care_reintegration This episode is sponsored by American Forces Travel. Take care of your travel needs and give back to your branch of service at the same time.
Dec 3, 2019
Military spouses are some of the hardest working people I know, and it's time we pay more mind to how we are taking care of ourselves. Often we are the ones shouldering all of the responsibility at home (and more at work) and we're doing it with little to no support network. So here are some great suggestions of how to take care of our selves better. Bernadette Soler is a proud military spouse, 500-hr yoga teacher, yoga therapist-in-training, Certified Personal Trainer, Reiki Master Teacher, and owner of wellness lifestyle company and chic leggings line, Doll Yoga Wear, LLC. She has been teaching group yoga classes for over seven years, and specializes in developing unique yoga practices for individuals and special populations, including (but not limited to) military personnel and their families, corporate wellness settings, kids, and seniors. She enjoys applying the authentic teachings of yoga to your modern lifestyle in a simple and effective way. Having experienced the powerful life-changing effects of yoga, Bernadette is excited to help others move in the direction of their highest potential by way of these ancient teachings. Find Bernadette: bernadettesoler.com@bernadette_soler on instagram At Ease book This episode is sponsored by American Forces Travel. Take care of your travel needs and give back to your branch of service at the same time.
Nov 26, 2019
Our military kids need positive role models and interactions with other adults. One organization is trying to bring athletes and military kids together in positive interactions to show milkids what they can aspire to one day. Operation Teammate creates positive experiences for military children who is separated from their service member parent because of deployment, trainings, or school. And they do all of this for free! I talked to Timothy Montjoy about the organization he started and how it's helping our military children. Timothy Montjoy is a retiree of the United States Air Force and currently resides in Augusta, Georgia. His Air Force career spanned from 1996 – 2016 and took him to such overseas assignments as Osan Air Base, South Korea to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, and Zabul, Afghanistan. Tim and his entire family have a passion for making an impact with our military children - this dedication directly supports the betterment of the military and civilian communities across our great nation. Find Tim & Operation Teammate: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/operationteammateTwitter – https://twitter.com/OperationTeam8Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/operationteammateLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothy-montjoy-90630245Website - https://www.operationteammate.org This episode is sponsored by American Forces Travel. Get discounted travel rates and help your branch by using americanforcestravel.com
Nov 19, 2019
1 hr 4 min
Yesterday was Veteran's Day, so I've got a great episode about a podcast just for Military veteran dads. Dads that served sometimes need to talk to other dads about how they're feeling and how they're adjusting to civilian life. Ben Killoy has created a new podcast this year just for this demographic. Because we need to take care of the dads that served our country and let them know they can transition and become a great veteran dad. Ben Killoy, is a U.S. Marine Veteran turned blogger, life coach, speaker, and now podcaster who seeks to bring Military Veteran Dads home to their families. He resides in Janesville, WI, with his wife and three beautiful kids! Ben, went through what most transitioning veterans go through of redefining identity and rediscovering your passion and purpose for life. A seminar changed it all for him, and realigned him to his passion for leadership. Since then he has been on a mission to master leadership principles & use his passion for leadership to help dads understand who they are, develop the skills to overcome adversity, and own their life and choices truly come home to their life. Find Ben: MilitaryVeteranDad.com MilitaryVeteranDad.com/Blog Instagram @Ben_Killoy Instagram @MilitaryVeteranDad Twitter @benkilloy Facebook Page @MilitaryVeteranDad Facebook Profile
Nov 12, 2019
1 hr 18 min
We hear all the time that voting is so important, but being a military family can add challenges to even the simplest of activities. I talk to two military spouse friends about where they vote, how they found, the challenges we are up against. And of course why it's important to vote! Susan Reynolds is one of the founding members of Tricare for Kids and has advocated for better healthcare for all connected to the military for years on capitol hill. She also started and co-hosted her own podcast called Spouse Spouts. She is the proud spouse of Jeremy Reynolds, an Airman and mother to their son Ian. She cannot wait for her husband's retirement to come next year. Paige Grymes is an avid Moms Demand Action volunteer and has been busy the past few years canvassing and phone banking. She is married to Jamie, a soldier, and is raising three wonderful boys with him currently in Virginia. Find out where & how to vote: https://www.vote.org/
Nov 5, 2019
The area of spouse licensure has had an eventful year with all branches of service announcing that they will reimburse spouses for their licensure fees after PCS. A group of military spouses has been working in this area for many years and plan on making more strides too. For the past decade, Josie Beets has put her extensive expertise in comprehensive problem solving, strategic communications, and regulatory frameworks to transform the landscape of licensing for mobile military spouses. Through her fight for common sense accommodations for military spouse attorneys, she discovered the overwhelming and often unfair licensing regimes across the country. She is passionate about helping people find ways to make licensing work with their mobile lifestyles. Josie is a licensed attorney, a nonprofit executive, a wife and a mom. She has presented on licensing issues to the Department of Defense, the White House, the American Bar Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Find Mission License: MissionLICENSE: missionlicense.comfacebook.com/missionlicensetwitter.com/missionlicenseFind Josie:twitter.com/JosieBeetslinkedin.com/in/josiebeets
Oct 29, 2019