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School Liaison Officer – Priceless

Today I spent 30 minutes with Shannon Milder, a School Liaison Officer in Navy Region Southwest. The School Liaison program is only two years old but has already made a significant contribution to our mobile military students. The School Liaison Program was developed by the Department of Defense to respond to educational hurdles and challenges encountered by today’s military student. Navy families move their children an average of every 2.9 years. Children of military personnel attend up to 9 different schools by graduation from high school. Deployments can impact educational outcomes of children. Many families decide to “separate geographically” to keep kids in their current school, adding another stressor to the family and student Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/mar/20/beth-wilson-school-liaison-officer-151-a/#ixzz1IDEYB663 … Read entire article »

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Tragedy, Triumph; Courage and Cowardice

Have you been glued to earthquake and tsunami coverage from Japan? It’s hard to view the footage of devastation and not be moved. It is difficult to watch the events at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and not be gripped with concern. The world has not seen such events in our lifetime. Originally I intended this column to inspire you with stories from Japan, to encourage us to take this teachable moment and review our disaster preparedness. However, in the last few days, I’ve become frustrated; actually I’m angry. Please allow me to have a rare rant. Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/mar/17/beth-wilson-tragedy-and-triumph-courage-and/#ixzz1IDHEXGzG … Read entire article »

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American Red Cross – Celebration 130 Years

In 1881, Clara Barton founded today’s American Red Cross. Since its beginning, the Red Cross always has rushed to where help is needed. And people around the country rally with outpourings of volunteer assistance and donations of funds and needed supplies. But the work of the American Red Cross is not limited to disaster response. Since 1942, following the tradition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the month of March has been designated as Red Cross Month. This focus on the Red Cross coincides with their major push for fundraising to accomplish their diverse mission throughout the year and across the country. Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/mar/06/beth-wilson-a-month-to-focus-on-red-cross/#ixzz1IDFodQXu … Read entire article »

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The Art of Marriage

Valentine’s Day – Have you been dropping hints to your service member for desired flowers, chocolate or jewelry? As we approach this holiday celebrating love and relationships I have been pondering marriage; military marriage. Perhaps you, like me, know many, many military that are divorced or on marriage number two or three. While I am not given to fantasy, I admit I thought the hard part of marriage was finding the right guy to be at the end of that aisle. Once we said our vows I was sure we’d ride off into wedded bliss, living happily ever after. Um, not exactly reality, eh? No one wins in a divorce. No one. Not either spouse, not the children. There are no winners. Yet divorce seems to be part of the military culture. So, … Read entire article »

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Need a “LifT?”

This year we will mark the tenth year of 9/11 and that means ten years as a nation at war. While President Bush prepared us for an elongated conflict I think few of us believed it would extend beyond that of the first Gulf War. Yet here we are. Though we are a nation at war I am sometimes surprised by the gulf between the military and civilian communities. I recently spoke at a university forum on military and military families. At the opening of my remarks I asked how many in the audience and on the panel had a relative serving in the military. Not one hand was raised. I asked if their parents or grandparents served. Several hands raised signifying grandparents served in the military, but surprisingly none had … Read entire article »

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Milspouse – CEO’s at Home

Working from home is a dream of many women, not just military spouses. For military spouses a portable career based at home is golden. Let’s define three ways to work from home; independent business affiliation (Mary Kay, Amway, Pampered Chef), launch a business from your idea or concept (sewing, jewelry, translation services, photography), or work-from-home (often called telecommuting – transcription, virtual assistant). Before launching a business of any type assess your circumstances and characteristics. How much time do you have to devote to this business? Do you have space to store inventory? Have you discussed the impact of this business on your family with your spouse and older children? Are you a self-motivated person? Read more here. … Read entire article »

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Opinions Wanted – Yours…

Have you ever had an idea for family programs? Let me rephrase that. I’ll bet you, like me, have encountered issues, challenges or situations where you thought about ideas or solutions to improve life for military families. Have you looked for opportunities to share ideas, your experiences or at the least to express your perspective on the challenges of military Spousedom? Periodically the Department of Defense, individual branches or other interested parties solicit the input and experience of military spouses and families. And that is why I am veering from my planned column to bring you two opportunities to advocate for yourself and other military families by sharing your voice and experience. Read more here. … Read entire article »

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Military Spouse Entrepreneurs

Employment has long been a challenge for military spouses. Building a career can feel like a pipe dream. The mobile nature of military service, while great for the career of our service member does not always ‘enhance’ our own resume. Add a downturn in the economy to that equation and mobile military spouses can find themselves unemployed or underemployed. Ah, but the American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well among military spouses. More and more spouses are looking for a mobile career and turning to home-based businesses and self-employment. Andrea turned her love of sewing into Ballie’s Bag and Baubles (www.bailliesbag.com). Betty loves making jewelry and launched Gambizzle Jewels (http://www.gambizzlejewels.storenvy.com/). Joanna was looking for a way to acknowledge spouses beyond a bouquet of flowers and launched Atta Girl Gifts (www.attagirlgifts.com). Stephanie … Read entire article »

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Soup, Salad and a Side of Laughter

I recently had lunch at one of my favorite cafés; Mimi’s. I was enjoying what I call a ‘heavy, deep and real’ conversation with a girlfriend. Across the aisle was a table full of women. This group may be familiar to you. They are distinctive and you mostly likely have encountered them in restaurants in your area. These ladies wear hats. They wear red hats; ‘creative’ red hats with purple accents. Yup, they are the ladies of the “Red Hat Society.” In the interest of full disclosure, my mother is a member of the Red Hat Society. However she joined long after I left the nest. I never saw her adorned in her ‘society’ regalia. But I know she looks forward to, and fully participates, in each activity of her local … Read entire article »

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Welcome 2011!

Happy New Year! Over the holidays I was hanging out with a few friends and we, of course, talked about that dreaded ‘new year’s resolution.’ We all laughed as we talked about our past attempts at changing our bodies, habits or lives with the start of each new year. Kayla summed up our sentiment confidently stating, “This year I resolve NOT to resolve.” I think you would have enjoyed our conversation. We talked about the struggles, foibles and triumphs of 2010. Not one of us accomplished our ‘resolution’ but we realized that each one of us absolutely accomplished much by the end of 2010.     Read more… … Read entire article »

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