Tagged: military spouses
- Search the Internet. Search for organizations near your base, community, or area of interest.
- Visit your installation’s military support service center; the Navy, Army, Air Force, and the Marine Corps all have support centers for military spouses and families.
- Talk to people. You are not alone in this. Whatever you’re going through, there are others out there who can help – or at least just listen. Ask your neighbour, the checkout person at the commissary, anybody you might come across where to find like-minded groups to join.
The national unemployment rate is around 7 percent, but it is much higher among military spouses who have to change jobs frequently because of moves. A Pentagon program called the Military Spouse Employment Partnership was started three years ago to help unemployed military spouses find jobs has surpassed its goals, connecting more than 60,000 military spouses with 220 private- and public-sector partners, including Fortune 500 companies.
Meg O’Grady, a senior program analyst in the Pentagon’s Office of Family Policy and Children and Youth, said “Eighty-five percent of military spouses actually have some college, 25 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 10 percent have an advanced degree.” The problem is that it can be difficult for large employers who want to hire military spouses to find them.
“We know that military spouses make great employees and businesses recognize that,” O’Grady said. “Through the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, we provide a variety of ways for businesses to actually connect with military spouses.” Companies such as Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, as well as other big names in corporate America such as Verizon, AT&T and JP Morgan Chase are marquee brands that O’Grady said also have their eye on service members and their job-seeking spouses.
Officials say the inability of a spouse to find employment can affect the well-being of military communities, thereby affecting readiness and retention, which is why the department has been reaching out to corporations, small businesses and organizations to expand the network of potential spousal employers.
Resources available through the program include education and training, career guidance and mentoring programs. In addition, more than 1.8 million jobs have been posted on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership’s career portal.
In case you’ve been living under a stack of textbooks, the space-thriller Gravity opened in theaters nationwide in early October. It’s been praised as a filmmaking advance the likes of which we haven’t seen since King Kong climbed the Empire State Building. It’s also been panned as a flat, lifeless script. But love it or hate it, there are a few things we can learn from it. [Warning- mild spoilers ahead]
1. Sometimes, trouble just keeps flying at you.
The first conflict the heroes encounter in the film, in hindsight, is a small one: the mechanism Dr. Stone has created to solve a problem on the Hubble telescope doesn’t work properly. In fact, it doesn’t work at all. Then a radio communication from Houston signals the next, more ominous problem: a wave of debris is hurtling toward them. And the fun just continues from there.
It’s exhausting. But it’s also relatable. Because we’ve all had periods of time when it seems like challenges snowball into an avalanche of trouble. When one obstacle – whether it’s a test, a deadline, or a personal challenge passes, another is often lined up right behind it.
In the film, once the flying space trash of doom passes, the clock begins ticking. Since it’s orbiting the earth, it’s only a matter of time before it returns to wreak more havoc. And in the midst of the havoc-wreaking, the only thing anyone can do is to go through it the very best they can.
The message the film sends is one of patience and perseverance. When you’re in school or working, or both – those pieces of debris will hurtle toward you. Guaranteed. And, like the fated astronauts in “Gravity,” you can- and will – find a way to keep moving.
2. We can choose how we respond to catastrophe.
At one point in this film, for all intents and purposes, there is absolutely no hope whatsoever. None. Every possible route back to earth has been effectively nixed. Nothing doing.
The decision the astronaut has to make at this point is an important one, and a lesson for everyone who’s ever felt cut off from the rest of the world, backed into a corner, or in an otherwise crummy spot: You get to decide whether you blaze forward and make your own way or fizzle out.
Even when we feel at our most alone, we still have resources to call on, bounce ideas off of, and guide us back into orbit. That’s another important lesson from this film – the beauty of the human spirit’s resiliency and power to hope, even when the possible outcomes aren’t clear.
There are moments in Gravity when the camera shifts to first person point of view – we see what the astronaut sees. It’s breathtaking and awe-inspiring to say the least.
When you realize that there are astronauts occupying the ISS who see similar views of earth and space each day, it puts trivial problems like traffic, a late homework assignment or a ruined pair of khakis into perspective. It’s a good reminder that we earth-dwellers are a tiny part of the cosmos and whatever troubles we have – although they’re important to us – are temporary.
So if you were wondering how Military Authority relates to Gravity and its stars, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, hopefully we’ve answered your question. Whether you’re a soldier, student or spouse, there’s something to be said for an action-packed film that’s able to make hurtling through space a uniquely personal experience. It’s a space movie that grapples with the kind of human struggles you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand.
Have you seen Gravity yet? Did it speak to you? Are there other movies that resonated with you? Tell us in the comments.
Copyright by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc
#militaryauthority #gravitymovie #bullock #clooney
Marriage – whether military or civilian – is about cooperation. It’s hard work making a relationship between two unique people successful. And when one (or more) of those people are committed to a military career, it can feel like there’s a third person in the relationship at times. A military marriage often contains the needs and well being of three: the two spouses plus the nation.
Most military spouses are extremely proud of their career soldier, and share similar views of service, honor, duty, and integrity, whether or not they choose a military career for themselves. But what happens when the career aspirations of one spouse need to take a back seat to the other?
That’s not an uncommon situation in marriage. The vision of a 50-50 partnership might be a bit short-sighted, when you consider that, very likely, the single constant in any marriage is the love and commitment shared between the two people. Everything else – jobs, homes, hobbies, possessions, kids – changes. Perhaps these few simple tips can help bring the military spouse some peace in their search for employment.
- Who you are is more important than what you do. Are you passionate about reading, or music? Do you have a passion for nutrition, or science, or serving others? Think about what you can contribute as opposed to whether your particular field has a set career path to follow (spoiler: most don’t). If you’re between jobs at the moment, just spending a little time doing something you enjoy – or even taking classes to learn about something you’re interested in – can help.
- You’re a professional. If you think of yourself as “an unemployed sales representative,” or “out-of-work aerobics instructor” guess what you’ll probably be? But if you shift your thoughts just a little bit, away from limiting job titles and toward what you want to do, that opens up your potential. For example, “sales rep” above might consider himself a “professional influencer.” The “aerobics instructor” might switch gears into “fitness professional.” This slight shift can help you make the leap from feeling like you’re being shuffled from job to job to realizing that you have knowledge and experience to give. Even if you have to wait tables a little while in a new town while you seek new opportunities, changing the way you think about your skills can make a huge difference.
- Remember why you’re here. It’s easy to get discouraged and bitter during a dry spell. Thinking of happier times, and remembering the excitement of the early days of your adventure will help the discomfort pass. Share your feelings with your spouse, friends or family, and remember that your service member also has days like this – you will carry each other through them.
Get more practical career advice and education tips for military spouses at militaryauthority.com.
A recent doctoral thesis by University of Utah graduate student Catherine Caska suggests that the negative health effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, spill over into spouses, too.
The study compared emotional and physiological responses of two groups of military veterans and their partners during and after engaging in a “disagreement task” set in a clinically-monitored environment. The veterans in one group had been diagnosed with PTSD, and those in the control group had not.
According to the researchers, the most remarkable finding was that the partners of veterans with PTSD showed even greater increases in blood pressure during conflict than the veterans with PTSD themselves, suggesting that these partners may be at similar, if not greater, risk for health consequences from relationship conflict and PTSD as the veterans.
The study found that female spouses and other partners of veterans who have PTSD had even bigger blood pressure spikes than the vets. While the fact that those diagnosed with PTSD are liable to have significant blood pressure increases during periods of stress has been long established, Caska’s study was the first to look specifically at the experiences of spouses.
“Overall, we found that couples where the veteran has PTSD showed greater emotional and relationship distress than military couples without PTSD,” said Caska. “The couples affected by PTSD also showed greater increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and other indicators of cardiovascular health risk in response to the relationship conflict. Veterans with PTSD showed larger increases in blood pressure in response to the relationship conflict discussion than did veterans without PTSD. These responses and the greater emotional reactions and overall relationship distress reported by veterans with PTSD could contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease previously found to be associated with PTSD.”
Caska is no newcomer to the study of the unique mental health problems and needs of military families. In 2009, she authored a thesis paper called Caregiver Burden in Spouses of National Guard/Reserve Service Members Deployed During Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
Caska also co-wrote a chapter in the book Risk and Resilience in U.S. Military Families entitled “Distress in in Spouses of Combat Veterans with PTSD: The Importance of Interpersonally-Based Cognitions and Behaviors.”
“The results of our study emphasize the potential role of relationship difficulties in the increased risk for cardiovascular disease among Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans with PTSD,” concludes Caska. “These data also suggest the possibility of similar heath risks for their partners. These findings could have important implications for the focus of treatments and services for this population, and further drives home the need to continue to focus research and resources on understanding and better serving military families.”
National Military Appreciation Month takes place each May, as designated by Congress. It’s a time we stop to reflect on the achievements of our armed services and all of the individuals who make up the ranks.
One group honored is made up of military spouses. Both men and women comprise the ranks of military spouses, and they are the foundation of military families dealing with the stress of everyday life as well as extended deployments of one parent.
One military wife, comedienne and motivational speaker Mollie Gross, has labeled these women as “A Band of Brides” who offer support to each other as only other military spouses can and has created a series of one-hour documentaries chronicling their experiences.
To all military spouses, the unsung heroes who are silently serving our nation, we say “Thank you.”
Happy Friday, everyone.
The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) in association with the National Military Family Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation is pleased to announce the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Accredited Financial Counselor® Fellowship. Military spouses can apply to become a member of the 2013 class of fellows until March 31, 2013. This program provides military spouses with the education necessary to enter the financial counseling career field.
The fellowship covers the costs associated with completing the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) training and the first two attempts at both exams. Upon successful completion of the program and required practicum, the participant will be awarded the Accredited Financial Counselor® designation from AFCPE®.
Many employers such as credit unions, financial aid offices, and community housing agencies need well-trained, ethical and caring financial counselors to meet the increasing demand for financial counseling services. Military spouses can fill this need while building a rewarding career that is flexible enough to meet the demands of the military family lifestyle. Applications are accepted online and are due by midnight ET March 31, 2012.
(Press Release, Reprinted from the Military Family Association, http://www.militaryfamily.org.)