Salute to Spouses Blog

We're excited to be blogging about the latest topics in military life. We want to keep you informed on topics such as current events, education, career advice, etc. Feel free to post comments or questions to any of our entries.
Running late but not behind

It was a cold and stormy night. The rain hammered on the RV roof. Slowly it gentled to a lulling pattern pushing her deep into much needed restorative sleep. Upon waking, she stretched, yawned, and heard the distinct toot of a car alarm – bolting upright she realized she had over slept and was late to class. How embarrassing since she got to park the RV overnight a few hundred yards from the classroom.

Nothing like waking up in the parking lot and still being late to class.

Did you receive mysterious extra military pay? Let it be

Beware pay periods bearing gifts.

Occasionally, actually more than a lot, the gurus at the Defense Finance and Accounting Services, the guys who pay military members each month, make a mistake.

And those mistakes can land an extra $20 or even $200 in your paycheck.

What’s the best advice I’ve ever heard as a military spouse? Don’t touch this extra money. Ever. Don’t spend it. Don’t assume it’s yours. Don’t assume it is back pay from something your service member did way back when.

Ready to leave military housing behind and buy your very own house? Not so fast

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions many of us will ever make, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

It’s also one of the things many soon-to-be military retiree families look forward to the most. We want to buy curtains and rugs that actually fit and match, paint the walls and replace the flooring and install whatever countertops we like best.

We want a place of our own. Or, as many call it, a “forever home.”

But is buying a house a wise choice when in the midst of leaving the military?

Military Spouse Job Fairs in March

Fire up your resumes. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting more spouse only job fairs in March.

If you live in Europe, there will also be a transition summit near the end of the month to help spouses and military families tackle the task of leaving the military.

Don’t forget to dress for success and bring several copies of your resume. For a full list of job fairs the foundation hosts throughout 2018 visit, www.uschamberfoundation.org

March 7

Dover, DE

Change to maternity leave rules long overdue

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, made headlines earlier this year for announcing that she vowed to change senate rules to make it easier for future senators to take maternity leave.

In fact she told CNN, it was ridiculous that these types of changes were still making headlines in 2018.

She’s right. The U.S. lags far behind the rest of the developed world in granting workers not just maternity leave, but also any guaranteed paid leave of any kind. The U.S., in fact is the only advanced economy that does not mandate paid sick or maternity leave.

New Dynamics - juggling childcare in multiple states

By Amy Nielsen

Next week I add a new dynamic to this already crazy life. My younger daughter starts weekly medical treatment at a hospital three hours from home.

Normally this would not be a huge addition to our week as it is really just a day trip and easily done. We’ve been doing it for years almost like clockwork in the early part of the year. Because of the nature of her treatments our appointments are conveniently always on Monday.

Retired? Murphy will still find you

You know that old saying about Murphy, and how he always seems to show up during a deployment?

I’m here to tell you he likes to visit during retirement, too. In fact, Murphy followed us all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, although it did take him awhile to catch up.

We left Stuttgart, Germany, on terminal leave in August, 2016, and spent most of the next year traveling the country in our RV, with a cat and two teenagers.

Finding the perfect home studio space

By Amy Nielsen

I have a horrible habit of stalking the local real estate market. I love the house we live in. The property is beautiful. We have great neighbors and dear friends who live just a few miles away. The town has it’s quirks to say the least. But it’s the house we bought. As I have developed my path and envision my future and intertwined with that, my family’s trajectory, I know that we will not be in this house long.

Tax filing resources for military members

It’s tax time! That’s right, time to figure out how to configure your most recent PCS move, combat pay and file income from two different states, or more!

Military life has its challenges. Tax season may present one of the toughest. Between the extra pay, taxed at different rates, moves between states and collecting paperwork from multiple employers and locations doing your taxes for many military families takes more than a few hours at a computer.

Luckily, there is help.

Sophomoric mistakes and attitude adjustments

By Amy Nielsen

In the continuing saga of my quest to pass organic chemistry, this time with feeling - the second time around, I made my first of what I am sure will be many incredibly sophomoric mistakes. I got cheeky with my professor and he docked me points from an easy A for it.

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