The Dear MilFamily Podcast

A podcast for anyone who has a family member in the military or anyone interested in the military lifestyle.

    The Dear MilFamily Podcast
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Jul 9th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 10:13 pm

Our tips and tricks from our semi-DITY move from this summer.

Jun 25th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

It's officially summer and that means vacation time! And there is a service that is available to all active duty, retiree, and military beneficiaries to help offset the costs. You really can see the world when you are a part of the military family. And whether you call it Space A (space available) or MilAir, it's still a great way to travel for little to nothing. I talked to the voice behind the blog Poppin' Smoke about her life traveling around the globe and how easy it is for military families to use this wonderful benefit.

Stephanie Montague is the founder of the military travel website Poppin’ Smoke. She created Poppin’ Smoke to encourage members of the military community, particularly retirees, to use the benefits they earned through their service to travel and explore new adventures. Stephanie and her husband have been traveling and living overseas since her husband retired from the Army in 2015. After flying military Space-A around the globe, they spent two-and-a-half years living in Fukuoka, Japan. In February, they hit the road again and flew Space-A from Japan all the way to Europe, where they are looking for the next place to call “home.”

Find Stephanie:

Join the Facebook group The MilFamily!

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Jun 18th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

We already know that military spouses are resourceful. So not only is this week's episode a story about resourcefulness, but a little bit of hope for the future after military life. Sometimes the things you are working on in the moment, even when they feel insignificant, is you laying the foundation for what's to come later. This week I bring you the story of one military spouse who started her business as a side hustle, moved to full time online entrepreneur lifestyle, and then once her husband finished his service commitment, started a brick and mortar store.

Meg Sutton is the boss lady and doodler behind Belle & Union, a company that launched in 2012 which sells letterpress printed cards, art prints, southern-inspired wrappings, and hand-crafted artisan goods brimming with vintage wit and wisdom that tote a bit of a foodie twist - all 100% made in the USA, a commitment based on her husband's military service. Belle & Union launched their first brick and mortar store in San Antonio, Texas, in July 2018. The shop houses the working studio as well as offers creative workshops across a variety of subject matters. Meg values encouraging people to slow down and enjoy the sweet moments in life, gathered ’round a table filled with smiles and laughter. When she's not doodling or coming up with Belle & Union's next great product, you can find her sipping chai tea, chasing her pup with her husband, and curling up with a good book. Belle & Union’s products have been featured in Country Living, Rachael Ray, Southern Weddings, Southern Living, Southern Lady, and Oh So Beautiful Paper. Meg has been interviewed on KSAT's SA Live in San Antonio numerous times, KENS 5 in San Antonio, Texas Lifestyle Magazine, Proof to Product podcast, Creative Biz Rebellion podcast, and more.

Find Meg/Belle & Union:
Facebook: @belleandunionco

Instagram: @belleandunionco

Twitter: @belleandunionco

Join the Facebook group The MilFamily!

Take the Season 4 Listener Survey! 

Jun 11th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

Care packages are a long held tradition in the military community. They can be personal, sad, funny, and very necessary for service members. One woman is trying to document the culture of military life and the military families that serve by showcasing photos of various care packages service members have gotten through out modern American history. We talked about all the ways families show their love and personalities through a care package.

Odale Cress was a Russian/Spanish linguist in the 80s, during the Cold War, stationed in what was then, West Germany. She has since been working her way around the globe. She is currently a grad student. This project came out of her thesis: food is a language; cuisine is a dialect. Odale wanted to demonstrate, not only how foods reflect our culture, but that by looking at care packages of foods, we could see the wide range of cultural backgrounds of people who serve(d) this country. She is also fascinated by history and is expanding this project to include care packages from as far back as the Revolutionary War through present day.

Find out more:

Care Pacakge Story Project

Join the Facebook group The MilFamily!

Take the Season 4 Listener Survey! 

Thanks to this episode's sponsor: My Baby's Heartbeat Bear Use offer code MIL20 to get 20% off your purchase!

Jun 4th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

Earning a degree as a veteran or military spouse doesn't have to be as difficult as it might seem. Lots of things have changed about the Post 9/11 GI Bill and because of these changes, you may want to use that benefit sooner than you think. I talk to Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado and get all the secrets of using the GI Bill to get the most benefit out of it.

Ashley M. Gorbulja-Maldonado, 25, holds a Masters in Public Health from Northeast Ohio Medical University with an emphasis on military community programs. She holds bachelor degrees in The Science of Education and The Science of Organizational Supervision with a minor in Psychology from the University of Akron. Ashley is the Founder & CEO of GuideOn Education Consulting LLC (est. Sept. 2018). Ashley serves as a one-of-a-kind Veteran Education Consultant, GuideOn can offer a personalized navigation for your organizations special projects to inspire, educate, and connect with the U.S. military community.

Find Ashley:
LinkedIn Personal
LinkedIn Business 

Facebook Personal
Facebook Business 
Ms. Veteran American page 

Join the Facebook group The MilFamily!

Take the Season 4 Listener Survey! 

May 28th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

 The conversation around veteran mental health is an important one. But we mustn't forget the rest of the family especially the military spouse who is often the primary caregiver. After multiple deployments and her own struggles with reintegration, one military spouse set out to create a space for other military spouses to feel not so alone and get tools to help them over come this trying time. War and deployments have real life after effects on the military member and family. It's important to get the help that you need.

Richelle Futch, MSW is an intensively trained Dialectical Behavior Therapist, a United States Marine Corps Veteran currently married for the last 9 years to an Active Duty Special Forces NCO. Richelle was recently named Armed Forces Insurance Fort Bragg Military Spouse of the Year.

Find Richelle:
@Herruck Instagram

Join the Facebook group The MilFamily!

May 21st, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

Do you dream of a job that you can take with you each time you PCS? Do you want something more flexible so you can be home when you need to be? Remote work is fast becoming THE employment option for military spouses everywhere. In this episode I talk to one of the co-founders of Instant Teams (previously known as MadSkills) about how military spouses can get a job that works with their lifestyle.

Erica McMannes is co-founder and COO of HireMadSkills, Inc. (previously known as MadSkills, now Instant Teams). In the past 17 years as an Army spouse, she’s found creative ways to find fulfillment and income that meshed well with the transient and unpredictable military lifestyle. Her career path started out traditionally in 2003, working for Army MWR/CYSS in various Director and leadership positions. But in 2012, Erica found herself consulting for veteran-owned startups in Silicon Valley on community growth and branding development. After 4 years in the startup market, she launched out on her own cofounding a company in 2016. Instant Teams enables companies to scale and manage their remote workforce while delivering remote work options to untapped talent pools of military-connected remote professionals.

Find Erica:
FB: @instantteams
Personal IG: @Of_a_Kitsch_Kind

Join the FB group The MilFamily

Please take the listener survey, so I can learn more about you! 

May 14th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

Are you doing what you set out to do when you were a young adult? Has your career changed? You might say career pivoting is a natural part of life, but for military spouses it's essential to keep yourself employed if you want to work. I talk to one milspouse that has changed careers and gone from a working woman, stay at home mom, working mom, and now a work at home mom. It's okay to try out many different things and do what you want to do!

Christine Maxwell is a personal finance junkie but realizes that not everyone loves to talk money. Her blog, Her Money Moves is dedicated to making personal finance straightforward and fun with real-talk on careers, personal finance, and the military lifestyle.
Christine has been a SAHM, a working outside of the home mom, and even a remote-working mom. She has a degree in Finance, a Master of Aerospace Engineering Management, and over 15 years working in finance.
When she's not geeking out about personal finance, she's living her best OCONUS life with her active duty Army husband and pre-schooler son.

Find Christine:

Join the Facebook group The MilFamily

May 7th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

Female military spouses and women in general have a lot of pressure these days to have it all and be it all to everyone. But is that healthy for you and your mental health? Having the courage to stand up and stop feeding into these cultural norms and stereotypes is difficult. But it is time for things to change with the expectations we have for ourselves and the expectations we have of others. I talk to one milspouse who is willing to admit that she was not going down the right path and wants to help change things for all of us.

Justine Evirs is the founder of The Paradigm Switch, a fast-growing movement of military spouses who are unapologetic about their ambitious career goals and their commitment to the military lifestyle. Kimberly Jung has called her, "a dynamic and bold leader" and Valerie Rivera referred to her as a "passionate, connected, and unstoppable when she throws her energy into a project." As a Navy veteran & Navy spouse, Justine is proud of the work she has accomplished within military communities across the nation ranging from higher education, entrepreneurship, innovative program development, grassroots community building, to nonprofit management. Today Justine is leading a global digital community for military spouses who are leveraging the power of technology to take control of their careers by offering scholarships to top skills based programs around the globe. The Paradigm Switch will provide 1,000 scholarships and be a community of 20,000 military spouses strong by the end of 2021.

Find Justine:

Join the Facebook group The MilFamily

Apr 30th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 6:58 am
To wrap up the Month of the Military Child, I bring you a special episode from another former military child who has spent her life connected to the military. When you spend your whole life supporting service members, you have a broader view of not only domestic policy but of the whole world. Listen as I talk to one military child who became a military spouse and then saw her son join the military: my mother-in-law.
Dee is a Special Education teacher, semi-retired from the public schools and working part time with charter schools as a behavior management specialist. She was also a military brat, military spouse, and is now a mother to a military service member. She has spent her whole life connected to the military in some way. Her father fought in the Vietnam War. Then after marrying an airman, experienced her husband’s service with Desert Storm. Later, one of her sons served in Operation Enduring Freedom. Dee grew up all over the world but called Idaho home for many years. She raised two boys with her husband George. Now, she lives her semi-retired life in Las Vegas, NV, enjoying her grandsons when she can.
Join the Facebook group The MilFamily