The Dear MilFamily Podcast

A podcast for anyone who has a family member in the military or anyone interested in the military lifestyle.
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.
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Apr 23rd, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

It's our 2nd Annual MilKids Take Over episode! I've gathered together some input from military kids all across the United States about what they think of military life and what helps them cope. Here's just a snippet of what some of the participants had to say.

"My favorite family tradition is we go on vacation, like to Japan." Thane, 7.

"You have a special journey." McKinley, 10

"I like to have hugs." Tylynn, 6

"It makes us strong, independent, and resilient children." Anistyn, 9.

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Apr 16th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

Operation Homefront's Military Child of the Year grant program started fifteen years ago. Since then, they've had more than 50 children named as MCOYs. These amazing military kids display the resiliency, inventiveness, generosity, and service that we come to expect of milkids. I talked with each of the seven 2019 winner's about their experiences with military life and how they cope. 

Find out more about the recipients here.

Brandon Mammano, Innovation Award Recipient

Benjamin Rawald, Air Force

Elisabeth McCallum Polleys, Army

Kylie McGuire, Coast Guard

Jaxson Jordan, Marine Corps

Campbell Miller, National Guard

Elisabeth Lundgren, Navy

Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. For over fifteen years, we have provided programs that offer: RELIEF (through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs), RESILIENCY (through permanent housing and caregiver support services) and RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services throughout the year that help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road so they don’t become long-term chronic problems. Operation Homefront has consistently earned high ratings from leading charity rating services, including Charity Navigator, which gave OH 4 Stars for 11 consecutive years for superior service and accountability. At Operation Homefront, 92 percent of expenditures goes directly toward delivering programs and services to the military families who need it most.

Find Operation Homefront:

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Apr 9th, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am

Deployments and frequent separations can take a toll on the bond between service member and child. Now we have a wealth of opportunities to keep that connection alive and well through technology. In this special episode for Month of the Military Child, I talk to two military spouses and former military kids about United Through Reading and how families can stay connected through reading (one of my favorite topics)!

As a member of the Operations team, Molly facilitates program distribution and implementation to Army and National Guard Commands nationwide. Through dissemination of the program across commands, she maximizes the number of Soldiers benefitting from the program in order to ultimately increase connections for military families affected by service related separation. A licensed, certified Speech Language Pathologist, Molly received her Masters of Science in Communication, Speech, and Hearing Disorders from East Carolina University. She has practiced in her field for ten years and finds the development of early childhood literacy skills a specific area of interest. As an active duty military spouse of 16 years, Molly’s experiences stem from volunteering and leading military family support programs, and she understands the direct benefits these programs provide to her own family during her husband’s multiple deployments. Molly’s husband remains on active duty and they reside in Alexandria, VA with their two children. 

As Director of Operations, Samantha works with the Program Team to coordinate national program campaigns, oversee volunteer recruitment, and establish, expand, and support United Through Reading programs throughout the United States Military. She also works directly with U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Commands based from the Eastern half of the U.S. to Greece and everywhere in between. A graduate of George Mason University, she worked worked for various other military support organizations before joining the United Through Reading team in 2014. Samantha is a Navy spouse and currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA.

United Through Reading connects military families who are separated —for deployment or military assignment—by providing the bonding experience of shared storytime. United Through Reading (UTR) was founded in 1989 by the wife of a Naval flight surgeon who deployed to Vietnam leaving his infant daughter at home. When the surgeon returned home, his little girl didn’t know him and he had to re-enter her life as a stranger. The founder was a reading specialist and knew firsthand the importance of exposing children to literature from birth. Thus, a powerful concept emerged. Now, 29 years later, UTR still stands strong — and proven deployment after deployment. More than two million military mothers, fathers, and children have sustained bonds and fostered literacy by sharing stories across even the greatest distances.

Find UTR:
FB: /unitedthroughreading/
Instagram: /utr4military/
Twitter: /UTR4military/

A very special thanks to this episode's sponsors:

Sudio Headphones: Use code MILFAMILY to get 15% off your purchase.
Organized Chaos: Download it today here! Use code: Dearmilfam to unlock some extra features!
Join the Facebook group! The MilFamily
Apr 2nd, 2019 by dearmilfamily at 7:00 am
A LOT of military kids grow up and join the military themselves. That's the joke right that the military can be the "family business" for some? What's it like to spend your whole life connected to the military in some way? In this first episode for April (month of the military child), I talk to one veteran about his experience growing up as an army brat, then joining himself, and finally retiring and continuing to help by starting a nonprofit focused on counseling veterans. We talk about his story but also about issues facing military families still today. 
Ellsworth "Tony" Williams was born in the military environment at Fort Hood, TX. His dad served for 20 years before he decided to retire in Wilmington, DE. That move prompted Tony to dropout of high school and join the military. He was not comfortable living in a civilian community. He eventually got his GED and was awarded a 3 year active duty scholarship and reentered the Army as a 2LT. He served 16 more years with 2 deployments. After retirement, he still wanted to serve the military community so he used my Post 9/11 GI Bill to get a Masters in Counseling Psychology and founded a nonprofit called Veterans Counseling Veterans. Veterans Counseling Veterans consists of Veterans and dependents of Veterans in the mental health profession.
Find Tony:
A very special thanks to this episode's sponsors:
Ebates! Sign up to get cash back on your purchases here:
Sudio Headphones: Use code MILFAMILY to get 15% off your purchase.
Organized Chaos: Download it today here! Use code: Dearmilfam to unlock some extra features!
Join the Facebook group! The MilFamily

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