435,000 Veterans and Military spouses will get a job!

Ok so to learn more about the WH Annoucement  check it out…IF you didn’t know but on Tuesday April 30, 2013 the WH invited military Spouses, DOD personnel and high ranking officials to this Join Forces Announcement  and I was really thrilled to be going as a military spouse blogger. So for the first part of this story (it is about HOW we almost didn’t make it into the event) if you want to hear about the Joining Forces Announcement below skip this, or read this for your pleasure.  

So while the first part of this event didn’t GO as smooth as I liked, and if it wasn’t for Lori from AF Wife Life  I would have totally said forget this hassle and left. So we both had our papers from PopSugar/Circle of Moms and we arrived at the North West Gate like it stated.

SO not only was it raining but my hair just curled up and frizzed, so it was already in a bun but now it was frizzy around my face (can you imagine Sally from Charlie Brown, you know how she had those curls drawn all over her head, well that was me).

  The secret service guy was like why are you here, bla bla bla, and give me your id cards. We hand them over now mind you, it’s me and Lori, two men in front of us, and a group of three men closer to the gate, well we were all here for the Joining Forces Event. By the way I TOTALLY MET THE CEO of DYNCORP…OMG!!! 

So the secret service was like, well you two guys need to be at this other gate, and you two women, well we don’t have your names and by the way you can only get cleared in 1 hour before the event, so I was like ok no problem don’t sweat it we are early. So Lori and I continue to chat. Well 20 mins goes by and we ask the secret service to look again, he did and he was like well it’s like 10:40 I suggest you call whoever it is who is going to get you in. So we started dialing frantically, I called the FLOTUS’s Press Office and didn’t leave a message, then I called our contact at PopSugar and left a message. So Lori called the FLOTUS Office and left a message and Sarah called us back. BY the way let me just say the FLOTUS office staff ROCKS! Well she was like oh yeah you are on the 

list, but give me a few minutes and I’ll call down there. So by now it’s like 10:50 and I am like WELL oh well what to go get something to eat, because it doesn’t look like we are getting in. So the secret service was like, “oh if you are here for Joining Forces you need to go to the SE Entrance Gate,” and I said well are you sure b/c we aren’t guests we are here as Press, are you sure? I don’t want to walk all the way down there and not get in. So he was like I’m so sure that’s where you will get in at, well I was like oh, ok let’s go. Well we get there and I thought we were making some headway, and got to the secret service, and he was like, “You are not on the list” “please step over here” I am like OMG ok, well we get this lady who is in the FL office and was like, ok let me call my staff. SO all in my head I was thinking of those signs that say “Keep Calm and Carry on” So I was like “Keep Army Wife Strong and Carry on”. 

So while we are calling our contact from PopSugar was like ok well I talked to C and she is going to meet you, so go back to the other gate, and also C is going to call you. So she did and we turned around and walked back…so it took us like 10 min to get back, and by not it is like 11:15…So we get back to the same ole gate and the same ole secret service was like, ok give me your last name, and we did, and he said “you aren’t on the list” and I am like what list? There is

our escort right there, please ask her what the deal is, and he was like “OH you are here as

PRESS, sorry I was looking on the wrong list”..yeah I was like OK buddy you have just made my feet HURT… SO we got our Press Badges and walked through the WEST WING side, right beside the briefing room beside Pebble Beach and to the East Room…OMG, I was so SPEECHLESS, I am like at the President’s house and office…OMG I am totally going to see the President in person, OMG IN PERSON! I have met the FL several times before but not the President or even the VP in person… SO IN hindsight, I am glad it took us that many tries to get in, at least I know secret service was doing it’s job in keeping two military spouses at bay!


Ok so here it is what I came to the WH to blog about: President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden announced that since President Obama’s Challenge in August 2011, American Businesses Have Hired or Trained 290,000 Veterans and Military Spouses. SO they announced that an additional 435,000 veterans and military spouses will be hired or trained by 2018. SO you know this is AMAZING. 

I am going to tell you it has taken me 12 years to get a career started. 12 YEARS…I am 35 now (old compared to the new kids from college), I should have been set in my career 6 years ago, I am 6 years past my due date. That is because of my moves with my husband, lack of money for day care and just being in remote locations. Economic Security, that’s a term the President used, and you know that is what this is all about ECONOMIC SECURITY. This just hits the nail on the head, and without the White House, President, Vice President, First Lady and Dr. Biden’s national spotlight on military spouses we couldn’t have come this way. The First Lady emphasized something I already knew, something that I have live for the last 13 years. 

These veterans and military families are talented, resilient, disciplined, and they are ready to do the job no matter what it takes.  And these characteristics connect every single veteran and military spouse in this room”.   I live and breathe this everyday, and I sell myself SHORT because I don’t have a paid work experience but all the volunteering I have completed should count!!

Here are the Statistics on Joining Forces:

·         August 2011: President Obama challenged American business to hire or train 100,000 veterans or military spouses by 2013.
·         August 2012: The First Lady announced that companies had hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses, and committed to hiring or training 250,000 more by the end of 2014.
·         April 30, 2013: The President, Vice President, First Lady, and Dr. Biden announce that 290,000 veterans or military spouses have been hired or trained, with an additional commitment of 435,000 veterans or military spouses hired or trained by the end of 2018.

The First Lady asked, “If you own a small business, can you commit to hiring a few veterans, maybe even just one?  If you own a larger company, can you hire a few hundred, maybe a few thousand?  Can you retain the veterans already in your workforce so that they are able to grow within your company?  Can you team up with other businesses to hire more veterans all across this country?”


Do you want to know more? For a complete list of every company and their commitment to veteran and military spouse employment through Joining Forces please visit: www.joiningforces.gov/commitments.

Deployment and Communication between a Sea of Oceans…

You know communication with your spouse is very important, especially in the beginning. I remember that I would always have to just talk to my husband, hear his voice or smell his smell. Over the course of 10 years, I love him so much, it took me a while to get comfortable. The first few years of our marriage, I felt like we were just dating, we were young and just silly, the second few years were our trials and tribulations stages my husband has been dealing with PTSD on his own, and that has been stressful. However we are dealing with it, and Communication is so key in everything you do in a relationship. When you talk to someone every day you run out of things to say and then you start taking things for granted.

So as I sit here thinking back to my first deployment with my husband it was 2001, and cell phones were around but they cost so much with plans, and texting that we could only afford one, and after he deployed I didn’t keep it. SO he left only for like 8 months to Kosovo. Well it wasn’t so bad (as I sit here now) but during that time I was just sick with grief, as to why he wasn’t calling me much. He was stationed at Fort Stewart GA and we had a house on base, but I left and moved home to NC. I wanted to finish my Bachelor’s degree and it was so much easier for my mom to watch the baby when I was at school. Well my hubby could get on the computer more than he could call home, or rather wanted too. He said the lines were too long. So I went and got a job at a Home Medical Store to keep my time busy. I remember he called me twice while he was deployed to Kosovo.

The second deployment he was gone to Iraq, and let me tell you what we didn’t have any verbal communication until August 2003 he left in March 2003. He would write me letters but they would come maybe every 3 weeks, so I would read and re-read them to just understand what he was going though, and maybe he would tell me something I didn’t know. When he did call me it was mainly for 5 minutes, because they had to share the phone. The one time he did call me he had to hang up there was firefight that broke out and he had to engage. He wasn’t able to call much or get on the computer, he was doing missions like every three days.

The third deployment back to Iraq was better, he left in Jan 2005, and came home on R&R in May. He got a laptop and we were able to yahoo IM back and forth, he didn’t write me as many letters as he did in the first Iraq deployment. He did call more because he got free calling cards from the USO and other Veterans Organizations.

The fourth deployment was totally electronic no letters, postcards or cards sent home at all! I didn’t like using skype or instant messenger, it is really easy misunderstand the context and meaning of some phrases. It was easier to use video chat, you can read facial expressions and body language. I think this was the worst deployment of all especially for communications. He did call home once or twice a month but the lines were a lot longer and there was no privacy.

I know each deployment I would find something to occupy my time, the first two deployments it was just my daughter and I. The third deployment I was putting my oldest into ballet and pre-school, and I had a newborn to deal with, so I wasn’t as lonely. The 4th deployment, I had a two toddlers and a 7 year old, so I was not lonely at all, and I always kept myself busy with doing stuff like volunteering, school work, or doing stuff with the kids, at night I was to tired to be sad. My advice to you is to just find something you like or want to do, keep yourself busy. I think the less time we spent together it made us grow fonder of each other.


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