Category - Military Life

Walmart Announces New Focus on Hiring Military Spouses

The Military Spouse Career Connection aims to turn jobs into careers Walmart today announced it will give hiring preference to military spouses, becoming the largest U.S. company to make such a commitment. The Military Spouse Career Connection, a new initiative by Walmart to recruit and hire military spouses, complements the 2013 Veterans Welcome Home commitment, enhanced in 2015, to hire 250,000 military veterans by 2020, a goal it is on track to surpass next year. There are more than 500,000 active duty military spouses nationwide. While the U.S. jobless rate hovers at four percent nationally, military spouses face a 26 percent unemployment rate and a 25 percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts. A full 77 percent of these spouses want or need work, yet frequent relocation is often a barrier to finding and maintaining a rewarding career, according to the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership. “Military spouses are unsung heroes,” said Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon, today during a Veterans Day ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville. “They serve in partnership with their uniformed spouses, and we want to honor them and help them find a job or build an amazing career. To military spouses: You’ve got a home at Walmart!” Military spouses are diverse, entrepreneurial, adaptable, educated, team-oriented and civically engaged, according to Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Nearly 85 percent have some college education or higher. A quarter have a bachelor’s degree and 10 percent have an advanced degree. “We have a duty to honor veterans and military families,” said Retired Brig. Gen. Gary Profit, senior director of military programs for Walmart. “But, more importantly, they are tremendous assets to our business. Military spouses bring many of the same leadership qualities we see in veterans, yet they are disproportionately unemployed. We welcome them to Walmart and hope they will consider us for the next step on their career journey.” Through the Military Family Promise, Walmart has long offered military spouses and veterans the ability to transfer from one Walmart or Sam’s Club location to another when a spouse is transferred because of the military. The Military Spouse Career Connection takes the company’s commitment one step further by offering any military spouse with a current Uniformed Services Identification Card hiring preference when they apply for a job with the company beginning on November 12, 2018. All candidates must meet the standard hiring criteria, and available positions can be found at walmartspouseswithamission.com. The news comes as Walmart reports hiring more than 212,000* veterans since full implementation of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, and, with over 32,000 veteran associates promoted since joining the Walmart and Sam’s Club teams, they are turning opportunities into careers. Walmart today also honors veterans across the country with dozens of in-store ceremonies and events. Nationally, Walmart associates and local stores shared Facebook “thank you” messages to Veterans, their spouses and families. For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment and overall support to veterans, service members and military families, visit walmartcareerswithamission.com *Editor’s Note: These projections and reported hires/promotions include veterans hired under Walmart’s original and expanded Veterans Welcome Home Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart in this time frame. While Walmart thinks it is particularly important to support veterans as they make the transition to civilian life, Walmart believes all of them deserve respect and support, no matter when they left active duty. About Walmart Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 265 million customers and members visit our more than 11,200 stores under 55 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting , on Facebook at  and on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/walmart. Connect with us on Facebook!

A Giant List of Meals, Deals, & Perks for Veterans Day 2018

Brought to you by MilitaryBridge.Com THE MEANING OF VETERANS DAY: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. We would like to say a special “Thank You” from MilitaryBridge to all military members past, present, and future for your amazing dedication and sacrifices you and your families make every day to protect our freedom! VETERANS DAY GIVEAWAYS (1) In Collaboration with MilitaryBridge, Hawks Cay Resort, located in Duck Key, Florida is Proud to Show their Appreciation of the Military Community this Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month with a Florida Keys Vacation Giveaway! Enter to win a 4-night stay in one of Hawks Cay beautifully renovated guest rooms, Hotel Accommodations included for a family of 4, Daily breakfast at the new Hawks Cay Marketplace and A Dolphin Connection experience for the entire family! The contest runs November 2-30, 2018.  This giveaway is intended for military families. **ENTER THE HAWKS CAY RESORT GIVEAWAY** (2) Nixplay & MilitaryBridge Partner For Giveaways & Big Savings In November In Honor Of Veteran’s Day! In partnership with MilitaryBridge, Nixplay will be giving away (3) Nixplay Seed 10″ Black frames to 3 lucky military members—whether active duty, guard, reserve, veterans and/or military families. Contest runs November 1-15, 2018!  Nixplay is also offering a 30% discount off the Nixplay Seed 10″ Black Frame Nov. 1-30 **ENTER THE NIXPLAY GIVEAWAY** (3) In Honor of Military Family Appreciation Month & Veterans Day, TGI Fridays, in collaboration with MilitaryBridge, is giving away (4) $50 Gift Cards.  The giveaway will run November 1-12th, 2018. #FridaysSalutes   **ENTER THE TGI FRIDAYS GIVEAWAY** (4) In honor of Veterans Day & Military Golfers, TaylorMade in collaboration with MilitaryBridge is giving away a TaylorMade MySpider Personalized Putter.  Choose from Red, White & Blue. This giveaway will run November 1-11th, 2018.   **ENTER THE TAYLORMADE GOLF GIVEAWAY** Additional giveaway opportunities from Blue Star Families and their partners: (1) Military Family Appreciation Giveaway–Sleep Number From October 15 to November 15, you can enter daily to win one of 12 SleepIQ™ Kids beds. Learn more & enter here! (2) Blue Star Families & Caulipower team up! Caulipower giveaway & discount–Grab an exclusive coupon for $3 off CAULIPOWER. Share your special creations on Instagram, tagging @CAULIPOWERED, @BlueStarFamilies and #WhatTheBraveCrave for a chance to win a year’s worth of pizza. For every tagged entry, we’ll donate $1 to Blue Star Families (up to $10k). Learn more and enter here! FEATURED DISCOUNTS & DEALS Disclosure: Some of the following listings are sponsored or contain affiliate links meaning MilitaryBridge may receive a small commission when you purchase from some online retailers. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants: McCormick & Schmick’s locations nationwide wants to take the opportunity to honor those who have served and are still serving in the United States Military. Sunday, November 11th military members Active Duty, National Guard, Veterans and Gold Star Honorees (parents and spouse) enjoy a Free Entree for Lunch or Dinner.  Reservations recommended! McCormick & Kuletos (California): McCormick & Kuleto’s wants to take the opportunity to honor those who have served and are still serving in the United States Military. Sunday, November 11th military members Active Duty, National Guard, Veterans and Gold Star Honorees (parents and spouse) enjoy a Free Entree for Lunch or Dinner. Reservations recommended. McCormick Fish House: (Oregon) McCormick FIsh House wants to take the opportunity to honor those who have served and are still serving in the United States Military. Sunday, November 11th military members Active Duty, National Guard, Veterans and Gold Star Honorees (parents and spouse) enjoy a Free Entree for Lunch or Dinner.  Reservations recommended. Jake’s Grill: (Oregon) Jake’s Grill wants to take the opportunity to honor those who have served and are still serving in the United States Military. Sunday, November 11th military members Active Duty, National Guard, Veterans and Gold Star Honorees (parents and spouse) enjoy a Free Entree for Lunch or Dinner. Twin Peaks:  In Honor of Veterans Day, Twin Peaks Sports Bar & Restaurant Locations Nationwide are Offering a Free Meal from a Select Menu on November 12, 2018! In addition, we are also running a Give $5, Get $5 promotion in conjunction with Veterans Day to give back through our national nonprofit charity, Folds of Honor. TGI FRIDAYS: In honor of Veterans Day, November 11, Active Duty & Veterans are invited to be honored Guests of TGI Fridays restaurants nationwide and enjoy unique local specials. Offers may vary by location, so we encourage all of our military members and guests to check with their local Fridays for specific details. Also, be sure to enter the #FridaysSalutes giveaway above for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Moe’s Southwest Grill (Hampton Roads):  In honor of Veterans Day, Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in Hampton Roads will offer a special military discount on Nov. 11 and Kids Eat Free.  Plus, stop in on Saturdays for their 20% military discount or Mondays for their specially priced burrito. WORX Tools: In honor of Veterans Day, from November 10-12, 2018, veterans enjoy a 11% off sitewide sale and an additional discount off 10% off (with code WXVETERAN10) for our registered Veterans, for a total of 21% off! Get registered here! T-Mobile ONE Military: T-Mobile Launches T-Mobile ONE Military Offering Heavily Discounted Plans, Military Hiring Initiatives & Expanded LTE Coverage Near Military Bases Nixplay: The digital photo frame company is celebrating Military all month long with several military initiatives.  In partnership with MilitaryBridge, Nixplay will be giving away (3) Nixplay Seed 10″ Black frames to 3 lucky military members—whether active duty, guard, reserve, veterans and/or military families. Enter the giveaway above.  Contest runs November 1-15, 2018! MilitaryBridge followers can also get 30% off Nixplay Seed 10″ Black frame from November 1 to 30 by entering the promo code MB-VETERAN at checkout. This discount is their most generous discount yet! The promo code can be used only once per customer and cannot be used with other special discount offers. #NixplaySalutes International Spy Museum: The Spy Museum is excited to welcome Veterans from November 4-18, 2018 for a discounted price of $14.00 plus tax (Walk up price $22.95).  Don’t miss your last chance to see the Spy Museum’s current exhibition including the interactive exhibit, Exquisitely Evil, featuring James Bond’s chief adversaries, their henchmen, lairs, and weapons. Paragon Theaters: Paragon Theaters is Proud to Show their Support of the Military Community this Veterans Day with a Free Small Popcorn!  Catch a movie and enjoy a free popcorn on Veterans Day! Aquarium of the Pacific: Free admission for military members and veterans with id on Veterans Day 2018. LEGOLAND Florida: In Honor of Veterans Day, LEGOLAND Florida is Offering FREE ADMISSION, FREE PARKING, HOTEL DISCOUNTS & GUEST DISCOUNTS for the Month of November! iFLY Virginia Beach: For the month of November, veterans and active duty military members receive 20% off any First Time Flyer package booked Monday-Friday with proof of service.  Promo Code: MILITARY20 Mattress Firm: In honor of Veterans Day, huge sales kick off November 9th.  Veterans Day Sale: This Weekend Only! Free Adjustable Base When You Spend $599+ on Your Mattress. Up to a $699 Value-FREE! Valid November 9-12, 2018 PROMO CODE: ELEVATE SHOP NOW! This Weekend Only! Free Adjustable Base on Purchases $599+ OR Get a King for a Queen or a Queen for a Twin. All Brands On Sale. Shop Now! Valid November 9-12, 2018 PROMO CODE: ELEVATE SHOP NOW! Shop Mattress Firm 0% APR for 72 months, No Credit Needed! Valid November 9-12, 2018 Veterans Day Discount: 20% Off for all Veterans, First Responders & their Families. Shop Now! Valid November 9-12, 2018 PROMO CODE: VETS20 Holt’s Cigar Company: This Veterans Day and everyday, Holt’s Cigar Company is Proud to Offer a 10% Military Discount in Appreciation of Military Service. Shop the Finest Cigars Since 1898! ButcherBox: Military receive $10 off their first box and free bacon!  Order online today, use promo code MILITARYBRIDGE10 Grass fed beef, free range chicken & heritage pork delivered directly to your door. All meat is free of antibiotics & hormones. Under Armour: In honor of Veterans Day, Under Armour is offering an increased 15% Military Discount through 11/12/2018 for Military & Veterans. Helzberg Diamonds: Helzberg Diamonds is Honored to Play a Role in Military Families’ Life Moments. In Appreciation, Helzberg Diamonds Offers a 10% Military Discount! The Word Among Us: In Honor of Veterans Day, The Word Among Us is Offering Free Digital Subscriptions for Active Duty. Veterans, National Guard & Reserves Save 80% Tommy Hilfiger: This Veterans Day and everyday, Tommy Hilfiger is Proud to Offer a 15% Military DIscount Program to Active Duty, Veterans, Retirees, National Guard, Reserve & their Spouses TOMS: In Honor of Veterans Day, TOMS is Increasing their Everyday Military Discount to 20% Off November 1-18, 2018! Buckle: Buckle is Proud to Show their Support of the Military Community this Veterans Day and everyday with their 10% Military Discount Program! Plus, Free Shipping November 5-20, 2018. Smile Doctor Braces: In honor of Veterans Day and everyday, Military members & their families enjoy a 10% Military Discount on orthodontic services. vineyard vines: In honor of Veterans Day and everyday, military members enjoy a 15% military discount.  Plus, in honor of Veterans Day, vineyard vines will donate 20% off the proceeds BACK to K9s For Warriors from each purchase of a limited-edition Veterans Day Long-Sleeve Pocket T-Shirt. See Free Meals and Deals on the next page

When You Have to PCS Without a Recon Mission

Several years ago, in late fall, I begged my husband for a mini-vacay to visit our soon-to-be new duty station. A reconnaissance mission, if you will. We were scheduled to PCS in January and I was dying to visit our new town and scope out housing, schools, and the base without our three children in tow. We had already decided to live off-base, and as a perpetual planner, this just made good sense to me. But, in the end, we didn’t take the trip. It was complicated with childcare and didn’t make sense financially. So, in the middle of January, we loaded up our cars with kids wedged between boxes and bags and drove 1,200 miles to our new duty station. We were embarking on the great unknown: PCSing without a recon mission. We took full advantage of the ten days of house hunting leave. Using on base temporary lodging as a crash pad and fueling station, #breakfastbuffet, we madly drove around one million neighborhoods and scheduled showings before ultimately finding a home. 1. Research, Research, Research In the months or weeks leading up to your move, learn as much as you can about your new location from online sources like pcsgrades.com, for example. Check out rental listings on Zillow.com, craigslist.org, militarybyowner.com and Millie. The online forum,  citydata.com, will give you a feel for the town and greatschools.com will help you narrow your housing location search by school rating. Determine a housing budget by looking up BAH rates at your new duty station. Calculate a price range you are willing to spend on rent or mortgage, if you choose to buy a home. Don’t forget to account for utilities, which can add quite a bit to your monthly housing budget. 2. Hit the Ground Running A day or two before you arrive at your new duty station, choose a few of your favorite listings and call to schedule showings for the day after you arrive. We were so excited for our first showing, since the house looked perfect on the website and the price was right. Well, in person we could see the backyard bordered an extremely busy street and car dealership. The house wasn’t at all what the online pictures had portrayed. We crossed if off the list immediately and moved on to the next house. A big part of the house hunting process without a recon mission is familiarizing yourself with a new location quickly. Since our three kids were with us as we drove around our new town, madly looking for a house, we had to take frequent stretch breaks. We stopped and played at neighborhoods parks, taking note of everything from cleanliness to overall vibe. We also drove through potential neighborhoods at night, looking to see whether it was hopping with rowdy partiers or quiet and still. We also practiced the route to what would likely be their new school, getting a feel for our new life and talking with parents at the pick-up gate. 3. Efficiency Without a recon mission, you have to maximize every minute of the ten-day house hunting window. Constantly refreshing websites for new listings, driving around hoping to spy “for rent” signs posted in yards, and not hesitating to call and ask for a showing. Rental applications can take a few days to process, so be prepared with references, former addresses and all pertinent information needed to fill one out quickly. There is really no time for rest, but if you work at warp-speed, your efforts will pay off in securing housing in a neighborhood that fits you and your family. 4. Expect Surprises In the end, we moved in to a wonderful house that exceeded our expectations in square footage. We had sold couches and living room furniture before the move, thinking our budget would allow for a much smaller home. The big, empty space in our new house? Turns out it’s perfect for indoor soccer and theatrical productions put on by the kids. The lesson here: Not everything can be determined through websites and virtual visits. Sometimes you will be surprised by what you find in person, and you might want to hang on to all your furniture, just in case. Do your homework, hit the ground running and take advantage of the house hunting window and base lodging. It will be a whirlwind and you might worry about your kids. Don’t. They will only remember the endless chocolate doughnuts from the breakfast buffet. Connect with us on Facebook!

Can You Learn to Live With Your Spouse After Military Retirement?

I like to say that my spouse and I have stayed married nearly 28 years because he was gone half of that time, thanks to the military. I’m never really sure if I’m kidding or not when I make that statement. The reality is that, two years into retirement, we’re still learning how to live together, what our roles are, and where we go from here. The thrill of retirement when he dropped his paperwork was quickly tempered by the reality of a new life, completely foreign to both of us. We got married a month after he went on active duty. He served for 26 years. We each knew where we stood in military life. I was the parent, the financial planner, the housekeeper, the cook, the driver, the travel agent, the handyman, the nurse, the counselor, the friend, the professional journalist who worked on my own career when I had time. He was the warrior. As a military spouse, my life went in a million different directions at once. His was laser-focused on his job and his soldiers. Occasionally over the years we talked about retirement – where we thought we might want to live, what jobs we would do, how we would raise our kids in a post-military world. But mostly we just went with the flow. Until that day that he came home and said, “I’m ready. I’m going to tell the boss I’m retiring.” Reality hit like a ton of bricks. Over the next several months we both realized that our vague plan to move back near our hometown in Florida was not really what either of us wanted to do. Suddenly we had no idea where we would go or what we would do. The anxiety levels went through the roof. Surviving military retirement as a couple takes one very important skill: Communication, the one thing we had never been great at. Suddenly, almost instinctively, we started talking about everything. What did we each want our future life to look like? What were our goals and dreams? What would our finances look like? We brought our kids, then ages 12 and 14, into it, too. We asked them what they wanted in a school, in a community, what type of place they would like to call home. We made a plan that included budgeting our money and doing tireless research on every facet of retirement. Nov. 30 will mark two years since we started this journey. Where we are now looks like nothing like we originally thought it would until we actually started talking. And where we are now is pretty darn great. How do you open those lines of communication and keep them going? Here are five tips to surviving military retirement with your spouse, starting at the very beginning: 1. Don’t push your service member to retire. Let him or her come to the realization that they are “ready.” Otherwise, they’ll have a much harder time transitioning – and so will you. 2. Set aside time each week or each month for a “meeting.” That could be at the kitchen table, on a walk through the neighborhood, or during a date night out. Use that time to set goals, and to talk honestly about finances and priorities. 3. Conflicts will happen, but when they do, look at the real reason behind them. Step back and ask yourself if what is really bothering you. Hint: Getting mad at your spouse for loading the dishwasher the “wrong” way isn’t a healthy response. Telling him or her what’s really bothering you, and vice versa, is. Another hint: In our house, those kinds of arguments are nearly always about control. 4. Be careful about too much outside advice. It’s great to talk to friends and family, especially those who have been through similar life transitions. But only you and your spouse can make the best decisions for you. 5. Most importantly…have fun and enjoy each other. Marriage takes work, no matter what stage you’re at in life. And that work changes as we both evolve. But the return – seeing my spouse every day being involved as a full member of our marriage and our family – is something I never imagined would be so amazing. Connect with us on Facebook!