Westgate Resorts, Gary Sinise and Gov. Ron DeSantis Host Thousands of Military Family Members in Orlando

Westgate Resorts will honor 1,500 U.S. military families, veterans and Gold Star families from across the nation with a free vacation at Westgate Vacation Villas & Town Center Resort in Orlando, May 10-12. The event continues Westgate Resorts’ and CEO David Siegel’s eight-year tradition of encouraging our nation’s heroes to spend quality time with their families.  Representing all branches of the military, more than 5,500 guests from 41 states, and Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., will enjoy complimentary accommodations and activities, including an inaugural 5K run, a resource fair featuring 25 military organizations, and admission to Westgate’s Shipwreck Island Water …

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Can Raising Your Kids Away From Family Be A Good Thing?

Can Raising Your Kids Away From Family Be A Good Thing?

Can Raising Your Kids Away From Family Be A Good Thing? This past weekend, the article, Why Raising Kids Without Family Nearby Sucks by Scary Mommy was being shared on Facebook. I could really relate to most of that post, as many other military spouses can too. We have not lived near family since my oldest son, who is almost 14, was six months old. We have never really had local family to help us along the way. My kids don’t know our families as well as they could. There are a lot of things they are missing out on …

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Why the Military Life Isn’t Like Any Other Life

Why the Military Life Isn't Like Any Other Life

Why the Military Life Isn’t Like Any Other Life The military life is a unique life. It just is. Saying it is “just like any other life” doesn’t make any sense. I wish serving in the military was just like any other job, but it isn’t. I wish my husband hadn’t missed my son’s birth and pretty much his entire first year. Most parents don’t have to do that, and the thought of doing so would be unbelievable. But missing a whole year of a child’s life is not uncommon in the military world. I wish that none of my …

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A Letter To My Son With Autism On World Autism Awareness Day

A Letter To My Son With Autism On World Autism Awareness Day

A Letter To My Son With Autism On World Autism Awareness Day In January of 2012, we sat in the doctor’s office and heard what we had suspected about our then five-year-old son. After three or four months of testing, meeting with the doctor, and answering questions about him, our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s. As we were waiting to hear what his diagnosis was, I did my own research and came to the same conclusion. It was the only thing that made any sense. My biggest fear going into that appointment was not that he would tell me what was …

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18 Ways Things Could Change to Make the Military More Family Friendly

18 Ways Things Could Change to Make the Military More Family Friendly We all know that in general, the military is not exactly family friendly, although sometimes they try. With FRGs, MWR events, and childcare available on installations, they are not exactly ignoring our existence. On the other hand, with long hours, unsafe housing, and lack of help for military spouses seeking employment, there are plenty of things that could change to make the military more family friendly. Some of these changes are probably not too realistic. There could be reasons why the military does things the way it does that we …

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Preventing Suicide: Resources to Help You and Your Family Members

Preventing Suicide: Resources to Help You and Your Family Members

Preventing Suicide: Resources to Help You and Your Family Members Before February of 2017, I was a bit ignorant on suicide. I knew that suicide affected a lot of people, I knew that depression existed and that the disease could be a reason someone lost their life, and I knew that sometimes people felt like they had no other choice. I also knew that suicide was an issue that affected the military profoundly, both the service member and the military spouse. But then, in February of 2017, I got a phone call I never thought I would. My dear sweet SIL …

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5 Benefits of Not Going Home For Christmas

5 Benefits of Not Going Home For Christmas

5 Benefits of Not Going Home For Christmas I live precisely 1,996.1 miles from my family in California. Going home for Christmas doesn’t happen very often, in fact, the last time it did was 2007, ten years ago. Since then, we have spent every Christmas in our own home. My boys are so used to being in our own home for Christmas that I think it would be weird for them to be somewhere else on Christmas day. I do hope that sometime in the future, going home for Christmas is something we can do. With my husband’s work schedule, the …

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Why Military Families Need a Dog

Why Military Families Need a Dog

Why Military Families Need a Dog I knew we would probably always get a dog someday. I grew up with a cat, I didn’t know dogs very well but I knew our family would have one someday. My husband grew up with dogs and even worked with military working dogs in 2011. He knew dogs so I knew that he would help me figure things out once we got one. We had talked about getting a dog once things settled down after my husband got out of Active duty. But, one day, a few months before his ETS date he …

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Dear Army, Don’t Cut Family Programs, Love Military Spouses

Dear Army, Don't Cut Family Programs, Love Military Spouses

Dear Army, Don’t Cut Family Programs, Love Military Spouses Last week I saw an article about how the Army will be looking at cutting family programs at Military.com. I understand the need for some budget cuts. I get that spending too much isn’t a good idea sometimes. But cutting family programs is not a good solution. There has to be other places where we can save money. There has to be another way instead of cutting programs that benefit military spouses and military families.  From the time I first became a military spouse, I have used military programs like MWR, PWOC, MOPS, …

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