Salute to Spouses Blog

We're excited to be blogging about the latest topics in military life. We want to keep you informed on topics such as current events, education, career advice, etc. Feel free to post comments or questions to any of our entries.
Retiree Healthcare Will Cost More

Retirees will pay more for their healthcare under the 2017 proposed Defense Department budget.

Under the plan, Tricare will be re-aligned into two plans that reward families for using military treatment facilities. Under both Tricare plans, active duty families who use military facilities will pay nothing.

Families who choose the plan that includes civilian doctors will pay between $20 and $250, depending on the type of doctor and service provided. 

EFMP Changing, Make your Concerns Heard

By Tiffany Shedd

The Department of Defense is revamping the EFMP program.

This has been in the works for almost a decade, but very few people in the EFMP community know about it. Any changes to this program will most likely affect everyone enrolled.

You must post comments today if you have concerns about the program that you want addressed.

If you or a family member is enrolled in this program, you have until February 9th to submit comments that will be read and considered as part of this DoD reform.

Passport Wait Times Expected to Lengthen

Need a passport, or need to renew? You might want to get that paperwork submitted ASAP.

U.S. officials warn that they expect passport processing to be backlogged through 2018. Why? A U.S. law in 2007, dubbed the western hemisphere travel initiative, required any U.S. citizen travelling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to hold a passport.

That year, U.S. officials issued 18 million passports because of the new law. Most of them are due for renewal in the next two years, meaning lines and waits are about to become longer.

EFMP Screenings Required for Overseas Assignments: Here's What You Need to Know

By Tiffany Shedd

When I married my solider, I had to do a lot of military related paperwork and rigmarole very quickly. He was already on orders to go to Alaska, and because it’s considered an overseas assignment, I got the news that I needed to have an EFMP screening.

I had no idea what this entailed or why I was required to have it. Being an extremely new spouse, I didn’t even have anyone to ask. Today, I would have done what I always do when I am unsure about something: Google it.

PCS, More than Planning, Preparing for Goodbye

PCS season is coming.

And leaving, is tough.

I’m not talking about prepping for the moving company, making that long drive or flight or collecting all the medical, school and military records. I’m talking about leaving.

Walking away from friends.

Visiting your favorite local restaurant for the last time.

Turning the key in the door to a house you may have felt the most comfortable in.

Looking around this small piece of the Earth and knowing that you may never step foot here again. Ever.

It’s hard.

The Wandering Life: Moving Overseas This Summer? Start Planning, Now

It’s only January, but it’s never too early to talk about PCS’ing.

Moving overseas brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Chances are, if you are moving abroad, you are going somewhere you’ve never been. Where they speak a different language, have different holidays and religious customs and eat foods you’ve never heard of before.

But before you even worry about all that, you’ve got to get yourself and your family and your pets packed out of your current duty station.

Spouse Only Hiring Fairs in February

It’s cold and dreary outside, but inside these hiring fairs, it is warm, cozy and the perfect time to find a job!

These military spouse only hiring fairs, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are held monthly across the country. National and local businesses attend specifically because they know the skills that military spouses bring to the table.

Be sure to click on the website for the individual location and register. You must be pre-registered to attend and spots fill up quick! Bring a stack of copies of your resume and dress for success!

When Military Life Ends, Spouse Builds Photography Business and Fulfills Dream

Editor’s Note: Please Welcome Army spouse Nadia Hurtt to Salute to Spouses! The self-made photographer is building a business she started while her family was stationed in Hawaii. Now, while her husband attends college fulltime, she is supporting her family and growing her business, learning all about success and setback along the way. Check in every month to follow Nadia and learn more about the art of being a small business owner

Being a business owner is great, exciting and awesome.

And then, some days, it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be. 

State Issued IDs May Not Be Sufficient to Visit Base, or Fly

Did the gate guard stop you from entering base over the weekend? If so, it may be because of your driver's license.

As of this month, all military installations will no longer accept driver’s licenses from Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington and American Samoa as proof of identity.

The ban is due to the REAL ID Act of 2005.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Congress began examining how states issue driver's licenses and ID cards when they realized most of the terrorists involved had licenses issued from Virginia and Florida.

Snow day! Not for grownups

Are you snowed in? Did you go to work anyway?

When you look across the spectrum of employers, there are few that will shut their doors due to weather. Big box stores such as Walmart and Target will be operating, as will gas stations, banks and any other business that depends on customers walking through the door to make money. Many professional offices will remain open as well.

So, what do you do?

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