A Christmas letter to military families everywhere

If we actually wrote a Christmas letter, this might be what it would sound like. Part nostalgic, part sentimental, part sarcastic … but all of it a pretty good reflection of our retired life.


Dear friends and family,


We haven’t written a Christmas letter for years.


For one thing, we can’t keep up with all your addresses. Our apologies if this letter was forwarded three times before it reached you!


Still thankful for the military after all these years

Know what I miss most about the military today?


Chow hall Thanksgiving!


I might be dating myself with that name for the on-post Dining Facility, and maybe even with this whole post.


This is our second Thanksgiving after official retirement from the military, and our third if you include the one while my spouse was on terminal leave.


Happy Thanksgiving! Be careful on the roads, in your kitchen and avoid politics at all costs!

Thanksgiving can be filled with love and delight.

It can also be the trickiest time of year to gather the entire extended gang around the table. Not to mention, possibly one of the most dangerous days of the year.

The National Fire Protection Association says the chances of a cooking-related fire increase nearly 250 percent on Thanksgiving. Almost half of Thanksgiving Day fires occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when meals are being prepared and the cooks may be distracted by the guests and the sheer amount of food that needs to be tended to.

The gift of life and random acts of kindness

By Amy Nielsen

This is going to be short and sweet this week seeing as it is New Year’s Eve and all. Honestly, I have had a really hard time coming up to this specific day. I put a lot of stock in this year and I feel very much like I am none too far beyond where I was on this day last year. I was having a good ol’ pitty party and feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Then, bam! Something happens for two dear friends out of the blue that is quite literally in the last seconds, lifesaving. Not once, but twice in the same week, friends have received organs through donation.

Lessons to carry forward

By Amy Nielsen

This last week of the year is always fraught with peril for me. I spend half the time in high elation with the blush of Yuletide faeries and hearty fare still ringing through my head and belly, and the other half in defeated panic about all the things I said I would accomplish and find instead lying in varying piles around my house resembling so many miniature towers of Pisa gathering dust in corners and on steps.

The 12 Days of Retirement

Today, an ode to an old Christmas favorite, and some of the new challenges of retirement. Happy Holidays to all!

On the first day of Christmas, retirement gave to me … one grateful nation.

On the second day of Christmas, retirement gave to me … two pack out dates and one grateful nation.

On the third day of Christmas retirement gave to me … three DD214s, two pack out dates and one grateful nation.

On the fourth day of Christmas retirement gave to me … four panic attacks, three DD214s, two pack out dates and one grateful nation.

Halloween on the clock

By Salute to Spouses Staff

Halloween is becoming one of the top celebrated holidays in the workplace. A recent survey by National Today shows that 72 percent of U.S. employers encourage their employees to wear a costume to work for the holiday.

The day of candy and fun offers many workplaces a chance to build comradery and give employees a chance to get to know each other better.

It also could offer an opportunity for well-intentioned employees to offend their co-workers and their supervisors.

The Best Valentine’s Gift for the Deployed: Communication

By Christine Cioppa

You’ve sent your care package with loads of necessities, reading materials, pictures, and goodies, including those cookies he loves to share with his friends.

What else can you do to help keep the love alive in your marriage during deployment?

Navy Command Plays Santa and Sends Dad Home For Christmas

Being a military spouse makes you jaded.

You always assume your husband will come home too late for dinner. 

He will likely be deployed for your birthday.  Again.

He won’t get a promotion even when he deserves it.  He won’t get leave, even when he deserves it.  He won’t get to send e-mails or phone calls during deployments, even when he deserves it.

Granted, the Navy has been good to us.  I can’t complain.

This New Year, Resolve to Toast Yourself, Not Change

New Year’s Eve is a time for renewal, celebration and, yes, those dreaded resolutions that everyone is always talking about. In my house, it’s an extra special time because it’s also when my husband and I got married.

Our wedding was on Dec. 30, 1990. Before you start doing the math in your head the answer is that we tied the knot 25 years ago today, perhaps before many of you reading this were even born. I am what you might refer to as a “senior spouse,” having been married to my husband for his entire Army career.


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