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.
Retirement pay and VA disability compensation to increase in 2019

There was a lot of new information to digest when my husband retired in 2013. A lot of paperwork, a lot of decisions to make and a lot of well, a lot.

A point I missed, and maybe you did too, is that military retiree pay fluctuates with cost of living allowances. So far, that amount has been too miniscule to really notice.

In January, military retirees will receive the largest COLA increase in seven years, a full 2.8 percent pay raise. For those military members at the tippy top of the retirement pay charts that increase could be as much as $369  a month.

The kids are fine, in fact, military kids are incredible

The oldest of my two kids turned 17 this week. In true mom fashion, I spent most of the day of his birthday reminiscing about when he was born, and where he’s been.

And wondering where he will go.

He was conceived in Hong Kong, grown on Okinawa, and born in Korea.

He’s lived in 11 houses and moved to Florida, Germany, Florida, Kansas, Germany, Canada, Germany and, finally, Florida again. In 10th grade, he started his eighth school.

Halloween at the Office: Good Taste Over Ghoulish Wins

Political jokes, risqué costumes and grotesque props – oh my!

Halloween celebrated in bad taste at the office is the scariest ghoul you may encounter this season.

Halloween can be really fun in the workplace. We’ve all entered an office or store where the employees have banded together to create a whimsical group costume that makes their customers smile or even giggle.

But we’ve all also entered the scariest of haunts, the workplace that leaves its employees to their own devices on this potentially dangerous holiday.

How to practice mindfulness at work

My supervisor just spoke to me for a good 15 minutes and I can’t really tell you what he said or why he was hovering over my desk.

Sure, I nodded, smiled, made eye contact and remember even laughing at his jokes. But internally, I was still re-writing the last line of my report, making a list of all the clients I still had to contact before 5 p.m. and trying desperately to remember what we had in the freezer at home that could make a quick meal before soccer practice.

Network, network, network

The job hunt continues, one year on.

I’ve been told I’m underqualified. I’ve been told I’m overqualified. I’ve been told I was a top candidate but was missing one key piece of experience.

At one point I was even told, off the record, that at 50 years of age I am too old for a job in marketing or social media.

My main effort, though, has been put toward writing and journalism jobs, my stock and trade for the past 25 years.

October busy month for military spouse hiring fairs

Unfortunately hurricane damage and repairs have cancelled several military spouse hiring events in North Carolina in early October. However, the rest of the month is full of military spouse professional opportunities.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation continues to support spouses not just with spouse-only job fairs but also with events to help spouses build their resumes, practice professional interviewing skills and find ways to become leaders in building their communities.

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits after a PCS

If your summer PCS has left you jobless and you’ve had no luck hitting the pavement, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, depending on the state you live in.

Unemployment compensation programs are mandated and run by individual state governments and each have their own set of rules. Eligible unemployed workers receive weekly checks to hold them over until they do find a job and may qualify for other benefits. Generally this compensation is not given to workers who voluntarily quit their jobs.

Staying strong through hurricanes and military life

Watching Hurricane Florence barrel toward the East Coast this week, my husband said:

“It’s a bad feeling when you think you might lose everything.”

We know that feeling, because a year ago at this time we had just experienced Hurricane Irma’s affects on our new home. And I don’t mean “home,” I mean HOME as in the house we had  purchased less than a month earlier.

The house where we plan to spend at least the next several years until our kids are grown and flown. Maybe even the house we’ll live in the rest of our lives.

Help for veteran caregivers

Finally, we matter.

For decades, wives, siblings, parents and others have shouldered the extremely heavy weight of caring for injured veterans with little to no help from the military or the federal government.

It seems that the Department of Veterans Affairs may finally have heard our pleas.

Last week the VA announced that it would open a research center for military veteran care givers issues.

Google makes job searches easier for military veterans and spouses

Put your resume in civilian terms.

That is one of the first pieces of advice resume writers will tell military members. The description of what you did in the military rarely fits the terminology used by civilians for the exact same duties. Not speaking the lingo is the fastest way to be passed over for a job.

Google has now begun providing a translation service of sorts for military members searching for civilian jobs.

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