All Blog Posts (512)

Cell Phones For Soldiers

Did you know April is National Volunteer Month? Many people here in the United States will be giving their time and energy, and not get paid for it. It’s national volunteer month! One organization is called…


Added by Crystal C on April 23, 2014 at 10:02pm — No Comments


It started with one person on a cold January day, standing silently outside the White House holding a large sign. Supporters took turns holding the placard in four hour shifts. Through snow, wind and rain, they kept their 24-hour silent vigil through February, March and April. By May and June, their numbers had grown, with more followers lining the White House fence along Pennsylvania Avenue. They stood quietly holding signs, but their presence loudly called attention to their…


Added by Alice Swan on April 22, 2014 at 7:55am — No Comments


     My first thought after reading Alice Swan’s section of our ‘Sharing the Podium’ piece was that it wasn’t necessarily military life trapping children today, it has something to do with the culture at large. And while I certainly don’t have Alice’s experience and perspective when it comes to changing duty stations and starting anew in a strange place, what I have seen isn’t quite the ideal situation I’d hoped for in raising my kids. I…


Added by Chris Field on April 15, 2014 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

GovX is now offering special priced tickets for MLB games

If you are like me, baseball season is the best! We just went last week to my son's Opening Ceremonies. I love this sport. With baseball season underway, GovX is now offering special priced tickets for MLB games through its proprietary online verification technology. All active, reserve, veteran…


Added by Crystal C on April 15, 2014 at 5:47am — No Comments

Paris! Oh the Romance...

Oh, the wonders of the shore tour...

In a few months, my husband and I are taking the trip-of-a-lifetime--to Paris! We are bringing our baby daughter (we'll see how she fares on the transatlantic flight...), and plan to spend a week exploring the not-so-touristy parts of the city (we visited Paris many years ago, and saw a lot of the "must-see" things, like the Louvre--but then I got debilitating food poisoning, so my memories are hazy).

My dream has always been to take a trip…


Added by Victoria Lynn Kelly on April 14, 2014 at 3:21pm — 1 Comment

Bead for Life

In many military communities, Mary Kay, Stella-and-Dot, and other direct-sales parties are very popular. It is a way for women to get together, shop and have fun at the same time, especially in areas where there may not be very much else to do! Recently, I discovered a new kind of party--the fundraising party.

Bead for Life is a nonprofit organization that aims to help eradicate poverty in Uganda by hiring women to make colorful paper beaded jewelry. The women are trained in business…


Added by Victoria Lynn Kelly on April 14, 2014 at 3:12pm — No Comments

SHARING THE PODIUM: Month of the Military Child

Chris and Alice discuss the joys and challenges of raising ‘Brats’

Dear Chris: I can only imagine how long this winter has been for you, with young children in the house. Even the strongest military parent needs a break…


Added by Alice Swan on April 14, 2014 at 8:39am — No Comments

What really works?

Until recently I thought people were referring to other military spouses when they used the term “seasoned spouse.”  Then a friend asked me what I’ve done to survive 23 years of this crazy lifestyle and I finally had to admit that I am probably in that “well seasoned” category.  It…


Added by Bevin Landrum on April 11, 2014 at 6:15pm — 2 Comments

A Talk Worth Having... Why SGLI is important.

Today I read something that shocked and saddened me. I read an article about a Gold Star Wife named Theresa Jones and the terrible situtation that her deceased husband Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones left her in. 

You can read the full story here

Though I'll give you the gist of it now. Her husband was a very money savvy and frugal gentleman, whom…


Added by Lori T. on April 8, 2014 at 3:12pm — 1 Comment


Listening to all the conversations about military children – how difficult their life is, the challenges they deal with, how the past 13 years of war has affected them – one thing seems to be forgotten. In the end, they are just kids, kids who want to run, play, have fun, win a prize and enjoy a day with their mom, dad…


Added by Alice Swan on April 7, 2014 at 10:30am — 1 Comment


Not again or how could this happen are thoughts for another day. Today we send prayers for comfort to those who've lost a loved one, for healing mercies for those whose who were injured and for strength for their families and the whole Fort Hood community. 

And please remember, if you are, or someone you love is in crisis, there is a place to turn for caring, professional, confidential…


Added by Alice Swan on April 3, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

25 Years of Service: Mandatory Requirement for Retirement

     Apparently, one of the budget trimming measures being touted by DOD officials is the strong possibility that active duty service members will have to extend their service to 25 years to qualify for current retirement benefits.

     Pentagon officials maintain that they’ve heard loud and clear that current military are outraged that retirement/COLA might be reduced, so many are…


Added by Chris Field on April 1, 2014 at 12:38am — 2 Comments


It’s an age old political promise – “A chicken in every pot” – meant to reassure voters that this candidate has your best interests at heart. Through this winter’s tough Defense Department budget discussions, it seems that our congressional leaders are forcing an attack on service families right where it hurts the most – the kitchen.

Consider this late Friday Facebook alert from Army Times:…


Added by Alice Swan on March 31, 2014 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Have you ever seen the flowers in Holland?

So if you haven't been to Holland you should put it on your travel list. If not here is the next best thing. Check out this new little place I heard of last year called Burnside Farms. You can have a little piece of Holland right here in Northern VA. Need or want to fill your weekend  with something to do with…


Added by Crystal C on March 29, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

Summer Fun: Kids Bowl Free!

Searching for something to do inside away from the swealtering heat of the summer with your children under the age of 15? Enter in: and look no further than a participating bowling alley near you! 

Kids Bowl Free have started their summer sign ups giving your kids a summer full of bowling adventures for free (just rent the shoes). Every day during summer vacation your kids will be able to bowl 2 free games…


Added by Lori T. on March 27, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Your CHAMPS are invited to a Youth Health and Fitness Fair!

The folks at Operation C.H.A.M.P.S are at it again. This time they are sponsoring the 3rd annual Youth Health and Fitness Fair and Armed Forces Fun Run on April 5 at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. Together with MWR and Fleet and Family Support Center, Operation CHAMPS wants your kids to ‘Spring’ into…


Added by Alice Swan on March 26, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

Halfway There! I'm not ready.

Can you believe that our surprise baby #4 is half-baked. I can't. I'm not ready. I'm scared and I'm terrified of having 2 children so close in age. I know I'll be okay, but I can't help thinking what if I'm not. 

What if I'm terrible at mothering two young children? What if I don't give each one enough attention. What if, what if, what if... 

Do all mothers with children this close have these thoughts? I mean, I know we feel inadequate from time to time, but do we all do the…


Added by Lori T. on March 25, 2014 at 10:47am — No Comments

USSA’s Military Mentorship Program

Did you know that The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) launched a new, first-of-its-kind initiative for its athletes and the U.S.…


Added by Crystal C on March 24, 2014 at 9:49pm — No Comments


My husband and I are on vacation with our infant daughter in Grand Cayman, and while it has been a wonderful, relaxing way to spend time together (and get away from the chaos of the Navy life), and introduce our winter daughter to warm climates, I have been thinking a lot about blessings on this trip.

While getting my daughter arranged in her beach tent our first day on the beach, a shy, young security guard asked how old she was. "I miss when my daughter was that age," he said. We…


Added by Victoria Lynn Kelly on March 23, 2014 at 5:35pm — No Comments


Thursday was the first day of spring. It may have fallen off many of our radar screens due to the piles of snow still melting in the area. But a new season has arrived when young men’s fancy turns to…brackets; young people invade sunny beaches or parents’ homes on their annual break from school; we start packing away those wool sweaters.

Our daughters have been with us for their mid semester vacation and I am learning once again that what is a ‘break’…


Added by Alice Swan on March 21, 2014 at 12:09pm — 1 Comment

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