The Ask: Can You Help the Helpers?

We are always asking our military professionals -- lobbyists, speakers, activists, providers -- for help. And they come through time and again.

So after our Spouse Summit, I asked our presenters to make an “Ask,” a specific action item they want our readers could to do in order to move everything forward.

Look at these to dos for your own career, your family or your military community. Then pick one and let us know which one you decided to do.

Don’t think about your LinkedIn page. Use it.

 “I’d love for our readers to go to LinkedIn and recommend (not endorse, but recommend!) three people they know professionally,” said Besa Pinchotti, Communications Director for the National Military Family Association.

Besa’s breakout session on using social media to get a job with Amanda Anderson from AUSA was packed.

“Also, do something today. Apply for a job. Add skills to your profile. Go to a networking event. Basically, get the wheels turning to put your career in motion,” said Besa.

Share your career story.  

“Would you be willing to share your career story with us?” asks Amanda Crowe, Executive Director of InGear Career. Amanda helped spouses put together a Now To Next speech to make their networking efforts go further.

In Gear Career is looking to turn the spotlight on Military Spouse Professionals. Their goal is to be honest and share the successes and struggles experienced by military spouses attempting to maintain a career next to their service member.

“We hope to show the grit, determination and talent found in our population as well as gaining best practices and bringing to light  he true power of networking!: If you're willing to share your story, please visit: http://bit.ly/milspsum for more information.”

Care enough to take action.  

“Facts about pay and benefits are under attack,” said Karen Golden, MOAA’s Deputy Director of Government Relations for Military Family Issues. “ You need to know where to find them and how to take action.”

So inform yourself by following MOAA Spouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, take a look at their Making it in the MilLife® blogs where you can get deeper insight on current issues affecting military spouses and families.

Brooke Goldberg ,Government Relations Deputy Director National Military Family Association, also asks readers to use their social media to connect with the military community.

“Will you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so that you can follow the information we post on the budget, your benefits and military family life and "share" important information and stories with other #milspouses?”

Give us the details.

“We heard you when you talked about how budget cuts , sequestration, or downsizing is impacting you,” said Debbie Bradbard, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Acting Director of Research and Policy for Blue Star Families.

Blue Star Families will have one Facebook post this week asking you how your family has been impacted.  Like the post and/or tell them your story for maximum impact.

“Those stories make a difference and show law and policy makers about the real world impact that policy changes can have on real military families around the country.   To share your story privately, contact AnnaMaria White at amwhite@bluestarfam.org we are looking for families willing to tell their stories either in print or on camera.

Gimme a #Sweatcheck!

"Get one good workout in,” said El Brown, founder of Kinderjam who captivated the audience with her 100-pound weightloss story.

“Whether it is a Zumba class or walking the dog around the block...Just MOVE!!!  Then post it on Facebook, Twitter or my FB page  with the hashtag #sweatcheck, so I can cheer you on!”

Write a letter that will make a difference.

When I checked in with Kris Johnson, a former Army wife who is fighting to get legislation to protect military families whose service members are being prosecuted under the UCMJ, she was so grateful for the support of our summit participants. "It is clear to me why military spouses are a different  breed. Because we CARE! Many of you asked if you could do something to show your support for the creation of legislation that would protect the families of lawbreaking service members," said Kris. Here is Kris's ask:  Would you be willing to write a letter to the Secretary of Defense' s office?? Tell them that you support the creation of a transitional compensation and other transitional benefits as is being studied by Mr. Hagel as per the National Defense Authorization Act FY14, Title VI, Sub F (other matters), Sec 652. Then send it to The Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington DC 20301. Or you can fax it to: 703-571-8951.  "The study is supposed to be conducted this month," said Kris.  "But I believe that other matters have taken priority. That's OK...once they realize that not just Kris Johnson is watching this issue they will move. Thank you in advance. We CAN make a difference!!" Often doing one thing like this to help one of the helpers moves your own cause forward, too.  Take on one of these projects today. Show Full Article

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