If there's one thing guaranteed to have drama, it's military life. Let's face it, between the drama inherent in military deployments and homecomings and the general universal-crazy that was 2016 (elections? celebrity deaths? Congress?) we had a year packed with all sorts of emotion.
When we look at what you read on SpouseBuzz in 2016, we get a great picture of things you care about.
Here's what mattered to you in 2016.Military benefits changes. The Defense Department and Congress know the best way to mess with us is to play with our military benefits. The biggest story of our year was the changes to GI Bill transfers that Congress threatened but didn't end up carrying out. Other cut threats like this one to BAH, which also didn't end up happening, were also a big deal to you.
Your home-based hustle. We know that many military spouses own home-based businesses through companies like Scentsy, Thirty-One and Jamberry. And while it could be easy to find the operation of these businesses annoying, our blogger Raleigh recognized how empowering they can be -- and how wrong she was to eye-roll at them. You really liked her apology.
Terrorism came home. A March terrorist attack in a Brussels airport seriously injured members an Air Force family, and killed an Air Force spouse. As far as we know she is the only non-service member military spouse casualty our community has experience since 9/11. Military service -- even the type done by family members -- comes at a price. We continue to think about the family.
Behold the Tricare changes. It was not a slow year on the Tricare changes front. First they announced that our dental coverage would soon change hands. Then they announced that the companies that manage the Tricare regions would be changing. And then they shook-up which retail pharmacies we can use, kicking out CVS and adding Walgreens to the network. And if that wasn't enough, Congress decided to restructure the Tricare system to no longer include Tricare Standard. Phew.
Falling for romance scams has consequences. I hear a lot from women who are the apparent victims of romance scams. These women fall for someone posing as a service member online, send them money and, in the case of the woman in this top story, cashing fraudulent money orders. Here's a good rule of thumb: if it smells like a scam and you even have to wonder, it's a scam.
Dear president-elect: be kind to the military. We are all still weary from a long and emotional election season. But we can agree on two things: the good words written by T.T. on election-eve and what military families should do after an election, no matter the outcome.
From policies to politics, you've been with us through it all. Here's to facing whatever 2017 brings our way, together.