Posts Tagged DOD Family Matters
By Lisa Daniel
Oct. 11, 2012
The Defense Department is taking internship applications for a program that expands the availability of child care and youth programs, while also giving a leg up to jobseekers in that field, especially military spouses.
DOD and the Agriculture Department formed the Military Extension Internship Partnership in 2010 in concert with a major construction project that started in 2008 to accommodate the growing requests for child care and youth programs, Barbara Thompson, director of DOD’s Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth, told me recently.
“We thought the program up because we had huge child care growth,” she said. “We were going through a big construction program and increasing the number of child development spaces and we knew we needed to do something on the employment side. We wanted to be grooming our staff along the way so we would have experienced people to take on the role of management.”
The MEIP is taking applications for summer internships between Nov. 30 and Jan. 31 on its website. Read the rest of this entry »
By Lisa Daniel
Common Core Standards, No Child Left Behind, STEM, differentiated teaching, merit pay. Keeping up with the latest policies, ideas and buzz words in education is enough to make parents’ – along with more than a few educators’ — heads spin.
That’s why it was a special treat when I got to speak about these trends with Angela Wilson, who traveled here this week to meet Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and conduct other official business as the Department of Defense Education Activity’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. Read more here.
Wilson has been a key player in national education issues since being awarded the honor last spring, along with other Teacher of the Year winners from each of the states and territories. Since then, Wilson has traveled several times to meet with national education leaders and work on projects to advance teaching, while bringing those experiences back to her seventh-grade language arts and speech students at Vincenza Middle School in Italy.
“It’s been an amazing year,” Wilson said. “It’s really opened my eyes to what’s going on in education around our nation. As teachers, it’s easy to get stuck in what’s happening in your classroom and not looking beyond that.”
Wilson has met with President Barack Obama, whose sister, like Panetta’s, is a teacher. She’s also had conversations with Dr. Jill Biden, who remains a teacher even as she is second lady, as well as Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other public officials. She has attended education conferences and participated in initiatives and met with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, creator of www.icivics.org, and Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who spent a couple of hours speaking with teachers at the Educational Commission Conference in Atlanta last summer, Wilson said.
“He met with all of us individually … and wanted us to tell him what’s going on in our schools and how he could help,” she said of Gates. “He wrote down what we said,” then Wilson and four other teachers were chosen to be recorded for a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation video.
“That was really neat that he would turn our thoughts into a video” to advance education, Wilson said. “His goal is to make America one of those really competitive educational societies like it used to be.”
Reports that American students’ standardized test scores are falling below those of their international peers are unsettling, but Wilson said she believes the nation is on the cusp of reversing that trend, in part due to the rapid push for new initiatives. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest blogger Air Force Maj. Nicholas Sabula is a communication plans officer at the Defense Media Activity. He was selected to a 10-member panel as part of the Defense Department’s Exceptional Family Member Program. He has a son with autism and, off-duty, is an advocate for military families dealing with autism.�
By Air Force Maj. Nicholas Sabula
Defense Media Activity
Recently I had the opportunity to serve on a Defense Department advisory panel dealing with special needs issues across the military.
The panel’s meeting last month in Alexandria, Va., was the third of its kind conducted by DOD’s Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs, or OSN, in the past year to address the Exceptional Family Member Program’s family support priorities.
The panel was comprised of family representatives from all services, including active duty and reserves, and addressed communication issues and concerns from military families. The event was chaired by Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Charles E. Milam.
As the father of three boys, one with autism, I took my role in the process very seriously. In reaching out for input from families through networking, meet-ups and even an unofficial online survey, I found myself not only serving not only as the Air Force representative, but also as a joint representative to all our families.
EFMP impacts a lot of families, with enrollment mandatory for active duty families with a special need. As of December, total EFMP service member enrollment was projected at 93,706 with numbers of EFMP family members estimated at 126,153 across services.
The program becomes especially important when planning and making a permanent change of station move. Some families need support before the move to determine if services are available for their particular special needs. Some find that they need family support assistance to navigate the system when they arrive at a new duty station. Contacts must be made with new school staff, to locate medical providers and work with a variety of offices to support providers on or off the installation.
During previous panels, we presented families’ frustrations with accessing information and services and confusion about policy since each service implements a slightly different program. Lack of standardization and consistency at different installations were top priorities. The panel listed as its three key areas for improvement consistency of support, communication and health care.
What I found is that much of the work our panel initially identified and advocated for a year ago was taken to heart by leadership and we are seeing results. OSN recently completed the first phase of an analysis aimed at standardizing service support for special needs families across DOD. The analysis used a series of site visits to installation-level, headquarters-level and any centralized locations dealing with personnel, family support and assignment processes. The culminating activity was a review by the services to look at enrollment and identification; assignment coordination; overseas family travel; and family support.
Ultimately, the outcome is to consolidate these processes and make it easier for families to maintain support from location to location. Simple things like common forms, databases talking to each other, more user-friendly websites to help families as they transition from one location to another, accessibility of information to understand how to obtain care and support from available resources were all presented.
A TRICARE representative spoke about the health care management activity’s efforts to improve communication with families and collaboration with OSN, such as simplifying online navigation. The representative discussed TRICARE’s Patient Centered Medical Home, which the services are implementing and eventually will address many of the panel’s issues related to lack of consistency of medical providers and timely access to specialty care. It places emphasis on personal relationships, team delivery of holistic care, coordination across medical specialties and settings, and increases access to affordable care.
EFMP representatives from each service’s headquarters shared their efforts to improve communication and outreach, as well as awareness on adult-age children or spouses with special needs, respite care and other EFMP initiatives such as joint base support.
I was especially pleased to see that the services are working more closely together to build cohesion across the joint force. It might not sound like much, but as an Air Force family on an Army installation, such cohesion is important and reflects a readiness issue for the military community at large.
Perhaps the hardest part of participating in these panels has been the expectations of families after it ends. It’s hard to tell families that their concerns were presented, but won’t be fixed right now. As I’ve learned, the complexity of coordination and needed approvals at the department or service level means change typically gets accomplished at one speed: glacial.
Despite more work to be done, military families like mine with special needs should see some direct benefits from the recommendations brought forth through this panel, indicating the importance DOD is putting on listening to families’ concerns and working to act on their issues.
There’s still going to challenges with support and services in the short term, but the ball is rolling on lasting improvements to make things better for all our families.
By Lisa Daniel
Sept. 27, 2012
As the Army conducts its worldwide standdown for suicide prevention today, there is something family members militarywide can do, too, and it only takes a minute. Get out your smart phone and enter the information for the Military Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1, militarycrisisline.net, or text at 838255.
All calls are confidential and they are taken by trained counselors. So even if you’re unsure if someone close to you may be suicidal, you could at least talk through the situation with someone who understands and could share insight. And in the terrible possibility of an emergency, you won’t be searching for a number to call.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III ordered the stand down in response to increasing soldier suicides, but noted it is a broader societal problem. “Ultimately, we want the mindset across our force and society at large to be that behavioral health is a routine part of what we do and who we are as we strive to maintain our own physical and mental wellness,” he said. Read more here.
As the Army stands down, I’m thinking of the families who struggle every day with the possibility of suicide. I’m thinking of the mother who makes daily calls to check in on her son, the wife who left her husband out of concern for their children after he attempted suicide, and the man who removed firearms from his brother’s house out of fear he would use them against himself. All bear unimaginable stress from the daily fear that a loved one will take his or her own life.
I’m also thinking of the families for whom the recent focus on suicide prevention came too late, for those who will forever think about how they may have missed signs leading up to a suicide.
I’m thinking of the Army family I knew who lost their only daughter to suicide when she was just 22. I knew Candace as the girl across the street, an outgoing and bubbly high school student who dreamed of being a pediatrician. She was a good student and an athlete and when she wasn’t studying or running, she spent many hours at my house playing with my son while I worked, often refusing payment, she said, because she so enjoyed playing with the baby. It was clear she had a gift with children and I marveled at what the future would hold for her.
My family moved away after a couple of years and Candace went away to college on scholarship, like we all expected. We lost touch after a while and somewhere in the next four years, Candace’s life got off track from what she had planned. At some point, she lost hope and took that awful step that has been called the permanent solution to temporary problems.
Eight years have passed and I still see Candace’s bright smile in my mind and wonder what could have been for her. Coping with any death is hard, but families and friends of suicide victims have the added torment of trying to understand how their loved one came to their decision and if they could have stopped them, if they missed the signs. More than a hundred Army families are coping with the suicide of a soldier this year and no doubt many more are dealing with another family member having taken their own life.
As Secretary Leon Panetta and other DOD leaders have said, understanding suicide and reversing its rising trend is hard; General Austin called it his toughest enemy. No training or information campaign will end all suicides. But today’s standdown hopefully will go a long way in helping people recognize the warning signs in a potentially suicidal person and, most importantly, it will elevate the conversation out of the darkness of being a taboo topic.
Guest Blogger Army Sgt.1st Class Tyrone Marshall is a writer and photographer with American Forces Press Service in the Pentagon.
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
Sept. 19, 2012
After spending nearly two incredible weeks with some of the best Paralympic athletes the U.S. has to offer, I learned some very important things.
One, for sure, is that we love our athletes regardless whether they are Olympians or Paralympians. I thought I knew enough about the games when I left on a mission to cover the 2012 London Paralympic Games from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9. Wow, I was wrong!
Did you know the prefix “para” in the Paralympic Games doesn’t refer to anything meaning disabled? I assumed it did because of terms like paraplegic. Fortunately, my experiences there served to teach me a broad range of things. “Para” simply refers to the Greek term for “alongside” or parallel, according to the International Paralympic Committee. The Paralympics have been held in parallel with the Olympics since 1960.
I also learned that many Paralympians have overcome some tough disabilities! One of our military Paralympians, Jennifer Schuble, endured multiple afflictions only to thrive as a competitor during the Beijing and London Paralympics. She suffered a traumatic brain injury during hand-to-hand combat training, crushed her right arm in a car accident and was eventually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
This didn’t stop her, though, and she’s now a Paralympic gold and silver-medal winning cyclist with a degree from the University of Alabama and a job as an engineer for Mercedes Benz. It was incredibly inspiring to be around these types of people who wouldn’t accept ‘no’ or accept being labeled “disabled” as a reason to stop living life the way they wanted to.
I thought Jennifer’s story was just miraculous, yet there were 226 other people with equally engaging stories. I felt extremely privileged to be able to witness them compete for our nation. I also don’t think I could have been any more fortunate than to witness what was called the most spectacular archery event of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There is no wonder – it was two Americans competing against each other, which I thought was a compelling storyline in itself! One archer was Matthew Stutzman, who has no arms. He shot with his feet and used his mouth and chin to set himself up.
Stutzman and his competitor, Dugie Denton, a former U.S. Army soldier, shot nothing less than an eight for the entire match. That means that not one of their arrows out of 30 shots placed farther away from the bull’s eye than the gold area immediately surrounding the center. It wasn’t until the last arrow was shot that Stutzman was declared the winner.
It was so exciting to watch all the athletes compete and the raucous crowd was thoroughly entertained, even though British fans outnumbered U.S. spectators, and every other country, , by three-to-one odds. The Paralympics offers great sportsmanship, indeed.
I think the most important thing I learned while watching the athletes compete was humility. The absence of hubris in these athletes was incredible, and much of that has to do with the support of their families. Many Paralympians came to London as previous gold or silver medalists and continued to dominate. Yet, they were still grounded because of their families. Tons of athletes like active duty Marine Corps Cpl. Rene Renteria participated in honor of their families who flew all the way to the United Kingdom to support them as they competed. I met children, mothers, sisters, spouses and so on, all cheering for their athlete.
It was great to know that even when things are not going how we planned, there are people out there, and more importantly, their support systems, fully intact and ready to cheer them on regardless of the circumstances of their plight.
They had that full support structure in place as they recovered from everything ranging from IED blasts to motorcycle accidents, and took the next step in their lives, facing new endeavors as often as possible. It was a lesson in not taking life for granted. And I’d also say it puts things in perspective, and lets you know how much family matters.
Read more about my Paralympics coverage here.
By Lisa Daniel
Sept. 17, 2012
The Defense Manpower Data Center is making it easier for service members and their families to get and maintain identification cards.
The center has launched its RAPIDS — Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System — self-service portal to allow anyone with the Defense Department’s common access card, or CAC, to apply for family ID or retirement cards or update dependents’ statuses online.
“It’s really exciting,” Mary Dixon, the center’s director, said. “We’ve been working for some time now to try to improve and transform our whole ID card application process so people can do things online and not spend long hours going to a site and waiting to be seen.”
The change may seem procedural, but its impact will be big for those who, without it, have had to spend countless hours waiting in line with their families to get ID cards. Before RAPIDS, service members, retirees and families had to go together to a Defense Manpower Data Center to submit an application form and wait while the ID card is being made, Dixon said.
“This is big project,” she said. “It takes away time from your work, and if you are separated – maybe the spouse is out on a ship or on deployment or your child is away at college – it makes it a huge problem.”
Now, the CAC holder can go onto the RAPIDS site, call up the listing of their dependents, and fill out and digitally sign form No. 1172-2 for their family members to receive an ID card. That family member then can go alone to the closest DMDC office – they are are listed on the website and linked to Google Maps for driving directions — to pick up the card, Dixon said.
RAPIDS is a win for both the department and families, the director said. “You can do this from your desk,” she said. “As long as your computer is CAC-enabled, it could be from your home or office. You can do it without going to a physical site, which is huge.”
The site also allows you to get a DOD self-service user name and password, known as a DS Logon, that allows you to access several DOD and VA websites with the logon information, rather than a CAC. DS Logon, which is available only to CAC holders, also has a “premium account,” which gives the highest level of access, allowing you to view personal data about yourself in the DOD and VA systems, apply for benefits online, check the status of your claims and update your address records. You must apply in person for the premium account.
DMDC will continue to expand its self-service options to include changing email certificates and information about family members, Dixon said. The upgrades include an effort to put the fingerprints of new recruits into the system, so lost paperwork can easily be replaced, she said.
Dixon said she hopes the site also will one day include alerts for when an ID card is about to expire, and will be integrated with DMDC’s MilConnect website to access all DOD and Veterans Affairs benefits.
“We still have to have the face-to-face, which is important for legitimate ID proofing,” she said. “But we’re saying, ‘What are the ways to reduce the time you spend at the sites?’”
By Lisa Daniel
Sept. 5, 2012
Military leaders all the way to the commander in chief are drawing attention to the importance of good mental health and putting resources into programs to help veterans, service members and their families. Read more.
But when it comes to recognizing and treating mental health problems, such as depression, spouses are the first line of defense, some treatment professionals say.
“The spouse knows the patient better than I do; they’ve been living with them for years,” Dr. James Bender, a clinical psychologist with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, told me today. “They’re kind of at the front line of this.”
Symptoms of depression can be subtle and hard to detect, said Bender, a former Army captain and an expert on stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. “Feeling sad or having a depressed mood is only one of the symptoms of depression,” he said.
Other signs of depression include:
– Trouble concentrating;
– Changes in eating and sleeping – either too much, or barely at all;
– Anger or irritability;
– Low sex drive;
– Social withdrawal; and
– “The hallmark symptom” of losing interest in activities he or she used to enjoy.
“He may be lying on the couch watching TV all the time and gaining weight,” Bender said.
Sometimes there is one traumatic event that triggers depression, making symptoms more sudden and easier to identify, Bender said. “But usually it’s a cumulative effect that gets a little worse day by day, and sometimes the spouse just gets used to it.”
Indeed, Bender said, “I’ve had patients who have been depressed and didn’t really know it.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Lisa Daniel
Aug. 21, 2012
Finwe Wiendenhoeft is a military-connected kid living the kind of healthy lifestyle First Lady Michelle Obama encourages through her “Let’s Move” campaign – and one endorsed by the Defense Department.
Healthy is a way of life for Finwe, 9, who lives with her family on 30 acres in southwest Wisconsin, according to her mother, Kristina, and it was their recipe for a meatless burger that earned the two seats at the first-ever “Kids’ State Dinner” at the White House yesterday.
Finwe, the only girl and middle child in her family of seven, has always been interested in cooking, her mother said, so she helped her daughter create a recipe to enter in Let’s Move’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge earlier this summer. Their recipe for barbeque cheddar chickpea burgers was such a hit, Finwe earned a spot among 54 children, ages 8-12, to represent her home state at the White House for the midday meal.
The fourth-grader was on a roadtrip with her parents to visit her brother, Jacob, at the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Command, Charleston, S.C., a few days ago when I spoke with her about her win and subsequent two-day Washington, D.C., visit that included a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden and the Julia Child exhibit at the Smithsonian’s American History museum.
“It will be exciting,” Finwe said in anticipation. “I hope I can also see Mr. Obama and Malia and Sasha, too.”
Although they didn’t get to meet the first daughters, Finwe and her mom were seated at the first lady’s table for the East Room event, which included the full pomp and circumstance of an official state dinner and a visit from the president, according to pooled reports. The guests dined on foods created from their own recipes, which were compiled into a digital recipe book.
The winning recipes were chosen among some 2,100 entries, Mrs. Obama said at the event, which was cosponsored by Epicurious. “You came up with dishes that were packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients; dishes that are good for you, but more importantly, they taste good, too.”
Kristina said the experience has motivated her daughter even more to come up with healthy recipes. “Since this happened, she constantly coming up with ideas,” she said.
Kristina, a stay-at-home mom, said she learned about the contest online and was excited because it is in line with the lifestyle she and her husband, a U.S. Forest Service employee, have engrained in their children.
“We had that kind of campaign going on in our family anyway, so we were interested,” she said. “I think it great that [the first lady] is doing this. It’s been a big focus for us. We’ve kind of built our life around it.”
The Wiedenhoefts do not have TVs – although they watch occasional movies on a DVD player – and Finwe lists her favorite activities, besides playing outside, as baking breads and cookies, drawing, and reading, especially the Harry Potter series.
The Wiedenhoefts saw their lifestyle efforts pay off when their oldest, 19-year-old Jacob, enlisted in the Navy last year and sailed through basic training. “He never had any trouble with his weight, unlike a lot of his shipmates,” said Kristina, whose father and grandfather also served in the Navy. “He didn’t struggle with running or anything.”
That places Petty Officer 3rd Class Wiedenhoeft among a minority of his peers: Defense Department statistics show that only about one-fourth of Americans between the ages of 17 and 22 meet the requirements for recruitment, mostly due to obesity problems. That has sparked DOD officials to create a healthy lifestyles campaign of their own to improve recruitment and retention. Read more here.
Let’s Move “is all about all of us coming together to make sure that all of you kids and kids like you across the country have everything you need to learn and grow and lead happy, healthy lives,” Mrs. Obama said.
“It’s about parents making choices for their kids — choices that work with their families’ schedules, budgets and tastes, because there is no one-size-fits-all here,” she added.
The Wiedenhoefts have done just that, reflecting the healthy lifestyles the White House and DOD campaigns evoke.
By Lisa Daniel
Aug. 9, 2012
Families of wounded warriors already are benefitting from a program that started last month to make it easier for them to travel with their loved ones for medical treatment.
The Defense Department and Fisher House Foundation have teamed up to oversee the Hotels for Heroes program, which allows the American public to donate their unused hotel reward points to families of wounded warriors so that they might stay for free in hotels around the country while their family member receives medical treatment.
“The family members of our wounded heroes should never have to stress about the financial burden of travel,” David Coker, president of the Fisher House Foundation, said at a July 16 ceremony. “We are honored to help facilitate the process and are confident that the American public will help make this new program a success.”
Cindy Campbell, the foundation’s vice president for community relations and media affairs, said Aug. 7 that the program already has provided 60 nights of lodging for military families.
“We’re very fortunate in that many of the hotel chains banked a lot of points for us,” she said. “That has allowed us to go ahead and get started. And a lot of people already have donated points, but we are going to go through these quickly.”
Sadly, Campbell said, “there is a huge demand” from families who must travel to locations without one of the 57 Fisher Houses, or where they are full. The houses near large military medical centers fill up quickly.
The program’s sponsors are optimistic, given the success of its sister program, Hero Miles, that has allowed them to give away more than 30,000 plane tickets since it was created in 2003, Campbell said.
The annual need for hotel rooms “is a very substantial six-figure number,” she said, “so this is really going to help us out.”
Jessica Allen, whose husband, Army Staff Sgt. Charles Allen, is recovering from a roadside bomb, used Hero Miles to fly herself and her two daughters back and forth to her husband’s hospital bed during his recovery and rehabilitation.
“Hero Miles saved our family from a crushing expense – and gave our daughters the chance to be with their dad when he was in the hospital and learning to walk again,” Allen said at the program’s launch ceremony. “Hotels for Heroes will do something similar, and I am thankful to all the people who have and will donate their unused hotel points to benefit our military families.”
The program fills a void, Campbell said, in allowing the American public to give back. “It’s a very simple way for business travelers while they are racking up so many hotel points, to give back,” she said.
People can donate points by going to their hotel rewards club website, which has a tab for Fisher House donations.
Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. The Fisher Houses are donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs, and families can stay in the houses while a loved one is receiving treatment. Additionally, the foundation ensures that families of service men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan are not burdened with unnecessary expense during a time of crisis.
By Lisa Daniel
Aug. 7, 2012
Like many military spouses, Allison Lattuca doesn’t mention her husband’s Navy service as she job hunts with each forced relocation every few years.
“I don’t put it on my resume,” Lattuca told me at an Aug. 2 Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes’ job fair in Hampton, Va. “But if asked, I tell them the truth.”
Lattuca recently gave up her job at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Santa Barbara, Calif., to relocate to Hampton with her husband. “My job now is finding a job,” she said.
Lattuca’s resume shows a bachelor’s degree and years of work experience in investments and securities. But those years show gaps in employment that inevitably come up at job interviews. “Sometimes it does come back to haunt me,” she said. “They don’t want to put that kind of money into you, knowing you’ll be moving again.”
Lattuca’s employment challenges are common for military spouses. Thankfully, what is changing is employers’ willingness to deal with those challenges. That is due largely in part to the efforts of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, which partners with the Military Spouse Business Alliance, the Defense Department’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership and the first and second lady’s “Joining Forces” campaign to support military families. Together, this quartet provides a powerful support network for spouses who otherwise may find job-hunting a lonely endeavor.
What Lattuca and others found at the Aug. 2 job fair were people who understood their challenges – most either are or have been military members or spouses — and were willing to help. From a spouse networking event to workshops that gave career advice specific to them, spouses were among kindred spirits here.
They heard from spouses like Randi Klein, a former Navy officer whose husband served as a submariner for 33 years, who told them about In Gear Career, a nonprofit that gives networking and career help to spouses. And Stefanie Goebel, another former Navy officer, who gave a presentation on the Chamber’s eMentor leadership program for spouses and veterans. Then there were the hiring officials themselves. Nearly every organization seemed to have a person who either served in the military or was a military spouse. There was Andrea Hall, a CSC recruiter who was an Army spouse for 21 years, and Lockette Dickerson, a Navy wife and human resources associate for the Navy Exchange.
Shronda Walker, who is new to the military, said she felt optimistic after attending the fair. Her husband, Marshaun, joined the Navy 15 months ago and Shronda recently joined him here from their hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. They can get by on his income, she said, but she would prefer to work. They don’t have children and the days alone can drag on while Marshaun works 13-hour shifts, she said.
“I’d like to have something to do,” Shronda, 23, said. “There’s only so much cooking and cleaning you can do.”
Walker and Lattuca represent some 85 percent of military spouses that the Defense Department, Chamber, and Joining Forces officials say surveys show either want or need to work.
Lattuca isn’t surprised by the high percentage.
“Yes, I want and need to work,” she said. “We like to go to restaurants and the movies, and to maintain a good lifestyle. And, it’s important to my self-worth and self-value that I can come home at the end of the day and feel like I’ve contributed.”
The combined efforts of the Chamber, DOD and the White House are giving spouses that choice.