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MMP #1008: Pink Warrior Angels

October 2, 2023

On today’s show, we’re thrilled to bring you an interview conducted by our Director of Marketing and Events, Annie Pearce, as she chats with today’s guest, Julie Moser.

Julie Moser is the founder of Pink Warrior Angels, a non-profit organization that empowers cancer warriors through a community of support, compassion and awareness. 

Julie is a mom of three, a military spouse, and two breast cancer survivor.   Her career started in civil service while joining her husband from duty station to duty station. Julie’s husband, Bob was transferred to Fort Hood, Texas in 2008 and they have made Central Texas their home. After her diagnosis of stage 2 breast cancer at the young age of 39, she found that the cancer journey, even with health insurance, rocked them to the core. The cost, literally and figuratively, still affects her and her family.

Listeners, if you would like to learn more about Julie Moser and her work with Pink Warrior Angels, you can connect with them through social media via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn at pinkwarriorangels and on their website pinkwarriorangels.org

Moxie Minute with Amie Fisher

Today, we’re delving into the boundless realm of “Fearless Fortitude.”

Picture yourself at the head of the ship, or maybe even behind the wheel of your own moving truck this time …whether it is steering on into the waves, or driving onto that new post or base in a new state…It’s not about being devoid of fear, but about confronting it head-on.

In the annals of history, we find Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Her fearlessness wasn’t just in defying gender norms; it was about confronting the vast unknown. Just like her, your fearlessness is charting new courses in the face of challenges.

As Captain Jack Sparrow once remarked, “The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.” So, military spouses, let your fearless fortitude steer your ship through the stormiest seas of military life. With each tempest you weather, you’re adding to your arsenal of moxie!

Until next time friends, “Embrace the journey, ignite your spirit, and live with unstoppable moxie.”

News 6 with Emma

Here is this week’s News 6 mashup of stories for the week of September 11, 2023, straight from M:M News 6 Correspondent, Emma Tighe:

Army Astronaut Breaks Record and Returns Home

Army Lt. Col. Frank Rubio recently returned to his planet of origin, but not without breaking a record of the longest time in space for the US space program.

He spent 371 days in low earth orbit, clocking in the longest space flight of an American.The precious record was held by Mark Vande Hei with an impressive 355.  The longest space flight ever is held by the Russians with 437 days.

Surprisingly enough, Rubio did not blast off into the stars with the hope of breaking this record. Instead a series of circumstances forced him into it.  Originally a six month mission, a coolant leak extended the trip.

“If they had asked me up front before…training, because you do train for a year or two years for your mission, I probably would have declined,” he said, while floating aboard the International Space Station. “It would have hurt, but I would have declined and that’s only because of family, things that were going on this past year.”

 

“Frank’s record-breaking time in space is not just a milestone; it’s a major contribution to our understanding of long-duration space missions,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.

Before becoming an astronaut in the class of 2017, Rubio was a Blackhawk pilot for the army. He deployed to Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and clocked in over 1100 hours flight time.

“The Army has singularly provided unique opportunities for me, but I think — more important than that and more than the experiences themselves – is the adaptability that you build,”

Rubio said last year in an Army release.

“We have, as soldiers, just become incredibly resilient and adaptable because you have to — you never know what’s coming at you.”

 

“For me, honestly, obviously, I think hugging my wife and kids is going to be paramount, and I’ll probably focus on that for the first couple days,” Rubio said, when asked about his plans when returning home.

Welcome back to the best planet in the solar system, Ltc! I may be biased though. I’m from here after all.Find out more at federaltimes.com.

Welcome Change for Childcare Costs

Military families may soon be seeing more than 40 percent cuts to their childcare fees, a welcome change in a time of steady inflation and rising costs.

This change mostly comes from a consolidation of fee catetgories; dropping from 14 to 11 and putting many families in a lower levels with lower costs.

Military times says:

For those in the lowest income category, the weekly child care fee has decreased from $58 to $54, a difference of $4. But the income cap in Category 1 has increased from $30,810 to $45,000, so more people will be in that lowest category and eligible for lower fees.”

Thus, a service member with a total family income of $45,000 will be paying $54 a week, compared to $82 a week in the current higher income category.

That’s a savings of $28 a week, a 34% drop. This is a game changer for many military families.

Kelly Hruska, government relations director for the National Military Family Association weighs in:

“DoD gets it. The services get it. This is a readiness issue,”

Grier Martin, acting assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, said this in a news release:

“Changes to the fee policy will ensure that DoD can continue to invest in our service members by providing quality, affordable child care through both installation-based programs and community-based fee assistance,”

 

“We’re committed to addressing the increased demand and challenges for this critical issue which directly impacts the readiness of the total force.”

Finally some welcome money news for military families! Our military kiddos deserve the best care and our military heroes deserve more change in their wallets  Find out more at military times.com.

Tax Free Dependent Care Spending Accounts for Military Families

Speaking of good news on the childcare front, the DOD tax free DCFSAS for military members.  This is a financial benefit that will be available beginning next year.

According to the DOD memorandum, It will enable them to have money from their paychecks diverted to an account that can be used to pay for dependent care services such as preschool, summer day camp, before- or after-school programs, and child or adult daycare. 

Active duty and active duty reserve guard will be able to take advantage of this benefit.

Whatever money they put into this program will no longer be taxed and their income will be reported without this money, putting them in a lower tax bracket, help lower their overall taxes,  and give them greater take home pay.

Those wanting to participate can sign up mid November to December during the federal benefits open season.

Jennifer Walker, the executive director for the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account initiative, said as many as 400,000 service members have eligible dependents and will be eligible to take advantage of the benefits provided by the DCFSA program.

“That includes families who have children who are under the age of 13 or who have a spouse or other tax dependent, regardless of age, who is mentally or physically incapable of self-care,”

“In recent years, our military community has weathered a number of challenges, but our people have risen to every mission and done it all with extraordinary resilience,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, wrote in a March 2023 memorandum.

But it is the department’s ongoing moral duty to spare our outstanding people stress and struggle on the home front where we can and to show our service members and civilian employees how much they mean to us with tangible support that makes a genuine difference in their lives,”

He further wrote: “The department has, therefore, relentlessly focused on improving quality of life, and I am very proud of what we’ve achieved so far.” 

While the rest of the world may be scary financially at the moment, two good pieces of news on the childcare front should help ease many military minds! Find out more at defense.gov

Today in News 6 History:

On October 2nd, 1959, the ever unsettling and ever popular tv series The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS.

It lasted for five seasons and was entirely in black and white. Each episode stood on its own and was a completely unique story. It’s often considered the Godfather of American Science Fiction television.

It led to a feature film, spin offs, books, and even a ride at Disney theme parks.

Rod Serling, already quite popular on tv and radio at the time, created the series and narrated it as well.

Often controversial in the usage of science fiction as an allegory for social commentary, the series grappled with many current events; the most controversial of all being racism.

It quickly became a household name regardless and TV Guide has named it number five in their list of 60 greatest shows.

You can check out more of this week’s top stories here.

Thank You

Thank you for tuning into this week’s episode. Please leave a five-star rating and review on Apple podcasts, then send us a screenshot of your review to hello@missionmilspouse.org or DM us on Facebook or Instagram @missionmilspouse to receive a special in-real-life gift as a thank you on behalf of MM. We appreciate your engagement and support.

With over 159 years of military spouse experience and 68 PCSes under their belts, the M:M Command team is the ultimate Battle Buddy to help navigate Milspouse life. Powered by volunteer spirit and optimism the M:M Command Team could run a small country, but instead are dedicated entirely to the global empowerment of military spouses to help them conquer adversity, foster confidence, and thrive in this military life.

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Thank you for tuning in to this special mini episode with Kathleen Palmer. As we strive to align our guests with our mission, we encourage you to leave a five-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts. After leaving a review, please send us a screenshot to hello@missionmilspouse.org or DM us on Facebook. Additionally, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @missionmilspouse for a special gift.

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