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MMP# 988: “100 Days Smart” by Karin Tramm

On today’s NEW episode, Kathleen Palmer will be interviewing author Karin Tramm, a retired DoDEA educator about her newly released book “100 Days Smart”, which chronicles the first 100 days of the COVID-19 pandemic while teaching on an American Army installation in Northern Italy, the epicenter of the European crisis.

Listeners, if you would like to learn more about how Karin and how she is empowering military families, you can connect with her through Facebook and Instagram with her handle or by visiting her website.

Podcast Partner:

We would like to thank today’s Podcast Partner, Defenders Gateway, a St. Louis based company who is building The Defenders Network, a national network of support for ALL Defenders and their families.

You can download The Defenders Gateway App at Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Thank you, Defenders Gateway, for your support and doing what you can to empower all Defenders and their families!

Resource Recon with Sarah and Chrissy

Over at the Mission: Milspouse website we have a wide variety of resources for our military families, from blog posts to pages of compiled resources from around the web. This week, we’re pulling from our blog with a post titled “Don’t Wait for Tomorrow: Life isn’t a Dress Rehearsal,” by blogger Sheila Rupp.

Sheila writes: 

“Don’t wait for tomorrow, especially in the season of PCSes, it’s not uncommon to hear military spouses say: 

“When we’re in our forever house …”
“When we retire … ”
“When our kids are older …”
“Someday we’ll do that.” 

I’ve been guilty of it myself.I remember a few years ago we were looking at new furniture and I immediately thought, “Maybe after this duty station.” I grew up hearing my Dad say, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal,” referring to life in general.

I’m not sure that I fully appreciated it until adulthood. It resonates even more today as I realize the time we have with our teenager in the house ticks away each day.”

She goes on to say that we shouldn’t wait for a day far off in the future—we should be living in our now.

Empowerment Patrol Report with Amanda

Today we are showcasing our Everyday Empowerment recipient, Sarah Wilkening.

Nominated by our very own, Jolene McNutt, she shares that Sarah is a former service member, a milspouse to her Navy husband, and mom to five wonderful kiddos. She manages her household (with a husband who has military demands that we’re all familiar with!) with her always positive and bubbly personality. She somehow balances her childrens’ school, their activities and a career! Sarah is incredibly creative and I’ve been lucky enough to work with her and learn from her. She is inspiring!

On behalf of Mission: Milspouse, thank you so much to Sarah for doing your part to empower military families all across the globe. 

News 6 with Emma

Here is this week’s News 6 mashup of stories for the week of June 5, 2023, straight from M:M News 6 Correspondent, Emma Tighe:

PCS Pet Policy to Put Money Back in Pockets

Set to start January 1st 2024, families will be reimbursed 550 for one household pet in a move within the continental US and 2000 dollars for one pet to move outside the continental US. This comes to a huge relief for military pet lovers as most of the costs have always been covered by the service member.

These will cover the high budget aspects of pet relocation including mandatory pet quarantine and shipping costs. It is estimated that this will affect an average of 277,000 service members during the fiscal year of 2024. Unfortunately for those of us in the thick of the 2023 PCS cycle, we will not be reimbursed for any four legged costs. 

The wording is also clear that these reimbursements will only be for dogs and cats. Hammy the hamster will still be an all expenses paid by you kind of deal. 

“Historically, service members paid the majority of their out-of-pocket expenses to transport pets when assigned to a new duty station,” according to the announcement. “This policy reduces that financial burden while recognizing the important role a pet plays in a military family’s household.”

While I’m personally bummed that this years PCS survivors will still be paying for fidos mandatory resort vacation, it is nice to see the military acknowledging our furry family members as part of the crew!

Find out more at

DOD Council to Amplify Military Family Voices over Housing Concerns 

As any military family who has lived in privatized military housing knows, there is much to improve and much that is overlooked. Lawmakers are hoping to change this with a new council.

“It is unacceptable for any of our service members and their families to live in unsafe military housing with black mold, collapsed roofs or exposed electrical wires because DoD is failing in its oversight responsibilities,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., chair of the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee, in a statement. It is co-sponsored by Sens Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the House by Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., with co-sponsor Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Okla.

My bipartisan bill with senators Shaheen and Hirono and representatives Jacobs and Bice will mandate increased oversight of military housing, including DoD’s creation of a public complaint database, and report its work to Congress so that military families receive the safe housing they deserve,” Warren said.

This council would be called the Defense Military Housing Readiness Council and it’s job would be to review DOD policies on privatized military housing and recommend changes. 

It would also monitor these changes and create a complaint database.  The council would be made up of service members and spouses and also advocacy representatives.

“Armed Forces Housing Advocates is thrilled to see a bill in line with our calls for third party oversight of privatized military housing,” said Kate Needham-Cano, executive director of the organization. “As a nonprofit, we continue to advocate that an impartial group of experts would be a common-sense solution to improving living conditions and providing support to the DoD and housing companies to provide safe and habitable housing. Readiness starts with a safe home.”

The council’s proposed plan would involve:
♦ Assessments of the adequacy and effectiveness of privatized housing and DoD in meeting the housing needs of military families;
♦ Analyses of tenants’ complaints;
♦ Data on maintenance response time and completion of maintenance requests;
♦ Assessments of dispute resolution processes;
♦ Assessments of overall customer service;
♦ Assessments of results of housing inspections;
♦ Any survey results conducted on behalf of the council or received by the council;
♦ Recommendations on actions to improve privatized military housing
The council would meet twice a year.  While we all know advocacy starts at home, it’s nice to see lawmakers advocate for our homes. 

Find out more at

Out with Shotgun Weddings and in With Chatbot Weddings!

Reece Wiench and Deyton Truitt wanted to get married in Colorado before Deyton was set to deploy with the army.

They had just five days to plan it, and, in a bind, they relied on an interesting source for help. Short on funds and time, they asked a chatbot to officiate the wedding as Colorado does not require a licensed marriage official for a marriage to be valid. 

The AI was hesitant at first.

“It said ‘no’ at first. ‘I can’t do this, I don’t have eyes, I don’t have a body. I can’t officiate at your wedding,'” Wiench recounted what the bot said.It was eventually convinced and fed the appropriate information.

“During the ceremony, I will eloquently express the significance of this historic moment and the limitless possibilities that arise when love and technology intersect,” the bot wrote in its statement,

The couple placed a robot mask over a speaker to give the impression that someone was actually there officiating in front of the 30 guests that attended. The couple did, however, keep the vow making duties, writing their own to each other.

We’ve all seen weddings in quirky situations due to training and deployments, but this one, quite literally, takes the cake! 

Find out more at

This Day in History

On July 10, 1913, the United States experienced the hottest day ever recorded at a whopping 134 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature was taken in Death Valley, California. This is not only the hottest recorded temperature in the US but in the world.

Ironically it hit this dangerous temperature at a ranch called furnace creek. It is now home to the Death Valley state park and also has a reservation where native Americans of the Timbisha tribe still reside.

At the time the temperature was recorded Furnace Creek was an alfalfa ranch, and then became a borax mining and operations facility before being bought by the federal government as a state park.

Check in on your Ft. Irwin friends, y’all. They are only three hours away from furnace creek and not ok!

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 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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MMP #1006: Resilience Redefined: Embracing the Holistic Path vs. the ‘Suck it Up’ Mentality

MMP #1006: Resilience Redefined: Embracing the Holistic Path vs. the ‘Suck it Up’ Mentality

On today’s show, we’re thrilled to bring you an interview conducted by Callie Bunter, Deputy Director of Podcast Production, as she chats with today’s guest, Manda Lynn McVey, a holistic nutrition and wellness practitioner, brings us information and empowerment how to utilize self-care and resilience in this military life, rather than seeking out the “suck it up” mentality of the past.

MMP #1005 – “Before You Judge- A Social Psychologist’s Perspective”

MMP #1005 – “Before You Judge- A Social Psychologist’s Perspective”

On today’s NEW mini-cast, Lindsey Rauch, our Deputy Director of Marketing, brings us some exciting and enlightening information straight from her Social Psychology classroom as she helps us relate information from leading Social Psychologists in the light of MilSpouse life.  She shares stories that will challenge you to think before you judge. 

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