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Resources for Military Spouses and Families

When you are married to someone in the military, your life can become ingrained with the identity of a military spouse. The challenges you face can sometimes feel underappreciated: loneliness, managing a household while the other parent is absent, stress over your spouse’s safety, and more.

Fortunately, there are many resources that you can use to benefit your family. Furthermore, despite not being in the military yourself, many of the resources available for veterans are also accessible to veteran spouses. Here are a few you should look into:

Housing

If you don’t plan to live on base or are starting the search for a post-military home, consider looking at veteran housing. Loans from Veterans Affairs for approved mortgages don’t require monthly mortgage insurance and offer an affordable way to buy a home. Take a look at the va condo list in your area and see what’s available. Take some time to research and see what constitutes approval and find a real estate agent who understands your needs. Even if you aren’t planning on moving anytime soon, it can be helpful to look and understand your options when there is no pressure.

Small Business Resources

Many military spouses opt to start a small business because of the freedom it offers when raising a family in addition to the extra income. There are various small business loan options for veterans, in addition to training courses and referral programs, depending on your line of work. While most of these are advertised as being options for veterans, they are also accessible to spouses.

For example, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University offers education programs that aim to help aspiring entrepreneurs with military ties become successful in their small business goals. This is exceptionally helpful for discharged veterans who are transitioning into civilian life.

Military Child Education Coalition

If you have children and are forced to travel for your significant other’s postings, you face the added challenge of changing schools on a regular basis. This can be extremely stressful for children as they face trying to fit in with new people while leaving friends behind. It can also cause gaps in education if the curriculum varies greatly. Pair this with the usual challenges of growing up and things can become stressful for all involved.

The Military Child Education Coalition offers resources to help military children cope and offers emotional, educational, and social support. As the children near the later years of their education, the MCEC helps ensure that they are ready for post-secondary school and offers continuous community support.

Child Care Aware

Childcare can be one of the most challenging aspects of raising a military family, especially if young children are involved. As such, there is little time for self-care, an extremely important necessity when one’s spouse is deployed. Child Care Aware offers fee assistance, licensed child care providers, and respite for parents with special needs children. All child care providers through the service have extensive background checks and screening measures in place.

Career Assistance

If you want to pursue a career, but have no interest in running your own business, there are various career assistance programs that can help you out. Similar to children frequently switching schools because they are a part of a military family, building a career can be extremely challenging. It becomes even more challenging if you’ve been unemployed for some time.

There are various military spouse education programs and job search resources to help you as you follow your path. MySECO is one resource that helps with resume building, career exploration, and identifying qualifications and educational requirements to get you started. There are also civilian options with the Department of Defense that give preference to military spouses, which is perfect for military families on the move.

If you find yourself at a loss, visit your local Military and Family Support Center even if they don’t have what you need, they will be able to send you in the right direction.

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