By Michael Schindler
Military spouses and dependents are the inspiration behind an initiative launched in mid-April by First Lady Michelle Obama. The mission of “Joining Forces” is to make more Americans aware of the challenges facing military families, and to highlight ways communities, organizations and businesses are helping these families.
Nearly 50 specific commitments have been identified to improve the lives of military families, ranging from protecting families from financial scams to improving education for military kids and spouses, and increasing efforts to end homelessness.
Among the initiatives announced at the White House:
– Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would guarantee positions for spouses and service members affected by military relocations.
– Siemens Corp. will reserve 10 percent of the 3,000-plus open jobs in its clean tech industries for veterans.
– The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Military Child Education Coalition will promote training for future teachers that will benefit military-connected children and their families.
• Best Buy’s Geek Squad will host seminars starting this summer at 17 installations to educate military families about using technologies to communicate during deployments.
Bottom line: there are individuals, organizations and companies standing by to assist when needed. Learn more about Joining Forces here
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs..