Military, Parenting, Research, Finance, Religion, Families
When a military spouse sets her mind on something, it gets done.
Five years ago, Lenize Patton, a high school educator, and her Marine husband bought rental property with the intention of supporting women who were transitioning from a local shelter in Jacksonville, NC.
“In 2012, I learned that there were 376 homeless children in Onslow County, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” Patton said.
Deployments and lengthy separations are challenging for parents. Sometimes having little kids is easier because they don’t understand everything, but they are more dependent on you. Having older kids can be easier because they are self-sufficient, but they know what’s going on. Just like in parenting, there are challenges with each age, there also often are unique challenges with each separation.
Active duty service members aren’t the only ones who love a good military discount. To cater to the entire military community, brands are expanding their military discount eligibility to veterans, reservists, spouses, and dependents.
For example, The Exchange is a general store located on military installations. A Department of Defense ID card is a requirement to shop at The Exchange, which limits the shopping pool to active duty, National Guard and Reserves members and retirees, and their family members. The online option was originally open to active or reserve members only.
For over 100 years, Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) and First Command Financial Services have maintained a strong customer base of military families. They don’t just market to families, they get to know military spouses, listen to their concerns, and use contacts within the community to increase their footprint.
Generation Z has entered the military ranks. As the newest generation to graduate high school and college and join the military, they make up 44% of the active duty population, according to the latest Demographics Report from the Department of Defense. Their spouses also qualify as Gen Z — 20% of them are under 25 years old. For marketers targeting this demographic in the military, the trick will be to combine the high expectations of this tech-savvy group with the needs related to being in the military.
One of the most unattractive sides to business is the financial side. Whether you are freelancing and billing clients individually or managing inventory and commission, there are some challenges that come with money. The following resources can help make keeping track of income and expenses, as well as invoicing, a lot easier. In turn, when tax time arrives, things are less stressful overall.
Starting in early spring, when military families learn where they’re headed, they start planning. They look at schools, housing, and jobs. They consider how to travel to their next duty station and routes to take. They look at swinging through hometowns for a quick visit, or taking a family vacation along the way. As they enter this PCS (permanent change of station) season, they are laser-focused on the coming months.
Military parents, like all parents, want the best for their kids, yet they often don’t have the time to research as thoroughly as they’d like. Military families move every two to three years, and parents often feel badly about moving their children so frequently. With every move, kids need redecorated bedrooms and restocked closets.
Male military spouses make up a small percentage of the population, just under 8%. But with organizations like Macho Spouse, designed to support male military spouses, there are several ways to market directly to these men. Focusing solely on the female military spouse has many missing out on this niche market.
The number one concern parents have is safety. From what their kids are eating to what they are watching, they want to keep them safe. This should be first and foremost in our minds each and every time we put our kids in the car. I’ll be the first to admit, with a six year gap between my middle and my youngest, I forgot a lot about car seat safety. Luckily, I have a friend who is passionate about it.
Fireworks, barbeques, and pool parties aren’t the only way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Sometimes snuggling up with your family on the couch and reading a book is the perfect way to start, or end, the day
What options do you have for reviewing media?
Friends and family. Just as in other areas of life, relying on the opinions of trusted friends and family members is a great way to have “eyes and ears” everywhere. You could easily ask a friend who saw a particular movie her thoughts on whether it may be appropriate for your children. Doing so will probably give you a wider net with which to watch, read, or listen to everything before allowing your children to. But keep in mind that each person’s view on what is appropriate will vary.
Military families are always appreciative of support, from anyone and everyone. But when it comes from a celebrity, it seems to make a bigger impact. For as long as we can remember, the USO has brought celebrities to troops and their families around the world. When someone we see on television and in movies comes to our town and takes the time to thank us — whether with a concert or just a handshake — it truly means a lot.
Every time I watch an old war movie, I think about how different life is for military families now. While deployments seem long at a year, imagine what it would have been like to send your spouse off to war — the whole war — without knowing when it would end. To be living in your hometown, surrounded by family, but not the tight-knit community we find on an installation. To wait weeks, even months for a letter, instead of a few hours for a text or phone call.
Summer is a great time for everyone in the family to enjoy reading. It's an opportunity to read together, enjoy book clubs, and explore your local library. Our family loves audio books for road trips, and my children have learned to love reading knowing their father and I also love reading. Are you looking to jump-start your reading this summer? Is it time to inspire some little readers in your life? I've put together some great options to kick-start summer reading for the military family.