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Posts Tagged ‘Military Families’

Largest Military Clusters Attract Veterans in Droves, Rankings Show

  • June 22, 2015
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Four cities in regions that host large concentrations of military personnel — Virginia Beach, Va., Colorado Springs, Colo., San Antonio and San Diego — topped Military Times’ first-ever ranking of the best places for military veterans to live. The results are hardly surprising as defense communities have always pointed to the number of veterans that remained — or returned — after their service as proof of both their military friendliness and quality of life. Those factors likely explain a veteran population in San Antonio which exceeds 100,000. “When they were assigned here at one time or another, they had a very positive experience with the community,” said Bob Murdock, director of the city’s Office of Military Affairs …

Senate Bill Would Allow Favorable Lease Terms to Local Schools

  • June 17, 2015
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Local school systems would be able to lease property at military installations for less than fair market value, under a provision in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill now under debate in the Senate. The bill would amend 10 U.S.C. Section 2667 — the federal statute authorizing the enhanced use leasing program — to allow the military services to lease non-excess property for less than fair market value to a local education agency, or to an elementary or secondary school. The change is intended to help school systems that support military families, according to the committee report accompanying the legislation. The bill text, S. 1376, and committee report, S. Rpt. 114-49, are available on congress.gov.

States Race to Offer Tax Relief to Retirees

  • June 10, 2015
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Fifteen states now exempt 100 percent of military pensions from taxation, after Connecticut’s legislature last week approved its new budget. Meanwhile, lawmakers in more than a dozen other states are considering expanding or creating a tax break for military pensions. Several factors have spurred the rush from states to lure military veterans, reports the Fiscal Times. The primary reason is the policy’s effect on economic development, with a strong potential for highly skilled veterans to bolster a state’s workforce and help the state attract employers that rely on workers with those skills. Military-friendly tax policies also can be another weapon in a state’s arsenal to support its installations by providing a pool of civilians who typically seek employment with DOD or defense contractors after separating from the military …

Does the Comfort of On-base Housing Contribute to the Civil-Military Divide?

  • May 28, 2015
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Large military bases have all the amenities of a small town — schools, health clinics, recreational facilities, and plenty of shopping choices. While the vast upgrades in family housing compared to previous generations have helped to make life more comfortable for military families living on base, some experts worry that the growing self-sufficiency at mega-bases adds to the sense of a divided society …

Maryland Offers Low-Interest Loans, Financial Aid to Military Homebuyers

  • May 26, 2015
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Maryland is offering active-duty service members and veterans two strong incentives to purchase a home in 86 designated communities, under a $20 million initiative introduced on Memorial Day by Gov. Larry Hogan. The “You’ve Earned It!” initiative is offering a 2.75 percent fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage and $10,000 in down payment assistance to active-duty military, including Reserves and National Guard, as well as honorably discharged veterans …

Veterans Face Multiple Barriers to Gaining Civilian Employment, Report Says

  • May 13, 2015
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A new report points to a lack of preparation and unaddressed health issues as the primary challenges facing veterans trying to find civilian employment. A lack of preparation, according to service providers and veterans interviewed for the report, created multiple challenges, including unrealistic expectations among many veterans about the jobs they qualified for, the level at which they would enter the civilian workforce, how easily they would find employment or how much they should be compensated. One post-9/11 veteran quoted in the report, Exploring the Economic and Employment Challenges Facing U.S. Veterans, described the frustration of having to start over …

Veterans Still Face Hurdles when Entering the Civilian Workforce

  • May 7, 2015
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Service members entering the civilian world continue to face challenges obtaining licenses and certifications for skills they used during their service. Combat medics, for example, typically will not qualify for basic health care jobs despite being highly trained. At a two-day American Legion conference last week, leaders from business and government looked for ways to smooth the transition for personnel seeking to enter the civilian workforce. Labor Secretary Tom Perez said the government has overhauled DOD’s job readiness program for service members leaving the military over the past two years, but said “unnecessary licensing barriers” still exist …

State Efforts to Improve License Portability for Spouses Miss Mark

  • May 4, 2015
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State lawmakers have begun to take aim at the hurdles facing military spouses striving to maintain a career as they move across the country, but so far legislation addressing the portability of professional certifications and licenses has been uneven, according to a panel discussion last week. After moving to Virginia, one spouse, a hairdresser, had to spend four months satisfying state requirements calling for her to obtain notarized copies of the licenses she previously earned in five others states. “Who’s your advocate when you’re that one spouse trying to get a governing body to expedite?” Eddy Mentzer, DOD’s program manager for spouse education and career opportunities, said April 28 at the American Legion’s National Credentialing Summit in Washington. “Many spouses don’t have the resources …

Veterans Strengthen Communities’ Civic Fabric, Survey Finds

  • May 3, 2015
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Contrary to the prevailing stereotype of veterans as having difficulty coping when they re-enter civilian society, a new survey reveals that veterans have greater civic involvement than non-veterans. Veterans are three times as likely as non-veterans to be involved in civic groups, and are more likely to vote, contact public officials and help neighbors than their counterparts who did not serve in the military, according to the study. “It’s important for all of us to provide counterpoints to the misconceptions we have been told for years and years,” said Army veteran Chris Marvin, managing director of nonprofit Got Your Six …

Joining Forces Receives Industry Pledge to Hire, Train 90,000 Veterans, Spouses

  • April 27, 2015
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A group of technology and energy companies have committed to hire or train 90,000 veterans and military spouses in the next five years, First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week during an event marking the fourth anniversary of the Joining Forces initiative. When the effort to raise awareness among all Americans about the service, sacrifice and needs of military families initially was launched, President Obama challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans and spouses. Now, less than four years later, “America’s businesses have continued to race past my husband’s initial goal, and together, those businesses who answered the president’s call have hired or trained more than 850,000 veterans and military spouses,” the first lady said …

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