Military Families

Revealed: An Overview of The Various Traditions of Military Weddings

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Military wedding customs and traditions date back centuries when officers carried their swords for far more than ceremonial purposes. Today, with many women serving in the military, there are, inevitably, new rules of etiquette that are added to the ceremony. In this article, we provide an overview of how to have a spectacular wedding whilst still respecting the traditions of the armed forces as follows:

Bridal party’s military wedding attire

This begins with the overall formality of the wedding. For example, if the wedding theme is white tie tuxedos, then the officers are required to wear full dress regalia. In case of a less formal or black tie wedding, an officer could wear his/her dinner uniform. However, lower-ranking and non-commissioned service members should wear well presented standard uniform dresses.

Female officers

Military WeddingThis is really dependent on the bride. For instance, she could wear her uniform or her white wedding gown if she so chooses. Here, the same formality rules apply to both service men and women. Another consideration would be to look to the established rules of the various branches of the military in order to be guided on attire.

Military ceremony- The traditions

Some things are common among civilian weddings and military weddings (like engagement rings, proposals, bouquets, etc). However there are many differences, including between the various brances of the military.  Since each service branch takes pride in its own rendition of the ceremony of arch and swords, we take a look at a few of the protocols below. However, if you are looking to add a true military feel to the day’s events, it is advisable to carefully scrutinize each of the respective traditions.

· Army– Here, as the couple leaves the altar, each officer holds a ceremonial sword over them as they find their way from the chapel or church. And as the newly married couple pass through the last two swordsmen, these two officers cross their swords in a symbolic gesture meant to prevent the couple from leaving. Thereafter, the second officer standing behind the bride swats her gently on her rear end before welcoming her to the army. They are then allowed to leave the arch.

· Air Force– In this branch of the military, the sword bearers turn and face the bride as she makes her way down the aisle and then rotate to face her as she passes them. During the ceremony, they face the Bible and after the ceremony is over, again rotate to watch her leave.

· Marines/Navy– In these branches, swordsmen also double up as ushers and are not supposed to swat the bride at the end of the procession. Remember, in all sword ceremonies, bearers are required to wear white gloves.

· Commanding officers– They usually sit on the front row with their spouses if the parents of the bride and groom are absent. If present, they sit next to the family members of the military member who is getting married.

· Military chaplains– They are not required to charge a fee for conducting the service. However, military protocol stipulates that they ought to receive a formal invitation to the reception accompanied by their spouse.

Cake tradition

Besides elaborate sword ceremonies, a long held military tradition is cutting the cake with a sword. This is done as the groom holds his hand over the bride’s as they both cut the cake. Remember, each military branch tends to cut the cake a little differently so it is usually a good idea to liaise with an expert when planning the reception. However, one big no-no is failing to decorate the sword. This cuts across all military branches.

Benefits of VA Loans and Military Credit Unions in 2017

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United State military members and even their families have financial requirements because of how they might often have to move and travel in order to serve the country well. Service members might not easily have easy bank access when traveling, they have to depend on a financial institution which can easily coordinate cash transfers to family members and offer attractive interest rates. Fortunately, several VA Loans and Military Credit Unions give a range of competitive rates, financial products, and extra military members’ perks.

The best credit unions directly compete with banks. They normally have a structure for lower cost, because they are not out for profit, they are managed mainly by volunteer members, and do not pay income taxes. Listed here are the benefits of VA Loans and Military Credit Unions in 2017.

1. Better interest rates: Typically, you will receive between three and ten times higher rates on every deposit account at the ideal credit unions compare to commercial banks (not online banks however, that pay higher rates). This will include checking, savings, and money market type of accounts. Credit unions always provide the perfect returns on deposit certificates (share certificates). The latest national average rate available on 30-year VA fixed loans are: 3.59%, almost .60% which in general is less than the national average for 30-year fixed loans.

Related Link: Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit (Updated for 2017)

2. Lower borrowing costs: Credit unions both give loans and credit cards, but those given by credit unions really cost less. Credit unions are always used for car loans as a result of their enticing rates. Their APRs on credit cards, mortgages and personal loans are often lower too.

Military Loans3. Closing Cost Limits: Mortgages normally comes with fees as well as closing costs. However, the VA limits what veterans can really be charged with regard to these expenses. Certain costs and fees has to be covered by some parties in the transaction. These kind of safeguards assist to make homeownership cheap for homebuyers.

Usually, VA borrowers can ask a seller to pay their entire closing costs, that can add up based on the loan amount. There’s no any guarantee that the seller will accept that request, veterans however can surely ask in the negotiation process.

4. Reduced fees: Normally, National banks rely on collecting fees to meet their requirements for profit, particularly when interest rates are low. Credit unions do not make profits, and then the money saved will defray costs that otherwise would require fees – withdrawals, check charges, electronic transactions, and so on. Credit unions also give free checking with no any minimum balance or even monthly service charge. Truly, some of the best credit unions charge will bounced-check fees, those fees however are smaller and forgiven in some cases.

5. Customer service: Credit union, as a mutually owned organization, naturally members adopt a customer-friendly target, since the entire customers are members too. Credit union branches are normally small, so it really becomes easy to create relationships with those working there. Credit unions additionally have a tradition of giving financial education which banks seldom give.

6. Flexibility: Banks actually function by the numbers – if you don’t have a good credit history, you might simply not be given a credit card. A more flexible approach is given by credit unions and work with members, even those with troubled histories, to easily find solutions.

Military Families Taking on Part Time Work to Make Ends Meet

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military-familyLife for the spouses and extended family members of those serving in our military can be tough. There is the constant fear that your spouse or loved one will not return home. There is the worry about what you will do tomorrow should anything happen. There is the difficulty of living a life alone, without the comfort and joys that your serving military spouse used to bring to your life.

There are many responsible organizations that have taken the initiative towards helping to improve the lives of such individuals. Services provided by such organizations range from personal and professional guidance counseling, open-house talk sessions and group therapy to social networks, book clubs, weekly meetups and more.

In addition to the social and psychological services that these groups provide, there is a growing number of companies and businesses that realize that having your husband or wife serving overseas for months on end can hit you in other places where it hurts, such as in your wallet. These companies are striving to provide appropriate opportunities to the spouses of serving service members and have taken a more and more active approach towards landing military wives jobs.

The type of job that might be offered can vary greatly and can be anything from a writing editor or secretary to an office assistant or administrative clerk.

Although there are many different jobs that military wives in particular can take on, for some, the options are limited. However, people are always there to help, and one place that has taken in many women and has provided jobs for them is a professional house cleaning service in Seattle Washington. There are many companies that are involved in this kind of work, and there are many right here in the Seattle Washington area. They strive to do their part towards taking care of the community and giving back to the people who helped them established themselves over the years.

Such initiatives deliberately look to hire people who may be interested in joining a team of dedicated, experienced professionals. Workers sometimes join full-time, and at other times, part-time. There are almost always no strings to the work, no limits on the work, and workers can work whenever they want to and for as many hours as they like. In return what they get is a friendly environment, the opportunity to learn about home care and cleaning services and about how to give something back to the community.

This opportunity has been taken up by countless military wives who had been faced with the real challenge of not being able to put enough food on the table and who were looking for some extra income.

Because cleaning a house is no small task, cleaning companies often have very detailed lists that cover everything that needs to be cleaned in a house. There are separate checklists for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and living areas. Each checklist is separate and unique and endeavors to ensure that every type of cleaning service the client could possibly want is covered.

What’s interesting to note about this is that military wives often have an innate sense of how to do things well with little or no prior learning since living with a military spouse is in itself a form of preparation for the difficult tasks involved with maintaining a home on one’s own. Perfectionism comes easily to them and they already have a great deal of familiarity when it comes to finding out about something that needs to be done, learning how to do it and then executing consistently and effectively with little supervision.

It may not be very well known that military wives can join part-time cleaning services that help them during the service periods of their spouses but it is certainly an initiative that has helped countless women do better for themselves, that too completely on their own.

Military Men and Women on Leave, Leave a Promise at Home

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Promise rings have been around for a long time. In this regard, there are many myths that surround the idea of giving these types of rings. It is critical to dispel the myths but at the same time understand why military men on leave will want to get a hold of a good ring for their girlfriend or partner. First though, what is the difference between these rings and engagement rings? Below is an insight into some of the elements that come to play in this respect.

Military men mainly use them to keep a promise and as a reminder of love, trust and commitment. The good news is that these rings are widely available in the market. Military men on leave can shop from the comfort of their space online and choose something suitable for their loved ones. Many rings are also affordable and depending on the budget you wish to spend, you will find specialist sites that provide you with the desired variety. Military men on leave can surprise their girlfriends or partners and there is noting more thoughtful than this. It keeps romance alive and boosts morale to tackle different field challenges for survival for military personnel.

Promise rings for men (and women, of course) are used to convey or deliver a message, a commitment. In the military, promises are critical because the nature of work can mean life or death. In this regard, every service man who has a special person in their lives will want to express their commitment and love and through this ring; this message is conveyed. In addition, a military man can reassure their partner that they will come back and live happily together after serving in their designated locations. Promises are excellent to hold on to and many military men have been able to fight and survive in the battle field to keep the promise they made to their partners.promise-rings

Rings that are given to convey a promise do not necessarily mean that marriage is around the corner. This is a myth that has formed over the years. These rings can simply symbolize a lasting commitment to love without necessarily having marriage in the picture. In fact, these rings enable military men who are not ready for marriage to cement their relationships and keep the flame of passion burning. Long term relationships based on commitment and trust is what these rings reinforce.

Unlike what people think, these rings are not just for teenagers. Although teenagers can use them for different symbolism, many young adults and older people alike will use the rings to achieve the desired results in their relationships. In the military, it really does not matter the age of a person because they will utilize the rings to make vital life promises to loved ones. Another element is that these rings can be exchanged by friends. It does not have to be a romantic relationship to give a promise and commit to it. In the military, the rings come in handy to communicate the promises to different types of people and relationships.

Family Programs Mission

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Taking Care of Our Guard Families and Veterans

Need Help?
Call 1-877-585-5655

Washington National Guard
Joint Services Support Directorate (JSS)
Building 3
Camp Murray, WA 98430
24/7 Hotline for all services 1-800-364-7492

The Joint Services Support (JSS) Directorate is designed to be a one-stop center for all Washington Guard Veteran and Family Readiness services.

Headquartered in Building 3 on Camp Murray, with locations at armories all across the state, the JSS is here to help no matter where you are located in Washington State.

The JSS is responsible for Transition Services, State Family Programs and a Resiliency Care Team.

Family Programs, Employment & VA Assistance………..……….……1-800-364-7492
Resiliency Training, Counseling, Suicide Prevention………..……….…..1-877-585-5655
Joint Services Support Front Desk……………………….……….……..253-512-7881
Joint Services Support Employment………………….………………….253-512-8540
Suicide Prevention LIFELINE……………………………………….1-800-273-TALK

Get Connected/Stay Connected
WA Guard Facebook………………………..…
WA Guard Twitter……………………….…… or @Wa_Natl_Guard
WA Guard Website……………………….……….……………
JSS Faceebook……………………………..……………
JSS Twitter…………………………………… or @JSSWA

Family Programs is primarily an Information and Referral Resource.

  • To support Service Member and their Families effectiveness
  • Train to build Family self-reliance
  • Coordination of programs and services that assists Family Members before, during and after deployment.

There are 12 Family Assistance Coordinators (FAC) stationed throughout Washington State in local armories to assist Service Members and their Families with numerous issues.

What FACs do…

  • They are a Federal, State and Local Family/Soldier Resource Center
  • Provide ongoing support for Military Families and outreach
  • Work in conjunction with military units and their commanders in providing necessary support with the Chain of Concern

If you have a question about benefits, resource or financial assistance please contact a local FAC and they will help you. If you don’t know who your FAC is please call this number and we’ll direct you to the right one. 1-800-364-7492.



Credit and Financial Advice From Family Assistance Coordinators

We understand how hard it is to manage your family budget.

We can make it easier for you!

Here’re just a few things we can take care of:

  • financial guidance for your family;
  • assistance with getting military loans,
  • expert advice on improving your credit;
  • special financial support for the poor veteran families;

You will receive all three scores from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This will give you a deeper understanding of your current credit and how it works for your family.

Resources (Updated 2017):

How to Raise Your Credit Scores & Get the Best Interest Rates in 2017

Other Helpful Resources for Military Families publishes several resources on Disaster Preparedness, including information on how to protect your home and valuables.

Cougars vs. Huskies – The Apple Cup (Washington College Football)

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Washington State Cougars vs. Washington Huskies in this years Apple Cup

The Washington State University Cougars faced off against the Washington University Huskies in the annual “Apple Cup” this past Friday.  The yearly Washington College Football showdown proved to be a disappointment to Cougars fans, who saw their teem fall by a significant margin of 45-10.  The Huskies took advantage of some recent injuries to the opposing quarterback (an apparent concussion occurring in last week’s game) and were able to solidify a lead early on.

The Cougars ended up with seven (7) turnovers, which is the most the team has given up in over 6 years, dating back to their 2009 game against Hawaii.  Several of the turnovers were a result, directly or indirectly, of the inexperienced 2nd string quarterback for Washington State.  While the Freshman Luke Falk did throw for 288 yards, they failed to take advantage of several scoring opportunities in the first half alone.

This game saw it’s share of injury as well, with Washington State wide receiver (WR) Gabe Marks suffered an apparrent right knee injury, after being bent awkwardly during a play.  This play was followed quickly by another scoring drive by the Huskies.

The Cougars will still be going to a bowl game again this year (making it two years in a row under their current coach), but they were plagued by turnovers and missed out on a 10 win season.  Interceptions and fumbles were both returned, for 69 yards and 28 yards respectively, by Huskies’ Jones and Gardenhire.  One certainly has to wonder if anyone picked either of these teams in their daily fantasy football league, and how they felt about the outcome, it certainly couldn’t have been pretty for Cougar fans.  The Huskies were favored in the game, but certainly not by such a large margin.

The Apple Cup has been around for over 100 years, and this years game is just the latest edition.  It is customary for the game to be the last game of the regular season, usually on or around thanksgiving, and they alternate which stadium to play the game it (with Washington taking the Odd years, and Washington state taking the Even years).  This years results are no surprise to historians of Washington State Football, as the Huskies lead the rivalry decidedly with a 70–32–6 record over the last century plus.

The winner of the cup is presented with a trophy from the Governer of Washington State, in fact for many decades the trophy was simply called “The Governors Trophy”, but was renamed to give a nod to Washington States large production of apple crops.  Looks like WSU will have one more year to hold the trop (in addition to bragging rights), the Cougars will have to wait until next year.