Millitary Families

Museums Offering Free Admission To Military Families Through Labor Day

Blue Star Museums

Ready to start the summer vacation off with a bang? The 2013 season of Blue Star Museums is going to be the best yet with more than 2,000 art centers, museums, and exhibits offering FREE entrance for all active duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Blue Star Museums is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, Joining Forces, MetLife Foundation and museums across the country.

You can go to BlueStarfam.org and find all the museums available by state.

 

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Baggie Bonanza… and the PCS Military Move

neighborsBy: Williamsburg Military Insider

With many Military Families PCS season is coming up. I have moved 14 times in the past twenty years, and can relate with everything in the article at Call Dibs  “How to MOVE IT without LOSING IT!: Helpful Tips for your PCS Move” I got the biggest chuckle out of the Baggie Bonanza paragraph. In my twenty years I thought I was the only one who did this, as I am the same and do not want movers all up in my space. 🙂 I recommend reading her tips on your next PCS move; they are some of the same I have done for the past twenty years. Take to heart the refrigerator stocked full with drinks, I can tell you from experience moving in this past July, and it was 110 F, my movers were the best! They were just so thankful for the endless supply of Gatorade. They even assembled everything without being asked. We all know sometimes that can be a challenge. Happy PCS season…wishing everyone very smooth moves!

Where are the Facts?….Defense Budget Faces Cuts To Personnel After Decade of War

Shape Our Lives 4 by 6 copyBy: Williamsburg Military Insider

I rarely ever put a opinion out there on articles I read.  But as I came across this story written by Mr. David Wood, Defense Budget Faces Cuts To Personnel After Decade of War…I had to say something.

What does Mr. Wood  honestly expect to add to the national discussion with a story that has more errors than facts? . As a military wife, I’m terrified that readers might actually think this story features facts. Mr. Wood has  a responsibility to inform the public, inherent in that responsibility is that your information be TRUE. Mr. Wood, Military Members are all – VOLUNTEERS. They chose to stand up, put the best interests and security of the country first, even at the risk of their own lives. They aren’t in it for glory, or fame, or getting their names in the papers. They do it because it’s the right thing to do. They do it to protect your right to malign and degrade them, to say they don’t deserve a good paycheck for the price of their lives. A paycheck, I might add, that is paid for by the government, and your taxes, which they also pay. In effect, they pay themselves to safeguard our way of life.

You should personally thank each and every one of these military members for their service and their courage to protect your rights and your freedoms.

Military Families to Get Free National Parks Pass

Active-duty military personnel and their dependents will soon be able to enter every national park for free as part of an effort to thank service members and their families for the sacrifices they make, the Interior Department announced Tuesday.

An annual pass will be made available to members of the military free of charge beginning Saturday, which is Armed Forces Day. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass ordinarily costs $80. It provides access to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.

The initiative is being marked with a Tuesday ceremony at Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown, Va., the site of the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War.

New Outdoor Recreational Facility for Military near Williamsburg at Cheatham Annex

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

An expanded outdoor recreational facility for military veterans and their families was revealed last week during their grand opening at Cheatham Annex, part of the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station.

Among the new amenities are 16 cottages, 50 recreation vehicle hook-up sites and 20 tent campsites. Six of the new cottages have two bedrooms and 10 are three-bedroom units. Included with the cottages and RV sites is a new comfort facility that has showers, a laundry room and lounge.

The Navy says the project cost $6.5 million and took a year-and-a-half to complete.

The MWR Outdoor Recreation facility provides year-round services for active duty, reserve and retired military and their dependents. Along with cottages, RV sites and campsites, MWR Outdoor Recreation has boat and kayak rentals, mountain bikes and fishing gear.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Kiplinger-BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families.

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

The 2012 Kiplinger-BBB Financial Field Manual is out! I was very humbled to be interviewed for the section on Home-Buying Resources. The Guide helps with financial strategies, rules and resources for military families are often very different from those for civilians. The 20-page guide provides comprehensive guidance on a wide range of timely personal finance topics, including:

Special Home-Buying Resources. Military families, who tend to move frequently and sometimes with little notice, have been hit particularly hard by the housing downturn. But they also have access to special mortgage programs and tax breaks. The guide addresses these valuable resources and some key investing decisions to protect them from housing troubles that can jeopardize their financial situation.

Investing for the Future. Members of the military have access to special investing plans that can help them save for the future, but they’re also frequent targets of scam artists and identity thieves. The guide shows them how to make the most of their special savings plans, make smart investing decisions, and avoid the new generation of scams

Protecting Investments and Family. Military families have some unique risks–especially when they’re deployed–but they also have access to special programs to help them protect their savings and their families. The booklet guides them on how to make the most of these resources in areas such as insurance, estate planning, and new tax rules.

Protecting Investments When Leaving the Military. Service men and women need to make some key investing decisions after leaving the military. The booklet provides guidance to help ensure that the savings they have built throughout their service lasts through retirement – which is particularly timely as they enter a challenging civilian job market.

Special Benefits for Military Families. Members of the military have special legal rights and access to other valuable benefits, such as a GI bill that can help service members, their spouses and their children pay for college. The guide shows them how to make the most of those benefits to help protect their savings.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Living in Williamsburg, VA you are in an amazing area for the lights that glow the season! Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights.

By:  Williamsburg Military Insider

Hello December!  No better way to start the month than viewing the 100 Miles of Lights. Share the glow of the season and experience millions of lights and hundreds of events from Virginia’s capital city Richmond  to the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach.  The region will glitter and glow, sparkle and shine with lights, lights and more lights. 100 Miles of Lights features holiday events and activities in Richmond, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

Richmond

Nov 25-Jan 9 –Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a spectacular not-to-be-missed tour featuring more than 700,000 lights.

Dec 26-27Holiday Glitter: Monument Avenue After Dark – Enjoy the lights and glitter of Monument Avenue while it’s decked out for the holidays. This early evening stroll combines history with a touch of glitz!

Williamsburg

Nov 25-27, Dec 2-4, 9-11, 16-24, 26-31- Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration – More than two million lights bring Christmas to Busch Gardens! Join in the fun of holiday traditions, dazzling shows, signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate, and of course, the 50′ tall light-animated Christmas tree.!

Dec 4 – Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination – Don’t miss this awesome night of musical performances and three separate fireworks displays. No tickets or reservations required!

Dec 24 – Colonial Williamsburg: Colonial Christmas Tree Lighting – Gather ’round for the the annual Christmas tree illumination and retelling of the city’s first Christmas tree.

Newport News

Nov 24-Jan 1 – Celebration in Lights is a 2-mile drive-through of spectacular holiday light displays in Newport News Regional Park. The park’s lakes become magical mirrors reflecting sailing ships and spring blooming trees. Other displays include animated arches, muliti-colored snowflakes and leaping reindeer!

Dec 2 –Hollydazzle – This unique holiday event combines fireworks, special effects and music in a spectacular show presented “in the round” on the five-acre Fountain Plaza. Free children’s activities and holiday performances throughout the City Center at Oyster Point area, plus great shopping all along Merchant’s Walk.

Hampton

Dec 3 – 23rd Annual Lighted Boat Parade – It’s a beautiful parade on the water as 20 boats or more glide along the Hampton River, reflecting their shimmering lights.

Dec 11 – Hampton Holly Days Parade – It’s the only time you’re allowed to create a wake in Downtown Hampton! Come join the fun at the Peninsula’s largest illuminated parade as well-crafted floats drift by and marching bands swim past in a sea of color.

Norfolk

Nov 24-Jan 1 – Dominion Garden of Lights – Bring your family and friends to our 17th annual light show extravaganza for a magical holiday experience. During this event, our garden is transformed into a winter wonderland where you can enjoy a 2-mile drive through a million sparkling lights bringing the four seasons to life.

Portsmouth

Nov 18, 25, 26-Dec 31 – Don’t miss Winter Wonderland: The Coleman Collection featuring animated figures. Musical performers, make-and-take crafts and strolling holiday characters make this a popular event!

Virginia Beach

Nov. 18-Jan 1 – Drive along the boardwalk in Virginia Beach to take in the spectacle of the McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach. Festive fish, jumping dolphins, frolicking porpoises – all in bright, colored lights against the clear night-time sky at the Oceanfront! This is the only time cars are ever allowed on the boardwalk!

Dec 2 – Illumination and Christmas Tree Lighting – The holiday lights go on and the festive season begins at 7 pm with entertainment at the Victory Monument followed by the Procession of Lights through historic Yorktown to Riverwalk Landing. The tree lighting ceremony and visit from Santa, begins at 7:30 pm.

Dec 3 – Lighted Boat Parade – Decorated in holiday spirit, area boaters parade the York River in competition for “Best of Show.” Waterfront events begin at 6 pm. Enjoy hot cider and musical performances in the glow of a beach bonfire while awaiting the magnificent parade of lights. Sponsored by the Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade Committee and Wormley Creek Marina.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763              757-651-3763   or e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

House of Representatives Urging Regulators to Look at Challenges for Struggling Military Homeowners.

By Williamsburg Military Insider

Today, I applaud the efforts of the House of Representatives in urging regulators to provide members of the military will full access to federal programs that help troubled homeowners and look for alternative measures to assist service members that are adversely impacted by the weak real estate market. The lawmakers specifically requested that the U.S. Treasury Department and federal regulators review the challenges facing military members who are forced to PCS and are at risk losing their homes.

Today, there are nearly 300,000 brave American men and women who serve our nation, overseas and often in harsh conditions and at grave risk.  Members are always concerned about taking care of families in case of combat deaths or injury as well as everyday concerns about finances, repairs, and emotional support.

Meanwhile, their loved ones are back home struggling to keep a semi-balance of “ normal” so the member can focus on the mission…and to provide their children with a somewhat stable home while mom or dad is away.

Service members and their families are often unable to sell their homes in time of their PCS move at prices that enable them to pay off their mortgage, and they cannot generate enough rental income to cover their mortgage.

The impact of housing is worsening family finances and it can have an adverse impact on the battlefield.  It is already stressful enough.  We need our armed forces focused on the mission at hand.  They should not be busy navigating or negotiating financing options from the war zone or placing additional stress on the spouse back home.

The impact on families is already great. It is an issue that cuts across all services, in all ranks, and in every region.  Strangely, there is no solution in the department and service levels. I know we can do something better to support our troops. So again I thank the Lawmakers who want more for our struggling military homeowners.

A link to the letter released. Committee on Government and Oversight Reform.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 or e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

‘Extreme Makeover’ Seeks Military Families

‘Extreme Makeover’ Seeks Military Families.

The producers of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” are looking for people with “amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others.” Nobody fits that description better than a military family! They are seeking families whose homes need major alterations or repairs. Please help spread the word; the deadline for nominations is September 29.

Active Duty Military Life is Like a Box of Chocolates…

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

We’ve all been there in the back to school open houses, standing in a group of civilians talking about their families, they ask what you do and you smile, “We’re military”. You see the look, you know what I’m talking about, yes, that look. They respond, “Oh I just don’t think I could do it.” This always cracks me up one side and down the other. What do they think? You are a glutton for punishment? They act like it’s a physical choice of yours to be a part of this lifestyle. Any military spouse knows, it’s not that you like to move around twenty billion times in your life, that you enjoy having the movers trash your new girls brand new Ping Pong Table, or even that you enjoy living most of your life as a geographical bachelor/bachelorette, better known as a single, married person. Or maybe you enjoy the single parenting life of a married person? You don’t choose it, sometimes it chose you, and sometimes it just is. It’s what you do. So here are some tips to help you do it with grace, do it with style, and  in the end you might end up actually liking it after all (well except for that being alone and the Ping Pong trashing action).

Seek out friends & support

  • Join OSC/ESC
  • Volunteer
  • Attend neighborhood functions
  • Participate in your Squadron’s groups & events

Remember, some of your best friends and contacts you will make in the most unlikely places. Never stop growing, and never stop seeking new contacts.

Don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it

  • Chaplains, Military Life Counselors, even Financial Counselors
  • Friends & neighbors

Look, everyone has issues, and if they say they don’t, then that is an issue in and of itself. Do not be afraid to seek help and talk to someone about your life. Even the happiest person or couple has things that they need to talk about once and awhile.

Be positive

  • No negative attitudes allowed (exception: longer than 24 hours – hey, we all have our days)
  • Make yourself the “glass half full” kind of person

Remaining positive about your lifestyle choice is almost always a sanity-saving endeavor. At least it has been for me. Sure there are times when life throws you curveballs (more so than normal in a military career because SURPRISE! you’re not in control).

Focus on what you want and go for it

  • It’s your life too
  • Empower yourself

Just because you are a military spouse doesn’t mean you can’t have your own life and career outside of being married to the military. Choose work or a volunteer position outside of the home if that is what makes you feel “complete”.

Communicate & Share

  • Share everything with your spouse (that includes your feelings, but also, parenting, the wash, paying the bills, and feeding the dog)
  • Develop a loving relationship full of touch and expression ( Honestly the best perk J )

This is the key to a successful marriage in the military. There will be times when you will be on your own without your spouse. That doesn’t mean that you will be doing it all alone, unless you make it that way. Make a conscience effort, in presence or not, to communicate openly with your spouse about everything. Parent together, do finances together, be a “team”.

Forest Gump says it best, “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get”. And yes, my friend, that statement rings even more true for military life.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 or e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com