Author: T. T. Robinson

10 Dos and Don’ts of the Navy Ball

Originally published on SpouseBuzz

Ah, it’s that time of year again. The time when sequins are encouraged and Rent the Runway’s stock goes up. That’s right my friends, it’s the Navy ball.

Whether you love it or hate it, look at it as mandatory fun or The Most Fun, we here at SpouseBuzz care about your wellbeing and want you to not only have a great time, but make it through the night with both your dignity and marriage intact. Because nothing says opportunity for disagreement than alcohol + pressure + uncomfortable shoes + being hangry whilst waiting for that banquet food you know isn’t coming until after all the toasts in the land. 

Me, personally? I love a good Navy ball. The pomp, circumstance, gowns, dress uniforms … bring it on. 

Here are 10 Navy ball Dos and Don’ts to get you through the night.

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Another Hurricane Is on its Way. Is Your Military Family Prepared?

Originally published on SpouseBuzz

One of the most potentially damaging storms in history is projected to hit this weekend, and if that’s not enough, we still have two more months of hurricane season. Are you prepared?

I sat in a classroom in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in a crash course of all things disaster response. It was 2005, and Hurricane Katrina had just made landfall. Working for Homeland Security at the time, I’d been surged to FEMA to help with the response in Louisiana.

The few days before deploying to the hurricane response were a blur, but one line, in one lesson, is forever etched in memory. The instructor paced the overcrowded classroom, came to a stop, looked down at his hands, and in a quiet voice asked, “What’s the most dangerous element of a hurricane?” The group shouted answers, from tornadoes to floods, lighting to wind, downed power lines to rogue alligators.

Our instructor finally looked up, making eye contact around the room, and said, “No. The single most dangerous element in a hurricane is complacency.”

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5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas 

Originally published on SpouseBuzz

Father’s Day is right around the corner, neatly sandwiched between the end of the school year and PCS season — and you’re looking for Father’s Day ideas. 

We know dads are incredible.

They throw kids higher, laugh (and sometimes snore) louder and bear hug tighter.

There are entire books published about dad jokes and dad shorts and dad lessons, because all of those things really do make fathers extra special.

We know dads deserve nothing but the best.

And we also know you have 10,000 other things going on, and sometimes it’s nice for us to make decisions for you. That said, we wanted to make it easy on you this year. Pick from the list, visit their website and cross that pesky but important “find Father’s Day ideas” thing off your to-do list. Here are our 5 favorite Father’s Day gifts.

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Top Frustrations of the Working Military Spouse

Originally published on SpouseBuzz

Military spouses have unique challenges in the workforce — that’s an understatement. If you’re a military spouse and you’ve looked for a job, had a job or are currently working, then you understand “The Plight” of the military spouse in the employment world.

We went to In Gear Career’s Amplify in Virginia Beach recently and heard some of the challenges military spouses face when trying to balance military life and a career. Luckily for us, we heard subject matter experts address each issue head on. These are 5 frustrations working (or job-searching) military spouses know all too well.

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5 Perfect Gifts for a Milspouse on Mother’s Day

Originally published on SpouseBuzz

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (it’s always the second Sunday in May) and once again you’re left looking for Mother’s Day gift ideas for the woman who does it all. Whether she birthed you or married you and gave you children, this is the woman you should be thanking every day. And nothing says “thank you” like an awesome gift.

There are three rules of gift giving on this holiday that must be strictly adhered to: It must be thoughtful. It must not be used for housework. And it must be awesome. If you want to stick to these three rules, pick one (or a combo!) of these MilSpouse Mother’s Day gifts. Extra bonus points: All of these items have a military spouse or service member connection — which, yes, automatically makes them awesome.

To continue reading on SpouseBuzz, click here. 

7 Stages of PCS Packing

PCS season: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But really, it was the most stressful of times.

It starts long before the move; during the season of orders uncertainty. Remember that scene in “Legally Blonde” where Harvard’s finest are huddled in the hallway anxiously awaiting the internship list to be posted? We thought it would probably be Warner and Viv, but of course we were all pulling for Elle. Her infamous, “ME!” was one of my favorite parts of the movie. If you’ve watched it once, you know the scene.

Click here to finish reading on NextGen MilSpouse.

Yes, I’m Scared of More War

Originally posted on SpouseBuzz

I’ll admit it: The military spouse in me is afraid.

As 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles rained over Syria last night, my social media feed was filled with questions, and with fear. From, “Did we just go to war with Syria?” to, “So worried about my husband and all of our deployed military right now!”, our military families are left not knowing what to expect, or really even how to feel.
But one thing I do know: It is time; we have — we had — to do something. On April 6, 2017, the United States launched an offensive strike targeting a Syrian military airfield in Homs, as a retaliation for the unspeakable horrors of the Assad regime (the latest being an alleged chemical attack that left over 100 dead).

It’s a situation fraught with complexity. We don’t know if this will mean more, or sooner or longer deployments. We don’t know how Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (or Iran and Russia who back him) will respond. There is so much uncertainty, and in the absence of assurances, it’s easy to let fear and doubt creep in.
I’ll admit, I’m scared of what this means for our collective future. But in the face of that fear, I keep coming back to the fact that somewhere in the corners of Syria, plagued by civil war and terrorism, is a regime intentionally killing its people. Let that sink in. Their government is killing their civilians, in the thousands. Innocent people — children — are being gassed to death. Yes, the milspouse part of me is scared. But the mommy in me, the American, the human being? Those parts of me are furious.

To continue reading on SpouseBuzz, click here. 

Oh the Places We’ll Go — MilSpouse Version

Originally published on Spousebuzz 

It’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday and as military spouses, we have to pay a little homage to the man who wrote what could be our collective manifesto. Did you know the same guy who cranked out over 40 books for kids with such well known titles as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat, was also a captain in the Army? Additionally, Theodor Geisel, more commonly known as “Dr. Seuss” penned more than 400 political cartoons in the height of World War II, oft depicting Hitler as a villain and Mussolini as a moron. Not long after, according to the History Channel, Dr. Seuss went to work alongside famed director Frank Capra and Warner Brothers to produce animated training materials – films, booklets and even documentaries, featuring “Private SNAFU” (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up), a soldier whose mistakes were meant to be a warning lesson for the young, enlisted troops during the war. So there’s that.
While lesser known for his military work, the globally beloved author is renowned for his rhyming, singsongy-like cadence that’s accompanied by brightly colored pictures that kids adore and parents long remember.
Whether you’re diehard Lorax fan or more of a Grinch, as military spouses there’s one Dr. Seuss book we should all buy, read and commit to memory. It’s pretty much written for us, and if you’re a Seuss fan, you already know what I’m talking about. It’s Oh the Places You’ll Go.
So today we give you Oh the Places You’ll Go, Military Spouse Style.

Today is your day.

Time to choose your next duty station.

You’ll be off and away!
You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

Just kidding. It’s the detailer who will decide where you go.

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25 GIFs That Perfectly Explain Military Life

Originally published on SpouseBuzz

Sometimes there are no words to describe the roller coaster of emotions that we experience in military life. So today, we give you 25 GIFs that do the trick, for all of the circumstances this crazy ride can throw your way.
When someone asks where you’re moving next:
Film GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When your orders come earlier than expected:
Reaction GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When you get your first choice duty station:
Happy GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When you get the only duty station you DIDN’T want:
Reaction GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When you can’t remember your own social security number but know your spouse’s:
Mean Girls GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When you don’t know anyone at your first FRG meeting:
The Next Step GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When you unpack the trashcan (with trash still in it) after an OCONUS move:
Charm Ladonna GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When someone tells you, “I could never marry someone in the military:”
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When you find out your job certification won’t transfer to your new state:
Team Coco GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When you’re frantically searching for your ID at the gate:
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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What your kids think your spouse really does:
Vintage GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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When your in-laws want to visit the day before your spouse leaves for deployment:
No GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
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52 Week Challenge: Register to Vote

Originally posted on

Photo from NextGen MilSpouse

Whether you’re on the “Trump Train,” you’re “With Her,” you’ve Googled Gary Johnson or you have no idea which candidate should get your vote, as an American citizen you have an obligation to cast that ballot.

As military spouses, we know all too well what sacrifices have been made to protect that privilege.
Not feeling the presidential race this year? Remember, there are a plethora of local elections that warrant your attention as well.

There’s nothing worse in an election year than showing up at the polls and realizing you’re not registered to vote. Or talking to your deployed spouse overseas and realizing that he or she missed the window to request an absentee ballot.

Click here to continue reading this post on NextGen MilSpouse