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Targeted Career Advice for Military Spouses in the Pacific Northwest

There's still time to register for the 7th annual Military Officers Association of America's 7th annual Military Spouse Symposium. This year's theme is “Keeping a Career on the Move.”

I am always impressed by the work that our incredible military support organizations do to make the lives of our force and families better. Like many other great organizations, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is taking action to improve the lives of military families because they understand the difficulties and hardships that our families willingly face in the shared service to our nation. MOAA knows that one key source of psychological and material wellbeing for any family is gainful, purposeful employment. This is particularly true of our military spouses.

This week more than 200 military spouses in the Pacific Northwest are preparing for the Military Officers Association of America’s (MOAA) 7th annual Military Spouse Symposium, “Keeping a Career on the Move” on February 8, 2013 at the University of Washington Tacoma, Phillip Hall. The event is free and open to all military spouses - all ranks, active duty, retired, Reserve and National Guard. Service members and veterans are also welcome. And there’s still time to register.


Mrs. Patti Brown, spouse of I Corps Commander, LTG Robert Brown, is taking a leading role in enhancing the career opportunities of our military spouses on Joint Base Lewis McChord.  “I’m thrilled to help bring the MOAA spouse symposium to the military spouses in our area,” she stated.  “Military families in the Pacific Northwest will benefit greatly from this full day of resources and will be well prepared to meet employers at Hire America’s Heroes career fair that follows on Feb 15.  As a military spouse and career educator I know how difficult it can be to manage a career and military life. Between resources like the MOAA Spouse Symposium, Hire America’s Heroes and Joining Forces, today’s spouses are empowered to make smart decisions about their family’s economic future.”

Spouses will hear a panel of speakers from a variety of companies, followed by a special address from Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

The afternoon features a panel discussion about how real spouses found career continuity and the programs, like the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, that help. Spouses will hear speakers like Chris Pape, an Air Force spouse who started a support network for male military spouses called “Macho Spouse”, representatives from the Department of Defense State Liaison office and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

“The power of this gathering was the insight passed to spouses, as to how they can go about marketing their own skills for today's job force,” said Josi Hunt, wife of Vice Admiral Richard Hunt, Commander, Naval Surface Forces following the 2012 symposium, which was held in San Diego. “Military spouses are rich additions to any community, each with diverse employment and educational backgrounds. The information gathered will be a great addition to their lifestyles and will make our military families stronger.”

Have kids? No problem. MOAA has arranged childcare services providing a free day of play at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

Whether you’re looking for a job now or preparing for a future career you’ll find workshops, experts and employers who can help!  It’s going to be an informative and inspiring day.

Check out video from last year’s event and reserve your space now!

As the Director of Joining Forces, I hope more people are inspired by events like this to think how they can also help military families get the support they deserve. Whether it’s hosting a hiring event in your community, or even just shoveling snow from a neighbor’s driveway whose spouse is deployed, all of us can do something to serve our military families.

CAPT Todd Veazie is Executive Director of Joining Forces in the Office of the First Lady.