November 13, 2012

Info

A Military Story Mission: sharing beautiful photos & the stories behind the photos, but also to inspire, educate and inform! This page will provide military information & resources. If you would like to be added to this list please email amilitarystory@gmail.com

Military Branches of Service

USOUnited Service Organizations
Our Mission: The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. 
Millions of times each year at hundreds of locations around the world, the USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families.  A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO.
http://www.uso.org

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) administers the Federal responsibilities of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).  FVAP works to ensure Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so - from anywhere in the world.
http://www.fvap.gov/

Sesame Street Deployment DVD

Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors

Honor Flight Austin 
Transport America’s veterans in the five surrounding counties of Austin to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

This event provided free wedding ceremonies and vow renewals to active US Military personnel. 

Operation Love Reunited
This is a fully volunteer organization that offers professional photography sessions to military families and members who are getting ready to deploy, who are currently deployed, or those who are coming home.

Welcome Them Home
This is a network of photographers who donate our time and skills to soldiers and their families as a thank you for the sacrifices that are being made for our country. Each photographer in the network has agreed to photograph a soldiers homecoming, free of charge.
www.welcomethemhome.org 

Any Soldier Inc. started as a simple family effort to help our son, Army Sergeant Brian Horn, who was one of the 1,000 Soldiers who parachuted into Northern Iraq on March 26th, 2003. We knew his unit, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was living under very rough conditions, so we were sending Brian care packages as often as we could.  This effort is 100% voluntary.You send your support, and maybe some stuff, directly to whatever unit or units YOU select.We have volunteer Soldier "contacts" on the "Where To Send" page. They list what the folks they represent want and need. Click through the names and YOU select who YOU wish to support, then YOU send direct to them. We have a unique search capability so you can easily identify what the troops need, who you wish to support, etc.  

Wish Upon a Wedding
This is a fabulous organization that provides free-of-charge weddings, allowing couples facing serious life-altering circumstances to concentrate on the issues affecting their lives. 

Operation Open Arms 
This organization offers local businesses, associations, and individuals an opportunity to support our active duty troops. They are an all-volunteer 501(c)3 charity in Southwest Florida and are not affiliated with any other Southwest Florida charities.

Brides Across America 
A national charitable organization uniting military brides and bridal salons across the country for a common purpose by supporting our troops and their families.  

Hero’s Wedding
Offers one UK Military couple the chance to win their dream day!
http://www.heroswedding.co.uk

Tidewater and Tulle is the wedding inspiration blog for couples getting married in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  Click here to read tips on planning a military wedding

Our Military Kids, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to provide support and recognition to military children. This may include children ages 3 years through the 12th grade of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members, along with children of Wounded and Fallen Warriors from all branches of service. The grants to children pay for fees associated with athletic, fine arts, and tutoring programs. Our Military Kids’ grants keep military children engaged in activities of their choosing, helping to relieve the stress of separation from a parent by providing a positive distraction, minimizing emotional destabilization, building self esteem, and enabling academic achievement. http://ourmilitarykids.org
Etiquette:
Of Swords, Sabers & Rifles
In some military weddings, the newly married couple exits the ceremony under an impressive archway of swords, sabers or rifles. This unique tradition is perhaps one of the most defining differences between a military and civilian wedding. It is also sure to rate three tissues for tears of pride.

For commissioned officers, the ceremony is referred to as the Arch of Sabers. Non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel use a variation of it is known as the Arch of Rifles. 

Generally speaking, after the I do’s are exchanged, the bride and groom leave the service and enter the archway lined by honor guards holding the ceremonial weapons. They may stop to kiss and then pass through. Before completing the symbolic safe passage into marriage, the last two members of the honor guard block their journey while one of guards gives the new military spouse a rather un-ceremonial swat on the rear accompanied by words of welcome to whatever branch of service she has married into. You won’t find it written down anywhere, but perhaps those blocked weapons of choice and swat are also quite symbolic of the challenges military couples face!  Makes you think….

Consult with your chaplain regarding protocol specifics for your ceremony of choice.

That’s An Awfully Big Cake Knife, Honey
At some point, cake must be eaten. Before it can be eaten, a big production must be made of cutting it.  In a military wedding this tradition is even more fun because you get to use a ceremonial sword or saber to cut the cake. 


Q: What do you need to know about marrying if you're in the military?
A: If you are in the States (not assigned overseas), getting married as a member of the military is much the same as civilian marriages. You don't need advanced permission and there is no special military paperwork to fill out before the marriage. You simply get married according the laws of the state where the marriage is taking place after obtaining a marriage license off-base.

If you are overseas and marrying a foreign national, it's a different story. There are tons of forms to complete; you must obtain counseling and your commander's permission (which is rarely withheld without very good reason); your spouse must undergo a security background check and pass a medical examination. Finally, the marriage has to be "recognized" by the United States Embassy. The entire process can take several months.

Regardless of where or who, once married, if the spouse is non-military, the military member can bring a copy of the certified marriage certificate to the Personnel Headquarters on the base to receive a dependent ID card for the spouse, and enroll the spouse in DEERS (Defense Eligibility Enrollment
Reporting System), to qualify for military benefits such as medical coverage and commissary and base exchange privileges.

Timing can be important in a military marriage. If you have PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders, and get married before you actually make the move, you can have your spouse added to your orders and the military will pay for the relocation of your spouse and her property (furniture and such). However, if you report to your new duty assignment first, and then get married, you will have to pay for the relocation of your spouse out of your own pocket.

Actually "making the move" means reporting into your new base. So, you can leave your old base, take leave (vacation), get married, report into your new base, get your orders amended to include your new spouse, and the military will pay for the spouse's move. However, if you report to your new base, and then take leave to get married, you're on your own, when it comes to moving expenses for the spouse.


In many ways, the U.S. Military wedding is like any other wedding. The ceremony itself is not a military service but a religious one. What makes it a military wedding is the attire and perhaps some traditions not found in civilian weddings. There is such pomp and circumstance, pageantry and patriotism in these sophisticated rituals. Please feel free to contact us with your comments, and any other traditions and customs which you would like us to include. 

Requirements If the service is performed by a ACTIVE DUTY military chaplain, there is never a fee. However, for a Reserve/NG chaplain they only are pay for drill and weddings (with all the counseling) usually happens on their own time and they SHOULD be paid.  a gift of money is VERY much appreciated! So often RC chaplains serve at small churches and live on very small salaries and compensating them for their time spent away from family is the right thing to do. How much should a couple pay a chaplain/clergy that provide premarital counseling and officiate on one of the most important days of their lives? How about 10% of the cost of the reception? All the flowers and celebrating and food is nice but it doesn’t make someone married. What the clergyman does is the most important part, why not pay accordingly? If that is not realistic then I think $200 is a good starting point. If you can’t afford it then go a little less, if you can afford more than give!

He or she should be consulted before hiring musicians or a photographer. Military custom dictates that a formal invitation to the reception be extended to the chaplain and his or her spouse.

Wedding Attire
An officer or enlisted personnel in the bridal party wear uniforms in accordance with the formality of the wedding and seasonal regulations.For officers, evening dress uniform conforms to civilian white tie and tails. Dinner or mess dress uniform is in accordance with black tie.

In the case of non-commissioned officers, dress blues or Army green uniforms may be worn at formal or informal weddings. A female officer may wear a traditional bridal gown, or she may be married in uniform. A boutonniere is never worn with uniform.

White gloves are a necessity for all saber (sword) bearers. The choice to attend the wedding in uniform as a military guest is optional.

Seating of Officers
At the ceremony, the bride or groom’s commanding officer and spouse may sit in the front pew if the parents are not present. Or, the commanding officer may sit near or with the family.Flag and general officers are customarily seated just behind the two families.


More Resources:


The importance of hiring an experienced military photographer click here to read more!

What is a Household 6? A military man’s wife. The head of the household. The one that keeps up with the arduous tasks of washing uniforms, picking up smelly PTs, going to the commissary and PX, raising the children, packaging care packages…you get our drift! A HH6 is the one in charge of everything! The name is derived from where said wife spends most of her time (the household), and the number 6 is the designation for a commander of a Company/Troop, Battalion/Squadron, Brigade/Regiment, Division or Corps. Used in a sentence – “I’d really love to go with you on the hunting trip, but household 6 pulled my weekend pass.” 
Interactive Empowerment for Army Wives” by featuring Field Exercise™ events, AWTR podcast, FP Live chat feature, featured columns, Loving A Soldier (LAS) blog, military shopping links, resource database, post directory, interactive toolbar, and social media galore!

Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC)
CNIC's mission is to enable the Navy's Operating Concept through Enterprise alignment of all shore installation support to the Fleet, Fighter and Family. They provide a great resources on protocol & etiquette here.

Military Wedding Discounts has been created to help members of the Armed Forces in both the UK and USA save money when planning their wedding.

Huge database of blogs focused on the military www.militaryblogs.org

The Successful Military Wife is here to educate, motivate, and give you the tools you need to create your own massive success. 

Military Spouse is a monthly full color, glossy magazine that addresses the unique needs and interests of over 1.1 million military spouses.

A blog about life as a military family, her journey with health and fitness, our crazy family full of boys, and how she balances it all.

This blog chronicles the good, the bad, and the fabulous parts of being an army wife.

CamoConnect is the place to find other military spouses and family and share stories.

This is a great resource to learn more about Military Schools plus see a list a list of all military schools in the U.S.


Hounds and Heroes 
Mission Statement: Hounds and Heroes, founded by Bonnie-Jill Laflin, Sports Broadcaster, and the only female scout in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers, is a national nonprofit dedicated to lift the spirits and morale of our active, wounded, and veteran military troops worldwide, and to increase community awareness, education and, involvement about the cruelty to animals and necessary care for animals through rescue, foster, and adoption.
http://houndsandheroes.com

Reebok Spartan Race and GovX have just formed one of the largest race registration discount programs for U.S. Military service members and government first responders through the GovX network. Spartan Race, has been voted the #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine and are the global leader in obstacle racing since 2005. GovX is the leading website devoted to serving U.S. Military personnel and federal, state and local first responders by offering secured access to exclusive and premium products. Spartan Sprints are muddy 3+ MILES / 15+ OBSTACLES course races. Check out their website with lots of news, events, videos, photos and more here: http://spartanracemedia.com
Like their facebook page

Wife And War is her story of witnessing 9/11 and of being a military wife whose husband was deployed to war  

'Unremarried Widow' A Memoir by Artis Henderson - "In this powerful memoir, a young woman loses her husband twenty years after her own mother was widowed, and overcomes two generations of tragedy to discover that both hope and love endure."

Caliber Collision is an active participant in several programs that honor and support our military heroes and their families.  These programs include Carry the Load (fundraises and raises supports for veterans), Hire our Heroes (hires military veterans), and Recycled Rides (gives restored vehicles to military families).  While we are honored to participate in Carry the Load and Hire the Heroes, Recycled Rides is a program we created and currently manage.  Through Recycled Rides, we were able to give 20 vehicles to military veterans in 2014, and we have 25 scheduled for 2015.  

Notable Quotes: 

"I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my enemies and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight." - Marcus Luttrell