Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's no secret that in the past few years especially, there has been a big talk on reducing size of, and therefore costs of, our military. It's much harder to get in and stay in. For instance, since Marshall is in a land MOS (job) his contract time that he has to be active is significantly shorter than it would of been if he were flight. For the amount of time and effort that goes into training new pilots, of course these service members will be required to give more time back within their field. Because of these cut backs and the fact that Marshall is a Log-O, it is without a doubt that he will be asked to get out after we hit the 4 year mark (2016), and we will honestly be more than ready to do so. The first few promotions are pretty straightforward, as they are accounted for by how many years you have been in service. But after that, it gets harder and harder to be picked up because of the downsizing and numbers involved.

But hey- if you are looking at the same situation with drawbacks- don't sweat! AAFMAA is here to help in assisting your husband's detachment from the military go smoothly. AAFMAA stands for American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, and has been America's first Military Mutual Aid Association since 1879. AAFMAA is a non-profit member-owned life insurance association that provides life insurance, survivor benefits, and financial planning services to the military and their families. Their programs offer a sense of stability, low-cost life insurance and loans, wealth management, as well as spousal services. They are definitely the ones to go to for planning your future, with or without the military. I was contacted a few weeks ago to highlight a few of these services for other military spouse bloggers out there and to help get the word out, so here it is!

One thing I was asked to highlight is the Career Assistance Program (CAP) Loan.
This loan is a one-time only CAP loan of $4000 at just 1.5% interest and can help you pay off your high interest debt or buy needed items for your family. This loan is available to AAFMAA members who are active duty who are E5-E9, WO1-WO2, and O1-O3 . This loan has a 48 month repayment schedule through the military allotment system. No penalty for early repayment. More information about the CAP Loan Program can be found here.

The life insurance program has competitive rates for services members and spouses. Benefits of the program include the following:
·         Survivor Assistance Services for members’ spouses included with all policies
·         No war, terrorist or aviation clauses, exclusions or surcharges
·         No coverage limitations based on deployment status
·         Continuation after separation or retirement from the Military (as policy allows)

And for perspective, the bellow chart compares SGLI for Level Term I Insurance to the AAFMA life insurance program:
Something else I appreciated from learning about the programs and vision behind the company is their pride. AAFMAA is here to help military families find answers about how to go about the drawdown, keep their families safe, and prepare for the future ahead. They live for military families - this isn't just another insurance company. One thing that caught my eye is the "Superflag," the world's largest American Flag which was unveiled in 2011. I just had to include this video which gives us a history and meaning behind the American flag - it represents our nation's strength and freedom:

The official colors on the American flag are "White," "Old Glory Red," and "Old Glory Blue." White signifies purity and innocence. Red signifies valor and bravery. Blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Stars are considered a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun. Also, the Continental Congress in June 4, 1777 established that there were to be 13 stripes, representing the thirteen original colonies, alternating in red and white. There were originally 13 stars as well, white on a blue field, and stars were added as more states entered the union, the last being Hawaii in 1959. Now past the history lesson, here is more information on the Superflag:
 On September 9, 2011, AAFMAA sponsored the unveiling of the Superflag, the world's largest American Flag at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. With the help of the Fort Carson MWR, 650 troops and over 400 school children, the 3,000 pound flag was unfurled at Iron Horse Park. Each star on the flag is 17 feet wide and the entire flag measures 255 feet by 505 feet -- that's almost one football field long by two football fields wide! This video captures that event as well as a history of how the flag represents the American values we hold dear. - See more here

I have to admit that this video brought tears to my eyes. I have been surrounded and engulfed in military life my entire life, that sometimes I take our country for granted. Whenever colors plays on base, when the flag is lowered or raised for the day, everyone stops still and acknowledges that we are in the present because of the sacrifices of our past. Everyone needs a reminder of this, and I'm not proud to admit that sometimes I overlook this, too. Even with the deployments I experienced with my dad growing up. In our go-go-go culture today, it's too easy to forget what had to happen in order for us to even live in this country today. Something else I wanted to point out was that this flag unveiling happened in Colorado Springs/Fort Carson, CO, which is where we lived for a few years when I was a toddler. That's where I learned to dip my pizza crust in honey.. Don't ask, it's really the only memory I have of the area, but it's oh so delicious. Besides the point, take a moment or a few to sit back and thank God for our military. Squeeze your Marine, sailor, soldier, or airman extra tight tonight.

And before I forget.. 'Merica!

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