While no one in my immediate family is a veteran, three of my grandfathers were (we are a blended family), our neighbor is a veteran (and we constantly think of ways to support her family), and several of my good friends belong to military families. So, of course, we think often about how we can best support those who’ve risked their lives to protect us. I think we all agree that it’s a pressing question, especially in an era when the needs of veterans and military families are evolving. Maybe you’re wondering how you can contribute to this cause. How can you better understand the needs of veterans and military families, in terms of transitions, job assistance, community, financial assistance, health and wellness, and more? We’ll explore this and more in this post!
How Can We Support Veterans and Military Families?
Understanding the Needs of Veterans and Military Families:
Have you ever tried to tie your shoelaces with just one hand? It’s not the easiest task, is it? Now, imagine if every little thing in everyday life started feeling just as challenging. Life as a veteran or a military family member can feel just like that, a bit like a one-handed knot-tying contest; an endless string of challenges that are big and small. An integral part of supporting veterans and military families begins with truly understanding their unique needs. There is a need for quality healthcare, after physical injuries and disabilities. Then there’s housing, relocation assistance, and technology skills or access in a world that’s going increasingly digital.
T-Mobile’s Commitment to Veterans and Military Families:
T-Mobile is dedicated to veterans and military families and is dedicated to building lasting careers for them, and they’re proud to be on track to meet their commitment to hiring 10,000 military veterans and their spouses by the end of 2023. That is so amazing! If you’ve ever been close to a military family, like we are, this is earth-shattering. Our dear friend/neighbor, whose wife is a veteran, recently lost his job. She has some disabilities and illnesses from her time abroad that prohibit her from working. As you can imagine with a family of four, this is devastating. T-Mobile is not only committed to being a workplace for military veterans and families, but they also offer a variety of resources to ease the transition into civilian life. Resources such as flexible relocation benefits, free counseling sessions to help former service members identify mental professionals, and learning and development opportunities to help support them throughout their entire career trajectory.
T-Mobile also partners with organizations like Blue Star Families, Warriors & Quiet Waters, Hiring Our Heroes, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These organizations do things like help military spouses find the most compatible careers, facilitate real-time healthcare via video and also enable post-9/11 combat veterans to find peace and purpose through outdoor activities. Not only that, but T-Mobile also offers exclusive discounts for active service members, veterans, and military families. Active-duty military, veterans, and their families can get 40% off our regular Go5G plan rates for family lines.
Why Supporting Military Spouses is the Right Move:
I was touched by Logan Mcintosh’s story. T-Mobile recently interviewed Logan, a military spouse, in recognition of Veterans and Military Families Month. Logan shares all about how T-Mobile has provided her, and others in a similar situation, support when her family was given the order to relocate. When T-Mobile first met Logan, she was only a year married to her husband! When I think back on my first year of marriage, even in a non-military family, we were relocating as well, from the west coast to the east coast. We had nothing! My husband and I were both between jobs, we didn’t have a home lined up on the east coast (so we had to stay with family), and I was, surprise, pregnant. In Logan’s case, she celebrated her one-year anniversary solo while her husband, Morgan – an active-duty Special Operations soldier in the Army, was serving a tour of duty in a place so confidential, she didn’t even know it. That’s when she realized how complicated this life could be.
One of the bigger challenges of being a military spouse? Finding a supportive employer! All of that changed when she applied for a job with T-Mobile, where she now works in their corporate communications organization. Since starting with T-Mobile, she has indeed had to relocate with her husband. She also started a family and navigated her postpartum return to work while her husband was deployed. She said that she knew T-Mobile was different, from her very first interview. Her military spouse status did not scare T-Mobile away like previous potential employers had been. It was nice that she didn’t have to hide who she was. She mentioned the help the company offers from the T-Mobile Military & Diversity Sourcing Team, and through partnerships with Hiring Our Heroes (HOH), Carry The Load, and One Tribe Foundation.
The Why Behind T-Mobile’s Support:
Did you know that this year, the Chamber of Commerce reported that military spouses have faced an unemployment rate of 22%, compared to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which states that the national average sits at 3.6%? So this makes service member spouses one of the highest unemployed demographics in the United States.
Lastly, Ways YOU Can Help:
The military spouse takes on the role of a solo parent: running the household, managing the bills, and ensuring the kids are not missing out on a loving, nurturing environment while their other parent is out serving the nation. And, for a child, the frequent moves, the abrupt goodbyes, and the long spells of the absence of a parent can be at once frightening, disheartening, and confusing. So, how can we show our gratitude and support to these unsung heroes of our military community?
Regular Check-ins: Just dropping by, calling, or even a text message asking how they’re doing can mean the world to them. They might be going through a tough day and your interaction could be that silver lining they were looking for.
Provide company: In the military world, holidays can be lonely, especially when their loved ones are away. Inviting them over for dinner, or arranging a small get-together can make them feel less lonely.
Care packages: We all love unexpected gifts, don’t we? Preparing a care package, like a basket of fresh homemade cookies or skincare items could be a nice gesture to show them they are not forgotten.
Offering Help: Help could be in various forms – taking care of their kids for a day, helping out with household chores, or offering to run errands.
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*It was recently announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen T-Mobile as its primary wireless provider through 2032, to provide free wireless service for the VA’s telehealth app, making healthcare more accessible to millions of veterans. Read more HERE.