Photo courtesy of Jenny Lynne Stroup

Editor's Note: This article by Jenny Lynne Stroup originally appeared at JennyLynneStroup.com on Jan. 5.

This morning my oldest son overheard my husband listening to Meet the Press and he wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Why are people talking about acts of war? What is happening? How does it affect us? He was very curious, as most 10-year olds are.

So we sat with him and answered his questions as clearly and concisely as we could, walking the fine line between hard truth and age appropriate answers.

I was impressed by his level of questioning and equally impressed with our ability as parents to answer his questions the best we could. We wrapped up the conversation and headed out the door to church, all of us seemingly content to carry on about our day.

But we weren't all content to carry on about our day.

As we loaded into the van, the jabs started. Annoying little remarks or looks aimed at our youngest. As the little things escalated, our youngest engaged by shouting ugly names at his brother at maximum volume. After blows were exchanged and tears shed, each child settled into his designated seat as the van rolled on toward church.

The atmosphere in the van was one of uncomfortable silence. Both our oldest and youngest instructed to face forward and not engage with one another for the eight-minute drive.

"Are you scared?" The question was out of my mouth before I really had time to process it.

My oldest looked up at me and slowly nodded his head.

"Me too, buddy, me too."

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U.S. Army/Spc. Hubert Delany III

As if having a loved one deployed overseas isn't enough, family members of soldiers deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division are being warned of "menacing" messages they might receive on social media, and are being encouraged to report any they see.

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Amie Norquist says her family has suffered health problems from mold in their MacDill base housing. They had to get rid of mold-contaminated furniture, too, in an expensive move to a new home in Riverview. (Times/TNS)

TAMPA — Five military families filed a federal lawsuit this week against owners and managers of private housing at MacDill Air Force Base, alleging years of negligence in persistent problems with mold throughout the buildings.

The families seek damages for emotional, financial and medical costs associated with mold exposure and other medical concerns. The lawsuit is the latest among several suits filed against military housing landlords across the country.

The Tampa lawsuit alleges that property owners and managers rejected families' concerns over mold exposure, performed shoddy remediation efforts, and failed to share results of their testing for mold. In at least one house, the mold went untreated for so long that mushrooms grew out of the floor, according to the suit.

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Roxanne Roellchen interacts with her sons in their family's new home, which they moved into after experiencing roaches, leaks and black mold at another property, at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas U.S. November 16, 2019. (Reuters/Callaghan O'Hare)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.K. company that provides housing to U.S. military families came under official investigation earlier this year, after Reuters disclosed it had faked maintenance records to pocket performance bonuses at an Oklahoma Air Force base.

At the time, Balfour Beatty Communities said it strove to correctly report its maintenance work. It blamed any problems on a sole former employee at the Oklahoma base.

Now, Reuters has found that Balfour Beatty employees systematically doctored records in a similar scheme at a Texas base.

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Editor's Note: This article by Amy Bushatz originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has sent a letter to the heads of the House and Senate committees in charge of passing annual defense legislation, urging them to put in place a proposal that would give extra cash to low-income military families.

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Sesame Street is launching a new initiative geared toward military caregivers that's designed to help children understand, cope with, and ask questions about their parent's military service.

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