Monday, January 24, 2011

The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is the body of law that helps insure your family's legal rights. The law covers all active-duty servicemembers, activated Guard and Reserve, and their dependent family members. A lot of family members don't know much about this so here are some highlights of the SCRA...

*Limit on interest rates: Interest rates that you must pay on any loan or debt that you had prior to going on active duty are limited to no more than 6% a year. This cap is not automatic. You must notify your lender in writing requesting this benefit.

*Stay of proceedings: If you're involved in a lawsuit you can request a delay, if the delay is necessary due to your servicemember's service.

*Statute of limitations: Your active-duty servicemember's service to our country will not be taken into account when determining the statute of limitations on legal proceedings brought by or against you.

*Health insurance reinstatement: If you have health insurance prior to reporting to active duty, SCRA requires your civilian health insurance company to reinstate your coverage when your servicemember completes their service.

*Home foreclosure protection: Your mortgage company can't foreclose on you if you have a mortgage prior to active duty and you can illustrate that military service is the reason you can't afford to make your mortgage payment.

*Eviction protection: Your landlord also has to be more flexible if you are renting your home and can't keep up with your rent payments because of your servicemember's duty.

*Business lease termination: You can terminate a business lease contract that you or your spouse had prior to active duty if reporting to duty would make continuing that lease unreasonable.

That doesn't mean you can walk away from back payments or that you're off the hook the day active duty orders are issued. You're still responsible for all past, and in most cases, through the end of the next month.

And be sure the lease holder gives written notice to the landlord!!

*Eliminates double taxation: If you work in one state, but your legal residence is in a different state, SCRA prevents the state in which you're employed from taxing your income. Only your state of residence may tax your income.

**in addition to the protections provided under SCRA, Guard and Reserve families and servicemembers receive additional protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA. One major provision here is that employers are required to reemploy Guard and Reserve members when they return from deployment.

For more info:

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Overview -on

Public Law 108-189
- PDF link

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

(USERRA) - PDF link

-from "A family's guide to the Military" (a "for dummies" book)


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Understanding Rank & Military Hierachy

I notice a lot of spouses I have come across have problems discussing rank because they feel someone is always trying to come off as being better than the other solely because of their service members rank. So, I thought this would be interesting.

Different Ranks

Regardless of the branch of service, you'll always see 2 different types of rank, but each type looks different depending on the branch of service.

1. Officer rank
2. Enlisted rank

The following shows some commonalities that exist with all branches:

E - stands for enlisted. Generally people come in as an E-1, however, based on other discriminating factors (certain academic requirements) troops can get advanced pay grade status up to E-4 when they enlist.((I never knew this, did you?))

W - stands for warrant officer. Warrant officers are trained specialists and are not required to have college degrees (although many of them do) and they outrank all enlisted personnel. Did you know that after warrant officers are promoted to chief warrant officer 2 that they receive a commission from the President? The Air Force has no warrant officers.

O - stands for commissioned officer. Commissioned officers are the highest rank in the military. They hold presidential commissions and their ranks are confirmed by the Senate. ((I didn't know that either!! lol))

There are 2 types of officers:

Line: Line Officers are those in combat and support specialties.
Nonline: Nonline officers are noncombat specialists, such as chaplains, lawyers, doctors and nurses. Nonline officers cannot command combat troops.

Rank does have its place

While military spouses carry no rank (no matter how much some like to think they do), common courtesies, such as the following, should prevail:

- Do not call an older spouse or a more senior spouse by their first name until you are given permission to. (This goes for service members as well.)

- As your servicemember rises in rank, you're also expected to rise to the occasion and help mentor those who are coming up behind you. Whether you choose to accept this charge or not is up to you, as a spouses, you can't be told to do anything.

- After you've been around for awhile, you may look around and find that you have accumulated some young friends who are looking to you as a role model. If they are struggling, they may be looking to you to provide some insights and guidance on how to navigate the military lifestyle.

Privileges of rank

Some privileges of rank are better compensation, bigger houses, and even special parking spots on post/base.

*So that's my break down on the basics of understanding rank for those who don't. I even learned a few things. =)

from: A Family's Guide to the Military, for dummies

(Yes, I love the "for dummies" books...they break things down easy and also have humor in them... I get them at my local library.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Imagination =)

When I was younger I use to have a tent for my bed... now the one I had didn't have butterflies on it... more like a cartoon woodsy theme, but here is an example just in case you are not sure what one is:


The other day, my son used a whole bunch of boxes out of the recyclable bin and made himself a "skate park" for his tech deck. In case you're lost, a tech deck is a mini skateboard you play with and do tricks with using your fingers. When I saw what he did, I was so proud!! His imagination is amazing with how he made his "skate park". When I saw it, it also reminded me of my bed tent.

Of course I didn't build my bed tent, it came in a box, but boy did I have an imagination in there. At the foot of my bed, the bed tent had a little mesh window that also had a fabric cloth with velcro so I could "close" the window if I wanted. I was many things in my tent.

Most girls when they are little play that they are princesses. I was one of those girls. I would sometimes play that it was my secret place to get away from all those "peasants" who were annoying me, or I was locked in a tower or dungeon (whichever fit my mood that day) and waiting for my prince to rescue me. (You know you waited for a prince too!! LOL)

Sometimes I would pretend it was my submarine and I was deep in the ocean exploring sharks and sting rays and other sea creatures. Once I even discovered the Loch Ness monster. (I know, Nessi was in a lake, not the ocean, but hey, I was a kid.)

When I would get in trouble and be grounded to my room, I would imagine I was in jail and plead my innocence in my journal by flashlight. And boy was that cell ever so room for a sink or toilet. You know I didn't even have a mirror?!

I spent many days in my tent drawing and coloring...some of my favorite things to do. I would sneak snacks in there and get trouble of course, but it was all worth it. Only certain stuffed animals were worthy enough to be in the tent, the others were put on the shelf. Sometimes I would switch them out, but a few never left it.

I miss my tent... I wonder if they have ones that fit queen sized beds? I don't think the hubster would go for that though. =)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We all love saving money!! Right?

My friend decided to try to save money using coupons. I did this a while ago while we were in Fort Carson, but I never really got into like some do. I realized I can save a lot of money if I learn how to work it right. One place I'm going to start "studying" at is...

The Krazy Coupon Lady

This woman's site is so full of information it's overwhelming! LOL I'm willing to be a bit overwhelmed for the time being if it means in the long run I will get to save some money.

After browsing the internet via Google (I love Google!!), I found these sites that seem pretty popular for getting coupons:
MamboSprouts (organic coupons)

I found out that there are stores who will double the value of your coupons! Here is a list of them... just like on the state you're in:

Stores that Double your Coupons.

There is so much to learn with this and as I do, I will share it, but this is a start, right? LoL

If you have any tips, please leave a comment on this blog post so others who read it can see your tips as well. Thanks a bunch =)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Amberz ❤

I've seen some people asking lately, "What is the thing you love most about the Army?" For me, being a spouse, it is the great friends I have made. Friends that I will take with me in my heart to my grave. One of these friends is Amber.

Some may think our friendship strange because she is a soldier and I am a spouse. There are those who have these pre-conceived thoughts that female soldiers don't like spouses and all spouses think female soldiers are whores... yadda yadda... not me and Amber...

Our husbands worked together and the first day I met her was one I will never forget because it was a very important day for me... when I was in the hospital with the twins. We got together a few times after that and then we were pretty much inseparable. In the short time we had together, about 2 yrs, we became very close and shared so many things... moments, memories of our pasts, secrets... Amber helped me in more ways than she probably realizes.

Dexter nights were our thing... we would get some food, either from the Hawiian place around the corner or we would cook ourselves, and we would watch the newest episode of Dexter, every week.

Amber turned me on to my now fave alcoholic drink, Southern Comfort. I remember we went to the bar, "Wild Country", and she asked me did I want a double shot of "SoCo"... huh? What was that? LOL She told me to trust her and I did... she had me hooked, lol.

I miss my Amberz and her kids. That is the thing I hate most about being in the army lifestyle...having to leave those you hold close to your heart...the people who become more like family to you than your own blood. That sucks. =(

Picture time:

Our Drink...

New Years Eve 2008... drunk off our asses... what a night!

Amber across my counter, her fave spot LOL

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Hurt is Always There - (3 poems)

I have noticed that sometimes people think that those who have abortions think nothing of it, like they don't care about the choice they are making. If you're one of the people who think like that, you're wrong. I have been there and nothing at all was easy about deciding to do it or actually going through with it. Especially as a teen when you are not sure about anything, let alone a major life decision.

Over ten years later I still think of it and wonder what could have been... but unlike some, I have learned to forgive myself. At the time I hated myself for it, I shaved my head because I wanted to be as ugly outside as I felt inside. I was torn and in pain emotionally and felt guilty as hell.

Here are three poems I wrote about it as a teen. They were written a year after the fact because until then I wasn't ready to face what I had done....

(1st poem)
Take a knife and
gut me out
destroy the soul
that swims about
Blood flows freely
as the soul goes
I wonder if it feels
I wonder if it knows
I ended a life
someone should take mine
maybe the wound
will heal in time

(2nd poem)
I am depressed,
alone and unsure are my thoughts inside.
I wish I had a special place
where I could run and hide.
I cry a lot
to let my depression flow,
I despise myself
for reasons only I know.
Alone with my feelings,
I drown in my thoughts.
I regret what I've done
because of the misery it's brought.

(3rd poem)
Bored and hopeless
I feel like I'm trapped.
Confused and clueless
my mind might snap.
Depressed and sad,
my life's a mess.
Hateful and mad
my fears I'll confess.
Frightened and scared
of myself and my life.
Tortured and scarred,
I want a knife.

You may be wondering if I tried to commit suicide... yes, I did. Thankfully I didn't succeed. So, here is a personal moment from my past... a deeper look into me. This is exactly why I don't judge those who have had abortions. I have been there, through a mental and emotional hell. If anyone reading this has been there and you still feel like I did at the time, learn to forgive yourself so you can live. I did. =)


Love never Fails

True or False? I think it's true and false...

The love you have for yourself is the only one I think never fails. If you love yourself and have the confidence and drive, you can accomplish just about anything you put your mind to.

If your love is grounded in God, I believe that love will never fail you.

The love that does fail you is the love you give to those who don't love you. Which is why I believe that love is never enough when it comes to relationships...this goes for romantic and friends... sometimes, love just doesn't cut it.

My thoughts at the moment.
/thinking LOL


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year! (I know, it's late, lol)

For New Year's Eve, the husband and I joined his mom and dad for a night out at a country club for their New Year's party. I had a great time! Pretty good food and an open bar... I think I got my drinks worth for what we paid, lol... I had 4 Long Island Iced Teas & 4 cranberry/vodka's...yeah, I was toasted.

Let me just say that I am not one who really dances in front of others, only a select few have seen me my husband getting me on the dance floor was a big thing. (In 14yrs, he has not seen me dance, except slow dancing with him.) I was a bit tipsy and I figured there was no way in hell I could look worse than some of those non-dancing white folks, lol...

I have to tell about the woman who fell on me with her drunk ass!! I know what I'm about to write is pretty judgmental, but, oh well. When I first saw this woman I thought to myself, "this bitch is trippin'"... now let me tell you why... without a doubt, this woman's dress was gorgeous, it was blue and sparkly and I loved it!! However... her bleached blonde hair, that you could tell was bleached way too many times, completely flushed out her over-tanned skin that had a tough leathery appearance. I hate that!! Stop bleaching your hair to where it is white as snow and tanning to where your skin looks like beef jerky!! Come on ladies!! LOL... So anyway... I was sitting in my chair, minding my business while my husband was on the dance floor with his mother. Next thing I know, this woman in the blue dress, who was guzzling drinks quicker than I don't know what, fell out of her chair behind me and onto my leg! Her head was stuck between the two legs of the chair and by the time I could move myself to try to help her, her friend was there. Her friend was drunk too and was trying to get this woman's head out from between the legs of the chair and looked like she was about to chop it off. Finally I just screamed (because of the loud music), "YOU GET HER, I GOT THE CHAIR... I SAID I GOT THE CHAIR!!" for the rest of the night, I kept my eye on her. Haha.

Midnight came fast and the hubs and I brought in the New Year with champagne and a kiss. Had a great, memorable time....

Here we are just before midnight...a bit





❥More Jersey Adventures...

Before I left New Jersey I got to see two of my oldest friends and their kiddos... I have known these gals for just about all of my life.


First I got to see Dawn again with her two adorable only wish is that I could spend more time with them, but such is our lifestyle =)

RJ & Shai...

Than I got to spend the day with Steph and my lil gal Brianna. Got to see Papi (my name for Steph's husband and my buddy) before he went to work. Me and Steph took a ride to ShopRite and my receipt was $6.66 LOL... she yelled at me to get some gum, but I refused, I like to live on the wild side!


Brianna and Pookie...

Just for laughs, me and Dawn in 6th grade LOL

Just a little update on my time in NJ... a few more blog posts to come about my visit back home. =)