Macho Spouse


image for S.A.H.D. Josh Vittetoe (Air Force)
S.A.H.D. Josh Vittetoe (Air Force)

JoshPic.jpgHow my wife and I met. A little about our life and how I started my own business!

My name is Josh Vittetoe. I am 27 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife Jennifer Vittetoe who is 24 for almost 7 years. We have two boys who are Jack (6 months) and Tannar (5 years). We are currently stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.

My wife has been in the Air Force for 3 years and is a Senior Airman. She is deploying in a coulpe weeks for the first time.

image for 30 Ways of Thanks Day #3
30 Ways of Thanks Day #3

30Still.jpgWe're a little late to posting this today, but the message is good for the next 24 hours.  Get out and vote!!!

 

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

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2015 'Thank You' and Year In Review

malemilitaryspouse_2015_YIRIt's the holiday season and to me that means spending time with family and friends while reflecting on the year that was. How many had a good year? How many of you feel as if you've accomplished, overcome, loved and laughed as much as possible? There have been a few bad years in my life where I just wanted the damn thing to finish so I could start fresh with a clean slate, it's a mindset, but we all know that reality doesn't work that way. I usually judge my life in a similar way as to how we judge football coaches, “what have you done for me lately.” My year was a good one, a net-positive. So congratulations, you get “happy Chris,” or at least “less grumpy and sarcastic Chris.”

The tremendous amount of progress within the male military spouse community is one reason why 2015 was a good year. Guys, we're finally starting to get some recognition. People, businesses, and other organizations are starting to approach us and ask for our input, insight, and yes, our business. Marketers are finally recognizing that we are a demographic worth pursuing; just check out this holiday spot from Toys R Us. (I just bought 4 gift cards for my nieces from them because of this commercial.)

In 2015, Macho Spouse was approached by the Sonoran Desert Institute's School of Firearms Technology to hold the first ever “Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day” where SDI donated a full-tuition scholarship to their popular Gunsmithing certificate course. (Male military spouses are a large demographic for them.) USAA asked for our participation to help raise awareness on the importance of life insurance during “Life Insurance Awareness Month.” Yeah, I didn't know that month existed before this opportunity either, but USAA sure knows that we exist! And Marriott really knocked us off our feet when they offered several nights worth of hotel stays in return for a few reviews on their TownePlace Suites properties. TownePlace Suites made it very clear that they are interested in helping military families who are on the road, from PCSing to family vacations, TownePlace Suites wants our business!  And it's not like this is some shabby hotel chain guys, their rooms are usually very spacious, clean, come with fully equiped kitchens, and hot breakfasts.  I was surprised to learn how many were actuallyl located near military installations, which makes them a great temporary housing option, or vacation get-a-way. In full disclosure, I dispersed their generous offering quietly among those guys who have helped keep Macho Spouse up and running over the last few years. We don't make any money here, so when a top-notch organization such as Marriott offers us some swag, I like to spread it out amongst our volunteers first. If you want access to some of this cool stuff, contact me and be prepared to help build our community. But while I'm speaking of TownePlace Suites, you guys should check them out because they're really showing their appreciation and commitment to our military community! That goes for USAA and Sonoran Desert Institute as well, these organizations aren't just talking about supporting male military spouses, they're actually doing it. So let's not forget to return this generosity in 2016.

While I'm patting others on the back, I can't forget the amazing content NextGen Military Spouse, Military.com/SpouseBuzz, and Military Spouse delivered on behalf of male military spouses in 2015. When I started Macho Spouse in late 2011/early 2012, there was nearly nothing…nothing, written for or about us male military spouses. No blogs, no websites, no Facebook pages, no nothing. Now look at us, male spouses are popping up everywhere! (We've probably had absolutely nothing to do with this trend, but I will take full credit.) So despite terrorism, politics, war, and racial unrest, life hasn't been all bad this year. It's been good enough for me to crack a cold one, light a cigar, sit back and reflect on how far we've come and how many goals are still left to accomplish. Don't worry, I won't be consuming and driving while reflecting, Dana and I have already booked our New Year's Eve room at the San Antonio Riverwalk TownePlace Suites. Happy 2015 everyone, have a safe holiday season!

image for Video - Importance of Communication Part 3 - Talking Through A Deployment
Video - Importance of Communication Part 3 - Talking Through A Deployment

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The third segment of a multi-part series examining the importance of communication within the military family. This video shares some advice on the importance of communicating BEFORE and DURING a deployment. Yes, talking about what you both want to talk about before a deployment begins is one of the most important conversations a military couple can have.

image for A Resource Worth Checking Out
A Resource Worth Checking Out

A resource that is worth checking out is SpouseLink.org.  Their media team describes SpouseLink.org as a "free website linking military spouses together through supportive, informative, and inspiring content."  That sounded interesting enough, so we decided to take their website for a little test-drive.  What we found is a clean, easy-to-navigate site that's full of solid information that includes  posts  ranging   from  spouse  careers  and  financial  advice  to   parenting  and  Military  transitions.  SpouseLink.org is actually a product of AAFMAA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association), a non-profit membership association supporting our military community with insurance, financial planning, and survivor assistance for widows and widowers.  Guys, you will notice that their spouse content is a little "feminine heavy."  No worries, we're teaming up with them to help share some of our stuff from this website.  So they are well aware that male spouses exist!

image for TownePlace Suites and Motley Crue - Oh How Times Have Changed
TownePlace Suites and Motley Crue - Oh How Times Have Changed

chris pape motley crueWhen Motley Crue's “Final Tour” came through San Antonio, my wife and I felt we just had to go. Their music played such an important role throughout our impressionable years, well, honestly Vince, Tommy, and Nikki had more of an impact on Dana than me. (Sorry Crue, but I've always been more of a Parrot Head!) But I do like several of their songs and have seen them in concert a few times, so a final romp on the wild side sounded appropriate.

We are slightly older now than we were in '88 so a lot has changed. For one, rather than just show up slightly intoxicated and hope to find some cheap seats, we bought our tickets weeks in advance. Good ones to! We also made sure both of us had the following day off from work, no more working with ears still ringing and head pounding. We are now productive adults. Plus, neither of us was planning on passing out in our car after the show, or driving home, so we felt it important to get a room…a nice room…on the River Walk. Twenty-five years ago we would've shacked-up at the cheapest "roach motel" for the night and not worried about location, comfort, or cleanliness.  Oh how times have changed!

Staying at the TownePlace Suites was a pretty easy decision considering they had just given me a couple free nights in their hotels in exchange for some honest reviews, this is one. Before TownePlace Suites contacted me I honestly had no idea they had a location in downtown San Antonio, my wife and I usually stay at the Hyatt or Sheraton. So this would work out perfectly, especially since TownePlace welcomes pets and we wanted to bring our dog, Brutus. Yeah, bringing our doggie to a night of rock and roll craziness with Motley Crue...oh how times have changed!

On the day of the show, we checked in a few hours early and were pleasantly surprised at the attentiveness of the valet, doormen, and front desk personnel. The hotel lobby looked to be recently remodeled with a modern flare and clean lines. I have to admit, I was very impressed. The price of the room fell in line with what most four/five-star rated hotels charge, my only complaint would be the $100 non-refundable pet deposit. That seems a bit steep, especially for a well-trained dog. Our room was just as I expected after walking through the lobby, clean, modern, and comfortable. We had a nice view of their indoor pool and a good-sized refrigerator for our champagne. Ahhh yes, nothing says Motley Crue like a bottle of Domain Chandon! In my last post about TownPlace Suites I mentioned our need for creature comforts, well, this hotel fulfilled all of those needs.

Now in all honesty, I don't have much else to report on the Downtown TownePlace Suites because after Dana and I fed the dog and enjoyed our champaign, we left for the night. The hotel is conveniently located across the street from the Ticket, a sports bar where we started our bar-hop, and then just down the street is the Buckhorn, and then just down the street...I'm sure you get the point. TownePlace downtown San Antonio is in a great location. I can say that at no time did I worry about Brutus or our belongings, I think security and peace of mind are very underrated aspects of staying at any hotel. TownPlace's friendly and professional employees definitely put me at ease.

Now, as for Motley Crue. They were awesome. If you missed them on this final tour, I'm sorry, you missed a great night of 80's style over-indulgence! (big hair, big drinks, big tabs, and big noise!) Just watching Tommy play his drums upside down while hanging from the ceiling directly over my head is an image I'll never forget. (I will post that video shortly) Sorry kids, none of today's performers come close to putting on a better show than the classic hair bands of the 80's.