The American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) hosted its first-ever Military Spouse Appreciation and Professional Networking Event in celebration of Military Spouse Appreciation Day at its headquarters in Reston, VA. Approximately 25 spouses were in attendance.
Sponsored by the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce (MSCC), the event supported and promoted military spouse employment. Invitees consisted of Chamber members in the Washington, DC metro area, as well as Military Spouse business owners, job seekers, and supporters from the region. In today’s era of social and digital media, this event allowed spouses from all backgrounds and experiences to expand their professional networks and make new connections to advance their careers.
“This was a great opportunity for like-minded professional spouses to get together,” said Charlene Wilde, Senior Vice President and Assistant Secretary of AAFMAA, who is a Veteran and Military Spouse herself. “Not only was it a celebration of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, but it also allowed spouses to get to know each other on a professional level and expand their networks.”
The event also included a live performance from The Washington Tattoo. Three performers from the 22nd Battalion Grey Coats Fife and Drum Corps performed for guests, including their CEO and President J. Mark Reilly.
“Everyone had a wonderful time,” said Jaime Chapman, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce. “We were honored to sponsor this important event for AAFMAA, which allowed spouses to come together to create relationships that could lead to potential new career opportunities.”
According to a recent study by Blue Star Families, under- and unemployment remain a primary issue for active-duty military spouses. The report revealed that military families face spouse unemployment rates four-to-six times above the national average, and can accrue unreimbursed relocation costs from active-duty assignments.