Military Discount at Affinia Hotels

Affinia Hotel Collection offers “Stay & Salute” with up to 30% off rates, $10 donation per reservation & more

 

NEW YORK, May 16, 2016 – Launching in advance of Memorial Day, Affinia Hotel Collection, with five locations in New York City, pays tribute to military families with “Stay and Salute”. Offering up to 30% off hotel stays for summer travelers, the affordable boutique hotels (Dumont NYC, Fifty NYC, Gardens NYC, Manhattan NYC and Shelburne NYC) will donate $10 per reservation to Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that builds strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive in the communities they’ve worked so hard to protect.

The five properties, located near New York’s top attractions such as Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Broadway, will also offer free breakfast daily for two or a room upgrade (an additional value of $40 per day) to active service men and women who show military ID upon check-in.

“Affinia’s goal is to raise more than $15,000 by Labor Day to help provide disabled veterans with affordable or mortgage-free housing,” said Carl Cohen, chief experience officer for Affinia Hotel Collection’s parent company, Denihan. “This is our third year to launch this initiative, and we selected Operation Homefront as our charitable partner for their superior performance with 92 percent of expenditures going directly to programs that provide support to military families.”

“We appreciate Affinia’s commitment to our service members and their families,” said Jill Eskin-Smith, senior director of corporate and foundation partnerships for Operation Homefront.  “So many Americans want to show support for our troops, but don’t know how. Affinia is partnering with their customers to do just that.”

To honor and celebrate the national holidays this summer, select Affinia Hotel Collection will offer Stars & Stripes events, featuring Brooklyn Brewery’s Summer Ale or Tazo® Tea Lemonade, during Fleet Week, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Additionally, all hotels will offer free Wi-Fi for guests who book directly through affinia.com as well as coloring sheets and board games for kids with its Affinia Junior kids program. Other summer budget-friendly amenities include Fresh Direct grocery kits and picnics as well as use of complimentary Republic Bikes.

Available now through September 5, 2016, “Stay & Salute” offers starting rates from $175 per night in New York City For more information, visit affinia.com/SALUTE or call 866.233.4642 and mention SALUTE. Offer based on availability. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply.

Stay & Salute at Affinia Hotel Collection

– Up to 30% off stays in rooms or suites

– $10 donation per stay to Operation Homefront

– *Military Perk* – Free breakfast and room upgrade (based on availability) for guests who show a military ID at check-in.

– Affinia Junior kids program with coloring sheets and board games

– Most studios and suites offer a kitchenette or kitchen with tableware.

– Republic bikes or Citibikes available to borrow at most hotels.

– Complimentary Wi-Fi

– Complimentary daily wine hour from 5-6PM at Dumont NYC, Fifty NYC and Shelburne NYC.

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Where the Water Meets the Sand- Book Review

This is a wonderful, easy to read, memoir.

When I first started reading it, I forgot it was a memoir, it read so much like the prose of a novel.   Once I was reminded that it is a true story, it was all the more meaningful.  What a story Tyra had to tell.  I’m so glad she told it.  It’s good for people to read about what military families endured and continue to endure due to deployments and war.  Tyra is very open about the mental illness she dealt with.  I’m so glad she was open about and and was able to write so clearly about what it felt like to be drowning in depression and anxiety.  This is a great read.

This is the story of a young military spouse dealing with her husband going off to war while she struggles to deal with depression and anxiety while worrying about the care of her young daughter.

In this beautifully written, poignant memoir, Tyra Manning recounts how she was able to persevere in the face of devastating loss. With courage, love, and determination, she overcame her grief and fulfilled promises she made to Larry before he left for Vietnam. She ultimately earned a doctorate of education from the University of Kansas and became one of the nation’s top school superintendents.

When Tyra received a call from the air force in 2006, she was able to keep one last promise to Larry. His remains had finally been excavated after thirty-five years, and she was able to honor his wish to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Where the Water Meets the Sand explores themes of loss, depression, addiction, courage, and love and offers hope to individuals and families who have also dealt with the loss of someone close to them.

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Deployment Diatribes on The Stir!

The Stir’s Cafe Mom is running a series on Motherhood and they put up a Deployment Diatribes Post.

September 2011, home on leave

September 2011, home on leave

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T Minus 1,704 Hours

PCS season is nearly upon us, and it’s far better to go into it eyes wide open, than to pretend that it isn’t coming.  For readers not familiar with the acronym, PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station.  In layman’s terms, it’s a government-job-related move.  Most military families move at least every two to three years.  I consider ourselves lucky when we get to stay in one place for three years.  It’s only happened three times, so far, in Horatio’s 24 years in the Navy, twice in Hawaii and once in China.  The boys and I lived in Northern Virginia for five years, which is virtually unheard of in the Navy, but Horatio had three different assignments during that time, including a 21 month deployment.

deployment countdown

 

In less than two and a half months, we will depart for our next duty station.  As a Navy wife, my tasks in preparation for said move started many months ago.  I had to fill out stacks of paperwork, including medical forms to certify we are all medically fit for duty and school applications for three of the four boys.  As our move approaches, the To Do List continues to grow.  We have to sell our car, find another one at our next station, sort through our belongings before three separate shipments (to decide what goes by air, what goes by sea and what we will hand carry), figure out how to get Westley the Three Legged Wonder Dog from point A to point B, and much more.

Harold and Wes

Less tangible, but definitely more important, are the emotional side effects of the move.  Horatio will change jobs, the boys will change schools and friends, and we will all be in a new country and culture.  These are dramatic adjustments and it’s my job, as the wife and mother, to monitor everyone’s state of mind, and try to maintain calm and status quo for as long as possible, leading up to the departure date.

This is no simple task.  It’s easy to get caught up in the “one foot out the door” mentality, but it is healthier to be present and enjoy the time we have before the transfer.  Young Harold vacillates between not wanting to leave and demanding to report to our new duty station immediately, combined with more than occasional pleas of, “Let’s just go back to America right now!”  Bob, grade 6, is full of dread at the thought of leaving his friends.  He has a very tight knit crew and has shed more than his share of tears over the thought of leaving them.  He is somewhat comforted by making plans to visit them and have them visit him.  Dwight, grade 9, is neither here, nor there, on the issue of moving.  He is optimistic that his new school will offer more opportunities for making friends (as well as reuniting with old friends), and working hard toward his goal of excelling academically and getting into his top choice college in three years.  Zack is pretty focused on the fact that he will graduate in about three weeks.  He is relieved to have been accepted to his first choice university but is crushed by the fact that he has had to work as hard as ever during the second semester of his senior year.  He definitely expected to slack off this semester, but the load has not let up at all.  I’m juggling logistics of Bob’s rigorous play rehearsal schedule, Dwight’s study sessions, Zack’s graduation prep and party prep and trying to connect with each of my friends before we depart.

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I keep my mind from going to a dark place by focusing on the coordination of it all and managing the family’s mood swings.  I will definitely miss the friends I’ve made here. As I’ve written before, the expat life lends itself to making strong personal connections in a short amount of time.  I will miss teaching at the school, I will miss the beauty of the country, and the smiles on the faces of the local people.  I fear our next post will be quite contrasting.  Like Dwight, I, too, am eager to reunite with old friends, though, and it’s easier to stay positive when I think about them.

Moving is hard, but managing it isn’t complicated if you compartmentalize the different aspects and stay on top of the details.  We are two and a half months out, now.  There’s a lot to do, and it can get overwhelming, but I know that three months from now, we’ll be on to a different kind of stress… that of adapting to our new host country.

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Overseas American School Projects

One of the benefits to serving in the overseas jobs, that Horatio serves in, is the wonderful schools our boys attend.  This past week, three of the four boys have made videos for school projects.  To show the progression of how the quality evolves.

Harold, Grade 2:  Life cycle of a Darkling Beetle

Bob, Grade 6: Colony Commercial Project, The Great Land of New York

Dwight, Grade 9: Lord of the Flies Character Analysis

 

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Spartan Fit- New Book and Race Giveaway

Spartan Race founder Joe DeSena is coming out with a sequel to his bestselling book, Spartan Up! –

spartanfit

Spartan Fit!

31 Days. Transform your Mind. Transform Your Body. Commit to Grit. No Gym Required.

  • A 31-day workout and diet plan to prepare for the Spartan Sprint — or to just get you in ultimate shape
  • Full-body workouts requiring no gym and no weights
  • How to build fitness levels from one race to the next
  • Inspiring, motivating stories of Spartans

A complete Spartan training guide, Spartan Fit! arms readers with the strength, knowledge, and grit to never question their potential again, both on and off the race course.

Spartan Race also has a crazy new endurance race called the Agoge

Enter to win a free race code

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Tricare Authorizes Urgent Care Visits for Military Families, Without Pre-Approval

Tricare released good news for military families.  Families like ours will soon be permitted two in-network urgent care visits per family member, per fiscal year, without pre-approval.  This is good news not only for families, but also for medical care facilities.  Care for acute illnesses is often difficult to obtain, due to appointment scarcity, so we are sometimes left with no choice but to visit an emergency rooms, in non-emergency situations.

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For families like ours, who are stationed overseas but find ourselves traveling in the US, with no primary care provider to turn to, being able to visit an urgent care clinic for a sudden ear infection, or onset of strep throat, can make a huge difference in the amount of time and cost spent, for both the family and Tricare.  This is a pilot program to investigate whether the referral-free urgent care visits help to eliminate the overuse of emergency rooms in non emergency situations.

Read more about it here.

 

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Drop Stop On Shark Tank’s: Beyond the Tank

This April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month, and as Drop Stop was born to reduce this very thing, it is the perfect time to help raise awareness about Drop Stop, one of the only products that can truly reduce Driver Distraction.

Inventors Jeffrey Simon and Marc Newburger (The Drop Stop Boys) wanted me to let you know about some very exciting news!  As most of you know, Jeffrey and Marc were on the Emmy Award winning TV show Shark Tank back in 2013 and since then their lives have never been the same.

The experience for them was surreal, amazing and absolutely life changing when they partnered with the Warm Blooded Shark Lori Greiner who is not only the best partner they could ever have, but a true friend, and part of the Drop Stop Family.

DROP STOP ON BEYOND THE TANK - 4_5_16

Shark Tank has now created a spin off TV show called “Beyond The Tank” which follows the entrepreneurs behind the scenes of what it is really like to be them, day in and day out, since being on Shark Tank.  Their episode AIRS TONIGHT AT 10:00PM Easter Time ON ABC!!!

They hope you can tune in (or DVR) the episode and join them for this yet another exciting moment on the Drop Stop journey!  Jeffrey and Marc said when they first started, they won’t stop until every vehicle seat gap is filled with a Drop Stop and this episode is another momentous step into making their mission a reality!

Drop Stop is offering FREE SHIPPING on your entire order for any Deployment Diatribes fans who visit the BuyDropStop.com website.  This offer will be valid from now until midnight Sunday 4/10/2016.

Support them and DRIVE SAFELY!

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Find Flexible, Portable Work That’s Right for You

LiveOps Contributed Article

It’s difficult to balance work and family. No one seems to have found the mathematical solution to make all the pieces fit perfectly together. Having a spouse in the military with the transfers and moves that are part of military life can make it even more challenging to find work that fits your family’s needs.

I have a few friends who have faced that challenge. They moved to military bases with their husbands and had to find new jobs, and then they needed to find work again when their husbands were relocated. It takes an incredibly strong person to be able to juggle the usual chaos of raising children with moving and finding new work opportunities every few years. And, let’s be honest, those work opportunities need to be flexible when you’re single-parenting during deployments.

So what’s the solution? Portable work that can move with you. This includes flexible, remote work and the options are increasing. With technology making remote work easier and more seamless, more companies are flexing to keep their experienced workers even when they move. Virtual call centers, like LiveOps, contract with agents who work from home across the United States, making it easier to keep working when you move.

There are so many options for flexible, remote work and many of these are, or could be, portable work too. Whatever your skill set—customer service, marketing, sales, teaching, nursing—there is likely a remote work opportunity for you, and nearly any office job can be done remotely if your employer is flexible. You may just need to make the case for taking your work with you!

There’s also the option of becoming an entrepreneur, building your own independent business that moves with you. Do you have a gift for photography? Years of experience that could be applied as a consultant? Outstanding people skills to put to use in a virtual call center? Amazing creativity with baking or event planning? Teaching experience with the desire to do personal tutoring? The sky’s the limit. You can move your business with you, and if you already work remotely you may even be able to maintain your clients.

So how do you get started if you want to find a portable job or flexible work? Do your research. There are many legitimate work from home opportunities, and there are some opportunities to be wary of…those that promise you’ll get rich quick.

  • Look on established sites such as FlexJobs and Indeed.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau if you are unsure—you’ll be able to see complaints and resolutions.
  • Review any work-from-home opportunity carefully to make sure the work, schedule and company is the right fit for you.

Trying to find flexible work that fits your interests, skills, and lifestyle may seem overwhelming (especially on top of everything else that goes along with a move)—but you can do it. Finding the right portable work opportunity now could mean that you can take your work with you on the next move and have one less thing to worry about. Thank you for your devotion to our country. And best wishes in your search for flexible work opportunities!

 

Lisa Lozeau works on the Acquisition and Onboarding team at LiveOps. She helps connect talented individuals with independent contractor opportunities that allow them to work from home and provide professional call center services to LiveOps’ diverse client base. As a work-from-home mom herself, Lisa understands the value and importance of flexible work. She is passionate about helping people find greater work-life balance through professional work-from-home opportunities. For more information about LiveOps, please visit: join.liveops.com.

 

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