Name: Janet, aka "Janet"
Bio: Janet is the wife of SSG McIntosh. She is mommy to two beautiful children, Alina and Aiden. Janet began her military journey 15 years ago as a soldier herself, serving 2 years in the US Army active duty and another six years in the Army Reserves. She recently finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Janet spends a lot of her time volunteering in her community and has devoted her Army Wife Life to making this journey easier for other spouses. Janet knows a life in the military is full of ups and downs but also knows there can be many rewards as well. She is eager to pass on her knowledge and experience to other spouses. Janet was also the 2010 Army Wife Network Household 6 winner.
Posts by Janet:
This month’s ‘Post with the Most’ is Fort Rucker, AL. Fort Rucker covers about 63,000 acres and is known in the military community as the home of Army Aviation. It is home to several Aviation Regiments and leadership academies. Fort Rucker is in a prime location that offers a wide variety of things for you and your family to do and the weather is pretty decent with warm summers and cool, mild winters. We also have the inside scoop on Fort Rucker from spouses who live there!
“Can be 80 degrees one day and 40 the next. Winters are fairly mild, sometimes you have periods of low 20′s. Summers are HOT and HUMID!”
Military Spouse, Claire Carroll
Fort Rucker is located in the middle of three Alabama communities. Right outside the gates of Fort Rucker you will find the city of Enterprise, AL, Daleville, AL, and Ozark, AL. All three of these communities are unique in the amenities they will be able to offer you and your family. About thirty minutes from Fort Rucker you will also find an array of shopping and eating spots in Dothan, AL.
Meanwhile, on post you will find the typical installation amenities we have all come to depend on. You will find a PX and a commissary. You will also find a wonderful aviation museum. My own soldier recently graduated from SLC at Fort Rucker. The graduation took place in the Aviation Museum and I must say, it was a sight to see, with wonderful exhibits and more helicopters and planes than you can imagine! Our son was in hog heaven and our whole family enjoyed the experience, so make sure you check the aviation museum out when you get a chance!
Fort Rucker housing is overseen by Corvias Military Living, formerly known as Picerne. Over 725 new homes have been constructed with 25 more homes being built in 2013, and some housing still undergoing renovations.
“Housing is available in brand new, remodeled, and some needing to be remodeled. There is a designated housing area for flight students to accommodate their short term assignments and allow their families to accompany them.”
Military Spouse, Tina Shifflett
For your elementary aged children you will find Fort Rucker Primary School for Pre-k through first grade. You will also find Fort Rucker Elementary for those children in second grade through sixth grade. For older children you choose from three school districts located right outside the gates of post. You will find links to those districts in our Fort Rucker ‘Post with the Most’ segment on Army Wife Network. The link can also be found at the end of this blog.
There are many ways to get involved on Fort Rucker from ACS to the Fort Rucker Spouses’ Club. Off post you will find all your favorite shopping spots including Walmart, Target, and some shopping malls too. For those who are more into fine dining, you will find several options to indulge in. You will find most of the common chain restaurants such as, Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Ihop, and Panera Bread, to name just a few. However, you will also find some creative culinary gems such as Cheeburger Cheeburger, Cupcakes Y’all, Mick’s Café, and many, many more!
“Shopping in Dothan! Dothan would be the place to go for anything you wanted, especially if you didn’t want to go to Walmart again. You can find most things there – Barnes & Noble, Target, Publix, Five Guys… there’s a lot there.”
AWN Team Member, Emily Grace
If you are looking for some fun events for the family, then you are in the right area! Dothan is home to the National Peanut Festival with much of the nation’s peanuts coming from this area. Every November they hold a huge festival in honor of the peanut – from what I hear – you can’t miss it! If you are looking for some weekend fun, Fort Rucker is only about 2 hours from Panama City Beach, FL. Nothing like being able to take a break and head to the beach with the family for some fun in the sun!
As you can see, Fort Rucker has a ton to offer your military family! You can learn more about Fort Rucker at our ‘Post with the Most’ AWN Segment, here. Just remember that every post has something unique to offer and your time at Fort Rucker or any post is what you make of it. Be sure to take advantage of your time at Fort Rucker or any post that you call home, courtesy of the U.S. Army. J
This month’s ‘Post with the Most’ is Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Fort McCoy is a relatively small post but that does not mean that is doesn’t have something to offer military families stationed there. This month Army Wife Network fan, Nicole Payne, helps us discover the beauty and richness of Fort McCoy, and gives us some inside information on what you can expect at this installation.
Fort McCoy is located on 60,000 acres in west central Wisconsin, in between the towns of Sparta, WI and Tomah, WI which both have a lot to offer the families of Fort McCoy. This installation is home to several units and is known for training in professional development, home of 181st Infantry Brigade, and also for mobilization of Guard and Reserve troops.
The weather at Fort McCoy offers military families a taste of all four seasons. Winters here can get down to below zero and the summers can see temps reach into the 90’s.
“The weather is wonderful in the summer. Very humid, but because the winters are long the humidity and warm weather is welcoming.”
Military Spouse, Nicole Payne
Fort McCoy does not offer an abundance of on-post housing and many families choose to live off the installation. The schools located in Sparta service the children living on-post. We have also heard great things about the Tomah School District as well should you choose to relocate there. The post offers all the typical amenities military families are accustomed to. There is a PX and commissary located on post as well as other services such as MWR and ACS.
While stationed at Fort McCoy don’t forget to check out some of this location’s hidden gems. You can visit Wild Cat Mountain or stay at the Three Bears Lodge in Warren, WI, which offers camping and indoor waterparks.
You must also be sure to check out the many fests that take place in the area. The Cranfest is held in Warren on the last full weekend in September. The Tomah area is after all, known as the ‘Gateway to Cranberry Country’. Sparta also offers its own fun. ‘Butterfest’ is held every year in June. Also, don’t forget to check out Tomah’s ‘National Tractor Pull’ as well! As you can see, there is lots of fun to be had.
It is is not like any other post. It is very quant quiet little towns. People are friendly and they love the military.
Military Spouse, Nicole Payne
You can learn more about Fort McCoy at our ‘Post with the Most’ AWN Segment, here. Fort McCoy has something to offer every military family. You will find all the typical on post amenities plus some beautiful scenery and great fun off post as well. Just remember that every post has something unique to offer and your time at Fort McCoy or any post is what you make of it. Be sure to take advantage of your time at Fort McCoy or any post that you call home, courtesy of the U.S. Army. J
There has definitely been a plus side to being on recruiting duty and that is the fact that my husband will actually be home for our upcoming wedding anniversary in July. We are not a family that vacations often, but my husband surprised me with a cruise to the Bahamas for our anniversary.
Now, before everyone bombards the comment section with words about Carnival’s “Triumph” disaster in the Gulf. We need to realize that this is not a common occurrence on cruise liners and I have done some research on this before booking our trip. I am not letting what happen with the “Triumph” rain on my glorious vacation plans.
What I want to know is the best tips and tricks for a first time cruiser! I have never been on a cruise before and I am excited but at the same time I really do not know what to expect. I can only go by reviews and information from the cruise line. Have any of you been on a cruise? What would your best tips be for someone who is doing this for the first time?
We will be on a five day cruise that has two port stops in the Bahamas – Nassau and Freeport, leaving from Charleston, SC. I have booked an excursion for each port already. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins and so I am excited to get to do this during our Freeport excursion. I am mainly wondering how it is staying on the ship and such.
So, any advice you can share….I am all ears! Thanks! J
This month Army Wife Network’s ‘Post with the Most’ takes us to the beautiful scenery of Ansbach, Germany. Germany is a beautiful country with a lot of great places to visit, beautiful architecture, and many traditions. Being stationed in Germany can be a fabulous tour for you and your family.
Army Wife Network is here to give you the scoop on Ansbach, Germany, which is located in Bavaria. It is made up of three separate installations and one satellite installation located in Illesheim, Germany – Storck Barracks, approximately 20 minutes from Ansbach. The other three installations that help make up Ansbach are Katterbach Kaserne, Barton Barracks, Bismarck Kaserne. Together you have U.S. Army Garrison, Ansbach. I myself have spent time as a part of Army Garrison, Ansbach, when my husband was stationed at Storck Barracks in Illesheim, Germany.
The weather in Germany gives you all four seasons. Summers can be extremely warm and the winters can be bitterly cold with lots of snow.
“Mild Spring and Fall, hot Summer months from July to August, Cold Winter with snow from November through February.”
Military Spouse, Claudia Bazaar
Between the three installations you will find all the usual resources of an Army installation in the states. You will have access to two commissaries, one on Katterbach Kaserne and one on Storck Barracks. You will have access to several PX’s, Chapel Services, and on-post libraries. When it comes to your children, there are two elementary schools, and a combined middle and high school. The elementary schools are located in Ansbach and Storck Barracks. The middle/high school is in Ansbach.
When it comes to housing you have the option to live on-post or in government leased off-posy housing. The housing on-post is apartment style. Housing is typically large buildings with three stories and 2 apartments on each floor. Whether on or off-posy, housing can be on the small side, so you will want to hold off on bringing any extremely large furniture pieces and choose instead to store those things in the states during your tour.
“Housing is stairwell, with a few Officer Townhouse units on post. E-6 and below generally live on post, but many people also live in surrounding villages. Housing on post is mostly updated; however they are doing more renovations.”
(Storck Barracks, Illesheim)
Military Spouse, Rachel Grissom
During your tour in Germany, you definitely want to take advantage of the fact that you are in Europe and travel, travel, travel!! There are so many options when choosing to travel. Trains are a great way to get around locally or for longer trips. You will also be able to find some great airlines deals when choosing to fly around Europe. While I was there, I chose to visit Italy and had an amazing time! You will also want to visit Garmisch, Germany where you will find the Armed Forces Resort, Edelweiss. This resort is amazing and I had the opportunity to spend some time there during my husband’s R&R on his second deployment. We had a wonderful time and Edelweiss is extremely family friendly with great service and tons of activities from skiing to sight-seeing.
You will also want to explore Ansbach and the surrounding areas as well. There is tons of history in the area and many great places you can visit and sight-see. Illesheim also has some beautiful areas you can visit and enjoy.
“FrankenTherme in Bad Windsheim. Great place for a massage or a relaxing day floating in the salt pools. Freiland Museum in Bad Windsheim is a great place to spend the day. It’s a living history museum highlighting the history of how people lived here many years ago. They also brew their own beer and have a wonderful biergarten.”
Military Spouse, Rachel Grissom
The food is another marvel of Germany. You will be able to try many different and authentic cuisines in the local Ansbach and Illesheim communities. You will find everything from traditional German, brats and streudel, to Turkish, Italian, and Greek. While you are there you will have to find a local ‘doner’ stand and try this amazing gyro type sandwich. Doner stands are extremely popular in Germany.
Germany is also known for its many festivals. There will be several throughout the year in the local communities and you should definitely take part. You can also travel to Munich, Germany and enjoy the famous Ocktoberfest. I definitely did while we were stationed in Gemany and I even bought a ‘dirndl’, which is the traditional dress German women wear during the festival.
“Attend your town’s festivals. Germans love to party! The Ipsheim wine Fest in September, Christmas Markets in Nov – Dec. Fruhlingfests in the Spring. Bad Windsheim and Ansbach both have nice Fruhlingfests and Christmas Markets. The Christmas Market in Rothenburg is wonderful.”
Military Spouse, Rachel Grissom
There are many great times to be had while stationed in Germany so be sure to make the most of your time there. You can learn more about Ansbach, Germany on our ‘Post with the Most’ feature here. Remember that a station assignment is always what you make of it, so make the most of whichever post you call home, courtesy of the U.S. Army. J
Ever stare at your 5 year old son as he works a kindle fire tablet as well as if he had invented the thing himself? Ever watch your daughter reading her science textbook on her computer while studying for a test? Today’s generation of kids are the most tech-savvy yet! Many of us worry about whether or not this good for our kids. In fact, 52% of all children have access to mobile devices, such as smart phones, iPods, iPads, and other similar tablets. (commonsensemedia.org)
I still believe kids need to spend time outside and using their imaginations but we also have to come to terms with the fact that our children will need to be efficient in the ways of technology, especially when schools and work places are incorporating more and more technology into how they do things. Fisher Price has even begun studying children and their use of applications on electronic devices within their Play Lab.
Many parents are attributing their children’s extensive vocabularies and sight word knowledge to some of these apps that have been designed for toddlers and younger children. There are so many on the market today that it may be hard to know which ones are worth you and your child’s time. We want apps that are educational and engage our children. HLN’s Raising America asked panelists at this years’ SXSW Interactive Festival about which apps they recommended. They gave the following list. Some of these apps you may recognize and you may be questioning just how educational they may be, but each can bring something unique to the table as well as being entertaining and fun for your child. Many of these apps can be fun for you and your child to do together as well!
Day of the Diesels
Baby Flash Cards
Cut the Rope
Now just because we found some great apps for your children, this does not mean you should not continue to monitor how much screen time your child gets. Be sure to limit your child’s time on electronic devices and encourage them to spend time outside as well. It is still important for children to use their imagination and foster creativity! J