The Bridge

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends. But, for many military members getting home for the holidays is often a challenge due to the expenses of traveling. Armed Services YMCA and Jack Daniel's teamed up to make a big difference in the lives of active duty junior-enlisted military and their families. They realize the importance of being together with family over the holidays. In 2011, Operation Ride Home was born and it has been bringing holiday cheer ever since. Learn more about this amazing initiative, how you can apply, and how you can help send even more military members... read more

Big score for Apple fans! Apple announced Monday, December 3, 2018, the launch of a dedicated online storefront for active duty military, veterans and their families along with a 10% military discount on select Apple products. The military discount will apply to many of their in-demand products such as the iPhone, hardware, Macs, Apple TVs, speakers, software and accessories. In a statement, the company said, “At Apple we are deeply grateful to the men and women of our armed forces. We’re proud to offer active military and veterans a new dedicated online store with special pricing as an expre... read more

DEALING WITH THE FEAR OF DEPLOYMENT Regardless of how many deployments you have under your belt, they never get easier. Military Spouse, Lindsay Swoboda from Uplifting Spouses, gives us a personal narrative about Dealing with the Fear of Deployment and how she’s chosen to find the positive in it all. Our apartment is quiet with the morning light pooling on the floor. The sun is rising up to greet the day and I am snuggled in my favorite chair, sipping coffee before my daughter wakes up. My husband breezes through filling his travel mug. His cologne wafts through the air and soon his footsteps... read more

15+ MILITARY SPOUSE AND VETERAN OWNED BUSINESSES TO SHOP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON It’s the MOST WONDERFUL time of the year! For a ton of reasons, Christmas is our absolute favorite holiday. Family, love, Christmas movies, baking and gift giving is why it’s the season to be jolly. Like most people, I truly enjoy Christmas shopping but I tend to put a ton of thought into the gifts that I’m giving to loved ones. Sure, department store shopping is fun, but I love love love small business shopping that’s especially veteran or military spouse owned. If you’re looking to holiday shop with a purpose this ... read more

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and you’re probably thinking about where to shop. Before you buy everything at the major retailers, check out these businesses owned and operated by members of the military community. You can find thoughtful gifts and great deals, all while supporting veterans and military families. These companies offer a wide range of products, but in keeping with the spirit of Poppin’ Smoke, I’ve highlighted a few gift ideas for travelers. Even if you don’t buy anything from these retailers, please take the time to read their incredible stories and spread the w... read more