How a new law will help working military spouses

OLIVIER DOULIERY

States are now required by law to recognize military spouses’ professional licenses after a move. The congressman who spearheaded the legislation, who is a Navy veteran, explains more — and two military spouses share about their endured hassles and the high costs they’ve incurred just trying to keep their jobs.

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About the guests:

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-California, is a first-generation American citizen and was a highly decorated United States Naval Officer and businessman before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. His superb flying performance earned him the honor of becoming one of the first F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighter pilots in the Navy. While on active duty, Garcia flew over 30 combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom in the skies above Baghdad, Fallujah, and Tikrit. On the heels of 9/11, Garcia deployed as an F/A-18 strike fighter pilot aboard the USS Nimitz, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Throughout his career, Garcia was lauded as one of the best leaders and most naturally talented pilots in the Navy. He participated in combat operations during the first six months of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Accruing over 1,400 hours of operational flight time over nearly 20 years of active and reserve military service to our nation, Garcia decided to separate from the Navy with an honorable discharge and focus on his family. He subsequently joined the Raytheon Company as an executive. He lives in Santa Clarita, California, with his wife, Rebecca, and their two sons. Garcia currently serves on two House committees: House Committee on Appropriations and House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Bobbie Anne Fiduccia, 28, is a Navy spouse currently stationed in Guam. She is originally from Tennessee. As a former esthetician of five years, consistent moves with the military ultimately led to her transition out of the spa industry into social media marketing/coaching for small businesses and military entrepreneurs. As her family is looking ahead to their last year of service, she’s hopeful to rejoin the industry with new supporting laws in place to help build a stable career.

Hannah Salazar is a licensed mental health counselor in Florida and a licensed professional clinical counselor in Ohio. Salazar is a former military brat and lived in Asia for 14 years. She has eight years of experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds as a teacher, registered behavioral therapist, as well as a mental health counselor across developmental, private and public schools, and community mental health settings. Salazar’s experience in school settings gives her a unique perspective on how academic and social struggles may negatively impact a child’s self-esteem, leading to anxiety or depression. She currently works at her own company, Be Think Grow LLC, which provides consultation and counseling as well as indulges in advocacy work. Her experience overseas as a military child provides a unique understanding of military families and the challenges they face. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, and the International Association of Youth Mental Health. Salazar earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland and a master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Keiser University in May 2019.

About the podcast:

The Spouse Angle is a podcast breaking down the news for military spouses and their families. Each episode features subject-matter experts and military guests who dive into current events from a military perspective — everything from new policy changes to research on family lifestyle challenges. The podcast is hosted by Natalie Gross, a freelance journalist and former Military Times reporter who grew up in a military family.

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