October 26th, 2020
Pivoting During the Pandemic
By Loryn Guiffre, Marketing Coordinator, Ohana Military Communities
As the coronavirus pandemic raged this year the world’s internet usage has shifted. People are working from home. Zoom became a household name. Schools are going virtual. People are opting to order goods online rather than visit a brick and mortar store. Even doctor’s visits have been replaced with telehealth. It’s the “new normal” and it has been a wild ride! According to Forbes.com, internet usage surged by over 70% at the beginning of the pandemic.
In the world of Public Private Venture (PPV) housing, it has greatly impacted the way that we engage with and serve our residents and communities. We were used to open offices, in-person tours for prospective residents, as well as holding regular events. We were used to being able to visit with and develop relationships with residents without the need to wear a mask and social distance. It also means that our residents are having to adjust to a new “normal” which can sometimes be frustrating, scary, and unsettling. Everyone has been touched in various ways that require a new set of plans and adjustments.
As Marketing Coordinator for Ohana Military Communities, I am responsible for events and building a sense of community amongst our residents. The pandemic has completely changed the way we all do our jobs and it has made it a challenge to do everything we want to do for our residents. The new word of the year for all of us is “pivot” and now, more than ever, being adaptable is a critical skill to have.
Typically, each community would gather their teams and brainstorm events that would bring joy to our residents and their families. But as you guessed, we have had to constantly pivot (yes I will say it a hundred times more!). Our plans went from in person, to a combination of in person and socially distanced. This month and for Halloween, we had to move to almost 100% virtual communication. Every week, in all parts of our country, news is released making us rethink how we do things. We have had to get creative—replacing a big luau with a drive-through luau, and then finally having to change plans again due to City and County mandates. We feel your frustration at the frequent change of plans all too well!
During this time, the advice I would give to our residents is to stay connected on social media. We are constantly posting activities, games, and contests since many of our residents are at home and online – since that’s where many people “live” now. To ensure we stay engaged, we are always creating campaigns to drive people to our social media channels so they can stay connected and be involved with the fun virtual activities we have planned. And be sure to look for our monthly newsletter which includes a calendar of events and useful information.
Takeaways from all of this? We realize the importance for our residents to feel connected during these strange days—to feel grounded while home, yet also feeling a sense of community. We value each and every resident and want you to know we believe customer service is just as important online, if not more important at this time. While things are ever-changing, we will continue to remain adaptable, positive, creative and ready to PIVOT daily!
September 25th, 2020
Gold Star Mother’s Day
Gold Star Mother's Day, celebrated each year on the last Sunday in September, is a day to honor all the mothers who have lost a son or daughter in combat while serving our country. Today we will be recognizing all the gold star mothers and their families. The tradition of the gold star dates back to World War I, when families would exhibit flags presenting a blue star, which symbolized a loved one serving our country, and a gold star to symbolize a loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Hunt Military Communities recognizes the service and sacrifices our military members and their families make and greatly honor gold star mothers and their families. We value the opportunity to work and live amongst military families each day and continue to provide support to the military community. This Gold Star Mother’s Day join us in honoring the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and their families.
It’s important that we recognize, honor and celebrate the mothers and families of fallen soldiers to remind them they are not alone during this challenging day. Their strength and resilience is inspiring to us all. If you’re interested in more ways to help support gold star mothers, you can find information about American Gold Star Mothers, a non-profit dedicated to helping mothers deal with pain, grief and loss, at goldstarmoms.com.
August 20th, 2020
Back to School
Whether your child is getting ready to go back to school, preparing for a virtual school year, or a combination of both, this school year is sure to look different than the rest. While there might be some feelings of uncertainty, there are still plenty of ways to prepare your family for a successful year. Below are a few tips to get you started on the right foot:
- Develop a school-ready sleep routine.
The transition from summer back to school can be difficult, especially for children who’ve enjoyed staying up late and sleeping in throughout their summer break. Consider easing your child back into a sleeping routine for the school year a few weeks before school starts to make the transition smoother.
- Set goals for the school year.
Setting goals for the school year, or for each quarter, can be a good way to keep your child motivated throughout the year. It’s also a great way to track their progress after each milestone and helps them learn the value of hardwork.
- Establish good homework habits.
Helping your child establish good homework and study habits will help them succeed throughout their many years of school and into their future careers. Teaching your kids to develop their own schedules and trackers helps them understand time management while reviewing their work together helps them understand their learning process. Providing a positive incentive can be a great way to keep your kids motivated.
- Help keep them organized.
Helping your child learn how to organize and manage their responsibilities is important to their success. Whether they’re learning from home or learning in a classroom setting, keeping them organized will help make the process much easier. Try color-coding with their favorite colors or show them how a clean workspace can help them think clearly.
- Schedule time for fun!
And finally, make sure to schedule time for fun. Whether it’s playing outside or dedicated time playing their favorite video games, incorporating time for rest, relaxation and fun is equally as important for success in school.
July 15th, 2020
Hunt Military Communities is Seeking Veteran Stories to Highlight in Commemorative Book Coming this Fall
Each year, Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 to recognize, honor and celebrate the service and sacrifice made by our military soldiers. This year, Hunt Military Communities is looking to raise the voices of veterans across the country and share their stories in a special commemorative coffee table book. HMC recognizes the sacrifices that are made each day by our military members and wants to honor veterans in a special way this year. To participate in this special tribute, HMC is encouraging veterans, service members, and their families to consider sharing their stories and photos to be featured in the book. A submission can be from your own service experience, or you can contribute a story on behalf of a loved one who served.
The stories, along with submitted photos, will be incorporated into a coffee table book, set to publish this fall, with proceeds going to the Hunt Heroes Foundation. The Hunt Heroes Foundation, founded in 2018, proudly serves military families, partners and communities through opportunities and ideas generated by our people and partnerships. Together, the HHF seeks to discover new ways to ensure positive change and an improved quality of life for military families and communities nationwide.
To be featured in this year’s commemorative Veterans Day book, please submit your story and photo(s) to ProudVeterans@huntcompanies.com. To learn more about the Hunt Heroes Foundation and its mission, please visit huntheroesfoundation.org.
July 1st, 2020
Hunt Military Communities Announces Red, White & Blue Challenge for July Fourth
The Fourth of July has long been celebrated as the birth of American independence. This year, Hunt Military Communities is excited to announce its Red, White & Blue Challenge in honor of the holiday. We want to see your red, white and blue spirit!
What’s the Red, White & Blue Challenge? We’re encouraging residents to decorate your home or yard for the Fourth of July and share your photos with us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #RWBChallenge and #HMCProud. Be sure to tag us, too! @HuntMilitaryCommunities on Facebook and @HMComunities on Instagram.
All participants in the Red, White & Blue Challenge will have the opportunity to win an all-inclusive BBQ package from Omaha Steaks! One winner from each participating community will be selected following the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Looking for some inspiration? American flag banners or handheld flags are a great way to decorate your yard. There are plenty of ways to get creative with balloons or pinwheels, too! Or, you can make it a fun arts and crafts activity with your kids and decorate using homemade materials. We can’t wait to see how you decide to show your spirit.
June 8th, 2020
Hunt Heroes Foundation Announces $30,000 In Scholarship Grants Awarded to Military Dependents
Hunt Heroes Foundation (HHF), the non-profit organization founded by Hunt Military Communities (HMC), has announced the winners of its second annual Hunt Heroes Foundation Scholarship for dependents of active-duty military members. This year, HMC increased its commitment to $30,000 to give to deserving students who are seeking ongoing educational opportunities. Each of the 12 recipients will receive a grant award, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, to help alleviate the burden of continuing education costs. This year’s scholarship applicant pool increased by 80% compared to last year.
Scholarship recipients were selected based on their commitment to community involvement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, and work experience. Candidates did not have to be a resident of HMC in order to apply for a scholarship.
HMC and HHF value the opportunity to contribute to the continuing education goals of military dependents. The recipients of this year’s scholarship include:
Bella Baker, Del City, OK
- Child of Army service member
- Attending Oklahoma State University with a major in industrial engineering
Ashley Facio, Linden, NC
- Army veteran; spouse of Army service member
- Attending Paul Mitchell School with a major in cosmetology
Jailyn Figueroa, Scott AFB, IL
- Child of Air Force service member
- Attending Penn State University, Harrisburg with a dual major in political science and english
Colin Hebner, Brussels, Belgium
- Child of Air Force service member
- Attending Texas A&M University with a major in marine ecosystem science
Madison Kirk, Tampa, FL
- Child of Army service member
- Attending Campbell University with a major in early childhood education
Reagan Krumbolz, Beardstown, IL
- Child of Army service member
- Attending University of Iowa with a major in microbiology
Hayley Labonte, Aiea, HI
- Child of Navy service member
- Attending University of Southern California with a major in human biology
Morgan Roundy, Oak Harbor, WA
- Child of Navy service member
- Attending Brigham Young University with a major in exercise science
Katelyn Shibilski, Randolph AFB, TX
- Child of Air Force service member
- Attending Florida Southern College with a major in psychology and a minor in neuroscience
Keri Spitler, Jamestown, RI
- Child of Coast Guard service member
- Attending University of Colorado, Boulder with a major in biomedical engineering
For more information on the Hunt Heroes Foundation, or to donate, go to huntheroesfoundation.org.
May 5th, 2020
Seven Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Quarantine
While this Mother’s Day might be quite different from your usual traditions, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the mother’s in our lives. For those of you who have been quarantining with your mom, there are several ways you can make Mother’s Day feel special while continuing to practice social distancing and remaining inside. And for those who aren’t able to spend the day with her physically, there are virtual ways to celebrate together! Below are seven ways to cherish your mom this year for Mother’s Day:
1. Serve her breakfast in bed
Wake up early on Sunday and get started on a delicious breakfast spread for your mom. If you can’t be there to cook for her, consider ordering her breakfast from her favorite local spot and get it delivered to her
2. Offer her an in-home spa treatment
Treat your mom to a day of pampering, you know she deserves it. Try your best to recreate all the luxuries of a nail salon and offer her a manicure and/or pedicure. Or, try making a DIY face mask and let her relax while you work your magic.
3. Plan a virtual gathering with family and friends
Whether you’re living with your mom or currently separated during quarantine, schedule a virtual gathering on the video conferencing app of your choice to spend time with her and others who adore her. Make it extra special by inviting a few surprise guests!
4. Cook her favorite meal or dessert
Surprise your mom by cooking her favorite dinner or dessert, or both! There’s nothing better than filling your place with the delicious smells of a home-cooked meal.
5. Share 365 reasons you love her
If you’re looking for a gift that your mom can enjoy for the entire year, fill a jar with 365 reasons you love her, and she’ll have something to open every day. Get creative with glitter and stickers to decorate the jar with your own special flair!
6. Treat her to an online cooking class
Whether you’re looking to learn the basics, or want to learn a specific recipe, there are dozens of online cooking classes that you and your family can join. You can find a list of the best virtual cooking classes here.
7. Buy a gift card to her favorite store
While spending the day at the mall might not be possible this Mother’s Day, consider purchasing a gift card from her favorite store or restaurant. She can use it to shop online, support local businesses in your community, or wait to spend it on something special next time she visits the store.
April 13th, 2020
Spring Activities During Quarantine
During this uncertain time, it can be hard to find fun activities to keep the family busy and active. While it may not feel like it, Spring has sprung and there are plenty of ways you can still safely enjoy time outside. Below are a few ideas to get you and your family started.
1. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Create a scavenger hunt for the kids in your backyard or inside the house. You can incorporate objects you already have at home and leave things open-ended to see how your kids use their imagination to make it work. For example, “Find something you can eat with.” Make it extra fun by adding in a special prize for whoever finds the most items on the list.
2. Driveway Chalk Ideas
There are a lot of ways to have fun with chalk on a nice day. Hopscotch or pictionary are classic ways to use chalk, or make it educational by incorporating math problems or spelling tests into a game. You can even try bringing a school lesson to life with chalk for a more engaging experience outside.
3. Have a Tie Dye Day
You can order a tie dye set online from places like Amazon or Target and let your kids tie dye t-shirts or make matching sets. Get creative with different patterns and color combinations! It’s a great way to spend a weekend afternoon and can make old clothes feel new again.
4. Outdoor Performance
Is your child learning an instrument? Consider having them practice outside for 10 minutes and perform for your neighbors. It can be a great way to get them comfortable playing for others while also giving your neighbors an uplifting concert to tune into!
5. Plant a Garden
Take advantage of the extra time at home and get started on a backyard (or indoor) garden. Planting flowers, herbs or vegetables is a great way to spend time outdoors and can teach your child responsibility. Herbs like mint or basil are low maintenance to grow and make great additions to meals or drinks. Try a homemade pesto or a mint lemonade!
6. Celebrate Earth Day
Wednesday, April 22 is Earth Day and this year marks its 50th year anniversary. Plan a special celebration with your children to teach them the importance of caring for our environment. Whether it’s a day of gardening, or arts and crafts inspired by Earth Day, you can learn more at www.EarthDay.org
7. A (Virtual) Trip to the Zoo
And for the days that aren’t so nice, explore what the internet has to offer with virtual field trips and interactive activities for kids. The San Diego Zoo offers live cam videos for multiple animals, including giraffes and koalas. The National Aquarium offers a walk-through tour when you can learn interesting facts about animals like sea turtles and alligators. Lastly, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History offers several virtual tours, where you can explore current or past exhibits.
April 6th, 2020
Celebrating the Month of the Military Child
Every year, the month of April is nationally-recognized as the “Month of the Military Child,” a month dedicated to celebrating the children of military service members. Now in its 24th year, the Month of the Military Child is a time to acknowledge and applaud the children of our military community for their daily sacrifices and resilience in the face of adversity. Every day, millions of military children prove their courage and strength while dealing with separation from family, frequent moves or the fear associated with having a deployed parent.
Throughout April, the color purple is used to display support for military children. Purple is representative of all the branches of the army, as it is a combination of Air Force blue, Army green, Coast Guard blue, Marine red and Navy blue. A simple way to show your support for our military children nationwide is to get involved in the conversation, share a photo of yourself wearing purple and use the hashtag #PurpleUp and tag Hunt Military Communities on Facebook and Instagram.
At Hunt Military Communities, we understand the sacrifices and challenges that military children face on a daily basis. This year, in honor of Month of the Military Child, we’ve launched our inaugural “Hunt Little Heroes” program. The initiative is an opportunity for us at HMC to recognize and celebrate the military children who are heroes within their communities. We are asking military children to share their “Hero Story” with us, detailing what they think it takes to be a hero and how they are making a difference in their own communities. Submissions can be in the form of a 300-word essay, a drawing or a video.
The Hunt Little Heroes program is open to all military children between the ages of 4-15 years old, regardless of whether or not they are living in a Hunt community. All applicants will receive a special hero cape, mask and a letter of appreciation for sharing their hero story or drawing. Winners will be selected and recognized in their community with a special “coining” ceremony as well as a monetary prize of $1,000 to the first place “Little Hero”, $500 to second place and $300 to the third place. Half of each monetary prize will be donated to a charitable organization of the Little Hero’s choosing.
Submissions are open through April 20, 2020. Additional information and details on submission can be found at www.huntlittleheroes.org.
Help us celebrate military children nationwide and share your photos, videos and ideas using #PurpleUp throughout the month of April.
March 13th, 2020
Hunt Military Communities Celebrates Canine Veterans Day
Dogs have been used in military warfare for centuries, although it wasn’t until March 13, 1942, that the United States Army began officially training dogs for combat in the newly established War Dog Program. The War Dog Program, also known as “K-9 Corps,” trains canines to perform a wide variety of duties, such as transporting supplies, detecting traps or explosives, or assisting with guard duty to warn of intruders.
(image source: History Extra)
While there have been millions of dogs used during wartime throughout our country’s history, there are a few that have become iconic heroes. Perhaps the most famous war dog in the U.S. is Sergeant Stubby, the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat. Stubby served for 18 months during World War I, participating in more than 17 battles. His contributions included alerting his unit to surprise mustard gas attacks and locating the bodies of wounded soldiers. In 1921, after the war, Stubby received a gold medal from General of the Armies John J. Pershing for his heroic war efforts.
Today, there are approximately 3,000 military war dogs working in a variety of capacities, including the military, police K-9 units and federal law enforcement agencies. Dogs that are part of the War Dog Program are trained with the 341st Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Military dogs are integral members of their team, providing valuable skills and resources to their human counterparts. Each year, March 13th is designated as K-9 Veterans Day, a day to commemorate and celebrate all of the contributions military dogs make to our armed forces.
If you’re interested in adopting a retired military war dog or sponsoring an adoption, find out more information at missionk9rescue.org
February 10th, 2020
Scholarship Opportunities for Military Spouses and Children
Pursuing continuing education goals should be an exciting and rewarding experience for everyone, including military spouses and children. While financial implications can seem like a barrier to success, there are several resources available for military families to help alleviate such burdens. Whether you're looking at a two- or four-year program or a technical/trade certification program, you should be aware of all of the options.
Advanced preparation is key to making the scholarship application process easier and less stressful. While eligibility requirements can differ greatly, collecting important documents, such as academic transcripts and a valid military dependent ID, ahead of time will help streamline the process. The search for scholarships can be a time-consuming endeavor. Below are a few opportunities to get you started. You can also look for scholarships and grants offered at the state or local level as well.
Hunt Heroes Foundation Scholarship Program
Deadline: Feb. 26, 2020
The Hunt Heroes Foundation Scholarship is available to active duty service members and military dependents who are planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate studies at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year.
Twelve recipients will be selected and the awards granted are as follows:
- Three $5,000 awards for 2-year associates program or 4-year undergraduate studies.
- Four $2,500 awards for vocational-technical programs or certificates, 2-year associates program or 4-year undergraduate studies program, and
- Five $1,000 awards for vocational-technical programs or certificates, 2-year associates program or 4-year undergraduate studies program.
Find more information and/or apply here: https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/huntheroesscholarship/
The Hunt Heroes Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Hunt Military Communities, serves and supports military families and communities through partnerships, donations and activities.
Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2020
The Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund is available to dependent children of active duty, Reserve, National Guard or retired members of the U.S. military who are high school seniors or recent graduates who have not yet attended college and plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate program at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent, at the time of application.
Find more information and/or print the application form here: https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/militarycommanders/
The Military Commanders' Scholarship program is funded by the New York Chapter of the American Logistics Association (ALA), a military trade association.
Application opens: March 1, 2020
Deadline: April 15, 2020
The ThanksUSA Scholarship is open to dependent children and spouses of active duty, discharged and retired U.S. military personnel who served after the events of September 11, 2001. Dependent children must be under the age of 24 as of the application deadline on April 15, 2020. Dependent children and spouses must have at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 scale on their most recent academic transcript.
For the full list of eligibility requirements, please visit: https://www.thanksusa.org/apply.html. You can also sign up to receive an email notification reminder when the application opens.
ThanksUSAis a non-profit organization that provides educational scholarships for military spouses and dependent children.
AMVETS National Service Foundation (NSF) Scholarships
Deadline: April 30, 2020
AMVETS offers several scholarships for veterans, active duty service members, spouses, and children/grandchildren of veterans and active duty service members who are current high school seniors through its National Service Foundation (NSF).
Additional eligibility requirements and the application portal can be found here: https://amvets.org/scholarships/
AMVETS National Service Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans, their families and survivors with representation before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and additional support.
Hope for the Warriors Military Spouse & Caregiver Scholarships
Application opens: April 1, 2020
Hope for the Warriors offers scholarships for veteran spouses and/or caregivers. Opportunities and eligibility vary depending on what educational program the applicant is pursuing.
For more information, please visit: https://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/transition/military-spouse-scholarships/
Hope for the Warriors iis a non-profit organization that serves post-September 11 service members, veterans and military families through various support programs and initiatives
December 19th, 2019
HMC Remembers and Honors Fallen Heroes This Holiday Season
On Saturday, December 14, employees and residents of Hunt Military Communities participated in National Wreaths Across America Day at several locations throughout the country. Each year, wreath-laying ceremonies take place at cemeteries nationwide as volunteers gather to remember and honor the millions of men and women who sacrificed so much to protect and serve our country.
At HMC we’re more than just a company, we’re veterans and families ourselves. We’re a community of people who serve the men and women who serve our nation. Our workplace is home to thousands of active duty service members and their families and with that comes a unique level of understanding of their experiences.
We understand how difficult the holiday season can be for families of fallen soldiers or service members on active duty and are happy to support them in any way possible. We value the opportunity to volunteer with Wreaths Across America and participate in such a powerful and important tribute to military members and their families. This holiday season, HMC encourages you to remember and honor our service members and their families in any way you can.
Since 2005, Wreaths Across America, a national non-profit, and its network of volunteers have worked hard to ensure that our nation's fallen heroes are remembered during the holidays. Each balsam wreath placed on the grave of a veteran represents a living tribute of honor, respect and appreciation.
November 30th, 2019
Dan, U.S. Army Reserve, Retired
“As a veteran, I believe my service in the Army has helped me to appreciate the opportunity and freedom we have in our country. ” — Dan, U.S. Army Reserve, Retired
Dan is grateful for the lessons he learned from serving in the U.S. Army Reserve — He learned to accept challenges and provide leadership in his job and home. He learned how to stand up for what he believes in. Most importantly, he learned to value his family, colleagues, and his country above his own needs.
November 30th, 2019
Thank you to all of the veterans and their families who have shared their stories with us throughout the month of November! We’re proud to serve those who have dedicated their lives to serve our country and keep us safe, each and every single day.
November 29th, 2019
Dreamer, Daughter and Sister of U.S. Marine Corps service members, and Community Manager at Barksdale Family Housing
“Even though we were thousands of miles apart we were always ONE family.” — Dreamer, Daughter and Sister of U.S. Marine Corps service members, and Community Manager at Barksdale Family Housing.
Dreamer feels pride when she identifies herself as a Military Brat. As a Marine Corps daughter and sister almost her entire adolescent life, she memorized her family’s motto, without fail: “Once a Marine always a Marine.”
Those words helped her feel close to her brother and father when they were away for holidays, even though they were thousands of miles apart. She even found comfort in this phrase when her brother, pictured here, sadly passed away in 2017.
Dreamer feels that her core values were instilled in her from being a military child; strength, understanding, respect, compassion, flexibility and, most importantly, family. She has carried them on to this day, in her current work with Hunt Military Communities.
November 28th, 2019
Jaime LaRoche, our Director of Operations for Hunt Military Communities
This Thanksgiving, Jaime LaRoche, our Director of Operations for Hunt Military Communities, honors her fellow veterans by reflecting on her experience in the military. Read more on her story from Authority Magazine here.
November 27th, 2019
Larry, U.S. Army Military Police Corps, ‘86-’96
“As a veteran of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps, I’m reminded about the sacrifices that all veterans have made for this country to protect our freedoms.” — Larry, U.S. Army Military Police Corps, ‘86-’96
Larry served as a part of the U.S. Army Military Corps for 10 years. He feels forever impacted by his role during his active duty in Panama, helping other police officers to re-establish peace, and to train new police officers in the area. To this day, Larry feels a sense of accomplishment, knowing that he played a crucial part during his mission.
Larry now serves as Post Commander for the American Legion, and feels an even deeper appreciation for veterans serving abroad to protect the U.S. and its liberties.
November 26th, 2019
Ian has proudly served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years
Ian has proudly served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. While on active duty, some of his fondest moments included building camaraderie among his shipmates as they traveled.
“My proudest moment while in the military was meeting my bride while stationed in Long Beach, CA, and raising a family together while moving to various stations all over the world. I tricked her into joining me on my journey and promised we’d be able to move back to where we met in Southern California, but as it turns out the Navy had different plans for us that did not include returning to Long Beach. Fortunately, neither of us regret it at all.”
November 25th, 2019
Nancy “Drill Sergeant Jordan” Tillman, U.S. Army ‘82 - ’92
“The Army taught me everything is possible and I’m as strong as I push myself to be. No Regrets!” - Nancy “Drill Sergeant Jordan” Tillman, U.S. Army ‘82 - ’92
After becoming a mother at a young age, Nancy didn’t know where her life would take her. She decided to enlist in the U.S. Army and never looked back.
After 10 years of active service, Nancy takes pride in having raised her daughters as she traveled the world - spanning from Germany to South Korea. She now cherishes her life of service with her dog and her three children — including Freddie Jordan James, who serves as the Community Director at Keesler Air Force Base
November 24th, 2019
Kamron Ibarra, Training Manager at Hunt Military Communities
“I can’t listen to Pomp and Circumstance without melting. I have a deep connection with the military through my husband and my job.” — Kamron Ibarra, Training Manager at Hunt Military Communities
Kamron is no stranger to making service to this country a central part of her life.
Kamron’s husband, John, is a U.S. Army veteran. John served as a Tanker and a Tank Commander for more than 26 years, and was deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and twice in Korea as a part of his active duty.
Kamron has a very deep connection with the military, not only being married to a veteran but also through the work she does at Hunt Military Communities.
Kamron is a Training Manager for Hunt Military Communities, where she is responsible for training more than 950 people across all positions. She takes pride in her hands-on approach to her work and her unique experiences as a military spouse helps her connect with many of HMC’s residents on a personal level.
November 23rd, 2019
Gary - U.S. Air Force for 29 years
Gary served in the U.S. Air Force for 29 years, working mostly in aircraft maintenance. During that time, he traveled all over the world, from Western Europe to Southeast Asia. While in service, Gary found himself amassing “old war stories” during his time in active duty. Today, he enjoys sharing these treasured stories with his friends and co-workers.
Gary served alongside some of our country’s best. Today he serves military members and their families as a Maintenance Manager at Barksdale Family Housing.
November 22nd, 2019
Jeff and Joe Meuller, U.S. Air Force, Retired
“We are proud to come from a family that has a history of military service." ~ Jeff and Joe Meuller, U.S. Air Force, Retired.
Jeff and Joe Meuller are proud to hail from a family whose history is rich with military service.
They remember their father, Robert Mueller Sr., who had jump-started his career the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, from which he continued his service in the Navy for 24 years through WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Robert's service inspired his own children, Jeff and Joe, who joined the Air Force in 1976, and their sister Judy, who later joined the Navy for the Vietnam War.
Their service has continued to inspire future generations -- including Jeff's son, Jeff Jr., who joined the Air Force in 2005 and served honorably for six years.
November 21st, 2019
Jeff and Joe Mueller, U.S. Air Force, Retired
“Serving our country and supporting our military families has been a satisfying and rewarding opportunity.” — Jeff and Joe Mueller, U.S. Air Force, Retired
Jeff and Joe Mueller remember when they first enlisted with the U.S. Air Force in 1976, and celebrated their 18th birthday together during basic training. Both brothers traveled to various bases across the U.S during their storied careers — Jeff eventually served 12 years of active duty split over two rounds in the U.S. Air Force as a part of the civil engineering squadron, while Joe dedicated 20 years of active service in the U.S. Air Force in the Missile Maintenance Squadron.
The Mueller brothers can distinctly remember a moment of tension in their family: in 1980, news broke of a missile silo explosion with reported injuries and one death in Damascus, AR, where Joe was stationed at the time. With little to no means of communication between family members, the Mueller Family sat in uncertainty until finally hearing that Joe was uninjured and helping with the recovery efforts.
After retiring from active duty, the Mueller brothers both knew their unique life experiences had prepared them to become a part of Hunt Military Communities. Jeff has worked for Hunt Military Communities for 14 years and is currently the Safety Director for Hunt Military Communities. Joe has worked for Hunt Military Communities for 8 years and is currently the Maintenance Supervisor at Navy Mid South. To this day, the Mueller brothers are proud to continue dedicating their lives to maintaining and supporting the safety of military families.
November 20th, 2019
Peter, U.S. Navy ‘65-’67
“I am proud to have served in the United States Navy. It changed my life forever.” - Peter, U.S. Navy ‘65-’67
In October 1965, 21-year-old Peter was drafted by the U.S. military during the height of the Vietnam War — he decided to join the Navy, where he served for two years.
Some of Peter’s most vivid memories of his time in the Navy were of the connections he made with fellow draftees, as they were put through an accelerated boot camp of only five weeks against the average 18-week program. He remembers the pride he felt as he listened to Anchors Away at his graduation day.
Immediately after boot camp, Peter was stationed at Naval Degaussing Station in Charleston, SC., where he remained for the full two years. To this day, Peter is grateful for the camaraderie he built with his fellow base members, and the chance to earn his bachelor's degree before the end of his service.
Of all of the opportunities, however, he is most grateful for the chance to meet someone who would become his future wife: a Charleston native living nearby the base. After active duty, they remained in South Carolina to start a family and they now have two sons who have since begun to grow families of their own.
November 19th, 2019
David, U.S. Air Force
David Cuff, a World War II veteran and grandfather to Mandy, an employee at Hunt Military Communities, still has vivid memories of his service in the U.S. Air Force.
To read more about David’s amazing story of service, check out his feature in the Stoughton Courier Hub here.
November 18th, 2019
Greg, United States Navy
Greg served in the United States Navy for four years aboard the USS Carl Vinson as an Aviation Ordnanceman. He now serves as the Maintenance Director at Barksdale Family Housing. Thank you, Greg, for your service and dedication to Hunt Military Communities!
November 17th, 2019
Kevin, Community Director at Langley Family Housing
“As a veteran myself I understand the sacrifices service members and their families make to protect America.” — Kevin, Community Director at Langley Family Housing
In his role, Kevin is often reminded of the diverse and storied lives of the veterans he serves. He can recall a memorable interaction with a resident, a Senior Master Sergeant, who had spent years in service as an Air Force Pararescueman. The resident shared moving stories of his time in active duty, including the times he had survived a helicopter crash and a facial bullet-wound during combat.
Kevin remembers feeling awestruck by the Sargeant’s stories, and thanked him for his service. Kevin feels honored to be able to serve these service members and their families every day of his career.
November 16th, 2019
Rodney, U.S. Air Force & Marine Corps
“Serving in the military is one of the best things a young man or woman could do. I truly believe that giving yourself for the benefit of others is priceless.” - Rodney, U.S. Air Force & Marine Corps
Rodney began his lifelong commitment to service just two weeks after graduating high school when he joined the United States Air Force. During his time, Rodney served as an Air Force Security Policeman at Barksdale Air Force Base for four years.
Soon after his first round of duty concluded, Rodney realized civilian life was not for him and went on to serve in the Marine Corps for more than 21 years. There, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice while on active duty.
After the Marines, Rodney worked with the Milwaukee Police Department for 18 years. He now serves on the Federal Veterans Police Department.
November 15th, 2019
Harold, Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during WWII, '41-'45
“Flying an American Flag daily was something this man became well-known for. Harold's love of country was apparent and profound.”
His impact reached far beyond that of just his family — he was an active member of not only his local community, but also an outstanding member of the greater military community.
Upon returning home from WWII, he and his wife Mirian became deeply involved with veterans organizations — including The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and mostly prominently, the Military Order of The Purple Heart.
Harold’s service and activism was memorialized at the Memorial Harness Race at Balmoral Park Racetrack, where his family honored the winning racehorse with a Purple-Heart blanket in Harold’s name.
November 14th, 2019
Harold, Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during WWII, '41-'45
“For Harold it was not about himself, it was about service to his country. He wanted ‘to make it better’ he'd say, for his kids and grandkids. We think of him often as a true American Hero.”
Harold was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during WWII. He served from 1941-1945, and was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service.
Although Harold’s family remember his stories of active duty, they remember him best for his strong patriotic spirit and love of his country, family and home. With every Memorial Service or Veterans Day parade in their town, he was there along with his wife, children, and grandchildren — including Mandy, an employee of Hunt Military Communities — to support his community.
November 13th, 2019
Cassie, US Coast Guard, Retired
“I chose to join the military to honor the things I love in life and have been blessed in return.” — Cassie, US Coast Guard, Retired.
Cassie enlisted with the U.S. Coast Guard one week after graduating high school, and served as a Marine Science Technician, 1st Class, during her years in duty. She believes that joining the U.S. Coast Guard was a life-defining choice, and continues to play a large role in her family and community. Her husband is still serving in the U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Marine Science Technician to this day.
November 12th, 2019
Akaya, Active Duty Navy Electrician Mate from ‘98 - ‘09
This is Ayaka during her tenure as an Active Duty Navy Electrician Mate from ‘98 - ‘09. During her active years, Akaya served at stations in Whidbey Island, Washington and Jacksonville, Florida. Thank you for sharing your proud veteran moment with us!
We’re sharing more stories with Hunt Heroes Foundation this month! Tune in and hear more inspirational stories our service members, past and present, are sharing with us.
November 11th, 2019
Ken, USAF ‘94-’14
“Serving our country was truly the highlight of my life and has made me the person I am today.” - Ken, USAF ‘94-’14, Maintenance Director of Ohana Navy Family Housing Hawaii
Ken served in the United States Air Force as an Executive Flight Attendant, supporting our nation’s leaders, including presidents, vice presidents, and congress members. During his 20 years of service, Ken traveled to six of the seven continents and more than 75 countries.
Two days after the attacks on September 11, 2001, Ken assisted in transporting the FEMA director to New York City. He still recalls the eeriness of approaching the New York airpace and seeing the smoke billowing up from the site where so many innocent people lost their lives. This memory reminds him of why he dedicates his life to service.
Ken joined Hunt Military Communities to give back to the men and women who are currently serving our country by providing them and their families with a safe place to call home.
November 11th, 2019
Happy Veterans Day
Happy Veterans Day from all of us at Hunt Military Communities! We’re grateful and proud to serve and celebrate all of those who have dedicated their service to the United States Military.
To honor our Veterans on Veterans Day and every day, we’ve collected stories of life, love, loss, and service — and are sharing them as a part of the Proud Veteran Coffee Table Book.
All proceeds will be donated to the Hunt Heros Foundation, our non-profit organization that aims to uplift and bring positive change to communities in which we live and work.
November 10th, 2019
Conrad, MSgt, USAF ‘82- ‘04
“I get a big boost just knowing that although I have now been retired for 17 years, my efforts up in Iceland, to this day, are still saving lives.” - Conrad, MSgt, USAF ‘82- ‘04, Resident of Air Force Academy Military Communities
Conrad served in the Air Force and fondly recalls his assignment at the 56th Rescue Squadron at Keflavik Iceland from 1992 to 1994. During his time at this station, Conrad was tasked with repairing four Jolly Green rescue helicopters, one at a time due to a limited number of maintenance resources on the island.
He spent his time slowly growing relationships with item managers in the U.S. and ensured a fully stocked bench by the end of his term. Conrad later discovered that everyone was saved by his unit due to his long-standing effort to keep repairs running smoothly and well-stocked at the Keflavik station.
November 9th, 2019
Bonnie, U.S. Navy Reserve, ‘93 - ‘14
“What serving means to me is pride, honor and integrity. My service is a part of my life I am exceptionally proud of.” - Bonnie, U.S. Navy Reserve, ‘93 - ‘14, Resident of Mid-South Family Housing Community
Bonnie grew up surrounded by the Navy; Her dad had served 23 years of submarine service and had retired a Chief Petty Officer. She was always in awe of how the other Sailors called her father “Chief.”
She remembers loving the way his colleagues said his nickname and decided she wanted to be a “Chief” too. Bonnie ultimately served in the Navy Reserve for 21 years and retired as a Chief Petty Officer — just like her dad.
November 8th, 2019
Chad, U.S. Army, ‘93 - ’98
“Blake’s passing had a monumental impact not only on my family but also on our hometown. My family has since been honored to be known as a patriotic part of our community.” - Chad, U.S. Army, ‘93 - ’98, Environmental and Safety Specialist with Hunt Military Communities
When Chad entered the Army, his three younger brothers looked up to him and admired his decision to serve the country. They watched him serve as they grew up, and eventually two brothers joined service themselves.
One brother, Brad, serves as an E7 in the Active Air force. Chad’s youngest brother, Blake, served in the Marine Corps as a Scout Sniper and sadly passed away three years ago in the line of duty at the age of 26. Chad and Brad remember their brother Blake as they serve in and support the military in his honor today.
The flag in this picture— encased between the photographs of Chad, Brad, and Blake — was raised, flown at half-mast, and lowered by 3rd-grade students at their hometown elementary school in remembrance of Blake.
November 7th, 2019
Chad, U.S. Army, ‘93 -’98
“My Lieutenant had called in a favor to have me flown to the peak of the highest mountain via helicopter to perform the reenlistment ceremony. It was a very proud moment for me.” - Chad, U.S. Army, ‘93 -’98, Environmental and Safety Specialist with Hunt Military Communities
Chad served in the Active Army for 7 years as a Communications Specials/Combat Radioman.
One of Chad’s proudest moments during his service was during his tenure at Fort Irwin National Training Center. Upon Chad’s decision to reenlist for three more years, his lieutenant recognized his service as a soldier with a request to perform the re-enlistment ceremony atop of the highest peak of Death Valley on Tiefort Mountain. He still remembers the moment his helicopter co-pilot held the U.S. Flag as his Lieutenant swore him into his next three years of service.
November 6th, 2019
Jim Curtis, U.S. Marine Corps, ‘80 -’07
“Do the right thing when nobody’s looking” - Jim Curtis, U.S. Marine Corps, ‘80 -’07, National Director of Maintenance & Safety of Hunt Military Communities
Jim Curtis has a story of his own to share! During his active years, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for over 27 years as a Master Gunnery Sergeant and retired in 2007.
After his retirement from the Marine Corps, Jim knew he wanted to continue dedicating his life to helping the U.S. Military —particularly with military families. That’s why he decided to work for Hunt Military Communities. His personal mission is to continue helping families in the best way he can and to foster meaningful connections with fellow service members in his day-to-day operations.
November 5th, 2019
Walter, U.S. Navy ‘75-’77
“I was very fortunate to be stationed in Washington, D.C. during a very difficult time for our great nation.” - Walter, U.S. Navy ‘75-’77
Stay tuned to hear more stories of service from families all month! They’re being supported by our non-profit organization, Hunt Heroes Foundation, which works to uplift families in military communities each and every day.
November 4th, 2019
Keighley, a current member of the U.S. Navy since November 2018
November 3rd, 2019
Norine, U.S. Army, ‘87 - ‘08
“I had signed up for a cause that was bigger than I could ever predict. I am so thankful for my opportunity to serve as a soldier.” - Norine, U.S. Army, ‘87 - ‘08, current employee at Fort Lee Family Housing
Being from a small town in South Carolina, Norine never dreamed that one day she’d see the world as a part of a larger mission, starting with her first duty station overseas in Stuttgart, Germany.
After 21 years and 4 months of service, including two tours in combat and two overseas tours with the U.S. Army, Norine is now a proud member of the Fort Lee Family Housing Community staff. She is still grateful for the values and unforgettable mentors that the journey has brought her.
November 2nd, 2019
Henry, U.S. Air Force ‘68 - ‘72
“I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the men and women of the United States Air Force, for whom I aspired to follow their lead.” - Henry, U.S. Air Force ‘68 - ‘72, Senior Project Manager with Hunt Military Communities
Henry grew up hearing stories about his father and three uncles’ service in the U.S. Military in WWII and remembers being enthralled by their missions in the Pacific Theater as he listened to their tales as a young boy.
In the footsteps of his family members before him, Henry joined the U.S. Air Force in 1968. During his post at Tuy Hoa AB,RVN, Henry was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for his courage in combat. He has devoted 47 years to serving the country through active duty and military support and continues to dedicate his life as a Senior Project Manager with Hunt Military Communities.
November 1st, 2019
November is Month of the Military Family!
To celebrate, we’ve got 30 days, and 30 stories to tell from families and service members from across the U.S. Military. Join us as we share their stories all month! This campaign is run in conjunction with our non-profit organization, Hunt Heroes Foundation.