Billboard: HIRE MY WIFE

Sometimes I pity our active duty members. Officer or enlisted, they accept that part of their job description is the requirement to pack up everything and move to where the military needs you. But can you imagine what it feels like for them to watch their smart, able, proactive spouses struggle to find a new job at their new duty station?

Not so fun.

Maybe our service members would be tempted by the actions of a civilian Toledo man. For $700, Brandon Stuard plastered his unemployed wife’s face on a billboard: PLEASE HIRE MY WIFE. Stuard told Fox affiliate Toledo News Now:

 “Over the last five or six months, she’s had a few opportunities come along that we thought looked really positive and unfortunately they just didn’t work out. I felt a sense of, she was getting a little frustrated, but not losing hope. But I wanted to do something maybe help lift her spirits if nothing else.

A lot of military spouses who are looking for jobs are frustrated by the economy, by the limits of the places they work, by the employers who are reluctant to hire a military spouse. A lot of military spouses have service members who believe in them and want to lift their spirits. Is a billboard the answer?

I wish it was. Thanks to the Obama administration and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, the problem of spouse unemployment is well known in this country. Consider the Military Spouse Billboard already hung.

Yet spouse unemployment is difficult for a family—not just the unemployed spouse.  It is hard to keep your spirits up when you are filling out your 87th application in San Antonio. Or cruising the streets of Jackson, NC wondering what kind of businesses might operate there.  Or applying for something on USA Jobs and never hearing anything about it.

Which makes me wonder: What kind of things can a servicemember do to show support to their job hunting spouse and get the “hire my wife” message across? What is the right thing for them to say that keeps a spouse going? What is the best support your partner ever gave you? We’ve come up with a few options for our poll on the right of the screen (with results below) — but what do you think?

About Jacey Eckhart

Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at JaceyEckhart.net.