Express Scripts and Tricare on Twitter and other social media

Yikes, a week of a much needed medication on hand and the refill is disapproved by Express Scripts/Tricare!  What next?  

We have been a beneficiary of the military medical system for almost 43 years and have found it to be caring, responsive and helpful in most cases but last week we ran into an illogical response to a refill request for a non-formulary medication.  I did find a new way to reach out when we needed help quicker than "you can appeal, provide documentation and fill out the paperwork", etc, etc when you have a week's worth of medication left.  Our family doctor had tried to explain but received a flat disapproved with a list of requirements.  Remember:  This was a refill request.  I hope this helps even just one other military person dealing with this bureaucracy. 

Express Scripts and Tricare are on the social media and it appears they respond quicker to twitter comments than the phone calls from our doctor's office.  After first being approved and then denied the scripts that both Deb and I need and had used for a number of years I pursued the issue on twitter and the response was fantastic! By the way the @justinamash is our congressman.

I would like to commend Maria who called me and took the time to explain the appeal process (while I was hiking on our local nature trail on a beautiful Fall day).  Several others called and spoke to me during the next 48 hours while we worked out the details of the scripts.  First, they did approve the scripts with no appeal required and for that I was thankful as it did sound a bit daunting with an 8 year history of cancer to explain and two patients in need of meds quickly.  Second, do not give up, if someone says no, someone else may say, yes and they do have supervisors available to take your call. 


877.363.1303

Here is the twitter story that resulted in our scripts arriving in record time!


Initial Contact



Working




Thank You










Dale Kissinger, ie. “Col K” is a co-founder of MilitaryAvenue.com and retired Air Force pilot who served with the best of the military community from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force. He flew combat rescue and special operations helicopters, fixed wing trainers, special operations airlift and retired while flying the C-17 as the Vice Wing Commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord AFB. He served his country during conflicts in Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan.




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Our Flag and Memories of 9/11

It was a simple act this morning: lowering the flag to half staff to remember 9/11/2001.  It was a cool and wet morning and at first, I hesitated.  Why should I head out within a week of chemotherapy, etc.  I could find all kinds of reasons to sit in my comfortable chair and sip coffee...

I was still on active duty; in fact, my crew had landed from an overseas mission in the middle of the night and headed home for some well deserved rest that was not to be.  Half asleep and time zoned from a trip half way around the world, I was surprised to see and hear the command post line light up barely 5 hours later.  The wing commander asked me to head to the command post right away.  Had I seen the TV?  "No".  "Be right there".


An Introduction: "Do You Have a Frog in your Pocket?"

Last week we published a blog in our Marketing to Military resource and the business owner was so military friendly we thought that we should share it today in our Military Family blog as well.  It is a smooth read but what she says about the military community says a lot about her business. We like what she said about us too!  So, read and enjoy!  PS:  If you know a military family owned, veteran owned or military friendly business share the blog with them too! 


"Do You Have a Frog in your Pocket?"


Something caught my eye, increased the focus, sped up the senses a bit, made me look twice, liked what what I saw, turned to look, clicked on it, read, read more, smiled, connected the dots and they got my attention. 

Recently, we had an innovative, military friendly online small business, Frog in My Pocket,  place several First Class Package ads on MilitaryAvenue and I asked the owner if she could answer a few questions about her business and specifically the company's marketing strategy.  Penny readily agreed to tell us more about Frog in My Pocket and her efforts to support the military community. 

 
How do you spread the word about Frog in My Pocket? What is most effective, efficient? How about social media, twitter, pinterest, Facebook?

Frog in my Pocket takes advantage of a combination of social media, paid online advertising, and organic search term targeting, as well as focusing on offering a robust, attractive website. We have found that traditional magazine and paper advertising is not as effective in terms of cost and conversions.

Why did you post ads on MilitaryAvenue.com? 

We appreciate everything that our military families do for all of us, and we wanted a place where we could help in return with a permanent discount that is available only to military families. MilitaryAvenue.com is one of the easiest and most attractive websites available for military families. Not only are there great resources for military discounts that are easily searchable, but there are also tons of resources and great information about relocation, education, travel, and even an “Answers” area where anyone can post a question relating to military life and find the answers they need from members of the military community. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of that.

Is a military discount effective in reaching out to the military community? Do you have a large military audience? Do you anticipate a military page?

That's why we're here. We are excited about the opportunity to offer this discount to your families. Military families have some unique challenges, which can include both a limited budget and a limited ability to travel far enough to find what they need. Frog in My Box offers quality clothing, shoes and books at great value – delivered right to the door wherever possible. We will be adding military resource pages to our site, and would appreciate the opportunity to link to some of your resources.

Stomping Out Sarcoma 5K Fun Run/Walk > Wordless Wednesday

#FASTSOS #CureSarcoma #SarcomaAwarenessMonth











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Dale Kissinger, ie. “Col K” is a co-founder of MilitaryAvenue.com and retired Air Force pilot who served with the best of the military community from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force. He flew combat rescue and special operations helicopters, fixed wing trainers, special operations airlift and retired while flying the C-17 as the Vice Wing Commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord AFB. He served his country during conflicts in Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Stomping Out Sarcoma > A Warrior's Way

"The hills are getting tougher at times..."

 A Fun Run/Walk, A Bike Ride Fundraiser, A Physical Fitness Plan, A Facebook Support Group, An "Awareness Month": What do they have in common? For this warrior, they mean fighting Sarcoma Cancer through new awareness and research, survivor support and fitness for the many battles ahead.

So "what is sarcoma?" is often the first question this warrior often hears. "You look healthy?" is often the second one (at least until my hair fell out during chemo). Sarcoma in this pilot's parlance or from the perspective of someone with boots on the ground, is a soft tissue (think muscle, fat, nerves) or bone cancer. It is rare in the adult population (less than 1% of all cancers) but unfortunately hits children much harder. It is often neglected in the research dollar efforts when compared to other cancers such as breast cancer. Many forms frequently spread to the lungs, liver, bone or brain with no effective chemotherapy medications available.

Happy to be Home! DoDLive Blogger Roundtable


Photo Credit:  Real Warrior Campaign
"Happy to be Home"

Normally you start a blog with the beginning and work your way to the end; today, I started with the closing comments of Master Sergeant Aaron Tippett, US Army.  The Blogger Roundtable had the opportunity to interview and listen to the comments of an American hero and how he dealt with the challenges of PTSD.  Listen up military spouses!  He responded to his spouse after she saw the cumulative effects of multiple deployments.  Stay in touch with your spouse!  His advise for spouses was, "be there, listen, be supportive," but don't push it, each soldier is different.  After his wife encouraged him to seek help ("you need to get help") for his symptoms, he responded to her attention and caring. 


Birds and Military Kids - the Split S Acrobatics and "Winged Adventures"

"... the tiny bird executed a perfect "Split S" acrobatic maneuver and dove between the railing posts."

Our military kids are located all over this great nation thanks to their parents service in the National Guard, Reserves or Recruiting Services. Some have parents that are retired with 20+ years of service or are disabled medical retirees that settled down in a new area for employment or returned to their roots.  Others have a parent or parents that are deployed and they headed out to be near grandparents, etc.

They come in all sizes and shapes; backgrounds and dispositions but all know when they are loved.  Military kids are so vulnerable and yet so tough!  They deserve support and appreciation from all of us and many organizations do just that with special programs for the military community!

Many organizations have discounted or free access to entertainment, educational or other types of programs.  So when I saw that Michigan State University was offering a "Winged Adventures" for military kids, I had to share with military folks who live near our retirement residence.  Maybe it will highlight other programs or inspire another to take root in your community? 

Red Breasted Nuthatch  See Below for Credits
As I sat reading on our front deck I saw a fellow "airman" land on one of our bird feeders.  The nuthatch is just like military kids > very flexible and can be found anywhere in the world.  The red breasted nuthatch that is in our area tends to eat upside down for some crazy reason. Maybe they show a bit of our military community's genetic material that often is challenged by the upside down world we live in.

Earth Moving Moments

In order to get from here to there….

People

Professionals

Plans and Plants

In order to meet and greet people life requires one to step out from themselves. Out of the house you go! Step into life, and when it greets you back: smile. It’s a good thing. One walks around with history, purpose and pride. Your history is where you have been… as you go forward. Can’t change it, it is there like a shadow or like a mantle. As long as the sun is going to shine on a new day, you have your history and heritage to walk with you. Now, step up to someone and welcome them into your life with a smile, a handshake and a kind word… like salve on a wound it is healing. We all get lonely and at times bitter or dismayed… take charge and change that. Get that mouth a’moving into the “Hi! How are you?” And then…. Listen.

"... Upholding the Traditions We Have in America"

"The appreciation and kind thoughts will last much longer than the vegetables and my health will continue to be refreshed by all three!"   

Row Markers


Americans are famous worldwide for helping our neighbors out.  Find a tsunami, earthquake or a camp for the victims of war and you will usually find American personnel, supplies or donated equipment; sometimes all three.  We give through our churches, the Red Cross and many other non profits and our military forces are usually at the forefront of overseas efforts.  At home, neighbors and families can be seen doing the weekend projects that often end in refreshments or even a barbecue at this time of the year. 

Military Spouse Employment - Critical to Quality of Life for Many

...by making it easier to PCS your JOB in addition to your family and household goods!

As many of you may know, the month of May is Military Appreciation Month! This year DoD began an effort to make it "31 Days of Military Spouse Appreciation" as well; to highlight their efforts to help with spouse employment.   It is not a surprise to the military community that the economy, the health insurance issues for corporations and small businesses and career transportability issues have made it harder for spouses to find jobs in new areas of the country after a PCS.

MilitaryAvenue Pinterest Spouse Employment Resources
When the DoD Blogger Roundtable met with Meg O'Grady, from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) and senior program manager of the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program, she highlighted the resources available to the military community for employment. Meg is also a military spouse and is very aware of the issues of military spouse employment.  Her message?  Share the information on how military spouses can find resources for their employment search!

May is Military Appreciation Month

"... being part of the military tradition and all of the hoopla!"

This month is Military Appreciation Month and while it highlights an opportunity for government leaders, civilians, neighbors, extended family and businesses to thank our men and women in uniform, their families and veterans; we should take a moment to appreciate ourselves too!

The military lifestyle is tough and we share a unique perspective on world events. Yes, we have/had jobs where our families watched CNN or other news to see where we might be going next. How many prayers have gone up for our safety, protection and success?

This month is a great opportunity to reflect on what you as an individual have accomplished. Successful missions, promotions, new educational levels, different skills, homefront care, family growth and spiritual, mental and physical strength shown. How about finances, friendship and focus on goals? We all know our strengths and weaknesses but which do you highlight during discussions, during personal times or meditation? Find a way to appreciate your strengths and build a weakness into a strength when the opportunity comes your way.

Col K and Deb enjoying a military change of command
Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day and they so deserve some special recognition.  The 150% we/they give every day while juggling job, home, military life, family issues, travel, PCS, long distance to extended families and much more.  The civilian community may not understand the significance of being solo during a deployment but we do! We can and should say thank you to each other!  My military spouse was so important to many of my successes I always look forward to this day of celebration.   Not sure how to say thank you?  Take a quick Look Back at 101 Ways to Thank a Military Spouse!  They often forget how special they are as well!  Tell him/her exactly how much you appreciate their unique role.

Do you tell your military friends thanks?  A social media post, a handshake, a smile, a heart felt verbal thank you, so many ways to share.  Military friendships can be heard to maintain. We all PCS, take new jobs, separate, retire, have changes of interest, etc. that make it hard sometimes to maintain friendships. This week we had a great opportunity to attend a change of command that brought many of our friends together to celebrate the success of two great leaders. It was a rare opportunity to see them together and spend a day being part of the military tradition and all of the hoopla! 

Take care of yourselves and enjoy life; it can be a tumult but grab every day that you have and make a difference. 

Col K



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Military-Grade iPad case - Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines

A cracked screen, sand in the casing, or jostled  insides in an iPad can render it useless.  As military members and military families we can be hard on our technology.  (Take a good look at my own case on my phone and you have proof positive.)  Whether using our iPads, tablets or phones on the job or packed in our goods for entertainment they need strong protection from the bumps, tumbles, drops and poundings of life.

Looking for a good recommendation?  You have come to the right place!  I am very impressed with Trident's Military-Grade iPad case.  It is rugged, and it shows our pride in the service.   It meets military standards, is proudly made in the US, and is an officially licensed product of the United States Armed Forces.  (Details, details, found here)



You may even extend the life of your iPad with a case like this.  (What a great investment, because we know this technology is not cheap!)

Continue Reading to Learn about our Giveaway

My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move

So you have orders.  Your military-family is once again PCSing.  The children have been told and there is excitement, worry, dare I even say some anger?  A mixed ball of emotion from your grade-school children.  Emotions they can't quite vocalize.  Feelings that are all jumbled up inside.  Tension that you can see in their eyes, their shoulders, down to their toes.  I know.  I have been that child.

I recently reached out to Lori Woodring, Ph.D., when I read she put together a workbook for children ages five to eleven titled, "My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move".  (Pretty darn perfect title if I do say so myself.)  Wow, there are thousands of military-children experiencing a PCS ("moving" in civilian-speak) every year.  Thousands of children ages 5 to 11 that could benefit from a book like this!

The book starts with a note to the parents from the author, "Moving is among life's biggest stressors."  As military-spouses we know this statement is true, for us and for our children.  Not only the stress of the unknown, but the stress of saying good-bye, the stress of saying hello for the first time and the the stress within the family associated with getting all the pieces of the puzzle put together.
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