Scholarship essay answers

Last month, I posted about NMFA's Joanne Holbrook Patton Memorial scholarships and posted the questions that were contained in the application. I managed to get mine in (barely) and will wait to hear if I'm selected. I'm not holding my breath. But I did say that I would post my answers once I submitted so here they are.

The first answer was pretty easy. The question was How will the education this money provides change your life? Basically I said that, given the uncertainty with regard to my husband's career, I am finding it necessary to go back to school in case I need to be the one to financially support my family. Being granted this scholarship would help defray the cost of doing so and alleviate additional burden.

The second question was more in depth: Essay (300-500 words): When you became a military spouse you were immediately eligible for health care through the military. What do you like the most about the health care you are receiving as a military family member? What do you like least? What would you recommend to change it?

Tricare has been a blessing in our lives and I see it as an enormous benefit to military life, especially in these trying times. My civilian friends are either paying exorbitant amounts of money for their health insurance or they have none.

Tricare has many aspects to it that I like. I enjoy the fact that I have access to some of the best health care in the world with just a phone call. I like the fact that I can usually be seen in 24 hours or less and that making an appointment is quite simple. Additionally, if I cannot be seen or if I simply have a question, I like that I can call the triage nurse/advice line and speak with a nurse practitioner over the phone. More often than not, this is all that is needed to address my family's health care concerns. Should more in-depth care be necessary, I've rarely had trouble accessing it. Should that care be necessary after normal working hours, we have access to urgent care or the Emergency Room, all of which is usually covered by Tricare.

However, like any other bureaucracy, Tricare has its limitations. Access to care can be limited and appointment slots can be difficult to come by. For us, it is rare that we are able to see our Primary Care Manager without a lengthy wait. Routine appointments must often be scheduled months in advance due to limited appointment availability.

The same goes for specialty care. For example, my husband injured his rotator cuff and it was almost two months before he could get in to have an MRI done on his shoulder. Part of this was due to the fact that access to the MRI is limited and part of this was due to the fact that the doctor overseeing his care was either unable or unwilling to schedule the MRI until the x-rays had been analyzed and a follow-up appointment had been completed. Common sense would have dictated that the MRI could have been scheduled prior to the follow up, in the interest of saving time and preventing further discomfort.

In order to rectify this problem, I would suggest that Tricare hire more medical personnel (and possibly offset this additional cost by implementing a small co-pay for routine and non-urgent care visits) and relax their off-post referral guidelines. Implementing a small co-pay for routine and non-urgent care visits would also help cut down on the number of "no-shows" and help eliminate waste due to missed appointments.

All in all, Tricare is a wonderful benefit to military life and my family is thankful we are covered by it.

So we'll see if I'm selected. I'm not holding my breath but it would be a welcome surprise.

School is going well for the most part. I'm slammed at the moment thanks to my Anatomy professor dropping a group project in our laps with a whopping 2 weeks until the due date. Gee, thanks. It's an online lecture course so it's not like we can meet one day over lunch and pound this out. Grr. I'm not a fan of group projects in the first place. I tend to fall in the "if you want it done right, do it yourself" category. But it is what it is. This week holds two big tests plus two quizzes, a pretty in-depth lab, and two other group projects so I'm slammed. What IS it with professors and group projects? Last I checked *I* am the one paying for my schooling and doing my own studying. Let me do my own work please.

Can you tell I was raised an only child?

On that note, I'm off to study the ins and outs of ossification (bone formation). As interesting at Nursing may be, I wonder if I'd be better off just going after my EMT certification instead. But I'm taking my friend RSM's advice and going with nursing. For now. I'm hoping it's just the impatience talking and nothing more. But I'm being pulled in so many directions these days that I worry that I'm literally not up to it.

ugh. Self-doubt. Not something I usually indulge in. Forgive me.


- hfs


Crista said...

I think of you every day...your education and the uncertainty of everything else around it.

As for school..."just keep swimming!"

Homefront Six said...

Crista ~ thanks! How goes your schooling? My A&P class is kicking my butt simply because the teacher isn't well-organized. Gah.

Crista said...

exploring different options/pathways to get to my end goal but very mindful of Mac leaving for 18 months very soon. Accelerated BSN ain't happening. But I'm finding other ways and it will be okay. Heaven knows I don't take the "normal" path to anything. lol

A&P1 is what you're taking, I presume?? That one was tough in the beginning for me. A&P2 this semester and I'm just comfortably floating along. I enjoy it very much.

Jen said...

I don't have any answers for you, but just wanted to say that I very much understand. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Based on personal experience (my mother's health - RIP, mom - and my sister's recent health issues - she's improving virtually daily; ask your mother) it's a day at a time. I haven't looked back nor am I looking forward; not sure if that's the best approach.

That said, during the health issues, I have been active in researching issues, pushing medical staff (mom's case), etc. but realized what was going to happen would happen; all I could do was assist.

Apologies if that is convoluted.

As to the Gravity question - at some point, wouldn't each of those "fall"?

Crista said...

btw, your NMFA answers are way better than mine. Think I did a half-a$$ job. lol

Curtis said...

It sounds like you've already adopted the best approach to dealing with uncertainty. Plan for contingencies and then have a back up plan for the first back up plan. It sounds like you're well underway on dealing what may come.
Torn Rotator Cuff - Line of Duty? Have you all discussed options with a real VA Counselor? I have a contact in San Diego that I send each of my folks to who get back injured and he gives the real deal on maxing out VA disability and let's them know little things like if they have children and are Californians that the state offers free tuition if the member has more than 10 disability. There are some issues/requirements associated with this that I don't have all the facts and can't tell if it's a real option/contingency plan.
Hang in there!

Homefront Six said...

Curtis ~

Yes - line of duty. Repetitive use injury (hoisting heavy flight bags and body armor every night) in Iraq. I would love to get in contact with a real VA Counselor. No one here seems to have a clue as to how to properly document this for future care with the VA - all I get are blank stares. And, depending on what kind of discharge (if any) he's given, that documentation might make a world of difference.

So yes, I would truly appreciate information if you have it. Thanks so much!

The Six said...

Just got here from the Castle. Hi. I'm a dad of an AF wife and since I was Army myself (oh so many years ago) am married to another.
I'm also a retired police officer and if a noob here may offer some advice...You've done what you can to plan and prepare. Write out your preparations, look them over and then put them away. You can take them out and look at them again from time to time but put it away as best you can. I've always found that this works well for me when the future is uncertain. It helps me that I know the plan exists and that I can review it without thinking about it all the time. FWIW.
My father-in-law is active in the Utah chapter of Vietnam Vets of America (VVA). He's had a LOT of dealings with the VA. If you find that you still need some VA advice about your husbands injury please let me know. The VVA is actively involved with all vet issues and I know he'd be glad to help.
Glad I'm here and I look forward to reading more. I've also added you to my Warrior Blog Roll.
Take care.

Curtis said...


Here below is his email address. He doesn't know you from Adam. I asked if he would extend the usual courtesies and he, of course, said sure!

His name is Ed, and he's married to a very nice lady and they have 2 kids in college.

Please shoot him an email and maybe get his phone number and give him a call. He doesn't follow any blogs that I know of but, as I wrote, nobody knows VA better than him.



Homefront Six said...

Curtis ~ got it (as well as your email to follow up). Thank you SO much. I will get with Ed in a day or two and we'll go from there.

The Six ~ welcome! And thank you for your perspective. It really helps. I'm usually good with perspective but being in the middle of this mess makes it hard to get a decent perspective. A lot of time I feel like a rat in a maze. I'll definitely let you know if I need more help with regard to MacGyver's shoulder. Hopefully (God willing) we won't need the VA just yet. Hopefully not for another 8 years or so. Glad you stopped by!


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