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Staying Motivated as a Student Through the Holidays

National Military Family Association Military Spouse Scholarships


“The only thing tougher than a Marine is a Marine’s wife.”

I attribute this to GySgt. Franklin J. Davidson (United States Marine Corps, Retired), but I know it’s not originally his (disclaimer: Hi, Pops!). It doesn’t matter which branch of the service your other half belongs to, being married to the military (and yes, that’s what it feels like) is tough. The National Military Family Association (NMFA) knows that, and through their scholarship program assists spouses in reaching their educational goals, granting up to $1000 to be used in U.S. schools.. They renamed their scholarship the Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship in 2005.

Joanne Holbrook Patton is often overshadowed by her well-known husband, General George S. Patton (1923-2004), and his even better known father, General George S. Patton, Jr. (1885-1945) of World War II fame. Not to mention her own family, five generations of military leaders (one of whom was a commander of her then young father-in-law!). She participated in so many volunteer organizations the list would overpower this article. She raised five children, one of whom has special needs, many times on her own while her husband served in Korea and Vietnam. She stood by her family, her husband, his units, and our country. Her contributions epitomize the sacrifice and suffering as well as the joy and pride in being military spouse.

Unlike other scholarships, this scholarship offers quite a wide latitude. The NMFA understands that military spouses come from all walks of life, all socio-economic and educational levels and acknowledges this by allowing multiple educational options for funding. It can be applied to a GED; English-as-a-Second Language classes; professional certifications and licenses; undergraduate or graduate school; and other postsecondary education. The goal of the NMSA is to help military spouses help their families’ financial stability by improving their educational, thus improving their ability to find employment.

The basic requirement of this scholarship is reflected in its name; first and foremost, you must be a military spouse with a valid Military ID. The online application consists of three parts:

  • survey questions, to help guide the NMFA in their mission
  • short-answer questions; and
  • an essay

This is predominantly a needs-based scholarship. Should an applicant receive more financial assistance (grants, other scholarships) than tuition, fees, room and board cost, the scholarship must be returned to the NMFA so they may assist another military spouse. (This is typical with many military-related scholarships.)

If you wish to help the National Military Family Association in any of its endeavors, you can make a financial donation or help spread the word and “like” them on Facebook.


Contributed by S.E. Davidson Parker

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