New Social Media Platform Helps Military Members With Relocation


Link to DefenseLink.mil Article

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2008 – From a civilian perspective, it may be hard to understand the challenge of constant relocation that comes with military service. Finding new schools, identifying new organizations to join and tracking down a safe neighborhood can be an overwhelming process. As a result, many military families turn to others in the military community for information and resources.

“What one person doesn’t know, someone else usually does,” retired Army Col. Dale Kissinger said. “The problem is finding that person.”

Kissinger is co-founder of MilitaryAvenue.com, a military-oriented Web site that offers moving, travel and lifestyle services and discounts. The site recently launched a new online platform for relocation information exchange.

“MilitaryAvenue Answers” is a community-based question and answer platform that allows the military community to seek information and assistance directly from other military members, the local base community and industry experts.

To access the online forum, visitors can go to www.militaryavenue.com/answers, type in a question and get answers from a variety of sources. The forum is organized so users can either ask general questions such as “What moving company offers a military discount?” or more specific area-based questions such as “What is the best pizza place near Fort Bliss?”

Once a question is asked, it is forwarded to a stable of volunteer experts and posted online so anyone with relevant information can respond.

“The platform allows for multiple responses to help ensure a well-rounded answer for each question,” Dan Kissinger, the company’s chief executive officer, said. “All information will be permanently catalogued and available to assist other military members with similar questions and concerns.”

The new tool empowers members of the military community to help one another by tapping into others’ individual knowledge and experience, he added.

“MilitaryAvenue.com began as a way to disseminate information about local base communities and the military life to its highly mobile members,” the CEO said. “MilitaryAvenue Answers is empowering those members to disseminate their own information.”

Dan Kissinger said he hopes the platform will be a useful resource not only for military members and their families, but also for military “outsiders” interested in better understanding the life and sacrifices made by military families or who may have access to additional information and resources.

The interactive nature of the site is geared to assist younger military families who have grown up with the Internet and rely on community forums like this regularly for information exchange, Dan Kissinger said. “With this flexible and easily updated platform, MilitaryAvenue.com is providing a much-needed resource for younger military members accustomed to seeking information from social media communities,” he explained.

Looking forward, he said he is hopeful that this tool will set a precedent in how military members access and share information with one another.

“The goal is to move the entire site toward an exchange of information, rather than the display of information,” he said. “There needs to be more than a one-way conversation.”

(Jamie Findlater works in the New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.)


 

“MILITARY ALERTS” DISCOUNT PROGRAM RELEASED BY MILITARYAVENUE.COM, DELIVERS MUCH NEEDED ECONOMIC RELIEF TO MILITARY FAMILIES ACROSS US

Grand Rapids, MI – September 1, 2008 – With the cost of everythings from food to fuel rising across the country, most everyone is feeling a pinch and the military community is no exception. One company, MilitaryAvenue.com is doing something about it.

Over the last two and a half years, MilitaryAvenue.com has built a network of over 3500 local military-friendly businesses who offer special rewards and discounts to the military community. In the past, these discounts or Military Rewards have been accessible directly from MilitaryAvenue.com’s website. However, with the unveiling of the new MILITARY ALERTS program this month, military members and their families can now receive the best local discounts and rewards directly in their inboxes every month.  (Continued


 

MilitaryAvenue.com Joins “America Supports You” Program

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Colonel (Ret) Dale Kissinger

616.855.6210

 

Online Resource for Base Communities Brings Local Discounts and Resources to Military Families

 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — MilitaryAvenue.com, providing relocation and lifestyle resources to American military families, announced today that it has joined the America Supports You program, a Department of Defense initiative that highlights and recognizes citizens’ support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
 
Founded and operated by a 30-year military family, the Web site was launched to make the military family experience during periods of relocation and transition less stressful. Military members and their dependents are able to quickly and easily find off-base resources and arrange for critical services before arriving at a new duty station. Through the MilitaryAvenue Partner Program, a free program that makes special offers and discounts available to local and visiting military members and their dependents, MilitaryAvenue.com is able to support the military family with many off-base lifestyle needs, such as finding information about local schools, child care and spouse employment.
 
 “We’re a military family ourselves, so we understand how demanding life can be on a family,” said Dale Kissinger, a retired Air Force colonel, and co-founder of MilitaryAvenue.com. “We launched this company to support military members and their families, so we’re looking forward to pooling those efforts with America Supports You.”
 
MilitaryAvenue.com participated in the America Supports You Thanksgiving text messaging initiative, “Giving Thanks,” which resulted in nearly 130,000 text messages of support to troops overseas.
 
“We’re very happy to have MilitaryAvenue.com as part of the America Supports You program,” said Allison Barber, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and founder of America Supports You. “Their work to educate military members and their families about the resources available to them within their community is invaluable.”
 
MilitaryAvenue.com is a free global and local online guide to goods, services and community information for over 240 military installations in the U.S. and abroad. The website is home to the nation’s largest database of military discounts, a directory of more than 800,000 businesses organized into more than 100 categories, social media tools for military members, and a library of articles and other resources for the military family.
 
Coinciding with today’s news, MilitaryAvenue.com is also announcing a nationwide call for contributors to provide additional community content to its site. Military families are invited to contribute photographs, family stories, base events and other local content to appear on the MilitaryAvenue.com local base community pages. Participants are also encouraged to contribute to the MilitaryAvenue.com applications on MySpace and Facebook.
 
About MilitaryAvenue.com: Based in Grand Rapids, Mich., MilitaryAvenue.com is a free global and local online guide to goods, services and community information for over 240 military installations in the U.S. and abroad through the nation’s largest database of military discounts, the most comprehensive directory of local base community businesses, and an extensive library of articles on and resources for the military family experience.
About America Supports You is an ongoing, nationwide program organized by the Department of Defense to showcase Americans’ support for the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. Since its launch in November of 2004,America Supports You has welcomed more than 370 homefront organizations, in all 50 states, and 40 corporations to the program. Many America Supports You homefront groups demonstrate their support for the troops through letter writing, care packages, helping the wounded when they return home, assisting military families, sending an email and much more—to learn more about how you can support military personnel please visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil.
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Media Contact:
Dan Kissinger
Director of Communications
616-855-4134
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
MILITARY FATHER AND SON TEAM PROVIDE BUSINESSES “SEASON OF GIVING BACK”
TO OUR TROOPS 365 DAYS A YEAR
 

New Website Rewards Businesses with Free Advertising

for Rewarding Those Who Serve

  

Grand Rapids, MI – December 11, 2006 – Dan Kissinger, a military brat and Internet entrepreneur, and his father, Dale Kissinger, a retired Air Force Colonel, created MilitaryAvenue.com and a chance for businesses to not only support our troops this holiday season, but all year long. This on-line service challenges merchants to offer exclusive military discounts in exchange for the ability to create a free virtual ad and printable military discount coupon in any of the site’s 221 military installation directories of service providers and public services, organized into over 100 categories.

MilitaryAvenue.com, supports the relocation, travel and lifestyle needs of the U.S. military community where around one-third of its military members have a permanent change of duty station each year, according to the Department of Defense’s Military Assistance Program website. This large moving force, comprised of nearly 1.4 million active duty personnel, and the millions of reservists, guardsmen, spouses and children, retirees, veterans, DoD civilians, and contractors, also faces deployments, frequent travel, and the dramatic 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) results.

  “We’re asking businesses to remember our service members and their families beyond the holidays, and make it a “season of giving back” to our troops every day,” said Dan Kissinger, who serves as president and CEO of MilitaryAvenue. “We always offer merchants free advertising for rewarding those who serve because the best content our site can provide the American military family is localized information on military-friendly businesses. MilitaryAvenue wants to ease the relocation burden and create the Web’s largest database of local military discounts and offers.”

The idea for MilitaryAvenue, launched in October, was born from the Kissingers’ experiences as a military family.  Finding military-friendly resources became an overwhelming task during Colonel Dale Kissinger’s 30-year career with the Air Force. He experienced 18 moves spanning 14 different states, three different countries and 19 different schools with their family.  

The site allows Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or the Coast Guard service members to select their branch of service, and then locate local listings for both their current and destination installation. In addition to offering relocation services such as truck and trailer rentals, moving companies and housing providers, the site offers extensive travel and lifestyle listings such as hotels, restaurants, local schools, and community calendars. 

 The U.S. military is a highly mobile population that REALTORS® can no longer ignore in their marketing efforts,” said Pat Vredevoogd Combs, President of the National Association of REALTORS®, a worldwide professional organization that provides real estate-related information representing more than one million REALTORS®. “MilitaryAvenue.com offers REALTORS® at the local level an easy and affordable way to connect with service members worldwide.”

 

MilitaryAvenue Founded by Military and Internet Veterans

            Dan Kissinger, the co-founder, president and CEO of MilitaryAvenue, comes from a military family and is also an accomplished Internet entrepreneur. At age 22 in 1998, Dan founded the Internet’s first relocation web site for military personnel.  PRIMEDIA©, Inc., one of the world’s largest media companies, acquired the business in 2001 where Dan continued to work until 2003.

Co-founder Dale Kissinger, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, is Dan’s father and serves as chairman of MilitaryAvenue. During his 30-year career with the Air Force, Dale flew 11 different fixed and rotary wing aircraft and served his country during conflicts in Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Dale most recently served as the Vice Wing Commander at McChord AFB, WA where he proudly led several thousand airmen of the 62nd Airlift Wing.

           

About MilitaryAvenue LLC

 

Founded by a team of military and Internet veterans and based in Grand Rapids, MI, privately held MilitaryAvenue supports the relocation, travel and lifestyle needs of the American military family. The site provides extensive localized directories of service providers organized into over 100 categories, and views of 221 military installations and their surrounding communities backed by military discounts. More information about MilitaryAvenue can be found on the company’s website at http://www.militaryavenue.com.

 

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