My son's second military graduation.

When your child exclaims, “mother, I am enlisting in United States Marine Corps,” your heart drops for a second. And just as fast, a sensation of pride begins to flow through your veins. Three years ago, my oldest son embarked on a journey to earn the title of a United States commissioned officer. In total, he would attend three separate training evolutions: basic recruit Marine Corps training, the Naval Preparatory Academy School, and finally, the Navy Academy in Annapolis, MD. The following is my journey, up to now, as a military mom.

MCRD San Diego, CA

Boot camp was not easy for me. I know I was not the one doing push-ups and being yelled at by drill instructors, but my routine of communication with my firstborn was a challenge. No more quick text to make sure he was safe, and more so, I was unable to pick up the phone and provide motherly advice. His new ‘mother’ was a seasoned drill instructor. Over the next 90 days of training, I communicated mostly through letters (snail mail) with the occasional 90-second phone call from him to ask specific questions. One being, are you coming to graduation, and did you buy your [my] ticket.

Submit your information to a military agent to be kept in the loop on graduation travel. All of your information is confidential and not shared with any outside company. 

The first graduation: MCRD San Diego, CA

My son was considered a west coast recruit and, more humorously, a Hollywood Marine. San Diego, CA, is home to MCRD basic training, and planning our trip to graduation wasn’t easy, especially when you have a limited budget. Most discouraging, I didn’t know when to buy our airline tickets or if we needed to purchase his ticket back home. I worried my son would have additional stress thinking about our travel plans, and if he needed to buy his own ticket [which we found out later was only allowed late in the training cycle].

Family day on Thursday – the first time you see your recruit.

Thankfully, I was able to piece together a travel plan using online trave sites and some guidance from social media friends who had been in my shoes. In the end, his entire family was able to celebrate our brand-new Marine’s graduation!

The Second Graduation: Naval Preparatory Academy School

Two years later, and three months out from his next graduation, I am starting the planning process for traveling to Rhode Island. My son will soon graduate from the Naval Academy Preparatory School and embark on his final stages of becoming an officer. Unlike boot camp graduation, I am more prepared in travel planning after being introduced to https://www.MilitaryGraduations.com

Booking your military and graduation travel.

MilitaryGraduations.com is a veteran-owned travel agency staffed by active-duty spouses and veteran travel agents. With over 20 years of experience, they have been able to provide support for my airline tickets, hotel reservations, and car rental. 

I didn’t realize there was a difference in where I book my travel. I thought all online sites and travel agencies were the same.

  • Military travel agents can change tickets for free if dates are changed.
  • Military fares for the candidate’s return flight home and return to Annapolis.
  • Active duty is eligible for a 100% refund on unused tickets.
  • Hotel rates can be lower for military families and friends.
  • And most important, the agents provide top-notch customer support.
As a mother and active duty spouses I highly recommend letting the military agents at MilitaryGraduations.com support your travel. The service is free and will guarantee the lowest fares and rates. Use the form below to contact them or text/call 202-519-9195. 

Until next time (graduation number three) in Annapolis, may your travels be as stress free and pleasant as mine 😊.

I highly recommend using https://www.MiitaryGraduations.com. The agents understand the needs of moms and dads, spouses, and loved ones, just like you and me.

4 reasons why military should not book on Expedia and other online sites.

Over the past 15 years, I have exclusively provided travel support to the military community. And over these years have saved, on average, $125 per ticket based on military travel benefits not offered by the big online travel sites. This article will explain those benefits and how active-duty, dependents, traveling companions, and family members attending graduation can benefit. Benefits also extend to free installment plans for cruises and vacation packages.

Online travel sites don’t offer military benefits.

Online sites such as Expedia, Priceline, Cheap-O-Air, and others:

  • don’t offer access to military class fares (discounts) 
  • don’t provide military waivers for $250 rebooking or change fee if leave dates are changed.
  • don’t offer refunds for canceled leave orders
  • don’t classify the traveler as a military member or MIL

Before you book check with one of our military travel agents at 202-915-9195 or support@travelagent360.us. Or share your email for more military travel updates.

The fact you are active-duty military qualifies you for travel benefits not offered by the large online travel sites. And why is this? Simple, the military market is tiny compared to the millions of non-military travelers. And for this reason, online travel technology doesn’t take into account the military benefits. But we do. 

090626-N-5328N-273 PENSACOLA, Fla. (June 26, 2009) Center for Information Dominance (CID) Corry Station Sailors man the rails of the second deck at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at Naval Air Station Pensacola during a change of command ceremony. Capt. Gary Edwards relieved Capt. Connie Frizzell as commanding officer of CID Corry Station. (U.S. Navy photo by Gary Nichols/Released)

What is a Military Class Fare or MIL ticket? 

The majority of airlines offer military fares, often saving 15%-75% off of regular adult fares. However, these fares are not made public and go unsold. Military savings vary based on the dates of travel and itinerary. And if there is not a military fare available for a flight, it is still better to book as a military passenger to ensure the other benefits.

Military Passengers don’t pay rebooking or change fees.

One of the best perks of booking as a military passenger through an accredited military agency is avoiding paying a $250 change fee. Change fees, or rebooking fees, are incurred when the traveler needs to change their dates of travel based on their orders. In the case of online sites, they won’t offer to contact the airline to have this fee waived, thus passing the cost on to the military passenger. 

For example, the other day, a military member was literally on there way to the airport and noticed they had booked the wrong return date. They sent me a text [yes, I take text from my clients], and by the time he arrived at the airport, the ticket was changed with no additional fees. 

Free Checked bags and first to board.

Although free checked bags and boarding the plane first is a given with most airlines, I recommend always having your ticket issued as MIL, especially when traveling internationally.

Who is eligible for military fares, and where do you book?

Active-duty, dependents, and traveling companions are all eligible for military fare (class) tickets. But, must be ticketed together on the same record. Secondly, military families attending a military event, such as boot camp graduation, are not eligible for a military fare but do qualify for the waived change fees and refunds. 

Example. Family members traveling to recruit graduation are encouraged to book their airline tickets late in training just in case the recruit is delayed medically. Unfortunately, this can result in higher fares and lack of availability. If booked correctly, however, family members can book early (and save) and modify their tickets later without penalty.

And I can’t end without tooting the horn of my excellent military travel agents. Our company is proud to employ active-duty spouses, veterans, and military family members as travel agents. Why? First, their work ethic and dedication is unmatched. Second, we have over 25 years of military experience, yes the ‘been there, done that,’ philosophy goes a long way when working with the military community. 

I want to commit to earning your business by offering you the best-in-class customer support, lowest available fares, and guarantee to be booked as a military passenger. 

Search fares and book:

Active Duty Airline Tickets: https://www.MilitaryTravelAgent.com
Recruit Graduation Events: https://www.MilitaryGraduations.com

Contact us directly and let us prove our commitment to your travel. 

Software exec & veteran pays for military members to fly home for Christmas.

Ed Roshitsh offered to pay for the flights of five service members so they could be with their families for the holidays. That gesture has now inspired others to step up.

“I’ll personally pay to fly five random service members home,” the post read. That was Saturday around noon. Ed waited and waited. Eighteen hours went by with nothing. Then Sunday, it took off.

Roshitsh explained 60 service members from around the world have applied for help. Perhaps what’s more surprising is people have been stepping up and offering to pay for their flights home. Ed and his team wrote names onto slips of paper and then picked the winners out of a hat. (watch original drawing) When the dust settled a week later, over 65 service members had tickets home for the holiday.

As the agency, MilitaryTravelAgent.com that supported Ed’s effort, my team of active-duty spouses and veterans were able to communicate directly with the majority of the winners and their families. And although a veteran myself, I was blown away from the gratitude offered by those receiving tickets. In many cases, it made the difference in spending Christmas alone or with their families.

When the dust settled Ed and his generous network of donors had funded over 64 tickets.

As a thanks to Ed a KUDOs board was created for the recipients to share their stories. Be prepared, as Ed would say, ‘your allergies to kick in’

To everyone donating to make this possible, thank you for being a huge blessing for us and all the others that you have been able to help! We were wondering how we were going to afford a plane ticket for my husband to come home from Germany for the delivery of our baby girl, but you guys made it possible! This is the best gift we have ever received, we’ll besides our new addition! Thanks to you, Athena will be able to meet her daddy in person! Many blessings to you and your family! Happy Holidays!!

From Jennifer Delaune-Cain
Read more stories. https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/9OlzWzlS

If you are interested in supporting travel for military service members, let us know. Military members and their families travel year-round based on their deployment schedules. Also, there are over 70,000 graduating recruits every hear from basic training, and in many cases, their families can’t afford to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Thanks to Ed. Thanks to Dude Solutions. And all those who gave their time and financial resources to make 65-holiday miracles. It was a true honor to play a part in this unbelievable and unexpected moment of kindness.