What Booting DumBell Fitness from Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Really Says About Military Spouse Employment

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I am lit, enraged, or better yet, outraged at the seeming lack of substance and relevance when it comes to real solutions concerning military spouse employment.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I know there are TONS of programs hailing to have military spouse employment issues licked.

After all there are job boards with hundreds of barista positions available nationwide and companies lining up around the block committed to hiring veter…err…I mean military spouses because, gosh darn it, that’s good PR, uh I mean, military spouses matter too, well, kind of. I hear they like to keep busy…whatever.

And surely there’s tons of money out there for me to continue my edu- oh wait, I don’t qualify? Oh, well, never mind then.

But you know what really got my panties in a twist? This:

Here we have the ultimate problem solver and initiative taker, Christina Bell Landry of DumBell Fitness. Christina is a veteran, military spouse, small business owner, and employs over 20 military spouses.  She identified a need —military spouses need access to on-base fitness programs that include access to childcare—and solved a problem by way of entrepreneurship. After 5 years of operation on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam AFB, DumBell Fitness was mandated to enter the contracting process in order for Landry to continue to offer her classes on base per MWR.

According to Amy Bushatz article, Hickam MWR Gives Spouse Owned Business the Boot on SpouseBuzz,”She was told by base officials that the contract process was being done to make sure everything was legal — not as a way to make MWR money.”

So of course, Landry does what she’s instructed to do to make things “official” only to be unceremoniously kicked off-base by another business who took the winning bid at a higher cost to the consumer but also consequently could offer a higher profit sharing margin than Landry could offer (MWR wanted a minimum of 15%).

See? Money wasn’t the motivator AT ALL. That’s sarcasm, Friends.

The pièce de résistance?

Military spouses lost their jobs.

The new contract doesn’t offer childcare.

Oh, and the new cost to participate is significantly more than DumBell’s programs (that included said childcare).

How’s that for supporting military spouse employment?  Or for supporting military spouses AT ALL?

Where’s the support for all of the military spouse small business owners who, like Christina Bell Landry, opt out of traditional employment to build a business that not only generates income and support for their own military families but for countless other military families by employing military spouses as they grow their businesses?

If we’re going to spend money and time lauding the importance of military spouse employment, perhaps its time that Joining Forces and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership start shining light on military spouses who are hiring military spouses and help us help ourselves.

Help us spread the word about supporting military spouse owned small businesses by tweeting this:

Want to support military spouse employment? Get behind #milspouse owned #smallbiz! @JoiningForces @MSEP http://ctt.ec/b2dYM+

Tweet: Want to support military spouse employment? Get behind #milspouse owned #smallbiz! @JoiningForces @MSEP http://ctt.ec/b2dYM+

Wish you had access to DumBell Fitness on your installation? You can join DBF’s online movement, DB4Life to get workouts in your inbox for $19.99/month!


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