America Supports You: Web Site Seeks to Make Military Moves Easier
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2006 From experience comes expertise, and Dan Kissinger and his father, Dale, have plenty of both when it comes to military moves.
Dale Kissinger, a retired Air Force colonel, and his family made 18 moves that included 14 states and three countries. All of that moving added up to 19 different schools for Dan. Those experiences prompted him to launch MilitaryAvenue.com, a free Web site, yesterday.
The site is designed to help make moving easier for members of the military community.
“With all the different moves that I came across, and saw all the stress and frustration of my parents, it was apparent that a Web site like this could really become useful,” Dan said. “Our goal is … to combine inside-the-gate information with outside-the-gate information and put it on this one Web site so military families and military members can find it.”
The site, with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich., allows servicemembers to select their service and locate local business listings for their current and future installations, Dan said. Those businesses include anything from restaurants and entertainment to everyday necessities such as pharmacies.
This was always a challenge for the Kissingers, Dale said. He and his family used to make a move and set out with one person driving and the other acting as navigator just to learn the area, he said.
“We had to find the vet, we had to find out about the schools, we had to find dry cleaning, all those kinds of things that military families need that you’re not able to find because you’ve never been in that area before,” Dale said.
The Web site has information on 218 military installations in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. The Kissingers see that expanding to include U.S. overseas bases as the site develops.
Additionally, MilitaryAvenue.com is offering businesses surrounding a U.S. base free advertising for offering military personnel and their families a discount.
“We want to have the largest database of military discounts so that military people know,” Dale said. “In turn, when (a business) joins the MilitaryAvenue partner program, we’re going to send them a sticker similar to (a credit card sticker) to put in their window to show that they give a military discount.”
The Kissingers said they are hoping to provide employment for some military spouses, with jobs that are portable from installation to installation. As the site develops, Dan explained, representatives will be needed at each base to ensure that the information posted about each installation is current. These representatives will also visit area businesses to sell upgraded, paid advertising.
“The spouses that we hire to help with the breadth of what each base lists are going to be critical to make sure the content about the base is as accurate as possible,” Dan said. “The beauty of this is … as they move to the next base, they can keep the same job and they can do the same (work) at the next base.”