National Wreath’s Across America Day

Saturday, Dec. 15 was National Wreath’s Across America Day. Here is a touching video of the event at Arlington National Cemetery.

What began in 1992 with a trailer load of wreaths, decorated by volunteers and laid at the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery has now become a national organization with over 700 participating locations – all focused on the mission to Remember – Honor – and Teach.

With similar ceremonies taking place across the nation, the organization now has donated, over the past 21 years, more than a million wreaths to honor America’s war dead.

Talk, Listen, Connect with your Military Kids

As many as 700,000 children under the age of five have a parent in the military. Recognizing the need for first-rate media-based resources to support military families, in 2006, Sesame Workshop launched the bilingual (English/Spanish), multimedia outreach initiative Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families During Military Deployment (TLC). This critical outreach tool helped military families and their young children cope with the challenges of deployment and build resilience in times of separation and change. The overwhelming response to this program revealed a need for additional resources and in 2008 and 2010, respectively, Sesame Workshop followed up with Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes (TLC 2) and Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families Grieve (TLC 3).

Since its initial launch, Talk, Listen, Connect has expanded to include a free Sesame Street/USO family tour; two PBS primetime specials; and Sesame Rooms, bringing toys and furniture to military spaces.

With the launch of the Sesame Street Family Connections (SSFC) website in 2009, Sesame Workshop extended Talk, Listen, Connect into a robust online experience, with the goal of facilitating interaction between deployed or injured soldiers and their loved ones when distance or disability made everyday communication difficult.

The following year, with support from the Defense Centers of Excellence, Sesame Workshop began a major expansion of the Sesame Street Family Connections site that included not only technological updates, but also the enhancement of existing features, and the creation of new tools and resources aimed at school-age children. The result of these efforts is Military Families Near and Far, an online space that provides new ways for preschool and school-aged children to express themselves, communicate within their own family networks, and stay connected with loved ones.

Watch Talk, Listen, Connect online for free!

Order your free copy of Talk, Listen, Connect from MilitaryOneSource!

Finding My Niche

According to MilSpouse Bloggers: “You can’t be everything to everyone – and that’s ok!” – I’ve been guilty of this. I have this weird ‘hero’ complex (much like my husband) and I just really enjoy helping people. But sometimes I lose track and go wayyyyyyyy off tangent and end up not providing any helpful information at all!

When I began this blog a few years ago it didn’t have a ‘target’ … It was just a typical “Mommy Blog” and I knew it needed to be more. Sure, I’ve shared tips, information and thoughts but so do SO many other blogs.

As a military wife I can tell you that military wives fall into a category all their own. We’re certainly not better than other women – but we certainly lead different lives than your ‘average’ one! Military life has it’s own ups and downs – and as this blog aged and changed it turned into more of a “Military Mommy Blog.”

I’m still trying to find my niche though. So, I’m going to be looking for topics to blog about. I want to be able to share my experiences as a military wife and also share my children’s experiences (well, the seven year old – the two year old doesn’t say much about it all yet, lol.)

So, if there is something you want to ask – something you are DYING to know about military life – or even something about a specific duty station; go ahead and ASK! There is a network of military wives – so if I don’t *personally* have an answer for you – someone does!

 

Show Your #TroopThanks with Bank of America

At Bank of America, supporting the military has been a focus for more than 90 years. Their contributions include funding for charitable organizations that help military personnel; offering specialized banking services to more than two million households; increased recruiting, hiring and support of employee service members and veterans; and donating properties to injured veterans. And now, as a part of their effort to support our troops you are invited to express your thanks by sharing a photo or message with those who serve our country!

Share your photo or message of thanks and Bank of America will donate $1 to Wounded Warrior Project!

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

Through its 18 programs delivered nationwide, WWP takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP hopes to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. Bank of America is proud to support WWP’s efforts to catalyze change for the over 22,000 warriors and their families served to date.

WWP provides unique economic empowerment programs and services to meet the needs of these warriors, their caregivers and families because of the challenges they face on their road to recovery. Knowledge of personal finance basics is a critical component for successfully preparing Wounded Warriors to manage their financial lives going forward — whether they are facing a long road to recovery from an injury or are preparing to re-enter the civilian workforce. Since 2011, WWP and Bank of America have worked together to support warriors and their caregivers at critical moments of transition with a combination of timely and relevant financial education and coaching tied to all of the economic empowerment programs but particularly with the Warriors to Work™ program and is offered at no cost to warriors transitioning back into the civilian workforce:

  • The program offers a complete package of employment assistance services, including resume assistance, interviewing skills, job training, networking and job placement assistance.
  • Through individual counseling, warriors’ skills and experience are matched to employers’ needs; they gain critical career advancement skills, such as networking and salary negotiation, to ensure they are prepared to embark on a civilian employment opportunity.
  • Warriors to Work educates employers on the benefits of hiring warriors and dispels common misconceptions, creating a better environment in the workplace for the warrior and the company.

To get involved and learn more about all of the programs and services offered, visit WoundedWarriorProject.org.

Operation We Are Here – Resources for the Military Community and Supporters

I love to share with my readers awesome websites that are geared towards helping military families! Operation We Are Here is one of the newer websites I’ve come across (they followed me on Twitter!)

Every family’s situation is unique, and there is no common scenario of a deployment. Some families are on or near a military installation that provides a Family Readiness Group (FRG) or other resources. There are many, however, that are removed from such resources. The Service Member may leave behind a girlfriend, a fiance, a spouse, younger children, older children, grandchildren, parents. Sometimes the spouse left behind is the husband, and sometimes both spouses are deployed. The family may have health issues to deal with in addition to coping with the deployment. That’s why Operation We are Here tries to include a variety of stories.

The mission of Operation We Are Here is to create an awareness of the challenges of families/loved ones of deployed military personnel, to offer practical suggestions to churches, communities and individuals on how to support and encourage the military home front and to provide a comprehensive list of resources for families/loved ones of deployed military personnel.

You can learn more about Operation We Are Here via their website or Facebook!

Don’t forget to also follow them on Twitter!

On Fighting the Bad Guys

I’m not going to say this over my at my friends’ Facebook page – I know she respects me, my life and my opinions – but her friends have their own (which is fine). But – I’m gonna say it here – on my OWN blog. Because I can. I feel as though I have to – somehow – put my thoughts “out there” and hope someone hears them.

It pisses me the HELL OFF when people think our military is fighting for nothing. It pisses me the HELL OFF when someone says that “fighting the bad guys” is “childish thinking” and that “The term “bad guys” is suitable for 5-year-olds, not thinking adults.

I am a THINKING ADULT who has been married to a US Navy Sailor for 10 years! I respect him, his job, the MISSION and our President. I respect all those we’ve lost over the years – especially people I’ve met in person and even considered FRIENDS. It makes me SO MAD and UPSET that there are people that don’t respect these HEROES. Not just on 9-11 but EVERY DAMN DAY.

Don’t EVER fucking tell me my husband and all the other military personnel are fighting for NOTHING! They are NOT just in Afghanistan. They are in all places where there is terrorism! Open your fucking eyes!

I AM A PROUD MILITARY WIFE!

Be thankful there are people fighting “for nothing” – because otherwise people like (proverbial) YOU wouldn’t have the freedom to run your mouth like a jackass!