Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day
First of all, I couldn't even imagine having to go through what so many brave men and women endure willingly for the sake of our freedom. I get fidgety and stabbity when Hubby has to be away from me for more than three days so I could not imagine months and I won't pretend that I could because I couldn't. My heart goes out to all those brave men and women who wake up, put a smile on their faces for their kid's sake, take care of business every day, and momentarily fill the role of two parents while their spouse is away serving our country. You are brave, you are strong, you are amazing and you deserve more than just one day appreciating you.
It got me thinking, how can I help? I didn't want to be like....ok...thanks guys and go on about my day. It just didn't feel right so I came up with a quick list on ways that we all can help out and truly show our appreciation.
1. Mother's Day is coming up, and if you know a mom whose Husband is away stop and pick her up some flowers. If her kids are at an age where she is comfortable with you watching them offer to take them to the park while she relaxes for a while. When you're out pick up a Mother's Day card then let her kids write in it for her. You can give up one day for all the many days she sacrifices for your family's freedom. If she has no plans go out to dinner together someplace kid friendly or bribe your Hubby to watch all the kids while ya'll go get dinner somewhere really nice, dress to the nines and have a glass of wine together, dessert is a must.
2. Check out this PDF from Blue Star Families, Operation Appreciation. This is an awesome program that gives you great tips on getting the whole family involved in sending an appreciation card to all of our military families out there and when you send the card to them they sort it and ship it out. This is a really great program and they help you with everything, including tips on how to get the letter started if you're drawing up a blank, just remember even a simple Thank You can make a difference.
3. Volunteer. There are so many opportunities to help military spouses from pitching in for a girl scout fundraiser or helping fix up a home for a person whose spouse is serving. Check out your local message boards, newspapers, and also visit Serv.gov which links you to LOTS of other local opportunities to volunteer your time at.
4. Visit Operation Homefront. This is an awesome website that lists specific needs from military families. This site allows you to donate money for a certain need ( everything from helping a mom with a power bill to helping a vet with the funds to build a wheelchair ramp), ways to volunteer, and ways for you to give other than cash. This really is a great site and any way you can help shows your support.
5. Sometimes you can't be the one they talk to because you just can't relate and that's ok. There are lots of websites out there for military families to discuss topics, find out information, and get together in only a way that others who are in their situation can do. Show them Military OneSource which is a great site that has LOTS of articles, information on new military programs, and counseling options available, also NAMMAS.org which is the "Support bra for military moms and spouses", just to name a few.
6. Remember that at the end of the day sometimes these brave men and women just need someone to talk to so give her your number and be willing to listen anytime, day or night. They carry the world on their shoulders, offer to take some of that burden off for a little while.
In conclusion, to every military spouse out there I say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over and if you have any other ideas PLEASE feel free to post them here, show us how to help.