Our thoughts and prayers are with all who’ve been affected by the tornado in Oklahoma.
The Marshall Plan team
Our thoughts and prayers are with all who’ve been affected by the tornado in Oklahoma.
The Marshall Plan team
I think it’s nice to see companies doing something to support our troops!
Macy’s is teaming up with Got Your Six. “Got your 6″ is military speak for “I got your back.” Got Your Six is a campaign that helps bridge the military-civilian divide. Here’s Macy’s commercial about how they’re teaming up with Got Your Six.
Brawny Towels has teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project again! Awesome! Brawny already donated $258,307 to the Wounded Warrior Project already this year!
Here’s some info about what Brawny is doing:
I love hearing about things like this. If you see a company supporting our troops share it! Spread the word!
Military Appreciation Month isn’t just Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Memorial Day. It includes Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day!
Today, May 18, 2013 is Armed Forces Day. And this year Armed Forces Week is Saturday, May 11 to Sunday, May 19. Armed Forces Week starts on the 2nd Saturday on May and ends on the 3rd Sunday.
Armed Forces Day was formed to celebrate all 5 branches of our military in one day instead of having 5 separate days. It has been observed for over 60 years!
Today is a day to honor everyone serving in the 5 branches of the US military. Let the military hero in your life know you appreciate them today and everyday!
Happy Armed Forces Day! Thank you to all who serve!
For more info on Armed Forces Day and Armed Forces Week check out some info on Wikipedia and the History of Armed Forces Day on the Department of Defense’s website.
Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day!
I’ve been thinking about what to write for today’s blog for about a week now. Military spouse appreciation is a very personal topic for me, because I am one.
Being a military spouse is something I don’t think many people understand, unless they experience it first hand. At least that’s how it worked for me. I honestly, had no idea what life as a military spouse would be like for me until I started living it. But, of course, everyone is different.
Military spouses face many hardships. Enduring long deployments that sometimes lead to weeks without phone calls or Skype, not telling your spouse what’s really going on for fear that you may distract them from their job by worrying about problems at home, days of worrying, sleepless nights, fear of someone knocking on your door, taking care of the house, finances, and family alone, just to name a few. This doesn’t even express how hard it is to be away from your spouse for 6 months to a year; from having your spouse with you nearly every day to only being able to talk to him by phone or Skype whenever he gets a chance. You can’t call him when you want to talk, you have to wait until he can call you. And it’s an adjustment when they come home… for both of you. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting back into a routine, other times it’s like getting to know each other all over again. Even when our spouses are not deployed, we often have to deal with the military coming first and us coming second. We endure the long hours our spouses are away even when they are at home – the really early mornings, the really late nights, the 24 hours of duty, or several days in the field. We pick up and move to wherever we are told even if we don’t want to go there. That often means being hours and hours, and miles and miles away from our family and friends. Sometimes you feel like you barely had time to settle between the unpacking and packing again. We often put off our own goals and sacrifice our careers to make things work. Even when we might have an opportunity, like knowing we will be in one location for a while and finding job openings in our field, we could easily be turned down for that position just because we are military spouses and we might have to move again. Military spouses face an unemployment rate that is triple the national rate and we are not protected under any federal hiring discrimination laws. This can make getting a job or having a career much more complicated than for the average person. Military spouses often put off education too. With how often many military members are moved, there isn’t always enough time to complete a degree. Not all educational programs are offered everywhere either. This can definitely limit our options. Sometimes military spouses feel as if they are just an appendage of their husband, and often times we aren’t fond of being called a “dependent.” These are just some of the many hardships and sacrifices that military spouses often face.
I know, that probably sounds like a handful of complaints, but it’s a reality. It is by no means easy, however, with all the difficulties that military life presents, it is also full of blessings.
You have the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who are in the same situation. They understand exactly what you are going through, can be a great support system and can be lifelong friends. There are many programs for spouses to get involved in, whether it’s a spouses club or the Family Readiness Office (or Family Readiness Group). We can attend spouse events. There’s support such as funding and scholarships for spouse who would like to get a higher education degree. We have the opportunity to see different parts of the country, let alone different parts of the world; to see how others live and experience different cultures. There is spousal preference for jobs on base or post. We have access to the commissary and PX and other facilities on base, like gyms, pools, and childcare. There are some amazing programs that are fighting for military members, their spouses, their families, and veterans, like the First Lady and Second Lady’s Joining Forces. We are very independent. We are flexible. We are adaptable. We are creative, and if we aren’t we learn to be. We get to see our spouses in their uniforms! We have the opportunity to dress up and attend balls. We have our own day of appreciation . We get a military discount. We have health care benefits. The reunions after a long deployment are so, so sweet; it can be like the honeymoon stage all over again. We have an immense amount of pride in our spouses and our country.
Some days we absolutely love this lifestyle, and other days we cannot stand it, but that’s normal, and it’s okay. Just like every lifestyle, it has pros and cons, but we make the best of it.
This is just my experience of what it’s like to be a military spouse. Everyone’s is different. I am very grateful for the many things this life has presented me. I love my husband. I love our country. I hope this sheds a little light on what our lifestyle can be like.
Any other military spouses out there, feel free to share your experiences in the comments!
Make sure to tell the military spouses in your life that you appreciate them.
To all the military spouses out there: Thank you for all you do!
I can’t believe it’s May already. Where has the time gone?
May is Military Appreciation Month!
On Friday I attended a Salute to the Troops dinner put on by a local military affairs council. It was a nice dinner and a nice tribute to our troops. It was nice to see past, present and future servicemen at the dinner. There was a nice turn out, the food was good, and the speakers were gave good talks. It was a good evening.
I just learned today that there is a website dedicated to National Military Appreciation Month. Pretty cool! It’s full of military appreciation events across the nation, ideas on how to help and support troops and veterans and supporters. Check it out:
There are so many different ways you can show support for our troops. There are countless organizations that support servicemen and women, veterans, and their families, such as Operation Gratitude, the USO, Homes for Our Troops, Wounded Warrior Project, the Military Warrior Support Foundation, and the Boot Campaign to name a few.
Let our troops know how much you appreciate them, not just this month, but every month!
So, I’m bumming around tonight, just chilling after a day of running errands. I turned on the MTV movie awards just in time to see Best Male Performance. Bradley Cooper won for his role in The Silver Lining’s Playbook. I hear it’s a great movie. I haven’t seen it yet. I haven’t read the book either, but it’s next in line for me to read on my eReader. Anyway, even though I haven’t seen it, nor have I read it, I’ve heard what it’s about and I understand quite a bit of the story line has to do with mental health. In Bradley Cooper’s acceptance speech, he mentioned mental health and more specifically, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). One thing that caught my attention (and this wasn’t the first time I heard it) was that more service members have died because of suicide than in combat this past year. To me, that’s absolutely insane and unfathomable. But, according to many articles such as this conversation from PBS “More U.S. Troops Died by Suicide Than in Afghanistan Combat in 2012” and NBC News’ “The enemy within: Soldier suicides outpaced combat deaths in 2012,” it’s true. I think mental health is an issue that needs to be on the discussion table.
This has been something I’ve been thinking about for several months. From my own experiences and conversations with friends and family, I feel that mental health issues have a stigma. I feel that it’s often times frowned. I think people also feel that they will be judged or seen as weak if they admit to having a mental health problem.
We need to put mental health on the table. It needs to be discussed openly and without judgement. We need to be accepting and help others. We need to be aware. We need to bring the suicide rate down. Our troops deserve our support whether they are currently serving or retired. We need to develop programs, make sure there is funding for current programs, lend a helping hand. We cannot allow the number of troop suicides to continue to rise. We cannot allow the number of suicides in general to rise.
It’s time to speak up. It’s time to reach out. It’s time to listen. It’s time to love.
Educate yourself. Learn the signs. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.
If you are in need of help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Don’t wait.
Here’s a great local story about a wounded warrior who just received a key to a new home. Very cool. You should definitely check it out.
The story also features 2 military supporting charities (along with Fairway Independent Mortgage) who helped in providing this wounded warrior, Army Specialist Tyler Scheill, with his new home.
Military Warriors Support Foundation has multiple programs that help our countries heroes, like housing, jobs, and education.
The Boot Campaign provides easy ways for Americans to get involved, show appreciation for our troops, bring about awareness and raise funds for military programs.
Pretty cool if you ask me! They are great organizations. Check them out and maybe one of them will interest you enough to get involved!
I’ve been super busy lately… in the process of moving and getting back to work and attempting to find ways to go back to school. I haven’t forgotten about the Marshall Plan! It’s just that sometimes the rest of my life gets in the way and keeps me from posting.
I’ve been following the news and busy supporting my SO with many care packages while he is deployed.
This past week was a sad week for the Marine Corps. Hopefully, there will be more positive news!
Here’s a link to a website for a documentary called “The Hornet’s Nest.” It’s a true story about some of our military in Afghanistan surviving against the constant threat about the Taliban. Check out the trailer.