Maybe I’m wrong…

Encourage Someone Today

but I believe people are more good than bad; more generous than selfish; more giving than taking. I have a Board member who argues that point with me sometimes. But in the end, he (sometimes) says that I’ve restored his faith in humanity. If you’ve ever watched the 7th Sign (not one of the best movies in cinematic history, but lots of lessons in the viewing of that movie), at the end the Hall of Souls is refilled. Because of one unselfish act, the future of humanity is reset. Yes, it’s fiction. But within that story, I believe there is truth. WE fill the Hall of Souls, Or refill someone else’s heart. Give them a boost of self confidence. A smile. A moment of appreciation.

There are so many ways you can encourage someone

Virtually encourage anotherI, admittedly, am a Facebook gal. I’m trying to be a twitter/LinkedIn kind of person, because I know we don’t all move in the same lanes. I started a movement, and I’d like you to join me. Find someone in your business dealings to encourage…you may start a movement of your own.  Find people in your life who you want to encourage.  Face to face is best; but if distance is an issue like it is for many of us, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  Use LinkedIn messaging to encourage a business associate.

How does this apply to being a MilitaryMama?

Be EncouragingWhat does this have to do with being a military mama?  Everything.  We encouraged our kids as they were growing up, encouraged them through training, encouraged them as they landed in YET another new place.  Some of us encouraged our daughters to take up “boy” roles and some of us had our sons join cheerleading or purchase a pink camera.  We knew then, and we know now, that it is IMPERATIVE to be our own people.  Carve our own path.  Not alone, but with our distinct identity, not based on gender but based on dreams and gifts and talents.

We encourage mamas that they, too, will survive training.  That their lives are bigger than the good-byes.  We encourage them to join a team, get fit, be accountable, or get healthier financially.

Who are you encouraging today?  Choose one person a day and tell them you see them.  Tell them WHAT you see about them and how you want to encourage them.  If you know someone who needs encouragement, currently serving or a veteran, we would be honored to send them a card! Click on our card link and complete the form.  We will do the rest!  Or maybe you know a military mama who needs a tribe who gets her and will encourage her.  Have her join our Facebook group and let’s see what we can do!

Local color has new meaning 

By Adam Strunk, Newton Now

Kris Thomas methodically tapes piece after piece of red white and blue construction paper on the glass window of Cato Fashion, where she’s an assistant manager.

She has 2,100 strips to hang by July 4. She’s quickly running out of space at the location, 401 Windward Drive, and will have to start hanging them at the store next door soon.

She has them arranged in an alternating pattern. She’s made an american flag out of the papers that hang above the door.

From the street, Thomas’ labor looks like someone went overboard on store decorations for Independence Day.
But when people walk closer, they can see the work represents a mosaic of American service. Printed on each piece of paper is the name of a veteran, either living or deceased.
“My son is in the military,” Thomas said. “So this is near and dear to my heart.”
While some people might hang a flag or light a few fireworks to celebrate July 4, Thomas said she wanted to do something more by honoring those who served.

She’s been asking on social media for names of veterans, and she’s been getting responses locally and from all over the country.

She handwrites them in a notebook, each with a name, branch and if they’re living or have passed away.

“I have people who have sent names from as far as Florida,” Thomas said, adding she had no idea what started as a very small display would grow into her current massive undertaking.

The project started out a few days before Memorial Day at the store. She said they had just gotten in some patriotic T-shirts. The store’s manager suggested they put some info on the window about the shirts.

Thomas said she’d like to put the names of some veterans up on the window next to the writing.

She put out a call online for some help.

“We had 350 names in four days,” she said.

Seeing the idea had struck a chord, beginning in June, she began asking in local social media groups if people had more veterans they wished to honor. And in little over a month, her count of names had grown to 2,100. She’ll be taking names until July 4.
She said the display has been a hit with customers.

“They love it,” she said. “A lot of them have enjoyed it—especially the American flag above the door.”
Thomas has had a little help with the work. Her sons, including the one in the U.S. Army Reserves, have come by to help with the project.

Thomas expects her son to ship out in the coming months.

Thomas said she hopes her entire project reminds people to think of those who served and are serving on this holiday.
“We want people to realize the military is the reason we are free,” she said. “I’m standing here in sandals and not having my face covered because our men and women fought.”

Kate’s Story: When Daddy is Deployed

My Family

Hello! My name is Kate. Let me introduce you to our family! My husband, Greg, has been in the Army as an active duty soldier for about 4 1/2 years. We have five “military brats”, Gregory 10, Connor 6, Nathan 4, and twins Michele and Owen 19 months. My husband is currently 5 months into a year short tour to South Korea. This tour is our family’s second experience with daddy being away. The first time was to Afghanistan almost 4 years ago. My husband was home from basic for three months before he left for the sandbox. When he deployed, it gave me a first hand knowledge of just how hard it can be for me and for my children.

Three Years Later…

Here we are three years later, 5 months into a short tour and even though we have our hard days we are doing it together and getting through day by day. I try so hard to help my kids through the nights of missing daddy and provide the best care I can keeping us all super busy to pass the time. However it never prepared me for what my 6 year old said to me last Monday. It was a crazy busy Monday. I came home from picking up the kids from school, started helping with homework. We had cold cereal for dinner that night because I was just to exhausted and stressed to cook. I felt so guilty for not having a hot meal for them. I got the twins up to bed and decided to allow the older boys to watch cartoons with me a little later and have a popcorn movie night before bedtime.

Conner’s Question

Connor (6) came over and sat down with me and we started talking about how school went. He told me of a secret Mother’s Day craft he was working on! He was quiet for a few minutes. Then he said that a fellow student told him that their mom was a single mom because they don’t have a daddy. Before I could try and think about how to explain to him that sometimes families are built differently he asked me a question. Mom? Are you a single mama because my daddy is in Korea? Because I know you love me and you do a good job. I love you mama. I miss daddy. I cried. And I cried some more. He asked me what was wrong. I said that I miss daddy too.

A Kid’s Perspective

He brought me a whole new perspective on how my kids perceive our crazy military life. I knew that my husbands short tour was going to be hard for us. Everyday I see the struggles my children go through. I feel stressed to the max some days. I feel like I’m not going to make it until bedtime some nights. My kids don’t see the messes. They don’t care what they had for dinner. They see their mama working hard for them. They see me doing it alone. And they miss their daddy. They see me doing a good job where sometimes I feel like I am failing. I tried to prepare for the struggles of a long separation, but I never thought about how they perceive me while daddy is away. They make me proud to be their mama!

 

 

You can Make a Difference Locally and Nationally

Spring has sprung and here on the East Coast the rush begins to prepare for summer.  We crawl out of our winter gear, shake off the dark and look forward to the refreshing changes of the season.

Keeping in mind that change has the opportunity of happening on a daily basis, and knowing we in this group are Military Minded and want to serve, help, support…lets think of ways we can Change the lives of those Military members Active or Veteran who need us!

How…

Even before becoming a Military Mom I was in the habit of contacting my Local Elected Officials, I’ve always felt, if they need me to vote for them, I need them to hear me, help me.  I contact my newly elected local officials, from Municipal, County and State Levels, to National level.  I don’t make it long…I don’t make it political…I just introduce myself as a constituent, I briefly explain my family and one or two major concerns and then I ask how they stand on those concerns. Pretty simple, and I’ve always gotten a response…  “I’m a Military Mom, I have a Veteran Son, My son relies on Veteran Administration Care”…simple non complicated statements…just ask how they feel.  And if you don’t agree with them, you might then want to take the conversation to the next step and call their office, or follow up with another letter or email.  It’s an easy way to support our Military and also get to know how our government work. You can find the contact information for your State at  http://www.gov.com/statelocal/

Let MMN know how your experience works out!

Free Stuff…

I don’t know about you, but I am always amazed at the Free Stuff you can get, sometimes its useful, sometimes its clutter…don’t just discard it, donate it!  I keep a running box of shampoo, body wash, toothpaste and other toiletries that I either get from Hotels, or samples or even coupon deals…when I have a full box I drop it off at my local Veterans Affairs office, I luckily have one right down the street but you may have to locate yours, call first and introduce yourself and MMN and let them know your wish to donate some unused items, I am sure they can find a use for them.  I add in socks that can be universal male/female and I always have one or two of those Free T Shirts from events…lanyards, hats, work gloves…keeping it small.  Many times your local VA Office won’t have storage room so if it’s too big they will turn away, so keep it small and simple.

MMN

is ALWAYS looking for those who can send boxes to our Active Duty military…we have ongoing means of donation and we have emergent need requests that go out…watch our page, sign up for the ongoing box drives. Check out the menu on our website and look for the Box and Card section.

And our Veterans always need you…

As a newer Veteran mom I realized right away that once your loved one is out of the Military the world is a different place for them.  It’s a more complicated life, hinged on many aspects they can’t anticipate or control.  It’s a frustrating maze that changes with each Government administration and very rarely are our Veterans “kept in the loop” meaning, they sometimes can’t keep up with the changing information. They may experience lapses in coverages, or payments…rent and car payments etc don’t wait, and may not be understanding of the issues facing our Veterans.  Lend a hand when you can, lend an ear or a shoulder, more important  listen!  An overwhelmed and emotional person sometimes doesn’t make the best decisions and sometimes a stranger just listening helps to clear a cloudy mind.  If you have the time volunteer at your local Legion Hall, Veterans Group Home, if you are not sure what resources your local community may have in place contact your County or State Veterans groups and ask, they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.  A few hours a month can make a huge difference.  If you live in a Community that supports a lot of local interaction and activities contact your town or local administration and ask that they remember to include the Veterans, not just the Senior Citizen Veterans but All the Veterans in your community.  Speak for those who might not know how to speak for themselves.

As always I leave you with this, MMN would love to hear your comments or questions regarding our stories, it’s a pleasure to serve our Military and we are dedicated to sharing our passion.

~~Sue

 

 

Jenn’s Story: I Love/Hate the Army

I have such a love hate relationship with the army. I miss it every single day. I struggle every day living in a military community and seeing everybody, including my husband, wear the uniform that I no longer get to. I feel caught between two things. I never deployed, so I constantly feel like I never really served, and yet I am severely disabled by my time in service, and so I feel like I should still be able to call myself a veteran, because I sure sacrificed a lot.

 

 

 

And then I’m angry, because three years later the army is still messing with my life. I didn’t get a job because they couldn’t get me the correct papers needed for veteran’s preference. (Apparently my dd214, Separation orders, and proof of disability weren’t enough.) I really needed this job, as I can no longer just go out and work anywhere. Some days I’m in a wheelchair. Some days I have to wear braces all over my body. Some days I have temperature regulation issues.

This job would have fit that niche that I need, and I really really needed it to be able to support my family. The VA? I’m being told five to seven years before that might kick in, and I have to track down all 48 doctors that have seen me, acquire all of their office notes, and manually scan them into a computer, (That’s over 2000 pages). I just didn’t imagine that three years later I would still be so angry, still be so f***ed, and above it all, still want to be a part of it so badly.