Blue Star Families is proud to announce the launch of our 2010 Military Family Lifestyle Survey. Last year's survey gave military families an opportunity to have their perspectives heard by many and gave organizations, government and the media insight into the experience's of today's military families. Last year's survey results were released in Congress, led off a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee and were quoted frequently by the First Lady. A top finding last year was that 94% of military families feel that the larger community doesn't understand or appreciate the sacrifices they make.
On a day when most of her fellow Congressmen and women were long gone, having left Washington as soon as their votes were cast, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) was taking intense notes as military spouses offered ideas, input and suggestions for several key issues facing military families.
“Your outlook, experiences and day to day challenges are what we need to hear,” said Rep. Rodgers.
I am deep in the ‘organization’ phase of our pending PCS and just barely creeping into the ‘eat the pantry/fridge’ phase. A civilian who hears about this second phase might give you an odd look and wonder if it’s really a euphemism for something deeper, something sinister. But unfortunately it’s a reality of military life and one that usually ends with me facing off with a lone jar of olives.
Everyone in our house has a unique role, and with each role comes expected behaviors. My husband is the Man of the House, acting as our resident fix-it man, lawn doctor, and master of Wii. I am the Domestic Engineer. I take command of child care and keep the household running. Our son is the Man-In-Training, who diligently completes homework, enacts intricate battles with his action figures, and attempts to ignore his sister’s taunting need to be in his face at all times. And our daughter is Miss Diva, princess of independence, naughtiness, and Sponge Bob underwear.
As I write this article, I’m in total countdown mode. We have mere days before my husband will be back home from his year-long deployment. I can already picture him making us his famous French toast for breakfast while asking me why I have to cook the eggs in bacon grease (um, because they taste better that way!) I honestly can’t believe we are such short-timers.
April is the Month of the Military Child, and I wanted to find a way to show my children that the sacrifices they make on a daily basis during their father’s current deployment don’t pass unnoticed. I’m well aware of how my husband’s deployment is affecting me, but it’s easy to forget that my children bear the brunt of their father’s absence as well.
by Cachet B. Prescott, MA
Have you heard about The Real Warriors Campaign? The campaign is an initiative launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families. DCoE launched a public awareness campaign May 21, 2009, focusing on combating the stigma associated with seeking care and treatment for psychological health concerns.
Last week, military families from the Hampton Roads area gathered at Kangaroo Jac's bouncy house for a book reading and some bouncing fun.
The kids played musical chairs and the limbo and bounced their hearts out!
Author Ross H. Mackenzie shared his book, My Sailor Dad, and the kids were enthralled. Mr. Mackenzie is a Navy pilot who has deployed numerous times. He wrote My Sailor Dad to explain his job to his children.
I never saw it coming. Then again, I didn't grow up with pets. I bought Ethan, now 7 years old, and Estee, now 5, a guinea pig when their dad deployed last summer, and last week we acquired a second guinea pig, a surprise birthday gift from a family friend. One of the neighbors, a slightly older boy named Sam, was playing at our house when the new rodent made her debut. I wasn't in the room at the time, but found out later that he proclaimed that guinea pig babies would be in our future; to help matters along, he instructed the kids to place the female in the same cage as the male.