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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I have been asked what can America do for military families...

Well my honest answer is pray, be Patriotic, and be Proud to be an American or living in the US. We owe each day of safety and liberty that we enjoy to the members of our Armed Forces and their families. Behind our heroic service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide never-ending support.

During April, May and November we celebrate the outstanding contributions of our military families, and we reaffirm our commitments to these selfless individuals who exemplify the highest principles of our nation. Just as we hold a revered trust to the astonishing Americans willing to lay down their lives to protect us all, there is also a need of commitment to support and engage our military families.

In years past, you could wrap up a care package and mail it to "Any Service Member" for the holidays, but with increased mail restrictions, the Pentagon and USPS is asking people to help through financial contributions, letter-writing and e-mail, purchasing authorized pre-made care packages, or volunteering time through non-profits.  You can go to http://www.ourmilitary.mil and see what you can do.

The holidays in November and December, many military families have children and they need help obtaining toys for their child's Christmas. Others have need for food and other clothes. With their spouses overseas and lowered income many are in desperate straights. They need sponsors to help these families on a one on one basis and some families are even to proud to ask for help from anyone.

Military families sometimes find that local people may be hesitant to build friendships with them because the locals know the military families will not be living there very long. If military families come through your community, make an effort to get to know them. Your friendship will be greatly appreciated!

Pray for them—and let them know you are praying. Military life adds a lot of extra stress on marriage and family. The fact that you are praying for a family makes a difference, especially when a loved one is sent into harm's way. They are comforted to know that you are there to support them in any way possible. Let them know you appreciate the sacrifices they make.

If you live in a community near a military installation, your local group can become an important resource for military families. But do they know you exist? Try to make your group as visible as you can. If you have a local newspaper (especially if the military base has one), consider running periodic ads inviting military families to participate in your events.

When any family moves, it is often a blind relocation to a new area. Moving as often as some military families do, it becomes a seemingly endless process of finding resources in their new communities to meet their growing needs. When local families share these inside tips with new military families, it helps them settle into their new homes much quicker.

I think by offering job opportunities to military spouses and really good ones not just working at the local Wal-Mart, or Mall will do it. There are a lot of spouses out here with a good solid education and experience, and still we have no way to showcase our talent.

Write a letter of support to the families, a written personal letter goes along way to say Thank You. Not just verbal that is OK but a written letter of support means so much more in these days where mail is almost non existence. So you can go visit www.bluestarfam.org and click on Operation Appreciation. That is a wonderful program that helps write those letters. Also awards, not just Certifications of Appreciation unless they actually mean something, and there is a ceremony, but actually Department of Defense Awards or Congressional Awards.

Just being Patriotic, fly those American Flags that we fight so hard to defend. Be Proud to be an American. The US Constitution was written for a reason to protect the people and get away from oppressors. I think that it will upset some people, some people take the liberties of living here in the US for granted. There are countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who don't have a constitution, violate people's basic human rights, and really don't care. It seems that some people in the US aren't proud to be American. Be glad the 1st Amendment is there, because in other places you can get killed for saying some of the things they say.

We take things for granted especially freedom, and when it's gone it's gone. I understand war isn't always the answer but I couldn't imagine living in a country where I could get killed for not liking the government.

Those are a few things that I think Americans can do to help support.

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