For centuries, our military members have relied on the military community to help take care of their families. As a military spouse for over 15 years, I always found it ironic that when a military spouse needs support after the birth of a baby, or a spouse’s deployment, or during a family member’s illness, it is very often another military spouse with a new baby and a deployed spouse who makes a meal for the family in need. Or, when a military group has a fundraiser, military families always end up washing their own car at the car wash, or buying and eating the same brownies they just baked for the fundraiser. It’s just the way it is: the military community takes care of the military community.
However, in 2013, over 70% of military families now live off base in surrounding civilian communities. In addition, our reserve and National Guard families are dotted across America thousands of miles away from the nearest military base or military community. At the same time, the military continues to endure devastating cuts to their budget and the forcible stripping away of services, piece by piece. Lately it feels like the entire military and it’s vital services will eventually disappear. Military families rely on the Department of Defense to take care of our military members and military families. If they can’t support us, who will?
During the past three years of growing MilitaryOneClick.com, I have witnessed the beginning of a transformation: our society is reaching out to our military and their families to help support, provide jobs, and just say a simple thank you. Every day at MilitaryOneClick we learn about new tangible opportunities from our civilian community for our service members and their families.
We finally have a chance to align our Department of Defense with our civilian community to provide on-going support for our military members and their families. I can only hope the pendulum does not swing so far that we are only left with the civilian community to pick up the pieces from on-going cuts from the Department of Defense.
Through our 15 years of marriage and my husband’s 17 years of service , we have our “family family,” our “military family” and now our “community family”, who we love and cherish. Across our nation, there is a huge groundswell movement of Americans who believe everyone can serve in their own way. From large corporations providing incredible career opportunities to the local Church adopting service members and their families while they are stationed in their community – everyone serves.
So this Thanksgiving I would like to say thank you to our family, our military family, and our community family, for wanting to learn more about us, for reaching out to us and for embracing the military family as part of your own. Now more than ever our military needs the support of our community family and we welcome you to ours with open arms.
Jen, Ed, Katie, Griffin, Sophie and the entire MilitaryOneClick Team stationed around the Country!
Click here for more information on the free e-book, “Everyone Serves: A Handbook for Family and Friends of Service Members During Pre-Deployment, Deployment and Reintegration.” The free guide is online and is available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo and Sony platforms.
Follow Blue Star Families on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and build a support network so you can keep your family and personal community strong throughout the duration of the entire deployment life cycle.