This month we kick off the holiday season with an annual tradition: Thanksgiving. Seeing as the holidays are all about family, November is the perfect month to celebrate a special kind of family: our military families.
Each year, the President signs a proclamation declaring November as Military Family Month - a month-long celebration of the Military Family.
“Our military families endure many hardships along with those who defend our Nation. They are separated from their loved ones for months on end and frequently relocated across the country and around the world. They often live far from their extended families, and they know what it is like to celebrate holidays and milestones with an empty seat at the table. Many military spouses face the task of making ends meet while their loved ones are away and of securing new employment with each change in duty station. Children of service members often grow up living a nomadic life -- periodically calling a new place "home" and adjusting to different schools, trying out for new sports teams, and making new friends. In these lives of frequent change and transition, however, our incredible military families not only survive, they thrive.” - President Donald J. Trump
Here at Soldiers’ Angels, we honor our military families throughout the year - in every stage of their military life.
For spouses who are expecting, our Operation Top Knot Team is there to throw virtual baby showers by sending handmade and hand selected items for our military babies and moms.
For families who need a little comfort, our Sewing and Crafting Team is there with a handmade blankets and other items as a way to show we care.
For families who are struggling and worried about affording holiday gifts for their children, our Adopt-A-Family Team is there to provide a present for each child and a gift card towards their holiday meal.
For female caregivers of our military heroes, our Women of Valor Team is there to provide self-care and educational support.
For families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, our Living Legends Team is there to offer comfort and support to the grieving family.
How long have you been with Soldiers’ Angels?
I have been with Soldiers’ Angels for 5 wonderful years. I would not dream of being anywhere else.
What’s your role?
In my role as Vice President of Operations, I have the pleasure to work with many different facets of Soldiers’ Angels. I get to work with our wonderful donors to tell them about the great programs and services we offer; our fabulous teams of Angels who work tirelessly supporting our deployed service members and their families, and a leadership group that is strategic and caring so that Soldiers’ Angels has a national footprint now and in the future. My greatest role is overseeing all of our Teams that support our deployed service members and their families. These Teams of Angels give so much of their own time and finances to let our deployed service members and their families know that America supports them.
What are some things people may not know or realize about military families?
I don’t think the American public realizes the sacrifices that military families make each and every day. Not only to be away from their loved ones who are deployed, but taking care of the children on their own, caring for a wounded hero sometimes 24 hours a day, giving birth while their spouse is serving overseas, losing a loved one in combat, and having to manage the finances, households and other items that come up. These brave families withstand many obstacles but are proud to support the freedoms that we all have.
What’s your favorite family program and why?
I don’t think I really have a favorite program – all of them are so needed and so beneficial. Being able to send a box of baby goodies is a pure joy, being able to see the beautiful and creative work of our Sewing & Crafting Team is heartwarming, being able to send words of condolences to a family who has lost a loved one is poignant, being able to share resources with caregivers is gratifying to help; being able to bring joy over the holidays to military families is like no other feeling in the world. With all of these feelings each and every day, I cannot pick one program that is my favorite.
Why do you love being a part of Soldiers’ Angels?
This will sound so cliché, but I love helping our military – paying it forward. Being part of Soldiers’ Angels is a blessing to me. I get to interact with incredible people from all walks of life every day, I get to see smiling faces in pictures of our deployed who have received a care package, I get words of ‘thanks’ for the smallest gestures of love, I get calls from military families who are so grateful for the support, and most of all, I work with the most caring and respectful group of individuals who truly believe in what we are doing and who shine with American pride. I can’t ask for anything more.
What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had at Soldiers' Angels?
Every day is memorable. I love wearing my Soldiers’ Angels shirts or telling people that I work for Soldiers’ Angels and individuals coming up to me and saying how we helped when they were deployed, how we helped their family during the holidays, how we sent a token of appreciation to a caregiver, how our words of comfort helped a grieving family. What we do at Soldiers’ Angels sometimes seems so small but I hold in my heart knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of our military families. What can be more memorable than that?