10 Ways to Recognize Military Family Appreciation Month
The month of November is Military Family Month. This provides us all the opportunity to celebrate the sacrifices and contributions that service members’ families—military families—have made and continue to make.
In his Military Family Month proclamation, President Obama noted that we must ‘remember a most sacred obligation — to serve them as well as they serve us.
“Military families exemplify the courage and resolve that define our national character. For their country and their loved ones, they rise to the challenges of multiple deployments and frequent moves — spouses who care and provide for children in their partners’ absence, kids who make new friends and leave known comforts behind. They are the force behind the force, patriots who support their family members in uniform while enriching the communities they call home.”
Military families never cease to inspire and amaze me.
The sacrifices and duty involved in service to the nation by military families often goes unnoticed by those in the civilian world. Their countless moves, school changes, friends and sports teams left behind, job changes, months missing their loved one, and nonstop deployments.
Over two million children have parents who served in Iraq or Afghanistan alone.
All of us should share in the responsibility of caring for our military families and veterans. These families have stepped up to the plate at great personal cost, and the toll that multiple and extended deployments take can be very high.
Stress levels sky rocket, and spouses and children can struggle when service members are gone for prolonged periods, and some may even have a difficult time adjusting when the service member returns.
At a minimum, these families deserve some recognition and our appreciation.
Military families who not only survive, but thrive—who every day serve with courage and honor, rate extra kudos!
As we celebrate November Military Appreciation Month, take the time to honor our veterans, their families, and the sacrifices they’ve made.
What can you do?
1. SAY Thank you!
2. Write a thank–you note to a family for what they’ve sacrificed.
3. Provide job opportunities.
4. Offer workplace flexibility.
5. Offer to babysit. Imagine 6-9 months with no spouse at home to support you! Yup – let THAT sink in! Offer to babysit. Often. It can be a sanity saver.
6. Perform a random act of kindness for the family, while remaining anonymous.
7. Volunteer your time. Cut the grass. Snowblow their driveway – every time it snows!
8. Thank them publicly (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for their sacrifice.
9. Donate to a veterans’ charity on their behalf.
10. ASK – “How can I help?”
What are different ways you show military families that you appreciate them?
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Carey Lohrenz is the author of the Wall Street Journal Best Seller “Fearless Leadership: High-Performance Lessons from the Flight Deck., a motivational speaker and leadership expert.
Carey has flown missions worldwide as a combat-mission-ready United States Navy F-14 Tomcat pilot. Her extensive experience operating in one of the world’s most challenging environments, an aircraft carrier, and her unique position as one of the first female combat pilots make her the perfect opening or closing inspirational keynote speaker for your corporate meeting or conference.
Carey graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she was a varsity rower, also training at the Pre-Olympic level. After graduation, she attended the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School before starting flight training and her naval career. She is the mother of four kids, and is currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration in Strategic Leadership.