Have you ever heard a military family member state there isn’t enough support for them? Did you reach out and see how you could help them? I know there has been many times where this same issue impacted my family while my husband was away. When my husband was deployed for the very first time with the Army National Guard, we didn’t know of any resources available to us. Since he was part-time, I struggled with learning about my military community. One resource that is still near and dear to me is Military One Source. I read every blog post and visited every page that was National Guard related. There was also a great list of local resources that helped when I was looking to tap into the military community from my civilian town.
Eight years later, the support is better as America is becoming more and more aware of military families and their sacrifices to our country. However, there is always an opportunity to learn, as well as help others.
People that can help military families are not just those affiliated with the military, but we as a military family must all help and support each other. We know firsthand what an impact it makes in our lives when someone reaches out or does something nice for us.
Here are five easy, yet meaningful ways you can reach out and support a military family today:
Be Encouraging. Think before you speak, and speak words of encouragement and gratitude. Leave the negative comments and questions out of the conversation - it does no one any good.
Be Welcoming. If you know of a new military family that has recently moved to your neighborhood or town, welcome them. A friendly gesture, handshake or even a quick visit to introduce yourself will make them feel like they are not alone and a part of a community.
Be Understanding. Sometimes the best way to support a military family is simply by listening and showing them you understand that military life can be challenging at times. Being a shoulder to lean on can mean the world to them during difficult times.
Show Local Support. Get patriotic and show your support. Participate in RED (Remember Everyone Deployed) Friday or visit a local National Guard or Reserve armory to see how you can support them. You can also volunteer your time, there are various military organizations that need local citizen support such as:
Be Proud. As an American, pride runs through our veins. Never be afraid to thank a veteran or military family member. Even if you are a military family member, step out of your comfort zone and support one another. As a military family, we take pride in our community and reaching out to others. You never know who may need the support and are just afraid to ask. Did you know that November is Military Family Appreciation Month? What can you do to show support for your military community today? Share your ideas in the comments below.
About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband of 11 years and two children.
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