What Does Military Appreciation Month Mean for Us?

Military Appreciation Week2

November is Military Appreciation Month. Having spent my college years (and beyond) in San Diego with its huge Naval and Marine presence, I gained a much greater appreciation for the sacrifices our military families make everyday.

Long deployments, family separation, and relocations are only mentioning a few hardships. How can we honour our troops and their families this November?

Send a Care Package to Soldiers Overseas

My daughter is part of a girls’ co-op that meets monthly. Their most recent project was to embroider pillow cases to send to our troop abroad. It is a small gesture, but a loving reminder that we have not forgotten their patriotism and dedication to our country. There are several items that you can donate that will be greatly appreciated. Here is a basic list of suggested items and guidelines http://www.adoptaplatoon.org/new/pdf/care.pdf   and don’t forget to check the US Postal Service for tips on sending your package.

Offer Assistance to a Military Wife

Chances are you probably know a military wife with a deployed husband, and chances are she could really use a break once in a while. Offer to watch her kids once a week so she can get caught up on household items, run a quick errand, or indulge in a nap. Or, double up on a meal you make once a week and offer her family half the portion. Lasagna and other casserole dishes are perfect for this type of meal planning, and pan entrees can always be frozen for future use as a meal-in-a-pinch.

Consider Donating Blood to the Troops

Do needles make you squeamish? I can completely relate, but I also just learned of the great need for blood donation for our troops. Red blood cells have a relatively short shelf life, so it is imperative we consider donating blood to address military causalities. For more information, visit Defend America or support your local Red Cross.

Begin Boot Camp

Do you have what it takes to make Boot Camp? Most of us will never understand the rigors of truly making the military cut, but we can sweat like we mean it and appreciate a small percentage of what our troops endure in the process. Find a boot camp class or group at your gym, or start one of your own. Boot Camp routines have become wildly popular, typically high intensity, calling on both endurance and strength to increase your cardiovascular and overall fitness levels. Consider this your “Active Duty”.

Whatever you do this month to pay homage to our troops risking their lives for our freedom, remember to spread the word about Military Appreciation Month, and put out your flag on Veteran’s Day, November 11th.