Don’t forget to thank a military family

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November is a month for giving thanks, but did you know that it is also a time to honor military families? Each year the President signs a proclamation declaring November Military Family Month. This provides an opportunity for us to thank military families and remember the obligation we have to them and their loved ones.

Behind servicemembers are the spouses, children, siblings, and parents supporting them. Military families give up time with their loved ones and face deployments and frequent moves.

In his Military Family Month proclamation, President Barack Obama said that we must uphold our promise to servicemembers and their families because “our military would not be the greatest in the world without the strength and support of the loved ones who stand alongside our men and women in uniform.”

“We must always be there for our servicemembers and their families — just as they are there for us,” Obama said. “Through the thickest of fights and the darkest of nights, our extraordinary military families — our heroes on the home front — stand alongside our patriots in uniform, and in their example we see the very best of our country’s spirit to ensure the priorities of our Nation reflect the priorities of our military families.”

Military Family Month was established in 1993 by the Armed Services YMCA and has been recognized by the U.S. government every year since.

What can you do? Here are three tips for giving back to a military family:

  1. Make a care package. Gather some supplies with a military family in mind; a thank you card, baked goods, a new book, or gift card are some ideas. Whether it is for a close friend or someone you don’t know very well, a care package is a great way to brighten someone’s day.
  2. Plan a “Welcome To Our Hometown” event. Transitioning military families are not always formally welcomed to a community. A Welcome To Our Hometown (WTOH) event is a great way to make families feel welcome. Plan an event, set a date, and invite the military family for an opportunity to get to know community members and their new home. For more information visit https://www.ALAforVeterans.org/programs/national-security/.
  3. Ask how you can help. Do you know a military family in your neighborhood or do you know someone who does? Ask what they need and offer your help, whether that might be babysitting services, help around the house, or running errands. This might seem obvious, but simply asking what the family needs can let them know help is available.

Visit http://www.military.com/military-family-appreciation-month to find out more.

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