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This week’s post is the fourth guest blog contribution from Christine “C.C.” Gallagher, Founder of Military Quality of Life Consulting LLC. C.C. is no stranger to the major life changes and often unexpected transitions that comes with living in a military family.

As a mother of two and a spouse to an active-duty Army soldier, C.C. has experienced many obstacles and successes in her journey as a military spouse, mother, and professional. You can read more about C.C. and get a list of her collaborative efforts with us on her bio page.

The Gallagher Family at Fort Bliss, TX

Celebrating our Military Families: Month of the Military Family

By: C.C. Gallagher

A recent Presidential proclamation has designated this month [November] as National Veterans and Military Families Month. It is when the country internally reflects to honor our military families, as well as showing our support of, and appreciation for, these sacrifices they have made in support of our nation’s heroes.

Military families are often new people in town due to frequent relocations. Especially during the holidays, and specifically this year with the new restrictions, many families may be celebrating far from their own families and feeling more isolated than usual. There is no better time to show your support to our military families than now. Here are a few simple, inexpensive, and socially distant ways to support those in your community with small acts of kindness.

1) Express gratitude.

Showing your appreciation for what military families sacrifice can be as simple as saying thank you. Remember that the entire military family serves. A kind gesture of support and appreciation can be extremely important and meaningful to everyone’s health and well-being.

2) Schedule a Zoom holiday party.

 There are many military families that spend the holidays alone. Help them feel included in the celebrations happening at home by scheduling a holiday party with friends and family over Zoom.

3) Connect with a Military Family Support Center.

Visit the military installation service locator here. You can search for military installations, state resources, or programs and services. You can also simply click “View All Installations”. Find the designated Military and Family Support Center contact information and inquire if there is any support they need during the upcoming holiday season.

4) Reach out to an Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program (MWR).

For the Army specifically, MWR directly supports Soldiers and their families by providing community support and activities for our military families throughout the year. They host such a large variety of programs and services that you are likely to find one that you are passionate about supporting. Each branch of service has its own efforts dedicated to morale-boosting.

You can find the Army MWR locator here and ask your local program coordinator for information and see how you can help!

6) Send cards and notes.

Send a card or note to a military family this holiday season to let them know you are thinking about them, and appreciate the sacrifices they make. Operation Gratitude has several options to send virtual or handwritten cards to Deployed Troops, Veterans, Recruit Graduates, First Responders, Frontline Responders, or Wounded Heroes and their Caregivers.

It is also important to remember our Veterans, especially those that are hospitalized or those living in a nursing home. So many times they feel alone and forgotten. Your cards and notes can let them know their contribution was appreciated and it will help ease their loneliness.

7) Send a care package.

Send a care package to either a military family or a deployed soldier who is serving overseas during the holidays.

Crown Royal has partnered with Packages From Home to allow you to send free care packages to active American heroes. They have a goal to send 1-million care packages by the end of 2020, help them meet their goal while also blessing a soldier fighting for our freedom!

 Another option is to donate items to nonprofit organizations like Support Our Troops  Operation We Care who sends military care packages filled with donations from supporters to service members.

8) Adopt-A-Military Family through Soldiers’ Angels.

Reach out to Soldiers’ Angels this holiday season and they will connect you with a military family that is in need of assistance. Their goal is to make sure not just the Soldier, but the entire family feels appreciated for all the sacrifices they make.

Registration is open until December 7th to adopt a military family in need. You can register here!

9) Donate to Local and National Support Organizations.

Reach out to local Veteran and Military Service Organizations to see how you can fulfill a need they are facing this holiday season. Examples of organizations that have local footprints include the: Association of the United States Army, Air Force Association, the National Military Family Association, Blue Star FamiliesMilitary Officers Association of America, and the USO to name a few.

Be a positive force for your community and the less than 1% of our population who serve (and their families). Please remember all our servicemen and women that stand watch for us this holiday season, and extend a warm hand to all of our military families that remain behind and await their safe return. We wish you the happiest of holidays!

Listen to C.C. share more of her personal journey with employment and the unique barriers she has experienced in our Anchored podcast episode,  “Supporting Military Spouses with Employment and Higher Education Transitions.”

We want to thank C.C. for contributing to our OneOp posts! Stay tuned for more potential guest contributions from her in 2021. For access to all of OneOp’s blog posts, see a list of all our blog posts here.