Thursday, May 29, 2014

As the NMAM Ends...

With May coming to a close, and Memorial Day past us, now is certainly not the time to forget to appreciate our military men and women and all the families that support them, even after the 31st rolls through.

Here’s a couple of things you should definitely check out before the end of National Military Appreciation month:

1. Military Family Mental Health Blog Carnival
Many have joined together to create this online show of support, as I am today, for the mental health of our military personnel.   While FM and I have not been a military family long, we’ve already  been made to discuss many of the issues that accompany this military life, including our mutual concerns of deployments and the residual, lasting effect it many impose on our future life. 

The mental health of all of our soldiers is, of course, extremely important, whether they have seen the devastation of a war oversees firsthand, been forced to serve hardship tours and deployments in other countries, or continue to struggle with the remnants of war torn memories from years and  wars previous.  It is even more important for those of us welcoming them back to our peaceful times to be able to sympathize, understand, and recognize the warning signs of a soldier in despair or need of help.

 Some of the warning signs of a mental illness include:
1. Social withdrawal, loss of interest in relationships
2. Fear, suspiciousness, or feelings of nervousness frequently
3. Constant mood swings
4. Sensitivity to lights, sounds, smells, or touches that otherwise would not illicit a reaction
5. Lack of concentration, loss of memory, or inability to express feelings

This list is clearly not as extensive as it could be, but it highlights some of the major outlying reactions we should be able to notice in ourveterans in order to make sure they receive the help they need.  Visit the American Psychiatric Association’s website for more information on recognizing warning signs of mental illness.

2. Have Our Troops’ Back
As many of you are well aware, and likely have taken advantage of the services of, the USO is a fabulous organization that aims to support our troops all over the world.  From boosting troop morale through comfortable airport layover centers, game/media rooms on bases, or sending care packages during the holidays, the USO  is always there for the troops when they need a break from the stress.

For this Fourth of July they are offering their Have Our Troops’ Back t-shirt with a donation of $25 or more.  Not only will you know what you’ll be wearing this July 4th, but you’ll be helping out a great organization with your donation! But it’s only valid until the end of the month, so hop to it!



3. Every Moment Counts
And while we’re on the USO topic, be sure to head over to the USO’s website and sign the Every Moment Counts flag to send the Guinness World Record breaking biggest THANK YOU to all of our troops around the world!

It takes about 30 seconds of your time and your signature will be printed on the (hopefully) record-breaking flag!  Again, this ends at the end of the month, so spend some time over on the USO website.

4. Sign up for Soldier Send
I’ve done many programs like this in the last year that connect civilians or other military families with soldiers in need of supplies or just some love from the home front.  All five branches of the service are represented on the site, and servicemen and women can sign up to receive packages and let everyone know what they or their battle buddies need to be a little more comfortable while keeping us all safe.

Go ahead and sign up, even if it’s just to browse the site or to send something in the future.  Remember, the holidays aren’t the only times our military men and women should get some presents!  Spread some love this summer too!



I hope you all had a fabulous month of May, and were able to enjoy some of the things going on out there to recognize our troops this month!  But remember, May is not the only month to be thankful for everything our men and women sacrifice.  It’s a great reason to remind us we should be though!!

Have a great end of Military Appreciation Month all!



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