Serve Part 2

Today on Oprah the show was about the military: disabled vets, military families and spouses, the death of soldiers and the impact in creates in their lives.  But Oprah asked, what can YOU do, to help support these people that fight in wars to make sure I have MY freedoms?

Good question.

Over the years I’ve donated money, not a lot, but a monthly gift to a disabled veteran’s charity.  I’ve also written holiday cards for the red cross to send overseas.

I was a military wife for about two years before my late husband was medically discharged.  He never went to Iraq, although he was about to deploy before a work accident hindered his performance and he was discharged.  I only experienced a sliver of what military wives deal with on the day to day basis and that sliver was hard enough.  Now imagine a military spouse with children and having her husband or spouse deploy two times, three time, maybe five?

Many of our service members on the front lines come back damaged in some way.  PTSD and disabled by injuries are some things they can experience, but what about losing your marriage, kids and stability as well?  Our military needs our support, whether you support the wars or not.  It was said on the Oprah show that this war in Afghanistan has gone on longer than World War II and Vietnam!  I never knew that!

I’ve known of people who has lost someone in the Iraq war.  I’ve known my late husband’s Army buddies getting injured in Afghanistan.  I have friends who are reservist that still deploy to this day and it’s an issue close to my heart.

I feel very strongly in giving back to the community.  I was taught in high school the value of volunteering and giving back when you have something to give: time, money, clothing, etc…Right now I donate monthly to Women for Women International and support two “sisters” one in the Congo and another in Croatia.  And I occasional donate to Best Friends Animal Society because I love animals.  I’ve also donated locally to the Hawaii Blood Bank (yup, O+, I give my blood!) and Aloha United Way.  My point is there is always something you can do to help someone in need.

I looked at the site www.serve.gov that Michelle Obama advocated for on the Oprah Show and was very pleased with it.  I’ve always wanted to do more for military families and googled many sites for it and did what I could.  But this site is easy to navigate and I enjoy the clean layout.  You can read stories, add a story, find volunteering opportunities and create a project.  You can find websites to organizations that help the military and their families!  I’m very excited!

Right now I’m not working, so when I do make money again, I will contribute monetarily but instead I found a site Operation Gratitude which will let me do something I love to do already: write.  And I don’t mean write in a blog or write an article…but I love writing letters.  I exchange handwritten letters with my in-laws in Kansas and now with my soon to be mother-in-law in Philadelphia!  I love getting letters and I can imagine how nice it would be to get a letter while serving my duty in a war-torn country or recovering in a hospital from battle wounds.  Just imagine how simple picking up a pen, or typing on word perfect is?  And how that simple action can help someone feel hopeful, can help bring a smile to their face to brighten their day?

So that’s what I’m going to do!  It’s my way of saying thank you for the troops that fight and sacrifice.  It’s my way of saying thank you to the families that love them.  It’s my way of saying, thank you for your service…and because of YOU…I get to live my life the way I do.

So what are you going to do to serve the people that serve you?

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